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For Your Eyes Only Optometry is located in the heart of the Castro, at 552 Castro Street, between 18th and 19th streets. Look for our brown awning in the middle of the block, which leads you upstairs to the 2nd floor.

552 Castro Street, San Francisco, CA 94114
Call (415) 626-0858 or schedule an eye exam online.

Offering the best eye care in a fun, friendly environment


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Named to Legacy Business Registry

For Your Eyes Only was recently awarded with the city’s Legacy Business designation. This recognizes longstanding, community serving businesses that have established themselves in area neighborhoods for at least 3 decades.

Read all the details in Hoodline

Why Carrots are a Recipe for Healthy Eyes

You may have been told that carrots help you see better, but is it the truth? Eye doctors say that regardless of how many carrots you eat, they can't prevent you from needing eye glasses. However, they are rich in beta-carotene, a vitamin that is beneficial for your eye health and therefore consuming foods rich in beta-carotene is definitely advised for proper eye health.

Beta-carotene is a carotenoid, or orange pigment that changes into vitamin A once absorbed in the human body. Vitamin A strengthens the surface of the eye (cornea) and has been shown to prevent a number of eye diseases such as macular degeneration. Vitamin A, which is composed of a number of antioxidants, guards the cornea to reduce the frequency of ocular infections as well as other infectious illnesses. Vitamin A has also shown to be a successful treatment for dry eye syndrome as well as other eye conditions. A lack of this important vitamin (which tends to be more likely in poor and developing countries) often causes night blindness, corneal ulcers and retinal damage which can lead to total blindness.

There are two variations of vitamin A, which relate to the nutritional source they come from. Vitamin A originating from an animal is called Retinol and can be obtained from foods such as beef, liver, whole milk or cheese. Vitamin A that is fruit and vegetable-derived exists in the form of ''provitamin A'' carotenoids, which convert to retinol after the food is absorbed. In addition to carrots, carotenoids are ingested when eating colorful fruits and vegetables such as oranges, sweet potatoes, spinach, kale and cantaloupes.

It is proven that through most forms, vitamin A contributes to the health of your eyes as well as your total well being. Although carrots themselves won't correct near or far-sightedness, grandma had it right when she advised ''finish your carrots.''

Young Adults and Contact Lenses

No teenager wants to be caught in something that makes them stand out, and in the case of some teens, glasses sometimes seem that way. Just the thought of ''four eyes'' can make a teen panic. As opposed to eyeglasses, kids and teens that switch to lenses report a significant enhancement in their appearance, reports a recently released study. The study report demonstrates that starting at the age of eight, kids may prefer being offered the option of lenses. Results were reported in the November issue of Eye & Contact Lens, the official publication of the Contact Lens Association.

What is it about contacts that teens like? Young adults are easily embarrassed, and they often feel better about themselves when they're not sporting a pair of glasses. Contact lenses may increase teens' self-esteem by providing them a less visible option for their vision needs.

While teens are frequently fitted with contact lenses, children younger than 13 are usually not given the choice of lenses, because eye care providers and parents don't believe that children have the proper maturity to care for them properly. In truth, with the right guidance, even at age eight, children are just as competent at wearing and caring for contacts and they should be given the choice.

Generally before your child buys contacts you should consult your optometrist to discuss any potential issues your child might encounter. Our San Francisco optometry practice can help you in determining the right prescription for your young adult's contacts.

If your child or adolescent is in need of vision correction, why not try contacts? Through just a simple contact lens, you can boost your teen's self-esteem. With the large array of contacts available, you and your eye doctor can work with your child to determine what modality is most suitable for their personality, maturity and lifestyle.

Do You Know the Dangers of Ultraviolet Light to Your Eyes?


Due to measures to inform the public of the dangers of Ultraviolet (UV) light to your skin, (including sunburn and skin cancer), most know about the importance of using UV blocking sunscreen and avoiding direct contact with the sun when spending time in the sun. What is less known is that UV and other types of radiation from the sun can also cause severe damage to your eyes.

If you tend to go out without proper eye protection, think about this: Extended contact with the sun's ultraviolet rays has been linked to eye damage.

Risks of UV Eye Exposure

Excessive UV exposure over a short interval can cause a ''sunburn of the eye'', which results in pain, blurry vision or even temporary vision loss. In the long run, UV exposure can lead to more serious eye diseases such as cataracts, macular degeneration, and others, which can cause vision loss. Just like the real sun, tanning beds pose a serious threat of overexposure to UV.

