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Month: August 2017

Is Your Teen Ready for Contacts?

Many teens who wear glasses are eager to try out contact lenses for convenience, fashion or to just provide another option for vision correction. For teens who feel self-conscious in their glasses, contact lenses can be a way to improve self-esteem. Young athletes and swimmers find that contacts are an excellent option for sports, especially as younger kids are becoming involved in travel sports and club teams outside of school. 

While contacts might appear to be the perfect solution for teens that need corrective eyewear, they are a convenience that comes with a lot of responsibility so it’s not a decision to take lightly. Improper use of contact lenses can cause severe discomfort, infections, irritation and, in the worst cases, eye damage or even permanent vision loss. 

“With Privilege Comes Responsibility”

Contact lenses are a medical device and should always be treated as such. They should never be obtained without a valid contact lens prescription from an eye doctor, and always purchased from an authorized seller. Among other issues, poor fitting contact lenses bought from illegitimate sources have been known to cause micro-abrasions to the eyes that can increase the risk of eye infection and corneal ulcers in worst case scenarios.   

Particularly when it comes to kids and teens, it is best to purchase contact lenses from an eye doctor as they possess the expertise to properly fit contact lenses based on the shape of the eye, the prescription, the lifestyle of the child and other factors that may influence the comfort, health and convenience of contact lens use. 

There is some debate over the recommended age for kids to start considering contact lenses. While some experts will say the ideal age is between 11 and 14, there are many responsible children as young as 8 or even younger who have begun to successfully use them. When children are motivated and responsible, and parents are able to ensure follow-up to the daily regimen, earlier contact lens use can be a success. A good measure of whether your child is responsible enough to use contacts is whether they are able to keep their room clean, or maintain basic hygiene like brushing teeth regularly and effectively. 

When you think your child might be ready, you should schedule an appointment with your eye doctor for a contact lens exam and fitting. The process will take a few visits to perform the exam, complete a training session on how to insert, remove and care for lenses, then to try out the lenses at home and finally reassess the comfort and fit of the contacts. You may try out a few varieties before you find the best fit. 

What Kind of Contact Lens Is Best for My Teen?

The good news is that contact lens use has become easier than ever, with safety, health and convenience being more accessible as technology improves. There are a number of options including the material used to make the lenses (soft or rigid gas permeable), the replacement schedule (if disposable, how often you replace the pair – daily, weekly, biweekly or monthly) and the wear schedule (daily or extended overnight wear). 

Single use, daily disposable lenses have become very popular, particularly with younger users, because they are easy to use, requiring no cleaning or storing, and therefore they reduce the risk of infection and misuse. You simply throw out the lenses at night and open a new one in the morning. Your eye doctor will be able to help you and your teen determine the best option.

Tips for Contact Lens Wearers

Following are some basic contact lens safety tips. If your teen is responsible enough to follow these guidelines, he or she may be ready for contact lens use:

  1. Always follow the wearing schedule prescribed by your doctor.
  2. Always wash your hands with soap before applying or removing contact lenses. 
  3. Never use any substance other than contact lens rinse or solution to clean contacts (even tap water is a no-no). 
  4. Never reuse contact lens solution
  5. Follow the eye doctor’s advice about swimming or showering in your lenses
  6. Always remove your lenses if they are bothering you or causing irritation. 
  7. Never sleep in your lenses unless they are extended wear.
  8. Never use any contact lenses that were not acquired with a prescription at an authorized source. Never purchase cosmetic lenses without a prescription! 

Contact lens use is an ongoing process. As a child grows, the lens fit may change as well, so it is important to have annual contact lens assessments. Plus, new technology is always being developed to improve comfort and quality of contact lenses. 

Contact lenses are a wonderful invention but they must be used with proper care. Before you let your teen take the plunge into contact lens use, make sure you review the dangers and safety guidelines. 

