Vision correction surgery, also called refractive and laser eyesurgery, is any surgical procedure used to correct vision problems. In recent years, tremendous advancements have been made in this field. After refractive and laser eye surgery, many patients report seeing better than they had at any other time in their lives.
Most types of vision correction surgery work by reshaping the cornea, or clear front part of the eye, so that light traveling through it is properly focused onto the retina located in the back of the eye. Other types involve replacing the eye’s natural lens. There are a number of different types of surgery to improve vision, including:
- LASIK: Short for laser in-situ keratomileusis, this laser eye surgery is used to correct vision in people who are nearsighted, farsighted, and/or have astigmatism. During LASIK surgery, vision is corrected by reshaping underlying corneal tissue so that it can properly focus light into the eye and onto the retina. LASIK eye surgery differs from others in that a flap is made in the outer layer of the cornea so that the underlying tissue can be accessed. LASIK may also be done with the addition of computer imaging called wavefront technology to create a detailed image of the cornea and guide for treatment.
- PRK: Short for photorefractive keratectomy, this laser eye surgery is used to correct mild to moderate nearsightedness, farsightedness, and/or astigmatism. During PRK surgery, an eye surgeon uses a laser to reshape the cornea. This laser, which delivers a cool pulsing beam of ultraviolet light, is used on the surface of the cornea, not underneath a flap of the cornea, like in LASIK eye surgery. PRK may also be done with computer imaging of the cornea.
- LASEK: Short for laser epithelial keratomileusis, this is a closely related variant of PRK. An epithelial flap is created and then epithelial cells are loosened using an alcohol solution. A laser is used to reshape the cornea, then the flap is replaced and secured with a soft contact lens while it heals. LASEK surgery is used to treatnearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism.
- RLE: Short for refractive lens exchange and also known as clear lens extraction, RLE is identical to the surgery done for cataracts and involves making a small incision at the edge of the cornea to remove the natural lens of the eye and replace it with a silicone or plastic lens. Also called PRELEX, clear lens exchange (CLE), clear lens extraction (CLE), and refractive lens replacement (RLR), RLE is used to correct extreme farsightedness or nearsightedness. It may be appropriate for people with thin corneas, dry eyes, or other minor problems of the cornea. To correct astigmatism, a LASIK or LASIK-related procedure can be combined with RLE.
- EpiLASIK: In this procedure,a very thin cell layer is separated from the cornea and then the internal cornea is reshaped with an excimer laser. Depending on the procedure chosen, the thin layer may be left off or replaced. The area is protected with a soft contact lens while it heals..
- PRELEX: Short for presbyopic lens exchange, PRELEX, is a procedure in which a multifocal lens is implanted to correct presbyopia, a condition in which the eye’s lens loses its flexibility, making it difficult to focus on close objects.
- Intacs: Also known as intracorneal ring segments, or ICR, this procedure involves making a small incision in the cornea and placing two crescent-shaped plastic rings at the outer edge or the cornea. The rings flatten the cornea, changing the way light rays focus on the retina. ICR was used to treat mild nearsightedness as well as nearsightedness but has been replaced by laser-based procedures. Irregular cornea shape from keratoconus, a condition that results invision loss due to thinning and irregularity in the cornea, is the most common condition treated with intacs.
- Phakic intraocular lens implants: Designed for patients who are too nearsighted for LASIK and PRK, the phakic implant is inserted through a small incision at the edge of the cornea and attached to the iris or inserted behind the pupil. This procedure differs from RLE in that the eye’s natural lens is left in place.
- AK or LRI : Short for astigmatic keratotomy, this is not laser eye surgery, but a surgical procedure used to correct astigmatism. The cornea of people who have astigmatism is shaped like a football. AK or LRI eye surgery corrects astigmatism by making one or two incisions at the steepest part of the cornea. These incisions cause the cornea to relax and take a more rounded shape. This eye surgery may be used alone, or in combination with other laser eye surgeries such as PRK, LASIK, or RK.
- RK: Short for radial keratotomy, this eye surgery was once one of the most frequently used procedures to correct nearsightedness. However, since the development of more effective laser eye surgeries, such as LASIK and PRK, RK is rarely used today and is considered an obsolete procedure.
# Are Refractive and Laser Eye Surgeries Safe and Effective?
While the good results of laser eye surgeries have been well documented, there are possible side effects. It is important to keep these side effects in mind when considering refractive or laser eye surgery.
- Infection and delayed healing. Infection resulting from PRK occurs in only one-tenth of 1% of patients. For LASIK eye surgery, this number is even smaller. If an infection does result from refractive or laser eye surgery, it generally means added discomfort and a longer healing process.
- Undercorrection or overcorrection. It is difficult to predict with absolute accuracy the success of refractive or laser eye surgery until the eye has healed properly. Patients may still need to wear corrective lenses even after laser eye surgery. Often surgeries resulting in imperfect corrections can be adjusted with a second laser eye surgery, called laser enhancement.
- Worse vision. Very rarely, the best achievable vision with or without glasses is worse after refractive or laser eye surgery than it was before. This could be a result of irregular tissue removal or excess corneal haze.
- Excess corneal haze. Corneal haze occurs as a part of the natural healing process after some refractive or laser eye surgeries. It usually has no effect on the final outcome of vision after laser eye surgery and can only be seen through an eye exam. Occasionally, however, this haze may affect a patient’s vision. A second refractive or laser eye surgery may be needed to correct it. The risk of corneal haze is much less with LASIK surgery than it is with PRK. Also, the use of amedication called mitomycin during PRK surgery is very effective at preventing haze after surgery.
