Thanks to the advancement of lens technology, glasses lenses are no longer a single, one size fits all solution. There are a variety of different lens types that can be used in glasses, giving patients greater flexibility and control over their vision than ever before.
Also known as monovision lenses, these lenses are designed to correct the wearer’s vision at just one distance, and have a single prescription covering the entire surface of the lens. They are most often recommended for people who are either nearsighted (myopia) or farsighted (hyperopia) and who need glasses for a specific activity, such as driving or reading.
Progressive lenses are multifocal lenses that can correct a patient’s vision at different working distances, ranging from far distance to reading distance. However, rather than designating different areas on the lenses for different distances with visible lines separating them, progressive lenses have a gradual change so that the wearer can smoothly transition from one lens power to another.
As you may have guessed from the name, bifocal and trifocal lenses have either two or three lens powers depending on which type you choose. Bifocal lenses support distance vision in the top half of the lens, and near vision in the lower half. Trifocal lenses support distance vision in the top third of the lens, intermediate vision in the middle segment and near vision in the bottom third. Whichever variety you choose, you will see visible lines separating each segment.
Bifocal and trifocal lenses are recommended for patients who are near or farsighted, and those who develop presbyopia, which is the natural hardening of the eye lens, that occurs as we get older. Presbyopia makes it harder for the lens of the eye to adapt to focus at different distances.
Multifocal lenses are the alternative name given to bifocal, trifocal and progressive lenses.
Computer lenses are prescription lenses that are specifically designed to be worn when doing computer work. This is because they place the optimum lens power for viewing your computer screen exactly where you need it – which is closer than intermediate vision, but further away than reading material is usually held. Wearing computer lenses can significantly reduce the negative effects caused by the high visual demands of computer work, including blurred vision, redness, dry eyes, double vision and dizziness.
Also known as photochromic lenses, transition lenses are a special type of lens that darken when in the sunlight and lighten when in softer light or the dark. This versatility gives the wearer the convenience of being able to move between different environments without needing to change their glasses. This makes them extremely cost effective and prevent the wearer from needing to take multiple pairs of glasses out with them. Transition lenses also filter out many of the harmful UV rays that are emitted from the sun, helping to keep eyes healthy too. They are ideal for people who spend a lot of time going between inside and outside, or who work outside in varying weather conditions.
Blue light lenses are specially crafted lenses that contain filters that block out much of the artificial blue light that is produced by digital devices like computers, smartphones and tablets. Natural blue light is actually good for balancing our sleep-wake cycle, boosting our mood and enhancing our cognitive abilities so that we can function better day to day. However, too much blue light, especially from artificial sources, can have the opposite effect. Many people who fail to use blue light lenses can go on to develop digital eye strain, which produces symptoms like eye fatigue, dry eyes, blurred vision, headaches and more. Blue light lenses are recommended for anyone who spends a lot of time working on a digital device.
Polarized lenses are used to reduce eyestrain and improve the quality of vision in patients on especially sunny days, making them ideal for anyone who spends a lot of time outdoors. They can do this because they have a special filter that blocks some of the light from passing through the lens. Vertical light is allowed to pass through, while horizontal light, such as that which bounces off of water and can be blinding, is blocked. Polarized lenses are most often used in sunglasses since they are worn outdoors, and the wearer also needs to protect their eyes from UV damage.
Still have questions about which lens is right for you? Contact us to schedule an eye exam or an appointment to evaluate your individual needs.
Our eyes are extremely delicate, yet they can be subjected to harsh conditions and other environmental factors that affect their health. One of the problems that can affect our eyes is an accumulation of dirt, debris and bacteria on the eyelids. This can cause a range of issues, including stopping tear film from reaching the eyes and being properly dispersed over their surface – which is necessary to keep them healthy and comfortable. Fortunately, a new solution called BlephexÔ can help.
BlephexÔ is a handheld electro-mechanical device that is applied to the margins of the eyelids with the purpose of cleaning them and improving the effectiveness with which tear film flows onto the surface of the eyes.
BlephexÔ has a disposable, surgical-grade sponge tip which rapidly oscillates to create a cleaning action. Before the sponge tip is placed onto the eyes, it is soaked in a gentle exfoliating solution. This solution provides soft abrasion to help remove dead skin cells and debris that could be irritating the eyes and interrupting tear film progression. The BlephexÔ device is manually applied to the eyes and moved gently across the eyelids, with the entire, painless process taking approximately 6 to 8 minutes per eye. A different sponge is used on each eye, ensuring that no bacteria is passed between them. After the procedure, patients are given instructions on how to maintain the cleanliness of their eyelids with daily/nightly eyelid hygiene at home.
