Eye Center, Inc.
Main Office • 2003 Cortez Road West • Bradenton, FL Three convenient locations to serve you! 941.756.2020

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Children and Digital Devices

Children and Digital Devices

Technology may play a large role when it comes to education and our children, however, there are risks that come along with too much screen time. Screen time is defined by the amount of time a person spends staring at digital displays such as computers, tablets, smartphones, television, etc. 

Babies are the most vulnerable to screens. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that babies aged 18 months and younger should not be exposed to any digital media. The noise is just as distracting for infants. Babies can be overstimulated by sounds, which may cause distress and sleep problems. For children 2 to 5 years of age, screen time should be limited to one hour per day. The AAP gives cartoons a thumbs down because toddler-aged children cannot decipher between fiction and non-fiction. However, they give a thumbs up to media such as Skype or Facetime with friends and relatives. An hour of this style of media can promote healthy development. For children ages 6 and older, parents can determine the restrictions for total screen time. The AAP states that digital media should never replace healthy activities or social face-to-face interactions, but they do state that an average day for a child 6 and older consists of 8-12 hours of school, homework, physical activity, social contact, and sleep. Whatever time is left over after these key aspects are done, can be screen time. 

According to The Vision Council, 30% of parents report their children experience at least one of the following symptoms after being exposed to more than two hours of screen time per day:

  • Headaches
  • Neck pain
  • Shoulder pain
  • Eye strain, dry or irritated eyes
  • Reduced attention span
  • Poor behavior
  • Irritability 

The LED screens of digital devices produce high-energy visible light known as “blue light.” Blue light has shorter wavelengths and higher energy than most other rays and can be harmful to the light-sensitive retina of the eye. Too much exposure to blue light can also lead to disruption of your child’s sleep/wake schedule, which in return, can come with very serious health consequences.

If your child is exposed to digital devices higher than the recommended frequency stated above, we suggest they wear blue light glasses. These glasses help reduce the amount of blue light that enters the eye, ultimately reducing the risk of retina damage and short-term symptoms like headaches and eye strain. Call us at (941) 756-2020 to get your child a pair of blue light glasses today!

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New Partnership with Sun Hydraulics

New Partnership with Sun Hydraulics

Eye Center, Inc. is proud to announce a new partnership with Sun Hydraulics to customize prescription safety glasses for its more than 700 employees.  Sun Hydraulics is a leading designer and manufacturer of high-performance screw-in hydraulic cartridge valves and manifolds that control force, speed and motion as integral components in fluid power systems. 

In the past, Sun Hydraulics did not mandate protective eyewear for its staff. The only requirement for vision safety was that employees wear some type of glasses with temporary side shields.  A recent decision by company leadership to improve the organization’s commitment to eye safety resulted in a partnership with Eye Center, Inc. that provides all employees with comprehensive eye exams and safety glasses that meet American National Standards Institute standards with Z78.1 safety frames.  These frames are heat and impact resistant, providing necessary protection from being splashed with chemicals such as hydraulic fluid. The lenses have a 3mm thickness at the thinnest point and are impact and scratch-resistant. 

Since the partnership was implemented nearly three months ago, Sun Hydraulics staff have visited Eye Center, Inc. for eyewear fittings, with most needing new exams for up-to-date measurements of their glasses prescriptions. At this time, Sun Hydraulics is rapidly approaching its goal for 100% of employees to wear safety glasses made locally at Eye Center, Inc. 

The doctors and staff at the Eye Center have been a tremendous help to us in implementing our employee prescription safety glasses program. They were flexible, personable, and worked with us closely to provide a plan to fit our needs. Their experience working with other area employers helped our program launch very smoothly,” -Aaron Imel, Safety Manager, Sun Hydraulics LLC.

