College of Optometrists offers advice to skiers and snowboarders to protect their eyes on the slopes

The College of Optometrists offers advice to skiers and snowboarders to protect their eyes on the slopes

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The College of Optometrists is urging winter sports fans to make sure they are adequately protecting their eyes when out on the slopes this winter. Although clear skies and deep powder provide perfect skiing conditions; snow is reflective, so the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays are much more powerful  on the slopes than elsewhere – posing a risk to eye health.

 

Dr Susan Blakeney, the College’s Clinical Adviser explains: “It’s important that when snowboarders and skiers are getting kitted out for the slopes they get goggles to protect their eyes. As snow can reflect significantly more light than normal ground surfaces, it is vital that you protect your eyes by wearing goggles or sunglasses that are specifically designed for winter sports, and are made to the relevant safety standard to ensure they absorb sufficient UV.

 

“UV exposure is cumulative so, although you may not feel any immediate effects you could be putting yourself at risk of long term damage as sunlight may damage your eyes, increasing the long-term risk of developing conditions such as cataracts and possibly AMD (Age-related Macular Degeneration). If you are not sure of the best protective eyewear for you, ask your optometrist before travelling.”

 

Here are Dr Blakeney’s top tips for looking after your eyes on the slopes:

  • Wear goggles if possible – sunlight can be reflected off the surface of the snow and sunglasses may not provide sufficient all round protection.
  • If you’re going on a family holiday don’t forget about your children – their eyes are more receptive to UV than adult eyes, so UV protection is particularly important for them.
  • If you do choose sunglasses, look for the stamp that says they comply with the safety standard BS EN ISO 12312-1:2013 and have a CE mark – the manufacturer’s assurance that they meet European safety standards.
  • There are four categories of tint in the BS EN ISO 12312-1:2013 standard. Category 4 (the darkest) is designed for protection against extreme sun-glare for example over snowfields or on high mountains. Ask your optometrist to show you glasses in this category.
  • Choose eyewear that fits comfortably – make sure it is the right size for you, and unlikely to fall off in the event of sudden movements or higher winds.
  • Wear a hat that covers the rim of your glasses to protect your eyes from direct over head sunlight.
  • People who wear glasses can wear sunglasses too – sunglasses can be made to any prescription.

Diabetes-related vision loss growing worldwide

The worldwide burden of diabetes-related vision loss is growing alarmingly. Over 2 decades from 1990-2010, the number of people worldwide with diabetes-related blindness or visual impairment rose by an alarming 27 percent and 64 percent, respectively. In 2010, 1 in every 52 people had vision loss and 1 in every 39 people were blind due to diabetic retinopathy – where the retina is damaged by diabetes.

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The researchers suggest poor control of blood glucose and inadequate access to eye health services in many parts of the world are contributing to the growing global burden of diabetes-related vision loss.

 

These figures are the result of an analysis by a global consortium, who recently published their work online in the journal Diabetes Care.

As the number of people living with diabetes worldwide grows, so increases the risk of more people developing diabetic retinopathy and suffering subsequent vision loss, especially if they do not receive or adhere to the care they need.

Diabetic retinopathy is a disease of the retina that damages sight as a result of chronic high blood sugar in diabetes. The high sugar damages the delicate blood vessels in the retina – the light-sensitive layer of tissue that lines the back of the eye.

As the damage increases, the blood vessels begin to leak and distort vision. In people with advanced diabetic retinopathy, new, abnormal blood vessels grow in the retina, causing further damage and eventually permanent scarring and vision loss or blindness.

Lead author Janet Leasher, associate professor of the College of Optometry at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, FL, says:

“Unfortunately diabetic retinopathy usually does not have any symptoms in the early stages.”

Thus, it is important that people with diabetes have their eyes tested every year, follow the advice of their eye health practitioner, and make sure they keep their blood sugar under control.

 

Researchers suggest poor control of blood glucose and inadequate access to eye health services in many parts of the world are contributing to the rising numbers of people with diabetes-related vision loss.

 

Lead investigator Rupert R.A. Bourne, professor and associate director of the Vision and Eye Research Unit at Anglia Ruskin University in the United Kingdom, says:

“With the alarming prevalence of vision loss due to diabetes rising more than two thirds in the last 20 years, the precipitous global epidemic of diabetes must be addressed.”

He and his colleagues suggest policymakers in the regions most affected by diabetic retinopathy should develop and implement plans for preserving the vision of diabetic adults, screen for diabetic retinopathy, and improve glucose and blood pressure in diabetics.

They should also intensify efforts to prevent and treat diabetic retinopathy – for instance, by introducing laser treatments, use of intravitreal injections of steroids, and anti-VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor) drugs.

“People diagnosed with diabetes should have a dilated eye health examination at least every year and be advised by their eye care practitioner for their personal situation. Patients should work closely with their healthcare provider to determine the best methods to control their blood sugar levels.”

 

Source : Prof. Janet Leasher

Written by Catharine Paddock PhD

 

If you have any questions or would like to book an eye examination contact us

 


Lindberg Eyewear

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Lindberg are a Danish eyewear manufacturer offering glasses, sunglasses and fashion frames for men, women and children. They specialise in lightweight titanium frames.

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The collection has many frames designs, with  multiple colour options, lens shapes and sizes. The unique nosepad fitting give superb comfort and fit.

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Traditionally, Lindberg rimless frames offer minimalist, light as a feather eyewear with individual style. They have replicated this philosophy, in their acetate frames  offering one of the lightest frames on the market,  without comprising the elegant style, maximum comfort and functional design.

