Caring For Your Contact Lenses

contact lensesContact lenses are an excellent alternative from eyeglasses for millions of people in need of vision correction. Contact lenses can correct:

  • Myopia (nearsightedness)
  • Astigmatism (uneven focusing of light)
  • Hyperopia (farsightedness)

Are Contact Lenses Right for Me?

Your eye care professional can help you determine if contact lenses are the right choice for you. They will examine your eyes to make sure there are no underlying eye conditions or other circumstances that might interfere with successful use of contacts. Once you’ve decided on contact lenses, the fitting process will involve working with your eye care professional to find a lens prescription, size and type that maximizes sight, eye health and comfort. Over 75 percent of contact wearers choose soft contacts, which are made of soft, flexible plastic and allow oxygen to reach the cornea.

Here are some tips for the most healthy way to wear contact lenses:

  • Insert and remove your contact lenses with clean, dry hands.
  • If you experience discomfort, excessive tearing, discharge, vision changes or redness that lasts more than 2 days, contact your eye care professional.
  • Use contacts for the time period recommended for your lenses.
  • Contacts and water do not mix. Store your contacts in the recommended saline solution.
  • Avoid wearing contacts while showering, using a hot tub, swimming or engaging in other water sports.
  • Before inserting your lens, examine it to make sure it is moist, clean and intact.
  • Don’t use a lens if the sterile package it comes in has been damaged or opened, or if the lens has a nick or tear.
  • Never wear someone else’s contact lenses.

It is important to properly care for your contact lenses. Taking care of your lenses will maximize their life and keep your eyes their healthiest.

  • Before handling your lenses, wash and rinse your hands thoroughly with a mild soap and dry them with a lint-free towel.
  • Use a disinfectant approved by your eye care professional to thoroughly clean your lenses.
  • To remove dirt and kill germs on your contacts, rub them with your fingers and rinse them well with an approved solution. Then soak lenses overnight in enough solution to completely cover them.
  • Use your fingertips to touch your lenses as your fingernails may scratch or tear lens.
  • Store contacts in approved solutions, and never reuse solution.
  • Clean your lens case properly.
  • Replace your lens case every three months.

The doctors at Hampton Roads Eye Associates – Oyster Point have extensive training and experience in fitting all types of contact lenses. In fact, we specialize in difficult to fit patients and have had success with many patients who were unsuccessful elsewhere. If you are ready for contact lenses please call us today at (757) 643-8800.

The Truth About “Lazy Eye”

lazy eyeContrary to popular belief, the condition that people coined as “lazy eye” is a visual impairment rather than an oddity in the eye’s shape or position. A person can have lazy eye without it being recognizable by someone else’s naked eyes. Severe cases, however, sometimes show apparent visual signs that the two eyes are not performing the same functions with the same precision.
The scientific name for lazy eye is amblyopia, and it occurs in up to three children out of every hundred, according to the National Eye Institute. It is a condition that causes a reduction in vision abilities. The problem does not seem to respond to treatment with glasses or contacts, and it does not appear to be the product of an eye disease.

What Causes Lazy Eye?
Many factors can cause lazy eye. Strabismus, which is a disorder that crosses the eyes, could contribute to lazy eye. Many people confuse lazy eye with strabismus, but the conditions are separate and completely different. The condition could also come from nearsighted and farsighted variations between the two eyes where one is worse than the other. Specialists do not have an exact ironclad cause for lazy eye. Their summation is that the brain loses its controlling connection with one of the eyes for some reason.

What Are the Symptoms of Lazy Eye?
Lazy eye symptoms vary from subtle symptoms like squinting with one eye, to apparent symptoms such as eyes that wander and don’t seem to be acting as a team. A person who is suffering from lazy eye will have poor vision test results. The person will have a decline in capabilities that may gradually worsen, as well.

How to Treat Lazy Eye
Untreated lazy eye can result in permanent loss of eyesight in one eye. Therefore, it’s imperative that a person gets evaluated if he or she suspects the problem. Solutions such as patches and medications are available in addition to some training exercises. If you or your loved one is showing the symptoms of lazy eye, give a provider a call to get evaluated as quickly as possible.

Your eye specialist at Hampton Roads Eye Associates is qualified to diagnose and treat lazy eye.  If you notice any of these symptoms in yourself or your child, contact us for an appointment at (757) 643-8800.  

Health Issues That Can be Found During Your Dilated Eye Exam

dilated examYou know that seeing your eye doctor is the best way to be sure that your eyes stay healthy. During your exam, your doctor may dilate your pupils so he can examine your optic nerves, retinas and blood vessels. Your eye care practitioner can tell a lot about the health of your body by looking at the health of your eyes.

Your Blood Pressure
If during your exam, your doctor notices kinks or tears in the blood vessels of your eyes, you may be asked about your blood pressure. The condition of those blood vessels could suggest undiagnosed or unmanaged high blood pressure (hypertension).

Your Blood Sugar
Bleeding or yellowish fluid leaking in the blood vessels of the eye can signify diabetic neuropathy. Your eye care professional may encourage you to see your family physician for blood sugar screening. Properly managed blood sugar levels could save your vision.

Your Autoimmune System
Characterized by inflammation throughout the body, a dysfunctional autoimmune system can affect your joints, your internal organs, and your eyes. The immune system can attack the blood vessels in the back of the eye and on the retina, which can affect your vision. Anyone who has an autoimmune disorder should have regular eye exams.

Your Thyroid
Graves eye disease, also called thyroid eye disease, is another autoimmune disorder. In this case, the autoimmune issue causes an overactive thyroid. Symptoms could also include swelling around the eyes and protruding eyeballs. If you have a thyroid disorder, you may also notice fatigue, weight loss, and heat intolerance.

Your Nervous System
The optic nerve is the only area of the brain that can be seen from outside of the body. Vision problems could be one of the first signs you might notice if you were diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Researchers suggest that optic nerve scans could also provide useful information for other neurological conditions.

Your eye doctor would be able to detect many other health conditions before you were aware of a problem. He can warn you of suspected tumors, aneurysms, or even cancer. Your comprehensive eye exam could be your first indication that you have a more serious health concern that should be investigated by your family physician.  Hampton Roads Eye Associates are experts at providing and interpreting dilated eye exams.  Contact us at (757) 643-8800 to schedule your eye exam today!