306-242-6424
102-1114 22nd Street West
Saskatoon, SK S7M 0S5
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Fourth Avenue Vision Centre Blog

Fourth Ave Vision Centre enjoys sharing industry knowledge and company news with our patients. Our blog is filled with posts about how you can avoid specific types of damage to your eyesight, swimming with clear vision, occupational risks and how to minimize them, and much more. See our latest blog posts below and check back frequently for new blog entries.

Vacation time

Are you experiencing headaches, or does your body ache? If you find that you have to hold your head tilted back to see the screen, you might be more comfortable using computer eyeglasses. Lenses for computer use make your time spent on the computer more relaxing, both visually and physically. They are designed so you can see the computer clearly, without lifting your chin to find the right area of your lens. This makes it easier on your neck and back since you are not holding your head in an awkward angle for long periods of time.

There are a few options available for computer reading. These options include Single Vision lenses, Extended Reading lenses, and Room Distance lenses.

  • You can have a Single Vision lens made for the distance of your computer screen. While this may be the cheapest option, it does have the drawback of not being good for reading.
  • Extended Reading lenses are good for the computer and reading, but will be blurry beyond arm’s length. In most cases, I recommend this option rather than the Single Vision lenses because they are more versatile.
  • Room Distance lenses are great lenses but do require a larger lens size. They will give you a small distance viewing area good for about 10 feet and a larger area for computer viewing and reading.

All these lenses are specific and generally a second set of glasses for your work. You will find that you can work longer at the computer and be comfortable and enjoy yourself. Computer lenses are not just for computers, but are great for many hobbies as well.

Particular lens design options will need to be discussed with your Optician. Some things that will need to be considered are what specific needs you may have, your prescription, and the type of frame.

Choosing the Frame That Suits You

Choosing an eyeglass frame that is right for you can be very enjoyable with the help of an experienced Optician and staff. Eyeglasses are made to improve your vision and your frame can serve as a fashion accessory that enhances your looks. Frames come in a variety of sizes, colors, durability, lightness, materials, and price.

There are some key considerations when choosing your frame. Firstly, your prescription (Rx) must be considered. Higher prescriptions affect the thickness of the lens, placing limitations on which frames will be suitable. Lens technology has come a long way and there are now thinner lens options today, which help tremendously. It is still necessary, however, to choose the appropriate sized frame according to the prescription. A full frame is often the best choice for higher prescriptions, but rimless can often work as well. When choosing a frame with lower prescriptions, anything goes as long as the frame fits your face.

Is your prescription Single Vision or Progressive/Bifocal/Trifocal? Multifocal prescriptions require sufficient depth in the frame. Depth is measured from the top of the lens to the bottom of the lens. There must be enough room below your pupil to incorporate your computer and reading distances within the lens. Single Vision prescriptions (distance or reading) may have whatever depth is comfortable to the person.

Frame shape, size, and color are all very important. Choosing a frame shape is completely subjective and does not affect the fit of the frame. Think opposites when trying shapes. For instance, if you have a round face, try a rectangular frame. A square face is often complemented with rounder shapes which soften the edges. If you have a narrow chin, try a light colored frame. Those with a square jaw may choose a thick or brightly colored frame which will help balance out strong lines of the face. Remember, not all colors work with every complexion. Also, frame size should be in scale with the size of your face.

Choosing the Frame That Suits You

Another choice is whether to buy plastic or metal frames. Plastic frames are often very fun and colorful. The fit on the bridge of the nose is critical in plastic frames. Metal frames have nose pads that are beneficial for hard to fit bridges. Hypoallergenic frame materials, such as titanium, are available for those with sensitivities or allergies.

Show your personality when choosing a frame! By all means, choose a frame that suits your individual uniqueness. Have fun and express yourself! We all are active in many roles these days. Certainly choose a frame that is comfortable and suits your lifestyle. You may choose to have several pairs of eyeglasses for use in all the various activities you do in your busy life.

Frames can give you facial expressions. Honestly! Ladies frames that pull upwards in the corners are uplifting and "smile." Some frame shapes tend to make a person appear serious.

A frame that fits properly, balances your face shape, suits your personality, and accentuates your positive features (try a blue frame and watch your blue eyes pop!) will ultimately be the most attractive on you. Remember these tips and you will realize there is more to picking a pair of frames than meets the eye.

Every day we see damaged glasses so we’d like to share information about how to make your glasses last longer.

