Are Rigid Gas Permeable Contacts Old-Fashioned?

There are many contact lens choices. At Westside Optometry we will prescribe the best lens for you, your eyes and your lifestyle.

RGP, Soft, Hybrid, Scleral

RGP, Soft, Hybrid, Scleral

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.


Presbyopic Myths or the Truth about Aging Eyes

in need for glasses

Eye Exercises can Prevent Presbyopia
No eye exercise can prevent presbyopia. Eating bushels of carrots won’t prevent presbyopia. There is no elixer to prevent presbyopia. Presbyopia is not a disease, but an age-related condition that cannot be prevented.


More women than men develop presbyopia

Women are no more prone to presbyopia than men. However, you might notice that women wear reading glasses earlier than men. This is not due to differences in eye anatomy. It’s due to men having longer arms. On average, women’s arms are shorter than men’s. When it becomes increasingly difficult to read at arm’s length, women reach for reading glasses sooner.


Farsighted is the same as presbyopia

While both conditions relate to difficulty seeing up close, farsightedness and presbyopia are two different visual conditions with different causes and timelines.

Farsightedness (hyperopia) affects a portion of the population, but presbyopia eventually affects everyone. As you age, the lens in the eye starts to lose its elasticity and you gradually lose the ability to focus on objects up close. Farsightedness can occur at any age, where presbyopia usually occurs after age 40.


LASIK surgery cures presbyopia

Laser eye surgery, commonly referred to as LASIK, works very well for certain refractive errors such as astigmatism and myopia, but it will not correct presbyopia. Despite having undergone laser eye surgery, patients in their 40s will inevitable require vision correction for presbyopia.


If you have 20/20 vision, you can’t get presbyopia

Presbyopia is quite a surprise for someone who has always had good vision. While the age of onset varies, most people in their 40s first start to have a problem reading fine print, particularly in low light conditions. Other symptoms include needing to hold reading materials at arm’s length and headaches or fatigue from doing close-up work.

Luckily, there are visual corrections available to allow you to see up close, reading glasses, progressives and even contact lenses.




Synergeyes Hybrid Contacts

duette contact lens

A hybrid contact lens has a gas permeable center that provides crisp clear vision and a soft silicone hydrogel skirt for excellent centration and comfort. The lenses are available in many prescriptions including multifocals.

Care and handling is unique for a hybrid lens. When we dispense a lens at Westside Optometry, our contact lens technician will instruct on application, removal and care of the lenses. A special applicator is often used for easier insertion.

For more information about the Synergeyes products visit their website.



in need for glasses

Have you ever been in a restaurant trying to decide what to order? The lights are dim, you are practically burning up the menu manipulating it around the candle for more light… Or how about trying to hook up wires behind the TV or computer, can’t find the right hook-up? The above situations make presbyopia seem like an acute condition. Things that looked OK at the kitchen table by the window don’t seem as clear in the dark or when you are tired.

Presbyopia is the result of an aging process on the lens of the eye. The lens focuses light at all distances without much effort for the first forty plus years of our lives. Then kablamo…you can’t see to remove a sliver from your child’s finger.

Denial is the most common response. Eventually, presbyopia interferes with work. You find yourself switching numbers or getting headaches at the computer. Your over-all efficiency is diminished and your frustration is elevated. Sometimes a pair of reading glasses will solve the problem. Depending on your prescription and how you use your eyes, multifocals offer clear vision at multiple distances. Contact lens wearers can try monovision (an adjustment in the correction of one lens) or bifocal contact lenses.

Just know that you are not in this alone, my presbyopic eyes and I are here ready to help you. Stop struggling and let’s find a solution.


What do you need to know about Contact Lenses?

Dirty Contact Lens

The tiny disc of plastic on your eye is one of the most amazing and complex scientific advances in vision correction. Whether you’re nearsighted or farsighted, if you have astigmatism or presbyopia, contact lenses can bring everything into focus for you.

Drs. Griffith and Staton will select the best lens material and design for your prescription and the best care products for your lenses.


contact lensesDO… wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water and dry them with a lint free towel before handling your lenses.

DON’T… use hand soaps that contain lotions or oils. Those ingredients can transfer to your lenses and leave a filmy residue.

DO… replace your lenses as prescribed. Lenses that are past their prime won’t give you the best vision and can compromise the health of your eyes.

DON’T… add new solution to used solution in your lens case.


