Blue Light – What is it and why is it important for your eyes?

With all the advertisements of blue light blocking lenses it can lead people to wonder what is blue light and how important is it to me?  Blue light is everywhere – sunlight is the main source but there are also many other sources.  Indoor sources can include fluorescent lights, television screens, computer screens, phones and tablets – many things that all of us have and use on a daily basis.  The reason eye care professionals are so concerned with blue light is that the eye is not good at blocking that blue light – your cornea and lens can block some UV rays but not the short wavelength/high energy blue wavelengths.  Blue light can then pass through those anterior structures and possibly damage the retina in the back of the eye.  Extra exposure to blue light may cause damage that is similar to that of macular degeneration, the leading cause of vision loss in the US.  What we don’t know yet is whether or not these changes increase the risk of macular degeneration later in life. Blue light can also be detrimental because it is so high energy that the light scatters and is not as easily focused by the eye.  Computer screens and digital devices that emit this unfocused blue light may contribute significantly to digital eyestrain.  Blue light is also known to help regulate your body’s circadian rhythm – your internal biological clock that helps you fall asleep and wake up. Exposure to excessive blue light, especially at night, can disrupt your circadian rhythm, which may cause difficulty falling asleep.  Blue light blocking lenses while using a tablet or computer at night can help with this.

Blue light blocking lenses can decrease the amount of blue light that enters the eyes, which in turn may decrease eyestrain as well as damage from blue light waves.  So are blue light blocking lenses essential for your eyes?  If you work on a computer/tablet/phone for a good majority of your day then the answer is yes! If you are at higher risk for macular degeneration or spend a lot of time on digital devices later in the evening then blue light blocking lenses may be for you as well. Blue light blocking lenses may also be recommended for children or individuals with focusing issues. So should you buy those blue light glasses you see popping up in ads online? Probably not – most do not block enough blue light and lenses and frames that are not properly fit or measured for you can cause more eye strain and issues than where you started. If you are unsure what kind of blue light blocking lenses are right for you then ask your optician or optometrist at your next visit.

Favorite Things: September

This month’s favorite things list is here!  I’m really excited to share with you some of my favorite things to use on and around my eyes this month.   I’ll put links to all of my favorites down below.

First up is my favorite artificial tear – Soothe XP by Bausch and Lomb.  Anybody who knows me probably knows that I have some dry eye and allergy issues.  My eyes are very sensitive and can get easily irritated.  Since I wear my contacts a good majority of the time I like to keep drops with me that I can use with and without my contacts and these are it – they moisturize and also calm my eyes down like no other.  Seriously. they are excellent.  If you haven’t tried these yet you can find them in any eye care section over the counter.  Are you having issues with dryness or irritation in your eyes and are wondering what treatment may be right for you?  Contact me here to make an appointment.

My next favorite is also a favorite due to my sensitive eyes and allergies – my We Love Eyes foaming eyelid and eyelash cleanser.  I use this nightly to remove my eye makeup and cleanse my eyelids (and when I have heavy or waterproof makeup I do a two step cleanse starting with my We Love Eyes Makeup Remover Oil).  I love this product because it’s all natural and works so well.  We even carry this product in our store so stop in to check it out and save on shipping!  And P.S., an awesome Optometrist – Dr. Tanya Gill of Oakland Vision Center, developed it.  How cool is that!?

Next up on my list is my Bye Bye Under Eye Cream by IT Cosmetics.  IT Cosmetics has been a favorite of mine for awhile now as I love to use products that are more natural.   I consider their products to be “good for you makeup” since they don’t contain harmful ingredients and are cruelty free.  I originally received this as a part of another skin care kit and I didn’t use it right away and I am regretting that I didn’t!  It really does reduce dark circles and puffiness like no other eye cream I have tried.  It’s also great for sensitive skin or those with allergies.

Last but not least is my random (and kind of eye related pick?) – the Deep Sleep Pillow Spray from thisworks.  Good sleep is essential for your eyes as well as the rest of your body and this spray has become an essential part of my nightly routine.  A few spritzes of this all natural spray on my pillow before laying down makes me relaxed and helps me drift off to sleep in no time flat.  The smell is light, not overwhelming, and it doesn’t seems to bother my allergies at all.

