First Study Comparing LASIK and Contacts Underway

Indianapolis, IN – The Cornea Research Foundation of America has initiated a nationwide study comparing LASIK and contact lenses. The study will evaluate these two popular vision correction methods in relation to visual results, patient satisfaction, and quality of life issues. It is the first ever study to examine the relative benefits of contact lenses and LASIK.

In order to participate in the LASIK group, you must fit the following criteria:

  • 21 or older
  • Suffer from naturally occurring nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism
  • Have not undergone eye surgery in the past

Subjects participating in the contact lens group must meet the same criteria. Additionally, they must have worn contact lenses for a minimum of five years.

According to the Cornea Research Foundation of America, the purpose of the study is to determine whether there is a significant difference in visual satisfaction, visual complaints, and safety between these vision correction methods. Results will be measured by participant surveys conducted over the Internet using a Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act-compliant Web portal. Participants will be asked to respond to surveys annually for three years following their date of entry into the study. Subjects will be compensated for their participation in the study.

“This pivotal landmark study has the potential to give timely and valuable information relative to these two widely used means of vision correction,” said Dr. Michael Gordon and Dr. Jack Weiss of the Gordon and Weiss Vision Institute. Dr. Gordon and Dr. Weiss will be evaluating participants in the San Diego, California area.

If you are interested in seeing if you are a suitable candidate for this study, please call 800-NEW-VISION for additional details.

Contact Lens Risks

Contact lenses are one of the safest and most effective ways to correct refractive errors such as myopia (nearsightedness) and hyperopia (farsightedness). There are very few risks associated with this vision correction method. However, if you do not properly care for your lenses, it is possible to develop an eye infection.

It is important to follow the cleaning instructions provided by your ophthalmologist. If your lenses are supposed to be removed every night and not worn for more than two weeks before discarding, then don’t sleep in them and wear them for a month. This will greatly increase your risk of infection or other complications.

Other contact lens complications, while rare, include:

  • Dry eyes
  • Corneal scratches
  • Corneal abrasion
  • Changes in the shape of your cornea
  • Allergic reactions to contact lens solution
  • Protein deposits on the contact lenses, which may lead to discomfort or infection

Maintaining sanitary conditions when handling your contact lenses is an easy way to reduce your risk of complications. Always wash and dry your hands thoroughly before putting in or removing your contact lenses. Never reuse old solution after cleaning. It is also a good idea to replace your contact lens case every three to six months since bacteria can accumulate on these cases which may lead to infection.

If you start experiencing problems with your contact lenses, consult your eye doctor immediately to make sure you haven’t developed a serious issue.

Please contact us today to find an experienced ophthalmologist in your area.

Decorative Contact Lenses Present Halloween Danger

When creating your Halloween costume, don’t be tempted to buy decorative contact lenses to complete your costume without a prescription. While federal law prohibits the sale of contact lenses without a prescription, some unscrupulous novelty and costume shops still carry them. These over-the-counter contact lenses can be very dangerous to your eyes as they are not fitted to your eye shape by a professional and may not be properly manufactured.

Ophthalmologists have urged consumers to remember that contact lenses are a medical device, not just a costume accessory. With Halloween less than a week away, ophthalmologists worry that they will see more eye injuries from over-the-counter contact lenses showing up in emergency rooms and urgent care facilities.

Just this week, CBS News reported a case in which a mother was injured by defective contacts that sliced her cornea, which became infected with a virus. This type of corneal infection can cause serious and permanent loss of vision, and this woman’s vision was still blurred months after the incident.

If you are interested in decorative contact lenses, either for a costume or for vision correction, please visit our directory to find an eye doctor near you to get a proper prescription for safe contacts and protect yourself from eye injury.

Features to Look for in Protective Sports Eye Wear

For people who play sports, protective sports eye wear is becoming an essential part of the uniform. Enhancing eye safety and reducing sun glare is important in the United States since more than 40 thousand people are treated each year for sports related eye injuries. However, not all sports goggles are ideally designed for every sport.

