Donate just50 or 99 pence to Fight for Sight when making an online purchase for eye care products such as contact lenses. It is easy to do – justone click when you check out. The goal is to donate £20,000. A counter measuring the current donations is available online.
About Fight for Sight
Fight for Sight estimates that almost 2 million people in the UK and over 285 million worldwide are affected by sight loss.
Age-related causes of visual impairment and blindness are increasing, as is blindness, due to uncontrolled diabetes. Fight for Sight is determined to improve these statistics and create a future everyone can see.
Since 1965 the charity has been raising funds to support pioneering research to prevent sight loss and treat eye conditions.
Over the next few years the goal is to commit £20 million to fund the highest standard of eye research, which will help to reduce the number of children and adults affected by blindness.
According to Fight for sight, eye research is underfunded because fatal diseases win the fight for government and charity funding. The organisation therefore is entirely dependent on voluntary donations – such as those raised through Vision Direct. Please support Fight for sight through Vision Direct and help make sight loss a thing of the past!
In our previous article, we discussed allergies caused by contact lenses solutions. We will in this post focus on another important point; allergies due to deposits on the surface of the contact lenses.
Contact lenses tend to dry out because they contain water, which evaporates naturally. When that occurs, the tears take over to balance this evaporation. If there is no more balance for any reason whatsoever (dry environment, drugs …) the lens becomes dry, tends to get uncomfortable and can create deposits and irritation. A dry lens attracts more deposits, and a vicious circle is created.
Formation of the deposits.
The formation of deposits on the surface of contact lenses is inevitable. These deposits are composed primarily of proteins and lipids.
The lipid deposits (fat) will prevent the tear film to be well distributed on the surface of the lens.The moisture of the lens alters, leaving areas of the lens surface poorly hydrated. This results in a loss of quality of vision and discomfort. If you wearing silicone hydro-gel contact lenses, and you have the impression of a blurry vision, this is due to lipid deposits.
The protein deposits form a discreet veil, which alters comfort and sometimes vision. Furthermore, these proteins tend to denature, because of friction with the eyelids. Denatured proteins are not “recognized” anymore by the body, and become antigenic. This mechanism results in allergic symptoms: the patient complains of eyes often red, sometimes secretions, which themselves exacerbate fouling lenses and discomfort.
Those deposits causing an allergic reaction (allergic conjunctivitis). The deposits in question can come from cleaning solution when it is too old, from dirt, pollen, from manipulating lenses with dirty hands, etc. They create an inflammatory response that will increase secretions of the eye, which will exacerbate the problem.
Avoiding this deposit.
Bear in mind that 90% of the problem with contact lenses, including deposits are due to a bad hygiene.
If you already suffer from allergies, especially pollen during the spring, do not hesitate to remove your contact lenses during this period, and wear your spectacles.
You can remove lipid deposit by rubbing your contact lenses with saline solution for 30 seconds every morning and every evening.
If deposits are still appearing during the day, use eye drops like blink’n clean. If the problem is persistent, you need to check the problem directly with you optometrist. You will likely need to change your contact lens solution, or the contact lenses themselves.
Eye allergy is a very common problem for people who wear contact lenses. Allergy is an auto-immune response of the body. This response is characterized by the production of histamine, identified by symptoms such as redness or inflammation in the eye or eyelid.
There are various causes for allergy related to contact lens users:
Allergy to contact lenses solution
Allergy to deposit protein
Allergy to the contact lenses itself.
In this article we will focus on the most common cause ; contact lenses cleaning solution. We will discuss deposit and contact lenses in other articles.
Less and less popular amongst contact lenses wearers is peroxide solution; based on water, mixed with hydrogenated disinfecting agents and other substances. Peroxide solution is very powerful against germs. The lenses must be immersed in the solution for several hours to be decontaminated and the cleaning process is complex. The main problem of peroxide solutions is although it is effective, it is also very strong! After immersion of lenses in the oxidizer, it is mandatory to rinse to neutralize the patented product residue. Too many undisciplined lens wearers have had bitter experiences in this area causing stinging and burning. This problem has resulted in increased popularity of the multifunctional solutions.
The all-in-one solution offers everything in one bottle where decontaminant agents are used to clean the contact lenses. When you put the lenses in their box with solution for the night, it is this agent who will remove all the germs. Surfact agent has some lubricating and moisturizing properties. It is easier and more comfortable to put your lenses on the eye thanks to this agent. The buffering agent allows the contact lenses to be more comfortable during the day, and the chelating agent prevents the formation of protein deposit.
