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3 Reasons To Wear Prescription Sunglasses

Designer Frames & Sunglasses at Bridger Eyecare

Designer Frames & Sunglasses at Bridger Eyecare

Sunglasses offer clear, comfortable vision while also protecting your eyes from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet light — which is a known risk factor for developing cataracts, macular degeneration, and other sight-threatening eye conditions. That’s why it’s important to always wear sunglasses whenever outdoors.

If you don’t already own a pair of prescription sunglasses, below we’ll explore 3 compelling reasons to pick up a pair from your local optometrist in Bozeman.

They’re Convenient

When you have a pair of prescription sunglasses, protecting your eyes while outdoors becomes a no-brainer.

Even those who wear contact lenses can benefit from owning a pair of prescription sunglasses for days when you just want to give your eyes a break from lenses.

They’re Customizable

Ask your eye doctor about how to personalize your prescription sunglasses to suit your needs.

Whether you prefer anti-reflective coatings, polarization, or other optical upgrades — your pair of prescription sunnies can be tailor-made for your eyes.

You can even order a pair of bifocal or multifocal sunglasses if you require more than one prescription.

They Offer Better Protection

When you order a pair of prescription sunglasses from your local optometrist, you can be sure you’re getting superior quality.

Sunglasses should always offer 100% UVA and UVB protection, but the fact is that many sunglasses available from other vendors don’t always provide that level of protection. And don’t be fooled by “UV blocking” stickers on the lenses — “UV blocking” is not the same as “100% UV protection”.

At Bridger Eyecare in Bozeman, we carry a wide range of fashionable, high-quality, protective sunglasses that will keep your eyes feeling and looking their best.

For all of your optical needs, we’re here for you. Call us today to learn more or schedule your appointment.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Why is it important to wear sunglasses?

  • A: It’s important to wear sunglasses all year round. Prolonged exposure to harmful UV light has been known to cause a handful of sight-threatening diseases like cataracts, macular degeneration, and photokeratitis. Sunglasses also shield your eyes from harsh winds that carry debris and irritating allergens.

Q: Why should I buy eyewear from a local optometrist rather than online?

  • A: Whether you’re buying glasses, contact lenses, or sunglasses, it’s best to order them directly from your eye doctor rather than an online source. Online eyewear is more prone to manufacturing errors that can cause visual discomfort and even damage your eyes. When you buy from a local optometrist you get personal care and attention and can bring in your eyewear for adjustments and repairs.

Quality Frames For Prescription Eyeglasses & Computer Glasses. Visit Bridger Eyecare for an eye exam and eyeglasses that match your style.

Refs & Inspo

What Are The Main Causes Of Blindness?

Eye Exams and Vision Care at Bridger Eyecare

Eye Exams and Vision Care at Bridger Eyecare

About 39 million people around the world currently live without sight.

Why so many? What causes it?

There are several reasons people become blind, which we will delve into below. Hopefully, by spreading awareness about the causes of blindness and ways to prevent it, Bridger Eyecare in Bozeman will help people like you preserve their vision for a lifetime. Call today to schedule your eye exam.

Top Causes of Blindness

1. Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)

This eye disease is the leading cause of near-vision impairment in people over the age of 50. Patients living with AMD often lose part or all of their central vision, making it hard to perform daily tasks like driving, recognizing faces, and watching television.

2. Cataracts

A cataract occurs when the eye’s natural lens begins to cloud. While most people associate cataracts with advanced age, they can actually occur at any point in a person’s life, and for a variety of reasons. Risk factors for cataracts include genetics, age, radiation, trauma, and certain medications.

An estimated 17% of North Americans above the age of 40 have cataracts. Fortunately, they are easily removed through surgery. Left untreated, cataracts can eventually lead to blindness.

3. Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases caused by increased ocular pressure. The two most common forms are open-angle glaucoma and closed- angle glaucoma. Open-angle is more common and typically progresses silently over a long period of time. Closed-angle glaucoma is a more painful and acute form of the disease. All forms of glaucoma can eventually lead to blindness.

