on Wednesday, October 3, 2012
With new electronic devices like the iPhone 5, iPad, and others, there may be a rise in patients who suffer from computer vision syndrome. Computer vision syndrome is a group of eye and vision-related problems that result from prolonged computer use. Problems from computer vision syndrome can range from physical fatigue to eye twitching. If you think you are suffering from computer vision syndrome, it is important to see an eye doctor who can assess the best personalized treatment for you.
However, if you are like most people who work on electronic devices all day, there are things that you can do to prevent computer vision syndrome. Here are some tips that you can use:
- See An Eye Doctor: The first step to preventing computer vision syndrome is seeing your eye doctor for an eye exam. It is one of the only ways to keep track of your eye health. Make sure to tell your eye doctor if you are a heavy user of electronic devices.
- Embrace the 20/20/20 Rule: If you work on a computer at your desk, make sure to take a 20 second break every 20 minutes and shift your vision to something else 20 feet away.
- Remember to Blink: When you work at a computer or on other electronic devices, you are less likely to blink. However, blinking is important because it keeps your eyes moist and prevents dry eye. So remember to blink when you are using electronic devices.
- Take Mini Breaks: Most people only take two 15 minute breaks throughout the work day, but taking shorter more frequent breaks from working on electronic devices like computers are easier on your eyes. Make sure to get up, stretch, and move around during your breaks so that your eyes get a break from looking at a screen.
- Check Your Monitor: According to the AOA, most people find it easier to view a computer screen at a downward angle. The AOA recommends that the computer screen should be 15 to 20 degrees below eye level (about 4 or 5 inches) as measured from the center of the screen and 20 to 28 inches from the eyes.
- Check Your Lighting: Make sure to position your computer screen from overhead fluorescent lights in order to avoid glare. Using curtains on windows can also help prevent glare from outdoor light. Another good trick is to use floor lamps instead of overhead lighting in order to reduce glare.
- Make Sure To Adjust Your Computer Display Settings: Tweaking the display settings of your computer can help you avoid straining your eyes. Adjust the brightness of your screen so that it matches the light around you. If your screen looks like a light source, it is too bright. If it looks dull or gray, it is too dark. Text size and contrast make a difference too. Typically, looking at dark letter against a light background is easier on the eyes.
- Check Your Chair: Adjusting your seat can help prevent your eyes from getting too fatigued. Chairs should be comfortably padded and conform to the body. Your feet should rest flat on the floor, so you may need to adjust your chair height. Check your arm rests to ensure that they are providing support while you type.
- Invest In a Document Holder: If you need to work with reference materials, make sure that you have a document holder that can tilt and display your materials at an angle in front of your computer screen. It should be placed below your monitor but above your key board.
- Ask About Computer Eyewear: Your eye doctor may be able to prescribe computer eyewear that can help alleviate eye strain.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
on Friday, May 11, 2012
Makeup and contact lenses can be a challenging combination, but with the right precautions, contact lens wearers can look and feel great. While we have covered this topic of makeup and contact lenses before, here are some fresh tips on what to do and not to do when dealing with makeup and contact lenses:
- Wash your hands before you handle contact lenses.
- Insert contact lenses before putting on your makeup in order to avoid transferring any oils, creams, makeup or lotions to the lenses.
- Use hypoallergenic makeup or oil free makeup. Some brands even label if a product is contact lens friendly.
- Gently apply eye makeup so that you don’t move your lenses too much.
- Consider using waterproof eye makeup to prevent smudging or flaking.
- Apply powder makeup carefully with eyes closed if possible to prevent flecks of makeup from getting on lenses.
- Apply makeup if your eyes are red, swollen or painful.
- Wear lash building mascara because it tends to flake easily.
- Wear mascara starting at the base of your eyelashes. Try applying from the midpoint of your lashes to the ends.
- Tightline (apply eyeliner in the waterline of your eyes).
- Wear contact lenses in salons. Fumes can damage contact lenses.
- Share makeup.
- Use eyelash cement, hairspray, perfume, or nail polish remover near your lenses. They can damage them.
Used properly, makeup can safely enhance the beauty of your eyes. However, if you do run into any problems with your vision or your contact lenses, make sure to remove them immediately and contact an eye care professional
on Wednesday, May 2, 2012
Most patients know it is important to protect their skin from the sun, but what about their eyes? Eye damage from the sun can affect surface tissues and internal structures such as the cornea and the lens. Short term eye damage from the sun can cause a temporary but painful burn to the cornea called photokeratitis. Long term eye damage may cause cataracts, pterygium, pinguecula, and cancer.
Children are especially vulnerable to sun damage to the eyes. Almost half of the time an adult spends outside during his/her lifetime is spent during childhood years. Children are more likely to suffer sun damage to the eyes because the lenses on their eyes are thinner, allowing more of the damaging rays to reach the retina at the back of the eye.
The good news is that patients can prevent eye damage from the sun with UV protection incorporated into eyeglasses, sunglasses, and contact lenses. Contact lenses can incorporate UV-blocking optical materials that can offer added protection because they can filter out UV rays that stray past hats and sunglasses. CooperVision offers contact lenses with a UV tint, but remember to use these handy sun protection tips for more complete UV protection:
- Wear sunglasses with UV protection
- Use sunscreen
- Wear a wide brimmed hat
- Stay out of the sun
- Make sure kids are protected too
If patients have questions about eye conditions related to sun damage, they should talk to an eyecare professional. Patients can locate an eyecare professional here
on Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Now that spring is in the air, it is the perfect time for outdoor activities for many patients. But what do patients do if they want to be active but they need vision correction? Patients who wear eyeglasses may worry about them fogging up, breaking, or falling off their face while they are active.
For active patients, contact lenses may be a better alternative. Contact lenses allows for a wider field of peripheral vision, a greater array of protective eyewear, zero distortion of images, and optimal vision correction from all angles of gaze. While there are plenty of benefits of contact lenses for an active patient, there are still commonly asked questions about contact lenses and outdoor activities that an eyecare professional can answer. Here are some common questions about vision correction and outdoor activities:
What can I do to protect my eyes from UV rays?
An eyecare professional may recommend contact lenses with a UV tint. It is important to remember that while a contact lens may offer UV protection, it is limited to the area of your eye covered by the lenses. It is crucial to wear sunglasses with UV protection in order to ensure complete UV protection of the eye area. CooperVision offers a variety of contact lenses with a UV tint. You can learn more about CooperVision’s contact lenses here.
What do you recommend for overnight outdoor activities?
For convenience, daily disposables such as Proclear 1 Day contact lenses may be a good choice because it removes the hassle of having to remove or clean lenses at night. Wearers simply remove them after a day’s wear. There is no need to worry about lens storage. An eyecare professional can determine which patients are good candidates for daily disposables.
For more in depth questions about contact lenses and outdoor activities, patients should talk to an eye care professional. CooperVision offers an eye care professional locator that allows patients to find a professional near them here.