How To Select The Right Contact Lens

Contact lens wearers, consider your options. There are extended-wear contacts, disposables, and even lenses that can change your eye color. But as with any purchase of a medical device, buying contact lenses should be done with care and caution. These tips will help you choose the right type of contact lens for your needs.

Contact Lens Options

Your first step is to choose from two basic types of lenses: soft and hard. “Most people who wear contact lenses wear soft lenses — 9 of 10 people,” says Thomas L. Steinemann, MD, associate professor of ophthalmology at Case Western University and a spokesperson for the American Academy of Ophthalmology. “The rigid gas-permeable lenses are worn by only about 10 percent of people.” Hard lenses are usually the better choice for people who have astigmatism or a medical condition in which protein deposits form on the contact lens.

After you’ve chosen hard or soft lenses, there are many categories of contact lens available, both in terms of how they accomplish vision correction and how often they need to be replaced:

Daily wear contact lenses.

This type of contact lens is usually the least expensive option. Daily wear contact lenses have to be taken out and disinfected every night and are replaced on a set schedule. The replacement time can vary widely by type and brand, from every two weeks to every three months.

Extended wear contact lenses.

This type of contact lens is designed to be worn overnight, though they need to be removed at least once a week for cleaning and disinfection. However, many eye professionals do not encourage their use. “I recommend that people not wear contacts overnight, even if they are extended-wear lenses,” says Dr. Steinemann. When you sleep with your contact lenses in, you reduce the amount of oxygen to the eyes, making your eyes more vulnerable to infection — especially corneal infection.


Disposable contact lenses

Daily disposable lenses get tossed every day after use, so no maintenance is involved. They cost more because you need a new pair every day, but they are much more convenient. Disposables that are replaced weekly or monthly require the same regular care as daily wear lenses. Disposables are a good option for people with allergies or other conditions that exacerbate the formation of protein deposits from tear film.

Toric contact lenses

This type of lens is used to correct astigmatism, a condition in which vision is blurred because of an irregularly shaped cornea or lens inside the eye. They are usually more expensive than other contact lenses.

Colored contact lenses

Colored contacts can dramatically change the color of your eyes — making even the brownest eyes look blue or green, for instance — or enhance your natural color. They can be worn for purely cosmetic purposes or to also correct vision.

Multifocal contact lenses

People with presbyopia — a condition that occurs as people get older and their eyes have a harder time bringing close objects into focus — can sometimes have their vision corrected with bifocal or multifocal lenses. One technique, called monovision, uses a contact lens for distance in the dominant eye and a contact lens for near vision in the non-dominant eye. Modified monovision uses a bifocal or multifocal lens in the non-dominant eye. “It can be tricky for some people who can’t deal with blurriness or who have trouble filtering out visual distractions,” says Steinemann.

Buying Contacts? Follow These Safety Tips

When purchasing contact lenses, keep these tips in mind:

  • Don’t buy lenses out of broken box sets. Make sure the package is sealed properly.
  • Use caution when buying contacts on the Internet. Stay with reputable Web sites that will confirm your prescription with your eye doctor and that offer brand name products. When you receive your order, make sure the information on each contact lens box matches your prescription.
  • Be sure to use a current prescription from your eye care professional; prescriptions are only good for one year from the date they are written.

Even if you do not need vision correction, don’t buy cosmetic lenses without consulting an eye care professional. Theatrical contact lenses that are used for Halloween or other occasions are sold on the Internet, beauty salons, and even convenience stores. But even cosmetic lenses, like lenses used for vision correction, must be fitted by trained professionals and should be monitored with follow-up visits to prevent eye infections and other problems.
Contact lenses are an excellent way to correct vision. And by taking a few necessary precautions, you can determine the contact lens type that’s best suited for your needs.

When Is It Time To Get Your Eyes Checked

We all know that your vision is integral to your overall health, which is why it’s important to get an annual eye exam. A comprehensive eye exam can help you feel more confident by pinpointing any signs that vision correction may be needed.
The question is: do you know when to get an eye exam?

How You Know When to Get an Eye Exam

Regardless of whether you work in an office or outside, you may experience issues with your vision. Sometimes, these issues may warrant corrective glasses or contact lenses. An optometrist can help determine whether a prescription would benefit you, but it’s best to understand the symptoms of deteriorating vision to stay on top of your eye health.
Here are the signs that vision correction may be needed:

Sign #1:You’re experiencing digital eye strain.

When you spend enough time in front of a computer, you are susceptible to computer vision syndrome, which can cause blurry vision, digital eye strain, and headaches. You’re more likely to experience these symptoms if you work in the wrong lighting. For instance, your light should always be dimmer than your computer monitor.

Sitting too close to the screen can also give you digital eye strain. Your eyes should be at least 20 inches away from the monitor at all times to keep your symptoms at bay. Staying the proper distance away from the screen will also take the pressure off your eyes.

If you’re experiencing computer vision syndrome symptoms, an eye exam is a great way to find out if you for sure need glasses and match you with the right prescription for your needs. Many office workers and students opt for blue-light glasses to limit their exposure to blue light. During your eye exam, you can ask your optometrist if these glasses would be right for you.

Sign #2:Your eyes are extra sensitive to light.