2) Allergy and the preservative
All these chemical agents are sterile over months or years. That is why laboratories are using preservatives. With them, you can use your all-in-one solution for a longer time period, and sometimes it helps the decontamination agent to be even more effective. But unfortunately, they are also cause of certain allergy.
The most common preservative are PHMB (polyhexamethylene biguanide) and the Polyquad. They are both very effective, but their composition itself is too strong for certain people.
It can be difficult to recognize an allergic reaction in other symptoms. Allergy can take different forms; eye dryness, conjunctivitis, inflammation, tears production constantly. There are some simple recommendations to avoid these problems.
3) Advise to avoid allergy
To avoid contact lens solution related allergy:
Use a peroxide solution like Oxysept 1 step. This type of solution is free from preservatives, so you avoid the risk of allergy. Remember to neutralize the solution before putting the contact lenses on your eye. Peroxide is a toxic product before neutralized properly.
Use an all-in-one solution, but be sure to complement by rubbing your contact lenses every morning with saline during 30 seconds to remove as much preservative as possible from the contact lenses.
If you still have an allergic reaction despite precautions mentioned above, use daily contact lenses. You are sure to have new and sterile lenses every day.
And do not forget that there are some important rules to follow in order to prevent contact lens allergy in general:
Washing hands with soap (preferably 15 seconds to get rid of all the germs) and dry them with a clean towel is very important before you handle lenses.
Clean the case meant for storing lenses regularly with saline solution.
Wear glasses intermittently to reduce the symptoms and discomfort with contact lenses. You need to wear your spectacles at least 1 day a week. Your eye is like any other organ, sometimes, it needs to rest.
What do Paris Hilton, Abraham Lincoln, TV’s Colombo, Johnny Rotten, and Melissa-Joan “Sabrina the Teenage Witch” Hart all have in common? That’s right, they all have or had lazy eye.
Lazy eye, also known as ‘amblyopia’, is an eye condition that cannot be corrected by glasses or online contact lenses. It is not caused by any disease, rather the brain does not fully recognise images seen by the affected eye. The condition usually only affects one eye, but may sometimes affect both, resulting in a reduction of vision in each eye. It’s important to remember that lazy eye doesn’t lead to a loss of vision, only a reduction.
So, what causes lazy eye? Different things can cause it, such as the constant turning of one eye (strabismus), different vision in each eye (anisometropia), and a blockage in an eye due to a cataract, a drooping lid, or other trauma. Lazy eye can be treated when you’re still young, so if you have children then it’s a good idea to get them checked out sooner rather than later.
The most common of these causes is anisometropia. Usually, the eyes have the same qualities in terms of vision and light refraction, whereas with anisometropia, they are different. This can be corrected with glasses, or you can look for online contact lenses. Soft disposable lenses can be used, though if you have other problems such as astigmatism, then custom-made contact lenses are the best course of action. As usual, check with a doctor.
Other treatments include forcing the lazy eye to be used, by patching over the unaffected eye or by using topical atropine eye drops in it. This has to be managed well, as it can result in reverse lazy eye in the good eye – hardly the situation we’re aiming for.
Contact lenses are often the standard method of dealing with lazy eye – good news for us all, thanks to their ease of use. Children who don’t fully understand their condition, or their treatment, can use contact lenses and not have to go through the difficulty of wearing glasses.
Astigmatism, which is often erroneously referred to as “stigmatism”, is not a problem with the health of the eye, it is a problem with how the light is refracted. Light rays that enter the eye do not have a single focus point, giving blurred vision. This is caused by the irregular surface of the cornea or iris. Because astigmatism is a problem with light refraction, this means that it can be corrected with the use of contact lenses. For sufferers looking online, contact lenses can be found that can help. Toric lenses are used to correct more severe cases of astigmatism, opticians prescribe these when needed.
There are various symptoms associated with astigmatism. Principally, the sufferer’s vision is blurred at almost all distances, to some degree. Also, eye strain and headaches that occur after prolonged visual tasks, such as study or computer use, can point to the condition. Squinting is also a symptom of untreated astigmatism, and it is important for children to take routine eye tests when they are at school. For those with the condition, the options are contact lenses, refractive surgery, or eyeglasses.
There are different types of astigmatism, which result not only in blurred vision but also in near and farsightedness. Most astigmatism is cornealastigmatism, which instead of the cornea being round like a football, instead makes it shaped more like a rugby ball. Less common astigmatism is caused by the shape of the lens (lenticular astigmatism), and less common still is irregular astigmatism, which can arise from eye injuries or from keratoconus, a disease that causes a gradual thinning of the cornea.