Most patients experience a significant improvement in tear film production and dispersal, and a reduction in unpleasant symptoms that they may have been experiencing within 48 hours of their treatment. While a single treatment is normally enough to produce excellent results, many patients are advised to have BlephexÔ every 4-6 months.
BlephexÔ can be used to clean the eyelids at any time, and people who suffer from dry eyes or eye allergies may find it is particularly beneficial for helping to reduce the symptoms that they experience. It can also be combined with Lipiflow – another technological solution – to help counteract the effects of dry eyes.
Unsurprisingly, BlephexÔ is particularly recommended as a treatment for an eye condition called blepharitis. Blepharitis is characterized by the inflammation of the eyelids, which causes them to become red, swollen and itchy. Although the condition is not usually serious, it can lead to further problems if it isn’t treated.
Symptoms of blepharitis include:
- Sore eyes
- Itchy eyes
- A gritty, irritated feeling affecting the eyes
- Flakes or crustiness around the roots of the eyelashes
- Eyelids that stick together when you wake up in the morning
If you are suffering from the symptoms of blepharitis, dry eyes or eye allergies and feel that you would benefit from BlephexÔ treatment, please contact our team to schedule a consultation appointment.
Visual field testing is an important part of most standard comprehensive eye exams. Also sometimes known as perimetry testing, Visual field testing is a method to measure the entire scope of vision of an individual, including their peripheral/side vision.
Visual field testing is one of the most effective diagnostic treatments in the detection of glaucoma. This is because when patients are affected by glaucoma, it is usually the peripheral vision that is affected by their condition first. However, it can also be used to detect central or peripheral retinal diseases, eyelid conditions such as drooping, optic nerve damage and conditions that affect the visual pathways from the optic nerve to the area of the brain where this information is processed into vision.
Visual field testing is also an important part of monitoring for people who are considered to be at risk for vision loss from disease and other problems, including those who have been diagnosed with the following:
- Multiple sclerosis
- Pituitary gland disorders
- Central nervous system problems (such as a tumor that may be pressing on the brain)
- High blood pressure
There are a variety of methods that can be used to perform visual field testing, including:
Static automated perimetry. This is where a machine is used to quantify how well the patient is able to detect flashing lights of varying size and brightness in different areas of their visual field, while they concentrate on a central point. The patient responds by pushing a button when they see the light.
Kinetic perimetry. This involves points of light that are fixed in size and intensity and are presented along the patient’s peripheral vision, before being gradually moved inwards to determine their field of vision.
Visual field testing is non-invasive, painless and doesn’t require patients to have their eyes dilated. The results, which are usually presented in a series of charts, are digital and sent directly to your eye doctor for interpretation. Depending on the outcome of your results, you may be recommended for further diagnostic testing which could include blood tests. If you have been diagnosed with glaucoma, you will probably be recommended to have several visual field tests each year, which will help your eye doctor to monitor the progression of your condition and recommend treatments to slow it.
If you would like more information about visual field testing, or if you have concerns about your peripheral vision, please don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment with our experienced and knowledgeable eyecare team today.
Optomap is an innovative new technology that gives eye doctors the ability to perform ultra-wide retinal imaging that is far superior to what can currently be achieved using conventional retinal imaging options. In contrast to conventional retinal imaging, Optomap captures at least 50% more of the retina in a single capture, and with Optomap’s multi-capture function, up to 97% of the retina can be viewed. This gives eye care professionals greater opportunity to monitor the health and condition of patient vision.
The Optomap provides a wide-angled image of your retina to enhance your eye exam. This, along with dilation, provides the most comprehensive and thorough eye examination. You and the doctor together will look at the images of your retina, and compare them year to year for any changes.
Optomap is another great preventative eyecare technology tool. By allowing your eye doctor to have a comprehensive view of your retina, they will be able to detect any developing eye diseases early on, before they have a detrimental impact on your vision and day to day life. Not only can Optomap detect eye conditions such as retinal holes, retinal detachment, macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy, but it can also be used to identify some general health conditions such as cardiovascular disease, stroke and cancer.
Optomap is a fast, painless and non-invasive procedure that is suitable for patients of all ages, even children and pregnant women. Many patients require their eyes to be dilated ahead of the scan and will be given eyedrops which will widen their pupils and make it easier for the camera to see the structures inside the eye. Pupil dilation is painless, but patients may feel more sensitive to light both during their Optomap scan and afterwards for up to 24 hours. You may also have slightly blurred vision for a few hours. Once your eyes are dilated, you’ll be sat down and asked to look into a small device that will take the pictures of your retina. A short flash of light will let you know that the image has been taken, and the entire imaging is over in just a few seconds. The results will be sent digitally to your eye doctor who will then evaluate them. The results will also be stored on your personal optical record for future information.
