Caring for Contact Lenses

By Dr. Molly Wood

It’s no surprise that more than one in ten people wear contact lenses considering they are a safe, convenient, and comfortable alternative to clearer vision without the fogging of lenses, the bulk of a frame, or the discomfort of a nose pad.  But they’re not entirely risk free!  Proper handling and care of the lenses is essential for the longevity of the contact lens, as well as a proper fit for the health of your eye and vision.

Contact lenses are considered medical devices, which means they need to be properly fit by a licensed eye care provider to ensure they have proper movement and coverage which will reduce your risk of contact lens related complications.  The eye care professional will also determine the proper power of the contact lens so you are seeing well.  In the state of Pennsylvania, a contact lens prescription is valid for one year from the date it is given.  A comprehensive eye exam is needed to renew the prescription each year, to prevent contact lens related ocular complications.

On rare occasions, contact lenses can cause infection in the eyes, or corneal ulcers.  In addition to a proper fit, some other ways we can be sure we’re protecting our eyes while wearing contacts would be to follow some simple contact lens hygiene rules:

-Always wash your hands with soap and water, not hand sanitizer, before handling the lenses.

– Don’t “over wear” your contact lenses; make sure you’re taking them out every night and replacing them according to their wear schedule.

– Never soak your lenses in tap water or rinse with saliva, only clean your lenses with fresh contact lens solution.

– Replace your contact lens case at least every three months

– Remove your lenses immediately and contact your eye care provider if your eye becomes red, irritated, painful, or your vision becomes blurred.

Not everyone is a candidate for contact lens wear, but there are many options available.  If contact lenses are something you’re interested in trying, contact your eye care provider for a contact lens fit.

By Dr. Marla Moon

If you are a parent or a grandparent of a young child, you may wonder if it’s time to set up their first eye examination.  According to the American Optometric Association and the American Public Health Association, your child should have their first eye examination between 6 and 12 months of age and again at 3 and 5 years of age (unless a problem has been identified sooner).  Eye exams for children are extremely important.  Even if your child has undergone a vision “screening” by the school nurse or the pediatrician/family doctor, a comprehensive eye examination is important.  One in four elementary school age children have an undetected vision problem and good eyesight is crucial for learning.  In fact, 80%-90% of what a child learns during the first 12 years of life come through the visual system.

If your child is diagnosed with a problem at their eye exam, most likely it will be nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism or a combination.  However, there are some other less common conditions that tend to show up in an infant/toddler or preschooler such as:

  • Amblyopia (also known as “lazy eye”) in which normal vision can’t be achieved – typically in one or both eyes.
  • Strabismus (also known as “crossed eyes” or an eye turn) in which the eyes do not maintain proper alignment.
  • Convergence insufficiency in which the eyes do not work together during reading tasks or up-close work

The earlier that a vision problem can be detected, the better success we have to rehabilitate and treat that condition.  Your child’s first trip to the eye doctor is an important step in maintaining your child’s health and ensuring his or hear ability to learn and develop.

Trouble Seeing to Read?

By Dr. Jill Finke

VUITY 1.25% is a new prescription eye drop formulated to improve reading vision in adults. Most adults notice a decrease in reading vision beginning in their 40s. This is due to the onset of presbyopia. Presbyopia is caused by a reduction in your eyes’ ability to “zoom in” or focus at near.

One drop of VUITY in the morning in each eye works to constrict your pupil size. When the pupil is smaller with VUITY, many adults note a two to three line improvement in their reading vision abilities on the vision chart.

Studies have shown the eyedrop to be most effective between the ages of 40 to 55. The most common side effects are headache and eye redness. Due to the constriction of pupil size, caution when driving at night or performing hazardous activities in poor light is advised. Some patients also reported temporary problems when changing focus between near and distance objects.

Additionally, rare cases of retinal detachment have been reported with other similar medicines. Immediate medical care would be advised with sudden onset of vision loss, new flashing lights, or new floating spots or shadows in your vision. If you are a contact lens wearer, you should remove your lenses prior to the instillation of VUITY and wait 10 minutes after dosing before reinserting your contact lenses.

A month’s supply of VUITY costs around $80. For presbyopic adults looking to reduce their dependence on reading glasses, VUITY has been a welcome new treatment option. If you are interested in learning more about this promising new eyedrop, contact your eye care provider for an appointment to find out if this medication is right for you.

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