Peroxide as Contact Lens Cleaner

Many contact lens wearers have lens discomfort, either burning, dryness, stinging, lens awareness. Hydrogen peroxide solutions (namely Clear Care) can solve all of these issues. We tend to think of hydrogen peroxide as a potent disinfectant but in fact, it breaks down into water and oxygen.

hydrogen_peroxide_decompositionResearch has shown that 3 percent hydrogen peroxide effectively disinfects the microbes, bacteria and a broad variety of other pathogens that adhere to a contact lens during a wearing cycle. The challenge was to develop a lens disinfecting system in which the peroxide would be neutralized in a reasonable period, so that patients could apply their lenses the next day without risking adverse effects. Fortunately, industry found a way to combine disinfection efficacy with rapid neutralization.

Clear Care solution combines a surfactant cleaner and functional wetting agent with peroxide in a single bottle, which makes it easier for patients and provides enhanced disinfection. It has a 6-hour neutralization period and disinfected lenses can be stored for up to 7 days. ClearCare

As we know, there are differences in products and “inactive” ingredients may change how they work. One important difference between Clear Care and the generic peroxides is the addition of a surfactant cleaner to Clear Care solution. This cleaner has a detergent-like action that reduces surface tension and helps remove contaminants and improves surface wettabilty.

We want to make residual peroxide (peroxide left after the disinfection process) as low as possible.  Doing so will allow more comfortable, happy eyes in the greatest number of our patients.  Ideally, we want no residual peroxide, which may not always be possible, but the less we have, the better it is for patients. Clear Care solution has a low 20 ppm residual peroxide. Our bodies do have ways of dealing with residual peroxide, but some eyes deal with it better than others. Dry eyes, for example, may not handle it as well as a thick, robust tear film that dilutes the residual peroxide.

Peroxide produces the lowest levels of corneal staining of any of the lens care solutions. Burning and stinging were linked to increased staining. Patients with staining had poorer comfort scores during the day and at the end of the day.

Clear Care is the only solution that Unique Optique actively recommends. Come in for a sample and see for yourself the beauty of peroxide!

Thank you to Contact Lens Spectrum.


Prevention of Makeup Injuries and Infections


Eye injuries and infections from using makeup improperly happen all too often. Department store and drugstore makeup aisles are filled with a tempting array of makeup colors and products for the eyes. But knowing how to apply and remove eye makeup properly will not only make your eyes beautiful, but will protect your vision as well.
Where should make up NOT be applied?
The area to avoid is the flat part of your eye on the inside of your lash lines. “The most important glands are right there on the eyelid margin, and if you block those, you’re blocking the natural secretion of the oils which protect you from having dry eyes. You could also get styes caused by bacteria,” says Dr. Resnick, a New York based optometrist. You don’t have to give up inside eyeliner entirely, just limit it to once a week or so to be safe. “And if you are going to wear makeup, make sure you get it all off at night.”

Where ELSE should makeup NOT be applied?

To prevent poking yourself in the eye with an applicator, NEVER apply makeup while you are in a moving vehicle.

What should contact lens wearers know about makeup?

Consider switching to daily disposable contacts to avoid product and debris buildup. Steer clear of oil-based eye makeup removers. “They can make lenses blurry and uncomfortable because the oils will lay on the surface of tears. So, when you wake up in the morning, residue will attach to the contacts when you put them in,” explained Dr. Resnick. Be sure to rub your contact lenses gently but thoroughly before storing them (even if your solution says no-rub) to get rid of any makeup that might be lingering.

What are some general tips for makeup?

Sharpen pencil eyeliners before each use for a clean, fresh surface. Opt for powder eye shadows–creamy textures tend to hold more bacteria. Don’t let uncovered liners roll around in your purse! Keep the caps on tight. Of course, replace your mascara and eyeliner every three months.

Woman applying mascara

Applying Makeup

Removing Makeup

At night, remove all eye makeup, especially mascara that can stick to the lashes. Use a clean cotton swab to brush along the base of the eyelashes to get the last resistant debris of eye makeup off. If you use an eye makeup remover, be sure not to get any in your eye. When you are done, rinse the remover off your eyelids completely to avoid possible irritation of the eye or lids.