Q and A With the Pros: What Is Glaucoma?

by Jamie Peters

Glaucoma is a leading cause of vision loss in the world, affecting around 60 million people. At Vision Solutions, we are committed to spreading awareness about glaucoma. Read on as your leading provider of quality contact lenses and other eye care services answers frequently asked questions about this condition.

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Q: What Causes Glaucoma?

The space between your cornea and iris forms an angle where a trabecular meshwork can be found. Your eye fluids normally empty through this channel, a key step in keeping your intraocular pressure (IOP) at a healthy level. Glaucoma can occur when structural irregularities in the eye impair this draining process, resulting in abnormally high IOP.

Q: How Does It Affect My Visual Health?

High IOP can compress or even damage your optic nerve, interrupting the visual transmission process between your eyes and your brain. Without prompt glaucoma treatment, you may experience irreversible vision loss. Some cases may also lead to a sudden onset of blindness.

Q: Can It Be Prevented?

Since heredity is a major risk factor, it’s important to be aware of your family history. One of the best ways to reduce your risk of developing glaucoma is to lead a healthy lifestyle. Eat nutritious foods, exercise regularly, and avoid cigarettes.

Q: How Is It Treated?

Visual damage caused by glaucoma is often irreversible, which is why early detection and management is essential. We may include IOP-lowering eye drops as part of your early glaucoma eye care intervention. For more severe cases, we may recommend performing a trabeculectomy to empty excess eye fluids or laser eye procedure to correct structural irregularities.

If you have any further questions about glaucoma, call us at (619) 461-4913 or complete our form. We serve La Mesa, CA.

12 Tips for National Contact Lens Health Week 2017

by Caroline Cauchi, OD

National Contact Lens Health Week 2017 is observed August 21-25 so we are sharing our top tips on using contact lenses. Read on to learn Dr. Cauchi’s 12 contact lens tips.

45 million Americans wear contact lenses safely. However, infections can occur and they are almost always associated with poor lens care. In kids between ages 12 and 17, 6 out of 7 report not caring for the lenses exactly as directed by their doctors. This places them at big risk for infection.

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Here are some times to reduce your risk of microbial keratitis (serious eye infection):

  • Wash and dry your hands before touching your contact lenses.
  • Never rise them with tap water or saliva.
  • Never sleep in your lenses unless your doctor has prescribed this.
  • Keep your case clean rinsing it with lens solution and storing dry.
  • Replace your case often (they aren’t that expensive).
  • Inspect your case daily, if you see black spots in your case, throw it away.
  • Use fresh solutions every day. Day old solution has lost its ability to sterilize your lenses.
  • Don’t wear your contact lenses if your eyes hurt, are red or have discharge.
  • Don’t wear a ripped lens. It can scratch your cornea.
  • Don’t wear your disposable lenses longer than what is recommended by your doctor.
  • Don’t reuse your daily disposable lenses.
  • Don’t wear someone else’s contact lenses. They may be the wrong size. Further their ocular bacteria may be different from yours and cause a nasty infection. It is sort of like wearing someone else’s underwear.

Eye infections hurt and are ugly. Sometimes they can scar your cornea, impairing your vision.If you are a parent, do a sneak peak at your child’s lens case. If it is disgusting, have a little talk with them. Wearing lenses is a privilege, not a right. To learn more about contact lenses, call us today at (619) 461-4913 and make an appointment to see one of our expert eye doctors. You can also contact us directly through our on-line contact form while you are here on our website.

Eyes: Their Significance to Different Cultures

by Jamie Peters

Over the years, the eyes have been used by different cultures as symbols of various strong beliefs. In today’s post, your go-to eyeglasses store, Vision Solutions, shares a few examples:

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A Brief History

Luzzus are traditional fishing boats, which have been part of Maltese culture since the time of the ancient Phoenicians. If you visit the Maltese islands, you won’t be able to miss these colorful boats. Painted in vibrant and striking shades of red, blue, yellow, and green, these boats primary trademark is a pair of eyes on the bow.