More than half of the Lindberg frames weigh only 1.9 grams and this is good news for those who feel the weight of their glasses on their face.

Lindberg represent Danish minimalist tradition, showing eyewear design at it’s best.

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LINDBERG design, develop and manufacture their frames. In 2014 alone they have received 8 international design awards. LINDBERG has a unique mindset in the international eyewear industry, over the years, they have revolutionised eyewear design.

Please call into the practice to view our full range of frames.


What is Cataract?

A cataract is a clouding of the eye’s natural lens, which is located behind the iris and pupil.
Cataracts are the most common cause of visual loss in people over the age of 40 and is the principal cause of blindness in the world.
In fact, there are more cases of cataracts worldwide than there are of glaucoma, macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy combined, according to a recent study.
Types of cataract include:
  • A subcapsular cataract occurs at the back of the lens. People with diabetes or those taking high dosed of steroid medication have a greater risk of developing a subcapsular cataract.
  • A nuclear cataract forms deep in the central zone (nucleus) of the lens. Nuclear cataracts are usually associated with ageing.
  • A cortical cataract is characterised by white, wedge-like opacities that start in the periphery of the lens and work their way to the centre in a spoke-like fashion. This type of cataract occurs in the lens cortex, which is the part of the lens that surrounds the lens nucleus.
Cataract signs and symptoms
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Cloudy, blurred vision can be one of the first symptoms of a cataract. A cataract may make light from the sun or a lamp seem too bright or glaring. Increased glare from on coming headlights may be noticed whilst driving at night and colours may not seem as bright as they once did.
the type of cataract present will determine the symptoms presented.
If you suspect that you may have a cataract, it is wise to have an eye examination to investigate this further.
What causes cataracts?
The lens inside the eye works much like a camera lens, focusing light onto the retina for clear vision. it also adjusts the eye’s focus, enabling clear vision both up close and far away.
The lens is mostly made of water and protein. The protein is arranged in a precise way that keeps the lens clear and lets light pass through it. However as we age, some of the protein may clump together and start to cloud a small area of the lens. this is cataract and over time, it may grow larger and cloud more of the lens making it harder to see.
Besides advancing age, cataract risk factors include:
  • Ultraviolet radiation from the sun and other sources.
  • Diabetes
  • Hypertension
  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Prolonged us of corticosteroid medications
  • Statin medicines used to reduce cholesterol
  • Previous eye injury or inflammation
  • Hormone replacement therapy
  • Significant alcohol consumption
  • High myopia
  • Family history
One theory that is gaining favour now, is that oxidative changes within the lens cause cataracts. Nutritional studies would seem to support this, with an inclusion of anti oxidant rich fruits and vegetables in the diet to counteract the damage, being recommended.
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Studies have shown that higher dietary intakes of vitamin E and the caratenoids lutein and zeathanthin from food and supplements were associated with significantly decreased risks of cataracts.
Good food sources of vitamin E include sunflower seeds, almonds and avocados. Good sources of lutein and zeathanthin include spinach, kale and other leafy green vegetables.
Other studies have shown antioxidant vitamins such as vitamin C and foods containing omega-3 fatty acids may reduce cataract risk.
Another important step in preventing cataract formation is the use of protective sunglasses that block 100% of the sun’s UV rays when outdoors.
Cataract treatment
Initial symptoms may be improved with spectacles or a change in prescription. Appropriate magnification and lighting may also help.
Surgery can be considered when the cataracts have progressed enough to seriously impair vision and affect daily life.
Cataract surgery is a simple, relatively painless procedure to regain vision.During surgery, the surgeon will remove the cloudy lens and replace it with a clear, plastic intraocular lens (IOL).
For more information or for a full eye examination, contact us.

Eye Conditions explained- Conjunctivitis

This common eye problem is typically easily treated and, with a few simple precautions, can often be avoided.

Anyone can get conjunctivitis, but nursery and school children, students and teachers are particularly at risk for the contagious types, due to their close proximity with others in the classroom.

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What is conjunctivitis?

It is an inflammation of the thin, clear covering of the white of the eye and the inside of the eyelids (conjunctiva).

Although the conjunctiva is transparent, it contains blood vessels that overlay the sclera of the eye.

Anything that triggers inflammation will cause these conjunctival blood vessels to dilate. This is what causes red, bloodshot eyes.

What causes conjunctivitis?

The primary types of conjunctivitis, based on cause, are:

  • Viral. Caused by a virus, like the common cold. This type is very contagious, but usually will clear up on its own within several days without medical treatment.
  • Bacterial. Caused by bacteria, this type of conjunctivitis can cause serious damage to the eye if left untreated.
  • Allergic. Caused by eye irritants such as pollen and dust  among susceptible individuals. Allergic conjunctivitis may be seasonal (pollen) or flare up year-round (dust,  pet hair).

Signs and Symptoms

  • Viral. Watery, itchy eyes; sensitivity to light. One or both eyes can be affected. Highly contagious; can be spread by coughing and sneezing.
  • Bacterial. A sticky, yellow or greenish-yellow eye discharge in the corner of the eye. In some cases, this discharge can be severe enough to cause the eyelids to be stuck together when you wake up. One or both eyes can be affected. Contagious (usually by direct contact with infected hands or items that have touched the eye).
  • Allergic. Watery, burning, itchy eyes; often accompanied by stuffiness and a runny nose, and light sensitivity. Both eyes are affected. Not contagious.