Selecting UV Protective Sunglasses

To shield your eyes from dangerous UV rays, sunglasses should keep out 100 percent of UV light. Look for sunglasses labeled ''UV 400'', which indicates that they block both UVA and UVB rays from entering your eyes (400 refers to the wavelength of light in nanometers).

The size of your sunglasses is also important. Sunglasses with side protection can prevent dangerous ultraviolet light from entering from the sides and back of the frame.

It's not necessary to empty your pockets to have sufficient UV defense, but it's essential to be certain the sunglasses give full UV defense. More and more manufacturers recognize the importance of offering proper UV defense. The great news is that in addition to guarding your eyes from the harmful sunlight, stylish sunglasses are in style, so find something you love and have fun in the sun!

Jackie O-VanGogh Collage Art

Jackie Art


John Beauparlant, a talented local Castro artist, is showing some of his Jackie-VanGogh collage artwork exclusively at For Your Eyes Only.  We are celebrating Jackie and her fabulous sunglasses!  Stop by soon to take a look.


The In’s and Out’s of Contact Lens Care


Contact lenses require careful handling to be considered a safe and feasible option for individuals requiring corrective eye wear. Improper care can lead to damaged lenses, or even worse, eye infections or abrasions, which occasionally can lead to blindness. Children and adults that are not capable of properly taking care of their contact lenses probably want to seek an alternative option for corrective eye wear.

Not to worry, though… proper lens care is easier than it may seem. With ''multipurpose'' solutions and disposable contacts, taking care of your contacts is cheaper, takes less time and involves less effort than before. Still, there are some essential instructions to be aware of.

First of all it is recommended to speak to your optometrist to get personalized advice. In addition, make sure you don't change your care routine without asking your optician first. Certain solutions are not compatible with each other or with specific lenses and can damage your eyes. Our experienced staff can help you decide on the right treatment for your lenses.

All contact lens experts recommend cleaning and disinfecting your contacts daily. Make sure to wash your hands prior to inserting or removing your contacts. Your eyes can be among the quickest routes for dirt and germs to reach your body. Further, don't make the error of using saline for cleaning or disinfecting your contacts. Saline is only suitable for storing purposes, not cleaning. In addition, be careful to disinfect your case with disinfecting solution frequently and to keep it open and dry between uses. Eye Doctors advise that you switch your case at least every few months.

It's true that there may be an assortment of lens care options, but with a little knowledge you can be sure you are treating your lenses correctly, ensuring healthier eyes and clearer vision!

All You May Not Know About Gas Permeable Lenses


While soft contact lenses are more common, another lesser-known type of contact lenses exists: gas permeable (GP) lenses, sometimes referred to oxygen permeable lenses.

In truth, RGP lenses are a newer technology than soft lenses, which last longer, allow finer vision quality, and provide increased resilience. Additionally GP lenses may also be cheaper in the long term than soft lenses. Of course, you need to first consult with your optometrist to determine if GPs suit your lifestyle. Our optometry practice can help you figure out if you'd be a fit for hard lenses.

Because an RGP is made of inflexible material, it retains its form well when you blink, which tends to allow for sharper vision than the typical soft lens. Additionally RGPs are extremely durable. Although they can break if stepped on, they don’t easily rip like soft lenses. Also, because they consist of substances that don't contain water, proteins and lipids from your tears won't stick to GPs as readily as they do to soft lenses. Those of you who are extra fussy about vision quality will probably opt for RGPs.

On the downside, RGPs need to be worn regularly in order to reach maximum comfort. Further, some people experience “spectacle blur” with hard lenses, which is when eyesight is blurry when contact lenses are removed even while still wearing glasses. Although the effect is only temporary, it can demand full-time GP wear.

If you're checking out hard lenses, be sure to first ask your eye doctor to ascertain if you truly are a suitable candidate. Who knows…hard lenses might be the right answer for you!

Protecting Your Eyes During Allergy Season

If you are experiencing red eyes, itchy eyes or watery eyes it could be due to spring eye allergies. For some, March begins pollen season, which means uncomfortable symptoms such as red eyes, itchy eyes, stinging, burning and watery eyes. Seasonal eye allergies are caused by an influx of tree and flower pollen into the air and can result in a severe impact on everyday functioning for those that suffer from them.