- Regression. Sometimes the effects of refractive or laser eye surgery decrease over a period of months or years. When this happens, a second surgery is often recommended to achieve optimal results.
- Halo effect. The halo effect is an optical effect that occurs in dim light. As the pupil enlarges, the untreated area on the outside of the cornea produces a second image. Occurring sometimes in patients having LASIK laser eye surgery or PRK, this can affect and interfere with night driving, especially in patients who have big pupils in dark conditions. The use of wavefront technology and larger laser optical zones has dramatically decreased the incidence and severity of glare and halo after laser refractive procedures
- Flap damage or loss. This is a rare risk factor with LASIK laser eye surgery only. Because in LASIK there is a hinged flap on the central cornea, the flap may require repositioning during the first few days after surgery or, very rarely, after a severe direct injury to the eye.
Refractive and laser eye surgeries require healthy eyes that are free from retinal problems, corneal scars, and any eye disease.
Beyond side effects, there are other questions to ask before deciding on refractive or laser eye surgery, such as:
- Will your insurance cover the cost of laser eye surgery?
- How long will recovery take?
- What are the activity restrictions after laser eye surgery?
As technology progresses more and more, it is very important that you explore all options and possibilities before deciding which vision repair treatment is right for you.
# Broccoli and Brussels Sprouts
These related veggies come with another winning combination of nutrients: vitamin A (as lutein, zeaxanthin, and beta-carotene), vitamin C, and vitamin E. They’re all antioxidants that protect the cells in your eyes from free radicals, a type of unstable molecule that breaks down healthy tissue. Your retinas are especially vulnerable.
Your body can’t make lutein and zeaxanthin, but you can get them from squash all year long. Summer squash also has vitamin C and zinc. The winter kind will give you vitamins A and C as well as omega-3 fatty acids, too.
# Beans and Legumes
Prefer a vegetarian, low-fat, high-fiber option to help keep your vision sharp at night and slow AMD? Chickpeas are also high in zinc, as are black-eyed peas, kidney beans, and lentils. A can of baked beans will do the job, too.
# Lean Meat and Poultry
Zinc brings vitamin A from your liver to your retina, where it’s used to make the protective pigment melanin. Oysters have more zinc per serving than any other food, but you don’t have to be a shellfish lover to get enough: Beef, pork, and chicken (both dark and breast meat) are all good sources.
# Sweet Potatoes
Orange-colored fruits and vegetables — like sweet potatoes, carrots, cantaloupe, mangos, and apricots — are high in beta-carotene, a form of vitamin A that helps with night vision, your eyes’ ability to adjust to darkness. One sweet potato also has more than half the vitamin C you need in a day and a little vitamin E.
Your retinas need two types of omega-3 fatty acids to work right: DHA and EPA. You can find both in fatty fish, such as salmon, tuna, and trout, as well as other seafood. Omega-3s also seem to protect your eyes from AMD and glaucoma. Low levels of these fatty acids have been linked to dry eyes.
# Dark, Leafy Greens
Kale, spinach, and collard greens, for example, are rich in both vitamins C and E. They also have the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin. These plant-based forms of vitamin A lower your risk of long-term eye diseases, including AMD and cataracts. Most people who eat Western diets don’t get enough of them.
# Sunflower Seeds and Nuts
An ounce of these seeds or almonds has half the amount of vitamin E the USDA recommends for adults each day. A large study found that vitamin E, together with other nutrients, can help slow age-related macular degeneration (AMD) from getting worse. It may also help prevent cataracts. Hazelnuts, peanuts (technically legumes), and peanut butter are also good sources of vitamin E.
# Raw Red Peppers
Bell peppers give you the most vitamin C per calorie. That’s good for the blood vessels in your eyes, and science suggests it could lower your risk of getting cataracts. It’s found in many vegetables and fruits, including bok choy, cauliflower, papayas, and strawberries. Heat will break down vitamin C, so go raw when you can. Brightly colored peppers also pack eye-friendly vitamins A and E.
# Eat for Good Vision
Protecting your eyes starts with the food on your plate. Nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids, lutein, zinc, and vitamins C and E might help ward off age-related vision problems such as macular degeneration and cataracts, studies show. Regularly eating these foods can help lead to good eye health :
- Eggs, nuts, beans, and other non-meat protein sources
- Oranges and other citrus fruits or juices
- Green, leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale, and collards
- Salmon, tuna, and other oily fish
- Oysters and pork
- Eating a well-balanced diet also helps you maintain a healthy weight, which makes you less likely to get obesity-related diseases such as type 2 diabetes. Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness in adults.
# Quit Smoking
Smoking makes you more likely to get cataracts, optic nerve damage, and macular degeneration. If you’ve tried to quit smoking before and started smoking again, keep trying. The more times you try to quit smoking, the more likely you are to succeed.
# Wear Sunglasses
The right kind of sunglasses will help protect your eyes from the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays.
Too much UV exposure makes you more likely to get cataracts and macular degeneration.
Choose sunglasses that block 99% to 100% of both UVA and UVB rays. Wraparound lenses help protect your eyes from the side. Polarized lenses reduce glare when driving.
If you wear contact lenses, some offer UV protection. It’s still a good idea to wear sunglasses for more protection, though.
# Use Safety Eyewear
If you work with hazardous or airborne materials on the job or at home, wear safety glasses or protective goggles every time.