That wraps up my favorite things for the month of September.  If you have any questions or comments feel free to send me a message at


Soothe XP by Bausch and Lomb

We Love Eyes Foaming Cleanser (also available for purchase in our office)

It Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Cream

Deep Sleep Pillow Spray

My Favorite Natural Mascara

Not a day goes by that patients don’t ask me about getting longer/better/more eyelashes or what they can use to make their lashes better.  Healthy lashes are the key and I always tell patients that removing your makeup at night is an absolute must (I use, love, and recommend We Love Eyes cleansers) otherwise your lashes will get brittle and break.  Proper nutrition and not rubbing your eyes is important too.  I have also found from personal experience that using  natural mascara has made a huge difference in how my lashes grow and how healthy they are.  Below are my some of my favorites.

  • Pacifica DreamBig Mascara
    • This is my favorite everyday mascara.  It volumizes, separates, and lengthens with a cool wand.  I also love that I can apply multiple coats without clumps and that it lasts all day. It also contains a serum and conditioners that improve the health of your lashes.
  • W3ll People Expressionist Mascara
    • This one is slightly more expensive than the Pacifica but it comes in multiple colors has an amazing brush and does a great job of nourishing lashes with a botanical blend of ingredients.
  • 100% Pure Fruit Pigmented Ultra Lengthening Mascara
    • This mascara also comes in multiple colors and makes your lashes ridiculously long.  If you are looking for length over volume this is your mascara.
  • Beauty Counter Lengthening Mascara
    • Made with organic oils and shea butter this mascara doesn’t smudge or clump even with multiple coats. It also builds with multiple coats like a dream.

5 Reasons Why You Need An Annual Eye Examination

Are you wondering if it really is important to have annual eye examinations? What you if you just passed a vision screening for work or school – do you still need an exam? The answer is YES! Vision screenings are not the same as eye examinations – they only check a small portion of your visual status and do not check for diseases or other visual issues.  Here are 5 reasons why you need an annual eye examination:

  1. Most eye diseases cannot be detected by a person until the late stages of the disease – an optometrist can identify problems early on so they can be treated long before they get to the point of disrupting vision or causing problems.
  2. Technology changes in contact lenses, glasses, and sunglasses.  New lens designs and coatings change frequently.  Having the newest technology ensures you are protecting your eyes and giving yourself the best vision possible.
  3. An eye doctor can find systemic diseases before you have physical symptoms.  This is true for high blood pressure, cholesterol issues, and diabetes since the eye is the only place that working blood vessels can be viewed without any invasive procedure.
  4. About 80% of learning is done visually – if you are going to school or working then you should be sure that your vision is as good as it can possibly be.  This is especially important for children who do not have a baseline of what clear, comfortable vision is.
  5. Chronic inflammation found elsewhere in the body could manifest itself inside the eye.  Trained eye doctors can check for this and treat appropriately as well as co-manage with your primary care physician or rheumatologist.

Is There A Link Between Yoga and Glaucoma?

I saw an article recently while browsing Facebook that caught my eye. It was describing a new study showing that inversion positions such as downward dog in yoga can increase eye pressure and worsen glaucoma. Until that article popped up on my newsfeed that implication had never occurred to me. Was all my downward dog and yoga practice increasing my risk for glaucoma? What about my patients who already have borderline pressure? What about my patients who are already diagnosed with glaucoma? You can bet that I clicked on the article link.

Glaucoma is characterized by pressure that is too high in the eye. This increase in pressure causes compression on the optic nerve and over time that compression will cause damage to the tissue around the optic nerve. Glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness in people over 60 years old, however it can be prevented if found and treated early enough. The main point of the article was that doing inversion positions, which are common in yoga practice, can increase the eye’s intraocular pressure above baseline a significant amount. This rise could be potentially dangerous in those who are at risk for glaucoma or those who have already been diagnosed.

