In the News

Trends and current events in the healthcare industry.

Diabetic Eye Conditions

Posted by CooperVision on Friday, November 16, 2012

November is American Diabetes Month. A lot of diabetic eye conditions do not have early warning signs, so it helps to be aware of what can affect a diabetic patient. However, with early detection and treatment with an eye doctor, diabetic eye patients can control diabetic eye disease. But what eye conditions can affect diabetic patients? Here is a helpful list that patients can look over and discuss with their eye doctor:

Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy is a leading cause of blindness in American adults. It is caused by changes in the blood vessels of the retina. In some patients with diabetic retinopathy, retinal blood vessels may swell and leak fluid. In others, abnormal new blood vessels grow on the surface of the retina. Both can lead to vision loss or blindness.

Glaucoma

Glaucoma is an increase in fluid pressure inside the eye that leads to optic nerve damage and loss of vision. It is sometimes referred to as the "sneak thief of sight" as there are generally no symptoms or warning signals in the early stages of the disease. Annual eye exams are important for adults as they may help detect diseases such as glaucoma and diabetes in the early stages.

Cataracts

A cataract is when the lens of the eye becomes cloudy. It typically occurs in aging patients, but cataracts can occur in patients after an eye trauma, eye surgery, or even exposure to some types of radiation. One of the major risk factors is diabetes. Diabetic patients should have an eye exam by an eye doctor if they have symptoms like cloudy or blurry vision, colors that look dull, double vision, glare, or poor night vision.

Vision and Night Driving

Posted by CooperVision on Wednesday, November 14, 2012

As the days get shorter during these winter months, eye care patients will have to drive in the dark earlier. Driving at night can be a challenge because the human eye’s field of vision is much smaller without the help of natural light. There are also patients such as older patients, patients with dry eye, and patients who have higher order aberrations (optical imperfections that can’t be corrected with contact lenses or glasses) that may have a more challenging time driving when it is dark out. Here are a few important things that patients should know about their vision and night driving:

  • Make Sure Your Prescription Is Up to Date: One way motorists can overcome visual challenges while driving at night safely is making sure their prescription is current. Getting regular eye exams is one way to ensure that. An eye doctor can also check and let patients know if fading night vision could be a problem.
  • Older Patients Should Get Tested More Often: Older patients may struggle to focus on the road at night, where lighting is poor and more complex visual tasks are required. There are also eye conditions that can cause vision loss as patients age. These conditions include: cataracts, age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy. By getting regular eye exams, older patients can check with their eye doctor about the risks of driving at night.
  • Be Prepared: Before patients go for a drive, it can help to check and see if the windshield and mirrors are clear of any debris.
  • Talk To Your Eye Doctor: If a patient notices that his or her vision seems to be worse at night, talking to your eye doctor can help. An eye doctor can recommend tips and steps that a patient can take in order to stay safe on the road at night.

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.

CooperVision’s Avaira: A Comfortable Lens Wearing Experience

Posted by CooperVision on Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Are you an eye doctor interested in upgrading your patients in a 2-week contact lens? Introduce them to Avaira.

As the only two-week lens to have polyethylene glycol (PEG), as an integral component of the contact lens, Avaira lenses provide comfort for patients. Not only at the end of each day, but during the entire wearing cycle. This is due in part to PEG’s ability to tightly bind water, helping maintain hydration, and helping eliminate the need for rewetting agents. Many patients are also intrinsically familiar with PEG's benefits because it is a key ingredient in leading dry eye relief drops.

The Avaira family of soft contact lenses is the only naturally wettable two-week silicone hydrogel contact lens. 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 as the result of our unique Aquaform® Technology. It creates a softer, more flexible lens material, which help contribute to Avaira's long-lasting comfort.

If you are attending the American Academy of Optometry Meeting in Phoenix this week, make sure to stop by the CooperVision booth to learn more about how Avaira can help grow your practice. For more information on the Avaira family of contact lenses, click here.

Halloween Safety Month

Posted by CooperVision on Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Halloween is almost here, which means that scary costumes and candy are on the minds of many people. While all of this is a lot of fun, be sure to be safe especially with regards to your eyes. Here are some tips to help keep your eyes safe during Halloween:

Always Get Your Contact Lenses From An Eye Doctor

Decorative contact lenses may be tempting to don with a costume for Halloween, but remember to book an appointment with an eye doctor for any contact lenses. Since contact lenses are medical devices regulated by the Food & Drug Administration, obtaining contact lenses from a costume shop, beauty supply chain, or any place other than an eye doctor means that you are putting your eyes at risk for potentially blinding eye infections. Purchase the contact lenses from a licensed eye doctor. This ensures that the contact lenses you use are ordered from a licensed contact lens manufacturer and complies with all FDA regulations.

