Glamorize Your Eyes the Healthy Way

eye makeup

One of my favorite everyday routines is putting on makeup.  I love testing out new products and creating different looks, especially with my eyes.  Recently, I wondered if putting these products on my eyes (eye shadow, eyeliner, mascara, etc.)  could be harmful to them. After some research I was able to find out the best ways to keep your eyes safe and healthy if you love applying eye makeup as I do!

  • Pay Attention to Expiration Dates. Something I did not realize until recently was that makeup has an expiration date.  Usually the date is printed on the box or the product itself, but the general rule is to toss it after three months because infection-causing bacteria can easily grow on makeup.  If you find yourself getting an eye infection, make sure to throw away all of your eye makeup.
  • Don’t Share eye Makeup. Sharing eye makeup (especially the same brushes or applicators) could cause an infection or harm to the eyes.  Also try to avoid sampling eye makeup at stores.  Even though you are using a fresh applicator you never know if the people sampling prior to you used a fresh applicator or not. In fact, I have seen many people put their fingers in eye shadow palettes rather than the sample q-tip (gross!).  Therefore, I would suggest just testing the eye makeup on the back of your hand or wrist.
  • Be Cautious of Allergic Reactions. If you have allergies, try using one product at a time to find out if it causes a reaction or not.  If there is not a reaction, feel free to add another product and repeat the process.  This way if you do find yourself having an allergic reaction, it will be easy to find out which product is causing it.  Then you should notify your doctor to further find out which specific ingredient you are having a reaction to.
  • Try to Hold off on Glitter. This one is really hard for me to write because I LOVE glitter but glitter is actually a well known cause of corneal irritation (especially if you use contact lenses). The sparkles can get into your eye and cause redness and irritation so it is best to stay away from the glitter (or just use it sparingly and carefully 🙂 ).
  • Remove all eye Makeup Before Bed. When I started to wear makeup one of the first things my mom taught me was to always remove your makeup before going to sleep no matter how tired you are.  This is very important for not only your skin but you eyes!  As Hilary Beaver, an ophthalmologist from Houston Methodist, states, “If eye makeup is not removed daily there is an increased possibility of an allergic reaction or contact irritation. Repeated application over irritated skin will increase the subsequent skin reaction.”  So even though you may be tired after a long day, be sure to remove all of your makeup!

makeup removing

Sources: American Academy of Ophthalmology and University of Iowa Health Science Relations

 

Can This Eye Scan Detect Alzheimer’s Years in Advance?

Eye Check

A coworker brought this fascinating article to my attention and I thought I would share it with all of you.  The article discusses how our eyes can indicate signs of Alzheimer’s disease and that an eye scan could give us a sign even years before symptoms arise.

This article was posted on USA Today  August 22nd, 2017 and was written by Sean Rossman.

 

Researchers say early indicators of Alzheimer’s disease exist within our eyes, meaning a non-invasive eye scan could tip us off to Alzheimer’s years before symptoms occur.

It turns out the disease affects the retina — the back of the eye — similarly to how it affects the brain, notes neuroscience investigators at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in California. Through a high-definition eye scan, the researchers found they could see buildup of toxic proteins, which are indicative of Alzheimer’s.

“The findings suggest that the retina may serve as a reliable source for Alzheimer’s disease diagnosis,” said Cedars-Sinai associate professor Maya Koronyo-Hamaoui, lead author of the study, which published Thursday in the journal JCI Insight. “One of the major advantages of analyzing the retina is the repeatability, which allows us to monitor patients and potentially the progression of their disease.”

The Alzheimer’s Association reports about 5 million Americans live with the disease, a number expected to increase to 16 million by 2050. Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States.
Cedars-Sinai called the finding, “a major advancement” in sniffing out the disease earlier. Expensive and invasive brain scans have been the norm in recent years and for decades diagnosis came only by looking at a brain after a person died.

“Our hope is that eventually the investigational eye scan will be used as a screening device to detect the disease early enough to intervene and change the course of the disorder with medications and lifestyle changes,” said Keith L. Black, co-leader of the study and chair of the Cedars-Sinai Department of Neurosurgery.

In another find, the study uncovered plaques in unchecked regions of the retina, said research associate Yosef Koronyo. The amount of plaque in the retine matched the plaque in certain parts of the brain.

