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Help! My Child Doesn’t Want to Wear Glasses!

Do your kids need glasses in order to see clearly? Maybe they have a strong case of nearsightedness, perhaps they have astigmatism, or another type of refractive error. Whatever the cause, getting your kids to wear eyeglasses can be a parenting challenge.

Dr. Charlie Alfano treats patients from all over Freelton, Ontario with their vision correction needs. The knowledgeable, caring staff at Freelton Eye Care can help you and your kids if they’re struggling with their glasses or don’t want to wear them.

Why Won’t My Child Wear His or Her Glasses?

To help your children get the best vision possible, you first need to understand why they’re fighting with you over their glasses. It usually stems from something physical, emotional, or social, such as:

  • Wrong fit
  • Wrong prescription
  • Personal style
  • Reactions from friends

How do you know which it is? Pay close attention to the signs, from what your kids say, to how they behave, to how they interact with others.

Physical

Improper fit is a big reason why glasses could feel uncomfortable. If they slip down, itch behind the ears, or put pressure on the bridge of the nose, it can explain why a child wouldn’t like to wear them.

If there’s been a big change to their prescription, they may need time to get used to it. If they were given the wrong prescription, they may be straining their eyes, getting headaches, or having eye fatigue. An incorrect prescription can make wearing glasses painful or awkward. It doesn’t correct their vision, either, so they’ll still see blurry images. When this happens, your eye doctor can check the prescription and make an adjustment.

Emotional

Your kids at home aren’t the same as your kids in school, on the sports field, or with their friends. They may be afraid of being made fun of in school, or they may not want the sudden attention on their appearance. These feelings can be even stronger among the tween and teen set.

Social

Even young kids can feel different when they put on a pair of glasses, especially if it’s for the first time. Feeling different or weird, in their eyes, translates to a negative experience. When wearing glasses makes them feel like the odd man out, they may not want to wear them. The last thing your child wants is to feel like a social outcast. After all, everyone wants to belong.

How We Can Help

First, bring your child in to the eye doctor for an eye exam. Our optometrist, Dr. Charlie Alfano, will check to make sure that your child has the right prescription and that any vision problems are being corrected. Next, we’ll take a look at the glasses and place them on your child’s face to determine if they’ve got the proper fit. Our optician will take care of any adjustments that need to be made.

The Vision They Need, The Style They Want

Fashion isn’t only for adults. Your budding fashionista or trendy young stud wants to look awesome, so don’t forget about style. When your kids look great, they’ll feel great! Give them the top-quality eyewear they need without compromising on style. Your kids are a lot more likely to wear glasses when they like the way they look.

What You Can Do to Help

Encourage, stay positive, and don’t give up. Avoid telling them what you want them to wear. Let them choose for themselves. In the end, they’re the ones wearing the glasses. Making decisions is an important life skill, something they’ll need as they grow up and become more independent.

For younger children, use positive words to encourage them. Talk about how glasses are like magic, letting them see beautiful things around them. Show them how a pretty flower or a bright red truck looks with the glasses on, and how different it looks with the glasses off. For older kids, throw in a little pop culture. Tell them how trendy they’ll look by showing them pictures of celebrities who also wear glasses. You’ll also rack up some cool parent points.

At Freelton Eye Care, we have the experience and unique approach to children’s eyewear that will make your kids want to wear their glasses. Schedule an eye exam today – you can book an appointment online right here. If you have any questions or concerns, give us a call and we’ll be glad to help.

Questions & Answers About Sunglasses With Dr. Alfano

Sunglasses from your Freelton, ON optometrist

Dr. Alfano Answers Your Questions About Sunglasses

Q: When can a person protect themselves from sun exposure?

“when can a person help”…..Sunglasses in addition to sunscreen for the skin is a crucial part of the total sun protection plan. Sunglasses will protect the eye and the delicate skin around the eyes that people are unable to apply creams. The eyes are susceptible all year around due to reflection like snow and rain covered roads that reflect the light to the eye even when the sun is less stronger but lower in the sky.

Q: What exactly are “ultraviolet rays?”

UV rays are light rays that are emitted from the Sun that are not visible to the human eye. These light rays are shorter in wavelength but have more energy and can cause damage to the skin and other tissues. Acutely this causes burns and over time can cause cell mutations that lead to cancer.