Light sensitivity can indicate an eye health concern or prompt your optometrist to set you up with glasses. If your eyes have been hurting during the day or even at night, the optometrist will want to look into it.

During the exam, the optometrist may conduct a variety of tests, including a pupil test, in which they will flash light in each of your eyes to monitor how you respond. Whether your eyes have always been or are newly sensitive to light, it’d be a good idea to schedule an eye exam.

Sign #3:You think your prescription has changed.

You know when to get an eye exam if you feel like your glasses or contact lenses aren’t working the way they used to. Your vision can change over time. We suggest getting an annual eye exam to ensure your prescription is up to date. The optometrist can also make other recommendations to help you maintain healthy vision.

In addition to the pupil test to assess your eyes’ light sensitivity, the optometrist will perform eye movement and vision tests. These tests will allow the optometrist to see if your peripheral vision or depth perception has changed. If they have, the optometrist will issue new prescription glasses or contact lenses.

Sign #4:It’s been over a year since your last eye exam.

Has it been over a year since your last eye exam? If so, that is a good indicator that it’s time to schedule an appointment. Adults should have their eyes checked every year to keep prescriptions current and check for early signs of eye issues. Children should also get annual eye exams after age 6.

In your yearly exam, the optometrist will talk with you about your vision concerns, analyze your current prescription lenses, assess your overall eye health, and examine your eyes up close. They will also check for farsightedness, nearsightedness, and other eye conditions, including glaucoma. By detecting these conditions earlier, the optometrist can take steps to make treatment more successful.

Sign #5:Your family has a history of eye conditions.

If anyone in your family has an eye condition, you may be more likely to inherit it, so an annual eye exam is necessary. These conditions can also pass on to your children. For Eyes offers comprehensive eye exams for children because regularly scheduled eye exams are just as vital to your child’s development and overall health as annual physicals.

If you think your child may need an eye exam, consider whether they’ve been having trouble reading or completing other activities at close range, if they’ve been complaining of headaches, or if they’ve been closing one eye to watch TV. If they have any of these symptoms, or a family history of a specific eye condition, stop in for an eye exam. It won’t take long, and it will be well worth it.

What should you bring to your eye exam?

Get an Eye Exam
Besides yourself, you’ll want to bring a list of your current prescriptions and a copy of your vision insurance to your eye exam. That’s it!

To be extra prepared, feel free to make a list of your concerns, so you and the optometrist can discuss them. The optometrist will be able to assist with any questions you may have.

Summary: When to Get an Eye Exam

If you experience digital eye strain or light sensitivity, it is the time when you need to get an eye exam. You should also go to the eye doctor if any of the following applies to you:

  • Your corrective lenses don’t feel like they’re working anymore.
  • You haven’t had an eye exam in over a year.
  • You have a family history of eye conditions.

If you don’t know where to start with scheduling an exam, don’t worry. All you need to do is contact 2020 Eyecare. We can set you up with an appointment and help with all your eye care needs.

You should annually get an eye check so the doctor can identify some early warning signs of systemic complications. A regular eye check can pick up medical dilemmas such as diabetes and high blood pressure before they become indicative as these situations lead to alterations in the blood vessels at the back of your eye.
Other eye problems such as age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, and glaucoma can also be identified. Vision checks are associated with the patient’s age and symptoms of experience.


Children should be examined before starting school for the first time and sooner if there is any sign of unreasonable squinting or funny head positioning and as the child grows, an annual check-up is recommended.

Ages 18-40

Eye disease is less prevalent in this age range, so for healthy adults, they can visit the eye doctor every two to three years. However, adults with risk factors such as family records of eye disease, previous eye trauma, surgery, or diabetes should frequently visit an eye doctor.

Ages 41-60

Age noticeably affects eyes between the ages of 40 and 60; this is the age range where many adults notice it’s harder to read and start to experience from eyestrain. Age decreases the strength to focus, eyes seem tired and gritty, and sometimes ends in headaches.
Adults ages 41-60 without risk factors can have a bi-annual eye checkup but with additional screening for asymptomatic issues like glaucoma and other age-related vision changes. While for adults with risk factors for this age range should visit an eye doctor annually or as recommended.

Ages 61 and Above

American Optometric Association advises that people ages 61 and over must visit an eye doctor annually regardless of other risk factors.
Overall, if you feel any vision alterations at any time or discerned that something goes wrong with your eyesight, make an appointment with your eye doctor right away.
It is essential to take care of your vision, most people don’t have eye tests every two years or none at all, If you have any doubts on how frequently your eyes should be examined, ask your preferred eye care professional for guidance on your eye health.

The Importance of Routine Eye Exams

When it comes to scheduling preventive health appointments, eye exams are often overlooked. At best, people usually assume a basic visual screening will suffice; however, seeing a licensed optometrist or ophthalmologist for comprehensive exams is important for everyone’s overall health. The following describes the main differences between a screening and an exam and how your overall well-being can benefit from “keeping an eye on” the health of your eyes.