Certain sports such as ice hockey, racquetball, and lacrosse can also lead to eye injury. Wear eye protection (such as helmets with protective face masks or sports goggles with polycarbonate lenses) to shield your eyes.
# Look Away From the Computer Screen
Staring at a computer screen for too long can cause:
- Blurry vision
- Trouble focusing at a distance
- Dry eyes
- Neck, back, and shoulder pain
Taking the following steps to protect your eyes:
- Make sure your glasses or contact lens prescription is up-to-date and adequate for computer use.
- Some people may need glasses to help with contrast, glare, and eye strain when using a computer.
- Position your computer so that your eyes are level with the top of the monitor. This allows you to look slightly down at the screen.
- Try to avoid glare on your computer from windows and lights. Use an anti-glare screen if needed.
- Choose a comfortable, supportive chair. Position it so that your feet are flat on the floor.
- If your eyes are dry, blink more.
- Every 20 minutes, rest your eyes by looking 20 feet away for 20 seconds. At least every 2 hours, get up and take a 15-minute break.
# Visit Your Eye Doctor Regularly
Everyone, even young children, should get their eyes examined regularly. It helps you protect your sight and see your best.
Eye exams can also find some eye diseases, such as glaucoma, that have no symptoms. It’s important to find these diseases early on, when they’re easier to treat.
Depending on your eye health needs, you can see either an optometrist or an ophthalmologist for an eye exam. Ophthalmologists are medical doctors who specialize in eye care. They can provide general eye care, treat eye diseases, and perform eye surgery. Optometrists have had 4 years of specialized training after college. They provide general eye care and treat the most common eye diseases. They don’t do eye surgery.
A comprehensive eye exam might include:
- Talking about your personal and family medical history
- Taking vision tests to see if you have nearsightedness, farsightedness,astigmatism (a curved cornea that blurs vision), or presbyopia (age-related vision changes)
- Tests to see how well your eyes work together
- Eye pressure and optic nerve tests to check if you have glaucoma
- External and microscopic examination of your eyes before and after dilation
You might also need other tests.
Deficiency in the blood glucose level leads to the diabetes which is commonly occurred due to lack or absence of hormone called insulin in the body which is produced by pancreas. Diabetes is of two types, one which occurs commonly in people who are above 30 years, after getting older the hormone insulin is produced insufficiently by which glucose level cannot be balanced, proper diet and taking medicines keeps it stable. The other type is generally seen in people below 30 years, for whom insulin is not at all produced, they depend on insulin injection to maintain the glucose levels.
Some of the symptoms for diabetes are: enhanced thirst and hunger, sudden weight loss, fatigue, excessive urination and cuts or bruises take long time to heal.
Diabetes is very dangerous health disorder and may lead to cardiovascular diseases, retinopathy, amputation of effected leg or any part of the body, kidney disease or may even lead to blindness. You can cure diabetes using natural herbs, nutrients and vitamins instead of synthetic drugs.
There are natural remedies to stay away from diabetes, and maintain blood glucose levels. Here are top 10 home remedies for Diabetes :
Water helps in mobilizing the sugar contents that are present in the body which controls cause of diabetes and also helps in maintaining glucose levels. Consuming 2.5 litres of water daily shows best results in people suffering from diabetes.
Guava contains Vitamin C and fiber in it, with is more important for the people suffering from diabetes. Standard blood glucose level can be maintained eating guava everyday by peeling the skin off. Excess intake of guava is not suggested.
# Mango leaves
Soaking few mango leaves that are delicate and tender in water for a whole night and consuming it in the morning with empty stomach helps you stay away from diabetes. Powdering these leaves by drying them and taking half a teaspoon twice a day also controls diabetes.
Four teaspoons of cinnamon powder should be mixed with water and should be boiled in a low flame. Consuming this extract as a routine helps you maintain the blood glucose levels. Pinch of cinnamon with warm water also helps in curing diabetes.
Leaves, berries and seeds of jambul plant helps in balancing the glucose levels in blood, for them who are suffering from diabetes. This is available in market only in a certain season, which can be included with the routine diet. Making this habit helps in effective functioning of pancreas. Powder from seeds of jambul plant taken with water for every two days also helps.
# Bitter Gourd
First thing that is to be done by them who is suffering from diabetes is having the juice that is extracted from the bitter gourd with empty stomach commonly early in the morning. Following this remedy daily for few months helps to maintain glucose levels.
Diabetes can also be controlled by a herb called fenugreek. These fenugreek seeds should be soaked in water for a whole night and should be taken early in the morning, without eating anything prior to it. Powder of fenugreek seeds mixed with milk also helps you keep away from this disease. Making it daily routine for few months controls blood sugar levels.
Mixing gel that is extracted from aloe vera, bay leaf and turmeric powder in equal ratios and consuming the obtained solution daily before your meal helps you control the blood sugar level which in turn kepps you free from diabetes.
# Indian gooseberry
Vitamin C is rich in Indian gooseberry or Amla helps pancreas to produce insulin in sufficient levels to maintain blood glucose levels. Two teaspoons of juice that is taken from the Indian gooseberry should be mixed with glass of water is essential to consume every morning with empty stomach to keep yourself from diabetes. Making a habit of having mixture of bitter gourd juice with Indian gooseberry juice in equal ratios also helps in curing diabetes.
