Contact Lens Options While On the Road

Posted by CooperVision 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.

Eye Safety At Home

Posted by CooperVision 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.

How To Remove a Contact Lens

Posted by CooperVision 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.

Fall Allergy Tips

Posted by CooperVision 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.

Myopia Signs and Symptoms in Children

Posted by Harvard Sylvan, OD 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.

Home And Sports Eye Safety Month

Posted by CooperVision 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.

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.

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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