Vision Screenings vs. Eye Exams

Vision Screenings vs. Eye Exams

  • Vision screenings are quick, inexpensive tests performed by volunteers or nurses to check for abnormal visual acuity and major vision problems. During a screening, individuals are asked to identify tiers of letters from 20 feet away. Often, the screening will test both eyes together and each eye individually. When someone tests lower than a 20/40 level, they are referred to an eye care professional for corrective lenses, contacts, or medical treatment.
  • Comprehensive eye exams are performed by optometrists or ophthalmologists and include a vision screening in addition to a series of tests to evaluate the health of your eyes. During an exam, each eye is examined for signs of serious eye issues such as glaucoma, cataracts, macular degeneration, and detached retinas, among other conditions. Receiving regular eye exams regardless of vision acuity can help detect serious eye problems at the earliest stage ─ when they are most treatable.


Recommended Eye Exam Frequency

The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) suggests the following frequencies for adult eye exams based on age:

  • 20s and 30s: every 5-10 years
  • 40 to 54: every 2-4 years
  • 55 to 64: every 1-3 years
  • 65+: every 1-2 years

Individuals with the following conditions are exceptions to the prior recommendations:

  • Exhibit serious vision trouble or eye discomfort
  • Wear corrective lenses
  • Have a family history of eye disease
  • Have a chronic disease that increases the risk of eye disease

For children, the AAO recommends:

  • Initial screening between 6 and 12 months of age
  • Routine eye health and vision screenings throughout childhood to help detect any abnormalities as their eyes develop
  • Visual screening and ocular alignment evaluations every 1-2 years for school-aged children

Recommended Eye Exam Frequency 

Eye Exams Can Help Identify Other Health Problems

A licensed doctor will use your eye evaluation to indicate your overall health. Close evaluation of the blood vessels in the eye can help detect major health problems, including:

  • Diabetes. Diabetic retinopathy is identified by blood vessels in the retina of the eyes leaking blood or yellow fluid.
  • Hypertension. Tears or bends in blood vessels in the eye may identify high blood pressure.
  • High cholesterol. A yellow tint or ring around the cornea may signify high cholesterol.
  • Thyroid disease. Graves Disease, or bulging or protruding eyeballs, is a sign of thyroid problems.
  • Autoimmune disorders. Eye inflammation can be a sign of an autoimmune disorder such as lupus.
  • Cancer. Unusual eye structure can be a sign of ocular melanoma (eye cancer), and close observation of the eyelids can detect basal cell carcinoma (skin cancer).
  • Tumors. Irregular shaped pupils or droopy eyelids could signify a neck tumor or an aneurism.

Regardless of how keen your eyesight is, scheduling regular eye exams according to the AAO’s recommendations is a great way to stay on top of your overall health.

Your Health Is Important to Canopy Health

At Canopy Health, your overall well-being is our number one priority. We are committed to bringing refreshingly clear, human care to the Bay Area through our alliance members and carrier partners. Our thousands of in-network physicians and specialists, including world-renowned optometrists and ophthalmologists, ensure every aspect of your health is in good hands.

Special Contact Lenses Used for Special Effects

Special contact lenses are used mostly for special effects purposes, like the ones we see on actors or actresses for their vampire role or other ghastly roles. These contact lenses are fun and safe to wear if they are adequately fitted and prescribed by an eye care practitioner. A pair of special contact lenses makes any costume one step closer to your target character. It is the great choice of scary, dramatic, theatrical designs suitable for your aimed character.
If you have an upcoming role play and you need special effects for your eyes, then you need a special type of contact lenses. Unlike the normal contact lenses, these lenses are particularly crafted for its effects. Never buy them at a beauty parlor, barter meet, or at any online store without a prescription. Contact lens retailers who operate outside of the law don’t have eye safety as a priority. Thus, buy only at registered eye optical outlets.
Furthermore, before purchasing a particular contact lens, have your eyes tested first. Eye exams for contact lenses include individual tests that are not routinely performed in eye exams for eyeglasses. However, if you are already using contact lens be certain that your prescription is updated, so schedule an appointment for an eye exam, this will guarantee a proper contact lens fitting or prescription update.
Be also aware that it’s more beneficial and practical to have your general eye exam and contact lens exam done by the same eye care professional. Having your eyes checked by various eye care professionals might require extra fees for conducting exams you already have undergone with your previous optometrist.
Also, if you are infrequently wearing your special effect lenses, just like how you properly care on conventional lenses, they need to be properly stored and disinfected between wearing.

What Causes Dry Eyes?

Dry eyes is a common condition that occurs when your tears aren’t able to provide adequate lubrication for your eyes. Tears can be inadequate for many reasons. For example, dry eyes may occur if you don’t produce enough tears or if you produce poor-quality tears.
Dry eyes feel uncomfortable. If you have dry eyes, your eyes may sting or burn. You may experience dry eyes in certain situations, such as on an airplane, in an air-conditioned room, while riding a bike or after looking at a computer screen for a few hours.
Treatments for dry eyes may make you more comfortable. These treatments can include lifestyle changes and eyedrops. You’ll likely need to take these measures indefinitely to control the symptoms of dry eyes.
What Causes Dry Eyes?


Signs and symptoms, which usually affect both eyes, may include:

  • A stinging, burning or scratchy sensation in your eyes
  • Stringy mucus in or around your eyes
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Eye redness
  • A sensation of having something in your eyes
  • Difficulty wearing contact lenses
  • Difficulty with nighttime driving
  • Watery eyes, which is the body’s response to the irritation of dry eyes
  • Blurred vision or eye fatigue

When to see a doctor

See your doctor if you’ve had prolonged signs and symptoms of dry eyes, including red, irritated, tired or painful eyes. Your doctor can take steps to determine what’s bothering your eyes or refer you to a specialist.

