Diabetes and The Eye

Posted by CooperVision on Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Patients with diabetes have an increased risk for glaucoma, cataracts, and other eye problems. While people with diabetes do have a higher risk of blindness than people without diabetes, most patients who have diabetes have nothing more than minor eye conditions. With regular checkups, patients can work with their eye doctor to keep their eyes healthy. And if diabetic patients develop a major problem, there are treatments that often work well if you begin them right away. Here are some tips for patients to keep their eyes healthy:

Get Regular Eye Exams: Diabetic patients should get an annual eye exam by an eye doctor. Patients can even find eye doctors who specifically treat diabetic patients. Eye exams may include dilating the eye so that the eye doctor can see the blood vessels in the entire retina. This will allow an eye doctor to see if there is diabetic retinopathy, a condition where diabetes damages the blood vessels in the retina.

Work With A Doctor To Control Blood Sugar: Patients who work with their doctor to control blood sugar levels may lower their risk of having eye problems. According to the American Diabetes Association, having high blood sugar can make your vision blurry temporarily.

Maintain a Healthy Blood Pressure: High blood pressure can make eye problems worse.

Quit Smoking: Patients can ask their physician for help if they need it.

Know When To Call An Eye Doctor: If patients have any issues like blurry vision, trouble reading, seeing double, eye pressure, or any other vision problems, they should make sure to see an eye doctor immediately.

Ten Tips for Computer Vision Syndrome Relief

Posted by CooperVision 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.

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.

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.

FAQS about Daily Disposable Contact Lenses

Posted by CooperVision on Wednesday, July 18, 2012

What is a daily disposable contact lens?

A daily disposable contact lens is a contact lens that you wear for one day. A patient puts them in the morning, and then throws them away at night. Each day, the patient starts with a fresh, clean, new pair of contact lenses. CooperVision offers a daily disposable contact lens option with its Proclear 1 Day contact lenses.

Are daily disposable contact lenses easy to care for?

Since daily disposable contact lenses are replaced every day, there is little contact lens maintenance. They are convenient because there are no time-consuming cleaning regimens to remember, and no solutions to buy.

Are daily disposable contact lenses comfortable?

Proclear 1 Day contact lenses are made with a unique lens material, with PC Hydration Technology™, that contains molecules found naturally in human cell membranes. These molecules attract and surround themselves with water, keeping your disposable contact lenses moist and comfortable, even after 12 hours of wear.

I have allergies and avoid wearing contact lenses. Are daily disposable contact lenses are a good option for me?

Proteins and allergens don't have time to build up on your lenses because you will be using a fresh new lens every day. This is especially helpful to those with seasonal ocular allergies.

How do I know what contact lenses are right for me?

Deciding which contact lenses are right for you is something that an eye doctor can help you with. Based on your vision correction needs, lifestyle, and preferences, an eye doctor will be able to guide you to the right contact lens for you. To get started, you can use CooperVision’s Find A Lens quiz. Take this quiz to find out how to choose contact lenses that could help you enjoy the best in vision, health, and comfort. Be sure to print your results and bring them to your next appointment to help start the conversation with your eye doctor.

Common Eye Myths

Posted by CooperVision on Monday, June 18, 2012

Many patients may have heard lots of advice from their parents to eat carrots for great vision, and not to read with poor lighting, but do they know which pieces of advice are actually eye myths? Here are some common eye myths debunked:

Sitting in front of the TV or computer will harm your eyes

While patients who do this will experience eye strain, the pain is temporary. It is painful because patients are not blinking as often as they should when they are looking at a screen for long periods of time. Not blinking enough can lead to dry eyes. Doing the 20/20/20 rule can help alleviate the painful effects of dry eye. Every 20 minutes, take your eyes off your computer and look at something 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds. Some other solutions for dry eye are to blink often and use artificial tear drops.

Eating carrots improve your vision

While diet can certainly help improve the health of a patient’s eyes, eating carrots does not enhance vision. Vitamin A defiency is linked with poorer vision, but an abundance of the vitamin will not ensure eagle eyes. Some super foods to eat for healthier vision are: leafy greens, egg yolks, and nuts.

Reading in dim light ruins your vision

While reading with poor lighting can give patients a headache and some eye strain, it won’t worsen their vision or damage their eyes. However, for reading comfort, it does help to read with a bright light. Eye strain from reading in dim lighting may result in a number of physical effects including sore or itching eyeballs, headaches, back and neck aches and blurred vision. None of these symptoms damage a patient’s eyes, and the effect eventually goes away.

Wearing eyeglasses or contact lenses makes you dependent to them

Using vision correction does not accelerate the deterioration of a patient’s vision. Patients may notice that as they get used to clearer vision with their contact lenses or eyeglasses they will use them more, but it does not make them dependent on vision correction.

If you’re a eye care patient who needs a possible eye myth debunked, make sure to talk to an eye care practitioner near you.

How to Protect Your Eyes This Summer

Posted by CooperVision on Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Now that summer is here, you may be wondering how to protect your eyes. From being out in the sun, to swimming in pools or the ocean, there are plenty of instances where you need to take extra care of your eyes. Here are some easy tips that you can use to protect your eyes while enjoying all that summer has to offer:

  • Protect your eyes from the sun: Eye damage from the sun can affect surface tissues and internal structures such as the cornea and the lens. Make sure that you wear sunglasses that protect against UVA and UVB rays.
  • Make sure to wear eye protection when doing home improvements: It is important to protect your eyes while doing things such as mowing the lawn, sanding down planks, or any other home improvement projects. Eye injuries that require surgery can happen even from something as routine as yard work.
  • Wear protection when playing sports: Eye care professionals recommend wearing protective eye wear such as safety glasses and goggles, safety shields, and eye guards while playing sports . Using protective eye wear can prevent serious eye injuries from sports equipment. Here is a helpful list of sports according to eye injury risk . You can talk to an eyecare professional about the right type of protective eyewear and to ensure proper fit.
  • Avoid wearing contact lenses when swimming or showering: Wearing contact lenses when swimming may cause an Acanthamoeba keratitis infection. Acanthamoebakeratitis has also been isolated from virtually all water sources—from pools to hot tubs to showers.

Summer is a fun time of the year so make sure to enjoy it! Just remember to be good to your eyes too while enjoying the season.

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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