Thanks,  Glamour Magazine

Prosection of Human Cadavers

Got your attention now! Keep reading for interesting facts about optometric education.

An often overlooked fact about optometry is that the eyes are directly tied to the body as a whole. The eyes can be the first indicator of many systemic diseases. Part of an optometrist’s education is learning the structures of the torso and head and how they relate to the eyes. What is the best way to visualize these structures? The human cadaver.051118_cadaver

As one of my jobs in optometry school, I (along with some of my favorite classmates) prosected the cadavers for the anatomy labs. (Dissect is to separate into pieces; prosect is to dissect for demonstration purposes.) On the first day of my exposure to cadavers, I had to avert my eyes to prevent syncope. After giving myself a pep talk, I crept closer to the bodies trying to overcome my sensitivity to the smell of formaldehyde. Eventually staring down at ‘mine’, I realized that they each had their own amazing stories and lives and now it was ok that that was over. By their own donation, the next stage had begun and now they were our teachers.


Before too long, I was able to saw through the skull to exposure the eye muscles, tease out the tiniest cranial nerves and weigh an enlarged heart with my hands. Our whole class benefitted by being able to better understand the workings of the body and how each part related to each other. There is no better way to understand this than seeing it where it used to function.


Donating your organs and/or body is a special way that you can give life past the end of yours. Consider organ donation or whole body donation. I know I thank them for their investment in my future.

Taijitu Christian


From the outside, Christian looks polished, professional and with his act firmly together. On the inside, he is a daredevil and a risk-taking enigma.

Every day, Christian comes to work styled in a suit and a tie. Yet he has bungee jumped over Victoria Falls in Africa.

Christian has worked in optics for 5 years, both as an optician and a lab technician. Yet he has finished a Tough Mudder, complete with crawling through mud military style with live electrical wires dangling overhead.

Christian graduated from McDaniel College with a degree in Political Science and International Studies. Yet he lived and studied in a Zimbabwe village for 5 months.

Christian is meticulous in his design of lens materials and coatings for each patient. Yet his life goal is to have a completely full passport.

Christian is an avid believer in the principles from How To Win Friends and Influence People. Yet he enjoys extreme activities like skydiving and scuba diving.

Come to Unique Optique to meet Christian. He will carefully listen to your spectacle wants and needs, design your glasses impeccably and do it all with panache.

Our blog has moved!

Our blog has moved to our NEW website at

Unique Optique Blog

Please follow us there…..




This blog post has nothing to do with eyes or glasses, but it does fall under the category of truly being yourself and loving yourself for it.

In the book called The Happiness Project, Gretchen Rubin explores what makes us happy.

Happiness Project

For me, the most striking lesson was:

In order to be happier, we should differentiate between activities that we WANT TO ENJOY doing

from things that we ACTUALLY ENJOY doing.

Read that again and contemplate it for a moment.

For example:

I WANT to be an intellectual reader and savor Cloud Atlas like my uber intelligent brother.


In ACTUALITY, I cannot get past the second chapter and would much rather mindlessly knit a blanket.

I WANT to want to do another Tough Mudder with my CrossFit friends.

In ACTUALITY, I cannot bear the thought of being cold, wet and sore again.

I WANT to enjoy cool, underground bands that have yet to be discovered.

In ACTUALITY, sometimes I put “Call Me Maybe” on repeat.

Recently, I put some serious effort into discovering what does truly make me happy.

