Tag Archives: contact lenses

Top Ten Reasons to Buy Your Contact Lenses from Your Eye Doctor

1. You are guaranteed to get the correct lenses in the correct parameters

2. You are guaranteed to get unexpired lenses

3. If your lenses are not performing properly you don’t have to worry about exchanging your old lenses

4. You can exchange unopened, unexpired, unmarked boxes in new condition at your yearly eye exam

5. If you have a defective lens, we will replace it free of charge

6. We have the latest manufacturer’s rebates available to save you money

7. Competitive pricing

8. FREE shipping

9. You will be getting the lenses from an authorized distributor of the brand you wear

10. You will have the satisfaction of supporting a local business that cares about you and your eyes

Image courtesy of Flickr user Malkav.

Study Shows UV Absorbing Contact Lenses Really Work.

Johnson & Johnson conducted a study using rabbits and concluded that UV absorbing contact lenses significantly reduced the UV induced changes in the cornea, aqueous humor (fluid in the eye) and the lens.  The study authors concluded that UV absorbent contact lenses were capable of protecting the cornea and crystalline lens of rabbit eyes from UV induced changes.

So the question is how does this affect humans?  There are a number of contact lenses on the market today that block most of the UV rays.  While we can’t guarantee that the results of the study would apply to humans we can generally infer that wearing this type of contact lens is beneficial for patients that spend a lot of time outdoors and do not wear sunglasses.

UV absorbent lenses do not protect our conjunctiva. The conjunctiva is the clear membrane that covers the blood vessels over the white part of the eye.  This is an important reason as to why UV absorbent contact lenses are not a replacement for quality sunglasses.  Excessive exposure to UV light on the conjunctiva is a leading cause for pterygia and pinguecula.  A pterygium is the fleshy growth that grows over the colored part of the eye, usually located at 3:00 or 9:00.  A pinguecula is the yellow bump on the white part of the eye, which is also located at 3:00 or 9:00.

While not a replacement for good sunglasses, using UV absorbent contact lenses, especially in children, is a good practice.

How to Insert, Remove and Take Care of Soft Contact Lenses

Coopervision has produced this 10+ minute video on how to insert, remove and take care of soft contact lenses.    There is a brief commercial at the beginning outlining the different kinds of contact lenses offered by CooperVision.  This video outlines the right way to do it.  Throw away that contact lens solution everyday!

How are Custom Soft Contact Lenses Made

Here is an interesting video from the TV show How It’s Made on how custom soft contact lenses are made.  The vast majority of soft contact lenses  prescribed today are mass produced and molded, however if you have a lot of astigmatism or wear special custom ordered contact lenses then the odds are good it was manufactured in a similar manner.

Encouraging Early Results in Nearsightedness Prevention Study

The first year of the Stabilization of Myopia by Accelerated Reshaping Technique (SMART) Study has produced some encouraging results in a recent announcement.  According to Dr. Robert L. Davis, co principal investigator of the SMART trial,  “The net effect of this contact lens fitting philosophy is to change the cornea shape for the sole purpose of reducing the amount of myopia as measured by change in refraction” .  “The results of the SMART Study so far are very exciting,” said Dr. Davis. “The outcomes of this study may revolutionize how we manage young nearsighted patients from this point forward”.

The SMART Trial involves 300 patients between the ages of 8 and 14.  The goal of the study is to see if having patients where overnight orthokeratology or corneal molding lenses will stop or slow the progression of nearsightedness.  The SMART Trial is the largest of its kind.  Other studies have also shown that preventing nearsightedness with ortho-K contact lenses is possible, such the CANDY Study.  A study from Ohio State Unversity suggested that wearing Ortho-K lenses overnight actually prevented the eye from becoming longer.  The SMART Trial has just completed the first year of the five year study.  We will continue to keep an eye on this potientially ground breaking study.

Are Bifocal Contact Lenses Right For You?

Why do I need bifocals is a very common question.  As a child we have a tremendous capacity to focus at near and as we get older our ability to focus at near slowly decreases to the point where around 40 years of age we begin to notice that it takes a significant effort to read.  We need more light than we used to.  The print quality has to be good.  We can’t read as well in the afternoon.  Sometimes we can read at near, but when we look up the distance is blurry.  These are all signs of presbyopia.  From the age of 40 to approximately the mid 60’s we notice the decline of our near vision.  This is called presbyopia (prez-bē-ˈō-pē-ə).

The good news is we have better options available than ever before.  Bifocal contact lenses really do work.  Read more…

Bausch & Lomb Launches Multi-Tiered U.S. Consumer Education Initiative To Raise Awareness Of Presbyopia

The naturally occurring vision condition will affect more than 78 million U.S. baby boomers.  Most are unaware that multifocal contact lenses can resolve their vision needs and avoid readers.

ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Bausch & Lomb, manufacturer of the #1 multifocal lens design, has launched its largest integrated marketing initiative with the goal of raising U.S. awareness of presbyopia and multifocal contact lenses. Presbyopia is a naturally occurring vision condition that begins to affect people in their 40s. As the eyes’ internal lenses become less flexible and lose elasticity, the eyes are less able to adjust quickly to rapid changes in focus from distance to near objects, causing blurred vision, most notable at reading distances.

Bausch & Lomb, makers of the Purevision Multifocal Contact Lens,  wish to make the public aware that just because you are over 40 doesn’t mean you need to wear reading glasses with your contact lenses.  Soft, bifocal contact lenses have come a long way in the last 10 years.  Read more …….

Study Shows Contact Lenses Improve The Self Image of Children

A new study evaluated the self perception of children between ages 8 and 11, finding that the contact lens wearers had a significantly higher sense of self worth than eye glass wearers in the areas of physical appearance, athletic competence, social acceptance and scholastic competence.

As eye doctors we should not only consider the best mode of correction for the patient but also the social and psychological implications on the child.  More information about the Adolescent and Child Health Initiative to Encourage Vision Empowerment (ACHIEVE) Study is  available here.  This is excellent information for any parent considering whether glasses or contacts are right for their child.

The Dangers of Not Discarding Your Contact Lenses

With the advent of disposable contact lenses, cases of Contact Lens Acute Red Eyes (C.L.A.R.E) have been greatly reduced. With the new generation of contact lens materials, known as silicone hydrogels, extended wear contact lenses have made a resurgence. The incidence of vision last as a result from contact lens wear has been greatly reduced the chances of a patient losing vision as a result of contact lens wear, thus actually making 30 day extended wear contact lenses safer than LASIK.

Here is a good video that talks about the dangers of stretching your contact lenses.

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The study comparing the safety of extended wear contact lenses vs LASIK did not restrict itself to patients that complied with the wearing schedule recommended by the contact lens manufacturer and the patient’s doctor.  We find that if a patient complies with the prescribed wearing schedule then the incidence of contact lens related red eyes is very low.

Almost without exception if a patient comes in to our office with a red eye they almost always have exceeded their wearing schedule.  So the moral story, discard your lenses following the prescribed wearing schedule and enjoy safe contact lens wear.

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LASIK – Is It Safer Than Contact Lenses?

It’s all over the radio these days a LASIK surgeon touts “some experts believe LASIK is safer than contact lenses”. In reality this is a difficult statement to backup properly, given that we are really comparing apples to oranges. Why is this comparison difficult? Comparing LASIK to another refractive surgery procedure, such as PRK, is rather straight forward because the complications are similar for both procedures and the opportunity for complications is essentially nil after the patient is stable, typically 6 months to a year after surgery. A contact lens wearer, on the other hand, has a lower complication rate. When compared to LASIK or PRK contact lens complications are less severe and less frequent, however, a contact lens wearer’s potential for complications will last as long as the patient is wearing their lenses, often for decades.

Both LASIK and contact lenses are safe and in our office we utilize both techniques, choosing which is best for the patient. It is our practice to discuss all of the refractive options with our patients. We weigh the risks and benefits of each option before proceeding.

As a practical matter the incidence of vision threatening problems in compliant contact lens wearers is very small. When a patient does have a problem, it typically manifests itself as a red eye usually resulting from poor care or not replacing their contacts as often as recommended. It is exceedingly rare for a contact lens related red eye to cause a patient to require surgery to resolve the problem.

This prompts me to ask “what does the research say”. In my mind that’s what matters. Let the studies show us which is safer. The most important contact lens and LASIK complications are those that have resulted in a loss of vision and therefore that is the best criteria to compare LASIK versus extended wear contact lenses. A 2005 study including almost 5,000 patients followed over a 1 year period showed that 30 day Ciba Night & Day contact lens wearers, experienced an overall rate of presumed infiltrative keratitis (a type of corneal ulcer) of 0.18%. Of those experiencing keratitis 0.036% resulted in a loss of vision and 0.144% experienced keratitis without vision loss.

Numerous studies published in 2005 and 2006 indicated a complication rate for LASIK, resulting in a loss of best corrected vision, ranging from 0.6% to 7.0%.

Given the facts outlined above, I feel it is doing patients a disservice to state or imply that refractive surgery is as safe or safer than silicone hydrogel contact lenses. Both LASIK/PRK and silicone hydrogel contact lenses have come a long way in reducing both the rate and severity of complications and in looking at the numbers both are safe.

I still believe LASIK and PRK are good options for patients. I, in fact, have had LASIK and at our office it is still one of the refractive options we present to our patients. However, the research does not support the statement that refractive surgery is as safe as contact lens wear nor should it be promoted as such.

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