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Glasses 101 – All You Need To Know

When you think of the eye doctor, the first thing you think of is probably eye glasses. We have focused on reading glasses. sun glasses. blue light blocking glasses and contacts on our blog before. We thought it would be beneficial to bring a deeper dive into the world of Glasses since that is, after all, our specialty!

It can be so overwhelming once you know you need corrective lenses. There are so many factors that go in to choosing the correct frames and lenses for you. Luckily, you have TriCounty Eye on your side, and we are dedicated to making sure you have the right prescription and frame style for you!

Type of lenses

There are two types of lenses that are the main type used in eye glasses:

Single Vision Glasses – These type of lenses are most widely used because they can help people with various types of focusing issues. These lenses can also be used in the form of reading glasses. People who need reading glasses have good distance vison but have lost some near sighted vision with age. Readers can be purchased at drugs stores or online, but its really always best to get a profesional opinion.

Multifocal Glasses – These type of lenses are used to correct distance vision as well as nearsightedness. Depending on the severity of your diagnosis , the eye doctor will decide what kind of multifocal glasses will work best for you.

Bifocal – these lenses have correction in the top half for seeing at a distance as well as correction in the bottom half to help with reading. Some bifocal lenses can have a portion of the top of the lens specialized for glancing up at objects in the intermediate or near range.

Trifocals – these lenses have three different lens corrections, one for distance, one for intermediate and another for near vison. All in one lens. Pretty impressive!

Progressive lenses – these lenses function the same way as bifocals and trifocals but they do not have any clear division lines between the different types of lens. While these lenses typically do look better than the regular trifocal and bifocal lenses, they do have area that is lost due to lens transition so you may not have as big of a space for each portion as you need or would like.

Computer glasses – these are glasses specifically designed based off of your individual prescrption and your amount of time using a computer screen. They are usually multifocal lenses that will help to reduce eye strain while using a computer for long hours. They also help you to transition from a computer screen, to white boards to printed pages seamlessly.

Lens Material Options

There are four different materials that your eyeglass lenses can be made out of:

  • Plastic – these are lighter, more flexible, and less likely to shatter than glass
  • Polycarbonate – these are for high impact, usually worn by athletes
  • Trivex – a newer plastic material that meets the same standards as polycarbonate
  • High Index – this are thin, lightweight and usually recommended for people who need high vision correction.

There are pros and cons to all of them, and its something you can absolutely discuss with your doctor when you have your next exam.

Once you have your eye exam, the doctor will decide which lens is right for you. Its important to understand where your eyes are lacking so you know how to use the glasses that end up getting prescribed to you.

We also offer so many different brands of eye glass frames to choose from. We love to help our customers pick out the best frame for their face shape and for what they will be using the glasses for!

Call us today to get your eye exam scheduled and enjoy the personal attention we give to each and every customer to make sure they end up with the best vision correction option for them!

Sunglasses: What you need to know!

We have mentioned many times how important it is to wear sunglasses every day. We want to make sure your eyes are protected from UV rays, just like your skin, your eyes can be damaged by too much sunlight.  If you do not protect your eyes from damaging UV rays, over time it can lead to macular degeneration, cataracts, and damage to your cornea and lens.


When choosing sunglasses it is important to realize that not all sunglasses are created equal. Some things to keep a lookout for when shopping for sunglasses are:

  • A sticker or tag that says the glasses provide 100% UV protection from all UV light.
  • The darkest lens does not equate to the most protection. Without a sticker or tag saying it, it doesn’t protect against UV rays.
  • Polarized lenses do not protect against UV rays. They are designed to reduce glare that bounces off reflective surfaces. There are polarized lenses that have UV blocking substances in them, but not all polarized lenses do.
  • When picking glasses for protective purposes, the bigger the lens the better. Them more of your face the sunglasses cover, the more protection they offer.
  • It doesn’t matter what color the lenses are. Regardless of the mirror finish or the color of the lens, its not going to make a difference when it comes to UV protection.


When trying on non-prescription sunglasses there are a couple tricks you can use to determine how well the lenses are made.

-Start by looking at something that has some straight lines, like a tile ceiling or floor.

-Hold the glasses away from your face and cover one of your eyes. Move the glasses up and down, and side to side while looking through the lenses with your uncovered eye.

-If the lines stay straight, they are most likely quality lenses, if the lines appear wavy they are probably not the best quality.

