Making A Difference: Real Stories From Optometry Giving Sight

Posted by CooperVision on Thursday, August 30, 2012

CooperVision is a proud sponsor of the global charity Optometry Giving Sight. We are excited to share the second installation of 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 the gift of sight with the help of Optometry Giving Sight.

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

”Davida lives in Mozambique – a country with 20 million people and not a single optometrist. Optometry Giving Sight works with partners to fund projects like the Mozambique Eyecare Project, which is training local optometrists to ensure that people like Davida are never limited by poor vision.

Davida works as a domestic worker, but she can only see clearly 7cm in front of her; she was effectively blind.

Optometrist James Loughman was astonished when he performed her first eye exam. Every time James tried a stronger lens she would give a small gasp and then smile approvingly. Her vision would continuously improve until he found the right prescription for her.

Davida’s new glasses will not just allow her to see better so that she can perform her job, it will allow her and her family to have a better life and future. Now, when she looks in the mirror, she can see just how beautiful her smile is.”

Did you know that CooperVision patients have the opportunity to donate their CooperVision rebates to Optometry Giving Sight? Learn more about CooperVision’s partnership with Optometry Giving Sight here.

The Difference Between Dry Eye and Allergies

Posted by Harvard Sylvan, OD on Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The two most commonly experienced eye related problems (not including needing glasses or contact lenses) are dry eyes and ocular allergies. Although some symptoms are similar, there are distinct differences between the two eye conditions. In fact, dry eye and ocular allergy can occur simultaneously. If you are a contact lens wearer, both dry eye and allergies can make wearing contact lenses more difficult.

Dry Eye

Tears are not made of just water. There are numerous components to tears, but think of them simply as having three layers – mucin, water and lipids. A dry eye situation occurs when either too little water/mucin is produced, or if too little lipid is produced. The lipid layer is the outer layer of the tears and its primary role is to prevent the tears from evaporating or spilling over the lid margins. The lipid layer is produced by glands on the edge of the lids called meibomian glands. The majority of dry eye is caused by a decrease in this lipid layer. Certain medical conditions can also cause dry eye. The most common symptoms include burning, a sandy, gritty feeling, redness and sometimes reflex tearing.

Allergies

While eye allergies can also cause redness and tearing, the main symptom is itching. An ocular allergy is caused by sensitivity to a substance that is not usually harmful. When the allergen interacts with cells called mast cells, a substance called histamine is released which causes itching, redness, and swelling. Most allergies are due to environmental factors like pollen, cat dander, dust mites, etc. There are also more serious ocular allergies that require medical intervention.

Treatment

Treatment is different for dry eye and ocular allergies. Dry eye treatment includes treating the meibomian glands, the underlying inflammation, and using tear lubricants. The treatment for ocular allergy includes using antihistamine/mast cell stabilizers (to prevent the release of histamine from the mast cells), artificial lubricants, cool compresses and avoidance of the allergen (if possible).

For contact lens wearers, your doctor may choose a contact lens with a material that is more resistant to drying out like CooperVision’s Proclear lenses. For allergy sufferers, wearing a 1 day disposable lens will give the best chance for successful lens wear. CooperVision’s Proclear 1 Day and Proclear 1 Day Multifocal lenses provide the best option as they are resistant to drying out and get replaced each day.

Many people use over- the- counter products to self- treat dry eye and ocular allergy problems. It is estimated that the cost of doing that exceeds the cost of prescription products which are more effective. If you feel that you have dry eye or ocular allergies, see your eye doctor for a complete evaluation and recommendations for the best treatment options.

Replacement and Wearing Schedules

Posted by CooperVision on Wednesday, August 22, 2012

A replacement schedule is the length of time your contacts can be worn before they need to be replaced with new lenses (taking them out at night is a given unless you have "extended wear" contacts). Your eye doctor can help you decide what the best replacement and wearing schedule for you is based on your lifestyle and vision correction needs. Here is a list of the different replacement schedule options you can discuss with your eye doctor.

Daily Disposable

This replacement schedule is ideal for patients who may suffer from allergies from contact lens solutions because daily disposable contact lenses eliminate the need for lens cleaning or disinfection. Since daily disposable contact lenses are replaced each day, they're also the healthiest lens option and can help those that suffer from ocular allergies. CooperVision makes great daily disposable contact lens options. One option is Proclear 1 Day contact lenses. They are made with PC Technology™, which is a lens material that contains molecules found naturally in human cell membranes. These molecules attract and surround themselves with water, keeping Proclear contact lenses moist and comfortable, even after 12 hours of wear. In fact, Proclear lenses are the only contact lenses for dry eyes with FDA clearance for the claim: "may provide improved comfort for contact lens wearers who experience mild discomfort or symptoms relating to dryness during lens wear."