What Causes Dry Eyes?


Dry eyes are caused by a lack of adequate tears. Your tears are a complex mixture of water, fatty oils and mucus. This mixture helps make the surface of your eyes smooth and clear, and it helps protect your eyes from infection.
For some people, the cause of dry eyes is decreased tear production. For others it’s increased tear evaporation and an imbalance in the makeup of your tears.

Decreased tear production

Dry eyes can occur when you’re unable to produce enough tears. The medical term for this condition is keratoconjunctivitis sicca (ker-uh-toe-kun-junk-tih-VY-tis SIK-uh). Common causes of decreased tear production include:

  • Aging
  • Certain medical conditions, including diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, scleroderma, Sjogren’s syndrome, thyroid disorders and vitamin A deficiency
  • Certain medications, including antihistamines, decongestants, hormone replacement therapy, antidepressants, and drugs for high blood pressure, acne, birth control and Parkinson’s disease
  • Laser eye surgery, though symptoms of dry eyes related to this procedure are usually temporary
  • Tear gland damage from inflammation or radiation

Increased tear evaporation

Common causes of increased tear evaporation include:

  • Wind, smoke or dry air
  • Blinking less often, which tends to occur when you’re concentrating, for example, while reading, driving or working at a computer
  • Eyelid problems, such as out-turning of the lids (ectropion) and in-turning of the lids (entropion)

Imbalance in tear composition

The tear film has three basic layers: oil, water, and mucus. Problems with any of these layers can cause dry eyes. For example, the oil film produced by small glands on the edge of your eyelids (meibomian glands) might become clogged. Blocked meibomian glands are more common in people with inflammation along the edge of their eyelids (blepharitis), rosacea, or other skin disorders.

Risk factors

Factors that make it more likely that you’ll experience dry eyes include:

  • Being older than 50. Tear production tends to diminish as you get older. Dry eyes are more common in people over 50.
  • Being a woman. A lack of tears is more common in women, especially if they experience hormonal changes due to pregnancy, using birth control pills or menopause.
  • Eating a diet that is low in vitamin A, which is found in liver, carrots, and broccoli, or low in omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in fish, walnuts and vegetable oils
  • Wearing contact lenses


People who have dry eyes may experience these complications:

  • Eye infections. Your tears protect the surface of your eyes from infection. Without adequate tears, you may have an increased risk of eye infection.
  • Damage to the surface of your eyes. If left untreated, severe dry eyes may lead to eye inflammation, abrasion of the corneal surface, corneal ulcer, and vision problems.
  • Decreased quality of life. Dry eyes can make it difficult to perform everyday activities, such as reading.


If you experience dry eyes, pay attention to the situations that are most likely to cause your symptoms. Then find ways to avoid those situations in order to prevent your dry eyes symptoms. For instance:

  • Avoid air blowing in your eyes. Don’t direct hair dryers, car heaters, air conditioners or fans toward your eyes.
  • Add moisture to the air. In winter, a humidifier can add moisture to dry indoor air.
  • Consider wearing wraparound sunglasses or other protective eyewear. Safety shields can be added to the tops and sides of eyeglasses to block wind and dry air. Ask about shields where you buy your eyeglasses.
  • Take eye breaks during long tasks. If you’re reading or doing another task that requires visual concentration, take periodic eye breaks. Close your eyes for a few minutes. Or blink repeatedly for a few seconds to help spread your tears evenly over your eyes.
  • Be aware of your environment. The air at high altitudes, in desert areas and in airplanes can be extremely dry. When spending time in such an environment, it may be helpful to frequently close your eyes for a few minutes at a time to minimize evaporation of your tears.
  • Position your computer screen below eye level. If your computer screen is above eye level, you’ll open your eyes wider to view the screen. Position your computer screen below eye level so that you won’t open your eyes as wide. This may help slow the evaporation of your tears between eye blinks.
  • Stop smoking and avoid smoke. If you smoke, ask your doctor for help devising a quit-smoking strategy that’s most likely to work for you. If you don’t smoke, stay away from people who do. Smoke can worsen dry eyes symptoms.
  • Use artificial tears regularly. If you have chronic dry eyes, use eyedrops even when your eyes feel fine to keep them well-lubricated.

How to Properly Care for Your Eyes

Don’t take your eyes for granted. Take these easy steps to keep your peepers healthy.
How to Properly Care for Your Eyes

1. Eat Well

Good eye health starts with the food on your plate. Nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids, lutein, zinc, and vitamins C and E might help ward off age-related vision problems like macular degeneration and cataracts. To get them, fill your plate with:

  • Green leafy vegetables like spinach, kale, and collards
  • Salmon, tuna, and other oily fish
  • Eggs, nuts, beans, and other nonmeat protein sources
  • Oranges and other citrus fruits or juices
  • Oysters and pork

A well-balanced diet also helps you stay at a healthy weight. That lowers your odds of obesity and related diseases like type 2 diabetes, which is the leading cause of blindness in adults.