With contact lens technology at an advanced stage, even severe astigmatism can be treated. Soft toric contact lenses are suitable for those with mild astigmatism, but their comfort and ease of use make them popular with all sufferers. Gas permeable contact lenses, which provide a sharper focus, are available for astigmatism sufferers, and whilst their levels of comfort might not be so high, their durability and strong performance make them a good choice for those with a more severe condition. With a wealth of information and choice online, contact lenses can ensure that astigmatism sufferers needn’t have their quality of life suffer too.
Eyes can become bloodshot for a quite a number of reasons. Whatever the trigger, whether it is trying out new contact lenses for the first time, an eye infection, or the start of hay fever season, bloodshot eyes occur when blood vessels on the surface of the eye become dilated or enlarged. Both the sclera (white of the eye), and the thin membrane which covers the sclera and lines the eyelids, the conjunctiva, contain many tiny blood vessels that are not usually visible. Irritation or damage to these tissues in the eye causes the body to rush blood to this area, a process which allows repair to take place, and it is this increase in blood supply that causes the dilation of blood vessels which result in bloodshot eyes.
When bloodshot eyes are caused by wearing contact lenses the solution can be fairly straightforward. Often, the use of eye drops can be enough to restore moisture and combat the irritating dry eyes that can sometimes result from wearing contact lenses, particularly when trying out a new prescription. However, the most important thing to note is that the first course of action should always be to remove contact lenses when bloodshot eyes occur, after which you should seek a professional medical assessment of the cause of the condition if symptoms persist.
Various infections can cause bloodshot eyes, and some of these have the potential to be serious, and require medical attention. Bacterial conjunctivitis (pink eye) will often require treatment with antibiotics, although this uncomfortable condition rarely has any profound long term effects.
Other conditions like Blepharitis – an inflammation of the eyelids and eyelashes – and Uveitis, an inflammation of the uvea, can also result in bloodshot eyes. Bloodshot eyes are also a symptom of corneal ulcers, which can develop for a number of reasons and again require medical treatment.
As well as resulting from the introduction of various foreign objects to the eye, and infections, bloodshot eyes can also be an indicator of several lifestyle issues. These can range from fatigue and eyestrain to the use of certain medicines, like blood thinning drugs, or the overuse of alcohol, and smoking. Kidney stones and liver disease can also cause bloodshot eyes, as can diabetes or being pregnant. A poor diet and vitamin deficiencies can again be triggers, or you may simply be stressed and anxious. Viruses such as glandular fever and mumps can also cause bloodshot eyes. If the condition occurs late at night or early in the morning, and passes quickly, you can chalk it down to the pace of life, but bloodshot eyes occurring for any length of time should prompt a trip to the doctor.
Pink eye is often the way people refer to a medical condition called conjunctivitis. While pink eye perhaps sounds rather harmless the condition should not be taken lightly, and this is particularly true for anyone who regularly buys contact lenses online. There are three main causes of conjunctivitis, and while each may cause similar symptoms, the treatment will vary depending on the reason for developing the pink eye in the first place.
Before we look at the treatments for conjunctivitis we should first look at the symptoms, which should automatically signal to those who source contact lenses online that the lenses should be removed immediately, and avoided until a medical consultation has pinpointed the cause of the conjunctivitis. The nickname pink eye is an accurate description of the appearance of the eye when conjunctivitis develops. The conjunctiva is a thin membrane that covers the white part of the eye – the sclera – and also lines the eyelids, and this membrane is clear when the eye is healthy. When the conjunctiva becomes irritated or infected both the whites of the eyes (sclera) and the eyelids can become red – or pink – in colour, as well as becoming inflamed. An itching or burning sensation may also be felt, and more tears may be produced than normal. The infected eye or eyes can also become more sensitive to light.
The three main causes of pink eye are allergies, bacteria and viruses. Viral conjunctivitis can cause drainage from the eyes. This discharge can be green or white, and can cause a thick yellow crust to build up during sleep which sticks the eyelids together. This form of pink eye often results from the same viruses that cause the common cold, and so a runny nose is often experienced at the same time. As with all viruses, antibiotics are not effective in treating viral conjunctivitis – you must simply wait for the infection that has caused the pink eye to run its course, which generally takes between four and seven days.
Bacterial conjunctivitis can be more common for those used to buying contact lenses online if appropriate hygiene measures are not followed when applying the lenses. Thorough hand washing and the use of clean towels can go a long way to preventing the spread of pink eye caused by bacteria, and it is particularly important for users of contact lenses not to share towels with people suffering from pink eye symptoms. Bacterial conjunctivitis can be treated by ointments, eye drops or pills prescribed by your doctor.
Conjunctivitis caused by allergies is combated by treating the allergy, and so the appropriate treatment will depend on the allergen in question – again, seek medical help to deal with this cause of pink eye.
