Holland Village open their doors in Ho Chi Minh City Friday, November 22nd 2013 in order to promote the Netherlands in Vietnam. Among participants like Philips, KLM, Heineken, Schiphol Airport and Unilever, the charity Eye Care Foundation is also participating in the event. The Dutch charity Eye Care Foundation’s basic idea is that all people have a right to good eye sight and that the best way to achieve this is by sharing knowledge and expertise.
Thanks to Eye Care Foundation’s work in 2012:
42 ophthalmologists were trained.
3,000 people were taught eye care essentials; enabling to help people around them or understand where to refer others.
26,000 eye surgeries and 410,000 eye examinations were performed.
Along with the locals, Eye Care Foundation strive to reduce the number of people with refractive errors and/or cataracts and to reduce blindness in children. These results are achieved primarily by launching mobile eye laboratories providing emergency eye care. Long-term, the aim is to create self supporting eye clinics that are integrated into society and financially self-sufficient.
Since 1999 Eye Care Foundation is working actively to enable those in relatively inaccessible rural areas in northern Vietnam to get the same access to good eye care as those living in big cities. In collaboration with the International Centre of Eyecare Education and the Vietnam National Institute for Eye Care, launching a number of courses in the area of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City is well on its way. In addition, it has successfully funded two students’ medical school education in India. To help Eye Care Foundation in their fight, Visiondirect.co.uk offered their services as a logical way to contribute to all the good Eye Care Foundation stands for.
For those of you that enjoy watching tutorials on YouTube rather than reading through loads of text, we are slowly but steadily building up our YouTube channel with educational content. Our opticians have lately been running some Hangouts, which now are available to view on YouTube. Feel free to ask us to create more tutorials and let us know what you find useful!
The purpose with this post is to enable contact lens users to understand prescriptions and use this knowledge to easily locate and buy the same or equivalent contact lenses online that was originally fitted by the optician.
1. If possible, locate sample lenses/trials
A way to easily locate the correct type and make of contact lenses suitable to your eyes, is to use the sample lenses (trials supplied by your optician). With the original lens containers and/or packaging available, you can compare measurements such as:
Use the search field on Visiondirect.co.uk and type the material name (e.g. “nelfilcon A“) to perform an effective search. If you find several products, narrow down your search by comparing the remaining parameters.
3. If no samples are available, read your contact lens prescription
Find your contactsby reading your contact lens prescription (the paperwork supplied by your optician). Contact lens prescriptions differ from spectacles prescriptions in the following ways:
If BC (base curve) and DIA (diameter) are missing, then you can be fairly certain that you are looking at a glasses prescription.
If your optician failed to mention that you need corrective toric lenses forastigmatism*, but you still see the values CYL (cylinder) and AXIS (measurement in degrees) printed on your paperwork, there is a risk you are looking at a spectacles prescription. When you do needtoric contact lenses, the make of lens, SPH, BC and DIA are normally supplied in addition.
The manufacturer, make and type of your contact lenses should normally be stated on the contact lens prescription (however, since some opticians do not take the time to make a note, this is not always the case.)
SPH or SPHERE is a measurement for the primary power or strength needed. For myopia (nearsightedness) the value is negative (-) and for hyperopia (farsightedness) the value supplied is positive (+).
ADD is an additional power and refers to presbyopic patients; one power (SPH) to correct nearsightedness and another power (ADD) to correct farsightedness. This is normally corrected by using varifocal (bifocal or multifocal) contact lenses orspectacles.
If you are still struggling with understanding your opticians’ handwriting or, despite advice above, cannot make out what contact lenses you need then feel free to:
We do however sell cleaning solution specifically for RGP lenses, such as Simplus and Boston Cleaner. Both solutions have more info under the descriptions and includes a user manual. We also sell some accessories and sunglasses that may be of interest to wearers of RGP contacts.
Since the big release of Avatar, 3D films are no longer the realm of science fiction. But for those of us who still have no idea how they work, it’s time to don our science caps, and dive into the, er, third dimension.
3D films essentially work by tricking your brain, and taking advantage of your stereoscopic vision. Our left and right eyes both see different perspectives of the same object, and these two images are then interpreted by the brain as the three dimensional object we see – this effect being stereoscopic vision. To create a similar effect, 3D films mimic our eyes, as they are filmed with 2 cameras, giving slightly different perspectives. In the cinema, 2 rolls of film are then projected onto the screen, giving an odd effect to the naked eye, and a 3D one when you use those snazzy glasses.
But, the other, more important trick that 3D films pull is by using something called polarised light. This is what gives the movies their 3D effect. The films are projected through polarizing filters, meaning that only light vibrating on a certain plane can go through. Images that are meant for your right eye are polarized on a vertical plane, whereas images that are meant for your left eye are projected on a horizontal plane. The 3D glasses then filter the images again, fooling the eye into seeing two separate images, just as you do with stereoscopic vision – and hence the 3D effect.
These movies are not for everyone, however, and there are stories of a significant minority of cinema goers experiencing nausea, dizziness, and headaches. Because the brain cannot adjust to changing points of focus and depth perceptions, you can be left with the feeling of motion sickness. Children can be susceptible to this, and whilst 3D movies don’t harm the eyes of adults, there is a possibility that they can harm the development of children’s eyes.
A possible solution to this problem is by having 3D contact lenses. Some companies are already working on using nanotechnology in contact lenses, and the same ideas could be applied to contact lenses. However, if you are a contact lens wearer and want to watch 3D movies at home or online, contact lenses that can be used instead of glasses have also been mooted. Any appearance of these ideas will be sometime in the future, so for the moment we can simply enjoy our favourite movies as they are re-released in 3D form.
So you’ve decided to make the jump from glasses to contact lenses. A brave move, some might say. But what’s this? There’s a strange feeling in the pit of your stomach: it gnaws, it nags, it twists, and it turns. Is it that kimchi side order from last night? No – it’s the Fear. But be still, gentle reader, for those of you who are new to the world of contact lenses, online advice is at hand.
The key to inserting contact lenses is to begentle. Oh, and relax. They’re your eyes, after all, and you don’t want to give yourself a poke in one of them. Putting on contact lenses for the first time is very different from putting on a pair of glasses, and your first, probably uncontrollable, reaction is most likely to recoil as your lens gets closer to your eye. So, relax. Take your time with it.
First up, get yourself a mirror. One of those magnifying ones you get in hotels or other people’s houses would be great, but if you don’t have one it’s not a big problem. A nice, clean surface over which to do battle is also recommended. Once those contact lenses are opened up, balance one on your index finger, with the edges facing up. Keeping it balanced there is the easy part, as the hard part is holding your eyelid open. Well, it seems hard at first, but after a few days of practice, you’ll find it all as easy as buying contact lenses online.
So, you’ve got the lens balanced on one index finger, and now using your other hand, hold your upper eye lid and lashes up against your brow. You’ll need to keep them out of the way of the lens, as nothing is worse than getting it all dirty and covered in lashes. Use your middle finger to hold your lower lid out of the way, and move your chin against your chest. Stay looking at the mirror – to see what you’re doing, rather than how odd you look – and have a glance up, so you expose the white of your eye. This is the key moment, so gently place your contact on your eye. Anywhere on your eye will do, and there are no points for accuracy. Try not to force the lens on, and fight the urge to close your eye as you bring the lens into contact with it. Once it’s on your eye, you can slide it over the cornea (the coloured part, to you and me), and bada boom, bada bing, as they say in New Jersey, you’ve inserted your very first contact lens!