5 Tips for Beader’s Eye Health

Oct 7, 2009
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When I started wearing my glasses full-time last year I thought I was going to go mad. I hated wearing them. Not only did I feel like I was instantly separated from the rest of my life by a glass wall, but the frames were always in my sights and they attracted so much dust, grime, and cat-kiss smears that everything seemed to be even fuzzier than it was without my glasses. I struggled back and forth, not wanting to wear them, but finally gave in.

 

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And then last week, as I was getting ready for bed, I did this! So, I guess I'm used to my glasses now. And thank goodness, because I'd sure have a hard time beading without them.

 

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Here are 5 reminders for Beader's Eye Health:

Always work in good light. You can invest in fancy full-spectrum lights to bead under, but they really aren't required. The key is to work in enough light that you aren't straining your eyes to see. Eye strain leads to poor eyesight–it's that simple (or at least that's what Mom used to say).

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Use a magnifier if necessary. If you find you're straining your eyes to bead, even in good light, use a magnifier. This can be as simple as a stand-up loupe that helps you see while you thread your needle, as mundane as a pair of "cheaters" from the grocery store, or as elaborate as a full-on magnifying visor. Again, these forms of magnification not only help with actually seeing the beads, they help reduce eye strain.

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  Get a change of scenery. While beading we're staring about 1½ feet in front of us for hours on end. What happens is our eyes begin to adjust to that length and become a bit sluggish about focusing on longer and/or shorter distances. The best thing to do is look up from your work every once in a while. Look at the ceiling or across the room every 15 minutes. Go outside and focus on something in the horizon. Count leaves at the top of a tree. Anything to get your eyes out of their bead-distance rut.
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Wear safety glasses. If you don't wear glasses already, please take the time to put on safety glasses when working with wire, metal, or other materials that might go flying. Cover your snipping with your hand or a piece of cloth as an extra precaution to keep pieces from flying at you--or someone else.
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Try Online and Video Classes. If you have a vision challenge, it can be difficult to learn new beading methods. If that's the case, try a video class. Many of these types of classes include large close-ups of techniques. You can hit pause at the place you're trying to figure out and take your own sweet time to visually soak it in.

 

My extra pairs of eyes are definitely part of me now, and they remind me daily (when I don't have them on, mostly), how important it is to take good care of my eyes. If you love beading, I hope you're taking care of your eyes, too.

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What else would you add to my list? Ever wash your face with your glasses on? Please share your thoughts here or on the Beading Daily forums.


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Comments

on Oct 7, 2009 1:47 PM
Hi Jean, I know exactly what you mean about the glasses I HATE THEM! But they're a necessary evil at this point in my life. I didn't know whether you noticed how clean they were after you washed your face (& your glasses) with soap or not :) HA-HA! Eyeglass cloths, cleaners, whatever...nothing gets them cleaner like plain old soap & water or even dishwashing detergent. That seems to clear the film like nothing else (except maybe rubbing alcohol)! Just wondered if you'd noticed :) Tricia FireSpirit Designs
on Oct 7, 2009 2:43 PM
Hi Jean - I never commented before, but as this is an issue that's been really plaguing me lately, I'm in! A couple of things I've noticed... first be sure you discuss with your eye doctor exactly WHERE you do your jewelry work, meaning how far away from your eye. I found that my reading glasses were TOO strong. I need what's called computer glasses - sad, huh? They're a percentage of your reading strength. Also, if you do use a magnifier, that too may change what you need in your glasses! If you find your hands banging into the magnifier lens, or that your work surface isn't far enough away, bingo - it's the way your glasses are working in concert WITH the magnifier. Depending on just what your vision issues are, you ~may~ be able to get away with ordinary (non-prescription) readers, 1x, 2x, etc, when using a magnifier. I've also found that a cold wet washcloth on the eyes for a few minutes every few hours is an amazing rejuvenation! One very important little thing that I found out the hard way... you still need safety glasses even if you wear glasses. Flying metal is very unkind to expensive lenses... it's MUCH cheaper to invest in the safety glasses than have to buy a new pair of prescription lenses!!!! Stefanie - The Stefanie Somers Collection
WendyH@49 wrote
on Oct 7, 2009 3:05 PM
Oh Jean, you made my day...again! I'm just about 6 months behind you on this whole wearing-glasses-full-time thing...which to be honest, has been more like wearing them less-than-25% of the time, since I hate it so much. I can totally relate, right down to the cat-kiss smears. This week I've been more frustrated and self-pitying than usual. So your humorous spin and suggestions couldn't have arrived at a better time. No new suggestions from me, but it's comforting to know that plenty of other beaders are facing the same issue, and that you're doing with such panache. Thanks! WendyH P.S. Meeting you in Portland (Peyote Buttons) was THE best part of BeadFest for me : )
on Oct 7, 2009 4:45 PM
As an eye care professional, I'll add: keep your glasses clean. Washing your face with your glasses on is not that far-fetched. Your glasses should be washed daily with mild soap (no lotion soap or "scrub" particles) Just lather them up between your hands, frame and all, rinse and shake (close the temples down and hold by the bridge) This makes the final wipe easier. Use a micro cloth or cut a cotton tee shirt swatch and reserve for your glasses. NOT tissue paper. A cloth wipe during the day should keep you "Beady Eyed"
on Oct 8, 2009 2:19 AM
Please show more things we can do with Lampwork Beads.
on Oct 8, 2009 9:21 AM
Thanks, Jean, glad to hear I'm not the only one who has those same problems. I have a small square of soft (tee shirt?) cloth I get wet in HOT water, put dish washing detergent on it and scrub the lenses, rinse in very hot water and they self dry very quickly. Some times I then rub them with the cloth that came with the glasses, in case I missed something. Hutzulka, I hadn't heard that before, but it makes sense to wash the frames too, especially with my oily skin; that should help reduce their slipping down all the time. Stan B.
on Oct 8, 2009 5:43 PM
Ah, yes, The eyes have it! I recently changed some dosages on my gabapentin (neurotin,sp?), and my optometrist said it may take a few weeks for my body to adjust, but that it should level out and my eyestrain problems go away. That did not happen, and since it was only a few months ago that I had my last exam, nothing else made sense untill I read ALL the stuff that came with my prescription, and lo and behold, it can cause vision changes, now to just keep my doc up on all that....Greatgrandlady
Fran Taylor wrote
on Jun 1, 2010 8:56 PM

Hi Jean!

I agree that wearing glasses for the first time can really be a challenge. I started wearing <a href="frechetteeye.com/products.html">Indianapolis eyeglasses</a> last year and wearing it had been a struggle. I'm not really used to wearing something that hinders my vision. But later on, I gave in because I realized that it can improve my vision. My local <a href="frechetteeye.com/about.html">optometrist (Indianapolis, IN)</a> told me that it would also be great to get enough sleep to relax my eyes from the strain of focusing on different things.

I liked the tips that you gave and I'll definitely try them. Thanks for posting.

adamguru wrote
on Dec 25, 2010 4:38 AM

Great tips again. I always read your each and every your blog.

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