2. Quit Smoking

It makes you more likely to get cataracts, damage to your optic nerve, and macular degeneration, among many other medical problems. If you’ve tried to kick the habit  before only to start again, keep at it. The more times you try to quit, the more likely you are to succeed. Ask your doctor for help.

3. Wear Sunglasses

The right pair of shades will help protect your eyes from the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays. Too much UV exposure boosts your chances of cataracts and macular degeneration.
Choose a pair that blocks 99% to 100% of UVA and UVB rays. Wraparound lenses help protect your eyes from the side. Polarized lenses reduce glare while you drive.


If you wear contact lenses, some offer UV protection. It’s still a good idea to wear sunglasses for an extra layer.

4. Use Safety Eyewear

If you use hazardous or airborne materials on the job or at home, wear safety glasses or protective goggles.
Sports like ice hockey, racquetball, and lacrosse can also lead to eye injury. Wear eye protection. Helmets with protective face masks or sports goggles with polycarbonate lenses will shield your eyes.

5. Look Away From the Computer Screen

Staring at a computer or phone screen for too long can cause:

To protect your eyes:

  • Make sure your glasses or contacts prescription is up to date and good for looking at a computer screen.
  • If your eye strain won’t go away, talk to your doctor about computer glasses.
  • Move the screen so your eyes are level with the top of the monitor. That lets you look slightly down at the screen.
  • Try to avoid glare from windows and lights. Use an anti-glare screen if needed.
  • Choose a comfortable, supportive chair. Position it so that your feet are flat on the floor.
  • If your eyes are dry, blink more.
  • Rest your eyes every 20 minutes. Look 20 feet away for 20 seconds. Get up at least every 2 hours and take a 15-minute break.

Your eyes are an important part of your health. Most people rely on their eyes to see and make sense of the world around them. But some eye diseases can lead to vision loss, so it is important to identify and treat eye diseases as early as possible. You should get your eyes checked as often as your health care provider recommends it, or if you have any new vision problems. And just as it is important to keep your body healthy, you also need to keep your eyes healthy.

Eye Care Tips

Eye Care Tips
There are things you can do to help keep your eyes healthy and make sure you are seeing your best:

  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet. Your diet should include plenty or fruits and vegetables, especially deep yellow and green leafy vegetables. Eating fish high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, tuna, and halibut can also help your eyes.
  • Maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight or having obesity increases your risk of developing diabetes. Having diabetes puts you at higher risk of getting diabetic retinopathy or glaucoma.
  • Get regular exercise. Exercise may help to prevent or control diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. These diseases can lead to some eye or vision problems. So if you exercise regularly, you can lower your risk of getting these eye and vision problems.
  • Wear sunglasses. Sun exposure can damage your eyes and raise your risk of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. Protect your eyes by using sunglasses that block out 99 to 100 percent of both UV-A and UV-B radiation.
  • Wear protective eye wear. To prevent eye injuries, you need eye protection when playing certain sports, working in jobs such as factory work and construction, and doing repairs or projects in your home.
  • Avoid smoking. Smoking increases the risk of developing age-related eye diseases such as macular degeneration and cataracts and can damage the optic nerve.
  • Know your family medical history. Some eye diseases are inherited, so it is important to find out whether anyone in your family has had them. This can help you determine if you are at higher risk of developing an eye disease.
  • Know your other risk factors. As you get older, you are at higher risk of developing age-related eye diseases and conditions. It is important to know you risk factors because you may be able to lower your risk by changing some behaviors.
  • If you wear contacts, take steps to prevent eye infections. Wash your hands well before you put in or take out your contact lenses. Also follow the instructions on how to properly clean them, and replace them when needed.
  • Give your eyes a rest. If you spend a lot of time using a computer, you can forget to blink your eyes and your eyes can get tired. To reduce eyestrain, try the 20-20-20 rule: Every 20 minutes, look away about 20 feet in front of you for 20 seconds.

Eye Tests and Exams

Eye Tests and Exams
Everyone needs to have their eyesight tested to check for vision and eye problems. Children usually have vision screening in school or at their health care provider’s office during a checkup. Adults may also get vision screenings during their checkups. But many adults need more than a vision screening. They need a comprehensive dilated eye exam.
Getting comprehensive dilated eye exams is especially important because some eye diseases may not have warning signs. The exams are the only way to detect these diseases in their early stages, when they are easier to treat.
The exam includes several tests:

  • A visual field test to measure your side (peripheral) vision. A loss of peripheral vision may be a sign of glaucoma.
  • A visual acuity test, where you read an eye chart about 20 feet away, to check on how well you see at various distances
  • Tonometry, which measures your eye’s interior pressure. It helps to detect glaucoma.
  • Dilation, which involves getting eye drops that dilate (widen) your pupils. This allows more light to enter the eye. Your eye care provider examines your eyes using a special magnifying lens. This provides a clear view of important tissues at the back of your eye, including the retina, macula, and optic nerve.

If you have a refractive error and are going to need glasses or contacts, then you will also have a refraction test. When you have this test, you look through a device that has lenses of different strengths to help your eye care professional figure out which lenses will give you the clearest vision.
At what age you should start getting these exams and how often you need them depends on many factors. They include your age, race, and overall health. For example, if you are African American, you are at higher risk of glaucoma and you need to start getting the exams earlier. If you have diabetes, you should get an exam every year. Check with your health care provider about if and when you need these exams.