As always, if you come in to see us, we will make sure to fit you with the highest quality sunglasses whether you need a prescription or not.  We pride ourselves on our customer service and making sure each client gets the attention they need!

Can Make Up Cause Eye Problems?

Make up is as routine in some women’s lives as waking up and eating breakfast. Make up helps you feel confident in your appearance and can be fun to use!  We wanted to take a minute to detail some safety tips regarding your make up to keep you from potentially hurting yourself while getting ready for the day.

Main Makeup Issues for Eyes

There are a few main issues that come up regularly when it comes to make up around the eyes:

Allergic Reactions – it is important to pay attention to how your skin, eyes and face feel after applying makeup, especially if you are trying a new brand or type. Some ingredients in makeup can irritate your skin if you are allergic to it.

Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye) can be passed through make up or make up brushes and applicators if the bacteria has started to grow in the make up or on the applicators.

Cornea Scratch – If you have ever applied eyeliner, eyeshadow or mascara we would be willing to bet you have missed once in a while. We have all been there but accidentally scratching your eye with an eyeliner pencil can cause cornea scratches which can cause pain and even infection

Eyeliner and Eye Shadow

The two types of eye make up that cause the most risk are eyeliner and eye shadow.

Eyeliner – If worn too close to your eye, pieces of eyeliner can get into your eye. These pieces can cause a build up in the eye and create issues like irritation, infections and blurry vision.

Eye Shadow – the biggest danger with this makeup could be the ingredients. Generally most eye shadows are safe. There are some that contain ingredients like Formaldehyde, Aluminum, Parabens and Coal Tar. These ingredients can be harmful to your skin. It is important to check the ingredients in your eye makeup.

Tips for Safe Eye Make up Use

  • Use clean makeup applicators
  • Apply eyeliner on the outside of the lash line
  • Remove your eye make up at the end of each day
  • Don’t hang on to make up too long
  • Rinse eye’s thoroughly if makeup gets in them
  • Don’t apply makeup while driving or in a car
  • Replace your make up after an eye infection

All in all the risks of using makeup outweigh the benefits in most cases. We just always like to educate our patients to create good habits to start with so they can avoid bigger issues in the long run.

Thyroid Eye Disease

Thyroid Eye Disease

January is Thyroid Awareness Month. With that in mind we thought it could be a great time to shed some light on thyroid eye disease. This is a disease that is correlated with your thyroid.

What is Thyroid Eye Disease? (or TED)

TED is when the eye muscles, eyelids, tear glands, and fatty tissues behind your eyes become inflamed. It can also be referred to as Graves Orbitopathy or Ophthalmopathy. At its core it is an autoimmune decision, which means the immune system attacks the tissue surrounding the eye.

The same autoimmune system condition that causes TED also affects the thyroid gland. This can result in Graves Disease. Graves Disease causes thyroid over or under activity. It is more common that it will cause thyroid overactivity. TED can occur in people with overactive, underactive or a normal functioning thyroid. People who have TED usually need to be seen by both an ophthalmologist and a thyroid specialist.


  • Red eyes
  • Swollen Eyes
  • Uncomfortable eyes
  • Bulging Eyes
  • Water eyes
  • Feeling grittiness in the eye
  • dry eyes
  • blurred or double vision

What are the chances you could get TED?

Usually about a quarter of people with Graves disease end up developing TED. Your chances of developing TED increases by eight times if you smoke cigarettes’.

TED can be managed once diagnosed. There are many things you can do to relieve the symptoms ranging from artificial teardrops to surgery.

Our goal is to bring more awareness to this condition so our patients know what to look out for. We want to be able to help our patients with their overall health starting with their eyes!


New Year New You

Ever wondered, do these glasses look good on me?? A lot of the time you can tell if glasses are going to work for you just by trying them on, but sometimes with SO MANY choices it can help to have a guide. First look in the mirror, decide what shape your face is. The options are:

  • Oval
  • Square
  • Heart
  • Round
  • Oblong
  • Diamond

Once you have decided which face shape you have, we have a couple suggestions for what style glasses to try out. 

Oval Face Shape: We suggest trying rectangular frames and cat eye frames.

Square Face Shape: Try round or oval frames to best suit your face shape.