Inversion positions such as downward dog are shown to increase intraocular pressure, similar to lifting weights and doing push ups. The greatest pressure increase was found in the downward dog position – a position that is very common. The pressure increase also remained elevated for a period of time after performing the poses. So what does this mean for patients at risk? The sample size of participants in the study was limited so direct conclusions cannot be drawn. The bottom line – yoga does not cause glaucoma but if you are at risk for glaucoma, have a family history, or have been diagnosed you may want to contact a yoga instructor to get help in modifying your practice away from inversion positions. Now knowing all of this information I will be continuing my yoga practice but I will not be making modifications as I do not fall into a risk category. I will, however be mindful to discuss with patients that have a higher risk and also practice yoga.

If you have a higher risk or are concerned about your practice and you are in the Albany area I would suggest getting in touch with Katie Collins of Katie Collins Yoga for a private lesson. As a nurse and yoga instructor Katie has an in-depth understanding of the body as well as disease and can help modify your practice to your specific health and wellness needs. Check out her website or find her on Facebook.

Favorite Things: August

This month’s favorite things are all about protecting those eyes and everything around them from the sun!

First up is the most important way to protect those eyes – sunglasses!
My favorites right now are Maui Jim sunglasses. The lenses in their sunglasses are perfect for being outside and around the water. The clarity and glare reduction is amazing. Their PolarizedPlus2® lenses eliminate 99.9% of glare while enhancing colors and depth perception. They also eliminate 100% of the UV radiation to provide superior protection for your eyes. I also love that they are durable – they naturally provide a high level of scratch resistance but many also come with the CLEARSHELL® treatment to further enhance their durability. They also offer tons of frame and lens options to choose from. If you haven’t stopped in to see our huge selection of Maui Jim sunglasses I highly suggest that you do – we are the number 1 Maui Jim retailer in the Capital Region!

Next up is my favorite spray sunscreen for my face. The Supergoop! Defense Refresh Setting Mist has SPF 50 and controls oil and shine all while it sets your makeup. You definitely do not have to be wearing makeup to use this though. It’s light, not sticky, absorbs quickly, and smells great. It doesn’t irritate my sensitive skin and it is so easy to reapply. Just close your eyes and lightly spray around your face and you will be all set for that day in the sun.

Protecting your hair and scalp is also another important step before any fun in the sun. I spritz my hair with the Fekkai Pre-Soleil Hair Mist before heading out. This mist boosts shine while protecting your hair and scalp with a UV filter. It smells great and makes my hair super soft.

Next up is the Coola ROSSILIANCE® BB Cream and Face SPF 30. I love Coola for all of their eco-conscious products and love that there are no extra ingredients like parabens or phthalates. This BB cream is more like a tinted moisturizer and it goes on like a dream. It is mineral based and feels like you have nothing on. It is water resistant and has plant stem cell protection built right in. It smells like roses and is make from organic ingredients.

Last but not least is the IT Cosmetics Celebration Foundation. It literally takes 30 seconds to put on and it has SPF 50 built right in. I love that it hydrates and has so many good for your skin ingredients. It also looks amazing without much effort. IT Cosmetics products are all cruelty free and paraben free and are great for anybody with sensitive skin.

Below are the links to all of the products above and where you can find them. If you have any questions or comments feel free to comment below or email us at

Maui Jim Sunglasses

Supergoop! Defense Refresh Setting Mist

Fekkai Pre-Soleil Hair Mist


IT Cosmetics Celebration Foundation

Thinking about buying your glasses online? Or from a big chain? Read this:

Have you ever bought or thought about buying your eyeglasses and sunglasses online? Ever wonder if this is doing damage or causing further issues for your eyes?
One of our most popular Facebook posts in recent past was titled 10 Reasons to Avoid Cheap Glasses (see article here:

The reason it was so popular is easy to see (pun intended!) – everybody likes to save some money. But do you know why those glasses are so cheap? Probably not.

Typically with those online and large chain glasses quality is much lower than with a private retail optical – the frames are mass-produced with cheaper materials. This also means that if your frame breaks or needs a lot of adjustment it is likely to not be fixed or even possible to adjust. With a quality frame, replacement parts, fixes, and multiple adjustments can often be made without consequence. These issues may seem small but the details make all the difference.

