on Thursday, December 31, 2009
“DEFENSE!! DEFENSE!!” is frequently shouted during basketball and football games. Defense, according to dictionary.com, is a noun meaning protection and resistance against attack. But what does defense have to do with contact lenses? Think of replacing your contact lenses at the interval prescribed by your eye care practitioner as your DEFENSE when wearing contact lenses.
Defense against what? A common misconception is that tears are made of only water. While water is the main component, there are actually hundreds of substances found in tears. Other important components include mucins (natural lubricants), oils, electrolytes (such as sodium chloride and potassium) and proteins (that defend against bacteria and other organisms). As soon as a lens is placed on the eye, it will start to absorb some of these components, particularly proteins and oils. Over a short period of time, deposits can form on the lens. Deposits reduce comfort and vision and can cause allergic-type reactions, particularly under the upper lid. Deposits also reduce the amount of oxygen that can pass through the lens. That can cause changes to the outer layer of the cornea that may allow bacteria or other organisms to infiltrate the cornea and cause an infection. The amount of deposits will vary depending on the contact lens material and the tear composition of the individual. For example, some people naturally have more protein in their tears than others. Some lens materials are more resistant to protein deposits than other materials.
An eye care practitioner will select a replacement schedule for a patient after a careful evaluation of the patient’s ocular health, tears, lifestyle and the contact lens material. The idea is to replace lenses before deposits form and before any problems develop. Even if a lens is still comfortable at the end of the replacement period it should still be replaced. Many contact lens related problems are only evident to the eye care practitioner and not the wearer.
For those of you who wear one day lenses, it is easier to remember when to replace them as you discard your lenses after each day of wear. It is more difficult to remember to replace lenses on a two week or a monthly cycle. We suggest writing the prescribed replacement date on a post it note and placing it on the mirror in your bathroom or on your computer screen. If you are digital, put a reminder in your Outlook or iCal calendar. Syncing up your replacement schedule with natural habits helps maintain comfortable and healthy contact lens wear!
Replacing lenses on the schedule prescribed by your eye care practitioner will minimize complications, maximize comfort and contribute significantly to successful contact lens wear. Whether you replace your lenses each day, every two weeks or every month, remember to chant “DEFENSE!! DEFENSE!!” when you discard those lenses at the proper time.
If you have any great tips on how you remember to change your lenses, please comment on this post so we can all benefit from your suggestion.
on Thursday, December 24, 2009
Do you have a burning question about contact lenses? Did a recent lecture leave you wanting to know more? Are you interested in learning a key way to differentiate yourself in the interview process? Or learning how to be proficient in fitting contact lenses to drive value to the practice you will join or lead?
Well, here’s your chance. We’ve got our resident expert, Mark Andre, on hand to entertain and answer your questions. Here’s what he has to say:
My name is Mark Andre and I'm an associate professor at Pacific University School of Optometry. I have been a clinical instructor of contact lenses for the last 24 years and a consultant to CooperVision for the last 17 years.
My primary responsibility with CooperVision is to promote and provide contact lens education to students and eye care providers. As part of my duties, I conduct workshops on toric and multifocal soft contact lenses at the schools and colleges of Optometry.
I am constantly searching for better ways to provide educational support to the schools and the students. I'm hoping this blog will give us the opportunity to share ideas that will lead to the development and implementation of new educational programs at the schools.
I'm looking forward to hearing what you have to say and answer any questions that you might have.
Would you be interested in seeing an Optometry Students section to this blog? Let us know! Ask questions or leave comments by using the “comments” section. We look forward to hearing from you!
on Monday, December 21, 2009
Hello and welcome to On Eye, the CooperVision blog! I’m Dennis Murphy, President of the Americas for CooperVision, Inc., and I’d like to personally welcome you to CooperVision’s venture into Web 2.0.
We’re very excited to launch On Eye as part of CooperVision’s foray into embracing social media. We think it is important to take this opportunity to build on our on-going long term relationships with eye care practitioners world-wide, as well as to reach out to patients and contact lens wearers alike. By expanding our efforts via tools such as On Eye, we would like to reinforce that CooperVision has your best interest in mind – providing you with the latest information about the vision industry, ways to successfully build your practice, and keeping you fully informed of the most recent research and innovations relating to your eye care and health.
