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Health & Wellness Services Division of Student Affairs

Take advantage of your vision benefits

Take advantage of your vision benefits

Start your summer with the perfect pair of glasses or sunglasses! Do you wear contacts? We have those too!

Right now is the perfect time for graduate and international students to take advantage of their vision benefits through WSU student insurance. Our vision clinic is open all summer long and ready to help you!

Your $200 hardware benefit can go towards glasses, prescription sunglasses, or contact lenses. We even have a Cougar Package that includes selected frames, single vision polycarbonate lenses, and an anti-reflective coating for $200.

If you don’t have a vision prescription, it’s still important to visit your eye doctor every one to two years.

Have any questions about your insurance benefit? Please feel free to contact us. To book your appointment, call or schedule online through our Patient Portal.

TOM FORD eyewear sale Feb. 15

TOM FORD eyewear sale Feb. 15

Looking to up your frame game this spring? Good news: TOM FORD eyewear is coming to campus! Join our vision clinic for a special sale event just for WSU students.

TOM FORD eyewear sale event
Wednesday, February 15
CUE Atrium
10:00 am – 3:00 pm

Get a 25 percent discount on glasses and sunglasses, and enter to win a free pair of frames! We’ll have over 200 styles of TOM FORD eyewear available to try on and purchase.

For any questions about the sale event or our vision care services, give us a call at 509-335-0360.

Ray-Ban sale event Oct. 12

Ray-Ban Sale Event Oct. 12

Join our vision clinic staff for a special sale event just for WSU students!

Ray-Ban Sale Event
Wednesday, October 12
CUE Atrium
10:00 am – 3:00 pm

We’ll have over 200 different styles of Ray-Ban frames and sunglasses for you to try on. If you find something you like, we can order it for you. Take advantage of special student discounts, and enter to win a free pair of Ray-Ban frames or sunglasses!

For questions, give us a call at 509-335-0360.

The risks of sleeping in your contacts

The risks of sleeping in your contacts

Imagine it’s late, you’re really tired and you just want to sleep. You might be tempted to skip removing your contacts and head straight to bed.

But before you climb under the covers, it’s really important that you take your contacts out. Sleeping in contacts can compromise the health of your eyes. More specifically, here’s what can happen:

Your eyes can be deprived of oxygen. Your cornea, the part of your eye you place a contact on top of, needs oxygen from the air. Wearing contacts blocks oxygen from getting to your cornea. This only gets worse when your eyes are closed during sleep.

New blood vessels may start to form on corneas that aren’t getting enough oxygen. This condition, called corneal neovascularization, can cause a permanent reduction in vision, blurry vison or eye infections. The resulting damage can prevent you from wearing contact lenses or being a candidate for LASIK surgery in the future.

You could get a bacterial infection. Sleeping in contacts increases your risk of getting an infection called bacterial keratitis. This condition can cause permanent damage to the cornea. Some people who get bacterial keratitis may require a corneal transplant.

You might get dry eyes. Sleeping in contact lenses can cause dry eyes and increase your risk of having an allergic reaction to your contact lenses. This reaction, called giant papillary conjunctivitis, involves large bumps forming underneath your eyelids, making contact lens wear uncomfortable.

Some contact lenses are approved by the Food and Drug Administration to sleep in. However, when you read the fine print, you’ll find even these lenses can cause complications. Sleeping in these contacts can increase your risk of eye infection by 10 to 15 times compared to not sleeping in contact lenses.

The good news is all of these conditions are preventable by simply taking out your contact lenses before bedtime. Try getting in the routine of taking out and caring for your contacts every night.

If you have any questions, call or stop by our vision clinic.

Where you buy your eyewear matters

Where you buy your eyewear matters

Buying new glasses can be overwhelming! Because each pair is custom-made just for you, the list of decisions to make on the frames, lenses, coatings and other options can feel endless.

Because there are so many choices to make, buying glasses at a traditional optical store has many advantages. Your local optician can walk you through your options and give expert advice on the best frames and lenses to fit your individual needs.

Selecting your frames

Trying on frames is the key to making sure your glasses look good and fit well. Choosing your frames online without trying them on can lead to disappointment and frustration.

Optical stores have the advantage of hand-picking the quality and styles of frames they sell. Plus, they can special order colors and sizes for each patient.

Your optician will explain different frame materials and features, and help find options if you have a metal allergy. And, they’ll help you find frames that look good and match your style!