The bigger issue with quality actually relates to the lenses. Cheaper lenses are often old technology or old designs. Even some large chains will say they are selling brand name lenses but often the lines of lenses being sold are not the “professional” lenses being sold at private retailers. This means that the scratch coating and/or anti glare coating you paid for are not as good as what a private office would sell. Same goes for prescription and clarity in the lenses – prescription is often not as exact and the clarity will decrease due to cheaper materials. Prescription and fitting are probably the two most common issues we see with online glasses. Some prescriptions need to be very exact – even moving or twisting a lens 1 degree can make or break a prescription. Those places you are ordering glasses from online? They aren’t as precise as a private retail optical would be. Sometimes that means more issues adjusting to the glasses, more eyestrain, or making your prescription worse and sometimes that means you aren’t seeing as well as you should be. Also, when you order those glasses online and give them measurements they are not likely to be in the proper placement as nobody is measuring with the frame on your face and fitting the frame where it should be prior to those measurements. Having a licensed optician fitting your glasses ensures that you pick a frame that fits properly, fits your face properly, and ensures that your prescription is made accurately as well as that all fitting measurements are exactly where they should be in that lens. Lenses and frames fitting properly with proper measurements = increased clarity and less eyestrain.

All the same things above apply to sunglasses as well and some even more so. Sunglasses can be even worse for your eyes if you are not buying a good quality pair. Why? When you put dark glasses of any kind over your eyes your pupils (the black parts of the eyes) adjust by getting larger to allow more light to come into the eyes so that you can focus better. If you are using poor quality sunglasses your pupil is allowing more bad wavelengths of light in that can damage the eyes. Good quality sunglasses do more than just provide 100% UV protection – they also protect your eyes from violet and blue light wavelengths of light – the kinds that can also cause damage.

Moral of the story? When it comes to online glasses and large retailers – you get what you pay for. A private retailer and a licensed optician will be able to help you pick the perfect frames and lenses for your needs and give you the comfort and clarity you deserve. Your eyes will thank you.

5 Mistakes You Are Making With Your Eyes

  1. Rubbing your eyes
    • Rubbing increases the risk of scratching your cornea and/or rubbing in deeper anything that could be bothering your eyes.  Rubbing will also make itching worse and it also increases your risk for corneal issues such as keratoconus.  I’ll also add that rubbing can increase dark circles and wrinkles around your eyes and who wants either!?
  2. Not removing your makeup at the end of the day
    • This is one of the biggest issues I see with patients.  Leaving your makeup on increases your risk of redness and infection.  It can also lead to breakouts and collagen breakdown which will lead to more wrinkles.  People who don’t regularly remove make up also have shorter and less eye lashes as it makes your lashes more brittle and prone to breakage.
  3. Not wearing quality sunglasses
    • When you put dark glasses of any kind over your eyes, your pupils (the black parts of the eyes) adjust by growing larger to allow more light to come into the eyes to provide better focus.  The trick is to allow the correct wavelengths of light through while keeping the bad wavelengths out.  If you are using poor quality sunglasses, the lenses are not made to keep out the bad wavelengths and your pupil is now allowing more bad wavelengths of light to enter which can damage the eyes.  Good quality sunglasses do more than just provide 100% UV protection – they also protect your eyes from violet and blue light wavelengths which can cause damage.
  4. Not changing your contacts on a regular basis
    • Do I really need to say this is bad for your eyes?  Contact lenses are only manufactured to be worn for the amount of time prescribed.  Going over that time increases your risk for infection and decreases clarity of vision because the lenses will and do break down.
  5. Not taking your vitamins
    • Vitamins are not only great for your overall health, but they are also beneficial for your vision.  Fish oil is great for dry and irritated eyes.  Carotenoids reduce oxidative stress on the retina and protect your eyes from blue light damage.  They also reduce the risk for developing macular degeneration.  Vitamin C can help slow down cataract progression, aid corneal healing, and can help reduce the risk of developing macular degeneration.  A good quality multi-vitamin will contain the correct levels of carotenoids and Vitamin C necessary for good eye health.  If you are curious as to whether or not fish oil or other vitamins are right for you, talk to your eye care provider or make an appointment to discuss.


Here at Sheehy Opticians we love all things eyes so we are happy to share our love with you through our new website and blog! You can look forward to seeing our newest frames and sunglasses, our favorite eye related products, updates on our newest technology as well as all things eye and vision related. If there is anything you would like to see just let us know. Hope you enjoy!