Early detection and treatment are key in preventing vision loss from glaucoma.

4. Diabetic Retinopathy (DR)

DR is a complication of diabetes that occurs when excess sugar in the blood damages the retina’s blood vessels. There are 4 stages of DR, with the first stages rarely presenting noticeable symptoms. In many cases the condition can be managed and treated by your eye doctor, especially if caught early on.

Regular dilated eye exams are crucial for patients with diabetes, as it helps ensure the earliest possible detection of DR.

Frequently Asked Questions About Vision Care

Q: What does it mean to be ‘legally blind’?

  • A: People often assume those who are blind are unable to see anything. The truth is that to be considered legally blind, a person’s eyesight must be 20/200 — in other words, you’d need to stand 20 feet away from an object that one with healthy vision could see at a distance of 200 feet away. Furthermore, those who are legally blind cannot correct their vision with glasses or contact lenses.

Q: Can blindness be reversed?

  • A: Certain types of blindness are reversible. In cases of cataracts, corneal diseases, wet AMD and some instances of diabetic retinopathy, surgery, injections, and other treatments can return at least some sight to an individual who has experienced vision loss. On the other hand, diseases like glaucoma, retinitis pigmentosa, and dry age-related macular degeneration can cause irreversible vision loss.

Quality Frames For Prescription Glasses & Computer Glasses

As you may have noticed, the underlying theme in preventing all of these sight-threatening conditions is early detection. By undergoing yearly comprehensive eye exams, you stand a higher chance of keeping your eyes and vision healthy for the long term.

To schedule your annual comprehensive eye exam, call Bridger Eyecare in Bozeman today.


5 Sunglasses Trends Worth Knowing

Designer Sunglasses at Bridger Eyecare

Designer Sunglasses at Bridger Eyecare

Sunglasses have been a fashion accessory for decades, so it’s no wonder that favorite styles frequently make a comeback, while others remain popular year after year. So what’s changed? The realization that sunglasses aren’t just a fashion statement. They also protect your eyes from the sun’s harmful rays.

At Bridger Eyecare in Bozeman we can offer you cool stylish looks while protecting your eyes with our large selection of designer sunglasses.

We’ve listed 5 sunglasses trends to keep in mind when shopping for your new pair of shades.

1. Oversized Lenses

Oversized designer sunglasses are not only a must-have accessory. They’re also highly functional. Larger frames and lenses help block more sunlight from your eyes. Oversized sunglasses also come in polarized and nonpolarized lenses, so you can see better and more clearly while still looking great.

2. Colorful Shades

If you already have a large collection of sunglasses, sunglasses with colorful lenses can be an inspired addition, both fashion-wise and functionally. Each tint provides different benefits to suit your lifestyle. For example, to improve depth perception choose a brown/amber or red tint. Red and yellow tints reduce eye strain. Gray-tinted lenses reduce glare on both sunny and cloudy days.

3. Aviator Sunglasses

There’s a reason that aviator glasses are a staple. They go with everything. Aviator sunglasses protect your eyes while also giving you a sporty, fashionable edge. To add some fun, check out aviator shades in pink, blue, or classic grey.

4. Round Sunglasses

Round sunglasses, which were immortalized by John Lennon, are always trending. They’re especially flattering to people with a round, square or heart-shaped face.

5. Mirrored Lenses

Mirrored lenses are not only stylish but provide a reflective optical coating. From the outside, the coating looks like a mirror and has a reflective surface that reflects a clear image. However, the mirror doesn’t pass on the inside of the lens. Mirrored lenses offer several advantages: they help with glare, making it more comfortable to drive; they keep light from getting into your lenses; they improve how well you see colors, and they protect your eyes from UV rays. They’re a sleek fashion accessory that enhances any outfit.

No matter what style you go for, remember it’s also about protection. The sun gives off strong UV rays, so it’s just as important to protect your eyes while looking cool and stylish. Visit us to see our large variety of designer sunglasses and get the look you’ve always wanted.