Some of our habits seem innocent enough but can, over time, damage our frames or lenses. For example, wearing your glasses on top of your head tends to stretch your frame out of shape. Taking your glasses off with one hand can stretch the frame so try to take your glasses off with two hands as it will help to maintain the fit. If your frame becomes stretched, one side will sit further away from your eye than it was originally fitted and you may not be able to see as comfortably.

When cleaning your glasses, use soap and water (not hot water) and rinse glasses to remove dirt. After rinsing to remove any possible dirt, use the spray cleaner for lens cleaning. Use a microfiber cloth; don’t use paper towel, tissues, your sweater or your jacket lining. If your glasses are really dirty, you can take an old soft toothbrush to clean around your nose pads.

Please keep your glasses in a case when you are not wearing them. Don’t leave them laying around for someone else to sit on: It’s a common reason people damage their frames. Don’t leave your glasses on the dash of the car as extreme heat can damage your coatings. Don’t leave your glasses in the glove box without being in the case, as they will rattle around and get scratched.

Some additional tips are:

  • If you are using hair spray, take off your glasses as the spray may damage your lenses or coat the frame and lenses. If you do get hairspray on your lenses, please come in and we can remove it for you.
  • If you are using a clip, it is best to have a custom made clip. Although they cost more, they will fit better and prevent damage from rubbing on the lenses.
  • Treat your lenses like your camera lens.
  • It is inevitable to get some marks on your lenses after wearing your glasses every day but, with a little extra care, you can significantly improve how long they will last.

So remember, your glasses belong on your face or in their case.

Pair of Safety Glasses

Safety glasses provide protection for your eyes in hazardous situations that could have life changing consequences. According to the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB) over 200 eye injuries occur every day in Industry. Most people think of safety glasses for industrial work but many preventable eye injuries occur in he home. It could be a household chemical splashing in your eyes, things or dirt falling into your eyes while working under a vehicle or flying debris while doing a home improvement project.

Safety eye wear should be matched to the task, such as face shields when working with chemicals or goggles with proper filters for welding. Many safety glasses now have foam to ive a full seal offering even greater protection.

Safety glasses offer more impact resistance than regular glasses and carry a higher standard for both lenses and frames. Both frames and lenses will be CSA approved.

Frames should fit well, giving adequate coverage and suit the task. Make safety a priority and use safety eye wear even for a quick task, as it’s often that quick task when we get sloppy and pay the consequences.

Couple With Glasses

Plastic frames without nose pads have made a comeback in the past year due to their bold shapes and colorful patterns. Unfortunately, not everyone is able to wear frames without nose pads. Adjustable nose pads allow for more precise adjustment in the case of someone who has a flat or small bridge. Part of our job as eye care professionals is to ensure a proper fit. Improper fitting glasses can cause a sore nose or eyewear that constantly slips down. You won't enjoy your beautiful frames if they aren't comfy. They'll end up in their case and you won't even have a chance to show them off! Feel free to ask us next time you're in which types of frames will fit your face the best.

Audrey Hepburn Portrait Emmeline Glasses

Are you someone without a prescription but who wants to wear glasses? How many times have you seen a celebrity with extravagant frames and wanted to look fabulous like them? The good news is you don’t have to be a celebrity to wear fun eyewear. In many cases the eyeglasses are purely a fashion accessory.

Fashionable glasses have been part of our society for many decades. People still come into our store and point at the thick black frames, thinking of Buddy Holly. In the 1950’s and 60’s cat eye glasses were all the rage. Even men could be seen wearing a variation of this style. Both the thick “Buddy Holly” and cat eye frames are coming back in style and we’ve got some at our store to try on. They can be a wonderful fashion accessory.

Glasses don’t have to be attention grabbing either. Some people might feel they look more studious or professional with a pair of frames on, yet they prefer the rimless minimal look. Our Silhouettes are perfect for this look. We also have frames that look very subtle in the front but have a fun and interesting temple on the side to give it just a bit of pizzazz.

Even if you don’t have a prescription and wish to spruce up your look, come in and see what exciting eyewear we have to offer.

Progressives have become the most common all in one lens, allowing you to see at most distances. But as popular as they are, there are limitations. They are much better than what was available years ago. However, they can take some practice to use.

One concern we encounter is people trying to use their progressives to see the tv while reclining in bed or on a couch. Due to the design of progressives, as you recline your gaze moves toward the bottom of the lens. This is where the intermediate and reading power are focused. Anything further than 12 to 16 inches away will become blurry while looking through this area, making a television impossible to see clearly. Being aware of this fact is often enough to fix the problem by adjusting your position.

