31. May 2012 08:07
Doctors from New York-Presbyterian Hospital and Columbia University Medical Center have decided to remind patients to make sure their eyes are protected against the damaging effects of UV light.
According to Dr Christopher Starr, overexposure to the sun can result in photokeratitis (sunburnt corneas), pterygium (consisting in the appearance of tissue growth on the white of the eye), eye cancer, cataracts, macular degeneration. Dr Stephen Trokel added that sunlight accelerates the aging of eye tissues and that it is vital that eyes be protected against light coming from all angles.
The experts suggest wearing contact lenses with strong UV filters, as they can protect the most important parts of the eye. However, contact lenses with UV protection alone are not enough, so it is always best to combine them with high quality sunglasses and sunhats when enjoying outdoor activities.
In addition, the experts believe contact lens wearers should remember to check the protection level of their sunglasses as well as their tint and wear them even when it is cloudy.
30. May 2012 08:03
A number of schoolchildren in Malaysia wear cosmetic contact lenses obtained without prescription, Malaysian health authorities alarm. Children and teenagers buy contacts at night markets, pavement shops and online.
Inspections carried out by the authorities in a few secondary schools showed that some students wore cosmetic contacts even after being warned by their teachers. At one of the inspected schools, a student was caught selling illegal contact lenses to other teenagers.
The number of children and teenagers who wear coloured contact lenses has risen significantly over the last two years. This is associated with the availability of inexpensive contacts and the latest fashion trends, especially affecting girls.
Schools are aware of the sources students use and warn students regularly about the dangers of wearing cosmetic lenses without a valid prescription. In addition, schools check students more often, trying to stop them from using dangerous lenses.
However, school representatives are worried that some parents allow their children to wear cosmetic lenses despite their warnings.
29. May 2012 07:59
Some eye problems are too complex to be solved with the use of standard contact lenses. Fortunately, researchers have developed several combination lens designs, helping to deal with such issues as corneal staining, irritation, vascularised limbal keratitis or lens awareness.
The use of a silicone hydrogel base in combination with rigid gas permeable (GP) centre reduces problems connected with oxygen permeability and increases visual acuity and lens stability at the same time decreasing lens flexure, which is important for patients with severe astigmatism. What is more, the inclusion of a UV-blocking filter in the GP part gives patients susceptible to cataracts and age-related macular degeneration the extra protection they need.
The SynergEyes Duette is one of the most commonly used combination (or hybrid) contact lenses. Its main advantage is ease of fit, as it has three skirt curve designs and five base curve options. Another popular combination design is the Recess Pillow Lens System (RPLS), in which a rigid gas permeable lens is placed on a soft lens with a recess cut out in the centre. RPLS‘s most important advantage is its ‘pillow lens’ part, allowing customisation and protecting the surface of the cornea against damage that a GP lens could cause.
28. May 2012 07:47
The growing incidence of myopia in many societies and the increasing need for means of vision correction (e.g. contact lenses) have caused intensification of research into the causes of the condition as well as methods of controlling it. Dr Jeffrey J. Walline, Dr Donald O. Mutti and Dr Earl L. Smith decided to carry out a review of studies supporting the “outdoors preventive effect” theory, which postulates that spending more time outside can decrease the probability of the development of myopia.
According to Dr Mutti, the beneficial effects of outdoor activities are related to the effects of vitamin D, as myopic patients have statistically lower vitamin D blood levels than other individuals. Dr Mutti’s theory is that vitamin D affects the eye by improving the function of the ciliary muscle.
Dr Smith, on the other hand, believes that spending time outdoors is beneficial because then the eye is focused on infinity. Indoors, the eye has to focus on different objects located much closer than objects seen outdoors. Another thing that, in Dr Smith’s opinion, makes outdoor environments good for a person’s sight is the intensity of light, which is approximately 100 times less bright indoors.
Dr Walline stressed that genetic factors also need to be taken into consideration, as children of short-sighted parents develop the condition two times (one myopic parent) and five times (two myopic parents) more frequently than other children.
Irrespective of their views on factors causing and preventing myopia, all experts agree that proper vision correction is of utmost importance, and prescriptions for contact lenses and glasses should be regularly updated.
27. May 2012 07:53
According to recent research, lack of communication between eye care practitioners and patients leads to potential contact lens users ‘slipping through the net’
A CIBA Vision-sponsored study showed that a high proportion of eye care professionals do not discuss contact lenses with their patients. For instance, almost 50% of the practitioners who took part in the study admitted they ‘only occasionally’ mentioned multifocal contact lenses when talking to their patients. Most practitioners make a judgement about whether their patients would like to switch from glasses to contact lenses before telling them of the benefits of contact lenses, Andrew Elder Smith, professional marketing manager, CIBA Vision UK, stated.
Because there are so many different kinds of contact lenses available at the moment, virtually all vision problems could be corrected using them, and providing information about contact lenses should be part of every conversation between a patient and his or her ophthalmologist or optometrist, Smith added.
If the contact lens market is to continue to develop, practitioners will have to put more effort into providing patients with information about them, the authors of the study concluded.