Heart Face Shape: Your face is very versatile, your best option might be oval frames, cat eye or rimless frames

Round Face Shape: Any angular frames like square or rectangle will look good on you.

Oblong Face Shape: Wide aviators and square frames will definitely work for you.

Diamond Face Shape: semi rimless, curvy cat eye, but you can also pull off ones that have a prominent brow line. 

Come check out our wide selection of frames and see which ones look great on your specific face shape.  The team here is always ready to help you pick the best option for you! 

If you do find your perfect pair of glasses, visit our Facebook page and drop a post with a picture of you wearing them!!


We wanted to shed some light on a very common eye issue that we are sure you have heard of. Astigmatism is a widespread issue that can be easily fixed with a quick visit to your eye doctor. Since it affects so many people, we wanted to take a deeper dive into it.

What is it?

Astigmatism is a very common eye problem that can make your vision blurry or distorted. It is caused by either your cornea or your lens having a different shape than normal.

The most common symptoms are:

  • Squinting to see clearly
  • Headaches
  • Eye strain
  • Issues seeing at night
  • Blurry vision

The odd shape of the cornea or the lens makes light bend differently as it enters your eye, this in turn causes a refractive error.

It is not possible to prevent astigmatism, some people are born with it and others develop it. It can develop in children, young adults or someone who has had an injury or surgery on their eye.

How to catch it?

A visit to your eye doctor of course! This is another fantastic reason to get regular eye exams for yourself and your children. If your eye doctor is seeing your eyes regularly enough it is easier to spot irregularities. In some cases, you may not have any symptoms at all, but your eye doctor can help you to ward off any symptoms in the future by catching it before you develop any and treating them.

What will help?

The most common treatment for astigmatism is eyeglasses or contacts that help correct the way your eye takes in light. Your eye doctor will be able to tell you what prescription is needed to help alleviate any symptoms.

In more rare cases, there is also a surgery that can be used if the astigmatism is too bad to be treated with glasses. This would be something your eye doctor will discuss with you if necessary.

Call us for your next appointment!

If this is something you are concerned about for yourself or for your child, please make sure to bring it up at your next appointment with us! We are always here to help take care of you and your family’s eye care needs. We want to be a part of your eye health journey.

Orbital and Periorbital Cellulitis

There are many kinds of infections that can happen in your eye. Some we have already discussed here like, Pink Eye or infections due to contact lens scratches. One we want to bring up today could be something you encounter yourself. Orbital and Periorbital Cellulitis has had some connection with Covid-19 and we want to be sure to set the record straight.

What is Cellulitis?

These two types of cellulitis are referring to infection and inflammation of the skin around your eye.
Orbital – Involves the eye, and eye structures within the bony cavity of the face
Periorbital—Involves the area from the skin of the eyelid to the eyebrow.

In both cases, the condition is serious and if you notice this type of inflammation, you should seek medical care immediately. While the swelling will happen around the eye, the actual eyeball is usually not affected.


  • Pain
  • Fever
  • Swelling
  • Redness
  • Discomfort


Both types of cellulitis are caused by a bacterial infection. The bacteria can either find its way to the eye area from a direct scrape or from an infection that started in the sinuses. These types of infections are more common in children.

This is where cellulitis has come into the spotlight recently. There have been some cases of children getting after they contracted COVID-19. While cellulitis can be caused by an infection somewhere else in the body, there is no direct research linking COVID-19 to cellulitis.

What should you do?

If your child has any of the symptoms listed above, we recommend seeking medical help from a doctor. A doctor may need to run blood tests and do a physical exam to determine what type of infection is causing the discomfort.

Once diagnosed, your doctor will most likely prescribe antibiotics to kill the infection.

These infections can cause other more serious problems if left untreated. In some cases, cellulitis can cause loss of vision or meningitis. Its best to seek medical care as soon as possible.

Color Blindness

Are you one of the unlucky few who are unable to see the full spectrum of color? Those of us who are not color blind will never understand how frustrating it could be to not get to see the vibrant colors earth has to offer. We wanted to offer a little insight to our patients about color blindness.

What is Color Blindness?

Color blindness is when you see colors differently than the vast majority of people.

Telling the difference between red and green is the most common type of color blindness, which can make learning to drive a little bit trickier. Another type will make it hard to tell the difference between blue and yellow. There is a variation where you cannot see color at all but that is rare.

How do I know if I am?

