An important Ted Talk discussion on Childhood Myopia given by Nicholas Despotidis, OD in Asbury Park.
Orthokeratology, commonly known as Ortho-K, is a treatment using custom contact lenses to reshape the cornea and is proven effective in correcting vision conditions like myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism. The orthok contact lenses are worn overnight and help to correct refraction vision through gentle reshaping of the the surface of the eye.
Typically, our patients will see an immediate improvement after one night of use. Expect maximum vision correction in about two weeks. The treatment temporarily reshapes the cornea, so without consistent use, the effects will wear off. Wearing the contact lenses every night will provide the best results.
Initially, the contacts will take a little getting used to, but after a few nights, the contacts will feel quite natural. The contacts lenses can last for over a year with proper care, however, we may improve the prescription with our patients over time.
Texas State Optical North Spring specializes is Ortho-K contacts and custom corneal topography measurements to ensure the best fit and effective results. Please contact us to schedule an appointment today.
Many patients to our Spring, TX location wear eyeglasses and would love the freedom of contact lenses, but have tried contacts in the past and came to the conclusion that their eyes were not suited for contact lenses. Patients with irregular corneas or dry eye have found soft contact lenses uncomfortable and impractical.
In recent years, scleral contact lenses have dramatically grown in popularity. While regular contact lenses cover only the cornea of the eye, scleral contact lenses are larger and cover the sclera, or white part of the eye. The larger size of scleral contacts makes them easier to handle, offers sharper vision, and less likely to fall out of the eye.
Scleral lenses have space between the lens and eye to hold tears and moisture so dry eye patients will find them much more comfortable. And because of the larger size, hard-to-fit patients can now wear contact lenses without the fear of them falling out during the day.
TSO North Spring specializes in custom made scleral contact lenses for each patient to ensure the sharpest vision and best fit. Scleral lenses are surprisingly affordable and may be the perfect solution for you. Please contact us with any questions or choose a convenient appointment.
The most well-known part of a comprehensive eye exam is the basic vision test. When you have a general vision test, one of the main conditions the eye care practitioner is checking for is a refractive error. A refractive error means there is an abnormality in the shape of the eye, changing the eye’s ability to focus light directly onto the retina.This causes blurred vision and can usually be corrected by wearing prescription eyeglasses, contact lenses and possibly, alternate treatments such as vision therapy, ortho-k, LASIK or refractive surgery such as LASIK.
The term, “refractive error” refers to a problem with the process of refraction that is responsible for sight. Normally, light rays that enter your eye are refracted or bent through the cornea and the lens, and ultimately converge or are focused onto a single point on the retina. From the retina, messages are sent through the optic nerve to the brain which then interprets these signals into the image that we are seeing.
In order for this process to work effectively, the anatomy of the eye including the length of the eye and the curvature of the cornea and the lens must be just right to be able to focus the light onto the retina. When this is not the case, a refractive error will occur.
There are several different types of refractive errors, depending on which part of the eye is affected, and it is possible to have multiple refractive errors at the same time:
Myopia or nearsightedness:
In myopia the length of the eyeball is too long which results in light coming to a focus in front of the retina, rather than on the retina. This allows the individual to see well when objects are close but not clearly when looking at objects at a distance.
Hyperopia or farsightedness:
Hyperopia is when the eyeball is shorter than normal and can result in near objects being blurry. However, people experience hyperopia differently. Sometimes distant objects are clear while other times people may experience overall blurred vision near and far or no problems at all. In children particularly, the lens may accommodate for the error allowing for clear vision but may cause fatigue and sometimes crossed eyes or strabismus. Hyperopia causes eyestrain or fatigue especially when looking at near objects for a period of time. Often people with 20/20 vision may still need glasses at their desk to relax their eyes and improve concentration.
Astigmatism is usually the result of an irregularly shaped cornea (although it can sometimes also be due to a misshapen lens). The cornea, which is normally round, is more football-shaped in an eye with astigmatism, resulting in multiple focus points either in front of the retina or behind it (or both). People with astigmatism usually have blurred or distorted vision to some degree at all distances, near and far.
Presbyopia is an age-related condition which usually begins to appear sometime after 40. As the eye begins to age, the lens stiffens and can no longer focus clearly on objects that are close.
It’s important to note that presbyopia is often confused with hyperopia, as both cause problems focusing at near distances. However, high hyperopia can also cause blur at far distances as well, especially in dim lighting, and depth perception problems can result in motor vehicle accidents. In these instances people with hyperopia could use glasses at any distance.
If you are having trouble seeing, it is important to have an eye exam to determine the cause of the problem and to effectively correct your vision. Even if your vision is fine, you should schedule a routine eye exam on a regular basis to ensure that your eyes are healthy and that any potential problems are caught early.
