on Wednesday, September 26, 2012
If you are an eyecare patient interested in wearing contact lenses, you may have some questions that you will want to discuss with your eye doctor. Here is a list of commonly asked questions and answers that you can use to start a dialogue with your eye doctor about contact lenses:
- What are contact lenses?: Contact lenses are a medical device and can be worn to correct vision. Contact lenses are also worn for cosmetic or therapeutic reasons. In the United States, all contact lenses require a prescription. They must be prescribed and properly fitted by an eye doctor such as an optometrist, ophthalmologist, or licensed optician.
- How do I know if contact lenses are right for me?: Talking to your eye doctor will help. Your eye doctor can assess if contact lenses are a good option for you based on your prescription, your lifestyle, and other factors. There are a wide variety of contact lens options available to correct vision conditions such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, and presbyopia.
- I don’t need contact lenses for vision correction, but I want to wear them for cosmetic reasons. Do I still need a prescription?: Yes, since contact lenses are a medical device, you will need to see your eye doctor to get a prescription for any type of contact lenses. You should not buy or wear cosmetic contact lenses without seeing an eye doctor first. Buying and wearing contact lenses without the guidance of an eye doctor or without a valid prescription can put you at risk for serious eye infections.
- Where can I get contact lenses? You can purchase contact lenses from your eye doctor. If you need help locating an eye doctor, you can locate one with our Find A Practitioner locator here.
on Tuesday, September 25, 2012
A common question that contact lens wearers may ask is: “I travel a lot, what contact lens options are right for me?” While the best resource for this question is your eye doctor, there are more options than ever for contact lens wearers who travel. Here is a rundown of contact lens options that travelers may want to consider discussing with their eye doctor:
- Daily disposable contact lenses: daily disposable contact lenses like CooperVision’s Proclear 1 Day contact lenses are a convenient option for patients who travel. Daily disposable contact lenses require very little contact lens maintenance so that means patients won’t have to worry about travelling with bottles of contact lens solution or contact lens cases. Patients also get to wear a fresh contact lens every day of their trip. Just make sure to pack extra pairs just in case.
- 2 week contact lenses: If you happen to already wear 2 week contact lenses like Avaira, then you may prefer to use the contact lenses that you have when you travel. But comfort is still important since you will be traveling in airplanes that can dry out your eyes, long car rides, etc. Avaira contact lenses are the only naturally wettable two-week silicone hydrogel contact lenses. Made from a unique material that attracts and binds water to the lens, Avaira lenses stay moist and comfortable without surface treatments or wetting agents that can wash off as you clean your contacts. Ask your doctor about Avaira if you are interested in wearing 2 week contact lenses.
- Monthly contact lenses: Some monthly contact lenses that have extended wear approval may be ideal for patients who need to travel because it is convenient to continuously wear contact lenses while you are travelling. CooperVision’s Biofinity contact lenses are FDA approved for extended wear for up to 7 days and 6 nights. Make sure to ask your eye doctor about extended wear if you want to travel with monthly contact lenses.
No matter what contact lens you decide to use while you are travelling, it helps to talk about a contact lens care and replacement schedules with your eye doctor. If you don’t have an eye doctor, you can find one using our Practitioner Locator.
on Tuesday, September 18, 2012
September is Home Eye Safety Awareness Month. Prevent Blindness America has declared this as a month to make people aware of the dangers around the home that can damage the precious gift of sight. According to Hugh R. Parry, president and CEO of Prevent Blindness America, it only takes a moment to lose your eyesight in an accident at home: “All too often, when we’re working around the house and doing chores that we've done a thousand times before without incident, we forget about the risks we take by not protecting our eyes. But all it takes is one split-second accident that could damage your vision for a lifetime."
90% of eye injuries are preventable by wearing the proper eye protection. The AAO and the American Society of Ocular Trauma (ASOT) recommends that every home have at least one pair of American National Standards Institute (ANSI) approved eyewear in order to prevent eye injuries around the house. The eyewear should have the "Z-87" logo stamped on the frames and can be found at hardware stores and home building centers.
Protective eyewear should be used for tasks such as using power tools, rotary mowers, line lawn trimmers, or hammering on metal, and when using any chemical. Wearing protective eyewear especially during yard and garden work is critical because 40% of all eye injuries sustained at home happen during these chores. Even if you do wear eye protection during such tasks, make sure to be mindful of passersby such as small children. If they approach you, shut off all power tools.
If you, or a loved one does suffer an eye injury at home, make sure to talk to an eye doctor immediately.
on Monday, September 17, 2012
While the office of your eye care professional is the best resource when it comes to caring for your lenses, it is easy to forget some of the advice he or she has given you. As a result, the concept of trying to remove a contact lens may seem difficult. The good news is that with a little practice and some tips, you will be handling your lenses like a pro. Here is a helpful video and written tips on how to insert and remove your contact lenses. If you need additional tips on how to remove a contact lens, here are some that may help you:
- Wash your hands with soap and dry with a towel first. This helps prevent the spread of germs and bacteria to your eye.
- In order to ensure easy removal, lubricate the eye with a drop of contact lens rewetting drops.