Another issue people have is reading in bed. Depending how you’re lying, your eyes may be focusing more through the top of the lens, rendering the page in front of you blurry. If you are someone who does a lot of reading, you may want to consider a pair of single vision reading glasses. We can make lenses to accommodate any prescription. The reading glasses will give you a larger area for reading than a progressive lense can and will work even while lying in bed!

A third and perhaps most common complaint with progressives is unsatisfactory computer use. The area in progressive lenses that is most useful for the computer screen can be fairly small depending on the design. It is also generally a bit lower in the lens than is practical and a person can find themselves lifting their chin to find the perfect spot to view the computer screen clearly. Lenses made specifically for a computer or office environment are the best solution. There are a variety of designs which will allow you to see the computer screen, a client across your desk, but still give a larger area for computer than a traditional progressive.

If you experience any of these issues and are still having trouble in your daily life, come in and talk to us about how we can help you see better in all.

Your First Progressives and What to Expect

As we age our ability to read small print diminishes. This is a normal part of the aging process. In other words, everyone will eventually need reading glasses or progressives. In the past, progressive technology was not as developed and many people had trouble adapting to their new eyewear. This is not the case anymore and there is no need to be afraid when your optometrist mentions progressives. Advances in technology have allowed for much clearer lenses with a larger field of view and faster adaptation time.

When you first bring in your prescription we will discuss the various options available to you. Progressives are the most popular choice for people who need a prescription for distance as well as reading. There is no need to take your glasses off and on for each task because the lenses will allow you to see at most distances comfortably. Also, there are no lines on the lenses like bifocals so they look like single vision lenses.

After you choose a frame we’ll do a number of measurements so that your lenses sit in front of your eyes properly and allow the best possible vision. When you come back to pick them up we will again check that the glasses are sitting correctly on your face because that can affect how you see. Most people find they adapt to their new lenses very quickly, although occasionally it can take a few days. If you’re still having trouble after a week or so it is a good idea to come in to the store so that we can make any necessary adjustments.

Remember, you no longer need to be frightened of the word “progressive”. Come in and talk to us about how we can make your life easier with a new pair of progressive lenses.

What's In A Name?

Most people are familiar with the brand names such as Ray-ban, Prada or Gucci, but did you know there are many other frame manufactures that make high quality glasses. Aside from the popular brands, we are proud to offer other less known yet fashionable eyewear. Many of these frames come from Germany, Belgium and France where high quality materials, workmanship and attention to detail is common.

One of our new lines is by l.a. Eyeworks. These colourful frames are bold and eye catching!

Another popular line is Seraphin. It has fun with shapes, especially retro and cat eye designs.

OGI eyewear, known for their colourful plastic frames, has adult and children’s frames.

The Scandinavian men’s line OGA produces durable yet attractive frames. The temples are interesting and have a hint of colour, yet are still classy and masculine.

Lightec and Imago are two very lightweight designs that will have you looking good and feeling comfy in your new frames.

Come in today and have fun trying on some new frames!

The First Pair of Glasses for Your Child - Fluex

So, your child has just had an eye exam and needs his or her first pair of glasses. This can be a big adjustment for the child and for you as parents.

Choosing glasses can be a fun excursion with positive encouragement from parents and the knowledgeable help of the Optician to find the right frame and lenses. A proper fitting frame is so important.

Children’s glasses are not miniature versions of adult glasses. Adult’s noses and cheeks are proportioned differently than children’s are. Frames need to reflect this in order to fit properly.

When choosing glasses for a baby or toddler, the focus is on function. When the child is old enough, allow them to help choose his or her frame. The Optician will ensure the frame fits properly. Encourage your child to make choices as they are developing their own personal style. Children won’t wear what they don’t like. Having glasses they like will motivate them to wear them.

Remember, it takes time to adjust to wearing glasses as well as getting used to the prescription. Allow your child to wear them for shorter periods of time while doing something fun where wearing glasses will make a big difference (e.g. a movie or reading a favorite book). If your child is resistant to the idea of wearing glasses, find photos of sports figures or film characters with glasses to serve as role models. Or show your kids photos of you as a child wearing glasses.

Make glasses part of their daily routine. Teach them to take pride in their glasses and to keep them safe and clean. Kids can be tough on glasses in their busy lives. Having a second pair as a backup will avoid a crisis should a pair break, especially if your child has a high prescription.

A child’s first pair of glasses makes a fundamental difference in his or her ability to see and interact with their surrounding world. Your newly bespectacled child’s first pair is a big step towards a visually healthy adulthood.

