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When the Whites of Your Eyes Just… Aren’t Quite White

White eyes have just about the same cosmetic priority as white teeth or unblemished skin. In fact, several surveys reveal that about 30% of people initially notice eyes when they first meet someone. While you can be a generally healthy human with stained teeth and imperfect skin, your eyes can reveal a lot about you… including your health.

First, allow us to introduce you to the sclera. The sclera is simply the medical term for “the white of the eye”. And it comes with high importance.

The sclera is four coats of protection that wrap around most of the eyeball, from the front of the beautiful colored part of the eye- the iris, to the back with sensitive optic nerves. This eye armor is no more than one millimeter thick, which amounts to the thickness of about 10 sheets of paper, layered on top of one another!

The layers of protective armor that give your eye its white color and the sclera its overall strength include randomly patterned collagen fibers and tissues called the episclera, the stroma, the lamina fusca, and the endothelium.

Typically, the entire sclera, not just one layer, changes color or accumulates spots.

Here are 4 hues to keep a lookout for along with a few reasons why:

  1. Yellow: A yellow tone brings along with it a couple of main suspicions, jaundice and “surfer’s eye”.A buildup of red blood cells that are normally filtered out by the liver can have several different causes but can trigger jaundice which often includes a yellowing of the eyes and skin. Surfer’s eye should really be given the nickname of “Outdoor A Lot Eye” as it is a sign of untreated UV damage from the sun combined with high winds or areas filled with dust.
  2. Blue: A tint of blue/gray might not be easy to detect by looking in a mirror, and often these tints are unavoidable because of long-term use of important medications.Tints of blue are still important to observe with help from your OD to consider or dismiss certain health conditions like genetic bone disease or iron deficiency.
  3. Red: Chances are we’ve all experienced eyes with a shade of red, whether it was thanks to allergies or exhaustion or any other typical culprit.
    However, it is still important to schedule an appointment as soon as possible since a red eye can also signal an infection or a broken blood vessel, especially if accompanied by discharge, pain, or blurred vision.
  4. Closeup of an eye of a black manBrown: Brown spots are on both ends of the spectrum. They range from completely harmless to life-threatening. High levels of melanin, the natural skin pigment which makes skin, hair, and the iris of your eyes a darker color can curate spots outside of the iris and within the sclera which are nothing to worry about.
    However, if a dark spot that resembles a freckle that changes over time develops during or after your 30’s, we suggest you make an appointment. These more serious brown spots are not at all melanin-related and can become cancerous if left untreated.

So, when the whites of your eyes just… aren’t quite white, give us a call at 910-565-1179! Keep note of what is accompanying your sclera color change and alert us about anything such as…

    • Blurred vision
    • Discharge
    • Pain
    • Light sensitivity
    • Swelling or bulging

…and our team at Bladen Eye Center will handle the process to lead your eyes—and your entire self—back to health.

This or That: Maintaining Your Eyesight

365 days can manifest a great deal that you might not be able to set your sights on quite yet. Don’t wait until you can’t see it to believe it.

Quiz yourself in a quick “This or That!” and see where you stand when it comes to maintaining your eyesight and what’s worth *looking* into for your eye health before 2022.

#FeaturedBrand: December | Michael Kors

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One thing we love about the Michael Kors brand is that the creativity in their clothes and jewelry flows smoothly into their eyeglasses. You can make a fashion statement in them!

Established almost 40 years ago, with nearly 800 Lifestyle stores, collection boutiques in some of the biggest, most popular cities in the US, and brand stores in the capitals of countries like Japan and England, Michael Kors has become a fashion brand known all over the world.

But, where did his fashion expertise begin, and grow? In his parent’s basement, as a teenager believe it or not!

In 2015, Michael Kors eyewear was born, launched by Luxottica, a leader in the design, manufacture and distribution of fashion, luxury and sports eyewear realm. Their specs and shades grant a glam lifestyle look, effortless sophisticated and modern! And, you can find them here, at Omni Eye/Bladen Eye.

The perfect accessory can make the difference between looking blah and totally to die for.

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#FeaturedBrand: November | Kate Spade

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Kate Spade and our practice have something common: launch and growth since the early ’90s. Their founding principles? Optimistic femininity and thoughtful details. Principles our practice can understand and agree with.

Their story of origin is an interesting one. One that began with Kate Brosnahan Spade’s frustration that she couldn’t find the handbag she’d been longing for. So, she set out to create it on her own, making samples out of construction paper!

Ultimately, Kate Spade was made, which today offers clothes, shoes, handbags, jewelry, and of course, eyewear that we customize lenses for and share with you.

Be the Heroine of Your Own Story

Today, Kate Spade makes a difference inspiring women “to be the heroines of their own stories” with their Kate Spade New York Foundation which gives away $1 million dollars year after year in an effort to support women and their economic empowerment. The Kate Spade New York Foundation helps women in underserved communities access “opportunity and pathways to mental well-being” and supports a variety of organizations.

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#FeaturedBrand: September | ECO

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Now is a good time to embrace small choices that make a difference! That’s why we carry ECO Frames. They have made it their mission to provide high-quality eyewear with minimal environmental impact.

All of ECO’s frames are produced with sustainably sourced materials. Metal frames are made from 95% recycled metal and their “plastic” frames are made from bio-based castor seed oil. Even the packaging is environmentally friendly! Each case, bag, and sleeve are made from natural fibers and are 100% biodegradable.

The brand is also known for its lightweight and comfortable feel. It’s almost like you are not wearing glasses!

Not only are the products making a difference, but the company is also! ECO is partnered with Trees for the Future and has started the One Frame, One Tree program. With this program, they have been able to plant a tree for each frame they sell. So far, ECO is responsible for planting over 2 million trees!

We have a responsibility to leave the world a better place.

"We have a responsibility to leave the world a better place than how we found it. Together with Trees for the Future, One Frame, One Tree is making a positive impact not only on the environment, but for the people."

- Alessandro Lanaro, CEO

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Essential vs. Non-Essential Eye Care

As we navigate new processes and protocols as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, you may be wondering, what’s the difference between Essential and Non-Essential Eye Care.

Essential Eye Care services include treatment for medical conditions, including urgent care needs that keep patients from carrying out their regular daily routines. These include:

  • Blurred vision
  • Broken or lost eyewear
  • Eye trauma
  • Vision loss
  • Contact lens-related pain
  • Flashes or floating objects in the eye
  • Light sensitivity
  • Double vision
  • Drooping eyelid
  • Severe or recurring headaches

We are equipped to handle your Essential Eye Care needs so you do not have visit the ER – which may put you at risk of exposure to infection while also potentially taking from patients with critical conditions having no other alternatives.

Non-Essential Eye Care services might also be called “routine,” and not impeding a patient from his/her day-to-day activities, such as:

  • Routine eye exam with no problems
  • First time routine contact lens fittings

As always, our top priority is always your well-being. If you have questions or concerns about any eye health or eye care services – reach out! We are here to help you in any way we can!