  • Songs that I can sing loudly and with a country twang (think “Stay” by Sugarland or “Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy” by Big and Rich)
  • Everything about bookstores- their smell, the unlimited potential, the feeling of being amongst old confidants
  • Spontaneous laughter with my BoyFF, closest friends, siblings and parents
  • Alliteration anywhere anytime
  • Watching a great live acoustic guitar player
  • Buttercream cookies with tons of icing
  • IMs from 50percentopacity and ermahi
  • Songs that I can sing loudly that have curses in them (Eminem and Pink)
  • A smoothly writing pen, a brand new notebook and an infectious idea on which to elaborate
  • Bare feet inside of my fur-lined slippers
  • Music videos of men on treadmills
  • When Parents Text by Kaelin and Fraioliwill-smith
  • Poets who question capitalization
  • Soaking in a hot tub in the snow
  • Songs that I can sing loudly with an accent AND curses (Kate Nash’s “Sh*t Song)
  • Massages that induce scalp goosebumps
  • Will Smith’s ears
  • Road trips to new places beside my special someone
  • The smell of tea tree oil
  • Large soy chai tea lattes
  • My dog nudging my hand with her nose
  • The word ‘onomatopoeia’
  • Ice wine with my toes warmed by a campfire
  • Carpenter pants on my man who is washing the dishes
  • Delicious lyrical phrases (think Alanis Morissette’s In Praise of the Vulnerable Man)
  • My cat purring under my chin
  • Clean plush sheets and no reason to get up early

I recommend coming up with your list and keeping it close for those days when you need it.

Learning this simple lesson will make you happier.

I promise.

Age-Related Macular Degeneration

February is Macular Degeneration Awareness Month. Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a chronic disease of the macula, which is the part of the retina that gives you your clearest acuity.  AMD is the leading cause of blindness in the Western world and, as the population ages, will increase significantly. There are two forms of AMD:  dry and wet.

Macular degeneration

Dry AMD is more common than wet and dry AMD can lead to wet. Dry AMD occurs when cells in the macula begin to break down, causing thinning of the tissue and a gradual decrease in vision.  The retina becomes unable to rid itself of its metabolic waste and the waste accumulates in the retina as drusen. This blocks the normal function of the retina.

What are the symptoms of AMD? Wet AMD is caused by the growth of abnormal blood vessels in the retina.  These weak blood vessels leak fluid into the retina, leading to a decrease in vision which is more rapid and dramatic than dry AMD. Neither dry AMD nor wet AMD causes total blindness, only a loss of central vision. People with AMD may notice changes in their ability to read books, to see street signs, or to see details on a person’s face. However, they are able to move around safely using their peripheral vision.

  • Gradual or rapid loss of central vision
  • Distortion of straight lines
  • Blurry vision when reading
  • Blind spot in or near the central vision

What are the risk factors of AMD?

  • Age
  • Smoking!!!
  • Family history
  • UV light exposure
  • Diets high in sugar and refined carbohydrates
  • Excess weight or obesity
  • Gender (women are at a higher risk than men)
  • Eye color (light colored eyes have a higher risk)
  • Race (lighter pigmented individuals are at a higher risk)
  • Diabetes
  • Cardiovascular disease

Macular Degeneration

How is AMD diagnosed?

An optometrist can diagnose AMD during a dilated eye examination using special lenses to view the retina. A thorough patient history, Amsler grid testing, and advanced imaging of the retina can also point to AMD. Early diagnosis of AMD can give a person the opportunity to make diet and lifestyle changes that decrease the risk of progression of the disease.

Controlling AMD with diet:

Numerous studies have shown a relationship between nutrition and AMD.  To date, the most significant study is the Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS).  AREDS was a large randomized controlled trial that followed over 3,000 participants for seven years and concluded that taking a supplement with specific antioxidants and zinc decreases the risk of progression of AMD in certain patients by as much as 25%.  The follow-up study, AREDS-2, is currently assessing the preventative effects of supplementing patients’ diets with high doses of two carotenoids (lutein and zeaxanthin) and omega-3 fatty acids. We recommend that patients at risk for AMD take a specific vitamin supplement and an omega-3 fatty acid supplement.  However, a supplement is not a replacement for a healthy diet.  The synergy of the nutrients in whole foods has a beneficial effect on our bodies that a supplement cannot replicate.  Many other studies have found that diets high in certain nutrients help to reduce the risk of AMD, and that poor diets can increase a person’s risk for developing the disease.  The findings of these studies are summarized in the lists below:

AMD Diet

Prevention of AMD through diet:

  • Eat foods rich in the carotenoids, Lutein (10mg) Zeaxanthin (2mg)
  • Ensure your diet is high in vitamin E, beta-carotene and zinc.
  • Choose fish with high levels of omega-3 fatty acids
  • Engage in higher level of physical activity or exercise

Vitamins for prevention: (sample name brands Preservision, Macutrition)

  • Vitamin C 500 mg
  • Vitamin E 400IU
  • Zinc Oxide 40 mg
  • Copper (Cupric Oxide) 2 mg
  • Omega 3, DHA 1000 mg, EPA 1000 mg
  • Xeazanthin 8mg
  • Lutein 20 mg

Risk factors:

  • A diet with a high glycemic index
  • Excess weight and obesity
  • Smoking
  • UV exposure

What is the current treatment for dry AMD?

The current treatment for dry AMD aims to slow the progression of the disease.  If you have dry AMD, you are advised to modify your diet and lifestyle by eating foods rich in specific antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids, to take AREDS-based ocular vitamins, to wear sunglasses, and to stop smoking.

Amsler Grid

We advise people with dry AMD to use an Amsler grid on a daily basis. The Amsler grid is a simple test that allows a person to notice subtle changes in vision that can be a sign of progression of dry AMD to wet AMD.

What is the current treatment for wet AMD?

There are several treatment options for wet AMD, depending on the stage of the disease and the location of the abnormal blood vessels.  These include laser photocoagulation, photodynamic therapy with Visudyne and anti-VEGF (vaso-endothelial growth factor) injections.  To date, the only treatment that has shown an improvement to visual acuity is anti-VEGF injection. Anti-VEGF medications block the protein (VEGF) that is responsible for new blood vessel growth.  In wet AMD, these medications help stop the growth of new blood vessels in the retina.  They may slow the progression of vision loss and, in some cases, even improve vision.  An ophthalmologist (eye surgeon) will inject the medication into the eye.  Multiple injections, given on a monthly basis, are often required for treatment to be effective.


  • AMD is the leading cause of blindness in the Western world.
  • AMD affects central vision only.  It does not lead to total blindness.
  • There are two types of AMD: dry and wet.
  • Dry AMD is more common and less severe than wet AMD.   In some cases, dry AMD can progress to wet AMD.
  • Antioxidants, carotenoids (lutein and zeaxanthin), omega-3 fatty acids, and diets high in fiber that include whole rains may help to prevent or reduce the risk of progression of AMD.
  • People with a family history or signs of early to intermediate AMD are generally advised to take an AREDS-based vitamin supplement, to follow a diet filled with eye foods, and to visit their eye doctor regularly.
  • Smoking increases the risk of AMD.

At Unique Optique, Dr. Maria will give you a thorough exam to determine if you show any signs of macular degeneration. Make your yearly appointment now.

Parts is Parts


Curious about the different parts that make up your glasses or sunglasses?

You’re in the right place! Continue reading to learn the definitions of sunglasses-relevant words and phrases and to find a detailed diagram of eyeglass anatomy. You’ll be a sunglass expert before you know it.

Diagram of sunglasses

1. Bridge: The area that arches up over the nose between the lenses thus supporting the majority of the glasses weight. There are several different types of bridges:

A keyhole bridge is shaped like an old-fashioned keyhole and rests on the sides of the upper part of the nose. This style is best suited for those with small or flat-topped noses.

A saddle bridge is shaped like a saddle and spreads the weight of the frame across the sides and the top of the nose. This style works well for heavy glasses or for those with sensitive noses.

An adjustable bridge includes nose pads that can be bended and moved for fit and comfort.

A double bridge has a reinforcing bar over the top of the bridge.

2. End pieces: The portions of the frame front that extend outward from the lenses and connect to the temples.

3. Eye Wires/Rims: Part of the frame front into which the lenses are inserted.

4. Hinges: Portion of the frame that connects the frame front to the temples and allows the temples to fold inward in a closing motion.