What’s in those Bottles?

If you scan the eye care aisle at your local retail pharmacy or big box store, you’ll see a row filled with contact lens products. This can be confusing, so here’s a quick look at the main categories and what these products do:

MULTI-PURPOSE SOLUTIONS…These solutions contain everything you need for daily lens care – cleaning, rinsing, disinfection and storage – but each brand has a unique formulation. They’re not all the same. Some multi-purpose solutions include extra ingredients, such as wetting and condition agents, which are designed specifically to help keep lenses comfortable, so you can wear them all day.

HYDROGEN PEROXIDE SYSTEMS… Not only is hydrogen peroxide a great disinfectant, but contact lens care systems that use it have no added preservatives, which is ideal for people who have sensitive eyes and allergies.

SALINE SOLUTIONS… The most important fact you need to know about saline solution is that it will not clean or disinfect your contact lenses. Saline solution is basically sterilized salt water, and it’s mainly used for rinsing contact lenses. Never store your lenses in saline.

GENERICS… Even though store-brand contact lens solutions look almost the same as the name-brand product, some ingredients may differ just enough to cause a sensitivity reaction. And the ingredients in a store-brand product can differ from retailer to retailer – even though the packaging is similar – depending on which manufacturer is supplying the product.


Today’s contact lenses are designed to give you comfortable, sharp vision all day. You should forget you’re even wearing them. If your eyes look red or feel dry or irritated, or if your lenses are so uncomfortable that you need to remove them before the end of the day, it’s time to call us. Your lenses may not be the problem. The culprit could be your solution. Changing solutions is a remedy, but switching to a daily use lens will eliminate contact lens solution altogether.


Choosing the Best Lens for your Glasses

The lenses you choose for your eyeglasses – even more than the frames – often will determine how happy you are with your eyewear.
When buying eyeglasses, the frame you choose is important to both your appearance and your comfort when wearing glasses. But the eyeglass lenses you choose influence four factors: appearance, comfort, vision and safety.
A common mistake people make when buying eyeglasses is not spending enough time considering their choices of lens materials , designs and coatings.


Lens Materials

Eyeglass lens thickness is determined in part by the size and style of the frame you choose. For thinner lenses, choose smaller, round or oval frames; plastic frames hide edge thickness better.
Glass Lenses. Originally, all the eyeglass lenses were made of glass. Although glass lenses offer exceptional optics, they are heavy and can break, potentially causing serious harm to the eye or even loss of an eye. For these reasons, glass lenses are not used for eyeglasses very often.

Plastic Lenses. The first plastic eyeglass lenses were made of a plastic polymer called CR-39. Because it is half the weight of glass, has good optics and is inexpensive, it remains a popular choice for lens material.

Polycarbonate Lenses were introduced in the 1970s for safety glasses. Originally developed for helmet visors for the Air Force it offers a lighter and significantly more impact-resistant option. It is preferred for children’s eyewear, safety glasses and sports eyewear.

Trivex is a newer lightweight eyeglass material with similar impact-resistant properties as polycarbonate. It has better clarity than the polycarbonate, but isn’t quite as thin.

High-Index Plastic Lenses are indicated for thinner, lighter eyeglasses. High-index materials also provide UV protection.

Lens Treatments

For more comfortable and better looking glasses, the following lens treatments are available.

Anti-Reflective Coating (ARC) makes all eyeglass lenses look and perform better.  AR vs no ARARC eliminates reflections in lenses that reduce contrast and clarity, especially at night. The coating makes the lenses look invisible and increase the transmission of light. This is especially important in high index lenses, because of the higher index of refraction that causes more light to be reflected.

Adaptive Lenses or Transitions change color depending on the ambient ultraviolet light levels.

Digital Lenses reduce aberrations and improve clarity. This is most important in higher prescriptions and progressive lenses.

The next time you are selecting glasses, take advantage of the Westside Optometry team to design the optimum pair for you.


