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First-Time Contact Lens Wearers: Tips to Get Started

Posted by Eye Specialists of Louisiana on Mon, Jul 30, 2018 @ 02:04 PM

woman in her forties inserting contact lensesThe transition to contact lenses can be a little tricky for first-time wearers. Many are eager to try them and get a clear view of the world without glasses. Still, just like with any change, there is often a degree of anxiety and a learning curve that comes with the transition.

Although many patients are nervous about applying their contact lenses initially, the truth of the matter is that application and removal is safe, easy, and poses little threat of eye injury when the proper steps are followed. And, although the thought of something foreign in the eye is bothersome to some, today’s lens options are comfortable and should provide improved vision without discomfort.  Here are a few simple tips that, when followed, can allow wearers to make the most of their new contact lenses:

How to Prepare for Contact Lenses                                

There are a few simple habits that you must develop to ensure your transition to contact lenses goes smoothly. The first is to make sure that your hands are clean. Wash your hands with soap and water anytime you will be handling your lenses. Doing so will eliminate the threat of bacteria or abrasive substances inadvertently entering your eye.

The next habit is keeping your contact lenses moisturized.  Dry contacts equate to dry and irritated eyes. Many contact wearers place their contacts in fresh solution overnight to ensure that they are clean, moisturized and ready for wear each morning. However, this is not always necessary.  Some brands of contacts can be left in overnight without irritation.  For the best results, it is always wise to follow the manufacturer’s and doctor’s instructions.

Finally, you will need to ensure that your contacts are facing the correct direction each time you put them in.  Place your contact lens on the tip of your finger, and hold it at eye level.  Its shape should resemble a bowl.  However, if you notice that the edges flare out, your lens is inside out and should be corrected before placing it in your eye to ensure proper function and to avoid discomfort.

Habits to Break When Wearing Contact Lenses

In addition to habits you should develop for optimal contact lens wear, there are a few you may need to break as well.  One of the most important is to stop touching or rubbing your eyes. While you may be used to taking off your glasses and rubbing your eyes to give them some relief, this same habit can be problematic when wearing contact lenses.  Not only could you introduce dirt or bacteria into the eye, but you could knock the lens out of place as well.

You should also avoid certain things that make your eyes dry out. Computer screens, dry hot air, and cigarette smoke are all outside sources that can contribute to dryness of the eyes.  Similarly, it will be important to ensure adequate water intake.  If you don’t already drink water throughout the day, now is the time to start.  Not only will you help prevent dry eyes, you will improve your overall health.

Eye Specialists of Louisiana has helped many people make the transition to contact lenses, and our team of specialists are here to answer any questions you may have about making the switch.  Although the change may be a little daunting in the beginning, the benefits of contact lenses can be extraordinary.  Schedule an eye exam today, and ask if contact lenses are right for you!

 7 Unhealthy Habits That Are Harming Your Vision

Tags: Glasses and Contacts

5 Tips for Surviving the Louisiana Summer with Contact Lenses

Posted by Thomas Stuckey on Mon, Apr 24, 2017 @ 12:40 PM

5 Tips for Surviving the Louisiana Summer with Contact LensesAre you one of the 30 million US citizens who regularly wears contact lenses? If you are, you know how painful and incapacitating it is when your contact lenses are compromised. And while you love living in Louisiana, the high pollen count and other airborne irritants can wreak havoc on your eyes, especially in the warmer months. So how will you survive another Louisiana summer with contact lenses?

The Eye Specialists of Louisiana are here with seasonal tips for contact lens maintenance!

Stock up on artificial tears

If you are spending a large amount of time outdoors, your contacts may be collecting allergy-inducing debris. Keeping artificial tears in the refrigerator can increase the soothing quality and more quickly calm your eyes.

Find the proper protective eyewear

When it comes to a Louisiana summer day, you’re bound to encounter UV rays and airborne irritants. And if you enjoy outdoor activities—such as swimming in chlorinated pools or natural bodies of water, hiking, golfing, or gardening—your chances of introducing irritants to your contact lenses and eyes only increase. Wearing the proper protective eyewear, like wraparound sunglasses with 100% UV protection, can shield your eyes from flying debris and UV damage.

Invest in single-use lenses

Hitting the pool? Chlorinated water has a higher salt content than its freshwater counterpart, which can cause your contact lenses to dry out more quickly. Consider stocking up on disposable lenses for use at pool parties or water parks during the summer. You won’t feel wasteful chucking them in the trash after a day at the pool and your eyes and regular contact lenses will thank you for it.