Treatment 

  • Viral. In most cases, viral conjunctivitis will run its course over a period of several days and no medical treatment is required or indicated.
  • Bacterial. Your GP will typically prescribe antibiotic eye drops or ointments for the treatment of bacterial conjunctivitis.
  • Allergic. Allergy medications often can help prevent or shorten bouts of allergic conjunctivitis. Sometimes these medications must be started before allergy season or allergy flare-ups begin. Ask your doctor for details.

Often it can be difficult to tell the type of conjunctivitis you have by symptoms alone (or if some other eye problems or underlying health conditions are causing your symptoms).

Conditions associated with conjunctivitis include other eye infections, dry eyes and blepharitis. Also, bacterial conjunctivitis sometimes can lead to very serious eye problems such as a corneal ulcer, potentially causing permanent vision loss.

For these reasons, anytime you develop red, irritated eyes, you should seek medical advice.

If you wear contact lenses, remove your lenses and wear your glasses until the sypmtoms have cleared. Also, discard any eye make up used leading up to the infection.

Prevention

Here are 10 simple precautions you can take to significantly reduce your risk of getting conjunctivitis:

  1. Never share personal items such as flannels, hand towels or tissues.
  2. Cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing, and avoid rubbing or touching your eyes.
  3. Never share your coloured contact lenses or special effect contacts with friends.
  4. Wash your hands frequently, especially when spending time at school or in other public places.
  5. Use a hand sanitiser regularly.
  6. Frequently clean surfaces such as countertops, taps and shared phones with an appropriate antiseptic cleaner.
  7. If you know you suffer from seasonal allergies, ask your doctor what can be done to minimize your symptoms before they begin.
  8. If you wear contacts, be sure to follow your optometrist’s instructions for lens care and replacement, and use contact lens solutions properly or consider switching to daily disposable contacts.
  9. When swimming, wear swim goggles to protect yourself from bacteria and other microorganisms in the water that can cause conjunctivitis.
  10. Before showering, remove your contact lenses to avoid trapping bacteria between your eyes and the lenses.

 
Wash your hands often, to keep viral Conjunctivitis from spreading.

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If your child is affected, tell his or her teacher about the infection so extra steps can be taken to sanitise the classroom. Also, keep your child home until the contagious stage has passed.

Conjunctivitis can be a symptom of many different types of eye problems — some that can be quite serious — make sure you consult with your optician.

source : All about vision


Computer Eye Strain – what to do

Computer Eye Strain: 10 Steps For Relief

With so many of us using computers at work, computer eye strain has become a major job-related complaint. Studies show that eye strain and other bothersome visual symptoms occur in 50 to 90 percent of computer workers.

These problems can range from physical fatigue, decreased productivity and increased numbers of work errors, to minor annoyances like eye twitching and red eyes.

Here are 10 easy steps you can take to reduce your risk of computer eye strain and other common symptoms of computer vision syndrome (CVS):

  1. Get a comprehensive eye exam.

Having a routine comprehensive eye exam is the most important thing you can do to prevent or treat computer vision problems. If you haven’t had an eye exam in over a year, schedule a visit with an optician.

According to the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), computer users should have an eye exam before they start working on a computer and once a year thereafter.

During your exam, be sure to tell your optician how often you use a computer at work and at home. Measure how far your eyes are from your screen when you sit at your computer, and bring this measurement to your exam so your eye doctor can test your eyes at that specific working distance.

  1. Use proper lighting.

Eye strain often is caused by excessively bright light either from outdoor sunlight coming in through a window or from harsh interior lighting. When you use a computer, your ambient lighting should be about half as bright as that typically found in most offices.

Eliminate exterior light by closing drapes, shades or blinds. Reduce interior lighting by using fewer light bulbs or fluorescent tubes, or use lower intensity bulbs and tubes. If possible, position your computer monitor or screen so windows are to the side, instead of in front or behind it.

Many computer users find their eyes feel better if they can avoid working under overhead fluorescent lights. If possible, turn off the overhead fluorescent lights in your office and use floor lamps that provide indirect incandescent or halogen lighting instead.

Sometimes switching to “full spectrum” fluorescent lighting that more closely approximates the light spectrum emitted by sunlight can be more comforting for computer work than regular fluorescent tubes. But even full spectrum lighting can cause discomfort if it’s too bright. Try reducing the number of fluorescent tubes installed above your computer workspace if you are bothered by overhead lighting.

  1. Minimize glare.

Glare on walls and finished surfaces, as well as reflections on your computer screen also can cause computer eye strain. Consider installing an anti-glare screen on your monitor and, if possible, paint bright white walls a darker colour with a matte finish.

Again, cover the windows. When outside light cannot be reduced, consider using a computer hood.

If you wear glasses, purchase lenses with anti-reflective (AR) coating. AR coating reduces glare by minimizing the amount of light reflecting off the front and back surfaces of your eyeglass lenses.

  1. Upgrade your display.

If you have not already done so, replace your old tube-style monitor (called a cathode ray tube or CRT) with a flat-panel liquid crystal display (LCD), like those on laptop computers.

LCD screens are easier on the eyes and usually have an anti-reflective surface. Old-fashioned CRT screens can cause a noticeable “flicker” of images, which is a major cause of computer eye strain. Even if this flicker is imperceptible, it still can contribute to eye strain and fatigue during computer work.

