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How to Deal with Contact Lens Discomfort

Do your eyes itch or burn when wearing contact lenses? There are several reasons why you may be experiencing contact lens discomfort. Discover the possible causes behind the problem and see what you can do to relieve your discomfort.

What Causes Contact Lens Discomfort?

Some of the top causes of uncomfortable contacts are:

Dry eyes

Dry eye syndrome is a common condition that arises when your tears can’t keep your eyes sufficiently lubricated due to an imbalance in the tear film. Certain diseases, medications and environmental factors, like high levels of dryness and wind, can cause or contribute to red, itchy or irritated eyes, especially when wearing contacts.

Allergies

Allergens are typically harmless substances that induce an allergic response in certain people. Pollen, mold, dust and pet dander are some of the most common airborne allergens that trigger eye allergies. Cosmetics and certain eye drops, such as artificial tears with preservatives, can also induce eye allergies, which can make contact lens wear uncomfortable.

Corneal irregularities

The cornea at the front of the eye may be irregularly shaped due to astigmatism, keratoconus, eye surgeries (i.e. LASIK or cataract surgery), eye injuries or burns, scarring, corneal ulcers and/or severe dry eye. Irregular corneas often prevent traditional contact lenses from fitting correctly and comfortably.

Symptoms of Contact Lens Discomfort

  • Burning, itchy, stinging eyes
  • Sensation of something being stuck is in the eye
  • Excessive watering or tearing of the eyes
  • Unusual eye secretions
  • Redness of the eyes
  • Reduced sharpness of vision
  • Blurred vision, rainbows, or halos around objects
  • Sensitivity to light

How to Relieve Contact Lens Discomfort

Try Different Contact Lenses

Nowadays, there are many types of contact lenses on the market, including specialty contacts for dry eyes and astigmatism. Meet with our optometrist for a personalized eye exam for contacts.

With the variety of contact lens brands available, switching to a different contact lens may be the simplest answer if you’re experiencing discomfort that isn’t connected to improper fitting or issues with tear production. If your existing lenses fit well but still irritate and dry out your eyes, speak to us about trying a different design or brand of contact lenses, or changing your lens-wearing schedule.

Artificial Tears or Eye Drops

Over-the-counter artificial tears or eye drops are a common way to temporarily relieve contact lens discomfort. However, it’s important to keep in mind that unless prescribed by an eye doctor, they may not be treating the root of the problem.

Moreover, certain eye drops are incompatible with contact lenses, and may damage your contacts or harm your eyes. We also recommend staying away from products that claim to remove redness from your eyes, which temporarily reduce the size of blood vessels to lessen redness, but do not address the underlying cause of the condition, and can actually worsen it over time.

Take Good Care of Your Lenses

Inadequate contact lens care leaves residue on your lenses, which can discomfort, harmful eye infections and inflammation. Below are a few important contact lens hygiene guidelines to follow:

  • Before handling your contact lenses, thoroughly wash and dry your hands.
  • Remove your lenses before showering, bathing or swimming to prevent infection.
  • Do not sleep in your contact lenses (unless they are approved for sleeping).
  • Replace your contact lenses according to the manufacturer’s instructions (e.g., don’t reuse daily wear lenses).
  • Regularly clean your contact lens case and ask your eye doctor when to replace it.
  • Only use a contact lens solution that is appropriate for your lenses.
  • Never reuse or mix contact lens solutions.
  • Schedule regular appointments with your eye doctor.

If you are experiencing discomfort with your contact lenses, get in touch with Professional VisionCare in Lewis Center today. We’ll get to the bottom of the problem and provide effective solutions for all-day comfort.

Q&A

What kinds of contacts are available?

Contact lenses are available in a wide range of materials and replacement schedules. Disposable contact lenses and extended wear contacts are the most convenient for many users.

I’ve already been fitted for contact lenses, so why did my optometrist ask me to come back?