“Now we know exactly where to look to find the signs of Alzheimer’s disease as early as possible,” he said.

 

Source: Sean Rossman from USA Today

Sunglasses Etiquette

When the sun blazes upon us during the peak summer months, sunglasses are a must-have accessory.  I, myself, have a pair of shades in my bag as well as a backup pair in my car since I’ve been in too many situations where I have found myself blocking the sun with my hands because I forgot my sunglasses. Therefore, a second pair is very beneficial (and gave me a reason to try out a different frame style).Sunglasses

The other day I was shopping at a department store and noticed a woman sporting some very chic designer sunglasses. Although I loved the glasses I couldn’t help but wonder why she would want to wear them while shopping indoors.  Especially while she is looking at clothes, I mean how could she figure out what she wants if she can’t fully inspect the colors?

So out of curiosity I went inside my next destination with my sunglasses on.  I thought maybe I would feel more confident or people would think I was famous (most likely not but I can dream!) Honestly, I felt silly with them on and it was difficult for me to judge the clothing items I was looking at.  When I got to the check out, I had to take them off because I just felt ridiculous and rude speaking to the cashier while my sunglasses were on.   This lead me to wonder if there is some sort of sunglasses etiquette people could follow.

Now I am by no means an etiquette expert but I came across a fellow blogger who is in fact an expert and got some help from her blog post about this subject (Diane Gottsman). With that being said, I compiled a short list and I hope this will be as interesting to you as it is to me!

  1. Do not wear your sunglasses when conducting business. Maintaining eye contact while in a business setting is crucial. You want the person your communicating with to know he or she has your full attention. With sunglasses on they do not know where you are looking at! For all they know you could be asleep!
  2. Don’t use someone else sunglasses as a mirror. Okay I must admit, sometimes when I’m talking to someone wearing sunglasses, I tend to check/fix my hair off the reflection of the sunglasses (in my defense it’s usually a friend!). It seems harmless, but how would you feel if someone was in your face checking their teeth or primping? Save it for the bathroom or at least use your phone!
  3. Avoid wearing sunglasses indoors. Wearing sunglasses inside (especially in a formal setting) is pretty attention getting and may come off as disrespectful or rude. Therefore, it is probably best to put them away until you leave (Unless, of course, you have medical condition that requires the use of sunglasses).
  4. Protect your sunglasses. When you are not wearing them, it is best to put them away. As I mentioned in a previous blog post (From top of the Head to Around the Neck: Our Chains are Saving Your Glasses) I am guilty of wearing my glasses AND sunglasses on top of my head. Despite the fact that this is an easy/fast way of putting them away, it can be harmful to the lenses and may not be a suitable accessory in a business setting (even though it serves as a great head band!) I have also seen people clip them in front of their shirts or even on the back of their heads, but it is best to store them in their case or even on a chain for the best protection.
  5. Designer shades aren’t necessary. I recently had a friend tell me that he purchased a $300 pair of sunglasses for when he has to meet with clients or is in a business setting ($300?!) Getting luxury shades isn’t really necessary if you are just looking for style, comfort, and protection. In fact, there are plenty of sunglasses that will cover all three of these areas AND are reasonably priced. (For instance, check out some of the sunglasses we offer on our own website!)

Although I myself am guilty of a few of these points, I think it is interesting to know what kind of impression these simple accessories can give off.

Doctor Szewczyk’s Discovery

Almost fifteen years ago I did a presentation in my second-grade class about someone I considered a hero.  A lot of my classmates did their projects on presidents such as Abraham Lincoln or some well-known athletes, but I chose to my project on my grandpa.  Apart from being a caring and devoting grandfather, he was also an extraordinary ophthalmologist who discovered the cause of retrolental fibroplasia nearly 66 years ago. 

Dr. Szewczyk receiving the International Leslie-Dana Gold Medal for the Prevention of Blindness by the St. Louis Society

Retrolental fibroplasia (today known as incubator blindness), a disease that causes total and permanent blindness, was affecting premature babies placed in incubators in the hospital during the 1930’s.  The disease became more widespread as incubators became more commonplace and continued to cause blindness in thousands of children during the 1940’s and 1950’s (In fact this was the disease that permanently blinded musician Stevie Wonder.) It was even predicted that by 1955 all pre-mature babies would be born blind. Therefore, many eye research laboratories around the country were desperate to find a cure for this terrible disease.