Two Week

Contact lenses that are replaced every two weeks are also known as disposable lenses. It is the most popular replacement schedule in the U.S. because of a combination of affordability and convenience. CooperVision offers Avaira contact lenses in this replacement schedule. Avaira contact lenses are made from material that uses Aquaform® Comfort Science Technology. As a result, the lens material is a softer, more flexible one, contributing to Avaira's extremely comfortable lens wearing experience.

Monthly

This replacement schedule is when contact lenses are replaced on a monthly basis. This schedule is convenient because it contains contact lenses that are made from silicone hydrogel materials that are FDA approved for extended wear. These materials offer the highest levels of oxygen to the eye, which significantly reduces the effects of hypoxic stress to the cornea. Extended wear is when a contact lens wearer chooses to sleep in their contact lenses. CooperVision offers a monthly contact lens line called Biofinity for this replacement schedule. It is FDA approved for 6 nights and 7 days of extended wear. Patients who choose to wear monthly lenses for extended wear should consult their eye doctor about their exact replacement schedule.

As long as the contact lenses are properly cared for and a patient follows the replacement schedule recommended by his/her eye doctor, contact lenses are a safe and convenient option for correcting vision. Make sure to talk to your eye doctor about you contact lens options. No matter what replacement schedule you choose, CooperVision is sure to have a contact lens for you.

Look Your Best After 40

Posted by CooperVision on Monday, August 20, 2012

Patients over the age 40 have the ability to look best they have ever looked. The key is to refine the look that you have been cultivating for years. Think of it as a great opportunity to look your best because you know what looks great on you and what trends to steer clear of. Here are some tips that can help you look your best in your 40s:

Ditch the Bifocals: If you are over 40, then you may need vision correction for presbyopia. As we have written about before, presbyopia is a condition that makes it difficult to read small print because the lens inside the eye becomes less flexible as a patient ages. A great option for vision correction is multifocal contact lenses. CooperVision has a variety of options such as Proclear 1 day multifocal contact lenses, Biofinity multifocal contact lenses, or even Proclear EP for early presbyopes. Make sure to talk to an eye doctor about which multifocal contact lens option is right for you.

Refine Your Look: The 40s are a time for patients to assess what is flattering and what is not. In terms of wardrobe, any style can work with any age as long as you pay attention to the details. For example, a patient over 40 can pull off a trendy pair of skinny jeans, but may want to pair the jeans with a tailored top. For men, it may be time to look for t-shirts that are fitted to be flattering versus a shapeless t-shirt. It is all about taking what you have worn for years but improving it with little details such as tailoring and length.

Soften Your Makeup: That bright glitter eyeshadow you used when you were in your 20s may not look so great in your 40s. The key to looking great in your 40s is to smudge and diffuse lines. Stick to neutrals and make sure to blend well in order to avoid looking too harsh. A smoky eye is timeless, but make sure to use softer colors like gray and taupe instead of black. If you wear contact lenses, make sure to check out our makeup tips for contact lens wearers here.

The Benefits of Multifocal Contact Lenses

Posted by Harvard Sylvan, OD on Thursday, August 16, 2012

Eye doctors are well aware of the growing number of presbyopes in the U.S. Fitting presbyopes provides a huge opportunity for contact lens practice growth. The number of presbyopic patients is expected to double by 2030 and will account for 20% of the population. It is estimated that over 30% of patients in the average practice are presbyopes. In addition, approximately 2 million current contact lens wearers are becoming presbyopic each year… and the majority of them want to continue to wear contacts. Soft multifocal contacts provide distinct benefits for both patients and practitioners.

Benefits for Patients

We all know that for presbyopic patients, soft multifocal contacts allow them to participate in numerous activities without the hassle of glasses and provide better peripheral vision. Many people also use computers. Multifocal contacts eliminate the need to tilt the head back like patients have to with glasses. Glasses can also become uncomfortable on the bridge of the nose and on and behind the ears as well. Multifocal contacts are also a great option for patients that want to look their best. There are also benefits for children with accommodative or convergence excess problems. Most children don’t want to wear bifocal glasses and multifocal contacts allow them to have the additional plus that is needed at near. With multifocal contact lenses, younger patients may benefit from more self confidence.