Frequently Asked Questions About Sunglasses

Q: Should I wear sunglasses during the winter?

  • A: Absolutely! Ultra-violet (UV) rays are present and harmful whether it’s cloudy out or sunny! While we all know that UV rays can cause damage to the skin, UV exposure can also cause damage to several important parts of the eyes and can lead to problems such as early-onset cataracts and macular degeneration later in life.

Q: How do I know which sunwear lenses absorb UV rays the most?

  • A: Generally, most sunwear lenses will absorb UV lenses to some degree. Lenses that are marked CR-39R plastic, absorb about 88 percent of UV light. If sunglasses contain polycarbonate lenses, UV absorption will be 100 percent.

What You Need to Know About Glaucoma – The Sneak Thief of Sight

January is National Glaucoma Awareness Month.

What is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma, a silent eye disease, is the most common form of irreversible blindness in the world. It is actually a group of diseases that causes progressive damage to the optic nerve.

  • Glaucoma is a progressive eye disease that can lead to permanent vision loss if not controlled.
  • There is currently no cure for glaucoma, but there are many treatments available for stopping and slowing the progressive damage to the eye. Treatment, however, can’t reverse damage that is already done.
  • Glaucoma affects the optic nerve which sends visual information from your eye to your brain.
  • Glaucoma is called the “Thief Sneak of Sight” because there are often no symptoms in the early stages such as pain or “pressure sensation” as one may expect, and by the time it is diagnosed there may already be permanent vision loss.
  • When vision loss occurs, peripheral vision is typically affected before central vision. As a result, glaucoma is a major public health issue because individuals usually do not notice any problem with vision until end stages of the disease when there is severe and irreversible vision loss.
  • Awareness and regular eye exams are key to early detection and preventing vision loss.

What Causes Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is caused by a buildup of natural fluid that doesn’t drain properly from the eye. The buildup of fluid can result in high pressure in the eye which is the most common cause of the condition. There are many types of glaucoma, which include:

Chronic (open angle) glaucoma occurs when pressure builds up over time, usually as a result of aging. This is the most common type of glaucoma.

Acute (angle closure) glaucoma is an acute condition where pressure builds up suddenly and demands immediate medical attention. Symptoms include blurred vision, eye pain, headaches, seeing halos around lights, nausea and vomiting.

Secondary glaucoma results from another eye disease, condition or a trauma to the eye.

Normal tension glaucoma is when there is no build up of pressure but the optic nerve is still damaged. We are still not yet sure what causes this type of glaucoma.

Who is at Risk for Glaucoma?

Everyone is at risk of glaucoma however there are certain factors which increase the likelihood of developing the condition. Vision loss from glaucoma can be greatly reduced when detected and treated early which is why knowing your risk factors can play a tremendous role in prevention.


Age is one of the biggest risk factors, as your chances of developing glaucoma increase significantly after the age of 40. In fact people over 60 years old are six times more likely to get the condition.

Ancestry and Family History

Individuals from African American, Hispanic, Asian and Native American or Aboriginal Canadian descent are at increased risk. Family history is a very strong factor as the condition occurs twice as much in people with close relatives who have had glaucoma.

Previous Eye Injury, Traumas or Surgery

Eye injuries, traumas or surgeries have been known to sometimes cause secondary glaucoma which can happen immediately after the injury or procedure, or even years later. Even childhood injuries can result in secondary glaucoma later in life.

Use of Steroids

Studies show that prolonged steroid use is linked to increased elevated intraocular pressure which increases the risk of open-angle glaucoma.

Certain medical and eye conditions such as diabetes, hypertension and high myopia (nearsightedness) also increase a person’s risk of developing glaucoma.

Glaucoma Treatment

While there is no cure for glaucoma, there are treatments to slow down the progression of the disease including eye drop medications, iridotomies, iridectomies, laser procedures and surgeries.

Glaucoma Prevention

Other than taking care of any underlying conditions that may increase the risk of developing glaucoma, there is little one can do in the way of prevention. You can however reduce your chances of suffering vision loss. The first step is knowing the risk factors and signs of the condition (even though as mentioned most cases have no symptoms in the early stages, until vision is already lost).