Eye Center, Inc. has a long history of supporting the protective eyewear and vision health needs of local industrial workplaces in Manatee and Sarasota County. Currently, Eye Center, Inc. manufactures all safety glasses for Tropicana, Pierce Manufacturing, Port Manatee and now Sun Hydraulics.  Dr. Brad Laudicina, a Board-certified optometrist and partner in Eye Center, Inc. who spearheaded the new relationship with Sun Hydraulics, remarks, “Eye Center, Inc. is always looking for new partners who are interested in investing in the vision care of its team by providing safety glasses with or without prescription lenses to its employees. We’re thrilled to support the needs of a people-first local company like Sun Hydraulics, that is on the cutting edge of not only advanced manufacturing but employee health and wellness initiatives, as well.” 

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Digital Age Shouldn’t Equal Digital Eye Strain

Digital Age Shouldn’t Equal Digital Eye Strain

In today’s digital world, it’s rare that we aren’t looking at some sort of digital technology frequently throughout our everyday lives. While technology has immensely increased productivity, it can be our best friend and our worst nightmare when it comes to protecting our vision.

Digital eye strain is real and it can happen to any of us. Digital eye strain is temporary but causes extreme discomfort following two or more hours of straight digital use. Symptoms include:

  • Red, dry or irritated eyes
  • Blurred vision
  • Eye fatigue
  • Back, neck and shoulder pain
  • Headaches

Besides using continuous digital technology, what actually causes digital eye strain? Believe it or not, digital eye strain is not actually caused by one isolated action. It is caused by small print and pixelated images that can be difficult to read, holding devices at the wrong angle or too far from our eyes, and blue light- high-energy visible light that is emitted by devices and increases eye strain more so than other colors that have longer wavelengths.

So, how do you prevent digital eye strain? First, you need to start by paying attention to your posture. Make sure you are sitting in a chair that supports the spine and helps keep the body upright. Your chair should also be adaptable to your height- so your feet rest flat on the floor. Your viewing angle should be no more than 35 degrees from the monitor, and your viewing distance should be 20-40 inches (or an arm-length) away. Your monitor or device needs to be at eye-level or slightly below- make sure it’s flat and positioned in front of the face where there is no tilt. After you have your posture in place, follow the 20-20-20 rule. This rule states that every 20 minutes, focus on an object that is 20 feet away, for 20 seconds. And finally, don’t forget to put on protective eyewear! At Eye Center, Inc. we offer glasses, prescription or non-prescription, made with blue light protective lenses.

Suffering from digital eye strain or need protective digital eyewear? Call us today at (941) 756-2020.

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Sunny Days Call for Sun-Shades

Sunny Days Call for Sun-Shades

Summer in Florida = a must for sunglasses. The beach is calling your name, but so is the threat from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays. Excess sun exposure puts you at risk for short and long term eye damage. Fortunately, prevention is easy when wearing the right sunglasses. 

When shopping for sunglasses, always look for a tag that says 100% protection against both UVA and UVB or 100% protection against UV 400. Here at Eye Center, Inc. ALL of our sunglasses fit these categories, and, you can customize your favorite style to fit your prescription.

Prescription sunglasses may not sound like high fashion, but many fashion brands carry sunglasses that can be fully customizable to your prescription. Prescription sunglasses are easy, stylish, and protect your precious vision. Here are a few reasons why you should get prescription sunglasses:

  1. One Solution- Prescription sunglasses protect your eyes against dust and microorganisms from entering your eyes, unlike contacts. And unlike regular eyeglasses, they protect against harmful ultraviolet rays, too. A win-win!
  2. No More Glare- Some eyes are more sensitive than others when it comes to the brightness of the sun. Prescription sunglass lenses neutralize glares, which occur when horizontal rays of the sun bounce back into your eyes from surfaces like beaches, roadways, sports fields, bodies of water, etc.
  3. Customizable- Prescription sunglasses are just as customizable as regular glasses, but especially when it comes to the shade. From light to hard, nearsighted or farsighted, Eye Center Inc. can create your perfect pair of prescription sunglass lenses!

Every day isn’t necessarily a contact lens day. Allergies, not enough rest, crying, etc. can play a huge role when you can’t get those little circles of freedom in your eyes. But that’s okay, your eyes need a break, too! 

