Who can wear contact lenses? At what age can you start wearing them?
Contact lenses are available for just about any prescription need. They can correct your astigmatism, and multifocal contacts can help those with presbyopia to have sharp near, intermediate, and distance vision. Numerous studies have found that children as young as eight years of age can adapt to, handle and care for contacts. Maturity, personal hygiene, and motivation on the part of the young person are important factors to consider when assessing suitability for contact lens wear.
Are contacts ok for my eyes? Are Rigid Gas Permeable (RGP) lenses a healthier choice?
Contact lenses have proven to be a healthy vision option for millions of people. However, only your eye care professional can determine if they are right for you. If you follow all prescribed steps for inserting, removing, and caring for them, contact lenses will continue to be safe and effective. You also need to see your eye care professional regularly to ensure long-term corneal health. The most serious contact lens complication is a “corneal ulcer” or “microbial keratitis”. On average, this occurs in 4 of every 10,000 wears; but with RGP lenses it drops to 1.2 of every 10,000 wearers. This is because RGP lenses provide more oxygen to the eye than many soft lenses, and RGP’s better resist infection-causing deposits
Should I wear contacts while playing sports?
Sports vision doctors agree that contact lenses are the best vision correction option for athletes. They can enhance visual skills like depth perception, peripheral awareness, and eye-hand/eye-foot coordination. Unlike glasses, contacts offer athletes a competitive advantage because they stay in place under dynamic conditions, provide a wider vision field, and eliminate the risk of glasses-related injuries. Contact lenses also make it easy to wear protective goggles.
Can contacts slow or control nearsightedness (myopia)?
Yes, several studies have shown that RGP lenses used for overnight orthokeratology, and specifically designed soft contact lenses, can slow, or stop the lengthening of the eye, which is the cause of myopia (nearsightedness). To learn more about these options please see our myopia management information.
Are soft contacts the newest and latest technology?
No. When they were first available in 1971, soft contact lenses were a giant leap in technology and comfort over old-style hard contact lenses. But RGP contact lenses, first marketed in 1978, are a next-generation advancement. New, recently developed materials and designs make them a state-of-the-art option for contact lens wears, offering sharper vision, better corneal health, longer lens life, and greater ease of care than most soft contacts.
Are contacts hard to take care of?
The maintenance required for contacts depends on the type. Daily disposable soft lenses are worn once, then discarded, with no maintenance required. RGP contacts, which can last for years, need daily cleaning and disinfecting, but their slick surface resist deposit buildup. Other disposable soft lenses are usually cleaned at the end of the day, then soaked in disinfecting solution until they’re worn again, and may be replaced weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly. Soft lenses that are replaced quarterly or annually might require weekly enzyme cleaning in additional to daily care.
How can I get contacts that change my eye color?
Yes, soft contact lenses are available to change the color of your eyes, even if you don’t require vision correction. RGP contact lenses sometimes have a color “handling tint” – a light tint that makes them easier to see and are sometimes available in colors that will enhance your actual eye color. All color contacts are prescribed medical devices that must be fitted and followed up by your eye care professional. And remember, even though such lenses might provoke curiosity by your friends and family members, never share them with anyone. Sharing lenses can lead to dangerous health problems.
How can I get contacts that change my eye color?
it is your choice: Optometrists (Doctor of Optometry, or ODs) perform eye exams, treat eye disease, prescribe vision correction, are specialists who fit contact lenses, and dispense eyeglasses. Ophthalmologists are medical doctors (MDs) who specialize in eye surgery and treating eye diseases. Many concentrate on eye surgery. In some states specially trained opticians or contact lens technicians are licensed to fit contact lenses. Since they must fit the lenses from an optometrist’s or ophthalmologist’s prescription, they often work with them in the same office. Please visit the specialty contact lens information listed on our website and meet our licensed contact lens specialist.
Can I sleep in my contacts?