- Look up and pull your lower lid down.
- Use your index finger to touch and bring lens down to the lower white part of your eye.
- Squeeze the lens with your thumb and index finger gently in order to remove without excessive folding.
- Repeat with the other contact lens
- Remember to remove the contact lenses in the same order so that you don’t get your lenses mixed up.
We hope that these tips help you remove a contact lens easily. If you still seem to have difficulty removing your contact lens, make sure to ask your eye doctor. If you have eye pain, tearing, excessive redness, or eye swelling, contact your eye doctor immediately.
on Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Allergy sufferers should be ready for a bad fall allergy season this year. Fall allergies are typically from high pollen counts. High pollen counts happen when there are warm temperatures and rainfall in the summer. High pollen counts coupled with dry weather afterwards set the stage for a tough allergy season ahead.
Eye allergies, also known as ocular allergies, occur when an allergen irritates the conjunctiva of a patient. The conjunctiva is a delicate membrane that covers the eye and the inside of the eyelid. Ocular allergies can cause eyes to hurt, water, become itchy, red, or swollen. While eye allergies can be unpleasant, it doesn’t pose a risk to a patient’s eyesight except for temporary blurriness. Some possible allergens that can cause eye allergies are: pollen, mold spores, dust mites, and pet dander. Pollen and mold spores are seasonal allergens while the other allergens can cause eye allergies year round.
Here are some tips that patients can use in order to survive fall allergy season:
- If you have eye allergy symptoms, see an eye doctor
- Wear a hat and sunglasses when you head outside in order to reduce the amount of allergens that can blow into your eyes.
- Flush allergens out with eye drops recommended by your eye doctor
- Vacuum and use a HEPA filter. That can prevent the buildup of allergens around the house.
- Avoid going outdoors during high pollen count days.
- Keep windows closed at night if possible in order to avoid getting pollen in the house.
What are some allergy tips that work for you during fall? Share them with us in our comments section.
on Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Myopia, also called nearsightedness, is a common problem where light rays passing through the eye are focused before they reach the retina. The retina is the light sensing membrane at the back of the eye that contains the rods and cones that collect and transfer the light via the optic nerve to the brain that then produces the images that we call ‘seeing’.
Ideally, light passing through the eye will come to a sharp focal point at the retina. When light is focused in front of the retina, as in myopia, distance vision becomes blurred. The degree of blur depends on how far the focal point is in front of the retina. While distance vision is blurred, near vision is usually clear. Myopia in children is usually the result of the length of the eye being too long with regard to the focusing power of the cornea and/or lens or the focusing power of the cornea and/or lens being too strong for the particular length of the eye.
The most common signs that should alert parents that their child may be myopic are squinting when looking at objects that are not close and sitting close to the TV. Headaches are also common as are complaints of ‘eyestrain’. Poor grades may be another sign as the student may not be able to see the board in school clearly. Difficulty in sports may also be due to myopia. There is a genetic basis to myopia. If both parents are myopic, there is a greater chance that the child will also become myopic. The age at which a child develops myopia varies, but generally, 7 to 12 years old is a common age range.
Blurred distance vision due to myopia is most frequently corrected by prescription glasses or contact lenses. If the child is mature enough to handle contacts, daily disposable contact lenses, such as CooperVision’s Proclear 1 Day lenses, are recommended.
Myopia control is the subject of much research as there is a significant increase in the prevalence of myopia globally. Several studies have demonstrated that taking part in outdoor activities for some portion of the day results in less myopic development. One theory is that the ambient outdoor light is a key factor in less myopic development. Certain topical drugs can be used to slow the progression of myopia, but they cause a reduction in the ability to see up close and they also cause the pupil to dilate and therefore increase light sensitivity. The use of special bifocal contact lenses and lenses that reshape the cornea have both demonstrated some ability to slow the development of myopia but are not yet approved for that use.
If your child is having trouble academically or in sports, squints when looking at objects that are not close, sits too close to the TV or complains that he/she can’t see objects in the distance that others can see, have an evaluation by an eye doctor to determine the underlying cause.
on Monday, September 10, 2012
September is Home and Sports Eye Safety Month. According to Prevent Blindness America, there are thousands of eye injuries a year related to sports and hazards around the house. Here are some tips that you can use to help prevent eye injuries:
Wear eye protection
Did you know that almost 90% of eye injuries can be prevented by wearing eye protection? Protecting eyes during sports and risky household chores can help prevent blindness and permanent eye damage.
Some sports are riskier than others. Click here for a list of sports that you may need to wear protective eyewear.
Also make sure to wear protective eyewear when performing risky household tasks such as:
- Clipping hedges
- Mowing the lawn
- Cooking food that can cause oil to splatter
- Opening champagne bottles
- Drilling or hammering
- Cleaning with hazardous chemicals
Use protective shields while cooking
Read labels of chemical cleaning products before using them.
Inspect the lawn or area where you will perform yard work for potential flying debris.
Cushion sharp edges on furniture if you have children or elderly individuals in the house
Check to ensure that spray nozzles are pointing away from you
Use tools that are in good condition
If you think you have an eye injury, make sure to contact an eye doctor immediately.