If you would like more information about what is involved in Optomap, or to schedule an appointment for this effective screening technology, please contact our eyecare team.
We all want to look our best and in the last decade, we have seen a significant increase in the number of people seeking cosmetic services in order to enhance their appearance. With our eyes being our most distinguishing feature, we want to make the most of them. Thankfully there is now a range of cosmetic services that can help to rejuvenate our eyes and the area around them to keep them fresh, young and wrinkle-free.
Let’s take a look at some of the services on offer.
The brown pigment spots that appear on the face are often referred to as age spots and are a result of sun exposure. With age, the repeated exposure to UV rays causes melanin, a compound that is responsible for pigmentation and protecting the skin begins to clump together to form an area of hyperpigmentation. Whilst they aren’t any cause for concern, many people feel that they look unsightly. Luckily, there are a number of different treatments that you can get to remove them including topical creams, laser therapy, and chemical peels.
If you are suffering from darker pigmentation then we strongly recommend that you make an appointment with a qualified dermatologist who will recommend the best course of treatment for you, based on your specific needs.
If you are one of the thousands of people considering LASIK laser eye surgery, then you will probably be gathering as much information as possible about the treatment. By this point, you are probably aware of the benefits that LASIK offers, such as a reduced or eliminated need for glasses or contact lenses and greater convenience in your day to day life. However, for many patients, despite the advantages of LASIK, the thought of surgery on their eyes is still a cause of anxiety and fear. One of the best ways to alleviate this concern is to find out more about what the procedure entails.
Before you can be approved for any form of laser vision correction, including LASIK, you will need to attend a consultation appointment with your surgeon. During the consultation, he will perform an examination of your eyes and use your medical and ocular history to determine if you are a good candidate for the procedure. He will also speak to you about the expected outcome from your surgery, making you aware that while LASIK will dramatically improve your eyesight, there is no guarantee that you will not need to wear glasses in some situations, such as while driving in the dark.
LASIK uses a cool, ultraviolet beam of light to reshape the patient’s cornea. Doing so will more accurately focus the light that enters the eye on to the retina, thus improving the patient’s vision. The way in which the cornea needs to be reshaped will depend on the visual needs of the patient. For example, a patient who is far-sighted will need their cornea reshaping to be steeper to experience better eyesight. Alternatively, a patient who is near-sighted will require their cornea to be flattened in order to improve their vision. LASIK can also smooth an irregular cornea into a more standard shape, meaning that the procedure can also be used to correct astigmatism.
The LASIK procedure is very fast and straightforward. Although you will probably be in the surgical suite for around half an hour, the actual process only takes a couple of minutes per eye. The rest of the time will be spent preparing and ensuring that you are comfortable. Anesthetic eye drops are given to patients before their procedure so that the entire process is pain-free. If you are particularly anxious, it may also be possible for you to be slightly sedated – this should be discussed with your doctor at your consultation appointment.
Once you are in position, we will use a femtosecond laser to cut a thin, circular flap into the outer cornea. This can then be pulled back to reveal the underlying corneal tissue, known as the stroma so that it can be reshaped using the laser. The exact path that the laser needs to take, known as the topography, will have been pre-programmed ahead of the procedure and can be followed with complete precision and accuracy.
Once the reshaping is complete, the flap is replaced back over the eye and the surgery is complete. There is no need for sutures or bandages as the cornea will start to heal immediately and without any medical intervention.
If you already rely on wearing glasses or contact lenses to be able to see clearly, you may be frustrated with the effect that they have on your life. Regular vision tests, finding glasses to suit your face shape, having to remember to take eyeglasses with you wherever you go, prescription sunglasses, fiddly contact lenses… the list of inconveniences associated with conventional ocular solutions is extensive.
LASIK is a modern, minimally-invasive procedure that can substantially reduce or eliminate your need to use eyeglasses or contact lenses, allowing you to enjoy life without limitations or inconvenience. The popularity and success of LASIK laser eye surgery have helped to make it the number one elective surgery across the globe.
LASIK has an extremely high success rate. According to the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery, 96% of patients achieve 20/20 vision or better. However, it’s high success rate doesn’t make LASIK automatically the right solution for everyone.