5. Lenses: Clear glass, plastic, or polycarbonate eyeglass parts which hold a wearer’s prescription.

6. Nose Pads: Plastic pieces which may be attached directly to the frame or pad arms. These help keep the frame in its proper position on the wearer’s face, while providing comfort and a snug fit.

7. Pad Arms: Attachments that hold the nose pads in place; typically allowing adjustments so that they may conform to the wearer’s nose.

8. (Not pictured) Rimless Frames/Mountings: When the temples and bridge attach by mountings, or metal fixatives, directly to the lenses without the use of eye-wires or rims.

9. Screws: Tiny metal fasteners found at eyeglass hinges which connect the temples to the frame front; and on the bridge, which hold the nose pads in place.

10. Sweatbar/Top bar: Metal bar that rests over the bridge, between the two lenses, to provide extra support; not present in all sunglass models, but is common in aviator styles.

11. Temples: “Arm” pieces of the frame that extend over and/or behind the ears to help hold the frame in place. There are several types of temples:

Skull temples are most popular for plastic frames. They appear bent down slightly over the ear and follow the contour of the skull.

Comfort-cable temples hook behind the ear with a flexible metal cable. These are suitable for children’s styles and sport-safety glasses.

Riding bow temples are similar to comfort-cables, except they are rigid and made of plastic.

Spring-hinged temples include hidden springs in the hinges that help keep the frame from slipping. These are typically more resistant to breakage.

Library (or paddle) temples are straight, so they can be slipped on and off easily. This type is often used in reading glasses.

12. Temple tips: Plastic coatings that often cover the ends of the temples behind and over the ears to provide wearer comfort. Their use is common in regard to metal glasses.

If you are having difficulties with any of these parts of your glasses or sunglasses, come see us at Unique Optique for a repair or readjustment.

Thank you Sun Authority.

Artist Bio for Whitney Bingham

whitney bingham

I have always been drawn to fabric, the colors, patterns, and textures.

Growing up I sewed my own clothes and spent the summer studying fashion design

at Parsons School of Art and Design in New York.

These days however, I use sewing and the stitched line as a form of self-expression.

My work is autobiographical and deeply influenced by human interaction observations.

The sources for such commentary come through various forms of media

as well as life observances.

As the owner of The Muse, a gift store that represents artists,

I find that my own art has become a more personal and essential piece of my life.

Past exhibits include the Literary Council’s exhibit, “Much Ado About Books”,

the Delaplaine’s National Juried Quilt Show in 2009 and 2011.

My current show is Storylines at Unique Optique.

24 Carrot Eyesight

To ease kid’s suspicion of vegetables, parents often feed them the adage that carrots will spare them from glasses. Is there any truth to this belief that carrots are good for your eyes? Was mom right?


Well, yes and no. Carrots won’t improve your visual acuity if you have less than perfect vision. For example, a diet of carrots won’t give a blind person 20/20 vision. But the vitamins found in the vegetable can help promote overall eye health. Carrots contain beta-carotene, a substance that the body converts to vitamin A, which is an important nutrient for the eyes.

The supposed link between carrots and markedly acute vision is a matter of lore, not science. It is lore of the deliberately manufactured type.

stukas-over-polandCarrots became specifically associated with vision, particularly night vision, during World War II. The British Royal Air Force published a story reporting that their skilled fighter pilot John “Cats’ Eyes” Cunningham could thank a steady diet of carrots for his night vision flying prowess. In response to the story, many British people began to eat more carrots to improve their vision so that they could see better during the compulsory blackouts common at this time. Although this made for a great story, it was propaganda put out to conceal the fact that the Royal Air Force was actually using radar to locate Nazi bombers during the night. The story ‘explained’ why suddenly, German planes were being shot down with more frequency.

Although British propaganda may have lent carrots a bit more vision-related cachet than they deserve, there is no doubt that the vitamins found in carrots can promote overall eye health. So, your mom was right, eat your vegetables. Keep your eyes healthy with a yearly exam at Unique Optique.

Thanks to Snopes and How Stuff Works.

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