Keep a contact lens travel kit prepared

Heading out on a spur-of-the-moment weekend trip? Sure, you could lug your regular contact solution and case with you, but there’s always a chance you could forget your eyedrops in the medicine cabinet or leave a nearly-full bottle of solution behind on the hotel room counter. By keeping a small kit stocked with travel-sized solution and extra contact lenses, you can make packing and unpacking a little less hectic and hopefully save yourself an unnecessary trip to the drugstore.

Consult with a Louisiana ophthalmologist

When it comes to year-long vision health, the experienced ophthalmologists at Eye Specialists of Louisiana lead the pack. Scheduling a regular checkup can help ensure the accuracy of your prescription. So enjoy the Baton Rouge summer with bright and healthy eyes by calling (225) 768-7777, or clicking here, to schedule an appointment today.

7 Unhealthy Habits That Are Harming Your Vision

 

 

Tags: Glasses and Contacts

The 5 Best Habits for Contact Lens Wearers in Baton Rouge

Posted by Thomas Stuckey on Wed, Mar 22, 2017 @ 11:12 AM

The 5 Best Habits for Contact Lens Wearers in Baton Rouge.jpegCongratulations! You’ve shaken off the worst habits of contact lens wearers. But are you satisfied with just not being the worst? We didn’t think so. That’s why we’ve compiled this list of the 5 best habits for contact lens wearers.

Remove your contacts at night (even if they’re disposable)

While there are FDA-approved contact lenses designed for extended or overnight wear, sleeping in any type of contact lens can increase the risk of such serious eye infections as microbial keratitis. Lower your risk for bacterial and viral eye infections by removing your contacts each night before sleeping.   

Always wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water before touching your contacts

Before removing your contacts, remember to thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water. Dirt and bacteria accumulate on your hands throughout the day and can increase infection or tears in the lens material. If you are planning on handling such irritants as hot peppers or well-seasoned seafood, it may be best to wear your glasses that day to avoid a painful surprise later that night.

Always use new contact lens solution

You wouldn’t use leftover soap suds to wash your hands, would you? Completely replacing contact lens solutions nightly can reduce the risk of bacterial build-up—keeping your lenses and eyes in tip-top shape.

Side note: Never use saliva or your tongue to remove dust or other substances from your contact lens or lens case. Keep the spit for your shoes and flush the lens with the appropriate lens solution to remove any foreign matter.

Clean and replace your contact case regularly

Over time, an invisible layer of organic material known as biofilm can develop on the inside of your case. Biofilm is a breeding ground for germs and bacteria which can lead to contact lens contamination and serious eye infections. Remove this invisible material by rinsing and rubbing contact lens solution into the case and wiping dry with a clean tissue.

To further ensure the safety of your eyes, replace your contact lens case at least every 3 months—or when you purchase a new bottle of solution.

Have your eyes professionally examined at least once a year

Regular comprehensive eye exams in Baton Rouge can aid in early detection, management, and even prevention of eye diseases and disorders. For adults with prescription eyewear, schedule a comprehensive eye exam at least once a year to ensure your prescription remains suitable for your individual vision needs.  

For additional information on healthy contact lens use and vision correction services in Baton Rouge, such as LASIK eye surgery, schedule a consultation with the eye health experts at Eye Specialists of Louisiana. You can contact us here or call our office directly at (225) 768-777. 

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Tags: Glasses and Contacts

Glasses or Contacts: Which is Right for You?

Posted by Eye Specialists of Louisiana on Tue, Dec 16, 2014 @ 04:10 PM

glasses or contacts

Upon learning that your vision requires some correction, you are immediately faced with a decision.  Which will you rely on the most, contacts or glasses?  Millions of users exist for both, each of which have their own list of merits and drawbacks.  However, the decision will come down largely to personal preference.  You’ll need to consider convenience, budget, and comfort before making your choice.  Consider these points when deciding which is right for you.

Glasses

The majority of those who require corrective eyewear choose glasses (71%).  They offer a number of benefits.  They are less expensive than contacts in the long run.  They reduce the likelihood of infection as there is no need to touch the eye, and they are good for those who may suffer from dry or sensitive eyes.  They also can serve the dual purpose of vision correction and fashion accessory. 

However, as with anything, there are some downsides to take into account.  Glasses sit on the bridge of the nose, about half an inch away from the eyes.  This prevents the entire range of vision from being corrected.  Depending on the strength of your prescription, the lenses may be thick enough to make the glasses less attractive and can even slightly distort the appearance of your eyes.  Additionally, glasses wearers have to deal with precipitation on their lenses when in rain or mist, as well as foggy lenses when walking out into particularly humid weather, blowing on a cup of hot coffee, or similar circumstances.  Finally, there are some who find the weight and pressure of glasses to be uncomfortable and may suffer from headaches.

Contacts

Contacts are less of an upfront investment than glasses, but the cost adds up over time as they must frequently be replaced.  Nonetheless, they offer a host of benefits.  Contacts don’t get in the way when taking part in physical activities such as exercise or sports.  They aren’t affected by the weather, and they aren’t cumbersome to wear or handle.  Additionally, they form to the shape of the eye, allowing for complete and exact vision correction at all angles.

The drawbacks of contacts are what you would expect of something that must physically touch the eye and remain there for much of the day.  Contact lens wearers are more prone to eye infections.  Proper lens care and upkeep cannot be overlooked, requiring users to keep solution and/or eye drops with them most of the time.  There are also those who find it difficult to place or remove the contact lens from the eye.  Additionally, falling asleep while wearing contacts not designed for overnight wear can result in eyes that are red, dry, or gritty.

Both eyeglasses and contact lenses come with a fairly thorough list of pros and cons, but only you can decide which will be best for your.  What is most important to you?  Is it versatility, comfort, convenience, or budget?  Perhaps you simply prefer the way you look in one or the other.  Whatever the reason, finding the solution that works best for you in the long term is most important.

If you are in the Baton Rouge area, contact Eye Specialists of LouisianaOur ophthalmologists can help walk you through both options and help you determine which is the best fit for your particular needs.  We have a wide selection of both contacts and glasses, making it easy to select exactly what you need on site.  To request your appointment, click here, or call us directly at (225) 768-7777.

Top 10 Things to Know About LASIK

Tags: Glasses and Contacts

The Worst Habits of Contact Wearers

Posted by Eye Specialists of Louisiana on Tue, Feb 11, 2014 @ 03:55 PM

bad contact lens habits

Refractive errors requiring some form of vision correction are quite common.  In total, 75 percent of Americans use some form of corrective lens to improve their eyesight.  The most common option is glasses.  However, there are still 38 million contact lens wearers nationwide.  With so many using this particular form of vision correction, it would seem safe to assume that most know how to wear and care for their lenses properly.  Unfortunately, the opposite is often true.

In fact, there are several bad habits that contact lens users are guilty of, many of which can lead to eye infections with varying levels of severity.  The most common of these eye infections is keratitis, an infection of the cornea.  In cases of keratitis, symptoms can include eye redness, blurred vision, eye discharge, and sensitivity to light.  In severe cases where medical attention is not sought, the infection can even lead to blindness.  For this reason, it is not only imperative to immediately see your eye doctor with any concerns, but to also keep up with regular appointments, and avoid these common bad habits:

  • Not Washing Your Hands – This is the most important step in keeping lenses clean and eyes healthy.  Yet, it is one which is often skipped.  Our hands come into contact with countless germs throughout the day, and when hands are not washed, those germs can be directly transferred to the eye, leading to a painful infection.  It’s imperative that hands be cleaned thoroughly before putting in or taking out contact lenses.

  • Not Cleaning Lenses Properly – Too often, when solution and drops are not available, contact wearers use water or even saliva to quickly clean a lens.  Not only will these options not be able to hydrate your lenses appropriately, saliva contains about 60,000 bacteria per drop - not something you want in contact with your eye.  Only use solutions and drops specifically produced for your type of lenses, keeping bottles handy at home, in your car, desk, purse, or anywhere else that you may need them.

  • Wearing Contacts for Too Long – Every pair of contact lenses will have a recommended amount of time for which they can be worn.  However, 84 percent of participants in an Alcon survey reported wearing theirs for longer than that timeframe.  Older lenses can quickly lead to problems included infections and irritation.  It is important to always follow your doctor’s recommendations for how long to use a single pair of lenses.

  • Not Using the Right Solution – Many generic solutions do not offer the same protection as name brands.  Additionally, not all solutions can be used with all types of contacts. For instance, hard lenses will require a different solution than soft varieties.  Furthermore, for wearers who are more prone to eye infections or other conditions, some solutions may be more effective than others.  Speak to your ophthalmologist to get a recommendation for a solution that is right for you.

Contacts can be of great help to many of those suffering with imperfect sight.  However, when not cared for properly, these sight aids can be damaging as well.  Preserving the health and longevity of your vision is of critical importance and requires that proper care routines be followed.  By avoiding the habits listed above and regularly visiting your eye doctor, you can help ensure ideal sight and eye health.

If you are in need of contacts or glasses, or need medical care for another condition such as an eye infection, contact Eye Specialists of LouisianaOur ophthalmologists can help in a number of ways including providing updated prescriptions, making recommendations for particular brands, and treating current or ongoing eye conditions.  Simply click here to request an appointment, or call us directly at (225) 768-7777.

7 Unhealthy Habits That Are Harming Your Vision

Tags: Glasses and Contacts

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