If you’re asked to return a week later, it’s because your optometrist wants to rule out any issues, such as contact lens-related dry eye or irritation.

If it’s been around a year since your last eye checkup, you’ve likely been contacted to check whether your prescription has changed and to evaluate your eye health. The sooner problems are detected and treated, the better the outcome.

Which Glasses Should People With Astigmatism Wear?

Eyeglasses come in all shapes and sizes, and can be made from several different materials. For patients with astigmatism, the lens material and frame shape all play a role in providing clear and comfortable vision.

Below, we’ll explain what astigmatism is and which glasses are best suited for astigmatic eyes.

What is Astigmatism?

Astigmatism is a common eye condition caused by an irregularly curved cornea or lens. It affects about 30% of North Americans.

When the cornea or lens is misshapen, it changes how incoming light is refracted onto the retina.

Symptoms of astigmatism include:

  • Blurred vision
  • Eye strain
  • Headaches
  • Difficulty seeing at night
  • Frequent squinting when trying to focus on an object

Very often, astigmatism accompanies either nearsightedness (myopia) or farsightedness (hyperopia).

Best Glasses For Astigmatism

Frame Shape and Size

Flatter frames are better for astigmatism. Wraparound or curved frames can bend the light in a way that distorts your vision. Also, be sure to choose a frame that sits securely on the bridge of your nose to keep your vision clear and in focus.

Lens Material

Higher levels of astigmatism often require a thinner type of lens than standard lenses. High index or Trivex lenses are often used for high prescriptions.

Standard plastic lenses are less expensive and can be helpful for low levels of astigmatism.

Specialized Lens Coatings

Every time you order glasses, you have the option of adding on custom coatings to suit your optical needs. Some available options are anti-scratch, UV-blocking, and blue-light blocking.

People with astigmatism may want to opt for anti-glare or anti-reflective coatings to increase the amount of light that enters the eye. Keeping your lenses clean is also important for accessing the most amount of light for a clearer image.

Local Optical vs. Online

When it comes to astigmatism, it’s best to purchase your eyewear from your local optometrist rather than from online sources. Although it may be more affordable to shop online, you’ll miss out on the opportunity to have your glasses adjusted if necessary, and personalized to fit your face.

Purchasing eyewear online also increases the risk of manufacturing errors and ill-fitting features.

Need Glasses? We Can Help!

At Professional VisionCare in Lewis Center, we offer a wide range of eyewear to choose from, whether you have myopia, hyperopia, astigmatism or a combination.

Our experienced and skilled optical team will help you find the best glasses for your eyes and personal style.

To schedule an appointment or learn more about what we offer, contact Professional VisionCare in Lewis Center today!

At Professional VisionCare, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 614-898-9989 or book an appointment online to see one of our Lewis Center eye doctors.

Want to Learn More? Read on!

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Can I Wear Contacts If I Have Astigmatism?

brunette girl smiling 640Many people choose to wear contact lenses to correct their vision due to the freedom and convenience contacts provide. But for those with astigmatism, wearing contact lenses isn’t always simple.

At Professional VisionCare in Lewis Center we offer specialized contact lenses that provide clear and comfortable vision, even if you have moderate to severe astigmatism.

What is Astigmatism?

Astigmatism is a refractive error caused by an irregularly shaped cornea. The abnormal cornea causes light to disperse unevenly into the eye, leading to blurred or distorted vision. Other symptoms of astigmatism can include headaches, eye strain, and difficulties with reading or using digital devices.

Astigmatism may be congenital, meaning that you are born with the condition, or you can develop it later in life. People with astigmatism usually also have myopia (nearsightedness) or hyperopia (farsightedness), two of the most common refractive errors.

Which Contact Lenses Can You Wear With Astigmatism?

Although traditional soft contact lenses may not be suitable for patients with astigmatism, there are two other types of contact lenses specifically designed for those with unusually shaped corneas.

