A 2016 report by the Vision Council found that 60% of Americans use digital devices for 5 or more hours each day. 70% of Americans use 2 or more devices at a time.
The term Digital Eyestrain has replaced the term Computer Vision Syndrome due to the increase in types of digital devices. Digital Eyestrain is defined as “physical discomfort of one’s eyes after spending periods of time throughout the day in front of a digital device, such as a computer or smartphone.”
It is reported that we blink an average of 10 times a minute normally, when reading, using a smartphone or other device the blink rate drops to 4 times a minute. Blinking is a vital component to ocular surface health and tear stability. More important than how often we blink is how well we blink. An incomplete blink can cause more tear instability than not enough blinks. A complete blink is necessary to stimulate a muscle on the eyelid margin that releases an important component of the tear film.
Treatment for Digital Eyestrain includes wearing the best visual correction for the task. Reducing glare and fatiguing light with coatings is beneficial also. For contact lens wearers the proper correction for the working distance is important. A clean contact lens surface and proper blinking can minimize dry eye symptoms.
Giant Papillary Conjunctivitis or GPC, is typically associated with contact lens wear. Symptoms include, contact lens discomfort and fluctuating vision. There is often mucus discharge from one or both eyes. A particularly annoying symptom of GPC is dislocation and excess movement of the contact lens.
GPC may occur months or even years after you begin contact lens wear. Among the things that may cause GPC are improper cleaning of contact lenses, infrequent contact lens replacement, and wearing contact lenses for too many hours.
There are tiny papilla on the inside of the upper eyelid normally. Allergies can cause the papilla to swell and secrete histamine which causes itchy eyes. In GPC, the papilla greatly enlarge due to interaction with foreign bodies such as debris on the contact lens or the contact lens itself. The large papilla secrete sticky proteins which adhere to the contact lens causing more debris and forcing the lens to move out of place.
Resolution of GPC includes decrease or cessation of contact lens wear, and often treatment with topical cortico-steroids and mast-cell inhibitors eyedrops. Contact lens wear can usually be resumed with modifications in the lens type and care regime.
Contact lens safety depends on the wearer following the prescribed lens wear schedule and cleaning regime.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) emphasizes three key areas to healthy contact lens wear:
1. Healthy contact lens hygiene habits
Always wash your hands with soap and water before inserting and removing the contact lenses
Replace your contact case at least every 3 months.
2. Proper use, care and storage of contact lenses and supplies
Don’t sleep in your contact lenses. Sleeping in contact lenses increases the chance of an eye infection 6 to 8 times.
Replace your contact lenses as prescribed
Rinse out your contact lens case every morning, turn upside down and allow to air dry.
3. Regular visits to the optometrist
Contact lens materials and solutions change as do our eyes. To maintain good vision and healthy eyes have an eye examination every year.
Established contact lens wearers tend to have higher levels of case contamination compared to new contact lens wearers. Poor contact lens habits develop over time, don’t become compliant, remember the details of good contact lens care to ensure your continued successful contact lens use.
A contact lens is a medical device, like a breast implant or a hearing aid. Contacts can be worn to correct vision as well as for cosmetic or therapeutic reasons. In the United States, all contact lenses require a current prescription. A contact lens prescription generally expires on a yearly basis. This is to ensure that the eyes are healthy enough to support contact lens wear and that the current contact lenses are still the most appropriate.
An eye examination is necessary to determine the suitability of contact lenses and also to determine the size, parameters and limitations of the eye. This typically includes a refraction to determine the proper power to see clearly, keratometry to measure the shape and size of the cornea and a thorough health assessment of the eye.
Conditions that may complicate contact lens wear include dry eye, irregular and high astigmatism and eyelid irregularities.
Wear sunglasses with UV protection
Did you know that it is actually possible for your eyes to get sunburned?! Just like your skin, your eyes need protection from the sun. Wearing sunglasses outdoors is very important in protecting your eyes from harmful UV rays. Excessive exposure to UV light can also increase your risk for developing early cataracts and macular degeneration. When looking for a new pair of sunglasses, make sure that they have a minimum UV 400 protection and that they block both UVA and UVB rays. Additionally, sunglasses will provide a shield of protection from dust and debris that can get blown into your eyes, which is a great added bonus, especially on those windy beach days!
There are many contact lens choices. At Westside Optometry we will prescribe the best lens for you, your eyes and your lifestyle.
The majority of contact lenses prescribed are soft lenses. Within this large category of lens are daily disposables, weekly and monthly replacement. Functional options include multifocals for presbyopia, torics for astigmatism and spherical lenses for hyperopia and myopia.
What happens if there is “a lot” of astigmatism, or astigmatism AND presbyopia or high myopia or high hyperopia? And what if the cornea has been altered by disease or refractive surgery?
Soft contact lenses can’t correct many of these conditions. That’s why there are other contact lens options. Gas Permeable (GP) contact lenses correct astigmatism, have stable crisp optics and are individually designed and manufactured. GP lenses provide more oxygen to the cornea than soft lenses. They last longer and are more durable providing a cost effective solution. Gas Permeables are available in high powers, multi-focals and special designs for irregular corneas.
Hybrids are a blend of soft and gas permeable lens designs. The center of the hybrid lens is gas permeable material and the perimeter is a silicone hydrogel material. This provides crisp optics of the GP and the comfort of a soft lens. The hybrid lenses are available in multifocals and special designs for post-LASIK and irregular corneas.
The majority of contact lens wearers use a soft contact lens, but gas permeable contacts have many benefits and applications. Gas permeable contact lenses are not old-fashioned, they have stood the test of time.
Contact lenses are an amazing medical device. When treated well and respectively you can count on years of successful wear.
Contact lenses are safe when you follow replacement schedules, maximum wearing time and other recommendations from Westside Optometry.
A new report from the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reveals that millions of Americans who wear contact lenses do things that can significantly increase their risk of eye infections. The findings come from an online survey of contact lens wearers designed to assess the prevalence of contact lens wear and hygeine-related risk behaviors.
According to the study 99% of contact lens wearers reported at least one habit or behavior that increases their risk of eye infection. I know that none of my patients would act in a way to compromise their eye health, but just in case some of you have lapsed, here are some reminders:
Contact lens “wear” risks
Contact lens “care” risks
Not surprisingly nearly one third of the respondents reported having experienced a red and painful eye that required a visit to the doctor.
Contact lens wear is safe when you follow recommendations and use common-sense.
Contact lens prescriptions generally expire on a yearly basis, unless otherwise specified. Seeing your eye doctor regularly for a comprehensive eye exam will not only keep your prescription updated, and evaluate your ocular health, but an eye exam will also help identify and lead to diagnosis of other health concerns such as hypertension and diabetes. At your eye exam Dr. Griffith may recommend a newer/better contact lens option for you, too.
A contact lens is a medical device and can be worn to correct vision as well as for cosmetic or therapeutic reasons. In the United States, all contact lenses, even purely cosmetic ones, require a prescription. They must be properly fitted and prescribed by an eye doctor.
An eye examination is needed to determine an individual’s suitability for contact lenses. This typically includes a refraction to determine the proper power of the lens and an assessment of the health of the eye. Dr. Griffith will also ask questions about your lifestyle, general health and contact lens wearing goal. If you haven’t worn contact lenses before, training for application and removal of the contact lens is necessary. If the lenses are to be re-used, a care and disinfecting system is required too. A follow-up appointment will determine the proper fit and lens compatibility for your eyes. Contact lenses are not a “one size fits all” device. There are many parameters to each lens. Besides the power to correct the vision, material and edge design will effect the comfort. The size: diameter and curvature are factors in the fit and ultimately the response of the cornea and eyelids to the contact lens.
Prescriptions for contact lenses and glasses may be similar, but are not interchangeable.
Contact lens wear is quite safe as long as proper lens and storage case care are followed. Improper lens wear and care can put the lens wearer at risk for serious consequences. Sight-threatening microbial keratitis (corneal ulcer) is the most significant adverse event associated with contact lens wear and is largely preventable.
Single-use or daily disposable soft lenses are prescribed to be worn once and discarded. This is the safest soft lens wearing modality because no lens cleaning, lens care or storage case is required.
The contact lens storage case is the most likely potential reservoir for contact lens related ocular infections. Contact lens cases are not meant to be family heirlooms. Replace the case at least every 3 months.