Making a Difference: Real Stories from Optometry Giving Sight

Posted by CooperVision on Monday, July 30, 2012

CooperVision is a proud sponsor of the international charity Optometry Giving Sight. We are excited to introduce a monthly series of posts from Optometry Giving Sight called “Making a Difference: Real Stories from Optometry Giving Sight.” This series will be about how patients have been given back a life of opportunity with the help of Optometry Giving Sight.

Here is Adrian’s story as shared to us from Optometry Giving Sight:

Adrian swaggers into Mozambique’s Lúrio University eye clinic and slumps in a chair. He gives off an air of bravado and appears to have a certain attitude. At 14, he is the oldest of five children who struggle to survive, living in a one room 5X4 mud-over-bamboo home in a shanty town in Mozambique. Adrian doesn’t have a dad and his mother tries to make ends meet with whatever work she can find.

Adrian’s favorite subjects at school are math, language and social studies, but he finds study difficult and gets bored quickly as he can’t see the chalkboard. He often misses classes as he has to pick up odd jobs to earn extra money for his family.

As Adrian was progressively refracted his vision became clearer and clearer until he was found to have a significant requirement of -7.50DS and -9.00DS. As the lenses were placed into the trial frame his macho act slipped. He became just a 14-year old boy in need of help– and who was seeing clearly for the very first time.

Adrian hopes his new glasses will help him improve in school and realize his ambition of becoming a teacher.

With his level of vision impairment Adrian’s new glasses will transform his life.

Optometry Giving Sight partnered with Lurio University, The International Centre for Eyecare Education, Brazilian Optometric Association and Irish Aid to implement the Campaign for Quality Vision in Mozambique.

Click here to learn more about Optometry Giving Sight and how CooperVision is working with its patients to help make a difference in the lives of patients like Adrian.

Contact Lens Tips For Patients

Posted by CooperVision on Monday, July 23, 2012

Patients who are interested in contact lenses will be happy to hear that with proper contact lens care and following a contact lens replacement schedule, contact lenses are a very healthy and popular option for correcting vision with little risk of complications. Here is a list of contact lens safety tips that you can go over with your eye doctor when you go for your next eye appointment.

Follow Your Replacement Schedule: Your eye doctor will recommend a contact replacement schedule based on what contact lenses you wear. Make sure that you replace your contact lenses when it is indicated on the schedule. If you don’t, then you can put yourself at risk for issues ranging from lid inflammation to loss of vision from an infection. Since contact lenses are a regulated medical device, the United States Food and Drug Administration(FDA) has strongly advised that it is important to follow the recommended lens wearing and replacement schedules prescribed by your eye doctor.

Wash Hands Before Handling Lenses: Washing your hands with soap and drying your hands before handling your contact lenses will prevent the transfer of germs from hands to lenses during the insertion and removal process, which can help prevent the possibility of infection. Also, make sure to avoid using lotions, oils, or hand creams on your hands before handling your contact lenses so that they don’t coat, soil, or contaminate the lens surface.

Call Your Eye Doctor If You Experience Any Symptoms: If you experience symptoms such as discomfort, excess tearing or other discharge, unusual sensitivity to light, itching, burning, gritty feelings, unusual redness, blurred vision, swelling, and pain. You should remove your lenses immediately and keep them off, and contact your eye care doctor right away. Delaying a visit to your eye doctor can put you at a higher risk of vision loss if your eye is infected.

FAQS about Daily Disposable Contact Lenses

Posted by CooperVision on Wednesday, July 18, 2012

What is a daily disposable contact lens?

A daily disposable contact lens is a contact lens that you wear for one day. A patient puts them in the morning, and then throws them away at night. Each day, the patient starts with a fresh, clean, new pair of contact lenses. CooperVision offers a daily disposable contact lens option with its Proclear 1 Day contact lenses.

Are daily disposable contact lenses easy to care for?

Since daily disposable contact lenses are replaced every day, there is little contact lens maintenance. They are convenient because there are no time-consuming cleaning regimens to remember, and no solutions to buy.

Are daily disposable contact lenses comfortable?

Proclear 1 Day contact lenses are made with a unique lens material, with PC Hydration Technology™, that contains molecules found naturally in human cell membranes. These molecules attract and surround themselves with water, keeping your disposable contact lenses moist and comfortable, even after 12 hours of wear.

I have allergies and avoid wearing contact lenses. Are daily disposable contact lenses are a good option for me?