Sunlight produces Vitamin D which helps in the production of insulin helping in maintaining the blood glucose levels. Enjoy exposing to sunlight for few minutes early in the morning which helps in gaining Vitamin D and keeps you healthy.
Healthy food should be taken in parallel following these remedies helps you stay away from diabetes and keeps you fit and healthy. Exercise should also be considered as a routine. Taking advice of nutritionist regularly is also very important to stay healthy.
Exercise helps you in creating a healthy digestive environment. It allows the food to move quickly through the large intestine. This helps in reducing the water loss in the stool. Efficient movement of the stools is also contributed by regular exercise as the intestinal muscles contract during working out.
Increasing physical activity will improve digestion by increasing the metabolism. It helps in burning calories and also helps you in strengthening your body. Good health is medically recognized as being hungry and lack of appetite as a symptom of poor health.
You are suggested to do exercise on a full stomach as it helps you in stimulating good digestion. Generally these exercises are practiced after every meal you take. Mentioned below are a few exercises that not only help you in improving digestion but also maintain overall health.
# Exercise 1
This exercise should be done by bringing both of your hands up, putting it straight with the middle of your body. Keep your palms facing towards the ground, pointing the fingers towards each other and bring them close.
Now slowly move your hands away from your body, but keep them parallel with the middle of your body or the solar plexus. Remember that you need to move your hands as far as possible; this makes you feel that you are pulling something out of the solar plexus. Then gently return to the original position. Repeat this exercise for 20 -30 times for better results.
# Exercise 2
This exercise includes the first exercise as well. In the first exercise, while rising and lowering your hands stop and hold at different levels within the mid section. Generally there are 5 areas that require this treatment particularly after each meal.
- The solar plexus
- The midsection of the solar plexus and the navel
- The navel
- The area below the navel (area that is around three fingers below the navel)
- The belly (area above the pubic bone)
Thus, while practicing the above exercise, change the starting position of the hands and palms respectively and wonk on the lower areas. Usually, the change should occur at the navel area, but you can start from any section that is comfortable to you.
# Exercise 3
This exercise can be practiced by bringing the backs of the hands together with your finger tips pointing down and almost touching each other. Remember that the fingers should point the ground. The hands should be placed above the solar plexus. Once the position of the hands is set move them down towards the midline.
You can get a feeling of movement down the midline at the equivalent speed as the hands. Once the hands reach the pelvis area, the sensation continues all the way through the legs and then into the ground.
But before practicing this exercise, you have to do the previous exercises well. This makes the movement of the hands through the midline unobstructed. If you feel obstructed, then repeat the Exercise 1 at the belly level or wherever you sense the obstruction. After doing this the area feels lighter, then you can get along with the Exercise 3.
Practicing the exercise for some time, you can possibly experience a feeling of stroking the spine. You can sense the midline of the belly being opened up. This helps you in opening the digestion system and improving metabolism.
At this point, it is very important to differentiate between sensations that represent various stages of digestion. The 3 sensations are:
- The feeling of fullness, which is experienced after having a large meal, in this the midline, feels obstructed
- The mid-line is clear due to the physical activity, but still you are not hungry
- The mid-line is clear, but you are hungry and have to eat again
Identifying these three phases helps you in regulating the digestion and also in attaining weight loss. But many people find it difficult to sense the second stage as you cannot distinguish between feeling clear and feeling hungry.
Practicing the above exercises not only helps you in improving digestion but also in promoting emotional balance. It clears other health aspects and strengthens your whole body.
Many people face various digestive problems almost all the times. You can prevent these digestive problems and get a healthy digestive system by following these simple tips:
# Eat high-fibre foods
Diet will be balanced if it contains both insoluble and soluble fibre, which keeps the food moving through digestive system. It helps you promote healthy digestion by removing waste from your body. Fibre helps you reduce the risk of colon cancer; controls blood sugar also reduces cholesterol and helps you in managing your body weight.
# Eat regularly
Even on a busy day, take enough time to eat. Do not skip breakfast, lunch, snacks and dinner and eat them approximately the same time every day. Eat small meals spread throughout the day. This helps the food to move easily through your digestive tract. Do not have a heavy meal at night as the digestive system may disturb your sleep.
# Keep away from foods that upset your stomach
You may be allergic or find some foods that upset your stomach. Some foods that cause a digestive problem are: spicy, fried, alcohol, dairy products or some gas producing foods.
If you are suffering from any of the problems such as gas, heart burn, celiac disease, irritable bowel syndrome or inflammatory bowel disease, then the above mentioned foods should be avoided.
# Keep moving your body
Exercising regularly keeps the food moving through your digestive tract. Take small walks and avoid using elevator instead of it start using stairs to make you physically active. If you’re an adult then you need no less than 150 minutes of exercise a week.
The eye depends on the flow of tears to provide constant moisture and lubrication to maintain vision and comfort. Tears are a combination of water, for moisture; oils, for lubrication; mucus, for even spreading; and antibodies and special proteins, for resistance to infection. These components are secreted by special glands located around the eye. When there is an imbalance in this tear system, a person may experience dry eyes.
When tears do not adequately lubricate the eye, a person may experience:
- Light sensitivity
- A gritty sensation
- A feeling of a foreign body or sand in the eye
- Blurring of vision
Sometimes, a person with a dry eye will have excess tears running down the cheeks (called “reflex tearing”), which may seem confusing. This happens when the eye is irritated from dry eyes. The eye sends a distress signal through the nervous system for more lubrication. In response, the eye is flooded with tears to try to compensate for the underlying dryness (it’s similar to getting sand in your eye which causes your eye to tear a lot). However, these tears are mostly water and do not have the lubricating qualities or the rich composition of normal tears. They will wash debris away, but they will not coat the eye surface properly.
