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.
Did you know your eyes are windows to your general health? Many systemic conditions can be detected with a dilated eye examination. Looking into a dilated eye, I can see a view of the blood vessels and assess vascular health. Your eyes can tell a lot about your visual health and overall wellness.
Besides helping you see better, annual eye exams can aid in detection of serious eye conditions, like glaucoma and cataracts and health conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure. This is important since you won’t always notice the symptoms yourself – and some of these diseases cause irreversible damage.
If it’s been at least a year since your last eye examination, call the office and schedule an appointment. (707)762-8643. Schedule online.
Shorter days and rainy weather, both contribute to difficulty driving. A driver’s vision guides 90% of driving decisions, so good eyesight is essential for road safety.
Start with an eye examination to assess clarity, peripheral vision and eye disease. Having the proper vision skills and prescription are important for many reasons:
Distance vision is imperative for judging distances and reaction time when driving. Poor distance vision increases the risk of making unreliable judgments with potentially disastrous results – even the simplest reactions take 0.4 seconds, so if distance vision is poor, signs or objects may not be seen until it is too late to react safely.
Good Peripheral Vision allows drivers to survey the area without looking away from the road. This includes early recognition of cross-traffic, pedestrians, animals, signs and changes in traffic flow. Impaired peripheral vision can result in the driver failing to react to a hazard on the far left or right, failing to stop at a stoplight suspended over an intersection, weaving while negotiating a curve, or driving too close to parked cars.
Safe Night Driving requires the ability to see in low light conditions and with poor contrast. Impaired night vision can result in tailgating, failing to steer when necessary (since it is difficult to see low contrast features such as edges or irregularities in the road surface), and recover from glare of oncoming headlights.
Glare refers to the disruption of vision due to veiling luminance. Important visual skills for drivers are glare resistance – the extent to which the driver can still see critical objects while facing a steady source of glare (setting sun, headlights), and glare recovery – the rapidity with which the driver’s functioning vision returns to what it was before the glare was encountered. If these skills are not adequate, the driver can miss curves, strike an animal or pedestrian or crash into slow moving or stopped vehicles.
Besides regular eye exams, additional tips for good vision while driving include: