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!

Sleeping in Contacts

Posted by Harvard Sylvan, OD on Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Many contact lens wearers find that they occasionally fall asleep with their contact lenses still on and want to know if that is okay. Other patients find that sleeping in contacts is desirable and want to know for how long they can do so. Sleeping in contacts without any negative effects to the eye is dependent on several factors. Some of these factors are the lens material, lens thickness, the prescription, and the length of time the eye is closed while sleeping in contacts.

When the eye is closed, the cornea receives oxygen from the blood vessels in the underside of the lids. When sleeping in contacts, the lens material must have enough oxygen permeability to allow oxygen to diffuse through the lens to reach the cornea. Currently, the highest oxygen permeability is found in lenses made from a silicone hydrogel material such as CooperVision’s Biofinity lenses. If contact lenses are not made from a silicone hydrogel material, the thinner a lens is and the higher the water content a lens has, the higher the oxygen permeability will be. However, the oxygen permeability is no where nearly as great as in a silicone hydrogel lens. The more nearsighted (myopic) a person is, the thinner the center of the contact lens. The more farsighted (hyperopic) a person is, the thicker the center of the lens. People who need a correction for astigmatism or are wearing multifocal contacts will also have slightly thicker lenses. The material, design, thickness and prescription all influence the amount of oxygen passing through a contact lens.

Sleeping in contacts for overnight wear requires a lens that has received extended wear approval from the FDA. Just because a lens has been approved for extended wear does not guarantee that a person sleeping in contacts will be able to do so successfully. That is dependent not just on the amount of oxygen reaching the cornea, but on the composition of the tears, the amount of deposits on the lens, the amount of lens dehydration and tear exchange beneath the lens.

When sleeping in contacts for a short period of time, just remove the lenses upon awakening. It may be necessary to instill some contact lens approved rewetting drops to loosen the lens prior to removal. Problems are rare when sleeping in contacts for a short period of time, like napping. If you plan on sleeping in contacts overnight, you may want to use rewetting drops after you wake up to help improve comfort and vision. Sleeping in contacts overnight does have a higher risk factor for corneal problems. If you are sleeping in contacts and develop pain, redness, blurred vision, etc. make sure to contact your eye doctor immediately.

Growing the Multifocal Practice Part 2

Posted by Harvard Sylvan, OD on Tuesday, June 26, 2012

There are several ways to boost the number of patients with presbyopia who wear soft multifocal lenses in your practice. The first and most important way is for the doctor to recommend, or at least offer soft multifocals as an option to all patients with presbyopia who may be suitable candidates. Here are some more tips to help you grow your multifocal practice

  • Realize That Patients Rely On Your Opinion: Patients need to know all of their vision correction options when it comes to presbyopia. In a recent European survey, patients were asked why they chose the contact lenses that they were wearing. The number one reason by far why they wore the lenses that they wore (61% - the next closest response was 20%) was because of ‘the recommendation of the doctor.’ In a study in Denmark last year entitled “Sight over Forty,” most patients with presbyopia said that they were unaware that soft multifocal contacts even existed as an option and that 50% of them were interested in trying them if their doctors had suggested them.
  • Train Your Staff: Another important factor is to train your staff to be knowledgeable about presbyopia and soft multifocal lenses. There are opportunities for trained staff to discuss presbyopia and the options to correct it when patients call the office, at the reception desk upon entering the office, during pre-testing, and in the dispensary. Staff should have enough of an understanding to be able to guide patients to ask the doctor if they may be a suitable candidate for soft multifocal lenses. It is helpful if any of your staff members with presbyopia wears soft multifocal lenses in the office. They can discuss their own experience with soft multifocal contact lenses with patients.
  • Learn About New Product Offerings: There is a new multifocal contact lens option that should help you build out your multifocal practice even further. Proclear 1 day multifocal contact lenses can appeal to a broad group of patients with presbyopia. One day disposables are certainly the most convenient and healthiest contact lens option.
  • Identify Ideal Multifocal Candidates: Whether its emerging presbyopes who prefer the one day modality, patients who would like to wear contact lenses occasionally or even patients interested in switching over to multifocal contact lenses from monovision, there are a variety of patients that you can fit with multifocal contact lenses. All of your single vision one day patients who now have presbyopia and current patients with presbyopia who are wearing one day lenses as monovision are ideal candidates. Many current soft multifocal wearers in a two week or monthly modality may be interested in wearing a daily disposable now that a viable option is available.

The key is to be proactive. Informing and educating your patients with presbyopia about soft multifocal lenses and making a recommendation that will benefit them will result in a definite increase in the number of patients wearing these lenses.

Summer Tips for Contact Lens Wearers

Posted by CooperVision on Thursday, June 21, 2012

Contact lens wearers may be wondering how to protect their eyes this summer. From UV exposure, to sunscreen stings, to swimming, there are plenty of instances where contact lens wearers need to take extra care of their eyes. Here are some easy tips for contact lens wearers to use this summer:

  • Wear Contact Lenses with UV Blockers: Contact lenses with UV blockers can help block harmful UV rays. While they are not a substitute for complete protection from the sun for your eyes, every bit of sun protection helps! CooperVision makes a variety of UV blocking contact lenses such as Avaira contact lenses, Clearsight 1 Day contact lenses and others. Make sure to ask your eye care practitioner about your options for contact lenses with UV protection.
  • Wear Sunglasses: Sunglasses can protect the area of the eyes not protected by your contact lenses as well as delicate tissues around the eyes. However, the Vision Council found that more than 55 percent of adults in the United States lose or break their sunglasses every year. As an effort to increase public awareness about the dangers of UV exposure to the eyes, the Vision Council has created a great social media campaign called The Bureau of the Missing Sunglasses. It is a great resource about how to ensure that you protect your eyes this summer from harmful UV rays. Make sure to give it a read in order to make sure your eyes are protected.
  • Choose Sunscreen Wisely: Most contact lens wearers have experienced that unwelcome sting of sunscreen in their eyes from time to time. Make sure to talk to your dermatologist about gentler options. Ensure you are covered in and out of the water with a waterproof sunscreen. As always, patients should always wash their hands after applying sunscreen and before handling their contact lenses.

Summer is a great time of year! Make sure to use these summer eyecare tips and get out and enjoy the great weather summer has to offer.

How To Choose An Eye Doctor

Posted by CooperVision on Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Choosing which eye doctor is right for you is an important decision. But did you know that there are different types of eye doctors and professionals? Here is a list of the different types of eye care professionals that can help you take care of your vision for life:

  • Optometrist: is an eye doctor who has earned the Doctor of Optometry (OD) degree. Optometrists are trained to examine, diagnose, treat and manage diseases, injuries, and disorders of the visual system, the eye, and associated structures as well as identify related systemic conditions affecting the eye. They correct refractive errors by prescribing eyeglasses and contact lenses and can provide low vision services to the visually impaired and vision therapy to treat binocular vision disorders. Optometrists are an essential part of the pre-op and post-op team if ocular surgery is required.
  • Ophthalmologist: is a medical doctor that specializes in eye and vision care. They earn either an MD or a DO with a specialization in eye care. They are specially trained to provide the full spectrum of eye care, from prescribing glasses and contact lenses to complex and delicate eye surgery.
  • Optician: is an eye care professional who is not an eye doctor, but can use a prescription written by an optometrist or ophthalmologist in order to fit and sell eyeglasses and contact lenses (dependent upon the state in which they practice). Some states require opticians to be licensed.

If you are looking for an eye care professional near you, CooperVision has an eye care practitioner locator to help you get started in your search.

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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