As the researchers at an array of laboratories worked to find a solution, my grandpa, Dr. Szewczyk, had been quietly doing his own investigating.  It all started when an East St. Louis pediatrician, Dr. William Knaus, requested his ophthalmic assistance with treating premature babies at the Christian Welfare Hospital in East St. Louis. There my grandfather was astonished and deeply saddened at the prevalence of this disease and soon made it his goal to find the solution. After several years of observation and research, he came to the shocking conclusion that the misuse of oxygen was the source of retrolental fibroplasia. He theorized that careful control of the oxygen would help prevent the terrible disease. In 1951, he presented his findings to the St. Louis Ophthalmic Society and soon his discovery changed the entire dynamic of retrolental fibroplasia throughout the world.

As he was a very humble man, Dr. Szewczyk did not request any recognition for his work on retrolental fibroplasia, but surprisingly in 1976 he was awarded the International Leslie-Dana Gold Medal for the Prevention of Blindness by the St. Louis Society for the Blind as well as several other awards from various organizations.

Dr. Szewczyk
When I was a child, he never spoke much about his discovery and the huge impact it had made. Therefore, I really did not think much about this accomplishment.  However, I will never forget in high school, a teacher of mine found out he was my grandpa and told me that he had saved her from a life of blindness. From then on, I knew that he was not just a hero of mine but a hero to many others.

From top of the Head to Around the Neck: Our Chains are Saving Your Glasses

Eyeglass Chain

A few months ago I was given a prescription for computer/reading glasses from my optometrist. Just as I do with my sunglasses, I would place the glasses on top of my head when I didn’t need to use them.  At the time, I thought it was so much easier than bringing my eyeglass case everywhere I went. (And it served as a great headband!) However, I started to notice that my glasses were becoming a lot looser and tons of smudges were appearing on the lenses. I found myself cleaning them almost every time I put them on.  Now I understand that I was stretching them out – but what about the vast number of smudges on the lenses?  Why did it seem like my glasses constantly needed cleaning?

It turns out that the oils and products in your hair can build up deposits where your lenses sit.  Also, according to Eye2Eye Optometry Corner, even though they are very small, your hair fibers can scratch your lenses over time.  Not only can wearing your glasses on top of the head lead to stretching and smudging on the glasses, but you increase your chances of dropping and breaking them.  Looks like I will have to find a new place to keep my glasses while I’m on the go.

 

Luckily, Amcon carries a great supply of eyeglass chains! Eyeglass chains are perfect if you do not want to carry your case around but still want your glasses on hand.  We offer several styles from earth tone beaded to bohemian style chains.  And now (as of April 2017) you can buy them individually instead of in a set so you can get exactly what you want.  We even have a Modern Chain Display Rack for you to show off all the chains your optical office has to offer.

Eye Chain Rack

 

Small Toys Make Big Differences!

Visiting the doctor can be a scary moment for children.  They may not be familiar with the faces or environment and don’t know what to expect.  At least I know this was definitely the case for me when I was a kid.

In fact, I remember my very first visit to the dentist, and I must admit I was slightly traumatized.  This place was unfamiliar territory and there were strangers walking around wearing colorful funky “pajamas.”  Even though everyone was very nice and attentive, I cried and begged my mom to take me home.  However, once the nurse opened this mysterious drawer and pulled out a butterfly finger puppet, this whole visit did not seem so bad.  Even though it was just a little toy, I was no longer afraid and even looked forward to coming back.

With that in mind, if children are part of your clientele, having toys they can play with (or even take home) could be extremely beneficial for your practice in terms of making the patient’s visit as comfortable as possible. Dr. Gary S. Schwartz mentions in his book, “The Eye Exam: A Complete Guide” that having toys in the office can be very handy during children’s appointments. Having toys can show that the doctor is “fun and, therefore, not someone to be feared (16).”

Amcon carries over a dozen fun and playful items that can be used as a source of comfort and entertainment for the young patients at your office.  Stretchy frogs, smiley poppers, and, my personal favorite, animal finger puppets are just a few.  We even carry children’s books that center around wearing glasses. (“Banana Bobby Gets Bifocals”   and “Randy Kazandy, Where are Your Glasses?” ), and a silly singing puppet to distract your youngest patients. Check out these items in our Kid’s Corner and bring some fun to your office!

