Friday, November 17, 2017

Spectacles of the Past: The History of Eyeglasses

Have you ever wondered when the first eyeglasses were invented? What did the eyeglasses of the past look like?

A brief history of eyeglasses and how their styles have changed through the years is an interesting - though sometimes blurry - look at times gone past.


Early Eye Glass Inventions

The first efforts to correct blurry vision were especially crude; think a large glass bowl filled with water. The first magnifying glass, invented in Venice around 1000 C.E., was the true start to corrected vision. These “reading stones” became friends of aging monks and medieval detectives.

The first pair glasses were simply two magnifying glasses connected by a hinge and balanced on the nose, invented in Italy somewhere between 1285-1289. Early versions of glasses would also sometimes be held up by a handle.

During the next couple centuries, eyeglasses continued to rise in popularity and demand.


Advancements and Breakthroughs

A large breakthrough came in the 1500's when crafters fashioned a concave lens to correct the vision of the nearsighted Pope. Now lenses could cure both nearsighted and farsighted problems.

In the 1700's, the idea emerged to anchor eyeglasses to the ears so they would stay in place. The late 1700's also brought the invention of bifocals, though it wasn’t until the 1800's that glasses evolved to correct astigmatism. Monocles and trifocals followed in the late 1800's and early 1900's.


The multitude of styles on the market today proves the diversity and popularity of eyeglasses. While traditionally the best frames were made in Germany and the best lenses made in Italy, manufacturers from all over the world now understand how to produce high-quality glasses.

We can use eyeglasses to correct almost every vision problem. Understanding the history of eyeglasses and how they have changed over time helps us to appreciate how far we have come.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Pumpkins: The Superfood For Your Eyes


A few things distinguish fall from the other seasons: the color of the leaves, the brisk

This fall, don’t just carve your pumpkins for Halloween or serve pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving, incorporate pumpkin into your regular diet. Pumpkins are a superfood for your eyes, providing copious amounts of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and other antioxidants. Here is a deeper look into the benefits eating pumpkin can have for your eyes.

Preventing Macular Degeneration

Macular degeneration is a major cause of adult-onset blindness. A study by the National Eye Institute found that the Vitamin A and Vitamin C in pumpkin work together to significantly reduce the risk of developing advanced macular degeneration.

Sharper Eyesight

Pumpkins are high in zinc, essential to the overall health of your eyes. According to sweye.com, “Zinc not only enables vitamin A to navigate from the liver to the retina to form melanin (an eye-protecting pigment), it also slows progression of age-related macular degeneration, and helps to reduce the loss of visual sharpness by 19%.”

Filter Damaging Light

Almost like sunscreen for your eyes, the antioxidants in pumpkins shield you from harmful high-energy light wavelengths. In particular, lutein and zeaxanthin are to thank for protecting you from eye damage!

Decreases Risk of Cataracts

Cataracts are the most common cause of vision loss in adults over 40 years old and the biggest cause of blindness around the world. The power of Vitamin C in pumpkin also reduces the risk of cataracts, a leading cause of adult-onset blindness.


See Better In Low Light

The Vitamin A found in pumpkins helps our eyes see better in low light. It works to protect the cornea, the surface of the eye, and it is consumed by the retina in the form of retinal.


As if you didn't have enough reasons to love pumpkins already, the fact that they are a superfood for your eyes should put it over the top! This season, do not throw away any pumpkins from your front porch; cook them up, eat them, and your eyes will thank you!

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Infinite Eye Care Gives Back—From Infants to Roller Derby

At Infinite Eye Care, we are dedicated to improving the lives of our customers and our community, whether that’s by giving the best care for your family’s eyes or by making an impact in the world around us. Here are some of the ways we are involved in our local and broader community.


Strides Against Breast Cancer

The “Infinite Pink” team will be participating in the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides of Central Minnesota walk. Our goal is to raise $1,500 to support the fight against breast cancer, and we need your help! You can join the team and walk with us on October 14th, or make a donation. A $20 donation gets you an “Infinite Pink” t-shirt!