The best possible way to prevent vision loss is to have regular comprehensive eye exams to check the health of your eyes and if your eye doctors prescribes medication for glaucoma, make sure to diligently take them as directed. Your eye doctor will be able to conduct certain tests to detect eye diseases such as glaucoma before you even begin to notice symptoms. If you have any of the risk factors above, mention it to your eye doctor, and always be sure to schedule a yearly eye exam, or as often as your eye doctor recommends, to check the health of your eyes and rule out any underlying or developing eye conditions like glaucoma.

Choosing the Best Polarized sunglasses for Fishing in Bozeman, MT

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Polarized lenses with amber tints

How do you choose the best sunglasses for fishing in Bozeman MT

Polarized sunglasses are essential for fishermen, and understand how various tints & colors can go a long way. Eye protection is a no-brainer when staring at water as glare can cause lead to UV ray damage and can blind you without the right pair of sunglasses. However, for advanced fishermen, choosing sunglasses with the right color or tint can help you see fish in the water, differentiate colors, movable targets, and stumps to improve your rate of success.

Sunglasses Lenses and Sunlight

Sunny, bright days often are the culprits behind loads of glare. Choosing grey or smoke tint lenses can easily block out the brightness, reduce glare, and bring out amazing contrast while by a lake or fishing pond. Although some might find smoke lenses to be hard to see through, even a cloud lens or yellow lens can be a great alternative.

On days with less sunlight like low-lit, cloudy days, amber or yellow tint lenses enhance bright objects underwater. For people who love bass, bed fishing is a common activity during spring and amber or yellow lenses will really help. If you face even rain or like to fish later in the day, lenses with these tints work well towards the end of the day.

Even with helpful tips when choosing polarized sunglasses, simply testing out a pair of sunglasses can really show you a lot more about your vision.

Visit our practice today for your next eye exam & find out more about ensuring good eye health & improving your fishing activities.

Are Sunglasses Part of your Spring Sports?

Natives of Bozeman Montana know when the snow & ice melt that the time has come to prepare for the next season. Store all the skiing and snowboarding gear and prepare for warmer sports. Whether you’re checking over your old hiking gear, planning out your kayaking routes, or investing in a new fishing rod, many have their sights set on their favorite hobbies. However, spring means a lot of UV radiation, so don’t forget to prepare for the sunshine.

As much as rock climbers protect their hands with flexible, climbing gloves, and hikers find the sturdiest, most durable pair of boots, polarized sunglasses protect your eyesight. UV rays can increase the risk of ocular diseases just by being outside for 15 minutes. Sunglasses are one of the most overlooked methods of protecting your health. While women tend to sport sunglasses for their fashion, men generally avoid investing in a pair of polarized sunglasses. We recommend that if you’re an active, outdoorsman who enjoys being in the sun, speak with our eye doctor. During an eye exam, you can learn about the many benefits polarized sunglasses offer.

Sunglasses with polarization can:

  • Block glare
  • Improve visibility
  • Increase reaction time
  • Reduce dryness
  • Reduce sunburns around or on the eyes
  • Block out UVA and UVB radiation

If you’re looking for sports equipment this year, come to Bridger Eye care to learn about polarized sunglasses and how they can best enhance your summer activities.

Snowboarders & Skiers, Consider Contact Lenses

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Any native to Bozeman knows about the amazing ski resorts like the Bridger Bowl Ski Area. Hundreds of acres of snow prepared and maintained for your skiing and snowboarding pleasure. However, what many ski instructors have come to realize is that skiing or snowboarding involves lots and lots of sun, and when you have sun, you face sunburns, dryness, and more importantly, UV radiation. Aside from glare that could blind you on your way, for skiing a run successfully, one should wear proper eyewear and UV protection.