Proteins and allergens don't have time to build up on your lenses because you will be using a fresh new lens every day. This is especially helpful to those with seasonal ocular allergies.

How do I know what contact lenses are right for me?

Deciding which contact lenses are right for you is something that an eye doctor can help you with. Based on your vision correction needs, lifestyle, and preferences, an eye doctor will be able to guide you to the right contact lens for you. To get started, you can use CooperVision’s Find A Lens quiz. Take this quiz to find out how to choose contact lenses that could help you enjoy the best in vision, health, and comfort. Be sure to print your results and bring them to your next appointment to help start the conversation with your eye doctor.

Acanthamoeba Keratitis and Contact Lenses

Posted by Harvard Sylvan, OD on Monday, July 16, 2012

Acanthamoeba keratitis is a serious infection of the cornea that is caused by certain strains of a particular type of amoeba called acanthamoeba. Acanthamoeba are single cell organisms commonly found in soil, water (swimming pools, hot tubs, showers, etc.) and the air.

Here are some tips that may decrease the risk of developing acanthamoeba keratitis for contact lens wearers.

  • Don’t use tap water when cleaning or rinsing your contact lenses or case
  • Don’t ‘top off’ or reuse disinfection solution
  • Don’t wear contact lenses in a hot tub, swimming pool, freshwater lakes and rivers, or the shower.
  • Wash your hands and dry with a lint free towel prior to inserting or removing your contact lenses
  • ALWAYS replace your lenses according to the schedule given to you by your doctor.
  • FREQUENTLY replace your contact lens case (at a minimum, cases should be replaced whenever a new bottle of disinfecting solution is opened)

Some symptoms of Acanthamoeba keratitis are:

    • Pain – often more pain than would be expected by how the eye looks

    • Redness
    • Tearing
    • Sensitivity to light
    • Decreased vision
    • No improvement or symptoms getting worse if already being treated for a corneal infection (as it is difficult to identify acanthamoeba keratitis in its early stages, it is frequently mistaken for and treated as bacterial keratitis)
    • Should any of the above symptoms be present, stop wearing your contact lenses and see your eye doctor as soon as possible.

    Remember, that by following your doctor’s instructions and properly handling your contact lenses, the risks of acanthamoeba keratitis will be minimal and you can enjoy wearing your contact lenses.

Eye Nutrition Tips

Posted by CooperVision on Thursday, July 12, 2012

Eye nutrition is important. Did you know that there are five essential nutrients that help promote healthy vision and may reduce the risk of eye disease? Certain studies have shown that taking an antioxidant or vitamin supplement can reduce the risk of advanced AMD progression and visual acuity loss. Since not all of these nutrients are created in the body, it is crucial to get these nutrients from diet or supplements. Here is a list of the 5 essential nutrients for healthy eyes and what patients should eat:

Lutein With Zeaxanthin

Lutein and zeaxanthin are nutrients that are naturally found together in foods such as leafy spinach, kale, eggs, and corn. These two nutrients act as antioxidants by helping protect and maintain healthy cells in the eye. The amount of lutein and zeaxanthin deposited in the macula can be measured macular pigment potical density (MPOD). Research has shown that higher levels of MPOD can increase levels of visual range and visual performance. Studies have also shown that patients with higher levels of MPOD have a greater tolerance for the intensity of glaring light and a shorter recovery time from glare.

Foods rich in lutein and zeaxanthin are: spinach, collard greens, corn, eggs, turnips, green peas, broccoli, and oranges.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is an antioxidant that is typically found in fruits and vegetables. It helps promote healthy capillaries, cartilage, and iron absorption. It helps support the health of ocular blood vessels too. When taken in combination with other essential nutrients, evidence has shown that vitamin C can slow the progression of AMD and visual acuity loss. Vitamin C can also lowers the risk of developing cataracts.

Good sources of vitamin C are: oranges, orange juice, grapefruit, spinach, bananas, apples, and peaches.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E isn’t just great for your skin, it is a powerful antioxidant for your eyes too. It helps promote the health of cell membranes and DNA repair. It not only helps promote a healthy immune system, it can also slow the progression of AMD and visual acuity loss when taken in combination with other essential nutrients.

Make sure to get your intake of vitamin E by eating the following foods: sweet potatoes, almonds, sunflower seeds, peanuts and peanut butter.

DHA/EPA

Dietary fats like DHA and EPA are necessary building blocks of fat molecules. They are important for visual development and retinal function. In fact, low levels of DHA and EPA have been linked to dry eye syndrome and associated with eye diseases such as AMD and diabetic retinopathy.