If blurred vision, redness, discomfort, swelling or discharge occurs, discontinue use of the contact lens immediately and see an eye doctor as soon as possible, as these may be signs of serious eye issues such as corneal abrasion, conjunctivitis, or corneal ulcer.

Avoid Pointed Objects as Costume Props

Costume props such as swords, spears, knives and wands may help make a Halloween costume more dramatic, but it can also be dangerous for your eyes. Should you get poked in the eye with a costume prop, make sure you see an eye doctor immediately.

Only Use FDA Approved Makeup Around the Eyes

Some costumes call for makeup around the eyes. Only use makeup that is approved for use around the eyes. Avoid using any makeup in the waterline (inner rim of the eye) and near the tear ducts. When removing makeup around the eyes, use an eye makeup remover instead of water and soap in order to avoid eye irritation. If the eye is red or irritated for a prolonged period of time, make sure to see an eye doctor.

Have a very safe and happy Halloween!

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.

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.

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.

August Is Children's Vision and Learning Month

Posted by CooperVision on Friday, August 3, 2012

August is National Children's Vision & Learning Month. The goal of this national observance is to help educate parents and educators about the critical link between vision and learning.Vision problems are the 4th most prevalent class of disability in the United States and one of the most prevalent conditions in childhood. According to All About Vision, experts say that roughly 80 percent of what a child learns in school is information that is presented visually. Seeing is our dominant sense and our primary source for gathering information in learning. Vision problems can have a profound effect on how children learn. Many kids who are struggling in school may have vision problems that are not detected during a typical school vision screening.

Some of the vision conditions commonly found in children are:

  • Amblyopia:is the loss or lack of development of central vision in one eye that is unrelated to any eye health problem and is not correctable with lenses. It can result from a failure to use both eyes together. Lazy eye is often associated with crossed-eyes or a large difference in the degree of nearsightedness or farsightedness between the two eyes. It usually develops before the age of 6, and it does not affect side vision. Symptoms may include noticeably favoring one eye or a tendency to bump into objects on one side.
  • Strabismus: is a condition in which both eyes do not look at the same place at the same time. It is commonly known as crossed eyes. It occurs when an eye turns in, out, up or down and is usually caused by poor eye muscle control or a high amount of farsightedness.
  • Refractive Errors: are vision conditions that affect how the eyes bend or “refract” light. Common refractive errors are: astigmatism, nearsightedness (myopia) and farsightedness (hyperopia).

It is important to know that a vision screening by a child's pediatrician or at his or her school is not the same as a comprehensive eye and vision examination by an optometrist. Vision screenings are a limited process and can't be used to diagnose an eye or vision problem, but rather may indicate a potential need for further evaluation. They may miss as many as 60% of children with vision problems. Even if a vision screening does not identify a possible vision problem, a child may still have one. Parents should take their children for a thorough optometric examination to ensure that their children are developing their vision properly.

August Is Children's Eye Health and Safety Month

Posted by CooperVision on Thursday, August 2, 2012

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) only one in three children in America have ever received eye care services before age six, yet more than 12.1 million school aged children have some form of vision problem. August is a month where eye-damaging UV rays are still strong and school is just around the corner – the perfect time for Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month.

An annual comprehensive eye exam is an important part of monitoring eye and the overall health in children, so it is recommended that school-aged children and teens get eye exams annually. Undetected vision problems can affect a child’s physical ability, readiness to learn, and self esteem. For more information on the importance of vision and eye health in children, be sure to check out the National Center For Children’s Vision and Eye Health.

Here is a list of great resources that you and your child can learn from during the month of August

  • Making Every Day A Healthy Vision Day Calendar: is a great way for kids to learn fun eye related facts.
  • Simple Tips For Healthy Eyes: is a list compiled by the National Eye Institute that make maintaining healthy eyes a snap.
  • Kids Quest About Vision Impairment: is an online quest that older kids can take in order to learn more about vision impairment and how it affects children.

How are you planning to talk to children about eye health and safety? Let us know!

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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