Here are some books you can read with your kids about wearing glasses:

  • The Princess Who Wore Glasses by Laura Hertzfeld Katz
  • Arlo Needs Glasses by Barney Saltzberg
  • Luna and the Big Blur: A Story for Children Who Wear Glasses by Shirley Day
  • Fancy Nancy: Spectacular Spectacles (I Can Read Book 1) by Jane O'Connor
Lions Club International

Most of us in North America and other affluent countries have the means to satisfy most of our basic needs. Plentiful food, a roof over our heads, running water, and even a job, are all things which over half of the world's population doesn’t have. In Canada, eyeglasses are not considered a luxury. They may not seem very significant to us, yet in countries where glasses are not available, families are often impoverished, unable to find work, and their children are forced to quit school and earn money for the family. It can be a matter of life or death in many situations. With the help of donated eyeglasses, a family's ability to be self-sufficient can be realized. You can help give people the gift of sight which results in an improvement in their lifestyle.

There are many organizations here in Canada and around the world that help those with poor eyesight. One such organization is The Lion's Club. They send used eyeglasses overseas to Third World countries. You can donate to this wonderful cause by bringing your old glasses to our store where they will be collected for The Lion's Club.

It's hard to imagine the impact these charitable organizations make. I recently heard a story of a group who went with the Lion's Club to Africa. They brought thousands of used eyeglasses with them. They were housed in very basic accommodations and had an office with simple optometry equipment. On the first day the volunteers arrived, there was a lineup of waiting people which stretched down the road for many blocks. In the week they were there the volunteers gave away over a thousand pairs of glasses EACH DAY! It was hard work and very long hours but incredibly rewarding for the volunteers. One volunteer even gave away his own glasses to a person who had a similar prescription and showed an interest in them.

Another great story is about a school aged girl who was doing well in her studies, even without glasses. The volunteer could see that she had great potential but knew that her future would be difficult without glasses. She was thrilled when she received her very first pair of glasses. Imagine how it must feel to know that you have made such a significant impact in someone’s life.

These stories and many others show what great work is being done in the field by volunteers around the world. Remember, you can help by bringing in your used eyeglasses. Even a single pair of glasses can change a person's life!

Below are links to some popular organizations.

Buying from Family Owned Local Businesses

The right pair of sunglasses is a great way to look fashionable and make a statement but sunglasses are also an important way to protect our eyes. In this blog, we hope to inform you of the many advantages of wearing prescription or non-prescription sunglasses.

We all know that it is important to wear sunscreen to protect our skin, but it is equally important to protect our eyes. Over the course of our lives, we are exposed to sun on a daily basis which also increases the risk of eye health problems due to ultraviolet light. This is why it is important to wear sunglasses, even from a young age. We have children's frames called Baby Banz and Kids Banz for any little ones in your life.

Sunglass lenses are available in many different colours. You can also get polarized lenses which are dark and coloured just like tinted lenses. They have the added benefit of reducing glare caused from sunlight bouncing off of snow, water and vehicle windows. A good example of polarized lenses is fisherman's glasses. They allow you to look right through the water rather than seeing the sky reflected back at you. This technology is helpful in many other situations other than boating and fishing. You will enjoy polarized lenses if you drive a lot in the city. Anti-reflective coating on the backside of the lenses helps prevent reflections bouncing back into your eye. Other tint options specific for sports are golfing lenses which have a green colour to make it easier to pick out the landscape and find your ball, and mountain climbing glasses which are very dark for the bright glare from snow and high UV radiation.

Buying from Family Owned Local Businesses

With newer technology, we are able to do prescription sunglasses into almost any frame, even wrap-around sunglasses. In the past, there would be a lot of distortion due to the curve of the lens but now you will get a much wider and clearer field of view.

Come in to our store and take a look at our sunglasses. Notable brands we carry in stock are: Adidas, Maui Jim, Rudy Project and Rayban, which are available with or without prescription.

When driving we encounter many conditions that are challenging, including driving at night with bright headlights, driving in fog, rain and snow, and reflection of lights in your rearview mirror. Zeiss now has a lens called Drivesafe which is designed specifically with driving in mind. This unique anti-reflective coating reduces headlight glare more than standard coatings. In low light conditions, the lens gives you a more comfortable and bright experience. The design reduces distortion by making allowances for your larger pupil size at night. The lens also has a much wider intermediate area making it easier when looking at your dash and side view mirrors.

Lenses are available in both single vision and progressive. Feedback has been very positive and we highly recommend you consider this new technology if you would like a more comfortable driving experience.

For more detailed information, go to Zeiss.ca and visit us in store at Fourth Avenue Vision Centre.