It is completely possible for someone to not realize they have color blindness in some cases because the symptoms are so mild. Some symptoms include:

  • Trouble seeing the difference between colors
  • Trouble seeing how bright colors are
  • Trouble seeing different shades of colors

What Causes Color Blindness?

Color blindness is most commonly a genetic trait that is passed down in families. Other causes could be some kind of damage to your eye or brain. Also, just like your eyesight, your color vision could start to get worse as you age.

You are more likely to be color blind if you:

  • Have a family history of it
  • Have glaucoma
  • Have age-related macular degeneration
  • Take certain medicines


The fastest way to find out for sure if you are color blind is to ask your eye doctor at your yearly visit. Your doctor will be able to run a test that will tell you if you are able to see color normally or not.

If you think you might be color blind but have not been diagnosed, mention at your next appointment with us! We would be glad to check for you.

Is Sunshine the New Cure-All?

Over here at Tri-County Eyes we are big fans of the sunshine, and we are lucky to get to spend so much time in it living here in South Carolina. Sunshine has been proven to be necessary for overall health but there is some new research that points to the sun helping kids possibly prevent nearsightedness.

We wrote a blog about nearsightedness (Myopia) a few weeks ago if you want to check it out for background on this topic.

Myopia is on the rise in children. According to the American Association of Ophthalmology, 40% of children ages 6 to 19 are nearsighted. This high percentage is thought to point to the change in human habits. Since the invention of technology, more and more children are increasing screen time and decreasing their time outdoors. This is a factor that could cause children to develop nearsightedness.

Now, I know this doesn’t sound like new information, we all have heard the old saying not to sit too close to the TV. Now there is some evidence to suggest that spending more time outdoors can help ward off nearsightedness.

It is still a new theory, but considers sunlight can increase the dopamine levels in the eye which in turn helps the growth of the eye. Experts suggest to start as early as possible by monitoring screen time and encouraging more time outside in the sunshine.

We find it especially important to teach good habits involving screen time starting as young as possible. While kids’ eyes are still developing, teach them about the 20/20/20 rule:

For every 20 minutes of screen time, take a break and focus on something 20 feet away for 20 seconds.

Use device settings to set screen time reminders and actively monitor how long they are using their device. Now with this new information, it is strongly suggested to deliberately schedule some outside time. It could just help ward off eye issues in the future.

While sunshine still can’t be considered a cure-all, this is another bonus to spending time outdoors. Of course, we always want to prioritize safety so don’t forget your sunscreen and sunglasses!

If you have any concerns about your child’s eyesight, make your appointment with TriCounty eyes so we can help!

Costume Contact Lenses

With Halloween fast approaching, we wanted to take some time to give you some insight into costume contact lenses, just in case you were thinking of adding them to finish off the perfect Halloween costume!

What are Costume Lenses?

Let’s start with the basics. Costume lenses are contact lenses that are only used for superficial reasons. There is no medical reason to have these contact lenses. The typical use is to change the color of your eyes, but they also make specific ones that go with a certain character you may dress up as for Halloween or for another reason.

Examples of costume lenes include:

  • Black out contacts
  • Cat eyes
  • Zombie eyes

How to know if costume lenses are safe:

There are many retailers who sell costume lenses that do not require a prescription, but we want to make sure you understand the risk that comes with using those lenses. It may seem easy to just pick them up where you buy your costume, but you could suffer the consequences later. The FDA warns against buying costume lenses from:

  • Halloween stores
  • The internet if no prescription is required
  • Beauty supply stores
  • Street vendors
  • Beach shops
  • Convenience stores
  • Boutiques
  • Beach Shops

If you do acquire these lenses without a prescription, there are a couple of risks. Without getting an eye exam, the generic lenses you buy could fit poorly and cause cuts and scratches on your eye that could get infected. Another downside of poor-fitting lenses is that it can restrict oxygen to the eye which doesn’t let your eye breathe. This in turn can cause abrasions, ulcers and bacterial infections on your eye.

What should you do?

The best way to get costume lenses would be to make an eye exam appointment and get fitted for them. An eye doctor will be able to make sure  you get lenses that fit properly. Once you have an exam an eye doctor will give you a prescription for the exact right size lenses you need.

If you think costume lenses might be something you want to add to your costume this year, give us a call so we can make sure to get you in the right ones!

Everyone have a safe and happy Halloween!

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