If you wear or want contacts, you need a contact lens exam in addition to a comprehensive eye exam.
A contact lens fitting involves both a consultation and measurement.
We will ask you about your lifestyle and preferences. Some contact lenses may be better for athletes with active lifestyles, for instance; others may be better for frequent travelers who might need to occasionally sleep in their contacts.
We will perform special tests during a contact lens exam to evaluate your vision with contacts. The first test will measure your eye surface to determine what size and type of contacts are best for you. We may also do a tear film evaluation to make sure you have enough tears to comfortably wear contacts.
With the results of those tests, we can provide a contact lens prescription and contact lens type that is the right fit for your eyes. An eyeglass prescription is no substitute for a contact lens exam because the two are very different. An eyeglass prescription measures for lenses that are positioned approximately 12 millimeters from your eyes; whereas a contact lens prescription measures for lenses that sit directly on the surface the eye. An improper fitting or prescription of contacts can damage the health of the eyes. We have many years of experience and have fitted thousands of eyes, so we’re confident that we will be able to get the right lenses for your specific eyes and your lifestyle.
Once you have the correct fit and prescription for contacts, you’ll need to decide whether you want disposable contacts or extended wear, and if you want your contacts to be colored.
No doubt you have heard of the term “disposable lenses”. “Disposables” is used as a catch-all term to describe lenses that are designed to be discarded by the user on a planned basis, before they are overly soiled, damaged, or lost.
The most popular type of disposable lens is the 2-week disposable lens. It is worn on a daily wear basis and cleaned each night with a simple one-step multipurpose solution. At the conclusion of two weeks, the lens is thrown away and a fresh lens is applied to the eye. Since the arrival of this lens, the frequency of contact lens related eye infections and complications has decreased dramatically.
Hard lenses have been replaced with rigid gas permeable (RGP) lenses. They are still a “hard” lens but the material has been modified to allow gases such as oxygen to pass through the plastic. Gas permeable lenses provide the cornea with a good supply of oxygen and do not typically break or tear as easily as soft contact lenses. There are many advantages to RGPs and we counsel each patient concerning the features of RGPs vs. soft lenses when a patient decides to wear contact lenses for the first time, or when they simply need to be refit.
Here is a listing of the many types of contact lenses, as you can see there is a wide range of options depending on many factors.
We’ll fit you with a trial pair of contacts and have you wear them for a few days. In about a week, you’ll need a follow-up exam to make sure you have adjusted to your new lenses.
What are cataracts?
A cataract is an opacification (clouding) of the natural lens inside of the eye. The lens helps us focus on objects at different distances. As a part of the normal aging process, changes in the lens can cause it to become cloudy. Left untreated, a cataract can become so dense that it causes blindness. In fact, cataracts are the leading cause of blindness in the world. The original meaning of “cataract” is “waterfall,” and the name was chosen because distorted vision caused by a cataract reminded people of the distorted view that is obtained when looking through a waterfall.
Who gets cataracts?
Most people who develop cataracts are older than 60 years. Cataracts in older people are so common they can be regarded as a normal part of the aging process. Among the major conditions related to cataracts are diabetes or injury to the eye. Medications such as steroids can also cause cataract formation. In rare cases, congenital cataracts are present at birth. These cataracts are usually related to the mother having German measles, chickenpox, or other infectious diseases during pregnancy or to the child having certain syndromes (e.g. Marfan’s). Some cataracts are inherited.
What are the symptoms of a cataract?
Typical symptoms include:
These symptoms can also be signs of other eye problems. If you have any of them, consult an ophthalmologist for an eye examination.
How can cataracts be treated?
The natural lens of the eye that has been damaged by a cataract is surgically removed and then replaced with a clear artificial lens. During the surgery, usually done on an outpatient basis, a tiny incision is made in the eye and the cataract-damaged natural lens is removed through the incision. An artificial lens is then inserted through the same incision. Most patients have significantly improved vision after the procedure.