InfantSEE

Infinite Eye Care is proud to offer free InfantSEE assessments for children ages 6 months to 1 year. These evaluations are recommended in addition to your child’s eye exam done by your pediatrician. 1 in every 10 children is at risk from undiagnosed eye and vision problems. The InfantSEE session may include assessing eye movement ability, eye health, and excessive or unequal amounts of nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism, allowing for earlier identification and treatment of these issues.

Back to School Screenings

Dr. Tom and other volunteers have recently helped screen approximately 800 kids in area school districts. It was found that over 35% of the kids needed referral for further assessment by local eye care providers. Of them, about 50% are not currently wearing any corrective lenses and have probably not been to see an eye care professional.

Identifying when children need further assessment can be a major benefit to parents, and we’re happy to help our local students in this way.

Reading Bug Program

Infinite Eye Care wants to encourage young readers to keep up their interest in books throughout the summer months. Whether children are reading on their own or enjoy books read to them (through our “Read to Me, Please” Program), the Reading Bug Program encourages kids to sign up to win prizes as they reach the goal of 10-15 books through the summer!


SCAR Dolls Sponsor

There is nothing quite like the speed and tenacity of our local Roller Derby team, the Saint Cloud Area Roller Dolls. Infinite Eye Care is proud to sponsor this local team of athletes.


Eyeglasses Recycling

We are proud to support the Minnesota Lions Club Eyeglass Recycling Initiative, and we are a collection site for used glasses. Don’t throw them away; recycling them at our location!


We believe that meaningful relationships don’t just apply to the patients walking through our doors, but that we are part of something bigger. We hope you will be a part of some of our philanthropic initiatives in the local community!

Friday, August 25, 2017

No More Tears: Easy Tips to Prevent Pink Eye




School is right around the corner, and so are the germs and sicknesses that come with it. Of them all, conjunctivitis - or pink eye - can be the most irritating and hard to diagnose. It’s also one of the most common infectious diseases in school-age children. To make it easier on you this school year, here are a few tips to teach your kids to keep this itchy infection out of your home:

Stay Clean

The first rule of preventing sickness is to teach your children the importance of staying clean – especially their hands and eyes. Teach them to cover their mouth when they sneeze or cough and to avoid touching their eyes afterward. Another thing to help with the prevention of pink eye is changing pillowcases. Pillowcases can carry infectious germs that have easy access to your children’s eyes as they sleep. Keeping a clean and sanitary environment not only helps health overall but also is a big attribute to preventing pink eye.

Be Selfish

Screen Shot 2017-08-18 at 4.19.40 PM.pngIt may be hard to hush your inner Minnesota nice, but it’s a necessity when preventing pink eye. Sharing things such as wash clothes, linens, eye makeup, and tissues can cause pink eye and other infections in the eyes. Encourage your children to keep these types of items to themselves and not to accept them from other children.

The number one thing to never share on any occasion is contact lenses or the accessories that go with them. They can carry contagious infections and cause irritating symptoms.


Be a Homebody

This tip is only necessary if you, your child, or someone close to you has pink eye. A crucial thing in preventing it from spreading to others is to stay home during the contagious stage. Pink eye is easily contracted with close contact, which is why it’s so prevalent in teachers and students who are consistently in close contact with others. One should wait until the discharge and redness is gone from the eye before going back to work/school/daily life routine.


Pink eye can be irritating, disgusting, and even unbearable for some. Hopefully, these tips will provide you and your family with the necessary knowledge you need to prevent pink eye – or if you already have contracted it, the knowledge to not spread it. If you think you have pink eye, the most important step to take is to visit the eye doctor and get diagnosed. Catching pink eye soon after you are infected and starting the medicine you will need to get rid of it will drastically lessen your symptoms and shorten your recovery time. Infinite Eye Care offers an urgent care and pink eye service just for that reason.

Visit our website to learn more.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Amazing Eyes of the Animal Kingdom

Think human eyes are amazing? What if you could see at a 330-degree angle instead of an 185-degree angle? Or what if you had hundreds of microscopic six-sided lenses to see in all directions simultaneously? Animal eyes are amazing and full of wonder. From barnyard animals to extraordinary reptiles, there are many interesting eyes to explore. Here are just a few to spark your fascination with the animal eyes of our world.