Toric Contact Lenses

Toric lenses are a popular choice for people with mild astigmatism. Patients with higher levels of astigmatism, however, generally require a higher level of expertise.

Toric lenses are designed to provide clear vision and a comfortable fit. There are two main issues with toric lenses. First, the range of corrective powers is limited, so patients with moderate to high levels of astigmatism may not be able to wear toric contacts. Second, these lenses need to rotate on the cornea to find the correct position and orientation, leading these lenses to occasionally provide unstable or varying clarity of vision.

Toric lenses are available in either soft disposable or rigid gas permeable (RGP) lens materials.

Scleral Contact Lenses

Unlike standard lenses, scleral lenses vault over the cornea and sit on the sclera (the white of the eye). These lenses do not have the issues faced by toric lenses as they are individually designed for each patient and do not sit on the cornea. By vaulting over the cornea, scleral lenses create a liquid reservoir between your cornea and the lens. This dome provides a continually hydrating environment that protects the cornea, promotes healing, and increases comfort.

Scleral lenses have become a staple therapeutic tool in the visual rehabilitation of patients with astigmatism and other corneal irregularities. They also can provide better visual acuity than standard soft lenses thanks to their rigid surface and personalized fit. Scleral lenses have proven to be an excellent solution for patients with astigmatism that appreciate sharp and comfortable vision.

How We Can Help

At Professional VisionCare, we can provide you with customized toric or scleral contact lenses that are tailor-made for patients with astigmatism or other corneal irregularities, as well as hard-to-fit eyes. By taking precise and detailed measurements of your cornea, we will be able to ensure a secure fit and crisp, clear vision. To learn more information or to schedule your consultation, call us today.

Professional VisionCare serves patients from Lewis Center, Westerville, Johnstown, Northeast Columbus, and throughout Ohio.

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Can Eye Exercises Help or Correct Astigmatism?

While astigmatism is quite common, it can also be quite annoying. That’s because astigmatism can complicate many simple daily tasks – such as reading a book.

When you have astigmatism, it means the cornea of your eye is shaped irregularly. As a result, light refracts unevenly on your retina, leading to blurred vision. Also, the muscles around your eyes can place extra stress on your cornea, leading to double vision, eye irritation, headaches, and eyestrain. Typically, prescription eyewear is used to correct astigmatism. However, there are also some natural ways to improve astigmatism, such as eye exercises.

Our optometrist in Lewis Center, Westerville, Johnstown, and , Ohio, offers comprehensive eye exams to diagnose astigmatism and recommend the most suitable treatment, such as eyeglasses, contact lenses or LASIK refractive surgery.

People often ask our optometrist if eye exercises can treat astigmatism? While eye exercises cannot fix astigmatism, they may help to relieve risk factors that can worsen the condition. A basic understanding of astigmatism is necessary for understanding the possible effects of vision exercises.

Did You Know There Are Two Types of Astigmatism?

The kind of astigmatism you’re likely familiar with is regular astigmatism. This refers to a football-shaped eye, and the condition is usually genetic and treated with prescription eyeglasses, contact lenses or LASIK. The other kind of astigmatism is irregular astigmatism, generally caused by damage to the eye. LASIK surgery or contacts are often needed to correct this type of astigmatism.

What these two types of astigmatism have in common is that ocular stress can exacerbate both conditions!

What Causes Ocular Stress?

A number of behaviors that are common among people with astigmatism can worsen ocular stress, such as:

  • Extended computer use
  • Reading books and digital devices
  • Doing fine detailed work, such as sewing or accounting
  • Watching TV or working in dim light
  • Not drinking enough and/or lack of nutrients

What Exercises Can You Do to Relax Your Eyes?

We regularly perform eye exams for patients with astigmatism who complain about headaches, eye fatigue, and other symptoms of ocular stress. In response, our optometrist often recommends eye exercises to strengthen the eye muscles, reduce stress and relax the eyes. Typically, exercises help improve vision gradually or in as little as 2-4 weeks.