Contact lenses can of course replace spectacles in correcting a range of vision problems. In practical terms, contact lenses also offer a simple solution to those who frequently misplace or inadvertently damage glasses. However, one thing that contact lenses cannot do is protect the eyes from the potentially damaging rays of the sun, or to be more specific, UV radiation. Here we look at some of the possible effects of UV on the eyes, and how those who may have ditched glasses in favour of contact lenses some years ago should still on occasion don decent quality eye protection.
In the main, it is the cornea and the conjunctiva that are at risk when facing prolonged exposure to high levels of UV radiation. The cornea is the transparent, dome-shaped ‘window’ that covers the pupil and iris, and refracts light before it enters the eye through the pupil. The conjunctiva is the thin membrane that lines the inside of the eye lids and covers the sclera, the white part of the eye.
Both the cornea and the conjunctiva can in effect be sunburned by too much exposure to UV radiation. The inflammation of the cornea caused by over exposure to UV is called Photokeratitis, while Photoconjunctivitis is the term that describes similar damage to the conjunctiva.
In most circumstances, developing Photokeratitis or Photoconjunctivitis is painful in the short term, but is ultimately reversible – neither condition seems to have any long term effects on eye health. The most serious cases of photokeratitis are generally the result of what is known as snow blindness. At high altitudes, UV levels are also higher, and to compound this problem snow and ice can reflect up to around 80% of the UV emanating from the sun above back towards the eyes. Severe snow blindness can cause total blindness for a few days, and in extreme cases may lead to a tearing of the cornea, and permanent irritation of the eyes.
It is also thought that prolonged exposure to high UV levels can trigger Pterygium, which is where the conjunctiva grows over a part of the cornea. As well as being prone to uncomfortable inflammation, Pterygium can spread to the centre of the cornea and limit vision. Surgical removal is the standard treatment for Pterygium.
As with the skin on the rest of the body, UV can also trigger the development of cancer in the eyes, with the most common form being melanoma. The development of cataracts also seems to be accelerated by prolonged exposure to UV radiation.
In general, most people who buy online contact lenses first heard various myths about vision loss well before they required any treatment for their sight. Indeed, the oft cited power of carrots to improve vision was a staple of the playground rumour mill for many of us. It is of course understandable that those who have an ongoing need to buy online contact lenses may wonder whether reading in the dark, or sitting too close to the TV was responsible for the onset of vision problems. Since life really is too short to beat yourself up in this fashion, here we look to debunk some of these unhelpful myths.
Starting with a persistent rumour regarding one of the basic tools for correcting vision loss, wearing ill-fitting glasses will not damage your eye health – the glasses may simply be uncomfortable to wear. Contact lenses, on the other hand, can damage your cornea if the lenses are the wrong shape for your eye. This means that you should always consult an optometrist before ordering online contact lenses for the first time, as this is not equipment which you can safely select on your own.
As you may have already gathered, neither reading in low light conditions nor sitting too close to the TV will damage your eyesight. Both activities can stress the eyes, and therefore possibly lead to headaches, but there is no evidence that either practice results in damage to your vision.
Carrots are a good source of vitamin A, a nutrient which the body requires to maintain the health of organs around the body, including the eyes, but can actually be harmful in large doses. What is certain is that overdosing on Vitamin A will not improve your sight.
You cannot improve your vision and therefore ditch the contact lenses by undertaking a course of eye exercises. While various ‘alternative’ health practitioners have claimed – since at least the 1920’s – that you can ‘train’ the eye through a kind of optical aerobics, there is no hard evidence that such exercises actually work. While ophthalmologists may sometimes use a form of eye training when treating squints, this does not mean that eye exercises can correct the vision problems that are normally treated with glasses or contact lenses.
Contact lenses and glasses are not like other medical equipment, like for example ankle supports – put simply, wearing corrective lenses will not weaken your eyesight over time. While the prescription that you need to wear is likely to change over the years, this does not mean that lenses or specs are ever responsible for a deterioration of your eyesight.
Did you know that diabetes, if not treated, could make you blind? On the bright side, thanks to glucose levels affecting the eye, there are now contact lenses in the making that may help in monitoring blood sugar. This remarkable technology works with PET material containing a computer chip and electrodes. The electrodes generate tiny currents in the tear fluid that subsequently detects dissolved sugar, then sends data through an antenna wirelessly to a portable device. This process allows diabetics to efficiently overview effects of diet and medication by simply keeping a device in their pocket.
More testing will need to be done before the lens is available on the market, but thanks to the University of Washington in Seattle, people with diabetes will hopefully soon be able to overview glucose levels by using contact lenses.