What can you do to protect your eyes this pollen season? If at all feasible, try to reduce exposure to allergens which means remaining indoors, in particular when the pollen count is high. Keeping windows closed, using air conditioning and wearing full-coverage shades when exposed to the elements can also help to protect your eyes from irritants in the atmosphere. A HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filter can be used cleanse irritants from the air inside your home or office.

Nevertheless, for the majority of us that must go outside, there are medicines that can reduce symptoms such as itchy eyes, red eyes or watery eyes. It's possible that a simple over-the-counter eye drop is all that's needed to soothe and alleviate itchy eyes or red eyes and flush out allergens. Medicines with antihistamines, decongestants or mast cell stabilizers can alleviate irritation of the eyes and treat non-eye related symptoms such as stuffed or runny nose and sneezing. Eye drops often work better than pills or liquid medications to alleviate eye symptoms.

Approximately 20% of the U.S. population, or 54 million people are affected by allergies, almost half of which are allergic eye disease. Eye allergies are often hereditary and result from an over-sensitivity to an irritant that has entered the eye regardless of whether it is harmful. The eye releases histamines and other immune mediators which result in excessive tears, itching, burning, redness and irritation.

One of the most important things to remember is, don’t rub red, itchy eyes. This will only exacerbate the irritation. Since some of the effective medications do need a prescription, if over-the-counter solutions are not working for you, see your eye doctor.

Is it Advised to Purchase Eyeglasses on the Web?

Though most people are accustomed to shopping for anything and everything on the Web, eyeglasses are one item that should be cautiously reviewed before you click that buy button. Why? Although Internet stores often promote cheap prices, the advantages of purchasing glasses at an optical store far overshadow the ''deals'' you might find on the Web.

A persuasive reason for buying eyeglasses at an optical boutique rather than online is that you have an experienced optician to guide you in your selection. Our opticians can advise you in the many variables you need to consider in selecting a eyeglasses. If you shop through the Internet, you miss out on the personalized input of a professional optician.

Above and beyond the guidance you will find at a physical eye wear boutique, another advantage you have is that you get to try on the eye wear prior to purchasing. Glasses that don't sit right can cause pain and frustration and may also affect your ability to see properly. Also, you don't get to see how they really look or feel until you have them in your hands to try on. Even more than your wardrobe, glasses require proper fit and comfort to work effectively.

Beyond the comfort and alignment of your glasses, proper vision demands correct Pupillary Distance calculation. The optical center of your lenses gives you the truest vision, so it's crucial to accurately calculate the pupillary distance, or PD. It can be complicated to measure your own PD, but without it, your lenses won't be aligned correctly within the frames.

True, Web-based buying can be good for other types of purchases, but in the case of glasses your best bet is staying with your local optometric center where you can benefit from the staff expertise and advice.

Dry Eyes Getting To You? Tips on Keeping Your Eyes Hydrated This Cold Season

Even though many people think of winter as the rainy season due to the precipitation, the atmosphere is actually a lot dryer in the winter, which can cause your eyes to become more sensitive.

Our eye care staff can assist you in choosing the best options to hydrate your eyes this winter. While you are indoors you can prevent dryness by using a humidifier. Optometrists advocate the use of humidifiers in rooms with forced air heating, which can take away moisture from the air.

In addition, it's wise to take extra protective measures once you're going outside into the cold air. You can further protect your eyes from the wind and cold by putting on a brimmed hat and wearing sunglasses. It is important to protect your eyes from the whipping winds to keep them from drying out your eyes.

If your symptoms become unbearable you may want to consider artificial tears which may help manage the uncomfortable symptoms of dry eyes. Speak to your optometrist prior to starting to use eye drops to confirm that they are the right solution for your condition.

Don't forget that if you wear contacts it's important to be particularly cautious in the winter. When possible, use rewetting drops frequently. Lenses are dependent on moisture and are required to remain lubricated to maintain their shape. If they begin to dry out, the lenses can lose their form and stick to the eyeball, which causes discomfort and blurriness. So do your eyes a favor and keep them moisturized this winter. With a little knowledge and preparation, you can stay clear of the hazards of the harsh elements and keep your eyes safe and cozy throughout the season!