Complications due to flicker are even more likely if the refresh rate of the monitor is less than 75 hertz (Hz). If you must use a CRT at work, adjust the display settings to the highest possible refresh rate.

When choosing a new flat panel display, select a screen with the highest resolution possible. Resolution is related to the “dot pitch” of the display. Generally, displays with a lower dot pitch have sharper images. Choose a display with a dot pitch of .28 mm or smaller.

Flicker is not an issue with LCD screens, since the brightness of pixels on the display are controlled by a “backlight” that typically operates at 200 Hz.

If you see a lower refresh rate (e.g. 60 Hz) noted on an LCD screen, don’t worry — this refers to how often a new image is received from the video card, not how often the pixel brightness of the display is updated, and this function typically is not associated with eye strain.

Finally, choose a relatively large display. For a desktop computer, select a display that has a diagonal screen size of at least 19 inches.

 

  1. Adjust your computer display settings.

Adjusting the display settings of your computer can help reduce eye strain and fatigue. Generally, these adjustments are beneficial:

  • Brightness. Adjust the brightness of the display so it’s approximately the same as the brightness of your surrounding workstation. As a test, look at the white background of this Web page. If it looks like a light source, it’s too bright. If it seems dull and grey, it may be too dark.
  • Text size and contrast. Adjust the text size and contrast for comfort, especially when reading or composing long documents. Usually, black print on a white background is the best combination for comfort.
  • Colour temperature. This is a technical term used to describe the spectrum of visible light emitted by a colour display. Blue light is short-wavelength visible light that is associated with more eye strain than longer wavelength hues, such as orange and red. Reducing
  • the colour temperature of your display lowers the amount of blue light emitted by a colour display for better long-term viewing comfort.

For computers running on a Microsoft Windows operating system, display settings can be adjusted in Control Panel. For an Apple computer, display settings are found in Systems Preferences (in the Applications folder in Finder).

In some cases, the colour temperature of a desktop computer monitor is adjusted on the display itself.

You can adjust text size when using Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari and other browsers, too. For example, in Firefox, you can enlarge an entire webpage by using the keyboard command Ctrl + as many times as you want, while Ctrl 0 makes everything normal-sized again. (Ctrl – makes everything smaller.) To enlarge only the text, use Alt V, then Z, then T. Then use Ctrl + again, and you’ll see just the text enlarging.

Each browser and email program has different commands for adjusting text size, so look through the menus to learn what they are. Or visit Google and search for how-tos there.

Many smartphones let you adjust text size. For example, on the iPhone 4, you simply open the Settings menu, then choose General, then Accessibility, then Large Text. Here you can choose a new font size for core applications such as Mail, Notes and Calendar. The font will also display in certain third-party applications.

Whatever type of digital screen you’re using, you’ll enjoy it more if you make the effort to adjust the view for your visual comfort. Don’t know how? Check the manufacturer’s website or look it up on Google.

  1. Blink more often.

Blinking is very important when working at a computer; blinking moistens your eyes to prevent dryness and irritation.

When working at a computer, people blink less frequently — about one-third as often as they normally do — and many blinks performed during computer work are only partial lid closures, according to studies.

Tears coating the eye evaporate more rapidly during long non-blinking phases and this can cause dry eyes. Also, the air in many office environments is dry, which can increase how quickly your tears evaporate, placing you at greater risk for dry eye problems.

If you experience dry eye symptoms, ask your eye doctor about artificial tears for use during the day.

By the way, don’t confuse lubricating eye drops with the drops formulated to “get the red out.” The latter can indeed make your eyes look better — they contain ingredients that reduce the size of blood vessels on the surface of your eyes to “whiten” them. But they are not necessarily formulated to reduce dryness and irritation.

To reduce your risk of dry eyes during computer use, try this exercise: Every 20 minutes, blink 10 times by closing your eyes as if falling asleep (very slowly). This will help rewet your eyes.

To ease eye strain, make sure you use good lighting and sit at a proper distance from the computer screen.

  1. Exercise your eyes.

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Another cause of computer eye strain is focusing fatigue. To reduce your risk of tiring your eyes by constantly focusing on your screen, look away from your computer at least every 20 minutes and gaze at a distant object (at least 20 feet away) for at least 20 seconds. Some eye doctors call this the “20-20-20 rule.” Looking far away relaxes the focusing muscle inside the eye to reduce fatigue.

Another exercise is to look far away at an object for 10-15 seconds, then gaze at something up close for 10-15 seconds. Then look back at the distant object. Do this 10 times.

This exercise reduces the risk of your eyes’ focusing ability to “lock up” (a condition called accommodative spasm) after prolonged computer work.

Both of these exercises will reduce your risk of computer eye strain. Also, remember to blink frequently during the exercises to reduce your risk of computer-related dry eye.

  1. Take frequent breaks.

To reduce your risk for computer vision syndrome and neck, back and shoulder pain, take frequent breaks during your computer work day.

Computer Vision News

New Report on Digital Eye Strain

“Eye Overexposed: The Digital Device Dilemma” is The Vision Council’s latest report on digital eye strain.

With our constant exposure to digital devices, the document reveals that not only young adults, but children and older folks, too, are experiencing symptoms like eye strain, headaches, dry eyes, blurred vision and pain in the neck, shoulder and back.

Many workers take only two 15-minute breaks from their computer throughout their work day. According to a recent NIOSH study, discomfort and eye strain were significantly reduced when computer workers took four additional five-minute “mini-breaks” throughout their work day.