In order to get your share of DHA and EPA, eat: tuna, salmon, mackerel, trout, anchovies or scallops.

Zinc

Zinc is an essential trace mineral that helps your eyes by slowing the progression of AMD and visual acuity loss. It is known as a helper molecule because it helps bring vitamin A from the liver to the retina in order produce melanin. Melanin is a protective pigment in the eyes. This mineral is recommended for individuals who are diagnosed with a high risk for AMD. Deficiencies in zinc has been linked to impaired vision, poor night vision, and cloudy cataracts.

Some zinc rich foods are: lobster, beef, pork, yogurt, salmon, milk and eggs.

For more eye nutrition tips, make sure to speak with an eye doctor. An eye doctor can assess what is best for your eyes and health.

Contacts For Sports

Posted by CooperVision on Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Patients who are athletes may be wondering about contacts for sports. This is because having optimum vision while playing sports is essential. However, not all athletes want to wear eyeglasses while playing sports. With the possibility of glasses falling off during play, fogging up, or just being clunky under protective eyewear, a good alternative for athletes is contact lenses. Here are some key advantages to wearing contacts for sports:

  • Wider Field of Peripheral Vision: Wearing contact lenses for sports can help athletes by giving them a wider field of peripheral vision. Most prescription eyeglasses have small, relatively flat lenses and small frames that can obstruct an athlete’s field of vision. With contact lenses, athletes don’t have to worry about a limited field of peripheral vision.
  • Less Vision Distortion:Eyeglass lenses can distort an athlete’s field of vision. With contact lenses, athletes get a more natural vision versus the possible changes in image sizes that eyeglasses sometimes produce.
  • More Vision Stability:Eyeglasses can slip around during sports activities. This can cause a disturbance in vision. There is also the chance that glasses can fall off of an athlete’s face too. With contact lenses, there is less vision disturbance.
  • Less Chance of Injury: If an athlete takes a hit to the face, his/her eyeglasses can break. There is a greater chance of having an eye injury if this happens. With contact lenses, athletes don’t have to worry about eye injuries. In fact, with contact lenses, athletes can wear a broader array of protective eyewear in order to prevent eye injuries from sports.

Even if patients prefer wearing eyeglasses at other times, contact lenses may be a good option for occasional wear during sports activities. There are a variety of different contact lens options for every patient. CooperVision even offers a Find Lens quiz that patients can take so that patients can decide what lens is right for them.

Eye Exams for Contacts: What to Expect

Posted by CooperVision on Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Are you a patient interested in contact lenses? There are special tests done during eye exams for contacts that are not done during an eye exam for eyeglasses. If you are interested in contact lenses, you should let your eye doctor know ahead of time so that your eye doctor can perform additional tests for the right contact lens fit and prescription. Here is what a typical eye exam for contacts will look like:

General Lifestyle Questions

Your eye doctor will ask you questions about your daily activities and routine in order to get a better understanding of what contact lens is right for you. CooperVision even offers a quiz called Find A Lens that allows you to print your results and bring them to eye exam to help start the conversation with your eye doctor. Here are some of the possible lifestyle questions that your eye doctor may ask:

  • Are you active in sports?
  • Do you suffer from allergies?
  • How long is your work day? Are you a night owl?
  • Do you want to see clearly right away when you wake up?

Contact Lens Measurements

Your eye doctor will then take your contact lens measurements in order to ensure that the contact lenses fit properly. Your eye doctor will take measurements of your cornea with an instrument called a keratometer. Your eye doctor may also take pupil and iris measurements too.

Tear Film Assessment

Your eye doctor may do a tear film evaluation. There are a few ways that your eye doctor can assess your body’s ability to produce tears. Your eye doctor may drop a fluorescein dye to the tear layer on your eye or with a strip containing the dye and then see how long it takes for your tears to evaporate. Another way your eye doctor can evaluate your tear film is to place a piece of paper underneath your lower eyelid for five minutes and then seeing the length of paper moistened by your tears. If you have an insufficient tear film, you may have dry eye syndrome. Your eye doctor may recommend contact lenses that can help with dry eye symptoms. Proclear contact lenses for example, are the only contact lenses on the market to carry the FDA-approved labeling statement, ‘May provide improved comfort for contact lens wearers who experience mild discomfort or symptoms relating to dryness during lens wear.’