How to Care for Your Contact Lenses and Eyes

Follow these steps to extend the life of your contact lenses and keep your eyes safe and healthy.

Cleaning Tips

The type of lens you have determines how you care for it.
Disposable extended-wear soft lenses need the least care. Conventional soft lenses take the most work. Follow all directions, or you could have vision problems. If you have a hard time with these steps, talk to your eye doctor. You may be able to make the steps easier, or you could switch to daily disposable lenses.

  1. Before you handle contacts, wash and rinse your hands with a mild soap. Make sure it doesn’t have perfumes, oils, or lotions. They can leave a film on your hands. If they get on your lenses, your eyes could get irritated or your vision might be blurry.
  2. Dry your hands with a clean, lint-free towel.
  3. If you use hair spray, use it before you put in your contacts. It’s also a good idea to keep your fingernails short and smooth so you won’t damage your lenses or scratch your eye.
  4. Put on eye makeup after you put in your lenses. Take them out before you remove makeup.
  5. Some contacts need special care and products. Always use the disinfecting solution, eye drops, and enzymatic cleaners your doctor recommends. Some eye products or eye drops aren’t safe for contact wearers.
  6. Never put tap water directly on your lenses. Even distilled water can be home to nasty little bugs that can cause an infection or hurt your vision.
  7. Never put a contact in your mouth to rinse it.
  8. Clean each contact this way: Rub it gently with your index finger in the palm of your other hand. Lightly rubbing your contact removes surface buildup.
  9. Clean your lens case every time you use it. Use either sterile solution. Let it air dry. Replace the case every 3 months.


Wear Your Contacts Safely

Wear Your Contacts Safely
Eyecare experts say daily disposable lenses are the safest soft contacts. Ask your doctor for advice on care.

  1. Wear your contacts each day only as long as your doctor recommends.
  2. If you think you’ll have trouble remembering when to change your lenses, ask your eye doctor for a chart to track your schedule. If he doesn’t have one, make one for yourself.
  3. Never wear someone else’s contacts, especially if they’ve already been worn. Using other people’s contact lenses can spread infections or particles from their eyes to yours.
  4. Don’t sleep with your contacts in unless you have extended-wear lenses. When your eyelids are closed, your tears don’t bring as much oxygen to your eyes as when they’re open.
  5. Don’t let the tip of solution bottles touch other surfaces, like your fingers, eyes, or contacts. Any of them can contaminate the solution.
  6. Wear sunglasses with total UV protection or a wide-brim hat when you’re in the sun.
  7. Use a rewetting solution or plain saline solution — whatever your doctor recommends — to keep your eyes moist.
  8. If you accidentally insert your contacts inside out, it won’t hurt your eye. But it won’t feel good, either. To avoid this, place the lens on the tip of your finger so it forms a cup. Look at the contact from the side. If the cup looks like it flares out at the top and has a lip, the lens is inside out. If it looks like the letter “U,” it’s right side out.
  9. If your eye gets irritated, take your contacts out. Don’t use them again until you’ve spoken to someone at your doctor’s office about the problem. If you keep wearing them, your eye could get infected. When you do start to wear contacts again, follow your doctor’s instructions to prevent an infection.
  10. Go to your eye doctor right away if you have any sudden vision loss, blurred vision that doesn’t get better, light flashes, eye pain, infection, swelling, unusual redness, or irritation.
  11. Don’t swim with your contacts in. Goggles are better than nothing, but there’s still a chance you could get a serious infection if you wear contacts in a pool, or worse, in a lake.


Contact Lens Risks

Contact lenses that are old or that do not fit well can scratch your eye. They can also cause blood vessels to grow into your cornea, a dangerous condition that threatens your vision.
Eye drops can cause problems with your contact lenses. It is best to avoid using any kind of eye drop when wearing contacts. However, you can use wetting drops or preservative-free lubricating drops as recommended by your eye doctor.
Remove your contact lenses and call your eye doctor right away if your eyes are very redpainful, watery or sensitive to light. Do the same if you have blurry vision or notice discharge (ooze or pus) coming from your eye. These can be symptoms of serious eye problems.

Take Proper Care of Your Contacts

How to Care for Your Contact Lenses and Eyes
You must clean and disinfect any contact lens you remove from your eye before you put the lens back in. There are many types of cleansing systems. The choice depends on the type of lens you use, if you have allergies or if your eyes tend to form protein deposits. Ask your eye doctor what kind of cleaning solutions you should use.
Take special care to clean and store your lenses correctly to avoid dangerous eye infections.
Here is what you should do:

  • Follow the schedule your eye doctor gives you for wearing and replacing your lenses. You should not wear daily wear lenses while you sleep.
  • Remove contact lenses before taking a shower, using a hot tub, swimming, or doing anything where water gets in your eyes.
  • Before touching your contact lenses, wash your hands with soap and water and dry them with a lint-free towel.
  • Never put contacts in your mouth to wet them. Saliva (spit) is not a sterile solution.
  • Do not rinse or store contacts in water (tap or sterile water). Also, never use a homemade saline solution.
  • Do not use saline solution or rewetting drops to disinfect your lenses. They are not disinfectants.
  • Follow directions from your doctor and from the lens cleaning solution manufacturer to clean and store your lenses.
  • No matter what type of lens cleaning solution you buy, use a “rub and rinse” cleaning method. Rub your contact lenses with clean fingers, then rinse the lenses with solution before soaking them. Use this method even if the solution you are using is a “no-rub” type.
  • Use new solution each time you clean and disinfect your contact lenses. Never reuse or “top off” with old solution. Also, do not pour contact lens solution into a different bottle. The solution will no longer be sterile.
  • Make sure the tip of the solution bottle does not touch any surface. Keep the bottle tightly closed when you are not using it.
  • Rinse your contact lens case with sterile contact lens solution (not tap water). Then leave the empty case open to air dry.
  • Keep your contact lens case clean. Replace the case at least every 3 months, or right away if it gets cracked or damaged.
  • If you store your lenses in the case for a long time, check the contact lens instructions or the lens solution directions to see if you should re-disinfect them before wearing them. Never wear your contact lenses if they have been stored for 30 days or longer without re-disinfecting.
  • Contact lenses can warp over time, and your cornea can change shape. To make sure your lenses fit properly and the prescription is right for you, see your eye doctor regularly.

How to Care for Your Contact Lenses and Eyes

Are Contacts Right for You?

Millions of people choose to wear contact lenses. However, they are not for everyone. You might not be able to wear them for the following reasons:

  • You get a lot of eye infections.
  • You have severe allergies or dry eyes that are hard to treat.
  • You work or live where it is very dusty.
  • You are not able to properly care for your contact lenses.

Your cornea and tear film must be healthy for you to be comfortable and see clearly with contact lenses.
To safely wear contact lenses, you must be committed to caring for them properly and replacing them when needed. Talk with your ophthalmologist or other eye care professional to discuss your vision needs and expectations. They can help you decide if contacts are a good option for you.

Choosing eyeglasses that suit your personality and lifestyle

Because people generally recognize you by your face, the eyeglasses you wear are a very real part of your identity.
Whether you want to appear sophisticated, fun-loving, youthful, conservative, or style-conscious, the right eyewear can help you shape how you are perceived. And if you choose to wear only one pair of glasses for everything you do, that says something about you, too!

What do your eyeglasses say about you?

Eyeglasses can help people see the real you, or they can help create the image you want. The key is to find the right eyeglass frames to match your personality and lifestyle.
The first step, according to eyewear styling experts, is to consider the different aspects of your life. For example, what type of work do you do? And when you’re not at work, what type of leisure or other activities do you enjoy?
Are you an executive, business owner, or public relations professional? Perhaps you’re an active outdoor enthusiast, a busy mom, a retired senior, or a student? Or maybe you are a creative person, such as an artist or writer.
Or, like most people, do you have a lifestyle that encompasses a number of different activities, interests, and personality traits?
Everyone can benefit from more than one pair of eyeglasses, just as we all need more than one pair of shoes. Generally, wearing tennis shoes with formal wear is a bad look. Wearing the wrong type of glasses can be a similar mistake.

Eyeglasses for serious business

Eyeglasses for serious business
To help instill trust and confidence among a wide variety of your business clients and colleagues, it’s usually best to stay with conservative frame shapes and colors. Consider these choices to enhance your professional image:

  • Classic shapes such as ovals, rectangles, and almonds
  • Traditional colors of gold, silver, brown, gray and black
  • In plastic frames, no bright colors or unusual shapes

Titanium or stainless steel frame materials are good choices, as are rimless frame styles.
For colors, silver, gunmetal, brown, and black generally are good choices because they match well with a variety of business suits. Golden tones, tortoise patterns, and espresso are good choices for business wear for women and men alike.

Eyeglasses for creative and fashion types

Eyeglasses for creative and fashion types
One way to show your creative, fashionista side is with modern and classic shapes in thicker and larger plastic frames.
Multi-colored laminates are another possibility, as are more eye-catching colors (blue or violet, for example).
Another popular fashion choice is retro or vintage frame styles. Updated versions of classic frame shapes with fresh colors, materials, and finishes never seem to go out of style.

Glasses for today’s seniors

Glasses for today's seniors
Just because you’re over age 50 or nearing retirement age doesn’t mean you have to wear stodgy, old-fashioned glasses. And men: get rid of those giant metal frames that dominate your face and show your age!
A fresh eyeglasses style can provide a more youthful appearance to women and men alike. Shapes such as soft rectangles for men and cat-eye shapes for women are good choices to consider.
Also, frames with a high-gloss finish give life to a face. Generally, avoid frames with a matte finish in gray, black, or other dark colors.

Eyeglasses for students

Eyeglasses for students
Whether you’re studying business, engineering, art, or French literature, college is a time to develop your own identity — and show off your style.
Maybe you’re interested in a geeky, retro look? A modern frame with lots of colors? A sober, intellectual style?
Unusual shapes, bright colors, larger sizes, and interesting details such as color laminations — the choices are endless. Don’t be afraid to express yourself during this exciting time of your life.

Eyewear for the busy mom or dad

Eyewear for the busy mom or dad
For busy moms and dads who don’t have the time or inclination to follow the latest fashion trends, a basic yet stylish pair of eyeglasses often is the best choice for most occasions.
Frames with oval and soft rectangular shapes are very functional and still look great.
Depending on your personal style, you might choose to amplify the fashion effect of a basic shape with details such as jewelry-like metal accents or recognizable designer logos. Interesting colors also add a fashion edge to a basic frame.