And these supplementary breaks did not reduce the workers’ productivity. Data entry speed was significantly faster as a result of the extra breaks, so work output was maintained even though the workers had 20 extra minutes of break time each day.

During your computer breaks, stand up, move about and stretch your arms, legs, back, neck and shoulders to reduce tension and muscle fatigue.

Check your local bookstore or consult your fitness club for suggestions on developing a quick sequence of exercises you can perform during your breaks and after work to reduce tension in your arms, neck, shoulders and back.

  1. Modify your workstation.

If you need to look back and forth between a printed page and your computer screen, this can cause eye strain. Place written pages on a copy stand adjacent to the monitor.

Light the copy stand properly. You may want to use a desk lamp, but make sure it doesn’t shine into your eyes or onto your computer screen.

Improper posture during computer work also contributes to computer vision syndrome. Adjust your workstation and chair to the correct height.

Purchase ergonomic furniture to enable you to position your computer screen 20 to 24 inches from your eyes. The centre of your screen should be about 10 to 15 degrees below your eyes for comfortable positioning of your head and neck.

  1. Consider computer eyewear.

For the greatest comfort at your computer, you might benefit from having your eye care professional modify your glasses prescription to create customized computer glasses. This is especially true if you normally wear contact lenses, which may become dry and uncomfortable during sustained computer work.

Computer glasses also are a good choice if you wear bifocals or progressive lenses, because these lenses generally are not optimal for the distance to your computer screen.

References & Notes >>

Blink rate, blink amplitude, and tear film integrity during dynamic visual display terminal tasks. Current Eye Research. March 2011. Computer Workstations. U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety & Health Administration. Accessed on OSHA website. June 2010. Computer Ergonomics. U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Accessed on CDC website. June 2010. About the Author:

Source:

Gary Heiting, OD, is senior editor of AllAboutVision.com. Dr. Heiting has more than 25 years of experience as an eye care provider, health educator and consultant to the eyewear industry. His special interests include contact lenses, nutrition and preventive vision care. Connect with Dr. Heiting via Google+.


Sara Cox talks about the lenses that change everthing

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Sara Cox, radio and TV presenter and busy mum to three children, is the new ACUVUE® Brand Ambassador. She recently mentioned on her radio show that she thought her eyesight had changed. ACUVUE® Brand Contact Lenses interviewed her to find out more. She said she was having difficulties “reading the very small print up close”. She was concerned that contact lenses might no longer work for her and she might have to get some reading glasses. When we asked her about it, Sara said: “I thought I might have to get a small pair of spectacles, perhaps on a pearl chain around my neck – that wasn’t necessarily the look I was going for!” Sara has developed presbyopia. If you have started struggling to read the small print or find the text on your phone doesn’t seem big enough anymore, you might have presbyopia too. But don’t worry, it’s normal.

 

What is presbyopia?

Put simply, presbyopia is when the lens in the eye stiffens and thickens with age. This makes it harder to see things at close range. As we get older, our eye’s lens becomes stiffer and less able to change shape making focusing more challenging. Presbyopia is particularly common in people over the age of 40 and eventually happens to almost everyone.

What can I do about presbyopia?

The good news is there are many solutions for people with presbyopia. They can wear varifocal glasses, wear both contact lenses and reading glasses, or even have surgery. But even better news: now innovative technology brings you 1-DAY ACUVUE® MOIST Brand MULTIFOCAL Contact Lenses.

Why contact lenses?

Contact lenses don’t get in the way, or obscure your face, like glasses. Thanks to ACUVUE® , you can have a contact lens that gives you clear vision – near, far and in between – so you can maintain the active lifestyle you’ve always had. You don’t have to stop living your life the way you want to. As Sara Cox says: “I don’t wear glasses to the gym…EVER”. Unlike varifocal glasses, multifocal contact lenses fit seamlessly into your busy life whether for work or play, going to the gym or out with friends. If, like Sara, you have recently developed presbyopia, 1-DAY ACUVUE® MOIST MULTIFOCAL Contact Lenses may be the perfect solution! Forget reading glasses! See clearly without glasses getting in the way or steaming up. You won’t have to fiddle around with reading glasses to view the menu or get a message on your phone!

For Comfort

As with all 1-DAY ACUVUE® MOIST Contact Lenses, 1-DAY ACUVUE® MOIST MULTIFOCAL Contact Lenses have exclusive LACREON® technology, that embeds a moisturerich wetting agent in the lens for extremely comfortable wear and a fresh feeling all day and all night long. As Sara says, she doesn’t “really know that they’re in, you just feel like you’ve got your old eye sight back”.

For Convenience

Whether you wear contact lenses every day or just occasionally, 1-DAY ACUVUE® MOIST MULTIFOCAL Contact Lenses make it easy. No need to clean and store contact lenses every day – just take a new pair for all day freshness. Contact lenses are easy to handle, convenient and comfortable and give you clear vision, near, far and in between.

Get Protection!

All ACUVUE® Brand Contact Lenses have UV blocking for protection from the transmission of UV radiation*.

Ask us for a free trial† today!

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†terms and conditions apply contact us for more information.


Dry Eye Treatment: Getting Relief From Dry Eyes

 

Dry eye syndrome is a chronic and typically progressive condition. Depending on its cause and severity, it may not be completely curable. But in most cases, dry eyes can be managed successfully, usually resulting in noticeably greater eye comfort, fewer dry eye symptoms, and sometimes sharper vision as well.