Why Multifocals?

Many doctors still utilize monovision to fit their presbyopic patients, but humans have a binocular visual system. There is an old adage that states, ‘two eyes are better than one’. Multifocal contacts provide improved intermediate vision that may be lacking with monovision and maintains binocular summation which enhances stereopsis and, usually, both distance and near acuity. Numerous studies have concluded that when given the opportunity to experience both multifocals and monovision, the majority of patients prefer multifocals 1,2,3 In a supplement to the July 2012 issue of Contact Lens Spectrum entitled, ‘Multifocals: The New Standard of Care’, Dr. John Schachet states, ‘We've established that multifocal contact lenses have replaced monovision as the standard of care’. I concur with that statement.

Benefits for Eye Doctors

There are also benefits to fitting multifocal contacts for doctors. The main benefit, besides the gratification of satisfying the needs of the patient, is the increase in patient referrals. Invariably, when I have successfully fit a patient with multifocals, that patient is enthusiastic and excited and always seems to have a friend, family member or co-worker that is referred for a multifocal fitting. That leads to an increase in practice revenue and profitability.

Fitting multifocal contacts benefits both patient and doctor and is the win-win solution that eye doctors are always seeking.

5 Things You Didn’t Know About Your Eyes

Posted by CooperVision on Friday, August 10, 2012

A lot of patients don’t realize it, but the human eye is an amazing organ that allows us to live our lives everyday. Here are some interesting and fun facts about the eyes that you may not have known:

  • More than half of all people in the United States use some type of lens to correct their vision. Are you one of them? Make sure to ask your eye doctor about contact lenses as an option. You can take this survey to find out which of our contact lenses are right for you and get the conversation started.
  • Your eyes keep growing after birth which is why refractive changes can occur during childhood and require corrective lenses such as contact lenses. This is why it is important for everyone to get regular eye exams because everyone’s eyes change over time.
  • All types of eye drops sting less if you store them in the refrigerator.
  • When you blink, you shut your eyes for 0.3 seconds. That’s a total of 30 minutes each day. However, when people stare at computer screens for too long, they may blink less. Blinking less can lead to eye strain, fatigue and dry eye. Make sure to talk to an eye doctor about ways to make sure you can avoid computer vision.
  • The retina is about the size of a postage stamp. It has 130 million light sensitive cells.

Did you know any of these fun eye facts? Let us know.

Fitting Children with Contact Lenses

Posted by Harvard Sylvan, OD on Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Many parents ask when it is appropriate for an eye doctor to fit children with contact lenses. As we have written before, there is no specific age limitation to children wearing contact lenses. There are even babies who have been fit with contacts. The main considerations for a parent to consider are the motivation and maturity of the child and his/her ability to insert and remove the lenses; especially when the child is not at home. A good indication of motivation is the child asking for contact lenses rather than the parent suggesting it. I have had patients as young as 8 years of age who have been successful contact lenses wearers and been very adept at inserting and removing the lenses.

There are many advantages to fitting children with contact lenses:

  • For sports and other outdoor activities: Contacts are less cumbersome than glasses, provide better peripheral vision, won’t fog up or get splattered by dirt or raindrops and eliminate the possibility of the glasses breaking and perhaps causing an eye injury.
  • For children with focusing and/or convergence problems:Often, bifocal glasses are prescribed. As most children and teenagers do not want to wear bifocal glasses, they may remove them after leaving their homes. Fitting children with contact lenses will increase the likelihood of the needed correction being worn.
  • Psychological benefit of fitting children with contact lenses:In many cases, especially if the prescription is high, fitting children with contact lenses will give them a better self image and more self confidence.

Daily disposable contacts are the ideal lenses for children. These lenses are worn during only one day and then discarded. No cleaning and disinfecting is required. A fresh, clean and comfortable lens is utilized each day the lenses are worn. Contact lens related problems are minimized when wearing one day disposable lenses. Also, if the child has allergies, one day disposable lenses are the best option for contact lens wear.

If you are considering having your child fit with contact lenses, ask your eye doctor about CooperVision’s Proclear 1 Day lenses. These lenses are made from a material that resists deposits, drying out and provides excellent all day comfort.