Q: How can people protect themselves from the sun’s UV rays?

Clothing, Wide rim hats, and sunglasses.

Q: Are sunglasses an important part of a sun protection plan?

Sunglasses are crucial for full protection.

Q: What type of sunglasses best protect from UV rays?

Optical quality sunglasses that have full UV protection. Polarized lenses also help with reflections off water and shiny surfaces near to the ground.

Q: I’ve heard of getting my skin sunburned, but can your eyes also get sunburned?

The eyes can UV burns. Intense UV burns can occur from things welding and happen very fast. Regular sun exposure causes irritation and sensitivity to light but happens more mildly and over a long period of time. People that live closer to the equator almost always show cumulative damage to the eye from chronic sun exposure.

Q: Do darker sunglasses mean better sun protection?

No. Some very dark tints only cover the visible light and may not have UV protection built in.

Q: Does having a prescription make it harder to get the right sunglasses?

Usually no. In some cases very high prescriptions can change the type of frame that can be outfitted but once in the right frame is chosen for the prescription is considered almost any prescription can be done in sunglasses.

Q: Do certain brands of sunglasses perform better than other brands?

Yes. Reputable brands that have experience and technology that is engineered for sun lenses can increase the performance and experience.

Scleral Lenses

If you are looking to wear contact lenses but have always had problems with comfort or have been told you’ll never be able to wear contact lenses because of an irregularly shaped cornea or other eye problem, it may be time to look into a type of contact lens known as a “scleral lens.”

Scleral contact lenses are large diameter rigid gas permeable contact lenses designed to pass over the cornea entirely, resting comfortably on the white of your eye, also known as the sclera. This allows scleral lenses to essentially replace the irregular surface of the cornea with a perfectly formed optical surface, giving you the kind of perfectly crisp vision you may not even be able to accomplish at all with eyeglasses or other forms of vision correction. This extra area also allows the lens to be a liquid reservoir to provide extra comfort for those who otherwise may have comfort issues with regular contact lenses.

Scleral lenses are noticeably larger than normal gas permeable lenses, varying in size from 14.5 mm to 24 mm across. The size of the scleral lens that a person needs is often determined by how complex their eye condition is. Mild keratoconus and abnormal astigmatism are usually considered less complicated and tend to require smaller, less costly, scleral lenses, whereas more advanced cases of keratoconus, severe and chronic dry eyes or advanced ocular diseases often are considered more complicated to treat, and usually require larger, more costly, scleral lenses.

Scleral lenses are always custom made to fit the unique contours of your eye, so fitting of this type of specialty lens requires specific expertise and a greater amount of time fitting than with standard gas permeable and soft contact lenses. In many cases, a digital map of your cornea will be created, displaying for your optometrist an image referred to as your “corneal topography.” This will help your eye doctor more easily find the right fit for you, and reduce the number of trial pairs and the amount of time spent in fitting.

Because of the increased amount of time that is required to obtain a corneal topography and customize a scleral lens that works best and is most comfortable for your eyes, as well as the larger material cost to produce, scleral lenses can be significantly more expensive than traditional gas permeable and soft contact lenses. Despite this, scleral lenses still remain the most comfortable and, in many cases, the only way, to obtain comfortable, accurate vision for those suffering from severe dry eye, keratoconus, and other similar eye conditions.

Parkinson’s Awareness Month and Your Vision

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April is Parkinson’s Awareness Month in the USA and Canada, a time when those living with the disorder, their family members, friends, and community come together to raise awareness and share helpful information. People with Parkinson’s Disease (PD) and their loved ones are encouraged to share their stories, struggles, and successes in order to educate and support others.

Local Contact lens supplier near you in Freelton, Ontario

The Parkinson’s Foundation has announced this year’s theme: #KeyToPD and Parkinson Canada advocates the same involvement. What is the key to living a high quality of life while living with Parkinson’s? Patients, doctors, caregivers, and families are encouraged to use this hashtag on social media to give of their knowledge and experience.

In order to successfully manage the disorder, it’s essential to understand the disease, symptoms, and treatments. After all, knowledge is power.

What is Parkinson’s Disease?