Because dry eye disease can have a number of causes, a variety of treatment approaches are used.

The following is a list of dry eye treatments that are commonly used by opticians to reduce the signs and symptoms of dry eyes. Your optician may recommend only one of these dry eye treatments or a combination of treatments, depending on the cause(s) and severity of your condition.

Artificial Tears

For mild cases of dry eyes caused by computer use, reading, schoolwork and other situational causes, the best dry eye treatment may simply be frequent use of artificial tears or other lubricating eye drops.

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Artificial tears usually are the first step in dry eye treatment.

There are many brands of artificial tears that are available without a prescription. The challenge with using artificial tears is not lack of product availability — it’s the confusing number of brands and formulations available to choose from.

Artificial tears and other over-the-counter (OTC) lubricating eye drops are available in a wide variety of ingredients and viscosity (“thickness”).

Artificial tears with low viscosity are “light” and watery. They often provide quick relief with little or no blurring of your vision when you apply them. But often their soothing effect is very short-lived, and sometimes you must use these drops very frequently to get adequate dry eye relief.

On the other hand, artificial tears that have a high viscosity are more gel-like and can provide longer-lasting lubrication. But typically these drops cause significant blurring of your vision for several minutes immediately after you apply them. For this reason, these drops often are not a good choice for use during your work day or when you need immediate clear vision for tasks such as driving. Instead, high-viscosity artificial tears are recommended only for bedtime use.

Also, the ingredients in certain brands of artificial tears may determine which type of dry eye condition they are better suited for. For example, one brand might work better for aqueous-deficiency dry eyes, while another brand may be more effective for an evaporative dry eye condition.

If your optician recommends that you use one or more brands or formulations of artificial tears, be sure to follow the directions he or she gives you concerning when and how often you use the drops.

Steriod Eye Drops

Over the past several years, doctors have discovered the importance of inflammation as a cause of dry eyes. Inflammation frequently causes the redness and burning associated with dry eye disease; but in many cases, it may be present without any visible signs or symptoms at all.

Artificial tears usually do not adequately address these inflammatory changes, and your doctor may recommend steroid eye drops to better manage the underlying inflammation associated with dry eyes.

Often there’s no “quick fix” for dry eyes. Follow your eye doctor’s instructions and be patient for results from dry eye treatment.

Steroid eye drops are generally used short-term to quickly manage symptoms. They are often used in conjunction with artificial tears as a complement to these more long-term treatment strategies.

While a small amount of the steroid may get absorbed systemically, in the right candidate, the effects of steroid eye drops are generally not noticed beyond the eye. Still, it’s important to discuss your medical history with your eye doctor before starting steroid eye drops.

Many different types of steroid drops are available and differ in their potency. Most doctors prefer to start with mild steroids that are quickly degraded inside the eye. In some cases, however, more potent drops are required to address more severe symptoms.

Steroid eye drops can increase the risk of developing high eye pressure or even cataracts if used for extended periods of time. But these risks are low when the drops are used only on a short-term basis for dry eye treatment.

Punctal Plugs

Punctal plugs are sometimes used in dry eye treatment to help tears remain on the surface of the eye longer.

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This drawing shows the lacrimal glands and tear ducts. A lacrimal plug (or punctal plug) has been inserted into the lower tear duct to keep the eye’s moisture from draining away too quickly. Image: Oasis Medical, Inc


This drawing shows the lacrimal glands and tear ducts. A lacrimal plug (or punctal plug) has been inserted into the lower tear duct to keep the eye’s moisture from draining away too quickly. Image: Oasis Medical, Inc. [Enlarge]

A punctal plug is a small, sterile device that is inserted into one of the small openings (puncta) of tear drainage ducts that are located in the inner corner of the upper and lower eyelids.

After these openings have been plugged, tears can no longer drain away from the eye through these ducts. In this way the tear film stays intact longer on the surface of the eye, relieving dry eye symptoms.

So where do the tears go? Usually they will simply evaporate from the eye surface without symptoms. But if insertion of punctal plugs causes the eyes to “water,” one or more of the plugs can be removed.

Meibomian Gland Expression

A very significant percentage of dry eye cases are caused by inadequate oil (meibum) being secreted from meibomian glands located along the margin of the eyelids.

The openings of these glands are near the base of the eyelashes, and if these openings get clogged, the oil that is critical to keeping the tear film from evaporating too quickly cannot do its job. This is called meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD), which leads to a condition called evaporative dry eye.

To treat MGD and evaporative dry eye, your eye doctor may perform an in-office procedure called meibomian gland expression. In this procedure, warm compresses may or may not first be applied to your eyelids; then a forceps-type device is used to squeeze the clogged contents (hardened meibum and possibly other substances) from the meibomian glands.

To fully express the contents of the meibomian glands and get them functioning properly, significant pressure must be applied to the eyelids, which can be uncomfortable. But the results usually are worth putting up with the short-term discomfort of the procedure.

Warm Compresses

An alternative (and potentially more comfortable) way to help open clogged meibomian glands to treat dry eyes is to simply apply warm compresses to the closed eyelids to soften the hardened meibum.

Unfortunately, for warm compresses to work well, some researchers say you have to use a compress that can maintain a temperature of 108 degrees Fahrenheit for more than 10 minutes, and the compresses have to be applied for this length of time at least twice a day.

Most people are unable or unwilling to perform this type of dry eye treatment correctly, and shorter and less frequent use of variable-temperature warm compresses typically is ineffective.

