Patient Spotlight

Information, education, recognition: everything about the contact lens and vision industry as it relates to patients.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Common Issues for Aging Eyes

Posted by CooperVision on Friday, June 15, 2012

Patients will notice significant changes that happen to their bodies as they age. Eyes are no exception. Aging eyes may mean a higher risk for developing age-related eye diseases and conditions such as age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, eye disease from diabetes, glaucoma, low vision and dry eye. While a lot of these eye conditions don’t always have early symptoms and warning signs, a dilated eye exam can help catch the early warning signs of these conditions. Here is a helpful list of conditions and descriptions to discuss at your next visit with an eye care practitioner:

  • Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD):is a condition that slowly destroys the macula , the part of the eye that provides sharp, central vision needed for seeing objects clearly. It typically occurs in patients who are 50 years of age or older, but some risk factors for AMD include smoking, race, and family history. AMD is a gradual and painless loss of vision. Since AMD does not have symptoms in its early stages, it is important to get your eyes checked by an eye care professional
  • 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. Some risk factors are diabetes, smoking, and prolonged exposure to the sun. Make sure to have an eye exam by an eye care professional if you have symptoms like cloudy or blurry vision, colors look dull, double vision, glare, or poor night vision.
  • Diabetic Eye Disease:This is vision loss that occurs as a complication of diabetes. It has no symptoms, so it is essential that diabetic patients have a dilated eye exam yearly in order to find and treat the disease before there is vision loss.
  • Glaucoma: Glaucoma is a group of diseases that can damage the eye's optic nerve and can cause vision loss and blindness. It is one of the main causes of blindness in the United States. However, with early treatment, you can often protect your eyes against serious vision loss.
  • Dry Eye: Dry eye is typically related to an insufficiency in tear film. Tear film is a mixture of water, fatty oils, proteins, and electrolytes . Tear film helps the eye stay hydrated, maintain a smooth and clear surface, and helps to prevent infections. When a patient either has decreased amounts of tear volume, or an increase in tear evaporation, that patient will suffer from dry eye. Some of the most common complaints of patients suffering from dry eye are: stinging, burning, grittiness, the feeling of something in the eye, and blurry vision. Aging patients are at risk to suffer from dry eye, so make sure to talk to an eye care professional if you suffer from symptoms of dry eye.
  • Low Vision:Low vision is a term that is used for patients that have visual acuities ranging from 20/70 or lower and can’t be fully corrected with glasses, contacts, or surgery. It is a condition that is caused by a variety of diseases such as AMD, cataracts, diabetes, and glaucoma.
  • For more information on conditions and diseases that affect aging eyes, make sure to talk to your eye care professional.

Dry Eyes and Menopause

Posted by CooperVision on Thursday, June 7, 2012

Older women may not know, but dry eyes are a condition commonly associated with menopause. In fact, according to the Society of Women’s Health Research, 62% of women have dry eye symptoms but only 16% of them knew that it may be linked to menopause.

While the cause of dry eyes in menopausal women is not yet known, some theories are that menopausal women have a decrease in certain hormones that help with tear production, or menopausal women experience a disruption of chemical signals that maintain a healthy tear film. Whatever the cause may be, dry eyes can affect a patient’s quality of life.

Some symptoms of dry eye are irritated, scratchy, dry, uncomfortable, or red eyes; a burning sensation, foreign body sensation in your eyes, and blurred vision. Excessive dry eyes may damage eye tissue, scar corneas, and impair vision. Dry eye symptoms tend to be worse at the end of the day; after a long time reading, or looking at a computer screen.

Patients with dry eyes don’t need suffer in silence. There are treatments available to patients to help alleviate the symptoms of dry eyes. An eye care practitioner can recommend a variety of remedies. Some remedies include eye drops, dietary supplements of omega-3 fatty acids, or a combination of remedies.

For patients interested in wearing contact lenses, an eye care practitioner may be able to direct dry eye patients to a contact lens that suits their special needs. Proclear lenses such as Proclear 1 day multifocal contact lenses 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.’