Parkinson’s Disease is a neurological disorder that affects the brain’s ability to control physical movement. It typically affects middle aged people and the elderly. Parkinson’s causes a decrease in the brain’s natural levels of dopamine, which normally aids nerve cells in passing messages within the brain. According to The Parkinson’s Foundation and Statistics Canada, the disorder affects an estimated 1 million people in the United States, 55 000 Canadians, and 10 million globally.

Freelton Eye Care Eye Clinic and parkinsons and vision problems in Freelton, Ontario

Many eye diseases can be quickly and easily diagnosed during a comprehensive eye exam. If you were diagnosed with an eye disease, such as Cataracts, Glaucoma, Macular degeneration, Diabetic retinopathy, or Dry eye, you may be overwhelmed by the diagnosis and confused about what happens next. Will you need medications or surgery – now or in the future? Our Freelton eye doctor has prepared the following answers to your questions about eye disease.

How Does Parkinson’s Affect Vision?

Parkinson’s can have a significant impact on vision and ocular health. Patients with PD often find themselves unable to control blinking. Blinking is good for the eyes as it moisturizes the surface and clears it from foreign substances. Less blinking can cause Dry Eye Syndrome, resulting in itchy, red, or gritty-feeling eyes. Other people blink too much or can’;t keep their eyes open.

In more serious cases, Parkinson’s affects the nerves that help us see. Someone with PD may experience blurry vision, double vision, difficulty seeing color and contrast, problems with focus, and other visual symptoms.

In addition to the inherent impact of the disease, some of the medications used to treat Parkinson’s symptoms have known side effects including dry eyes, blurred eyesight and even hallucinations in advanced PD.

What Causes Parkinson’s Disease?

Although much research has been done on the subject, the exact cause of the disease isn’t really known. What doctors and scientists do know is that certain nerve cells located in the brain somehow break down. This damage interferes with both motor and non-motor functions.

Local parkinsons and vision problems in Freelton, Ontario

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Common Non-Visual Symptoms of Parkinson’s

PD affects other areas of the body that may or may not – depending on each patient – be related to their eye health and visual needs.

Some of the most common non-visual symptoms are:

  • Depression
  • Excessive saliva
  • Loss of smell
  • Moodiness
  • Muscle cramps
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Slow movement (bradykinesia)
  • Stiff limbs
  • Tremors

Coping With Vision Problems From Parkinson’s

There is currently no cure for the disease itself, but there are options to treat the symptoms of PD. A combination of medications, physical and/or occupational therapy, support groups, and of course, top-quality vision care can give a PD patient relief for some of their symptoms and tools to help cope with the condition.

Research and clinical trials are continuing as doctors and others in the medical community work towards the goal of finding a cure for PD.

No two patients are alike, and each can experience PD differently from the other, so finding what works for you or your loved one is key. During this Parkinson’s Awareness Month, share your #KeyToPD and give your loved ones hope for a healthy and high quality of life.

Treatment for Parkinson’s Disease

There is currently no cure for the disease itself, but there are options to treat the symptoms of PD. A combination of medications, physical and/or occupational therapy, support groups, and of course, top-quality vision care can give a PD patient relief for some of their symptoms and tools to help cope with the condition.

Research and clinical trials are continuing as doctors and others in the medical community work towards the goal of finding a cure for PD.

No two patients are alike, and each can experience PD differently from the other, so finding what works for you or your loved one is key. During this Parkinson’s Awareness Month, share your #KeyToPD and give your loved ones hope for a healthy and high quality of life.

A Caring Optometrist Near You

We’re here for you, and we want to help. Contact your eye doctor for any specific questions or concerns about your vision.

Call Freelton Eye Care on 905-659-3937 to schedule an eye exam with our Freelton optometrist. Alternatively book an appointment online here CLICK FOR AN APPOINTMENT

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Just in case you missed them, here are some of our previous blog posts :

Freelton eye exam – It’s time for your regular eye exam!