Source: Schwartz, Gary S. “Examining Children.” The Eye Exam: A Complete Guide. Thorofare, NJ: SLACK, 2006. 15-16. Print.

Over the Lens “Paddle Patch” and “Corner Patch”

Amblyopia, commonly known as “lazy eye”, is the most common effect of visual impairment among children. In fact, according to the National Eye Institute, two to three out of every 100 children are affected by this disorder (National Eye Institute). However, the good news is that it can be treated through occlusion therapy.

Over the lens Paddle Patch

The therapy of usingof eye patches has been known to be an extremely successful treatment of improving the vision of the weaker eye. Without getting too technical, wearing an eye patch on the stronger eye for a duration of time forces the weaker eye to invigorate vision. The only challenges are finding a comfortable patch and one that can easily fit over eyeglasses, but luckily Amcon has the solution!

Over the lens Corner Patch
Over the lens Corner Patch

Amcon has recently introduced over the lens “Paddle Patches” and “Corner Patches.” Both categories of patches are washable, durable, and an economical and comfortable alternative to other less appealing patches. And not only are the paddle and corner patches comfortable, they are also fashionable! Both patches come with a variety of vibrant colors to choose from, and the corner patches even come in patterns of camo, chevron, and pink polka dots! Patching may not be all fun and games but with our over the lens patches you will be able to do it in comfort and in style!

Over the lens Corner Pattern Patch
Over the lens Corner Pattern Patch

Introducing Amcon’s Customer Payment Portal

Have you ever wanted to just log in and pay an invoice or look and see if an order has been shipped yet?

Now you can!  Both of these are features, along with much more, of our new FREE customer payment portal. This portal is independent of our web site. You do not need an online account us to access the payment portal.

To access the portal, just go to http://paynow.amconlabs.com/.   We have already set up most of our customers info, so all you need to do is use the forgot password to get your log in. All you need is your full Amcon account number (9 digits long) and the email address where your invoices are being sent. If you’re not set up, reach out to your sales rep or billing@amconlabs.com and they will get you set up and ready to log in!

Portal Features

Our portal has 6 areas for you to use.

Account Information The first is Account Information. Here you can see where your bills are going, year to date sales and the previous year’s sales, outstanding balance and past due amount (if applicable). This should give you a good snap shot of your account’s status with Amcon.
Next, we have View Transactions. This will show you all open invoices that you have with us, you can even click on the invoice and see details of what is on the invoice, tracking number, etc. View Transactions
Pay Account Now for the biggest feature, the Pay Account feature. Here you have the ability to pay full invoices. You have the ability to either pay one full invoice or as many as you like at one time.  Just select the invoice(s) that you would like to pay, the next page will ask you for the credit card info and to confirm your billing address. Then you can submit it and you will receive a confirmation number and an email. Within a few minutes, the payment should be posted to your account!
Next, we have the Open Orders. Here you can see all open orders (whether they are new or backorders). You can see what is on the order and is still awaiting shipping. Open Orders
Purchase History Have you ever been getting ready to place an order and cannot remember what you ordered last time? Now you will be able to see everything you have ordered in the current year and the previous year using the Purchase History. This way we can keep track of what you have ordered and need to order again!
And finally, we have a Reset Password feature that allows you to be completely in control of your portal access. Amcon does suggest a password of at least 8 characters long. Reset Password

Go Green

Have you ever wanted an electronic copy of each new invoice? By signing up for E-Invoices, you will be emailed a copy of your invoice the day after you are invoiced. This is the quickest and greenest way of getting your invoices. All invoices have tracking numbers, this way you can make sure your order is on its way!

If you are interested in signing up, reach out to your sales rep, go to https://www.amconlabs.com/gogreen, or sign up when you are placing a web order.

For more information about our portal or Go Green go here.

Amcon Email Specials

Did you know that Amcon sends out an email blast every week with our Item of the Week and features some of the products on the bi-monthly sales flyer? If you’re not getting these emails you are missing out! Be the first to know about our special offers and sales by signing up for our email blasts. Contact your Amcon sales rep today to get set up!