When reading, working at a computer, or doing any kind of detailed work, we encourage regular vision breaks to do eye exercises, such as:

  • Follow the 20-20-20 rule – every 20 minutes, look about 20 feet into the distance for 20 seconds. Gaze out a nearby window and focus on the scenery outside, or look into another room and focus on the artwork or shelving.
  • Blinking is another effective eye exercise that can relieve some of the ocular stress
  • Rectus muscle relaxation – place the thumb above the nose and move it clockwise around the nose, breathing deeply the whole time.
  • Eye massage – place two fingers on each eyelid and apply gentle pressure, moving slowly in a circular motion; repeat 10 -15 times, 2 – 4 times a day
  • Reading – open a book and place an object on the side. After reading a paragraph from the book, the kid should focus on the side object and keep doing that until their eyes start to get tired.
  • Head tilting – if you or your child usually tilt your head to one side, spend time each day trying to tilt your head in the opposite direction.
  • Eye yoga – while maintaining a straight posture (sitting or standing), close your eyes and concentrate on your eye muscles. Breathe deeply while moving your eyeballs slowly, side to side. Do this eye exercise several times a day to help strengthen eye muscles and improve focus.

Treatment for Astigmatism Starts with an Eye Exam

Step one is to visit our specially trained optometrists for a comprehensive eye exam in Lewis Center, Westerville, Johnstown, and , Ohio. If astigmatism is diagnosed, we’ll recommend the most effective treatment program, which may include eyeglasses, contact lenses, LASIK surgery and/or eye exercises.

At Professional VisionCare, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 614-898-9989 or book an appointment online to see one of our Lewis Center eye doctors.

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Can Lasik Correct Astigmatism?

The “perfect” eyeball would be a smooth sphere with optical lenses that function at their best. But in the real world, this rarely happens. Usually, eyes are not shaped perfectly and visual acuity is therefore compromised. When you have astigmatism, the eye is elliptical – similar to a football shape. As a result of this asymmetry, light rays traveling through it scatter, and vision is blurred.

Astigmatism is a common vision condition. By definition, it is simply a refractive error like nearsightedness and farsightedness. Just like those vision conditions, astigmatism can be corrected with prescription eyeglasses, contact lenses and LASIK. At our eye care clinic, we perform comprehensive eye exams to determine your candidacy for laser surgery. Book a consultation with our optometrist about LASIK.

How can LASIK help?

If you have only a mild astigmatism, laser correction surgery may not be required. But if astigmatism is disturbing your vision, LASIK can be an option.

During this procedure, your eye surgeon will use a laser to reshape your cornea so it is more spherical and can focus light properly. LASIK thereby improves vision across your entire visual field, and not just the part of your view affected by prescription eyewear.

How successful is LASIK for correcting astigmatism?

LASIK for astigmatism can be an excellent solution when compared to alternatives, such as glasses or contact lenses. That’s because eyeglasses and contacts work by cancelling out the visual distortion, whereas LASIK totally changes and corrects the irregularity in your cornea. For many people, the procedure is transformative to their lives.

The success rate of LASIK for astigmatism is associated strongly with the vision prescription of the patient and the unique shape of the eye. Official reports state that LASIK is most suitable for people with a prescription of up to four cylinders of astigmatism. Also, if you only have a tiny amount of astigmatism, such as 0.5 diopter, LASIK may not provide a significant benefit. Therefore, the success rate of LASIK for astigmatism varies, which is why you need an experienced eye doctor to assess your eyes and vision to determine your candidacy.

Our LASIK optometrists offer specialized consultations and eye exams.

Is LASIK affordable?

Even if you have an extreme vision prescription, LASIK is still regarded as an elective treatment by most insurance policies, so it isn’t covered by their basic plans. However, significant savings are frequently offered by various insurance plans. Our staff is knowledgeable about ways to make LASIK affordable, and we’re happy to share the info!