# What Causes Dry Eyes?
In addition to an imbalance in the tear-flow system of the eye, dry eyes can be caused by situations that dry out the tear film. This can be due to dry air from air conditioning, heat, or other environmental conditions. Other conditions that may cause dry eyes are:
- The natural aging process, especially menopause
- Side effects of certain drugs such as antihistamines and birth control pills
- Diseases that affect the ability to make tears, such as Sjogren’s syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, and collagen vascular diseases
- Structural problems with the eyelids that don’t allow them to close properly
# How Are Dry Eyes Treated?
There are a number of steps that can be taken to treat dry eyes. You should discuss treatment options with an eye care specialist. Treatments for dry eyes may include:
- Artificial tear drops and ointments. The use of artificial teardrops is the primary treatment for dry eye. Artificial teardrops are available over the counter. No one drop works for everyone, so you might have to experiment to find the drop that works for you. If you have chronic dry eye, it is important to use the drops even when your eyes feel fine, to keep them lubricated. If your eyes dry out while you sleep, you can use a thicker lubricant, such as an ointment, at night and/or consider sleeping with air tight goggles that create a mini “moisture chamber” for your eyes.
- Temporary punctal occlusion. Sometimes it is necessary to close the ducts that drain tears out of the eye. This may be done temporarily with a dissolving plug that is inserted into the tear drain of the lower eyelid to determine whether permanent plugs can provide an adequate supply of tears.
- Non-dissolving punctal plugs and punctal occlusion by cautery (application of heat to tear exit duct). If temporary plugging of the tear drains works well, then longer-lasting plugs or cautery may be used or your doctor may decide to bypass the temporary plug and use a permanent plug. These measures increase the tear level by blocking the “drainpipe” through which tears normally exit the eye and enter the nose. The plugs can be easily removed. Rarely, the plugs may come out spontaneously or migrate down the tear drain. Many patients with particularly bothersome dry eyes find that the plugs or surgical occlusion (cautery) improve comfort and reduce the need for artificial tears.
- Lipiflow. Lipiflow is a medical device that uses heat and pressure on the eyelids to unclog blocked glands. These glands produce oil as part of the tear film. The oil lubricates the eye and prevents the tears from evaporating.
- Testosterone cream. Harvard medical school research has shown dry eye can be related in a number of people to not enough testosterone in the eyelids oil glands. You can discuss with your doctor the use of testosterone cream for the eyelids to help the oil glands function better.
- Restasis. The FDA approved the prescription eye drop Restasis for the treatment of chronic dry eye. It helps your eyes increase their own tear production with continued use.
- Xiidra. Approved in 2016, Xiidra is a new class of drug called lymphocyte function-associated antigen 1. Used for the signs and symptoms of dry eye. These eye drops are taken twice daily to stimulate tear production.
- Other medications and nutrition. Other medications, including steroid eyedrops, can be used for short periods of time as an adjunct to other long-term measures. There is growing evidence that increasing the oral intake of fish oil and omega-3 via diet or supplement is very helpful to those suffering with dry eye.
# How Long Can I Wear My Lenses?
Replace your lenses as often as the doctor suggests, even if you don’t wear them every day. For instance, if you have the disposable kind that are good for one wearing, throw them out after you’ve worn them once, even if they still feel fresh. When you wear lenses for more days than you should, or when you sleep in lenses that aren’t made for overnight wear, you raise your risk of eye infections.
# Before You Touch Your Lenses
Always wash your hands before you put your lenses in or take them out. Don’t lather up with oily or heavily scented soaps. Lenses can cling to wet hands, so dry your hands well with a lint-free towel. If you want to use a moisturizer, wait until after you’ve put in your lenses. The residue from lotions can stick to them.
# Putting in Your Lenses
Start with the same eye each time so you don’t mix up the right and left lenses. Use your index finger to slide the lens out of the package or case and into the palm of your hand. Rinse it with the solution recommended by your eye doctor. Place the lens on the tip of your index finger. Pull your lower lid down with the middle finger of the same hand and hold your upper lid with your other hand. Place the lens directly on the iris of your eye. Gently release your lids, and blink.
# Removing Your Lenses
First, wash your hands before removing any lenses. To take out soft lenses, pull down your lower lid. Look up or to the side, and gently move your lens to the white of your eye. Using your thumb and index finger, gently pinch the lens and lift it off your eye. For gas-permeable lenses, open your eyes wide and pull the skin near the corner of your eye toward your ear. Bend over your open palm and blink. The lens should pop out into your palm.
# Cleaning and Storage
There are many ways to clean lenses. A multipurpose solution lets you clean, rinse, disinfect, and store your lenses. Some systems have separate products for cleaning and rinsing. “No-rub” solutions say that rinsing alone will clean the lenses, but research suggests that rubbing cleans better. With hydrogen peroxide solution you put your lenses in a basket that goes in a cup of solution. Never use this solution to rinse your lenses.
# Water and Lenses Don’t Mix
If you’re out of contact lens solution, you might be tempted to rinse your lenses with tap water. Don’t do it! Water sometimes has microbes that can cause serious eye infections. Don’t even wear contacts in the shower. And never put your lenses into your mouth or use saliva to wet them.
# The Case Matters, Too
Clean your lens case as carefully as you clean your lenses. You should rinse it at least every night with disinfecting solution. Wipe the case with a tissue and let it air dry to help get rid of lingering bacteria. Replace your case every 3 months or more often.
# When Your Lenses Hurt
A lens might feel uncomfortable if there’s something on or under it or if it’s inside out. Take the lens out and rinse it with rewetting drops or a non-peroxide solution to remove the dirt or dust. Don’t keep wearing your contact lenses if they stay uncomfortable. And don’t wear them when your eyes are already red and irritated. If you’re not better after you stop wearing them, see an eye doctor.
# Teens and Contact Lenses
Mature teenagers can wear lenses as long as they learn to take care of them and can be trusted to follow all care instructions exactly. Disposable lenses that are worn just 1 day are a good option. There’s no cleaning or care involved. Work with your eye doctor to find the best contacts for you. Never try on a friend’s lenses. An eye doctor has to fit contact lenses perfectly to your eyes. The doctor can give you samples to make sure the chosen lenses fit well.
# Makeup Tips for Lens Wearers
- Put on soft contact lenses before you apply makeup. Put on gas-permeable lensesafter you’ve put on your makeup. Always take lenses out before you take off your makeup.
- Use non-allergenic makeup. Avoid metallic or glittery eye shadows and liners, and lash-lengthening or waterproof mascara. These can irritate or stain your lenses.
- Don’t apply eyeliner to your inner rims, between your lashes and your eye.
- Replace your eye makeup at least every 3 months.
# Contact Lenses and Sports
You can wear your lenses for most sports and activities. They rarely move or fall out. Plus, they don’t fog up like glasses, and they give you better peripheral vision. If you swim, though, especially in lakes, avoid wearing your contacts in the water. Even with watertight goggles, you can get an eye infection from water, and your lenses can be hard to take out if they get wet. If you do accidentally wear them in the water, use saline or rewetting drops to loosen them and clean and disinfect them afterward.
# Keep Your Glasses
Even after you get contact lenses, you’ll probably still wear glasses sometimes. You should keep a pair of up-to-date prescription glasses for when your eyes need a break or if you can’t wear your contacts for some reason. You should also have sunglasses to protect your eyes from damaging UV light. Choose sunglasses that block 99% of UV light and wear them — especially in the sun, when you’re driving, and around snow, water, or sand.
# Decorative and Cosmetic Lenses
It might look cool to have cat’s eyes for Halloween or change your eye color just for fun. Decorative and cosmetic lenses can be safe, but make sure you get them from an eye doctor. It’s actually illegal to sell decorative lenses without a prescription in the U.S. Ill-fitting contact lenses can scratch your eye or cause an eye infection.
# Your Eyes and Your Screens
Teens and young adults spend hours in front of computers, televisions, and cell phones. All that screen time can cause computer vision and eye strain problems. We blink less when we’re focusing up close like that, so eyes can get dry and tired. To help, try the 20-20-20 rule. Every 20 minutes, take a 20-second break from the screen to look at something 20 feet away.
# Visit an Eye Doctor
If you’re thinking about contact lenses, see an eye doctor first. Contacts come in different materials, shapes, and strengths that don’t match the prescription for your glasses. An optometrist or an ophthalmologist can find the right prescription and fit lenses exactly to your eyes. Even if you want to buy contact lenses online, you’ll still need to see an eye doctor first.
Sure, there’s a cool factor at play here. But when you slip on your favorite pair of shades before you go outside — every time you go outside — there’s more going on than just a nice look. It matters for a lot of reasons.
First, you’ll ward off those little wrinkles at the corners of your eyes. They come from too much time in the sun. You’ll protect the whites of your eyes from damage and block that eyeball-searing ultraviolet (UV) light.
So grab those shades before you head for the beach, or the park, or anywhere outside — whether it’s bright or cloudy. And buy some for the kids in your life, too.
Follow these rules to pick a pair that look good and protect your peepers.
# UV Protection
The sun gives off UV radiation that you can’t see or feel. In small doses, it boosts vitamin D. But too much of it can cause problems like sunburn and skin cancer. It can also damage your eyes.
Before you even check the price tag, read the label. Do these glasses block 100% of both UVA and UVB rays? If not, leave them on the rack.
Too much UV light can cause cataracts. It can also destroy the retina, the lining at the back of your eyes that helps you see clearly. It could even cause tissue to grow over your eyeball.
UV light can cause changes in cells that lead to skin cancer, Bishop says. It may not lead to cancer in your eyes, but it can thicken tissues around them and cause discomfort.
A pair that doesn’t fit well can let UV rays seep onto your skin and into your eyes.
“I look at something that fits the face well,” says optometrist Fraser Horn, OD. “I don’t want it up touching the eyelashes, but I also don’t want it pushed way out. And I want something that lines up with your brow.”
Sunglasses that wrap around your eyes can help block stray UV light. They can also keep out sand and allergens. Those things aren’t good for your eyes, either.
# Polarized Lenses
You might see better through them when there’s tons of light around. But they can make it harder to see things like computer screens, smartphones, or dashboards.
# Darkness and Color
Your pupil, the black dot at the center of your eye, controls how much light gets in. When you wear darkened lenses, the pupil opens more to let in more light. If your sunglasses aren’t rated to block UV rays, you might let even more into the back of your eye.
What’s best: Shatterproof glass? Plastic? Some newfangled polycarbonate material? Again, it’s a matter of taste. How well they help you see matters a lot, too. Some lenses, especially the more curved ones, can cause distortion. But that’s not always the case.
“If you’re stopping by the gas station on the way to the lake to pick up sunglasses, you’re more likely to have something of lesser quality,” Horn says. But a higher price tag doesn’t always equal great image quality, he adds.
# Sunglasses for All
When you pick out your new shades, remember this: Get some for the kids you know. And be sure they wear them, sunny or not.
A 2014 survey by the American Academy of Ophthalmology found that only 32% of parents make their kids wear sunglasses that are rated to block UV light.
“Whenever you’re thinking, ‘Hmmm, I should be using sunscreen,’ you should be wearing sunglasses,” too, Bishop says. “As a parent, you should be aware that [kids] start accumulating that sun damage just as soon as there’s exposure. Kids wearing sunglasses is an important thing.”
Plus, it’s a pretty cool look.
Contact lenses have come a long way and offer some exciting options. You can bat a pair of baby blues one day, then flash golden tiger eyes the next. You can even toss disposable lenses in the trash each night.
For people with vision problems, contacts remain an effective, almost invisible tool. The thin plastic lenses fit over yourcornea — the clear, front part of your eye — to correct vision problems including nearsightedness,farsightedness, or astigmatism. You can wear contacts even if you have presbyopia and need bifocals.
Talk with your eye doctor about the best type of lenses for you, and get your regular eye exams so you not only keep your eyes healthy but also keep your contact prescription up to date.
# Soft Contact Lenses
Soft contacts are made of a type of plastic combined with water. Water lets oxygen pass through the contact lens to your cornea, which increases comfort, reduces dry eyes, and helps keep your cornea healthy. If your cornea doesn’t get enough oxygen, it may swell, get cloudy, and lead to blurred vision or problems that are more serious.
Benefits. Many soft lenses are disposable, so you can throw them away after using them for a short time. Having a fresh pair of soft contacts means less chance of infection, less cleaning, and more comfort.
Some soft lenses are not disposable. You wear the same pair for about a year, cleaning them each night. These are typically more “custom” designed contact lenses.
As a bonus, many soft lenses provide UV protection.
Disadvantages. Soft contacts more easily absorb pollutants than both hard and rigid gas-permeable lenses. They soak up all kinds of things that can irritate your eyes — smoke and sprays in the air and lotion or soap on your hands.
Soft contact lenses are also more fragile and rip or tear more easily than hard or gas-permeable lenses.
Varieties. New types of soft lenses continue to come to market as new technologies develop.
- Daily disposables are soft contacts that you wear only for one day and then throw away, which means you don’t have to clean them regularly or risk dry eye and irritation from contact solutions. If you have allergies, daily disposables may be the right choice for you.
- Silicone-based materials create an extremely breathable contact lens, meaning that oxygen can pass through your lens to your cornea. This material also keeps deposits from building up, so these lenses cause less irritation from dry eyes. Some silicone contacts are FDA-approved for extended wear, so they can be worn for up to 30 days. But many eye doctors advise patients to remove any type of contact lens at bedtime. Since your cornea gets less oxygen when you sleep in your contacts, the risk of very serious complications is higher. Make sure you balance convenience with safety when deciding on contact lenses. To prevent problems, follow directions on the lenses, and see your eye doctor for regular checkups. Silicone lenses are not for everyone so talk with your eye care professional if you’re interested in them.
# Colored, Soft Contacts
They’re hip, they’re fun, and colored contacts can be quite practical for some.
- Visibility tint lenses are lightly tinted so you can find your lens if you drop it. They aren’t tinted enough to affect the color of your eyes.
- Enhancement tint lenses have a translucent tint to enhance your natural eye color. These tints are slightly darker than a visibility tint.
- Color tint lenses are darker, opaque, and change the color of your eyes. Specialty colors include amethyst, violet, and green.
Remember, colored contact lenses are a medical device just like clear lenses and you should only get them from eye care professionals. Never share colored contact lenses with anyone. Clean and care for them just as you would any prescription contact lens.
# Rigid Gas-Permeable Lenses
As the name suggests, these lenses are more rigid than soft contacts. Made from silicone materials, rigid gas-permeable lenses let oxygen pass through them to your cornea.
Benefits. You may have clearer vision with rigid gas-permeable contacts than with soft lenses. They correct substantial astigmatism. They are easy to take care of and are extremely durable.
If you are severely nearsighted or are nearsighted and haveastigmatism, you may get the best vision correction from gas-permeable lenses. But you may decide — as others have — that you’ll be satisfied with good, rather than optimal, vision correction and choose soft lenses, which are generally more comfortable.
# Bifocal Contacts
There are many bifocal contact lens options. You need a professional fitting and evaluation to determine which bifocal design is best for your needs.
As you age, the lens in your eye loses the ability to focus from far to near — the condition is presbyopia. Many people realize they have presbyopia when they start to have trouble reading.
If you have trouble with both near and far vision, bifocal lenses are one answer. A bifocal contact has both the distance prescription and near prescription in one lens. Bifocal contacts are available in both soft and rigid gas-permeable types.
Another option for correcting near and far vision, called monovision, involves wearing a contact in one eye for distance and a contact in the other eye for close vision. This can take a while to get used to. Each eye must work more independently, making good binocular vision difficult, which can cause problems with depth perception. That can make driving difficult. You may have to adjust your gaze more often to allow one eye or the other to see properly.
Another monovision option is wearing a bifocal lens in one eye, which makes driving easier, and wearing a single-vision lens in the other eye.
Some people choose contacts for seeing in the distance and wear reading glasses over their contacts, when necessary.
# Toric Lenses for Astigmatism
If you have astigmatism and want to wear contacts, you’ll need a toric lens. Made from the same material as other contacts, toric lenses come in soft or rigid gas-permeable forms, extended wear, and even in colored lenses. Like bifocal lenses, toric lenses have two powers in one lens, one for astigmatism, and another for nearsightedness or farsightedness.
# Lenses That Reshape the Cornea
If you are nearsighted, your eye care professionals may recommend orthokeratology, or ortho-k for short. This is a type of treatment using a special contact lens to reshape your cornea and ultimately improve vision. The treatment results in a temporary improvement in vision that only lasts as long as the contact lenses are worn regularly. Ortho-k may be most effective if you are only mildly nearsighted.
Some eye care professionals have used these lenses for years. When the FDA approved them for sleeping, they became more popular.
Still, ortho-k is not extremely common because laser vision correction has the same result in less time and is not temporary. Laser surgery is also now an option if your job – such as a military or airline pilot — was one of those that didn’t allow correction with lasers in the past.
If you can’t have laser surgery, ask your eye care professional if ortho-k could work for you.
Pinkeye — also called conjunctivitis — is redness and inflammation of the clear membranes covering the whites of the eyes and the membranes on the inner part of the eyelids. Pinkeye is most often caused by a virus or by a bacterial infection, although allergies, chemical agents, and underlying diseases can also play a role.
# Is Pinkeye Contagious?
Viral and bacterial pinkeye are extremely contagious. It’s easily spread through poor hand washing or by sharing an object (like a towel) with someone who has it. It can also spread through coughing and sneezing. Kids diagnosed with infectious pinkeye should stay out of school or day care for a short period of time. Allergic pinkeye (caused by seasonal pollens, animal dander, cosmetics, and perfumes) and chemical pinkeye (from chemicals or liquids, including bleach and furniture polish) are not contagious.
# Symptom: Eye Redness
Redness of the eye is the typical, telltale symptom of pinkeye. Pinkeye is a common condition that is rarely serious and unlikely to cause long-term eye or vision damage if promptly detected and treated.
# Symptom: Swollen, Red Eyelids
The symptoms of infectious pinkeye typically begin in one eye and involve the other eye within a few days. Symptoms of allergic pinkeye usually involve both eyes. Swelling of the eyelids is more common with bacterial and allergic pinkey
# Symptom: Lots of Tearing
Viral and allergic pinkeye are known for causing more tear production than usual.
# Symptom: Itchy or Burning Eyes
You would know it if you felt it — that overwhelming itchy, burning feeling in the eyes, which is typical of pinkeye.
# Symptom: Drainage from the Eyes
A clear, watery drainage is common with viral and allergic pinkeye. When the drainage is more greenish-yellow (and there’s a lot of it), this is likely bacterial pinkeye.
# Symptom: Crusty Eyelids
If you wake up with your eyes “stuck shut,” this may be caused by the discharge that accumulates during sleep from pinkeye.
# Symptom: Sensitivity to Light
Pinkeye can cause mild sensitivity to light. A person who has severe symptoms, such as changes in eyesight, severe light sensitivity, or severe pain may have an infection that has spread beyond the conjunctiva and should be examined by a doctor.
# Symptom: ‘Something in the Eye’
You may notice a bothersome feeling like something is stuck in your eye. Or, a child may describe the feeling as sand in the eye.
# Pinkeye Diagnosis
A doctor can often diagnose pinkeye just by its distinguishing signs and symptoms. However a slit lamp exam may be required. In some cases, a swab of the discharge from the eye is sent to a lab to determine the cause.
# When Pinkeye Means Something More
Persistent pinkeye could be from a severe allergy or infection that needs treatment. Also, the eyelid could be irritated called blepharitis, or the cornea called dry eye. Rarely, it is a sign of an illness in the body like rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus (lupus), or inflammatory bowel diseases, such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. Pinkeye is also seen in Kawasaki disease – a rare disease associated with fever in infants and young children.
# Treating Pinkeye
Bacterial pinkeye is treated with antibiotic eyedrops, ointment, or pills to clear the infection. Most viral pinkeye cases have no specific treatment — you just have to let the virus run its course, which is usually four to seven days. Allergic pinkeye symptoms should improve once the allergen source is removed and the allergy itself is treated. Chemical pinkeye requires prompt washing of the affected eye(s) for five minutes and an immediate call to the doctor.
# Easing Symptoms
To reduce pain and to remove the discharge of bacterial or viral pinkeye, use a cold or warm compress on the eyes. Make sure to use a different washcloth for each eye to prevent spreading any infection. And use clean washcloths each time. Clean the eye from drainage by wiping from the inside to the outside of the eye area.
# How Long Am I Contagious?
With bacterial pinkeye, you can usually return to work or school 24 hours after antibiotics have been started, as long as symptoms have improved. With viral pinkeye, you are contagious as long as the symptoms last. Check with your doctor to be certain.
# Preventing Its Spread
If you or your child has infectious pinkeye, avoid touching the eye area, and wash your hands frequently, particularly after applying medications to the area. Never share towels or handkerchiefs, and throw away tissues after each use. Change linens and towels daily. Disinfect all surfaces, including countertops, sinks, and doorknobs. Throw away any makeup used while infected.