Glasses for the weekend athlete

Glasses for the weekend athlete
Most adults live dual lives — their normal 9-to-5 weekday life and their (often) more active life on the weekends.
Just as dress shoes are the wrong attire for the gym, the glasses you wear at work may be the wrong choice for sports and activewear.
For the best comfort, performance, and safety during active and leisurewear, choose at least one pair of sports sunglasses, sports eyeglasses, or even just a more casual, sports-suggestive eyeglass frame.
Styling can range from wraparounds to more conventionally shaped eyeglasses and sunglasses. Sporty looks might include bright colors, patterns, and modern combinations of metal and plastic materials.
A knowledgeable optician can help you choose the best eyeglass frames for your sports vision and active lifestyle needs.

A few notes about eyeglass lenses

Though this discussion has been about frames, here are a few important notes about your eyeglass lenses:

  • Always choose anti-reflective coating for your lenses. AR coating eliminates annoying reflections, improves night vision, and enables people to see your eyes more clearly.
  • For thinner, lighter, more attractive lenses, choose polycarbonate or high-index plastic lenses with an aspheric design. Polycarbonate lenses also are the best choice for sports eyewear and safety glasses because they are much lighter and more impact resistant than lenses made of other materials.
  • Photochromic lenses that automatically darken in sunlight are a great choice if you spend time outdoors and don’t want to always carry a pair of sunglasses with you.
  • If you’re over age 40, why advertise your age with bifocals or trifocals? Line-free progressive lenses provide clear vision at all distances and give older adults a more youthful appearance.

Finally, be aware that you have many choices in eyeglasses and it can get confusing. Seek the advice of a skilled optician or use one of the many online frame finders to find frames and lenses that will help you look and see your best.

LASIK Surgery

LASIK vision correction can be a wonderful thing—if you want to get rid of your glasses for good! Many people have had wonderful success with it, and it is becoming a popular surgery as more and more people want to lose their glasses. However, it is still a surgery, and before you get it you need to understand what you are getting into.

Prior to having LASIK vision correction, it is important to set up a consultation with the ophthalmologist who will perform the procedure. At this consultation we will perform a thorough examination and review your history to make sure you are a good candidate for surgery.

It is important to ask any questions you have during your visit. We want you to learn about the procedure, the risks, and the aftercare. We want you to be able to make an informed decision about proceeding with the surgery.

Prior to surgery you won’t be able to wear your contacts for several days or weeks, depending on the type you wear. It is important to come to the surgery free of makeup and wearing comfortable clothes. Make sure you have someone to drive you home since you won’t be able to drive yourself afterwards.

After surgery you may experience temporary side effects. These usually don’t last very long and are harmless. You may be sensitive to light and see halos especially at night. You may have blurry vision, which can last a few days. Some people have complained about their eyes being uncomfortable and itchy.

To help with the side effects, you won’t be able to rub your eyes for a week. We also recommend wearing sunglasses to help guard against the sun. You should not wear makeup for a week after surgery. You should also limit yourself—don’t do anything strenuous for the first week.

If you get medications, it is important you take them as prescribed. You will also want to come to any follow-up appointments that are recommended so we can ensure you are healing the way you are supposed to.

LASIK can be wonderful, though it is important to make an informed decision. Learn all you can so you are ready for the surgery.

Contact Lenses

contact lenses

If you have decided to try contacts, the experience can feel like a whole new world. There are so many types of contacts that the decision can be quite confusing, though your ophthalmologist will help you decide which types of contacts would be best for you. It never hurts to be informed, so here are some of the most popular types of contact lenses available.

Disposable-wear lenses are made to be thrown away after you wear them for a certain time. There are some made to be replaced daily, while others are made to last up to two weeks, if not longer.

Wearing disposable lenses is better for the health and comfort for your eyes. There are substances in your tears (like protein, calcium, and more) that build up on your lenses, which can get quite uncomfortable. Also, the longer you wear a pair of contacts, the more likely your eyes are to get infected.

Extended-wear lenses are disposable lenses that can be worn for a longer period of time. You can even wear them when you sleep. They can last up to two weeks or even longer depending how often you wear them.

Daily-wear lenses are disposable lenses, and it is recommended that you change them daily. They can be quite convenient since you won’t have to worry about cleaning them. They are good to wear when you play sports since they are affordable enough to throw away after a game.

Bifocal and multifocal contact lenses are popular with people who wear bifocal or multifocal glasses but are ready to try contacts! Both of your prescriptions are combined in contact lenses so you won’t have to carry two pairs of glasses around or change your contacts every time you decide to switch activities.

Colored contact lenses are very popular. They are used when people want to change or enhance their natural eye color. They are also popular around Halloween and other special occasions. They come in both prescription and non-prescription lenses.

To make colored contacts look natural, they are filled with multiple dots of color just like your normal iris. They also come in many colors, including hazel, brown, gray, violet, and more!

There are so many options when it comes to contacts, so you should have no problem finding the perfect one for you! Together, we can find the right set for you so your eyes can stay healthy while also giving you the vision you deserve.