The treatment for this condition is a procedure called a YAG laser capsulotomy, which is named for the material used to generate the laser energy (yttrium-aluminum-garnet). The doctor uses a laser (light) beam to make a small opening in the capsule through which light can pass unimpeded. This surgery is painless and does not require a hospital stay. Most people see well after a YAG capsulotomy. Your doctor will discuss the risks with you.
What are the benefits of cataract surgery?
Cataract surgery restores quality vision for millions of patients each year. Good vision is vital to an enjoyable lifestyle. Numerous research studies show that cataract surgery restores quality-of-life functions including reading, working, moving around, hobbies, safety, self-confidence, independence, daytime and nighttime driving, community and social activities, mental health, and overall life satisfaction.
What are the risks of cataract surgery?
Cataract surgery is performed millions of times every year in the United States. In fact, it is the most commonly performed surgery in the U.S. About 98 percent of patients have a complication-free experience that results in improved vision. Nevertheless, cataract surgery has risks and complications. Most complications resolve in a matter of days to months. In rare cases, patients lose some degree of vision permanently as a result of the surgery.
Is it still necessary to wear thick glasses after cataract surgery?
No. Today, cataract patients who have artificial or intraocular lenses (IOLs) implanted during surgery may only need reading glasses for close vision. Patients who do not receive IOLs wear contact lenses for distance vision and reading glasses for close vision. Some patients choose to wear multifocal contact lenses for all distances.
Take the Cataract Self Test at our Cataract Pros website.
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If you have diabetes, you should have your eyes examined at least once a year at the Kennedy Eye Clinic. It is possible that you could develop a disease called Diabetic Retinopathy.
This disease is a leading cause of blindness in American adults. It is caused by changes in the blood vessels of the retina. In some people with diabetic retinopathy, retinal blood vessels may swell and leak fluid. In other people, abnormal new blood vessels grow on the surface of the retina. These changes may result in vision loss or blindness.
Often there are no symptoms in the early stages of the disease. Vision may not change until the disease becomes severe. Nor is there any pain. Blurred vision may occur when the macula – the part of the retina that provides sharp, central vision – swells from the leaking fluid. This condition is called macular edema. If new vessels have grown on the surface of the retina, they can bleed into the eye, blocking vision. But, even in more advanced cases, the disease may progress a long way without symptoms. That is why regular eye examinations for people with diabetes are so important.
Dry eye related discomfort is one of the most common complaints heard by eye doctors. The symptoms of dry eyes vary depending on the individual case, however patients that suffer from dry eyes usually experience a number of the following symptoms:
Dry eye syndrome, often referred to as keratitis sicca or keratoconjunctivitis sicca, is caused by insufficient and/or poor quality tears. There are three main components to human tears. Most human tears are produced by the lacrimal gland. The oily component of tears is produced by the meibomian glands and the third component, the goblet cells, keeps all of the components mixed up. When one of the parts of this mixture becomes unbalanced, dry eye syndrome can occur. There are numerous reasons as to why these glands may not be doing their part.
Insufficient tear production and/or poor tear quality are the most common causes of dry eye syndrome. Inflammation of the lacrimal gland is the most common cause of insufficient tear volume. Meibomian gland dysfunction, inflammation of the glands at the eyelid margin, contributes to poor tear quality. Medications can also cause ocular dryness. Hormonal changes may contribute to insufficient and/or poor quality tears.
Treatment Options for Dry Eye Syndrome
Artificial tears containing active ingredients such as carboxymethylcellulose, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, glycerin, castor oil, polyethyline glycol or polyvinyl alcohol are used in mild cases of dry eyes. Not all artificial tear brands work the same or work in all patients. More severe cases require additional treatment. If you find yourself using your artificial tears three or more times a day you should use a preservative free tear. Most patients find that artificial tears do help, however the effect is only temporary, lasting only 10-15 minutes. Most of these patients will experience significant relief with punctal occlusion.
