According to a recent study, less than 1% of the people who wear contact lenses actually follow the wear and care recommendations that go with them.
Always make sure to follow your eye doctor’s instructions. In order to make sure your lenses don’t lead to eye irritation, infections, or other problems, it’s important that you take these steps to care for them correctly:
- Always wash your hands with soap and water before handling your lenses.
- Take out your lenses before you go to sleep each night. While some contacts have been approved for overnight use (“extended-wear contacts”), these increase the risk for corneal infection and other problems. It is safer to remove contacts at bedtime and give your eyes a rest.
- Clean lenses thoroughly using a disinfection system recommended by your eye care provider. Don’t use water to rinse or store lenses. Replace your lenses as often as your eye care provider recommends.
- If your eyes become irritated with symptoms such as redness, tearing, blurry vision, or discharge, remove your lenses. See your eye care provider if symptoms continue.
Asistencia financiera para el cuidado de los ojos
Muchos estados y organizaciones nacionales proveen asistencia financiera a personas que necesitan cuidado de los ojos y anteojos correctivos. Usted puede comunicarse con las siguientes organizaciones si necesita ayuda para cubrir el costo de un examen de los ojos.
EyeCare America (Cuidado de los Ojos de los Estados Unidos)
—provee cuidado de los ojos para las personas que no tienen cuidado médico y aquellas personas con un alto riesgo de enfermedades de los ojos a través de un cuerpo de 7,000 oftalmólogos voluntarios dedicados a servir sus comunidades. EyeCare America es el programa de servicio público del American Academy of Ophthalmology. Para más información, llame a la línea gratuita, al teléfono: 1-800-222- 3937 o visite http://eyecareamerica.org.
—Voluntarios al Servicio de Nuestra Nación provee servicios básicos para la salud de los ojos y servicios de la visión, libre de costo, para individuos con bajos ingresos y sus familias. Los optometristas participantes de la Asociación Estadounidense de Optometría han estado donando sus servicios a VISION USA desde 1991. Para más información, visite http://www.aoa.org/ visionusa.xml o llame al 1–800–766–4466, de 7:00 a.m. a 7:00 p.m., hora centro, de lunes a viernes.
Financial aid for eye care
Many state and national organizations provide financial assistance to people who need eye care and corrective lenses. You can contact the following organizations for assistance to cover the cost of an eye exam.
EyeCare America (Eye Care U.S.)
-Provides eye care for people without health care and those with a high risk of eye diseases through a body of 7,000 volunteer ophthalmologists dedicated to serving their communities. EyeCare America is a public service program of the American Academy of Ophthalmology. For more information, call toll-free, telephone: 1-800-222 – 3937 or visit http://eyecareamerica.org
-Volunteers in Service to Our Nation provides basic services for eye health and vision services, free of cost, to low-income individuals and families. Optometrists participating in the American Optometric Association have been donating their services to VISION USA since 1991. For more information, visit http://www.aoa.org/ visionusa.xml or call 1-800-766-4466, from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm Central Time, Monday through Friday.
A vision plan is a valuable part of your overall health insurance plan. If you wear glasses or contact lenses, a vision plan can save you a significant amount of money. Even if your vision is fine, a vision plan can help with the cost of regular eye and vision care. Because many eye diseases have no signs or symptoms, regular comprehensive eye exams are an important element in maintaining healthy eyes and vision. Several good vision plans are available today:
- Major Vision Plans: Vision Service Plan (VSP), VisionCare Plan, Vision Benefits of America and Eyemed Vision Care are four of the most popular vision plans available today. These plans offer excellent vision benefits through large provider networks consisting of high-quality, independent private practices.
- Flex Accounts: A Flexible Spending Account (FSA) is one of a number of tax-advantaged financial accounts that can be set up by an employer in the United States. An FSA allows an employee to set aside a portion of his earnings to pay for qualified expenses, most commonly for medical expenses. If you have a flex account, you probably don’t need a vision plan. Eye exams, glasses and contact lenses are considered health care expenses and your flex account can be used.
- Health Care Financing: Many private practitioners work with outside financing programs, such as Care Credit patient financing. CareCredit specializes in financing healthcare procedures. Depending on your credit, you may be eligible for up to 24 months of no-interest financing.
- Savings Accounts: Vision care, for the most part, is a planned expense. Except in the case of loss or accidental breakage, you are usually aware when you are due for new glasses or an eye exam. Many people prefer to create a small savings account and add a little money to it each month.
Vision plans are an important part of a good health insurance plan. Unfortunately, they are sometimes the only reason why some people schedule an annual eye examination: If they did not have the plan, they probably wouldn’t make eye care a priority.
The importance of regular eye exams is extremely underrated. Serious eye diseases are often missed by regular doctors. Eye conditions, such as glaucoma, are often not diagnosed early enough by optometrists or ophthalmologists to prevent vision loss. It is frustrating that not all medical insurance policies make it standard to cover the expense of routine eye exams. If you find yourself skimping on eye and vision care because of finances, make it a priority to find and invest in an affordable vision plan. Don’t take chances with one of your most precious possessions, your clear sight.
At Devlyn Optical, we provide a wide selection of fashionable designer and brand name frames, prescription lenses, and prescription sunglasses all at low prices that will make your eyes and wallet happy. Our huge selection of men’s, women’s and youth frames and great prices keep you looking your best with savings you can see!
With so many of us using computers at work and at home, computer eye strain has become a major eye related complaint. Studies show that eye strain and other visual symptoms occur in 50 to 90 percent of office workers.
These problems can range from physical fatigue, decreased productivity and increased numbers of work errors, to minor annoyances like eye twitching.
Here are 10 easy steps you can take to reduce your risk of computer eye strain and other common symptoms of computer vision syndrome (CVS):
1. Get a comprehensive eye exam.
Having a routine comprehensive eye exam is the most important thing you can do to prevent or treat computer vision problems.
According to the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), computer users should have an eye exam before they start working on a computer and once a year thereafter. During your exam, be sure to tell your eye doctor how often you use a computer at work and at home.
2. Use proper lighting.
Eye strain often is caused by excessively bright light either from outdoor sunlight coming in through a window or from harsh interior lighting. When you use a computer, your ambient lighting should be about half as bright as that typically found in most offices.
Eliminate exterior light by closing drapes, shades or blinds. Reduce interior lighting by using fewer light bulbs or fluorescent tubes, or use lower intensity bulbs and tubes. If possible, position your computer monitor or screen so windows are to the side, instead of in front or behind it.
Many computer users find their eyes feel better if they can avoid working under overhead fluorescent lights. If
possible, turn off the overhead fluorescent lights in your office and use floor lamps that provide indirect incandescent or halogen lighting instead.
3. Minimize glare.
Glare on walls and finished surfaces, as well as reflections on your computer screen also can cause computer eye strain. Consider installing an anti-glare screen on your monitor and, if possible, paint bright white walls a darker color with a matte finish.
If you wear glasses, purchase lenses with anti-reflective (AR) coating. AR coating reduces glare by minimizing the amount of light reflecting off the front and back surfaces of your eyeglass lenses.
4. Upgrade your display.
If your older monitor is causing computer eye strain, replace it with a flat-panel LCD screen that is easier on the eyes.
LCD screens are easier on the eyes and usually have an anti-reflective surface. Old-fashioned CRT screens can cause a noticeable “flicker” of images, which is a major cause of computer eye strain. Even if this flicker is imperceptible, it still can contribute to eye strain and fatigue during computer work.
When choosing a new flat panel display, select a screen with the highest resolution possible. Resolution is related to the “dot pitch” of the display. Generally, displays with a lower dot pitch have sharper images. Choose a display with a dot pitch of .28 mm or smaller.
Finally, choose a relatively large display. For a desktop computer, select a display that has a diagonal screen size of at least 19 inches.
5. Adjust your computer display settings.
Adjusting the display settings of your computer can help reduce eye strain and fatigue. Generally, these adjustments are beneficial:
- Brightness. Adjust the brightness of the display so it’s approximately the same as the brightness of your surrounding workstation. As a test, look at the white background of this Web page. If it looks like a light source, it’s too bright. If it seems dull and gray, it may be too dark.
- Text size and contrast. Adjust the text size and contrast for comfort, especially when reading or composing long documents. Usually, black print on a white background is the best combination for comfort.
- Color temperature. This is a technical term used to describe the spectrum of visible light emitted by a color display. Blue light is short-wavelength visible light that is associated with more eye strain than longer wavelength hues, such as orange and red. Reducing the color temperature of your display lowers the amount of blue light emitted by a color display for better long-term viewing comfort.
For computers running on a Microsoft Windows operating system, display settings can be adjusted in Control Panel. For an Apple computer, display settings are found in Systems Preferences (in the Applications folder in Finder). In some cases, the color temperature of a desktop computer monitor is adjusted on the display itself.
6. Blink more often.
Blinking is very important when working at a computer; blinking moistens your eyes to prevent dryness and irritation.
When working at a computer, people blink less frequently — about five times less than normal, according to studies.
Tears coating the eye evaporate more rapidly during long non-blinking phases and this can cause dry eyes. Also, the air in many office environments is dry, which can increase how quickly your tears evaporate, placing you at greater risk for dry eye problems.
If you experience dry eye symptoms, ask your eye doctor about artificial tears for use during the day.
To reduce your risk of dry eyes during computer use, try this exercise: Every 20 minutes, blink 10 times by closing your eyes as if falling asleep (very slowly). This will help rewet your eyes.
7. Exercise your eyes.
Another cause of computer eye strain is focusing fatigue. To reduce your risk of tiring your eyes by constantly focusing on your screen, look away from your computer at least every 20 minutes and gaze at a distant object (at least 20 feet away) for at least 20 seconds. Some eye doctors call this the “20-20-20 rule.” Looking far away relaxes the focusing muscle inside the eye to reduce fatigue.
Another exercise is to look far away at an object for 10-15 seconds, then gaze at something up close for 10-15 seconds. Then look back at the distant object. Do this 10 times.
This exercise reduces the risk of your eyes’ focusing ability to “lock up” (a condition called accommodative spasm) after prolonged computer work.
Both of these exercises will reduce your risk of computer eye strain. Also, remember to blink frequently during the exercises to reduce your risk of computer-related dry eye.
8. Take frequent breaks.
To reduce your risk for computer vision syndrome and neck, back and shoulder pain, take frequent breaks during your computer work day.
Many workers take only two 15-minute breaks from their computer throughout their work day. According to a recent NIOSH study, discomfort and eye strain were significantly reduced when computer workers took four additional five-minute “mini-breaks” throughout their work day.
And these supplementary breaks did not reduce the workers’ productivity. Data entry speed was significantly faster as a result of the extra breaks, so work output was maintained even though the workers had 20 extra minutes of break time each day.
During your computer breaks, stand up, move about and stretch your arms, legs, back, neck and shoulders to reduce tension and muscle fatigue.
9. Modify your workstation.
If you need to look back and forth between a printed page and your computer screen, this can cause eye strain. Place written pages on a copy stand adjacent to the monitor.
Improper posture during computer work also contributes to computer vision syndrome. Adjust your workstation and chair to the correct height.
Purchase ergonomic furniture to enable you to position your computer screen 20 to 24 inches from your eyes. The center of your screen should be about 10 to 15 degrees below your eyes for comfortable positioning of your head and neck.
10. Consider computer eyewear.
For the greatest comfort at your computer, you might benefit from having Devlyn Optical modify your eyeglasses to create customized computer glasses. This is especially true if you normally wear contact lenses, which may become dry and uncomfortable during sustained computer work.
Computer glasses also are a good choice if you wear bifocals or progressive lenses, because these lenses generally are not optimal for the distance to your computer screen.