25. May 2013 10:31
The winter is over, but patients susceptible to dry eye symptoms can still experience problems that are associated with this season. It particularly applies to contact lens wearers. Fortunately, as an eye care expert has stated, it is enough to follow several simple pieces of advice to reduce the symptoms significantly.
In the opinion of Dr Mark Ewald of Vanderbilt Eye Institute, winter and early spring are especially difficult for contact lens users and allergic patients. This is because the air is generally drier in cold months, both outdoors and inside, resulting in drying out of the surface of the eye and contact lenses.
However, there are a few things every patient can do to minimise dry eye symptoms. First of all, artificial tears and lubricating eye drops can really help, and they should be taken regularly. In addition, patients should try warm compresses, using humidifiers, wearing sunglasses, goggles (when participating in sporting activities), blinking more often and avoiding rubbing one’s eyes.
24. May 2013 10:28
Recently, the president of the British Contact Lens Association stated that purchasing contact lenses online decreases patient compliance. This view was quickly challenged by Dean Butler, the founder of a popular online contact lens shop.
Dr Chisholm had claimed that contact lens users buying their contacts online were less likely to follow lens wear and care instructions, putting their eye health at risk.
In response, Butler sent a letter to the BCLA, asking the organisation to substantiate that claim with credible research results and to clarify certain elements of Dr Chisholm’s statement. In her answer, BCLA president cited four published research reports regarding contact lens hygiene and patient compliance.
Butler responded by saying that the ease of purchasing contacts on the internet makes timely replacement more likely, leading to better patient compliance and lower risk of contact lens-related complications. However, according to Dr Chisholm, replacement frequency does not have a significant impact on the risk of severe corneal infection.
As we can see, the difference of opinions between the sides is considerable, and it is not very probable that they will reach agreement any time soon. However, it seems that this disagreement could be beneficial to contact lens wearers, as it stresses the importance of following lens wear and care instructions.
23. May 2013 10:25
Online sales of contact lenses have been discussed a lot recently. This is mainly because of the case of a woman who lost an eye due to an infection she allegedly developed wearing a pair of contacts purchased online. Last week, Radio 4 organised a special debate on the subject, in which representatives of the British Contact Lens Association and a popular online shop took part.
The debate was quite heated. Ashley Mealor, the marketing director of the website stated that, provided the patient has a valid prescription, buying contact lenses online is perfectly safe. He added that the website’s customers regularly visit their eye care professionals and the problem of contact lens complications is not more common than in the case of traditional optical shops.
Dr Catharine Chisholm, the president of the BCLA, stressed that contact lenses can never be bought without a prescription, because it is too risky. She added that buying contacts online discourages patients from visiting eye care specialists regularly, which could result in failure to diagnose eye health issues that could appear even if all contact lens instructions are followed.
22. May 2013 10:23
Unilens Vision, which mostly manufactures and distributes specialty contact lenses, has announced the introduction of its latest product, C-Vue® HydraVue Multifocal contact lenses.
The new lenses are replaced monthly, made of a silicone hydrogel material and utilise Unilens’s patented technologies. According to the manufacturer, C-Vue HydraVUE Multifocal contact lenses are intended for individuals suffering from presbyopia, which is a condition affecting patients over the age of 40.
The company’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Kelly McKnight, stated that the lenses provide excellent near, far and intermediate vision thanks to the ‘rapid transition zone design technology’ that is incorporated within them. What is more, the new material they are available in is characterised by higher oxygen permeability, which means improved comfort and health.
It is believed that the number of presbyopic patients will rise dramatically in the coming years, so there will be a great demand for various types of multifocal contact lenses. Fortunately, contact lens manufacturers have recently launched a number of such contacts, and patients have an increasingly wide choice.
21. May 2013 10:20
Most people wear contact lenses simply to see better, especially when it is difficult to wear glasses. However, as an eye care expert has recently pointed out, contacts could also be used as a fashion statement, which particularly applies to coloured contact lenses.
According to Melody Van Der Meer, despite being available for quite some time, coloured contact lenses have started to become really popular only recently. People come to optical shops not to find something that would just correct their vision problems, but something that would change their image. They look for a means to make a fashion statement and use contacts just like clothes, changing them regularly to suit their moods and situations they are in.
In addition, the expert stated, some people like making their fashion statements extreme in order to ‘freak others out’, wearing contact lenses with designs such as cats’ eyes or smiley faces.
Whatever contact lenses are used for, Van Der Meer emphasised, their wearers always have to keep them clean and follow lens care instructions.