Children and Contact Lenses

Posted by CooperVision on Monday, August 6, 2012

When can a child safely wear contact lenses? This is a question that many parents may ask an eye doctor before school starts. The surprising answer is that physically, a child's eyes can tolerate contact lenses at a very young age. Even some infants are fitted with contact lenses due to congenital cataracts or other eye conditions present at birth. While this may be true, more than half (51%) of optometrists feel it is appropriate to introduce children to soft contact lenses between the ages of 10 and 12 years old, while nearly one in four (23%) feel 13-14 years old is a suitable age for a child to begin wearing contact lenses.

Exactly when a child patient is ready for contact lenses should be based on the patient’s maturity and ability to handle contact lenses responsibly. If a child is interested in wearing contact lenses, daily disposable contact lenses like Proclear 1 Day may be a great option. In a recent study that involved fitting myopic children of ages 8-11 with one-day disposable contact lenses, 90 percent of the kids had no trouble applying or removing the contacts without assistance from their parents.

Here are some indicators that parents can use to decide if their children are ready for contact lenses:

  • The child has consistent grooming habits and does not need to be reminded to perform tasks such as brushing their teeth.
  • The child is responsible and performs routine chores on his or her own.
  • The child follows through on schoolwork

While these are some possible signs that a child may be ready for contact lenses, the best way to decide if a child is ready is to discuss this option with the child along with an eye doctor. Click here for an eye doctor near you.

August Is Children's Vision and Learning Month

Posted by CooperVision on Friday, August 3, 2012

August is National Children's Vision & Learning Month. The goal of this national observance is to help educate parents and educators about the critical link between vision and learning.Vision problems are the 4th most prevalent class of disability in the United States and one of the most prevalent conditions in childhood. According to All About Vision, experts say that roughly 80 percent of what a child learns in school is information that is presented visually. Seeing is our dominant sense and our primary source for gathering information in learning. Vision problems can have a profound effect on how children learn. Many kids who are struggling in school may have vision problems that are not detected during a typical school vision screening.

Some of the vision conditions commonly found in children are:

  • Amblyopia:is the loss or lack of development of central vision in one eye that is unrelated to any eye health problem and is not correctable with lenses. It can result from a failure to use both eyes together. Lazy eye is often associated with crossed-eyes or a large difference in the degree of nearsightedness or farsightedness between the two eyes. It usually develops before the age of 6, and it does not affect side vision. Symptoms may include noticeably favoring one eye or a tendency to bump into objects on one side.
  • Strabismus: is a condition in which both eyes do not look at the same place at the same time. It is commonly known as crossed eyes. It occurs when an eye turns in, out, up or down and is usually caused by poor eye muscle control or a high amount of farsightedness.
  • Refractive Errors: are vision conditions that affect how the eyes bend or “refract” light. Common refractive errors are: astigmatism, nearsightedness (myopia) and farsightedness (hyperopia).

It is important to know that a vision screening by a child's pediatrician or at his or her school is not the same as a comprehensive eye and vision examination by an optometrist. Vision screenings are a limited process and can't be used to diagnose an eye or vision problem, but rather may indicate a potential need for further evaluation. They may miss as many as 60% of children with vision problems. Even if a vision screening does not identify a possible vision problem, a child may still have one. Parents should take their children for a thorough optometric examination to ensure that their children are developing their vision properly.

August Is Children's Eye Health and Safety Month

Posted by CooperVision on Thursday, August 2, 2012

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) only one in three children in America have ever received eye care services before age six, yet more than 12.1 million school aged children have some form of vision problem. August is a month where eye-damaging UV rays are still strong and school is just around the corner – the perfect time for Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month.

An annual comprehensive eye exam is an important part of monitoring eye and the overall health in children, so it is recommended that school-aged children and teens get eye exams annually. Undetected vision problems can affect a child’s physical ability, readiness to learn, and self esteem. For more information on the importance of vision and eye health in children, be sure to check out the National Center For Children’s Vision and Eye Health.

Here is a list of great resources that you and your child can learn from during the month of August

  • Making Every Day A Healthy Vision Day Calendar: is a great way for kids to learn fun eye related facts.
  • Simple Tips For Healthy Eyes: is a list compiled by the National Eye Institute that make maintaining healthy eyes a snap.
  • Kids Quest About Vision Impairment: is an online quest that older kids can take in order to learn more about vision impairment and how it affects children.

How are you planning to talk to children about eye health and safety? Let us know!

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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