The Importance of Eye Exams for Contact Lenses

Why You Shouldn’t Visit the ER for Eye Emergencies During COVID-19

Top 5 Tips for Managing Eye Allergies This Spring

The Effect of Diabetes on Your Eyes

Eye care, senior man with diabetes in Freelton, ON

Diabetes is a very serious condition that affects hundreds of thousands of people every year throughout the world. A person with diabetes suffers from higher than healthy blood sugar levels as a result of the body's inability either to produce a sufficient amount of insulin or properly absorb the insulin being produced. Unfortunately, beyond the high blood sugar that is a direct result of diabetes, many
complications arise as an indirect result of diabetes, particularly when it comes to a person's eyes.

Dr. Charlie Alfano of Freelton Eye Care, in Freelton, ON explains, “Diabetic retinopathy is possibly the most serious eye condition related to diabetes. This occurs as a result of extended periods of high blood sugar. Diabetic retinopathy comes in two types: nonproliferative and proliferative.”

Nonproliferative diabetic retinopathy is the earliest stage of retinopathy. This occurs when damaged blood vessels in the retina begin leaking fluids and blood into the eye. In some cases, deposits of cholesterol from the blood may leak into the retina.

Although diabetic retinopathy at this stage is rarely sight-threatening, sometimes swelling or thickening of the macula caused by fluid leaked into the eye causes the macula to function improperly. This is called macular edema and is the leading cause of vision loss caused by diabetes.

Proliferative diabetic retinopathy is a more advanced stage of retinopathy in which many blood vessels in the eye have closed themselves off, preventing proper blood flow to the eyes. As a result, the retina begins to grow new blood vessels to attempt to make up for blood not being carried to the eyes through the now closed blood vessels.

Eye doctor, senior man suffering from diabetes in Freelton, ONThese new blood vessels are abnormal, however, and are not able to supply the retina with proper blood flow. At the same time, the new blood vessels often create scar tissue that may cause the retina to wrinkle or detach. Proliferative diabetic retinopathy is generally more serious and sight-threatening than non-proliferative retinopathy because of the possibility of very serious complications such as traction retinal detachment, in which the wrinkling of the retina
causes distortions in vision and may become very severe if large parts of the macula or retina become detached.

People with diabetes are also at significantly increased risk of developing cataracts, a clouding of the vision caused by clumps of protein forming in the lens of the eye. Although cataracts usually affect people in their elderly years, diabetics tend to develop cataracts at a younger age, and their condition progresses much faster. In cataracts that cause significant blockage of the lens, the lens must be removed and replaced by an artificial lens in order to restore vision. This is not without risks, however. Studies have shown that a person's retinopathy can worsen and glaucoma may start to develop as a result of removing and replacing the lens.

In reference to another serious condition resulting from diabetes, Dr. Charlie Alfano comments, “People with diabetes are at a 40% higher risk for contracting glaucoma, and this risk increases as a person ages. This condition occurs when fluid pressure inside the eye builds up and damages the optical nerve. With glaucoma, the damage is done slowly, and a person may not realize they are losing their vision until
significant damage has been done.”

It is important to have regular eye exams to monitor for warning signs of these and other conditions that result from diabetes. For more information, contact Dr. Charlie Alfano today.

Daily Disposable Contact Lenses

Bosch & Lomb daily disposables

Proper contact lens care can be a daunting task for many. Making sure that you, or your children, are using the right contact lens solution, in the right amount and changing it every day, as well as sticking to your doctor recommended replacement schedule every 2 weeks to a month, is a burden that most are not ready to handle.

As a matter of fact, recent studies reveal that as few as 2% of all contact lens wearers actually clean and store their contact lenses as they are supposed to. As a result, the majority of people wearing rigid gas permeable or bi-weekly and monthly disposable contacts, expose their eyes daily to a host of harmful bacteria that can grow on their lenses over time and cause serious eye infections that have the potential to do severe damage to their eyes, up to and including total blindness.

Fortunately, a significantly safer contact lens alternative does exist: daily disposable contact lenses.

With daily disposable contact lenses, you are able to experience crystal clear vision every day, without the worry or stress of proper storage and cleaning. Simply throw today's pair away before bed, and enjoy the benefits and comfort of a brand new, clean, crisp pair of contact lenses the very next morning. Contact lens related infections and eye conditions that result from improper cleaning and storage are a thing of the past. Now, you can enjoy the simple pleasures of crisp, clean, comfortable vision at the start of every day.

Another important advantage of daily disposable contact lenses is that there is no longer a need for you to worry about being forgetful when it comes your contact lens replacement schedule. Many people are not aware of the extent of damage that can be done when contact lenses are not changed for a clean, new pair on time.

Wearing of contact lenses until they become uncomfortable to wear, and then switching them out, is an all-too-common and very damaging practice. Most people are unaware that by the time their contact lenses feel uncomfortable on the eye, serious damage may have already been done. With daily disposables, if you can remember that every morning starts with a new pair, then you're set.

Daily contact lenses are a great way to start enjoying stress free, crystal clear vision every day. For more information, and to find out if daily disposable contact lenses are right for you, contact your eye doctor today!

Eye See Eye Learn – Free Eye Glasses for Your Child

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We are proud to participate in the Eye See…Eye Learn program, offering FREE comprehensive eye exams to junior kindergarten students.

Free Eye Glasses for Your Child

The eye exams are covered under provincial health insurance (or OHIP) when you show your child’s health card. This means that there is no out-of-pocket cost for the eye exam. If the child requires a pair of glasses, they will receive them FREE of charge courtesy of our participating sponsors.

The Eye See…Eye Learn program was developed to raise awareness among parents of the importance of having their children’s eyes checked upon starting school. Children, who cannot see the board, focus on a picture or follow words in a book may struggle to achieve their full learning potential. Vision problems can also impact their hand-eye coordination for physical activities and even impact their social development. In fact, 80 percent of learning comes directly through vision.

The Ontario Association of Optometrists recognizes the important link between eye health and learning and recommends comprehensive eye examinations for all children entering kindergarten. The Eye See…Eye Learn program will help make sure our kindergarten students get the best start to learning.

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The Importance of Sunglasses

Couple wearing sunglasses - Eye Doctor, Freelton, ONFinding the right pair of sunglasses to fit your personal style is often an important part of making your summer outfit picture perfect. But beyond “picture perfect,” a carefully chosen pair of sunglasses can grant you great health advantages and help safeguard your eyes against the elements.

Ultraviolet (UV) radiation is a familiar concept to many and the damage it can cause to your skin is well known as well. Much less well known, however, is the damage that UV radiation can do to your eyes. Too much UV radiation can give your eyes a kind of 'sunburn of the eye,' called photokeratitis, and excessive UV exposure over your lifetime can significantly increase your chances of developing serious problems with your eyes later in life, such as age-related macular degeneration and cataracts. Expert studies suggest that high-quality sunglasses can significantly reduce the amount of UV rays entering your eyes, reducing your risk of photokeratitis and long-term damage. Furthermore, since they protect the sensitive skin around the eyes from receiving too much direct UV radiation, wearing sunglasses may also help to reduce wrinkles.

Excessive UV radiation is not the only risk sunglasses can help you reduce. Everyday reflective surfaces, such as snow, water, road surfaces and car windshields, reflect a great deal of light and can do significant damage to your eyes with extended exposure. Good sunglasses can do a great deal to protect your eyes from this glare. Furthermore, sunglasses can help prevent potentially life-threatening situations by reducing the chances that bright glare may momentarily blind you while driving or biking.

Quality sunglasses are also very important for reducing eyestrain, headaches, and fatigue. The opening at the front of the eye, called the pupil, controls the amount of light that enters your eye. In conditions in which a great deal of light is present, such as when you walk outside on a very sunny day, the pupil may be unable to constrict enough to keep light to a comfortable level, causing you to squint in order to further limit the amount of incoming light. Muscle fatigue associated with constant squinting and the continued constriction of the pupil can cause headaches, fatigue, and eyestrain.

As a general rule, any time you step outside, you should wear sunglasses to protect your eyes. However, there are certain times when this is particularly true: In the summer UV radiation is at least 3 times higher than it is in the winter, and at the beach, no matter the season, reflection from the water can be quite intense. In these situations, sunglasses are an absolute must for proper eye health. This is also true if you've just had any kind of surgery or are taking medicine that makes your eyes extra sensitive to light.