‘Tis the season for giving, and parents, grandparents, family and friends need to know which toys and games to leave off the list because they can pose a risk to children’s health and eyesight. Last year nearly 252,000 emergency visits were due to toy-related injuries, almost half of which were to the head or face. Further, about 1 in 10 children’s eye injuries treated in the emergency room can be traced back to toys, most of which occur in children under 15 years of age.
The most common types of eye injuries that occur from toys can be anything from a scratch on the cornea (the front surface of the eye) to very serious injuries that can threaten vision such as traumatic cataracts, corneal ulcers, bleeding inside the eye and retinal detachment.
Most of these injuries can be prevented by taking the proper measures to evaluate the safety of gifts before they are purchased and to supervise children during any play with toys that could have the potential to cause damage or harm.
Here are some tips on how to select safe toys for children this holiday season:
- Check age recommendations on all toys to make sure they are age appropriate and suitable for the child’s maturity level. If younger siblings are present, ensure that any toys made for older children are kept out of reach.
- When possible, check toys for a seal of approval that the product meets national safety standards from a toy safety testing organization such as the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) or the Canadian Toy Testing Council.
- Do not purchase toys that have a projectile or sharp, protruding parts. Toys such as darts, guns, arrows or sharp propelling toys can cause serious eye injuries that can lead to permanent eye damage and even vision loss. Even high-powered water guns such as super soakers or soft foam dart guns can cause significant damage when shot at close range.
- Purchase safety eyewear with polycarbonate lenses to accompany sports equipment, chemistry sets or woodworking tools. Speak to your optometrist to learn more about the best option for your child’s hobby of choice.
- Check that toys with sticks or handles such as swords, fishing rods, pogo sticks, brooms or pony sticks have rounded edges or handles and avoid or supervise use with little children.
- Any toys or devices that have a laser or bright light (such as laser pointers or flashlights which are sometimes used by kids to play laser tag) can be dangerous. Bright lights such as those produced by high-powered flashlights can cause temporary vision loss that can lead to a risk of a fall or accident. Further, laser pointers are not safe for use by children as the light intensity can cause permanent vision loss if shined in someone’s eyes.
When purchasing a toy for a child that is important to you, make sure you are considering what is most important – their safety. Ask us if you have any questions about the eye safety of a toy or gift you are considering.
Have you ever thought about how vision works? Seeing is an incredible gift made possible by a system in which the eye and the brain process visual information from the outside world. If any step of that process does not function properly, vision will be impaired.
Similar to a camera, the eye transmits light from the world around us into an image that we can perceive. Certain parts of the eye even function like the different parts of a camera such as the shutter, the lens and film (if we can hearken back to the days when we used film in cameras). Here is a quick breakdown of the fascinating way our eyes and brain enable us to see and experience the world around us:
The Vision Process
Light reflected from an object in our field of view is gathered by the cornea which is essentially the clear “window” to our eye. The cornea then refracts the light rays through the pupil (the center of the iris where light enters the eye). The iris, which like the shutter of a camera will enlarge and shrink based on how much light is coming in, then passes the image onto the crystalline lens. Just like a camera lens, the lens in the eye focuses the light rays, projecting them to a point at the back of the eye called the retina, where the image will appear upside down. The retina contains a thin layer of color-sensitive cells called rods and cones that perceive color.
From the retina, the visual signals travel to the brain via the optic nerve. The brain receives information from both eyes and must then converge the images (and flip them right side up) to get a complete picture.
A breakdown in vision can happen at any point in this process. From the muscles that control the eyes, to the parts within the eye, to the pathway to the brain. Sometimes vision impairment is due to technical problems with the eye receiving the information and passing the signal on, such as convergence insufficiency (inability to coordinate the eyes to converge on one point), myopia (nearsightedness) or cataracts (clouding of the lens).
Other times, the eyes might work perfectly, but there is a problem with the brain interpreting the signals it receives. In these cases we can’t “see” in the traditional sense, because our brains aren’t able to properly “read’ the signals or we don’t know what we are looking at. This is the case for some learning disorders that are caused by the visual processes in the brain such as dyslexia.
As you can see, vision is quite a complicated process. A simple vision exam isn’t always able to determine vision problems, especially in children which is why it is so important to have regular comprehensive eye exams, to measure the health of the eye and all of its parts.
Eye Complications of Diabetes
It’s true. Diabetics have a higher risk of blindness than those without the disease. That fact coupled with the superior prognosis of early intervention, makes it easy to understand why optometrists and doctors say routine eye care is absolutely essential. Below, we’ll discuss what your eye doctor is looking for during a diabetic eye exam.
As the incidence of diabetes increases, it is important to spread awareness about the risks and proper preventative care for diabetes patients. November is Diabetes Awareness month, so read on!
Diabetics are at greater risk of for a number of eye problems.