Now, to put the icing on the cake, we’re offering you 20% off of all sunglasses NOW through September 3rd! Stop in at any of our three locations, and get yourself a fashionable, 100% UVA and UVB protected, customized pair of sunglasses today!

*Promotion excludes Costa Del Mar products*

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Staff Feature: Callie Bishop, Front Desk

Staff Feature: Callie Bishop, Front Desk

Why did you choose to work in this industry?
I love helping people and making a difference in their day.

Tell us about your approach to customer service.
Listening is so important. I always listen to what the patient is trying to tell me. Sometimes we see patients when they are in pain or panicked and it’s our job to help them through that.

What would your pet say about you if we asked for a reference?
I give them lots of yummy treats!

Is there something that excites you so much it keeps you awake the night before?
Going to Disney…always!

Describe the most incredible view you’ve ever seen.
It’s hard to just pick one, but there was an evening I was on the Skyway Fishing Pier and the sky was pink and orange and just…perfect.

What’s your pizza order?
Thin crust pepperoni with extra cheese, of course.

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Healthy Foods, Healthy Sight

Healthy Foods, Healthy Sight

You’ve most likely heard that carrots can promote eye health and vision. Is it an old wives tale or is it true? Believe it or not, there is some truth to this tale and better yet, there are many other foods that can also help your eyesight.

Carrots: This orange-colored vegetable that we all love is high in a type of vitamin A called Beta-carotene. This vitamin gives carrots their orange color, helps retina and other parts of the eye to function and perform to its best ability. 

Leafy Greens: Ah yes, you should’ve known this one was coming. Leafy greens such as spinach and kale are packed with Lutein and Zeaxanthin, antioxidants that lower your risk of developing Macular Degeneration and Cataracts. 

Eggs: Another food that is packed with Lutein and Zeaxanthin, plus Zinc. Zinc also helps lower your risk of developing Macular Degeneration. (p.s. most of these vitamins are in the yolk, the best part!)

Citrus and Berries: Can you guess which vitamin is key here? Vitamin C- which also helps lower your risk of developing Macular Degeneration and Cataracts.

Almonds: Rich in vitamin E, which slows down Macular Degeneration. By consuming one handful (an ounce) checks off about half of your necessary daily dose of vitamin E.

Fatty Fish: Tuna, mackerel, anchovies, salmon and trout are all rich in DHA, a fatty acid in your retina. Lower levels of DHA have been linked to dry eye syndrome. Eat more fish and get your glossy eyes back.

Dark Chocolate: Yes, we saved the best for last! Consuming dark chocolate, in moderation, of course, protects your eyes against Macular Degeneration, enhances visual performance in young adults by increasing blood flow to the retina and brain, prevents damage to to the optic nerve with its copper components, and prevents further damage in Glaucoma patients. 

Protect your precious vision and eat right, while enjoying a little chocolate, too! And remember, always get your annual eye examination! Call us at (941) 756-2020 to make your appointment today.

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Fireworks Eye Safety & Cataracts Awareness Month

Fireworks Eye Safety & Cataracts Awareness Month

June marks Fireworks Eye Safety and Cataracts Awareness Month. Fireworks cause more than 9,000 injuries a year, and cataracts (a vision-clouding area in the lens of the eye) are one of the leading causes of blindness in the United States, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

 

With 4th of July celebrations coming up, it’s extremely important to know and understand Firework Safety. If you are attending/hosting a firework show, you should always:

  • Remain at least 500 feet away
  • Do not allow any running or horseplay
  • Set off fireworks outdoors in a clear area- away from houses, trees, dry leaves, and other flammable materials
  • Keep a bucket of water nearby
  • Do not try to relight “dud” fireworks- soak them in water and throw them away
  • Never light fireworks in a container
  • Never have your body directly over a firework while lighting
  • Do not experiment with homemade fireworks
  • Do not touch exploded fireworks. Wait at least 20 minutes for them to cool and soak in water before disposing
  • Wear safety glasses while lighting fireworks

 

Sparklers are often thought of as the ideal safe firework for children. Sparklers burn at very high temperatures and one spark in the eye could harm a child’s vision permanently. They should never be used without adult supervision, and preferably never in the hand of a child.