Importance of Proper Contact Lens Fitting

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The Importance of Proper Contact Lens Measurements and Fitting

Many times in life, One-size-fits-all can be really great! It takes the stress out of finding the right fit and is often quick, easy and convenient. But when it comes to contact lenses, one-size-fits-all is not only an uncomfortable, but also a potentially damaging, concept that can result in serious vision and eye issues. Contact lenses generally sit directly on the cornea, making it very important that the measurements of your contact lenses are 100% accurate to ensure a comfortable, healthy fit. This will prevent eye infections and other eye conditions such as corneal abrasion, a painful scratch on the surface of the eye that can make even blinking uncomfortable!

Switching from glasses to contacts or changing your contact lens prescription are processes best overseen by an eye care professional that will measure your eyes properly and find the best fit for you. Below, Dr. Charlie Alfano of Freelton Eye Care in Freelton, ON walk us through some of the most important parts and points of proper contact lens measurements and fitting.

Taking Measurements

Each person's eyes are just a little bit different. Some corneas are steep, while others are shallow. Some people have mild astigmatism, while others' astigmatism is more severe, and yet others don't have at all. All these considerations and more make proper corneal measurements a very important starting point. Your eye’s curvature will first be measured using a measuring device known as a keratometer. This is a very simple procedure, in which you simply rest your chin on a support while the instrument takes photographs of your eye. These photographs are used to analyze reflections of light from your cornea to help the doctor determine the exact curvature of your eye and the size of contact lens that you will need.

In a case in which a patient has a hard-to-fit cornea, based on an unusual curvature of the eye, further computerized measurements are often taken using corneal topography, allowing a more precise picture of the shape of the corneal surface.

With astigmatism the surface of the eye is irregular and causes poor focusing. In this case toric contact lenses, which are made specifically to correct the distortions of the eye caused by astigmatism and requires more detailed measurements than a standard lens.

It is also important to get an accurate measurement of the pupil, the opening at the front of the eye where light enters, as well as the colored part of the eye, the iris. This is measured either with a ruler or with an automated device.

Your eye doctor may also perform a tear film evaluation in order to assess if you are prone to dry eyes. If you are, your eye doctor may be able to prescribe you specialty lenses that help keep the eye properly hydrated and prevent dry eye symptoms such as red, itchy, uncomfortable eyes.

Female Blowing Purple Flowers contact lens freelton onThe Fitting

After completion of all the required measurements, your eye doctor will know what type and shape of contact lens you require. Many doctors give their patients a trial pair of lenses to try on at this point. An instrument called a biomicroscope may be used for a magnified view of the cornea with the contacts in, to assess the fit. This same instrument can also be used to detect and assess any change in the health of your eyes after beginning contact lens wear. You are likely to also have a number of follow-up visits after the initial fitting. These visits are meant to ensure that your eyes are remaining healthy with contact lens use. Your doctor should be able to order your permanent prescription after the second or third visit, assuming that he or she has not seen any damage to your eyes from the trial pair and has confirmed that the fit is proper.

It is important that your lenses be properly fitted to your eyes for maximum comfort and health at all times. For more information, contact your eye doctor today.

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Hard-to-Fit Contacts

Contact Lenses for the Hard to Fit Patient

It is not uncommon for patients to have difficulty wearing contact lenses for a number of reasons. Due to the individual eye shape, certain conditions or impairments or the aftermath of surgery, some patients are considered to be “hard to fit” as contact lens wearers.

For hard to fit patients that prefer to wear contact lenses however, there are options available that can provide comfortable and effective contact lens wear. This will require a specialized fitting with an eye doctor that is an expert that knows your condition and the various products available to find the right match for your specific condition. You may be considered a hard to fit contact lens candidate if you have one of the following conditions:

  • Dry Eyes
  • Astigmatism
  • Giant Papillary Conjunctivitis (GPC)
  • Keratoconus
  • Pellucid Marginal Degeneration
  • Post-LASIK or other refractive surgery
  • Presbyopia (reduced near vision common in individuals aged 40 and over).
  • Corneal Scarring

Dry Eyes and Contact Lenses

Dry Eye Syndrome causes your eyes to feel dry, gritty, burning, red, and irritated. Dry Eye Syndrome can also cause blurred vision. Often these symptoms can sometimes worsen by the use of contacts. In fact, many people who do not normally suffer from chronic dry eyes, will experience some of these symptoms as a result of contact lens wear.