Only if approved and recommended by your eye care provider. The cornea can be deprived of oxygen while sleeping in contacts if they are not permeable. There are designated lenses that are approved for sleeping in, however, you should never sleep with your lenses in unless your eye care practitioner has prescribed them for nighttime wear.
Do they make bifocal or trifocal soft contacts?
Yes, there are multifocal options for both RGP and soft contact lenses. Your eye care provider will help to determine the best design/style of lenses based on your prescription need.
I’ve been wearing RGP lenses for 30 years. I don’t feel my lenses last as long as they used to,
and they tend to get filmy and feel dry after a year. What can I do?
This is a common complaint, as our eyes get drier over time. First, get your eye care practitioner’s assessment and recommendations. Then be mindful of these factors: Don’t sleep in lenses that were prescribed for daytime wear only. This can result in a filmy lens and increase the potential for eye infection. Make sure you are using a hydrogen peroxide cleaning system as this will help to remove deposits. Wash your hands before handling lenses, and don’t let lanolin-based soaps or hand creams come into contact with the lenses. Some medicines can cause dryness and affect contact lens wear. Antihistamines, anti-anxiety agents and oral contraceptives are examples. Rewetting drops can help, especially if you are sitting in front of a computer screen for most of the day. Extra strength cleaners like Progent or enzymatic cleaners can help with tough, filmy deposits.
How long does it take for RGP lenses to feel comfortable?
It often takes one to two weeks for total comfort to be achieved. RGP lenses are smaller than soft lenses and they move more on the eye when you blink. The awareness that you experience will lessen as your lids adapt to moving over the lens edges as you blink. Larger diameter “scleral” RGP lenses are now available that are as large as, or slightly larger than, soft lenses. The initial comfort of a scleral lens is similar to a soft lens and although historically these lenses have been reserved for irregular corneas, they have become more popular for healthy eyes, notably in designs for presbyopia and astigmatism.
How should I store my backup pair of RGP lenses?
It is best to store them dry in a case with no solution until you are ready to use them. Clean the lenses and soak them overnight in the recommended soaking/disinfecting solution prior to wearing them.
How often do RGP lenses need to be replaced?
RGP lenses are considered yearly replacement lenses, however on average the lenses last 2 years before needing to be replaced. It all depends upon several factors including the lens materials, how dry your eyes are, and how well you care and clean your lenses.
Can I use tap water with RGP lenses?
No. The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) recommends that contact lenses not be exposed to any form of water. Acanthamoeba, an organism present in tap water and other forms of impure water, can become attached to the lens and cause sight-threatening infection. It is recommended that you shower/bathe prior to inserting your contacts and after removing them. Daily replacement contacts are the only contacts recommended for swimming activities, and only with the use of swimming goggles, and replace lenses with a new set after you have finished your swimming activity.
Do you see same-day emergencies?
Yes, we do see same day emergency visits, please click here for more details – link to eye emergency page
What eye treatments can I do?
At home treatments are specific to your problem, you can call the office and speak with a triage technician who can help you get scheduled for a review with the doctor.
Do I need to be seen, or can I just wait and see if my problem goes away?
Waiting out the issue or vision problem is your choice; however, it is rarely recommended. Most eye problems come with a warning sign, if we ignore them, sight can be threatened.
Do you see patients for medical urgent needs or just eye exams?
We see routine eye exams, eye medical emergency visits and chronic eye disease management.
Can this just be taken care of at my regular eye exam?
Eye Exams are for routine and screening tests to prevent further eye problems. If you are experiencing a problem with your eye, it would be treated as medical, more urgent, and NOT as routine. It is also billed differently than routine eye exams.
Can I have this medical concern addressed
and also have a full eye exam done on the same day?
Some concerns may be addressed or reviewed at your exam, however, most require a separate medical visit
How Often Should I Have An Eye Exam?
Dr. Day will determine whether yearly or bi-yearly eye examinations are appropriate based on your findings. Having 20/20 or better visual acuity is not an indication that other eye health issues do not exist. Unlike the rest of the human body, the eyes rarely hurt when something is wrong. Glaucoma, Macular Degeneration, and Diabetic Retinopathy are all very serious eye conditions that generally have no symptoms, and if not treated in early stages, can cause irreversible vision loss. The best way to avoid vision loss is to return for your eye examinations as directed by Dr. Day.