Types of Contact Lenses

RGP, Soft, Hybrid, Scleral

RGP, Soft, Hybrid, Scleral

At Westside Optometry we fit not only common soft contact lenses, but specialty lenses as well. In the class of soft contact lenses we are successful with daily use, 2 week and monthly replacement modalities. Within each replacement schedule are options such as designs for astigmatism and presbyopia and different  materials. Soft contacts work well for most people, but some people are very successful in rigid gas permeables (RGP).
RGPs are excellent for achieving crisp clear and stable vision. This is especially true of higher powers and astigmatic corneas. RGPs are custom designed so I can select material, color, size and power. They last on average, 2 years.
A few years ago we added the hybrid lenses to our repertoire. Hybrid lenses blend the crisp vision of RGPs and the comfort of soft lenses. They can correct most refractive errors, myopia, hyperopia, astigmatism and presbyopia. A Hybrid contact lens will last 6 months with proper care. CL profile
Newest to our arsenal of contact lenses are the scleral lenses. This is a very large, gas permeable lens that doesn’t touch the cornea. The lens rests on the sclera allowing correction for irregular corneas such as keratoconus and post-surgical eyes. Scleral lenses are also used as a treatment for extreme dry eyes.

Contact lenses are not a one size fits all, nor a one kind fits all. Different eyes require different lenses and different lenses require different care. When fitting the best contact lens for you, we also determine the best contact lens care regime to enhance your contact lens success.

Make an appointment for an eye examination online.


Progressive Lenses

If the print keeps getting smaller, you may have presbyopia, a common condition that can be corrected with multi-focal glasses or contact lenses.
The invention of bifocals is credited to Benjamin Franklin in the late 1700’s – that is some old technology. Flat-top or lined bifocals are still available and function well in certain situations. Another alternative to the lined bifocal are progressive lenses. Progressives feature an intermediate or “transition region” that allows your eyes to focus in the area in between near and far distances (a computer screen for example). Progressives, or “no-line bifocals,” have a gradual curvature across the lens surface and provide not only clearer vision at near and far distance, but also smooth, comfortable transitions in between.

comparing standard and HD progressives
Today you can find factory molded progressive lenses at many major retailers and even on the internet. These old-school progressive lenses are made for average prescription powers, standard fitting parameters and limited frame sizes. Fortunately, all progressive lenses are not created equal.
New technology takes the way we use our eyes and the optics of different prescriptions into consideration with the newly designed progressive lenses. More precise and individualized manufacturing provide smoother transitions and wider viewing zones with the elimination of blurring and swaying sensations in the peripheral vision. Free-form or digital high definition lenses utilize computer controlled surfacing. The position of the lens in the frame and the way the frame fits on the wearer’s face are all measured and considered in addition to the prescription.

At Westside Optometry we want to find the best lens design for your lifestyle and visual demands. Sunglasses are available in the new technology too.


Computer Vision Syndrome

It is hard to escape backlit screens, computers, smartphones, video computer screengames and tablets. The increased use of  technology can put a strain on our eyes and visual systems. Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS) includes headaches, eyestrain, blur at distance and/or near, dry eyes, irritated eyes, watery eyes and tired eyes.

For some computer users, CVS symptoms are temporary and go away once ceasing computer work. If the symptoms aren’t addressed, they can continue and may worsen upon further computer use.

Ways to alleviate eyestrain from computer use:

  • Adjust your environment so the room isn’t as bright
  • Lower your monitor so you are looking downward
  • Increase awareness of your blinking. Blink more frequently to keep vision clear and eyes moist.
  • Wear appropriate vision correction. A small prescription can have a large impact on your eyes with visually demanding computer work.

To learn more about relieving computer vision syndrome click here.


New Progressive Lenses

Progressive lenses offer a range of vision as close to natural as can be obtained from prescription eyeglasses. Their hallmark is clearer vision at any distance or angle, and because there is no abrupt change of power anywhere in the lens, there are no visible dividing lines. They provide a great solution for many people who find their present lenses limit their vision for a particular distance or activity.

Continuing advances in manufacturing techniques mean more precise lenses that deliver even sharper, clearer vision; most patients consider them an improvement over their older ones. Ongoing design research has produced ways to further increase depth perception and the amount of clear vision at any angle of the newer progressives. In addition, the latest technology eliminates swimming and swaying sensations associated with typical progressive lenses.

Furthermore, if you’re like most progressive lens wearers then the exact prescription for each of your eyes is different. And the position of your nose and cheekbones affects the way you see through your lenses. So even with a correct prescription, older progressives were still limited in perfecting your vision. Increased measurements for fitting the newest progressive lenses produce a more customized, personalized set of glasses with the widest, clearest viewing zones possible, no matter how intricate the prescription. Ask us about the latest innovations in progressive lens designs and improve your vision experience. There are a variety of designs to choose from today.