First of all, if you have chronic dry eyes, you should see your eye doctor for treatment and relief before you think about contact lenses. Once your dry eyes are treated, it is safe to try contacts and there are a number of options that can be considered.

Many brands of soft contacts and products such as disinfectant and cleaning solutions are made with ingredients that are designed to be more comfortable for individuals with dry eyes. Your eye doctor will be able to recommend some of these brands and products to you. Alternatively, gas permeable (GP) or rigid gas permeable (RGP) lenses are made with a hard material that in some cases does not dry out like soft lenses and they are able to hold a certain amount of moisture beneath the lens to keep the eye from drying out. Gas permeable lenses are a very good option and can be quite comfortable for individuals with dry eyes.

Additionally, your doctor might recommend a specific wearing schedule such as limiting the time you wear your contacts throughout the day or replacing your contacts on a more frequent basis.

Toric Lenses for Astigmatism

Astigmatism is a condition that causes blurred vision (in some cases double vision) because rather than being round, the front of the eye (the cornea) has two curves instead of one, therefore, having two focal points instead of one. This makes it hard for traditional contact lenses to fit and therefore requires specialized contact lenses such as toric lenses or rigid gas permeable lenses (RGPs).

Toric contact lenses are designed to correct astigmatism and custom made to fit the eye of the patient. Most are made of soft material designed to stay in place on the eye, however in some cases, when the rotation of the lens (due to blinking and eye movement) can’t be stopped, gas permeable lenses might be tried. Due to the customization and more complicated fitting process required for these lenses, they are more expensive and take more time for the contact lens laboratory to make than traditional lenses.

Giant Papillary Conjunctivitis (GPC) and Contact Lenses

GPC is a type of conjunctivitis in which the inner surface of the eyelid becomes swollen. The condition can be caused or worsened by a buildup of protein deposits on contact lenses. Your eye doctor may either recommend daily disposable lenses or RGP lenses (which are not water based) and therefore have less of a tendency for protein buildup. Your doctor may also prescribe medicated eye drops and require you to stop the use of contact lenses until the symptoms improve.

Rigid Gas Permeable (RGP) or Gas Permeable (GP) Lenses

Rigid Gas Permeable (RGP) also known as Gas Permeable (GP) lenses are effective for many hard to fit patients. The hard, oxygen permeable material lets the eye breathe and significantly reduces the chance of infection due to protein deposits which tend to harbor bacteria on soft lenses. RGPs also hold moisture under the lens to keep eyes from drying out.

Rigid Gas Permeable (RGP) Lenses for Keratoconus

Keratoconus is a condition in which the cornea thins and bulges forward into a cone shape. Traditional contact lenses may cause some discomfort in these patients and the vision may still be blurry therefore RGPs are often used for treatment for mild, moderate, and some severe cases. Rigid gas permeable lenses may help to slow down the cone shape from worsening in some cases. Further, RGPs are able to assist in vision correction for keratoconus which is often not possible with soft contacts or even eyeglasses.

Post-LASIK or Vision Correction (Refractive) Surgery

While LASIK surgery has a very high success rate, there are vision complications and symptoms that sometimes remain. Night vision after LASIK, in particular, can sometimes give you side effects such as glare or halos around lights. RGPs are often effective in helping with these side effects and restoring clear vision.

Bifocal and Multifocal Contact Lenses for Presbyopia

Presbyopia is a common condition in those people usually over 40 years old in which the eyes’ ability to focus on close objects is impaired. Many people keep a pair of bifocal or multifocal glasses on hand for times when they have to read menus, newspapers, books, and other objects that require near vision. For those that prefer contact lenses over eyeglasses, bifocal and multifocal contact lenses are an option.

For some patients that have presbyopia and need correction for distance vision as well, one option is monovision. Monovision is a contact lens fitting process in which you wear a contact lens in one eye for distance vision and the other contact lens of your other eye for near vision. Another option is multifocal contact lenses. In this contact lens fitting process, both eyes are usually fit for distance vision and both eyes are used for near at the same time. Both contact lens fitting options usually take about one week for the brain and the eyes to adjust.

If you have one of these conditions or find contact lens wear difficult for another reason, speak with your eye doctor. As technology improves there are more and more options for hard to fit contact lens patients to benefit from the comfort and convenience of contact lens use.

 

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