Why do I have to provide medical information at my eye exam?
In order to fully assess your eye health and visual needs, we will need to gather some important medical and health information. In addition to completing your Health History, Dr. Day’s technicians will perform assessments to prepare you for your eye exam. These assessments include:
Medical / Health History
Measurement of visual acuity
Digital Retinal Scan (if applicable)
Why should I choose to have a digital eye scan image taken?
At this time a digital retinal scan costs $39.00 per patient. When considering that 90% of the time, electing for EyeScape will do away with the need to fully dilate your eyes, it is well worth the extra cost! This means you leave our office without the sensitivity and slightly blurred vision full-strength dilation drops can cause.
Can my children see Dr. Day for their eye exams?
Yes! Dr. Day has fun, child-friendly eye tests, as well as a wonderful selection of children’s frames. Please call East Main Vision Clinic to schedule your child’s eye examination today!
When should my child have his/her first eye exam?
Dr. Day, along with the American Optometric Association, recommends getting a child's first eye examination as early as 6 months old (earlier if a problem is suspected) and no later than when the child starts Kindergarten.
Do you take my insurance?
Please call the office directly as plans have a very large range of coverage.
Do you offer a self-pay discount?
Yes, patients that pay without insurance are offered a same-day pay discount.
What Is a Cataract?
A Cataract is a clouding or opacity of the natural internal lens of the eye, which causes visual impairment. The natural lens is located behind the iris, or the “colored part” of the eye. The opacity may be a small dot or may involve the entire lens. The opacity in the lens causes the light entering the eye to be scattered, causing images to appear hazy or blurred. If your cataract is advanced, Dr. Day may suggest a surgical evaluation.
What is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is an eye disease in which pressure increases in the eye due to clogged or blocked passages. The fluid that normally drains through these passages begins to build up, and the increased pressure can damage the optic nerve. Open-angle glaucoma tends to develop without warning–often painlessly and with no symptoms. Because of this, it can cause damage and blindness more quickly when untreated.
Risk factors for developing glaucoma include people over the age of 40, those who have a family history of glaucoma, those who are very nearsighted, diabetics, and African-Americans.
What Is Macular Degeneration?
The most common symptom of macular degeneration is blurred central vision; noticeably worse when reading. In addition, horizontal lines may appear wavy and/or distorted. The most common method of detecting macular changes is the Amsler Grid test. During an eye examination, you are asked to look at the grid’s center dot and asked if you notice any wavy, distorted, missing, or broken lines on the grid. Any one of these irregularities may indicate changes within the macular region of the eye. Dr. Day will be able to confirm any suspicions of macular degeneration during a dilated retinal examination.
What Is Dry Eye Disease?
There is no known cure for dry eye. However, some dry eye symptoms are caused by medications, eye infections or wearing contact lenses. In these cases, simply eliminating the cause of dry eye will stop the problem. In many cases, however, dry eyes are a lifelong problem. You can relieve the symptoms, but not cure the original cause. Most eye care specialists recommend artificial tear products (ocular lubricants) for their patients with dry eyes. Follow your eye care specialist’s recommendations in order to effectively relieve dry eye symptoms and avoid further damage to your eyes.
Visit our Dry Eye Center for more information.
What Is Diabetic Retinopathy?
Diabetic Retinopathy is a condition where a diabetic person’s blood sugar gets too high and damage occurs to the blood vessels inside the eye. Blood vessels in the eye are small and delicate and can easily be damaged. The damaged vessels can then leak fluid or bleed, causing the retina to swell and form deposits known as exudates.
How Does My High Blood Pressure Affect My Eyes?
Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a disease that can have serious effects on many parts of the body, including the eyes. Hypertension causes damage to the tiny and fragile blood vessels that feed the retina.