Contact Lens Fit

Your doctor will check the health of your eye surface using an instrument called a slit lamp. This instrument is also used to help your eye doctor see if a trial contact lens fits well on your eye. It typically takes two visits to complete a contact lens fitting. In the follow up visit, your eye doctor will check and ensure that the contact lenses are fitting correctly. Typically, you will be asked to remove your contact lenses for this test. After your eye doctor finds that the contact lenses fit properly, are comfortable, and allow you to see well, your eye doctor will then write you a contact lens prescription. This prescription will indicate the contact lens power, a shape matching the curvature of your eye (base curve), and diameter.

For more information about eye exams for contact lenses, make sure to ask your eye doctor. To locate an eye doctor near you, try CooperVision’s Find A Practitioner Locator.

New Proclear Family Packaging

Posted by CooperVision on Friday, July 6, 2012

As you may have noticed, we here at CooperVision have started to change the packaging for our Proclear family of products. The new packaging reflects CooperVision's revitalized brand. The brand platform features a striking visual identity based on watercolors, providing an unexpected departure from the industry's standard brand concept of literal representations of water. This new packaging is a fresh and original take on the concept of moisture and color. It celebrates the refreshing perspective contact lens wearers enjoy with CooperVision lenses.

There is no change to the actual contact lenses, just the packaging is new. Make sure to keep your eyes peeled for the new Proclear packaging coming your office soon!

Why You Need An Eye Exam

Posted by CooperVision on Thursday, July 5, 2012

Eye exams are a quick and painless way for patients to ensure healthy vision for life. A lot of eye and vision problems don’t have obvious signs or symptoms, so an eye exam is an important part of preventative care. By getting regular eye exams, patients can get early diagnosis and treatment for a variety of eye conditions. Eye exams can even detect systemic health problems such as hypertension and diabetes. Here is a list of what an eye exam can do for patients:

  • Prevent Blindness: Eye exams can catch preventable blinding eye diseases such as AMD and glaucoma.
  • Correct Refractive Errors: With eye exams, eye doctors can tell if a patient has refractive errors such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism. These refractive errors are typically corrected with contact lenses, eye glasses or refractive surgery.
  • Catch Problems With Eye Focus:Eye doctors can detect if a patient has trouble with eye focus or alignment. Focus problems can affect young patients who have not completely developed focusing skills, or mature patients who suffer from age related decline in focusing because of presbyopia.
  • Detect Systemic Health Problems:Eye doctors can detect systemic health issues such as high cholesterol, hypertension, and diabetes in patients. During an eye exam, eye doctors have an unobstructed view of the blood vessels in the eyes. This allows an eye doctor to see signs of these chronic health conditions.

Making time for an eye exam can not only protect a patient’s eyes, but also enhance a patient’s overall health. For more information, make sure to contact an eye doctor near you.

Fireworks Safety and Eyes

Posted by CooperVision on Tuesday, July 3, 2012

While Fourth of July is known as a time to celebrate the independence of the United States, it is also a time where fireworks safety is important. Did you know that of the 9,000 fireworks-related injuries each year, 21 percent of those injuries affect the eyes? More than half of the victims of fireworks injuries are young children or teenagers. In fact, 2 out of 5 people injured by fireworks in 2010 were under the age of 15.

All fireworks have the potential to be dangerous; especially to your eyes. They can cause third degree burns, eye lid lacerations, corneal abrasions, traumatic cataract, retinal detachment, optic nerve damage, rupture of the eyeball, eye muscle damage, and even complete blindness. While the idea of these potential eye injuries are alarming, it is possible to enjoy the beauty of fireworks during Fourth of July.

Here are some fireworks safety tips that will help you protect your eyes:

Talk to children about the dangers of fireworks.

Never let children handle any type of fireworks; even if it seems harmless. A common firework that causes eye injuries is a sparkler because it is held at such a close distance to the face.

Don’t use fireworks at home. Leave the fireworks to professional pyrotechnicians.

Always view fireworks from a safe distance.

Be mindful of barriers set up in viewing areas for fireworks

If you find unlit fireworks, don’t try to handle them yourself. Contact your local fire department in order to remove or dispose of them.

Have a happy and safe Fourth of July from all of us here at CooperVision!

About On Eye

On Eye is the contact lens blog from CooperVision. On this site, you will find insights about fitting, technology, and the business of contact lenses. The On Eye blog is designed to meet the needs of both Eye Care Practitioners and consumers. ECP and medical professional-specific portions of the blog will be password protected in order to protect and reserve the privacy of the profession. To read more about our terms of use, please see the Legal tab.

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