By Sonya,

Vacation time

Winter is the time when many families go on holidays to warmer climates. For people with glasses, it is important to be prepared for the chance you might lose your glasses to a wave on the beach, off the side of a boat or having a monkey snatch them while hiking down a jungle trail. There is also the potential for a frame to break or even lose a nose pad. Just think of the disappointment you would face if you got to the top of an Aztec temple only to find out a lens had fallen out of your glasses and you could not enjoy the view! The easiest way to prevent this is to always carry a spare pair of glasses whenever you travel. Before you head out of the country, drop by our store and have your glasses tuned up. We will make sure the lenses are in firmly and all screws are tightened. Be sure to carry a copy of your prescription just in case a new pair is required. Enjoy the sun and don't forget your sunglasses to protect you from the UV!

By Sonya,

Do you suffer from eyestrain after a long day at work? Is your neck sore from looking at the computer? Are your eyes tired from looking at the small text on your phone? There are some new and exciting products available to help with these problems. If you're a single vision wearer who uses a cell phone or tablet frequently (who doesn't?!) there are options available to minimize eyestrain. When looking at the screen of your phone, your eyes are continually adjusting from near to far as you look down and up again from the screen. There are new lenses which allow your eyes to be more at ease in these situations. For people already wearing a progressive lens and working on the computer, there are lenses available designed for the task. These lenses allow for clearer vision when looking at your monitor without having to position your neck in uncomfortable positions. They may not help you get along better with your boss, but at least your neck and eyes will feel better! Come in and ask us how we can help you make the most of today's digital world.

By Dave,

Buying from Family Owned Local Businesses

You have heard it before, that it's a good idea to buy from locally owned businesses. I will share some advantages of buying locally.

The first advantage is the money you spend stays in the community. It stays in the community in the form of jobs and taxes which maintain services we receive in the community. We support charities which in turn support the most disadvantaged. As an example, we donated what would have normally been charged for repairs to the Friendship Inn for their Fill the Plate campaign.

As an independent business we are free to offer products that we believe will serve you the best. Often, we can offer a more unique selection of products and provide the expertise to fit them properly.

We edge lenses on site which helps reduce the time you will wait for your new glasses. If you want to reuse your own frame, we will take a tracing of your frame so you don't have to leave your frames with us. When you can come back, your new lenses will be ready. So there is no need to be without your glasses. We can also work with you for special fittings, such as for dry eyes.

Buying from Family Owned Local Businesses

Some people think that buying on-line is cheaper but if you compare the same products you will find this may be untrue. If you do find the same frame, they may be slightly less money but the choices of colours may be reduced compared to what we can offer. That same frame needs to be fitted to your face and requires follow up adjustments to ensure you can see the best and that you look your best.

We also deal with warranties. If there is a warranty issue, we can exchange the defective part at our store.

If you need your prescription changed within 90 days of your order, we can change the lenses at no cost to you.

So when you factor in the true costs, why not support your local businesses. You will be better served, have more options and the community as a whole benefits.

Vacation time

Although we receive blue light from the sun, we are now exposed to a lot more from sources such as energy efficient bulbs and electronic devices. Blue light is high energy visible light which we need for our health for such things as the regulation of our sleep patterns. However, too much of a good thing is never good. People now spend many hours a day on phones, tablets, e-readers, computers and televisions and therefore are exposed to more blue light than generations ago. These devices are backlit with the light coming directly at us, and often from a very short distance. This means people are exposed to blue light at a concentration that our bodies are not equipped to process.
This high exposure to blue light may cause issues with sharpness of vision, and also much more severe health problems like Age Related Macular Degeneration. It is believed that blue light affects our sleep cycles by suppressing melatonin which influences our body's rhythm and tells us when to sleep and when to wake up. Lack of sleep can contribute to irritability, high blood pressure, risk of stroke, diabetes and more.
The eye has some natural protection that filters out some blue light; however, protection develops over our lifetime, leaving children and teens very vulnerable. Infants have no protection at all. The easiest thing you could do to prevent damage to your health would be to reduce time on electronic devices, especially for children. Try not to use digital devices two hours before bedtime.
There are special filter lenses and coatings available to help protect the eyes while using digital devices. Most digital devices have only been around for the past 15 years. There is still much to be learned about high energy light and its effects on the eye. However, most people agree we should all be protecting our eyes and be especially aware of possible long term consequences for our children as the damage is cumulative. If you are someone who works on a computer all day, consider wearing computer glasses with special filtered lenses.

102-1114 22nd Street West   Saskatoon, SK S7M 0S5 306-242-64244avc@sasktel.net