To discuss LASIK and other vision correction procedures, contact us for an appointment.

At Professional VisionCare, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 614-898-9989 or book an appointment online to see one of our Lewis Center eye doctors.

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Can Eye Exercises Correct Astigmatism?

See what our kids eye care professional has to say

While astigmatism is pretty common, it can also be an annoying vision condition. That’s because astigmatism may complicate many simple, daily tasks – such as reading a book.

When you have astigmatism, it means the cornea of your eye is shaped irregularly. As a result, light reflects unevenly on your retina, leading to blurred vision. Also, the muscles around your eyes can place extra stress on your cornea, leading to double vision, eye irritation, headaches, and eyestrain. Typically, prescription eyewear is used to correct astigmatism. However, there are also some natural ways to improve astigmatism, such as eye exercises.

Our eye doctor in Lewis Center, Westerville, Johnstown, and , Ohio, offers comprehensive pediatric eye exams as a part of our kids eye care services. We’ll test your child’s vision thoroughly to recommend the most helpful treatments.

Astigmatism comes in two types

The kind of astigmatism you’re likely familiar with is regular astigmatism. This refers to a football-shaped eye, and the condition is usually genetic. The other kind of astigmatism is irregular astigmatism, generally caused by damage to the eye. Surgery or contacts are often needed to correct this type of astigmatism.

What these two types of astigmatism have in common is that ocular stress can exacerbate both of these conditions!

Causes of ocular stress

A number of behaviors that are common among children with astigmatism can worsen ocular stress, such as:

  • Extended computer use
  • Reading books and digital devices
  • Doing fine detailed work, such as sewing or accounting
  • Watching TV or working in dim light
  • Not drinking enough and/or lack of nutrients

Eye exercises can relieve ocular stress

We regularly provide kids eye care to our young patients with astigmatism who complain about headaches, eye fatigue, and other symptoms of ocular stress. In response, we often recommend eye exercises to strengthen the eye muscles. Eye exercises can help reduce stress and relax eye muscles. Typically, they’ll help improve vision gradually or in as little as 2-4 weeks.

When reading, working at a computer, or doing any kind of detailed work, we encourage kids to take regular vision breaks. These breaks are the perfect time to do eye exercises, such as:

  • Follow the 20-20-20 rule – every 20 minutes, look about 20 feet into the distance for 20 seconds. Gaze out a nearby window and focus on the scenery outside, or look into another room and focus on the artwork or shelving.
  • Blinking is another effective eye exercise that can relieve some of the ocular stress
  • Rectus muscle relaxation – place the thumb above the nose and move it clockwise around the nose, breathing deeply the whole time.
  • Eye massage – place two fingers on each eyelid and apply gentle pressure, moving slowly in a circular motion; repeat 10 -15 times, 2 – 4 times a day
  • Reading – open a book and place an object on the side. After reading a paragraph from the book, the kid should focus on the side object and keep doing that until their eyes start to get tired.
  • Head tilting – pay attention to whether your child usually tilts his or her head to one side; they should spend time each day trying to tilt their head in the opposite direction.
  • Eye yoga – while maintaining a straight posture (sitting or standing), close your eyes and concentrate on your eye muscles. Breathe deeply while moving your eyeballs slowly, side to side. Your child should do this eye exercise several times a day to help strengthen the eye muscles and improve focus.

Learn how eye exercises can help your child!

Visit our specially trained kids eye care professionals for a full evaluation of your child’s vision condition. If astigmatism is diagnosed, we’ll recommend the most effective eye exercises. We offer gentle, precise pediatric eye exams in Lewis Center, Westerville, Johnstown, and , Ohio.

At Professional VisionCare, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 614-898-9989 or book an appointment online to see one of our Lewis Center eye doctors.

Want to Learn More? Read on!

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