Make sure to see an eye care practitioner if you want to learn more about dry eyes and menopause.

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.

Prescribing For Presbyopia

Posted by CooperVision on Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Usually, people between the ages of 40 and 45 will start to see the effects of presbyopia. As we wrote about in a previous post, presbyopia is a natural process that makes it difficult to read small print because the lens inside the eye becomes less flexible. This flexibility is what allows the eye to change focus from objects that are far to objects that are close.

Your eye doctor can suggest a variety of options to correct presbyopia. Some common options to correct presbyopia include:

  • Reading Glasses: Patients can use these for reading, computer use, and other activities that require close vision.
  • Bifocal, Trifocal or Progressive Glasses: These are worn for seeing at all distances. However, since the reading portion is in the lower part of the lenses, seeing up close in a straight ahead gaze is difficult. Since people typically use computers with the screen directly in front of them, this is not an ideal situation. Another issue is that the reading area and field of view of these eyeglasses is relatively small. This requires patients to move their head in order to see wider areas like a computer screen or newspaper.
  • Monovision Contact Lenses: One way to wear contact lenses for presbyopia is to wear one lens for reading in one eye and one lens in the opposite eye for seeing in the distance (or just one lens in one eye for reading - if no distance prescription is necessary). This is called monovision. The problem with monovision is that you are only seeing with one eye at either distance or near and your vision in between them may be blurred. You also lose depth perception and the vision is never as clear as when both eyes are seeing at the same distance.
  • Multifocal Contact Lenses: This is another option for people with presbyopia. Like progressive glasses, the vision is corrected for all distances. However with contact lenses, a person is always looking through the center of the lens. Both the distance and near corrections have to be in the center of the lens. This creates simultaneous vision where both near and distance images are created. It takes some time for patients to adjust because the brain has to learn to select the clearer image depending on what is being viewed. The advantage of multifocal contacts is that anywhere that you look, you are looking through the center of the lens. It is also a great option for patients who are active and want to look their best.

CooperVision offers a variety of multifocal contact lens choices. The latest offering is to ask your eye doctor about is a daily disposable multifocal contact lens called Proclear 1 day multifocal contact lenses. Make sure to ask your eye doctor about what option is best for you.

CooperVision Introduces Proclear® 1 day multifocal lenses

Posted by CooperVision on Tuesday, May 29, 2012

More than one billion people worldwide have a vision condition called presbyopia, which is a natural decrease in the ability of the lens in the eye to change its shape to focus on close objects. We’ve all seen others struggle with trying to read menus and newspapers. Maybe it has even happened to you.

CooperVision announced the launch of Proclear® 1 day multifocal daily disposable contact lenses for patients like you who are looking for a convenient, comfortable, and healthier lens to wear full time, occasionally, or to complement progressive eyeglasses or reading glasses.

“When it comes to your vision or the way you live your life, we don’t think anyone should have to compromise,” said Dennis Murphy, Executive Vice President, Global Sales and Marketing, CooperVision. “With Proclear® 1 day multifocal lenses, vision is clear near, far, and in-between, without the need for spectacles.”

Not only is it a high performance contact lens, it is comfortable too. Proclear® is the only lens material cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the claim that it: “May provide improved comfort for those who experience dryness or mild discomfort during lens wear.” This is especially important for patients who often find that age-related dryness is an issue and deterrent for wearing contact lenses. Proclear® also offers natural biocompatibility, meaning that the lenses are made to imitate the cells of the human eye.

It is convenient too. With daily disposable lenses, the cost and hassle of contact lens maintenance is eliminated. And because the lenses are replaced each day, they are one of the healthiest contact lens options available. Proclear® 1 day multifocal lenses provide patients with the freedom to maintain an active and social lifestyle, allowing the wearer to decide whether to wear the lenses all day, part of the day, or reserve them for special situations. Plus, as your prescription changes, your eye care practitioner can easily adjust it, which means minimal disturbance to your vision, shorter appointments, and fewer follow-ups.

The lens will be launched initially in the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and a number of European countries. Click here to learn more on the Proclear® 1 day multifocal.

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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