Candidacy for LASIK is assessed by our doctors on a case by case basis so that you be certain that whatever treatment is recommended for you, it will give you the very best opportunity to improve your vision. During your consultation, our doctors will perform a thorough examination of your eyes and vision, ask you about your general health and talk you through both the procedure and aftercare.
The general guidelines for LASIK candidacy state that patients must:
be at least 18 years of age
have had stable vision with no prescription changes for a minimum of 12 months
have a current prescription for eyeglasses or contact lenses that falls between specified parameters (Our doctors will be aware of what these parameters are)
have no significant medical or eye-related problems such as glaucoma, macular degeneration or diabetic retinopathy
have no history of corneal disease
not be pregnant or nursing at the time of the procedure
If you thought that just laser eye surgery was impressive, then be prepared to be astounded by the arrival of iDesign custom Lasik. iDesign is the most advanced wavefront-guided laser treatment available. The system creates a uniquely accurate measurement of the entire optical system that can be relied upon completely without any guesswork. This is then used to create a highly detailed topography or map of your eye, making it easier for your surgeon to pinpoint the areas that need addressing with pinpoint precision.
iDesign is extremely accurate due to its diagnostic equipment that is able to determine 1,257 different micro eye prescriptions. Each one of these will measure the eye prescription to 0.01 of a dioptre strength – 25 times more than what a regular prescription for glasses or contact lens prescription is measured to.
While iDesign Custom Lasik can benefit almost any patient with refractive problems, it is particularly beneficial for people who have unusual corneas or have had eye surgery in the past.
Laser eye surgery is generally considered a pain-free procedure by the majority of patients. Anesthetic eye-drops are used to numb the outer area of the eye during the course of the surgery. Once these have worn off, some patients do experience some mild discomfort during the days following the procedure, but over the counter pain relief is usually sufficient to relieve this.
Astigmatism is a relatively common eye disorder that causes the vision to be blurred or distorted. It occurs when the lens part of the eye, known as the cornea, isn’t perfectly curved and instead resembles a football rather than a soccer ball. This means that the light entering the eye comes through at a distorted angle, making the object appear blurry and out of focus. There are several ways in which it is possible to treat astigmatism, including laser eye surgery and corrective lenses. However, another possibility is a solution referred to as limbal relaxing incisions.
Limbal relaxing incisions are microscopic cuts to an area in the eye known as the limbus. This helps to relax the curve in the cornea and improve its ability to focus light correctly. It can significantly improve your astigmatism and the overall quality of your vision.
If you have astigmatism, are over 18, in good general health and have no major eye conditions, then chances are you are a good candidate for limbal relaxing incisions. Make an appointment with your eye doctor to discuss your candidacy further.
A refraction test, also called a vision test, is usually performed as a part of a routine eye examination. The purpose of this test is to determine if a person has a refractive error which would then mean the patient would need glasses or contact lenses.
A value of 20/20 is normal (optimum) vision. This means that individuals who have 20/20 vision are able to read letters that are 3/8-inch (1 centimeter) tall from 20 feet (6 meters) away. The normal uncorrected vision (without glasses or contact lenses) refractive error is zero (plano). Individuals who don’t have 20/20 vision, have what is called a refractive error. A refractive error means that the light is not bending properly when it passes through the lens of the eye. The refraction test will tell the doctor what prescription lens should be used in order to have 20/20 vision.
For people over age 40 who have normal distance vision but difficulty with near vision, a refraction test with a small type size is used to determine normal near vision and the correct power of reading glasses.
The test is performed by having the patient seated in a chair that has a special device (called a phoropter or refractor) attached to it. The patient looks through the device and focuses on an eye chart 20 feet (6 meters) away. The device contains lenses of different strengths that can be moved into the patient’s view. The test is performed one eye at a time. If the patient is wearing contact lenses, they should be removed before the test.
In case the final vision is less than 20/20 even with lenses, then there is probably another non-optical problem with the eye. The vision level achieved during the refraction test is called the best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA).
Abnormal results may be due to:
Astigmatism (abnormally curved cornea causing blurred vision)
Presbyopia (inability to focus on near objects that develop with age)
Other conditions under which the test may be performed:
Corneal ulcers and infections
Loss of sharp vision due to macular degeneration
Retinal detachment (separation of the light-sensitive membrane (retina) in the back of the eye from its supporting layers)
Retinal vessel occlusion (blockage in a small artery that carries blood to the retina)
Retinitis pigmentosa (an inherited disorder of the retina)
There is an art to refraction and the optometrist will always answer the patient’s questions and as well as discuss their findings. Based on the results of the refraction test, they can determine the amount of myopia, hyperopia or astigmatism.