Nutritional Supplements

Doctors sometimes recommend nutritional supplements as part of a holistic dry eye treatment plan. Studies have found that supplements containing omega-3 fatty acids can decrease dry eye symptoms.

Good sources of omega-3s include cold-water fish such as salmon, sardines, herring and cod. For a vegetarian source of omega-3s, some eye doctors recommend flaxseed oil to relieve dry eye.

Drinking more water can help, too. Mild dehydration often makes dry eye problems worse. This is especially true during hot, dry and windy weather. Simply drinking more water sometimes reduces the symptoms of dry eye syndrome.

Home Remedies for Dry Eyes

If you have mild dry eye symptoms, there are several things you can try to get relief

  • Blink more frequently. When using a computer, smartphone or other digital device, we tend to blink our eyes less frequently than normal, which can cause or worsen dry eye symptoms. Make a conscious effort to be aware of this, and blink more often when using these devices. Also, perform full blinks, gently squeezing your eyelids together to wash your eyes fully with a fresh layer of tears.
  • Take frequent breaks during computer use. A good rule of thumb here is to look away from your screen at least every 20 minutes and look at something that is at least 20 feet from your eyes for at least 20 seconds. Some eye care practitioners call this the “20-20-20 rule,” and abiding by it can help relieve both dry eyes and computer eye strain.
  • Remove eye makeup thoroughly. Eyeliner and other eye makeup can clog the openings of the meibomian glands at the base of the eyelashes, leading to meibomian gland dysfunction and evaporative dry eye. At the end of the day, be diligent about remove all traces of makeup from your lids and lashes.
  • Clean your eyelids. When washing your face before bedtime, gently wash your eyelids to remove bacteria that can cause blepharitis and meibomian gland problems that lead to dry eye symptoms. Apply a warm, moist washcloth to your closed lids for a minute or two. Then gently scrub your lids and lashes with a mild cleanser, such as diluted baby shampoo or premoistened eyelid wipes sold in drugstores.
  • Wear quality sunglasses. When outdoors during the day, always wear sunglasses that block 100 percent of the sun’s UV rays. It’s best if they feature a wrap-style frame to protect your eyes from wind, dust and other irritants that can cause or worsen dry eye symptoms.

Book an eye examination if you want a full eye health check.

Source Richard Adler, MD

 


New range of Stella McCartney frames, now in store!

Check out our fabulous new range of Stella McCartney frames, now in store!

We had a lovely evening at the Wesminster Abbey Cloisters thanks to Kering eyewear who supply Stella McCartney frames. We were lucky enough to view Kering’s entire range of frames and sunglasses……watch this space for more exciting new brands!

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Contact Lens Basics

Contact lenses are an excellent choice for nearly anyone who needs vision correction but doesn’t want to wear spectacles full time or undergo Lasik Surgery.

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Here are the basics you should know about contact lenses before seeing your optician if you are interested in wearing contacts.

 

Contact Lens Materials

The first choice when considering contact lenses is which lens material will best satisfy your needs. There are five types of contact lenses, based on type of lens material they are made of:

CONTACT LENS MATERIAL

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  • Soft lensesare made from gel-like, water-containing plastics called hydrogels. These lenses are very thin and pliable and conform to the front surface of the eye. Introduced in the early 1970s, hydrogel lenses made contact lens wear much more popular because they typically are immediately comfortable. The only alternative at the time was hard contact lenses made of PMMA plastic (see below). PMMA lenses typically took weeks to adapt to and many people couldn’t wear them successfully.
  • Silicone hydrogel lensesare an advanced type of soft contact lenses that are more porous than regular hydrogel lenses and allow even more oxygen to reach the cornea. Introduced in 2002, silicone hydrogel contact lenses are now the most popular lenses prescribed in the UK
  • Gas permeable lenses— also called GP or RGP lenses — are rigid contact lenses that look and feel like PMMA lenses (see below) but are porous and allow oxygen to pass through them. Because they are permeable to oxygen, GP lenses can be fit closer to the eye than PMMA lenses, making them more comfortable than conventional hard lenses. Since their introduction in 1978,gas permeable contact lenses have essentially replaced nonporous PMMA contact lenses. A significant advantage GP contacts have over soft or silicone hydrogel lenses is sharper optics due to the rigid nature of the lens material.
  • Hybrid contact lensesare designed to provide wearing comfort that rivals soft or silicone hydrogel lenses, combined with the crystal-clear optics of gas permeable lenses. Hybrid lenses have a rigid gas permeable central zone, surrounded by a “skirt” of hydrogel or silicone hydrogel material. Despite these features, only a small percentage of people in the UK wear hybrid contact lenses, perhaps because these lenses are more difficult to fit and are more expensive to replace than soft and silicone hydrogel lenses.
  • PMMA lensesare made from a transparent rigid plastic material called polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA), which also is used as a substitute for glass in shatterproof windows and is sold under the trademarks Lucite, Perspex and Plexiglas. PMMA lenses have excellent optics, but they do not transmit oxygen to the eye and can be difficult to adapt to. These (now old-fashioned) “hard contacts” have virtually been replaced by GP lenses and are rarely prescribed today.

 

Silicone hydrogel contact lenses are the most popular lenses in the UK, accounting for 68 percent of new contact lens fittings and refittings in 2015.