When selecting a sports goggle, you will want to find a pair that:

  • Comfortably fits your head
  • Provides full protection for your sport
  • Is made out of high quality plastic
  • Can fit inside of a helmet, if necessary

Your eye doctor will be able to take the sports goggles you choose and fit them to your face. Ensuring a snug fit reduces instances of slippage, and helps provide for ultimate eye safety.

You can visit a sporting goods store for sports goggles, but it is important to remember that only an experienced ophthalmologist will be able to properly fit your goggles for your needs. Additionally, your eye doctor can fit your frames with your prescription, and has access to the highest quality, scratch and impact resistant materials on the market. You may save a few dollars up front by purchasing your sports goggles from a sporting goods store, but only your eye doctor can provide you with ultimate protection and durability.

If you are interested in learning more about protective sports eye wear, please locate an experienced ophthalmologist in your area to schedule an appointment.

Protective Sports Eye Wear

In nearly every modern day sport, the popularity of protective sports eye wear is growing. Much of the popularity has to do with trendy new styles, adding individual flair to a team uniform, but equally important is the enhanced safety sports goggles provide.

In the United States each year, over 40,000 athletes are seen in hospital emergency rooms due to sports related eye injuries. Athletes take time to ensure they are protecting their bodies against injury, but only recently has an increased awareness of eye safety been duly acknowledged. Debris, errant balls, fingers, elbows, and feet can make contact with your eye in any number of sports, and having protection between your and eyes and these objects protects you from irritation, discomfort, and even vision difficulties.

Protective sports eye wear is made from a scratch resistant, incredibly strong plastic. The frames can be fitted with prescription or nonprescription lenses, and serve not only to protect your eyes, but to cut down on glare and reduce sun damage. With enhanced safety and increased vision, it’s no wonder protective sports eye wear can now be seen on both professional and hobby athletes.

Talking to your eye doctor about the type of sports you play will allow him to fit you with a pair of sports goggles that are ideally suited to your athletic activities. With a wide variety of designs and styles, your ophthalmologist can fit you with protective sports eye wear that will keep your eyes safe while allowing you to express your unique individuality.

If you are an athlete and interested in protective sports eye wear, please locate an experienced ophthalmologist in your area to schedule a fitting appointment.

Improper Use of Decorative Contact Lenses May Damage your Eyes

Golden, CO – Halloween is rapidly approaching, and millions of people are running around to assemble a brilliant costume that will be the talk and envy of their friends. However, it is important to be aware of the risks associated with accessories used to enhance your costume. Decorative contact lenses, an accessory that becomes increasingly popular at this time of year, can potentially do serious damage to your eyes if you are not careful.

While the use of decorative contact lenses themselves do not pose any danger, the incorrect usage of them can lead to serious consequences such as corneal ulcers, corneal abrasion, vision impairment, and blindness. This has prompted the American Academy of Ophthalmology to issue a warning against wearing over-the-counter decorative contact lenses.

“Many people believe that decorative lenses don’t require the same level of consideration because they can be purchased over-the-counter or on the Internet,” says Dr. Thomas Steinman, a professor of ophthalmology at Case Western Reserve University and a clinical correspondent for the American Academy of Ophthalmology. “This is far from the truth. In fact, permanent eye damage can occur from using over-the-counter lenses.”

Decorative contact lenses, like corrective contacts, should only be purchased using a valid prescription. In fact, recent FDA regulation has made over-the-counter and Internet sales of these products illegal. Yet despite this legislation, many individuals can easily purchase decorative contacts at flea markets, beauty salons, convenience stores, and online.

If you are planning on wearing decorative contact lenses as part of your Halloween costume, make sure to take the proper precautions:

  • Get an eye exam from a licensed ophthalmologist, even if you do not have any refractive errors with your vision
  • Obtain a valid prescription that includes the brand and lens dimensions
  • Purchase the contact lenses from an eye care professional or vendor who requires a valid prescription in order to buy them
  • Carefully follow all instructions for cleaning, disinfecting, and wearing these lenses

The risk of permanent vision loss is too severe to take your chances on wearing decorative contact lenses that have not been properly fit for your eyes.