What can be done? To reduce the risk of hypertensive eye disease, regular examinations by a physician are needed to monitor the condition. Hypertension must be controlled as much as possible and the key to control is to follow the advice of your physician.
What Is Keratoconus?
Keratoconus is a vision disorder that occurs when the normally round cornea becomes thin and irregular (cone) shaped. This abnormal shape prevents light entering the eye from being focused correctly on the retina and causes distortion of vision. Because the keratoconus cornea is cone shaped, light rays enter the eye at different angles, and do not focus on one point the retina, but on many different points causing a blurred, distorted image.
What Is Conjunctivitis?
Conjunctivitis, commonly known as “Pinkeye,” is an inflammation of the conjunctiva, the clear protective membrane lining the inside of the eyelids and the white part of the eye. Conjunctivitis can be due to an infection (viral, bacterial or parasitic), or occasionally an allergic reaction, exposure to chemicals, or the result of contact lens wear.
Symptoms of conjunctivitis often include:
Redness in the white of the eye
Increased eye watering
Thick yellow discharge that crusts over the eyelashes, especially in the morning
Green or white discharge from the eye
Itchy or burning eyes
Increased sensitivity to light
What Is Blepharitis?
Blepharitis is a chronic inflammation of the eyelids. A common problem in both children and adults, blepharitis causes swelling, itching, and irritation of the eyelids. There are several causes of blepharitis but the most common are seborrheic and Staphylococcus (Staph).
We are able to effectively treat Blepharitis with a gentle procedure called “Blephex.” Visit our Dry Eye Center for more information.
What Are Vitreous Floaters?
Floaters are small, semi-transparent or cloudy specks or particles within the vitreous, which is the clear, jelly-like fluid that fills the inside of your eyes. They appear as specks of various shapes and sizes, threadlike strands or cobwebs. Because they are within your eyes, they move as your eyes move and seem to dart away when you try to look at them directly.
Floaters are most commonly the result of deterioration of the vitreous fluid, due to aging. As the eye ages, fluid moves out of the vitreous, causing it to shrink and develop clumps. These clumps of dried and aged vitreous are left suspended in the fluid and result in “floaters” in your vision. Floaters are usually not harmful (just frustrating), but they can sometimes be an indication of more serious issue like a retinal detachment.
A retinal detachment can occur when the vitreous shrinks and pulls on the retina causing it to tear off. The following are specific warning signs which are related to retinal detachment:
A sudden increase in the number of floaters in your vision.
Flashes of light in your side vision which you cannot explain.
A shadow or curtain coming over or across your vision (this could be in any direction).
IF YOU NOTICE ANY SIGN OF RETINAL DETACHMENT, EVEN IF IT IS ONLY ONE OF THE SIGNS MENTIONED ABOVE, YOU SHOULD CONTACT OUR OFFICE OR OTHER EMERGENCY SERVICE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY!
What Are Corneal Disorders?
The human cornea is the transparent front part of the eye that covers the iris, lens, and pupil. There are many different disorders that can affect this highly sensitive part of the eye including injuries such as abrasion and lacerations, as well as chronic problems such as corneal dystrophy.
The cornea can be greatly impacted by contact lens wear; if contact lenses are worn longer than recommended, or are not handled properly, the cornea can show signs of “Overwear Syndrome,” which can affect vision.
What Is a Stye?
Sty (or Stye) is a small pimple-like growth appearing on the eyelid margin near the root of an eyelash. Styes are also referred to as a hordeolum and can be internal (inside the eyelid) or external (outside the eyelid). Treatment usually includes hot compresses and antibiotic ointment, but occasionally need to be excised and drained.
Chalazion is a cyst on the eyelid that is caused by inflammation of a blocked meibomian gland. Chalazia are usually painless nodules and usually occur inside the lid rather than on the lid margin.
What Are Ocular Allergies?
If you have ever had hayfever during the springtime, you may have experienced ocular allergies. Usually symptoms include itchy, watery eyes, burning or stinging, redness and sometimes blurred vision.