1. Goats

Although they might seem ordinary, goats are actually quite unique. Many notice their eyes upon first glance but there is much more than just the interesting look of them. In fact, their eyes can see at a 330 degree angle which is almost twice as much as a human at 185 degrees. The large size of their pupils also give them fantastic night vision.

2. Mantis Shrimp

This unusual and very tiny sea inhabitant is quite miraculous in the world of vision. Not only can their eyes move independently and rotate at a 70-degree angle, but they also have the most complex eyes in the entire world. While humans only have 3 color receptors, this little crustacean has 12. As well as having a colorful outlook on life, the Mantis Shrimp can also detect ultraviolet, infrared, and polarized light using it’s amazing sense of sight!

3. Hippopotamus

These cows of the sea are actually fascinating in the world of eyesight. When underwater, they have clear vision and need not worry about getting a single piece of floating debris in their eyes. They are equipped with a clear layer of membrane that protects their vision while they prowl the underwater world.

4.Tarsier

Imagine if you had eyes the size of grapefruits! This small primate has eyes that are each approximately the same size as its brain. They have the largest eyes of any mammal relative to its body. Much like owls, they aren’t able to move their eyes at all. To make up for this disadvantage, their heads are able to move 180 degrees in each direction!


5. Butterfly


Seeing the invisible is a cool superhero-like trait that all butterflies have. To find those delicious nectar-filled flowers, butterflies are able to see ultraviolet light which is undetectable by the human eye. Like most insects, butterflies also have compound eyes made up of six-sided lenses making it possible to see in every direction simultaneously.


6. Chameleon

Chameleons have some of the most unique eyes in the entire animal kingdom. Their eyes are so unbelievable that they can move independently, making it possible for the chameleon to have a 360-degree field of vision. Another interesting aspect of the eyes of a chameleon is the eyelids. The eyelids are cone-like and cover every part of the eye except for the pupil.


7. Gharial

Practically a living and breathing fossil and a member of the crocodile family, the Gharial is last on our list of interesting animal eyes. The Gharial has some of the most advanced eyes on the planet. Their head is shaped in the way that they can have almost every inch of their body submerged in water, while their eyes are left out of the water to search for prey. They also have spectacular night vision. Their eyes have a thin, mirror-like structure that helps reflect light not already absorbed by the eye back into it a second time. Not only is this feature cool, it’s also kind of creepy as it gives this crocodile glowing eyes when a light shines on them.



Although these eyes are fascinating and exquisite don’t forget about our own! With two million working parts and the ability to heal itself in 48 hours, the eyes we have are unique and interesting in themselves. So don’t forget to keep your eyes happy and healthy!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

New Children’s Books To Get Your Kids Excited About Reading

Looking for activities for your kids this summer? Why not reading? Infinite Eye Care’s Reading Bug Program is just underway! Kids of all ages can participate and win great prizes to encourage them to read this summer. It continues all summer until August 18th, so come on in and sign up. It’s a great way to encourage your kids to read this summer.
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Numerous studies show that kids who do not read or read a small amount during the summer have reading abilities that decline or plateau. This can have an extremely negative effect on a child’s education when they get older and have more advanced schooling.

With all the fun activities going on that threaten to take away from your child’s desire to read, it can be hard to find books that will pique their interest. A list of new children’s books from commonsensemedia.com may help you inspire your child to read. Below are our favorite picks from the list.

The Magic Hat Shop by Sonja Wimmer


This book tells the story of a magical hat shop that suddenly appears in the middle of a town, transforming the lives of the people around it. Upon wearing a hat from the shop, a person finds their best self.

Grand Canyon by Jason Chin

This highly educational book is about a father and daughter visiting the Grand Canyon. It features historical facts about the park, as well as explaining the geological process. If your little one is an outdoor enthusiast, this book is a great pick.

This Is How We Do It: One Day in the Lives of Seven Kids from Around the World by Matt Lamothe

This culturally rich book goes through the lives of seven different children who live around the globe. It explains a normal day for each child and gives the reader numerous cultural differences and national flavors.

Dad and the Dinosaur

This is a great story about a boy and his stuffed dinosaur. The boy feels brave and courageous when with his dinosaur, but then one day he loses it and becomes fearful and shy. His father helps him find it and along the way they conquer his fear together.

I am (Not) Scared by Anna Kang

In this cute picture book for young children, two bears conquer the fear of going on a rollercoaster together and have a great time. This book is light, funny, and relatable.

Hank the Cowdog Series by John R. Erickson

A book about a dog who lives on a ranch who finds himself in trouble quite frequently. This is a fun light read for kids 7 and up featuring lots of humor and drama.

Fish Girl by Donna Jo Napoli

This short novel depicts a mermaid's life in captivity, and her attempt to escape. Explained as a “Gorgeous Graphic Novel”, this book is great for young readers 10 and up.


Getting your child to advance their reading skills is very important, and hopefully, these new recommendations will help motivate them! There are an infinite amount of other interesting books to read as well that will help your child get on the right path to achieving the Reading Bug Program goals and winning great prizes! If you have any other suggestions for parents looking for great books their child can read, comment below!


Thursday, May 11, 2017

How Lyme Disease Can Be Dangerous for Your Sight

May is known for many things: flowers, warmer weather, the end of school terms, but a lesser known May celebration is Lyme Disease Awareness Month. This tick-borne disease causes many complications throughout the body, including problems with the eyes. Lyme disease is a spiral-shaped bacteria, and depending on where they grow, different eye problems can occur. Luckily, eye complications don’t always occur with Lyme disease and treatment is possible for the disease and any problems it may cause your eyes. Here are the most common symptoms that Lyme Disease can have on your sight:

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  • Sensitivity to Light

A common effect of Lyme disease is sensitivity to light, even on cloudy days or at night.

  • Cloudy or Foggy Vision

Sometimes those with Lyme disease with find their vision to be cloudy, especially as the bacteria are being killed off and giving off endotoxins. This often occurs after a person wakes up.

  • Conjunctivitis

Commonly called pink eye, conjunctivitis causes eyes to be red and itchy, and to produce discharge. Unlike common pink eye, this is not contagious. This usually occurs in the early phase of Lyme disease.

  • Uveitis, or Inflammation of the Middle of the Eye

The uvea includes the iris (the colored part of the eye), the ciliary body (which makes the fluid that fills the eye), and the area beneath the retina. Inflammation of the uvea can cause floaters in a person’s vision, which appear as dots or lines that float around in someone’s vision. Uveitis can be treated by eye care pros like Infinite Eye Care.

  • Optic Neuritis, or Inflammation of the Optic Nerve

Optic Neuritis is the inflammation of the fibers covering the optic nerve. Since this is the channel of communication to the brain, this can be painful and cause vision loss, but is also treatable.

  • Keratitis, or Inflammation of the Cornea

The cornea is the transparent protective outer layer of the eye. Inflammation of the cornea leads to light sensitivity, eye pain, and blurry vision. Eyes with keratitis can even have the appearance of being cloudy.


If you have been diagnosed with Lyme disease or have questions about any of these symptoms, please contact us immediately at (320) 257-4990. We can help treat any eye problems, whether they’ve been caused by this disease or not. Visit Livestrong.com for more information on ocular signs of Lyme disease.

How to Prevent Lyme Disease

Lyme disease is spread by the bite of an infected tick. While not all ticks carry this disease, lyme disease prevention starts with preventing the bite, so follow these steps to keep the ticks away altogether:
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  • Cover your legs, ankles, feet, head, and arms if you plan on hiking, being in tall grasses, or in the woods
  • Always check your skin (and your children or pets) for ticks, which can be very small—poppy seed size—this early in the summer. Don’t forget in between the toes and in the hair! 
  • Wear insect repellant to keep ticks and other bugs away
  • If you have found a tick on you, remove it properly, and keep watch for fever or rash

Summer is just about here. Although it may attract some unwanted pests, you won’t want to miss a second of it! If you are having troubles with your vision - whatever the reason may be - make an appointment with Dr. Tom and the caring staff at Infinite Eye Care.