Getting the right lenses

The lenses are the most important part of your glasses! You’re able to see best when the optical center of your lens lines up perfectly with your eyes. If this isn’t done right, you may experience headaches. Opticians have been trained and licensed to measure the optical center and distance between your pupils, ensuring your lenses line up with your eyes correctly.

Fitting multifocal lenses is an even more intricate process requiring extra measurements. These special measurements cannot be done accurately when ordering online. Getting the right multifocal lens requires an in-depth discussion with a knowledgeable optician or optometrist.

Optical stores are able to offer more types of lenses than chain or online stores, especially when it comes to bifocal and progressive lenses. For example, your optician might talk about getting thinner, lighter lenses, which are more comfortable and attractive.

So, next time you are ready for a new pair of glasses, consider more than just the price. You can visit our vision clinic retail store any time to try on new styles, get expert answers to your questions and find the best glasses to fit your unique prescription and needs.

Yes, you need an eye exam

Yes, you need an eye exam

Most people visit the eye doctor to get a prescription for eyeglasses or contact lenses. But even if you don’t need vision correction, it’s still important to visit your eye doctor every one to two years to check the health of your eyes.

How your eye doctor can help

Many silent eye diseases, such as glaucoma and macular degeneration, can affect the health of your eyes. Left undetected, these conditions can lead to permanent vision loss.

Your eye doctor can also help detect changes to your eyes that impact your overall health. Conditions that affect the entire body, like high blood pressure and diabetes, can cause changes in the back of your eyes as well.

And sometimes signs of disease can be detected first in the eyes. For example, multiple sclerosis may affect your eyes first before affecting the rest of your body.

Some common medications such as birth control, anti-depressants and blood thinners can also affect the eyes. During an eye exam, your eye doctor may be able to notice changes, detect signs of illness and help your overall health.

What to expect at your eye exam

During an eye exam, your doctor will check how well you can see at distance and near. They may perform a refraction test, which helps determine your eyeglasses prescription. The doctor will check to see how well your eyes react to light and will examine your eye muscles.

Additionally, they will check your peripheral vision and your eye pressures. They may use a large microscope, known as a slit lamp, to look at the front of your eyes and use a special lens to examine the back of your eyes. Your doctor may even take a baseline photograph of the back of your eyes to detect subtle changes over time.

If you haven’t had an eye exam in a while, make sure to call your eye doctor and schedule an appointment. Students can schedule comprehensive eye exams at our on-campus vision clinic.

Eye exams help children succeed

Eye exams help children succeed

Vision problems can significantly affect your child’s ability to learn. When children are struggling to see well, they have a hard time following along in class and concentrating on assignments. This can lead to poor academic performance that has nothing to do with their abilities or motivation.

If vision problems are not corrected early, children can get behind in school. This can potentially start a chain reaction of poor performance, low self-esteem and behavior problems.

One in 10 children has a vision problem significant enough to impact learning. Getting your child’s vision checked by an optometrist is a critical step to take before they start school. Vision screenings at school or at the pediatrician’s office are not the same as a comprehensive eye exam from an optometrist.

Vision screenings are limited in scope, which means some problems can go undetected. Even if children have 20/20 vision, other problems can affect their ability to see.

Children’s vision can change during the school year. It’s important to watch for the following signs between eye appointments:

  • Holding reading materials close to their face or sitting close to the TV
  • Excessive blinking or rubbing their eyes
  • Covering one eye or tilting their head to one side
  • Short attention span or difficulty remembering what they read
  • Poor hand-eye coordination
  • Headaches

Some common vision conditions that are not detected during vision screenings are strabismus, where both eyes do not look in the same direction at the same time; “lazy eye”, where one eye has poorer vision; and refractive errors such as nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism.

As you prepare your children for the upcoming school year, remember to schedule them for a comprehensive eye exam with an optometrist.

10 fun facts about eyes

10 fun facts about eyes

Eyes are one of the most complex organs in the human body, second only to our brains. Check out these 10 fun facts about eyes from the experts at our vision clinic!

  1. Your eye muscles are the fastest muscles in your body – hence the saying “it happened in the blink of an eye.”
  2. The world’s most common eye color is brown, but brown eyes are actually blue underneath the brown pigment.
  3. Some people are born with two differently colored eyes. This condition is called heterochromia.
  4. Our eyes remain the same size from birth, unlike our nose and ears which continue to grow throughout our lives.
  5. An iris has 256 unique characteristics. To put this in perspective, a fingerprint has only 40 unique characteristics. This is why retina scans are becoming increasingly popular for security.
  6. Age-related diseases such as macular degeneration, diabetes, and glaucoma are the primary causes of blindness for adults in the United States.
  7. Eye transplants are currently impossible due to the sensitivity of the optic nerve.
  8. Each of our eyes has a small blind spot in the back of the retina where the optic nerve attaches, but we don’t notice a hole in our vision because our eyes work together to compensate.
  9. The pupil of the human eye expands as much as 45 percent when you look at someone you love.
  10. One in every 12 men is color blind, and all babies are color blind when they are born.