The puncta is the small opening found on the edge of the upper and lower eyelids next to the nose. Tears drain out of the eye through the puncta into the nose, this is why your nose runs when you cry. If you aren’t producing enough tears then you don’t want the tears that you are producing to be drained away. Punctal occlusion is painless and performed in the office, taking only a couple of minutes
Glaucoma is a group of diseases that can damage the eye’s optic nerve and result in vision loss and blindness. The optic nerve is a bundle of more than 1 million nerve fibers. It connects the retina to the brain. The retina is the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye. A healthy optic nerve is necessary for good vision.
In the front of the eye is a space called the anterior chamber. A clear fluid flows continuously in and out of the chamber and nourishes nearby tissues. The fluid leaves the chamber at the open angle where the cornea and iris meet. When the fluid reaches the angle, it flows through a spongy meshwork, like a drain, and leaves the eye.
Sometimes, when the fluid reaches the angle, it passes too slowly through the meshwork drain. As the fluid builds up, the pressure inside the eye rises to a level that may damage the optic nerve. When the optic nerve is damaged from increased pressure, open-angle glaucoma — and vision loss — may result. That’s why controlling pressure inside the eye is important.
Increased eye pressure means you are at risk for glaucoma, but does not mean you have the disease. A person has glaucoma only if the optic nerve is damaged. If you have increased eye pressure but no damage to the optic nerve, you do not have glaucoma. However, you are at risk. Are you seeking a Cleveland Glaucoma eye doctor for a second opinion? If so, please read more about this silent thief of sight.
Who is at Risk?
Anyone can develop glaucoma. Some people are at higher risk than others.
Immediate treatment for early stage, open-angle glaucoma can delay progression of the disease. That’s why early diagnosis is very important. A comprehensive dilated eye exam by one of Kennedy Eye Center’s eye care professionals can reveal more risk factors, such as high eye pressure, thinness of the cornea, and abnormal optic nerve anatomy. In some people with certain combinations of these high-risk factors, medicines in the form of eyedrops reduce the risk of developing glaucoma by about half.
Types of Glaucoma
Open-angle glaucoma: This is the most common type of glaucoma. The structures of the eye appear normal, but fluid in the eye does not flow properly through the drain of the eye, called the trabecular meshwork.
Angle-closure glaucoma: This type of glaucoma is less common, but can cause a sudden buildup of pressure in the eye. Drainage may be poor because the angle between the iris and the cornea (where a drainage channel for the eye is located) is too narrow. Or, the pupil opens too wide, narrowing the angle and blocking the flow of the fluid through that channel.
Glaucoma is typically treated with eye drops that decrease eye pressure either by slowing the amount of fluid produced within the eye or by improving the flow through the drainage angle. Glaucoma medications may produce side effects, so be sure to talk to your doctor if you experience any unusual symptoms.
SLT – Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty
Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty (SLT) is quickly becoming a widely accepted treatment option in glaucoma treatment. SLT offers a new glimpse of hope for glaucoma patients. By engaging in this new laser technology, the ophthalmologists can now lower pressure that can possibly help a patient avoid a more invasive surgery. The surgery might even reduce the dependence on medications or drops.
Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty (SLT) is an advanced laser system that improves the flow of fluid in the eye, lowering Intraocular pressure (IOP) for patients who have glaucoma. SLT uses short pulses of low energy laser light to target melanin-containing cells in a network of tiny channels, called the trabecular meshwork. The objective of the surgery is to help fluids drain out of the eye, reducing intra-ocular pressure that can cause damage to the optic nerve and loss of vision.
What is an eye emergency?
Generally speaking, an eye emergency refers to any event or situation that causes you to think your eyesight may be at risk. This may include:
It’s important to note that if you are experiencing an eye emergency, you should never attempt to drive yourself to our office or a hospital for treatment. Even if your vision isn’t currently affected, the physician may end up administering drops that will affect your vision.
If you are unable to find a friend or relative to drive you, call a taxi or an ambulance. Please call ahead so we may plan for your treatment.
If you are in doubt, dial 9-1-1 immediately and follow their instructions.
In case of an eye emergency, call our Akron Office at: 330-922-4040