These eyes are believed to represent Egyptian mythology’s Eye of Horus. Legend has it that this symbol is an “all seeing eye” that can protect sailors on the boat. The Phoenicians were convinced that this emblem can protect them from evil, ensuring safe sailing and abundant fish.

Protecting Your Visual Health

Nowadays, painting the Eye of Horus is still a very common practice, and not just on Maltese luzzus. Many use this insignia as a tattoo or amulet.

As your trusted eye doctor, we love learning about how eyes have been used as symbols throughout history. However, the best thing you can do for your eyes is to have a comprehensive eye exam regularly. This helps in the early identification of various ocular conditions, making prompt intervention possible.

Call us today at (619) 461-4913 or complete our form to schedule an appointment. We serve La Mesa, CA, and nearby areas. We look forward to serving you.

Inside a Life With Color Vision Deficiency

What’s it like to be color blind? Contrary to what the name implies, color blindness usually does not actually mean that you don’t see any color, but rather that you have difficulty perceiving or distinguishing between certain colors. This is why many prefer the term color vision deficiency or CVD to describe the condition. CVD affects men more than women, appearing in approximately 8% of men (1 in 12) and .5% of women (1 in 200) worldwide. 

Having color vision deficiency means that you perceive color in a more limited way than those with normal color vision. This ranges from mild, in which you may not even be aware that you are experiencing color differently, to severe, which is perhaps the more appropriate from to be called “color blind” and involves the inability to see certain colors. 

CVD can be inherited; it is caused by abnormalities in the genes that produce photopigments located in the cone cells in your eyes. The eyes contain different cone cells that fire in response to a specific color, blue, green or red and together allow you to see the depth and range of colors that the normal eye can see. The type of color blindness and therefore the type of color vision that is impaired, is based on which photopigments are abnormal. The most common form of CVD is red-green, followed by blue-yellow. Total color blindness or the complete inability to perceive color is quite rare. About 7% of males have congenital color blindness that they inherit from the mother’s X-chromosome. 

Color blindness can also be the result of eye damage, specifically to the optic nerve, or to the area in the brain that processes color. Sometimes an eye disease, such as cataracts, can also impact one’s ability to perceive color. Systemic diseases such as diabetes or multiple sclerosis can also cause acquired CVD. 

Living with CVD

Red-green color blindness does not mean only that you can’t tell the difference between red and green, but rather that any color that has some red or green (such as purple, orange, brown, pink, some shades of gray, etc) in it is affected. 

You many not realize all of the ways you use even subtle distinctions in color in your daily life. Here are some examples of ways that CVD can impact your life and make seemingly everyday tasks challenging:

  • You may not be able to cook meat to the desired temperature based on color. 
  • Most of the colors in a box of crayons will be indistinguishable.
  • You may not be able to distinguish between red and green LED displays on electronic devices that indicate power on and off. 
  • You may not be able to tell between a ripe and unripe fruit or vegetable such as bananas (green vs. yellow) or tomatoes (red vs green). 
  • Chocolate sauce, barbecue sauce and ketchup may all look the same. 
  • Bright green vegetables can look unappealing as they appear greenish, brown or grey. 
  • You may not be able to distinguish color coded pie charts or graphs (which can cause difficulty in school or work). 
  • Selecting an outfit that matches can be difficult. 

Knowing that one is color blind is important for some occupations that require good color discrimination such as the police officers, railway workers, pilots, electricians etc.  These are just a few of the ways that CVD can impact one’s daily life. So is there a cure? Not yet. 

While there is no cure for CVD, there is research being done into gene therapies and in the meantime there are corrective devices available including color vision glasses (such as the Enchroma brand) and color filtering contacts that for some can help to enhance color for some people. If you think you might have CVD, your optometrist can perform some tests to diagnose it or rule it out. If you have CVD, you can speak to your eye doctor about options that might be able to help you experience your world in full color.