 

The sun is just as dangerous to your vision as fireworks. Without proper eye protection, the sun can cause cataracts, which are the most common cause of vision loss for individuals over the age of 40. Here are some tips to help prevent the development of cataracts:

  • Eat Right: Introduce more antioxidant and glutathione-rich (a detoxifying antioxident)  foods into your diet such as broccoli, asparagus, spinach, brussels sprouts, avocados, grapefruit, and strawberries. Drink plenty of water also helps flush out harmful toxins.
  • Wear Protective Glasses: The suns UV rays are harmful to your eyes, and researches have confirmed that UV rays can cause cataracts by damaging proteins within the lens of your eyes. Whichever brand or style you choose, make sure they offer 99%-100% protection against UVA and UVB rays.
  • Avoid Smoking: Everyone knows that smoking is harmful to your heart and lungs, but smoking can also harm your eyes. Free radicals are created in your eyes when you inhale smoke. When you smoke, good chemicals in your body are consumed, encouraging the production of toxins that cause cataracts.

 

Of course, the answer to maintaining eye health for all the above is the receive regular eye exams. Partaking in regular eye exams can help doctors catch early eye diseases, inform you of preventative measures, and keep your overall eye health on track while aging. Call us today at (941) 756-2020 to schedule your comprehensive eye exam!

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Dr. Brad Laudicina Show Us How To Make Glasses...In Under 2 Minutes!

What really goes into the process of making glasses? The short answer is… a lot!

Dr. Brad Laudicina is one of few optometrists who know how to create a pair of glasses from start to finish. He is a native of Bradenton and began working for Eye Center, Inc. in Optical at just 15 years old, where he quickly found his passion for the field of optometry.  

Fast forward nearly 20 years, and today at  Eye Center, Inc., Dr. Laudicina practices the full scope of optometry. He specializes in the treatment of ocular diseases including glaucoma, macular degeneration, dry eyes, diabetic care, as well as the fitting of many different kinds of contact lenses and glasses.

Creating a pair of glasses is a very detailed process. Speaking of “fast forward,” we filmed the entire process and condensed it for you… in under two minutes!

Here are the critical steps to create a pair of glasses:

Step 1: Lens Tracer

The Lens Tracer will take the measurement and shape of the lens to cut the lens into the exact shape later in the process.

Step 2: Layout Machine

The Layout Machine helps orient the lens to the patients prescription.

Step 3: Lens Savor

The Lens Savor is used to protect the front surface throughout the manufacturing process to prevent scratches.

Step 4: Blocking Station

The Blocking Station uses a wax system to apply a block for the machines to hold on to the lens in a safe way.

Step 5: Generator

The Generator takes the lens blank which is typically 8-10mm thick. It removes the thickness and applies a back-curve, which is what gives you the prescription.

Step 6: Fining

Fining uses high-grit sandpaper to rough the surface of the lens while cold water runs. The sandpaper is removed and a felt polishing paper is applied.

Step 7: Polishing

The Polishing process uses a white compound to make the lens perfectly clear.

Step 8: Wax Removal

The wax and surface savor are both removed with gentle force.

Step 9: Inspection

The lenses are inspected for accurate thickness and prescription.

Step 10: Edging

A fitting is applied to the lens for the Edging Machine to hold the lens tightly in place. The lens is placed into the Edger and cut into the final shape to match the frame.

Step 11: Remove Fitting

The fitting used for edging is now removed.

Step 12: Smoothing

The lens is applied to two different smoothing techniques to ensure there are no sharp edges and to fit the frame.

Step 13: Frame Warmer

For plastic frames, a Frame Warmer is used to expand the plastic just enough to slip the lens in place. The frame cools and contracts over the lens.

Step 14: Final Inspection

The final inspection includes making sure the bifocals are in the right position, the lens power is correct, the center thickness is correct, and there are no scratches.

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