Thinking About Vision Safety Before, During and After a Natural Disaster

The impact and aftermath of this year’s hurricanes, earthquakes, fires and other natural disasters serve as an important reminder to all about the importance of preparing for these events. Earthquakes, storms and fires can take us by surprise, leaving little time to respond safely and effectively. Planning and preparation is essential and this year’s disasters is a warning for all of us to be prepared.  For those who have vision correction needs, extra care is needed to ensure the safety of their eyes and vision during and after a natural disaster.

Many have been faced with an unprecedented level of exposure to contaminated flood water.  City health officials urge people to stay out of the flood water to avoid illness. Those who have been exposed are instructed to wash their skin thoroughly as soon as possible and seek medical care if water is ingested or has come in contact with open wounds. There are also significant concerns over the safety of the drinking water supply – particularly those who rely on well water.

Access to clean water can also be disrupted after an earthquake, with the potential for water main breaks from the ground shifting. Fires can also impact water service and evacuation centers may need to prioritize bottled water for drinking.  People who rely on contact lenses to see well must have access to clean water to keep their eyes safe from infection, which in circumstances such as these can be sight-threatening.

When a disaster strikes, the community’s first responders and volunteers are activated into service at a moment’s notice and face long, hard and often dangerous work to protect the people and property affected.  It isn’t surprising that many police, fire and medical response team members choose a laser vision correction procedure like LASIK to ensure their clear eyesight is at the ready too.

We offer the following recommendations for preparing for and protecting your eyes and vision in the event of a natural disaster.

What to Pack in an Emergency Vision Care Kit

  • A pair of prescription glasses and a hard, protective case. Even glasses with an old prescription will be better than nothing. If there are water supply and contamination issues during and after natural disaster, contact lenses may not be safe.
  • Extra contact lenses or supply of daily disposables. If it is safe to wear and manage contacts, having a clean case and sterile lenses is important to avoid eye infections.
  • Small bottles of sterile contact lens solution. Have several on hand in case of contamination after opening.
  • Water disinfecting tablets. These products do a pretty good job of rendering water safe when directions are followed. However, like all emergency supplies, they will need to be checked and restocked routinely.
  • Soap and hand sanitizer. Contact lens hygiene requires clean hands. Include paper towels in a resealable plastic bag.
  • Antibacterial wipes for cleaning eyeglasses.
  • Include a copy of your vision prescription with any other required prescriptions in a resealable plastic bag. Having this on hand can make it much easier to get a new pair of glasses if needed.
  • Have a safety kit for each person in the house with vision correction needs.

Other Tips for Managing Vision Needs in an Emergency

  • Remember, washing your hands is the highest priority for keeping your eyes safe from infection.
  • Use bottled water if the water supply is compromised.
  • If bottled water isn’t available, tap water can be rendered safe after boiling for at least 5 minutes but 10 minutes is safer.
  • Use hand sanitizer if soap and clean water are not available. Wait for hands to completely dry and for the alcohol to evaporate. Then use a small amount of sterile contact lens solution to rinse the fingertip used to insert lenses.
  • Glasses may be preferable for safety sake. Not only does it eliminate the risk of infection from handing contact lenses, they may help prevent contact with contaminated water and protect the eye from falling ash and debris.

These recommendations are intended to help increase understanding of what people need to do before, during and after a natural disaster with respect to the health of their eyes and vision. If you need vision correction to see well, taking the extra precaution to ensure you have the vision you need to keep you safe in an emergency is important.

You’re Too Young For Reading Glasses

5 Ways Reading Glasses Can Make Dating in Your 40s Less Attractive

They say 40 is the new 20. But for the growing number of over-40s returning to the dating scene, sometimes 40 is, well, still 40. Especially when the reading glasses come out. The loss of near vision, while perfectly natural, is a frustrating and constant reminder that we are, in fact, not in our 20s, or even our 30s anymore. And it’s an especially unwelcome reminder when you’re on a date. There are many reasons why reading glasses make dating in your 40s less attractive. Here are five:


1. A menu is a chance to show your good taste, not your vision struggles


Dimly lit restaurants are particularly difficult for the reading glass-wearers among us. And there is nothing romantic about digging for a pair of readers in order to see the menu. It’s hard to feel suave making a wine recommendation while you’re looking down your nose through a pair of “granny glasses.” Of course, you could skip the readers altogether – if you want to ask your date to read you the menu.


2. They’re called “granny glasses” for a reason


Speaking of “granny glasses” ….   There is a reason we call them that. It’s about how they make us feel. Our parents wear reading glasses. Our grandparents wear reading glasses. So what does that mean when we have to start wearing reading glasses? One thing’s for sure – it’s not the way we want to feel on a first date!


3. Forget your reading glasses and your date will wonder what else you’ll forget


The thing about reading glasses is that you only need them for reading. So, they’re not on your face all the time. You’re constantly putting them on, then taking them off, offering way too many opportunities to lose or forget them. If you forget them at the grocery store, you can make do without reading labels, but what if you forget them on a first date? It’s hard to make do without reading the menu.


4. None of your online photos show you wearing glasses. Your date will wonder what else you’ve left out.


A growing number of over 40s are searching for kindred spirits in the virtual online world of fellow singles. Online dating presents a challenge for those who need reading glasses. Who wears reading glasses in a profile picture? But the inevitable moment comes when you put them on and glance over the rim at your date across the table. You might leave him/her wondering what other details you’ve left out.


5. If you keep your reading glasses in your glove compartment and you reach over to get them, your date may think you’re making unwarranted advances


Unless you wear them on a chain around your neck, reading glasses have to be carried somewhere. Maybe in a pocket, maybe in a bag, or maybe in a glove box. Like in the old movies where the gentleman does a stretch just before putting his arm around the girl, your date could get startled when you reach across the seat to retrieve your glasses from the glove compartment.


Look, at some point, nearly everyone will need reading glasses to see up close, even if vision correction was never needed before. It’s perfectly natural, but it’s also incredibly frustrating. Not only is it annoying to remember reading glasses and to constantly take them on and off, there’s a feeling associated with them that serves up a constant reminder that 40 isn’t always the new 20.


But there is an innovative solution to the reading glasses dilemma. It’s called the KAMRA® inlay. The inlay sits in the first few layers of the eye known as the cornea. Smaller and thinner than a contact lens, the KAMRA inlay is a mini-ring with an opening – or pinhole – in the center. The inlay uses this pinhole to focus light coming into the eye. This restores near vision while maintaining distance vision. For people who want to reduce the constant frustrations of reading glasses, the KAMRA inlay could be the perfect solution.


Don’t let your reading glasses give away your age. You feel young inside. Why not …..


Visit our website for more information about the KAMRA inlay.


Check your suitability and talk with your doctor to see if the KAMRA inlay may be right for you.