So, how to use this blog? If you are a practitioner currently using the CooperVision ecommerce site, use your BP number to sign into the password-protected areas. If you are a practitioner not currently using our ecommerce site, please fill out the brief form accompanying the password protected area, and you will be forwarded instructions accordingly. If you are a consumer, feel free to check out areas of interest to you, such as Patient Spotlight, In the News and the Executive Corner. Thanks, and enjoy!
on Thursday, December 10, 2009
If you’re in your 40’s (or even approaching 40) you may have noticed reading and seeing objects up close isn’t quite as easy as it used to be. Not to worry – you’ve got a very common vision condition called presbyopia. In fact, presbyopia is so common that is affects virtually everybody, usually starting around the age of 40.
Most people think of presbyopia when they hear the word “bifocals” or “reading glasses”. I think most of us can relate to either our parents or grandparents reaching for their bifocals or reading glasses. The good news today is that needing bifocals doesn’t have to mean wearing bifocals. Advances in contact lens designs now make multifocal contact lenses a great option for addressing presbyopia. In fact, with patient visits up 75% in the multifocal category since 2002, multifocals are the fastest growing segment in the contact lens industry.
Nearly 90 million Americans – or roughly one in three – have presbyopia, yet awareness of this condition is very low. A study sponsored by CooperVision that was conducted by Harris Interactive found that 83% of US adults aged 18+ are not aware of the vision condition. So how do you know if you have it? If you are experiencing any of the common symptoms of presbyopia – such as a noticeable change in near vision, eyestrain, or headaches, you should see an eye care specialist to discuss your options.
The contact lens options for this growing segment of the population provide a convenient, comfortable and healthy alternative to bifocals or reading glasses. CooperVision offers the most comprehensive multifocal contact lens portfolio in the industry. Multifocal contact lenses from CooperVision contain multiple zones of vision correction by providing the wearer with simultaneous distance, intermediate and near vision. The word simultaneous is key because most people think of these lenses much like bifocals where you have to look at a certain zone to see clearly at near. This is not the case with multifocal contacts. Multifocal contacts allow you to naturally see clearly up close, at middle distances (like using a computer) and far away without having to focus your eyes in a certain zone of the lens.
If you’re one of the millions of long time contact lenses wearers entering your 40’s, you can continue to enjoy the comfort and convenience of contact lenses. Even if you’ve never worn contacts before, or if you dropped out of contacts in the past, the onset of presbyopia is a great time to try contacts for the first time.
Presbyopia is the normal worsening of vision with age – especially near vision. The condition is a natural part of aging that eventually affects everyone. As we grow older, the lenses in our eyes thicken and lose their elasticity, and the muscles surrounding the lens weaken. Both these changes decrease our ability to focus, especially on near objects. Besides, blurred near vision, the signs of presbyopia include eye strain and the tendency to hold reading materials further away.
on Thursday, December 3, 2009
The On Eye Blog provides not only information, but ideas to help you succeed in your practice. Here’s what to expect from the On Eye Blog:
Tune into Building the Practice conversations as we discuss everything about practice building from 1 Days during the holidays to social media tips to how to differentiate your practice with teens.
InSIGHTs & Trends: This section provides new insights in the vision care industry, the latest innovations, and ideas for your practice every month - from multifocal myths to fostering patient loyalty, to much more! Stay tuned.
Hear directly from CooperVision's executive management in our Executive Corner. Find out what's going on with CooperVision around the world and our parent company, Cooper Companies.
Hear directly from patients in the Patient Spotlight - maybe you'll hear from one of your own!
Expect even more from the On Eye Blog from the CooperVision team with In the News and other on going conversations.
Don’t hesitate to join the conversations. Feel free to post comments, ask questions, and leave suggestions.
Tip: Are you tired of searching for the news? Have the news come to you! Use Google Reader and subscribe to blogs (such as ours!), and other news sources. Sit back, and watch the stories start coming in! Click here to see a quick tour of Google Reader.