If you think you’re experiencing ocular allergies, it is important to see Dr. Day to rule out other causes of these symptoms.
What Is Iritis?
Iritis is the inflammation of the uvea, the colored layer of your eye that lies between the inner retina and the outer fibrous layers. This is an eye emergency which requires medication and close monitoring to ensure it does not cause any lasting damage or vision loss.
Iritis can be very painful and cause a host of other symptoms including:
Redness of the eye
Photophobia or sensitivity to light or glare
Floaters, which are dark spots or strings that float in the visual field
If you experience symptoms of iritis, call our office immediately.
What Is an Ocular Migraine?
Ocular migraines are usually painless with temporary visual disturbances that can affect one or both eyes.
Painless ocular migraines can appear suddenly, creating the sensation of looking through a cracked window. You might see a small, enlarging blind spot in your central vision with bright, flashing or flickering lights or wavy or zigzag lines surrounding the blind spot. The blind spot usually enlarges and may move across your field of vision.
Though they can be frightening, ocular migraines typically are harmless and self-resolve without medication within 20 to 30 minutes.
Ocular migraines are believed to have the same causes as migraine headaches. 70 percent of people who suffer from the disorder have a family history of migraines. Imaging studies also have revealed that changes in blood flow to the brain occur during ocular migraines and visual auras, but the underlying cause for these changes is not known. Additional triggers may be related to food, stress and blood pressure.
Always speak with a healthcare professional such as your primary care doctor or Optometrist when symptoms arise and an evaluation is recommended. It is important to speak to a medical professional about your symptoms in order to rule out more serious conditions such as stroke.
Do I need to be dilated?
Depending on the type of visit, if you are going to be dilated you will receive a notice at the time of scheduling. The exception to that is if the Doctor is seeing you for an emergency eye concern, it may require dilation to properly evaluate.
Do you see same-day emergencies?
Yes, we do see same-day emergency visits, please click here for more details – link to eye emergency page
What are Neurolenses?
Neurolenses are contoured prism lenses designed to help relieve the symptoms of eye misalignment.
What are the symptoms of eye misalignment?
Common symptoms of eye misalignment are headaches, tired eyes, neck pain, dizziness, eye strain, dry eye sensation and light sensitivity
How is it determined if I have eye misalignment?
Dr. Day has invested in an instrument that is specifically designed for determining if a patient has eye misalignment and how much contoured prism is needed for their eyes. This information alongside his refractive findings are prescribed in your glasses.
Can I be screened for eye misalignment without having an eye exam?
All patients must have a current eye exam from either Dr. Day or their primary eye care provider before proceeding with the Neurolens evaluation.
Do I have to wear my Neurolens glasses full-time?
Dr. Day will prescribe lenses to suit your exact needs, most of the time that will mean full time wear. For effective symptom relief it is advised you wear Neurolens full-time.
Will my vision seem “weird” or “off” when I wear my Neurolens glasses?
Neurolens takes about 4-6 weeks for the visual system to learn, adapt, and allow the lenses to offer relief from the work your eye muscles have been accommodating for.
What types of lenses are available in Neurolens?
Neurolens is available in Single Vision, Progressive, and Computer-designed lenses with a variety of materials available. Transition and Polarized sunglass lenses are also available.
How long will it take to get my glasses?
Glasses take an average of about 10 – 12 business days. Longer based off lens and frame availability.
Do you offer any warranties?
Most frames have a one-year manufacturer warranty for any defects. Our lenses have a one-time scratch warranty in the first year, against normal wear & tear. Prescriptions and Neurolens have additional warranties, please call one of our optical technicians for more information.
Why do I have to schedule to pick up my glasses?
We now schedule all services, including dispensing of glasses, adjustments, and repairs. This allows our opticians plenty of personalized time with you to style, adjust, or order new glasses without crowding or being rushed.
Do you offer discounts?
We offer a 25% discount on complete multiple pairs. Some exclusions apply, please call one of our optical technicians for promotion details.
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