This article is a collaboration between myself and Marlise Optometrists.
I myself took my vision for granted until a recent eye scare where I managed to get some dust (that must have had some pollen or something I was allergic to) in my eye. My face was swollen and I literally had the most swollen, red and crazy sore eye. How important is it to keep an eye on your eye health and what can you do to improve your eye health?
I started wearing glasses a year ago when I tried to change the channel on the television and I realised that I could not really read the titles on the screen navigating the television channels. For me it felt like this happened overnight. I could still do everything I used to, read, walk anything just had to close my right eye every time I tried to read a sign that was a little away. My neighbor referred me to Marlise Optometrists here in Linden, so I asked her to share some of her expert tips with us.
At what age should you do your first eye test?
At least before going to school (age 5/6). In cases where both parents have got very bad eye vision, it is suggested that the child be tested already at 3/4yrs.
How often should you test your eyes?
Eyes need to be tested every 18 months to 2 years. If you are a contact lens wearer you have to test annually.
What is the best way to remove eye make-up?
You have to remove your make-up (IN FULL) every night. Never go to bed without taking it off. Cleaning your eyes are the most important part to keeping your eyes in a good and healthy state. There is currently a lot of products on the market to remove your make-up etc., which works for some and not for others. The important part AFTER you have removed your make-up is to wash your eyelids and this can be done by using the Chrissanthie eye cleanse (I personally use this).
It is a foam-like soap that consists of tea-tree oils that removes any debris left (as there are always still small bits of mascara or eyeliner not completely removed by make-up remover) and it actually deep cleanse the follicles of the lashes – as there are some NASTY microbial organisms that stay in your follicles (everyone has them). It is also very important to put “heat” on your eyelids by either using a face cloth and holding it under warm water, expressing all the water out of the cloth and placing this on your eyes until the heat is gone. Use this cloth then to wipe the contours of your eyelids and remove any debris that got excreted out of the follicles by the heat.
My eyes are red every morning, what should I do?
Red eyes in the mornings are typical from dry eyes. Dry eyes occur when your eye don’t get enough tears to lubricate them or that you have an eyelid infection which prevent the good tears from reaching your eyes. One has to take care in washing one’s eyes at night before bed-time (and this include both men and women). After washing your eyelids, you have to put a warm cloth on your eyes so that any debris remaining in your lash follicles gets pushed to the surface (because of the heat of the cloth) and then gets wiped away with the cloth.
Another reason why one’s eyes are red in the mornings is that when one sleep, your eyelids deprive your cornea from oxygen. It is advisable to put an eye drop in at night too (especially now in the summer months when we sleep with fans on etc.) One can either use your day-time eye drop (and NOT THE ONES FROM A LOCAL STORE – IT NEEDS TO BE FROM A CHEMIST – still over the counter/on the shelf)
Photo by Nicole Honeywill / Sincerely Media on Unsplash
If you have an eye infection, do you go to the doctor or optometrist?
Some eye infections can be treated by an Optometrist and some only by an Ophthalmologist (eye doctor). Your optometrist would be able to advise when you are in front of them in their chair whether they can help or not. It is almost impossible to make an accurate diagnosis over the phone or by means of a picture as there are important information that can only be obtained by looking with a slitlamp at the other parts of your eye too to make a diagnosis.
Is it best to purchase tested or an off-the-shelf pair of sunglasses?
Sunglasses should ALWAYS have UV protection on them. When we wear sunglasses, your pupils dilate, if you wear sunglasses that does not have UV protection, the harmful UV enters your eyes and cause cataracts and damage the inside of your eyes. If however your sunglasses have the UV protection, no harmful rays enter your eyes. Tested sunglasses help those who can’t see without their prescription lenses.
How do I choose the best frame for my face?
The only way to choose the best frame for your eyes is by FITTING THEM ON. More and more people tend to want to buy frames online (as online shopping is the way to go), but you cannot really get a proper idea of how they look. When fitting a frame, you have to look at certain aspects of the frame, it shouldn’t be too wide or too narrow. It should complement your features, e.g. enhance your cheekbones and lift your face/brighten your face.
What service(s) can optometrists provide other then eye testing and prescribing glasses or contact lenses?
Optometrists do the regular eye test and prescribing of glasses and contact lenses. Optometrists can help with diagnosing of eye infections and treatment thereof. And can make a big difference in patients’ lives that battle with dry eyes. Scleral lenses (fitted by some optometrists) give patients the all-day comfort of having a “water reservoir” on their eyes.
It is a large hard contact lens that the optom fit (these lenses are VERY COMFORTABLE as there is no lid involvement because of the size of the lens). It fits underneath both your top and bottom eyelid and is filled with preservative solution. The solution provides the reservoir of fluid on your eyes to literally keep your eyes moist the whole day. These lenses are also fitted for patients with corneal irregularities that can’t wear soft contact lenses as well as high prescriptions. These lenses are permanent lenses, meaning you can keep them for a while if looked after (2-3 years) using the same lens but still taking it out every day and putting it back in in the morning.
There are also other specialties lenses which we offer (some optoms) e.g. you get special type of contact lenses now that you can sleep with (called ortho-K lenses). This is a permanent lens that if looked after – can last you 2 years plus (depending on the stability of your prescription). You only sleep with the lens (insert before going to bed) and then sleep a minimum of 6 hours with the lens. The lens then mould your eye, so that you take the lens out upon wakening and you have perfect vision (no glasses or contact lenses required). Tonight you sleep again with the lens and in the morning you have perfect vision.
More about Marlise Optometrists
I’m Marlise, born and raised in a small town (Tzaneen) and studied at UJ. I am a wife and mother to a beautiful little girl. I graduated Cum Laude and have a passion for people. I love my job and thrive on making a difference in everybody’s lives that come to me. I have empathy and always time to listen (as my job sometimes entails more psychology and just being there for some elderly patients (especially) who needs to talk to someone and just tell someone what they are doing)J I take my time with the consultation as I pride myself in my work, making sure of prescriptions and delivering a thorough examination – if you are looking for a quick 15 minute eye test then I am definitely not your type. I like to spend at least 30-40 minutes with whoever sits in my chair and then we proceed to choosing a frame that works.
There are two lovely ladies who form part of my practice, Lucy (my right hand) who has been with me since I opened my practice on 1 September 2014 and Annemarie who joined us this year.
We strive to deliver excellent service and make your life easier with regards to eye care.
You can visit Marlise at her practise in Shop 4, Linden Place, 59 4th Ave, Linden, Randburg, 2195. The contact number for the practise is 011 782 2613 or why not follow her on Instagram @marliseoptometrists
PS: This made me think of this totally quirky ‘You are My Sunshine’ Eye test poster printable from Match Set Love that you can purchase via her online store.
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