At Bridger Eyecare, our doctor and opticians advise patients to utilize a pair of polarized sunglasses with UVA & UVB protection. Even for those serious skiers who wear specialized goggles, investing in the right type of contact lenses can make a big difference as well. Wearing a pair of goggles for hours at a time can be tough on the eyes, and the worst timing for a difficult contact lens is while you’re nearly about to start a run.

Therefore, any skier or snowboarder should consider investing in daily contact lenses that offer a clean, fresh pair that can retain your eyes’ moisture and clarity for the entire day. Plus, many contacts include UV protection as well to ensure your vision stays healthy & avoid burned corneas or ocular disease later down the line. While prescription goggles can be an alternative, contact lenses are cheaper in the long run and a prescription change is far more accessible than buying a new pair of prescription goggles.

For more information how to take care of your eye health while enjoying your favorite winter sport, call our office today.

Skiing Eyewear

bridger-skiSkiing Eyewear

Proper eyewear is an absolute essential when equipping yourself for a fun and safe time on the ski slopes. A number of design and lens options exist in ski eyewear today. Below, the key aspects of ski eyewear design and function are discussed to help you understand more about this all important piece of skiing equipment.

Design and Materials

Although there are smaller versions on the market, Ski goggles are generally designed to protect both your face and eyes, making most ski goggles large enough to cover much of your face. Whatever the size, ski goggles are made to fit around your eyes in such a way that they will not let in snow, ice or wind that might hinder your vision. These larger goggles are also usually held in place by means of a thick strap that holds the goggles in place.

Smaller designs of ski wear tend to look more like regular sunglasses, with side shields that may or may not be detachable, in order to keep out snow and ice. These designs often feature cable or wraparound legs to keep the goggles in place as you ski.


Ski goggles are often made of softer, more flexible materials than eyeglasses or sunglasses, with the most popular materials being nylon, rubber and propionate. This is because these materials tend not to become misshapen or brittle in the cold, as opposed to other materials such as plastic or glass. These materials are also much better at not injuring you if you should fall or hit something while skiing.

Usually, ski goggles are designed in one piece that may or may not be difficult to wear with glasses. Some ski goggles can easily accommodate a small pair of glasses underneath them, while others may be designed with inserts for prescription lenses that can be custom-made and placed between the goggle lens and your eyes.

Ski Goggle Lenses

Many ski goggles on the market today are fitted with lenses that are an orange-yellow hue, which helps enhance contrast, by blocking blue light. This enhanced contrast helps you see shapes, objects and bumps in the snow more clearly.

Skiing may also be one sport where “seeing the world through rose-colored lenses,” may be a great option! Rose is a great contrast-enhancing alternative to the usual orange-yellow hue.

The best lenses for skiers should provide 100% ultraviolet protection and anti-fogging features such as double lenses, anti-fog coating and wide vents. Nothing is more bothersome and potentially dangerous than skiing with fogged up skiing eyewear, which hinders your ability to see ice patches and obstacles in your way.

For more information, contact your eye doctor today!

Is Your Teen Ready for Contacts?

Many teens who wear glasses are eager to try out contact lenses for convenience, fashion or to just provide another option for vision correction. For teens who feel self-conscious in their glasses, contact lenses can be a way to improve self-esteem. Young athletes and swimmers find that contacts are an excellent option for sports, especially as younger kids are becoming involved in travel sports and club teams outside of school.

While contacts might appear to be the perfect solution for teens that need corrective eyewear, they are a convenience that comes with a lot of responsibility so it’s not a decision to take lightly. Improper use of contact lenses can cause severe discomfort, infections, irritation and, in the worst cases, eye damage or even permanent vision loss.

“With Privilege Comes Responsibility”

Contact lenses are a medical device and should always be treated as such. They should never be obtained without a valid contact lens prescription from an eye doctor, and always purchased from an authorized seller. Among other issues, poor fitting contact lenses bought from illegitimate sources have been known to cause micro-abrasions to the eyes that can increase the risk of eye infection and corneal ulcers in worst case scenarios.