Contact Lens Wearing Time

Until 1979, everyone who wore contact lenses removed and cleaned them nightly. The introduction of “extended wear” enabled wearers to sleep in their contacts. Now, two types of lenses are classified by wearing time:

  • Daily wear— must be removed nightly
  • Extended wear— can be worn overnight, usually for seven days consecutively without removal

“Continuous wear” is a term that’s sometimes used to describe 30 consecutive nights of lens wear

 

When To Replace Your Contact Lenses

Even with proper care, contact lenses (especially soft contacts) should be replaced frequently to prevent the build-up of lens deposits and contamination that increase the risk of eye infections.

Soft lenses have these general classifications, based on how frequently they should be discarded:

LENS REPLACEMENT FREQUENCY

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  • Daily disposable lenses— Discard after a single day of wear
  • Disposable lenses— Discard every two weeks, or sooner
  • Frequent replacement lenses— Discard monthly or quarterly
  • Traditional (reusable) lenses— Discard every six months or longer

Gas permeable contact lenses are more resistant to lens deposits and don’t need to be discarded as frequently as soft lenses. Often, GP lenses can last a year or longer before they need to be replaced.

Contact Lens Designs

Many lens designs are available to correct various types of vision problems:

  • Sphericalcontact lenses are the typical, rounded design of contact lenses, which can correct myopia (nearsightedness) or hyperopia (farsightedness).
  • Bifocalcontact lenses contain different zones for near and far vision to correct presbyopia
  • Orthokeratologylenses are specially designed to reshape the cornea during sleep, providing lens-free daytime wear.
  • Toriccontact lenses correct for astigmatism, as well as for myopia and hyperopia

 

All of these lenses can be custom made for hard-to-fit eyes. Many other additional lens designs are available. Typically these are less common and fabricated for use in special situations, such as correcting for keratoconus.

 

More Contact Lens Features

Bifocal contacts for astigmatism. These are advanced soft contacts that correct both presbyopia and astigmatism, so you can remain glasses-free after age 40 even if you have astigmatism.

 

Contacts for dry eyes. Are your contacts uncomfortably dry? Certain soft contact lenses are specially made to reduce the risk of contact lens-related dry eye symptoms.


Coloured lenses. Many of the types of lenses described above also come in colours that can enhance the natural colour of your eyes — that is, make your green eyes even greener, for example. Other colored lenses can totally change the colour of your eyes, as in from brown to blue.

Special-effect lenses. Also called theatrical, novelty, or costume lenses, special-effect contacts take coloration one step further to make you look like a cat, a vampire, or another alter-ego of your choice.

 

Prosthetic lenses. Coloured contact lenses also can be used for more medically oriented purposes. Opaque soft lenses called prosthetic contacts can be custom-designed for an eye that has been disfigured by injury or disease to mask the disfigurement and match the appearance of the other, unaffected eye.

 

Custom lenses. If conventional contact lenses don’t seem to work for you, you might be a candidate for custom contact lenses that are made-to-order for your individual eye shape and visual needs.

 

UV-inhibiting lenses. Some soft contact lenses help protect your eyes from the sun’s ultravioletrays that can cause cataracts and other eye problems. But because contacts don’t cover your entire eye, you still should wear UV-blocking sunglasses outdoors for the best protection from the sun.

 

Scleral lenses. Large-diameter gas permeable lenses called scleral contacts are specially designed to treat keratoconus and other corneal irregularities, as well as presbyopia.

 

Myopia control contacts. Special contact lenses are being developed to slow or stop the progression of nearsightedness in children.

 

Which Contact Lens Is Right for You?

First, your contacts must address the problem that is prompting you to wear lenses in the first place. Your contact lenses must provide good vision by correcting your myopiahyperopia,astigmatism, or some combination of those vision problems.

Second, the lens must fit your eye. To do that, lenses come in tens of thousands of combinations of diameter and curvature. Of course, not every lens brand comes in every “size.”

Your Opician is skilled in evaluating your eye’s physiology, and your eyesight, to determine which lens best satisfies the two criteria above.

 

Third, you may have another medical need that drives the choice of lens. For example, your Optician might pick a particular lens if your eyes tend to be dry.

Finally, consider your “wish list” of contact lens features — colors, for example, or overnight wear.

Contact Lens Wear and Care

Caring for your contact lenses — cleaning, disinfecting and storing them — is much easier than it used to be.
A few years ago, you would have needed several bottles of cleaning products, and perhaps enzyme tablets, for proper care. Today, most people can use “multipurpose” solutions — meaning that one product both cleans and disinfects, and is used for storage.

People who are sensitive to the preservatives in multipurpose solutions might need preservative-free systems, such as those containing hydrogen peroxide. These do an excellent job of cleaning contacts, but it’s very important to follow the directions for using them. The solution should not come into contact with your eyes until soaking is complete and the solution is neutralized.Of course, you can avoid lens care altogether by wearing daily disposable contact lenses.

Contact Lens Problems

Trial and error often is involved in finding the perfect lens for you. People react differently to various lens materials and cleaning solutions.

Also, the correct “parameters” of your lens — that is, power, diameter, and curvature — can be finalized only after you’ve successfully worn the lens. This is especially true for more complex fits involving extra parameters, such as with bifocals or toric contact lenses for astigmatism.

If you experience discomfort or poor vision when wearing contact lenses, chances are that an adjustment or change of lens can help.

 

Today, more contact lens choices than ever are available to provide comfort, good vision, and healthy eyes. If your eyes or lenses are uncomfortable or you are not seeing well, remove your lenses and visit your eye care professional to explore available remedies for contact lens discomfort.

Source: Liz Segre