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Many people are cheered by a bright, sunny day, but the effect of all that sunlight on the eyes is a less sunny proposition. UV and glare can create a variety of issues, from dangerous "snowblindness" to irreversible disorders that threaten your eyesight. Here are some frequently asked questions about the role of sunglasses in protecting the eyes from harm. If you want to know more about choosing the right sunglasses, call Dr. Wallace at 713-640-2020 today.

What are UV rays? UV stands for ultraviolet, a band of spectrum invisible to the eye. Ultraviolet light consists of UVA, UVB, and UVC rays. UVC rays are stopped in Earth's atmosphere before they reach the eye, but UVA and UVB can both reach the eye and potentially damage it.

How does UV affect unprotected eyes? UV rays can cause proteins inside the lens to become opaque or cloudy, a condition known as cataracts. Cataracts can make interfere with night vision, reduce your ability to see colors, and make reading difficult; they cannot be reversed, only removed. UV exposure can also cause retinal damage, changes in the eye tissues, and a temporary but irritating "sunburn" of the cornea called photokeratitis.

How do I know my glasses will protect my eyes? Choose glasses that claim to block at least 99 percent of UV rays -- UVA as well as UVB. Look for label reading "UV 400," since this designation means that the glasses block UV rays as small as 400 nanometers, providing 100 percent eye protection. Of course you need to protect your eyes from the glare caused by the visible spectrum as well. To accomplish this, select products that block 75 to 90 percent of visible light.

What are polarized lenses? Polarized lenses are specially designed to filter out certain types of glare that tend to radiate upward from horizontal surfaces when sunlight bounces off of these surfaces. They are recommended for tasks such as boating, fishing, skiing, golfing, jogging, and driving. Most polarized lenses will bear a label identifying them as such.

What types of glasses can I choose from? We are able to provide you with a wide range of sunglass options. If you normally wear glasses to correct your eyesight, you may be happy with a non-prescription pair of clip-ons or wraparound glasses that simply fit over your lenses. If you'd rather not wear that much equipment on your head all at once, you can order a pair of prescription "shades," or you can order glasses that darken when exposed to bright light.

What additional types of protection should I consider? If you worry about light, including harmful UV, leaking in through sides or top of your sunglasses, wear a broad-brimmed hat to reduce some of this exposure. If you use prescription eyewear to correct your eyesight, you may also want to think about getting a pair of UV-blocking contact lenses in your prescription. These lenses may be worn alongside a non-prescription pair of sunglasses for optimum eye protection.

For more information on choosing the right sunglasses, contact our office today.

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Dr. Crosby Wallace  received his Bachelor of Science in Medical Technology from The University of Texas, Masters Degree in Public Health from The University Of Texas and also received his Doctor of Optometry degree from the University of Houston College of Optometry. Dr Wallace is licensed as an Optometrist / Glaucoma Specialist by the Texas Board Of Optometry. 

Dr Wallace was an Optometry intern the United States Navy where he received a letter of Commendation for outstanding performance of duty from the Commanding Officer, Naval Medical Clinic. 

"You consistently demonstrated outstanding clinical skills and knowledge as assisted in the care and treatment of military beneficiaries. Your devotion to your profession and your patients was demonstrated through numerous patient expressions of satisfaction with the thoroughness and quality of care you rendered. It gives me great pleasure to extend my sincere appreciation for a job "well done" and wish you continued success in all your future endeavors". - R L Finke, Captain, Medical Service Corps, United States Navy

Dr. Tihomira Petkova is a therapeutic optometrist and optometric glaucoma specialist practicing in Humble, Texas

Dr.PetkovaDr. Tihomira Petkova received her Doctor of Optometry and Doctor of Philosophy degrees from the University of Houston College of Optometry in 2012. She gained extensive experience in the diagnoses and treatment of ocular diseases during her externships and practice at the University Eye Institute, Good Neighbor Clinic and La Nueva Casa de Amigos Health Center and practicing at TSO. Dr. Petkova is certified by the National Board of Examiners in Optometry and the Texas state Optometry Board. As a therapeutic optometrist she is actively involved with the management of dry eyes, ocular infections and allergies. She is also an optometric glaucoma specialist who has gained most of her clinical experience in Houston while diagnosing and managing diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, and age related macular degeneration. She also co- manages LASIK and Cataract surgery patients with local ophthalmologists.
As a scientist Dr. Petkova seeks to understand the molecular mechanisms involved in retinal development and optic nerve regeneration and has completed post-doctoral fellowships at Weill Cornell Medical College and Baylor Medical College. She has presented her work at multiple international research conferences and is a published author of research articles and a book chapter. For her contributions to vision research Dr. Petkova has received multiple rewards amongst which most notably are the American Optometric Foundation Ezel Fellowship and Fight for Sight Foundation Fellowship.
Dr. Petkova’s primary focus in patient care is is always clear communication with each patient and providing comprehensive eye care to patients of all ages.
Dr. Petkova lives in Houston with her husband and daughter she is an avid cyclist, an amateur artesian bread baker and a supporter of the Houston Grand Opera and the Houston Symphony. She is fluent in Bulgarian, proficient in Russian and has knowledge of medical Spanish

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