New Study Indicates Children Prefer Contact Lenses over Glasses

Jacksonville, Florida – A study funded by Johnson & Johnson Vision Care Inc. has revealed that many children with refractive errors in vision find contact lenses improve their vision-related quality of life compared with glasses. In particular, contact lenses had the greatest impact on children’s lives in the areas of athletics and appearance.

The data was obtained from a research study conducted between September 2003 and October 2007 at five clinical centers across the country. The 484 children participating in the study were randomly assigned to either the contact lens group or the glasses group. All children were between 8 and 11 years old at the start of the study and suffered from myopia (nearsightedness). The children were required to wear their randomly assigned vision correction method for a period of three years. While children in the contact lens group were offered an option of daily disposable or two-week disposable lenses, the overwhelming majority (93.3%) chose to wear daily disposable lenses.

Researchers used the Pediatric Refractive Error Profile (PREP) to evaluate each child’s quality of life in 11 specific vision-related areas:

  • Activities
  • Appearance
  • Far vision
  • Near vision
  • Handling
  • Peer perception
  • Satisfaction
  • Academics
  • Symptoms
  • Overall vision
  • Overall PREP

The PREP contains 26 statements which are scored on a scale of 1 (strongly disagree) to 5 (strongly agree). Each score then gets rated on a scale of 0 (poor quality of life) to 100 (good quality of life). The average score from all 26 questions will become the child’s Overall PREP score. Researchers administered the questionnaire at the beginning of the study, after one month, and then every six months for the next three years.

According to Jeffrey J. Walline, O.D., Ph.D., a professor at Ohio State University College of Optometry and leader of the study, the data indicates that contact lenses “provide significant benefits to children beyond simply correcting their vision.” Children wearing contact lenses showed substantial improvement in the areas of appearance, athletics, and satisfaction with their vision correction. Furthermore, the largest improvements were noticeable in children over the age of ten. Overall, these improvements remained constant or increased over the three year period.

The one improvement that researchers found particularly surprising was in the area of handling. The study indicated that contact lenses provided children with an improved quality of life compared with glasses. This goes against the common assumption that glasses are easier for children to manage than contact lenses.

The findings of this study were published in the August issue of Optometry & Vision Science.

Johnson & Johnson Recalls 1-Day Acuvue Contact Lenses

Jacksonville, Florida – Johnson & Johnson has recently recalled their 1-Day Acuvue TruEye contact lenses due to reports of irritation, stinging, and pain from consumers. Acuvue TruEye contact lenses are made out of a breathable silicone hydrogel material called Narafilcon A. This substance contains a locked-in super smooth wetting agent. The lenses are intended to be worn only once before being thrown away, eliminating the need for cleaning solutions and contact lens cases.

According to Johnson & Johnson, the irritation is caused by “an isolated issue in one portion of the lens rinsing process on a particular manufacturing line affecting a limited number of lots.” One of the substances used in the manufacturing process was not completely removed from the lens when it was rinsed. The defective lenses were all manufactured in a factory in Ireland.

Approximately 100,000 boxes of contact lenses were recalled. Each box contains 30-90 lenses. A spokesperson for Johnson & Johnson has indicated that the risk of long term health consequences is doubtful. The majority of consumers immediately experienced discomfort and promptly removed the lens.

The recall covers 1-Day Acuvue TruEye lenses sold in Japan, Australia, Germany, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, Singapore, and several other Asian countries. Lenses sold in the United States and Canada were not affected since they are made from Narafilcon B, not Narafilcon A.

This is the ninth recall of a Johnson & Johnson consumer product this year. Prior to this recent barrage of recalls, the company enjoyed a stellar safety reputation.