Particularly when it comes to kids and teens, it is best to purchase contact lenses from an eye doctor as they possess the expertise to properly fit contact lenses based on the shape of the eye, the prescription, the lifestyle of the child and other factors that may influence the comfort, health and convenience of contact lens use.

There is some debate over the recommended age for kids to start considering contact lenses. While some experts will say the ideal age is between 11 and 14, there are many responsible children as young as 8 or even younger who have begun to successfully use them. When children are motivated and responsible, and parents are able to ensure follow-up to the daily regimen, earlier contact lens use can be a success. A good measure of whether your child is responsible enough to use contacts is whether they are able to keep their room clean, or maintain basic hygiene like brushing teeth regularly and effectively.

When you think your child might be ready, you should schedule an appointment with your eye doctor for a contact lens exam and fitting. The process will take a few visits to perform the exam, complete a training session on how to insert, remove and care for lenses, then to try out the lenses at home and finally reassess the comfort and fit of the contacts. You may try out a few varieties before you find the best fit.

What Kind of Contact Lens Is Best for My Teen?

The good news is that contact lens use has become easier than ever, with safety, health and convenience being more accessible as technology improves. There are a number of options including the material used to make the lenses (soft or rigid gas permeable), the replacement schedule (if disposable, how often you replace the pair – daily, weekly, biweekly or monthly) and the wear schedule (daily or extended overnight wear).

Single use, daily disposable lenses have become very popular, particularly with younger users, because they are easy to use, requiring no cleaning or storing, and therefore they reduce the risk of infection and misuse. You simply throw out the lenses at night and open a new one in the morning. Your eye doctor will be able to help you and your teen determine the best option.

Tips for Contact Lens Wearers

Following are some basic contact lens safety tips. If your teen is responsible enough to follow these guidelines, he or she may be ready for contact lens use:

  1. Always follow the wearing schedule prescribed by your doctor.
  2. Always wash your hands with soap before applying or removing contact lenses.
  3. Never use any substance other than contact lens rinse or solution to clean contacts (even tap water is a no-no).
  4. Never reuse contact lens solution
  5. Follow the eye doctor’s advice about swimming or showering in your lenses
  6. Always remove your lenses if they are bothering you or causing irritation.
  7. Never sleep in your lenses unless they are extended wear.
  8. Never use any contact lenses that were not acquired with a prescription at an authorized source. Never purchase cosmetic lenses without a prescription!

Contact lens use is an ongoing process. As a child grows, the lens fit may change as well, so it is important to have annual contact lens assessments. Plus, new technology is always being developed to improve comfort and quality of contact lenses.

Contact lenses are a wonderful invention but they must be used with proper care. Before you let your teen take the plunge into contact lens use, make sure you review the dangers and safety guidelines.

Eyewear For Rock climbing

eyewear for rock climbing bozeman mt

Expert rock climbers use eyewear that has compatible lenses and gives the best UV protection through polarized lenses. The lenses are usually made with a prescription so one’s visual perception stays clear. Regardless of whether you’re a normal hiker or the sort of individual who reaches the highest peaks, the assortment of eyewear accessible to keep your eyes healthy covers all ranges.

Most shades or UV protected lenses come in classifications or levels of darkness/tint. They begin from level 0 which has no tint or scarcely any whatsoever, up to level 4, which is the darkest available. The normal match of shades available is around level 3, which blocks out about 80% of visible light. This enhances stability for most exercises, for example, driving, strolling through a neighborhood trail, and just keeping your eyes shielded from a run of the mill, splendid sunny day.

Be that as it may, when you’re rock climbing and particularly when you’re vigorously engaged in the game, you require most likely level four class lenses, however you’ll need to ensure it’s reflective as well. As much as you can avoid the glare from hitting your eyes when you’re going after that unseen corner, the better you’ll have the capacity to focus and play your best.

Deciding which brand design is best depends on what style, spending plan, and kind of sport you prefer. In case you’re hoping to get a decent match of polarized glasses that you can wear all the time, you’ll find one at Bridger Eyecare for sure! At our Bozeman eye care center we stock designer brands of eyewear that cater to sports minded people.