Protect your eyes from injury

Protect your eyes from injury

Did you know that most eye injuries happen during everyday activities? We rarely think about protecting our eyes when we work in the garage, kitchen or yard – but nearly half of all eye injuries happen at home. Sports and recreational activities are another common setting, factoring into about 40 percent of all eye injuries.

When to use protective eyewear

Luckily, the vast majority of serious eye injuries can be prevented by wearing protective eyewear. Always wear protective eyewear when you are:

  • Using common household cleaners
  • Doing housework that involves hammering, sanding or working with power tools
  • Playing a sport where eye protection is recommended
  • Working in the yard (for example: mowing, trimming weeds and cutting branches)
  • Working with metal, drywall, wood, or any other materials that create a lot of dust

How to choose the right eyewear for you

If possible, choose protective eyewear approved by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).  ANSI-approved eyewear has thicker lenses which are shatter resistant, and can help prevent injuries from impact, chemical splashes and similar hazards. All ANSI-approved eyewear are marked with a stamp on the frame and lenses. You may want to double-check your safety eyewear to make sure it meets ANSI standards.

For sport eyewear, you can start by checking out the National Eye Institute’s eye protection recommendations for any sports you play.

For any eye protection needs, talking to your optometrist about your specific situation is the best way to ensure you get the right style and a good fit. Your optometrist can then help you order either prescription or non-prescription protective eyewear that meets your needs.

If you have questions about how to keep your eyes safe while working or playing, you’re welcome to stop by our vision clinic or give us a call. We’ll help you talk through your options for protective eyewear and figure out what’s right for you!

 

Simplify your contact lens care routine

Close up of contact disinfectant

Taking good care of your contact lenses is the single best way to prevent eye infections.  The good news: contact lens care takes only a few minutes as part of your daily routine!

To simplify your routine, we’ve broken down how to care for your contacts into five easy steps.

Step 1: Wash your hands

Whether you’re putting in your contacts or taking them out, first wash your hands and dry them with a lint-free towel.  Be sure to use a mild soap with no lotion, perfume or oil, since these can leave a film on your hands.

Step 2: Clean your contacts

It’s important to clean your contacts when you take them out at night before placing them in disinfectant. Put a contact in the palm of your hand and add a few drops of a preservative-free saline solution (try Simply Saline or PuriLens). Then, gently rub the contact using your index finger.

Why clean your lenses this way in addition to using disinfectant? Think of it like washing dishes. Hot water and soap alone can dissolve some grease and food, but it helps to scrub dishes with a sponge or brush as well. Disinfectant removes bacteria and some protein from your lenses, but using saline and your finger first will be more effective for breaking down protein build-ups that can irritate your eyes.

Step 3: Disinfect your contacts

Always use the disinfectant recommended by your eye care professional! Most optometrists suggest using a peroxide-based disinfectant such as Peroxiclear or Clearcare. These solutions are stronger and more effective than multi-purpose solutions.

Be sure to carefully follow the manufacturer’s instructions and avoid getting any of the solution in your eyes. If your lenses have been stored in a case for longer than seven days, you’ll want to disinfect them again.

Step 4: Put in your contacts

Before putting your contacts in, you can rinse them with your preservative-free saline solution. This step can be especially helpful for new contact wearers or anyone who experiences discomfort from disinfectant left behind on the lenses.

If you use hairspray, use it before putting in your contacts. And if you wear makeup, wait to apply until after you’ve put in your contacts to avoid getting it on your lenses.

After putting your contacts in, empty the disinfecting solution from the case, rinse it with hot water and let it air dry.

Step 5: Replace contacts and your case

Wear and replace your contact lenses according to the schedule prescribed by your eye care provider. If you’re not a regular contact wearer, consider getting daily disposable lenses.

Make sure to replace your contact case every three months. Most disinfectants come with a new case, which will remind you to replace yours.

Following these simple steps will extend the life of your contact lenses and protect your eyes. If you need saline solution or a disinfectant, or just have questions about how to care for your contacts, stop by our vision clinic!