Diabetic retinopathy is the term used for the disorders associated with diabetes that cause progressive damage to the retina. The longer a patient has had diabetes, the more likely it is that he will develop these conditions which can be very serious, vision-threatening complications.
There are two types of retinopathy: nonproliferative and proliferative.
Nonproliferative retinopathy, which is the most common form, is when capillaries at the back of the eye become weakened and may start to leak blood and fluids. Nonproliferative retinopathy, which often has no symptoms, can be characterized as mild, moderate or severe, depending on how many blood vessels are affected and becoming blocked. This type of retinopathy usually doesn’t require treatment and doesn’t cause vision loss, unless the leaking fluid ends up in the macula where the eye focuses – a condition called macular edema. If this happens, vision can be blurred and even lost so preventative treatment is essential.
Proliferative retinopathy is much more severe. This is when so much damage is done to the blood vessels that they begin to close off. New blood vessels begin to grow in the retina as a response to this deterioration. The new and weak vessels can leak blood, impairing vision, or can form scar tissue which can distort the retina or cause a retinal detachment.
Proliferative retinopathy requires urgent referral to an ophthalmologist for treatment. While it usually takes years to develop, some instances of proliferative retinopathy can occur within weeks or months if blood sugars are not well-controlled. Pregnancy can also accelerate proliferative retinopathy in known diabetics. Yet if detected early, treatment can be done successfully.
Like high blood pressure, there are often no warning symptoms until advanced stages of diabetes. It is best to get checked each year by an optometrist. If you experience any changes in your vision such as spots in vision, flashes of light, blurred or double vision (rarely pain), make an appointment with your eye doctor immediately. Treatments do exists for retinopathy and many of them are successful in repairing damage and sometimes even restoring vision.
Cataracts are a clouding of the lens of the eye which blocks light from entering and impairs vision. While cataracts are a fairly common and treatable condition, people with diabetes are 60% more likely to develop the condition and often get them at a younger age. Those with the condition also may experience vision fluctuation which occurs from sugar levels affecting the lens of the eye. Cataracts often progress faster in diabetics as well. In serious cases of cataracts, a surgical procedure is done to remove the natural lens of the eye which can sometimes cause complications in diabetic patients that may already have symptoms of other conditions such as diabetic retinopathy.
Glaucoma is a serious condition where pressure builds up in the eye causing damage to the retina and optic nerve and eventually if left untreated, blindness. Diabetics are 40% more likely to develop glaucoma and the risk increases with age and the amount of time the individual has had diabetes. There are treatments for glaucoma including medications and surgery but early detection and treatment are essential to prevent permanent vision loss. Glaucoma is often called the “silent thief of sight” because vision loss often doesn’t occur until significant damage is done. Therefore, yearly eye exams are essential.
Diabetics may experience reduced sensitivity in their cornea. This means that contact lens wearers that are diabetics should be more cautious, as they develop higher tolerance if the lens irritates the eyes and may be at greater risk of infection.
Eye Muscle Disturbance:
More advanced diabetes cases can show restriction of eye muscle movement to due nerve palsy.
For diabetics, the key to early detection and treatment – and therefore preserving your vision – is to have your eye health monitored on a regular basis. Get your eyes examined every year by an optometrist and if you experience any changes in your vision such as spots, floaters, blurred vision or pain, make an appointment with your eye doctor immediately.
“We’re proud to carry Veggie-Tales frames for kids, high quality frames that keep up with your child’s activities. Come in to our office and check them out.
Eyes of Faith the organization behind Veggie- Tales donates a pair of glasses for every one that we sell. Find out more about Eyes of Faith wonderful charitable work at www.facebook.com/Eyes.of.Faith
Eyeglasses Are Back!
Picking out new eyeglasses can be a daunting task, whether you’re getting your very first pair or you’ve worn them nearly all your life. The sheer volume of eyeglass choices can be torture to work your way through if you don’t have any idea what you’re looking for.
Not only are there many different shapes and colors in eyeglass frames, but advances in technology have also brought us a variety of new materials, for both the frames and the lenses, which makes eyeglasses more durable, lightweight and user-friendly. Eyeglass frames are now created from high-tech materials such as titanium and “memory metal” for the ultimate in strength and style, while the lenses are now thinner and lighter than ever before, even in high prescriptions.
Lens options, such as anti-reflective coating, light-changing tints, progressive lenses and new high-tech, light weight materials such as Trivex(TM) and polycarbonate, let you choose a pair of eyeglasses that enhances your vision, no matter what you like to do.
To get your new pair of glasses from Texas State Optical North Spring, just drop by our optical in Tomball, TX.
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Visit the Contact Us section of our web site and complete the Patient Registration Form. The form is secure and our office will be notified once the form is complete. When you walk in for your next appointment, we’ll already have the information entered into our computers. TSO North Spring is always looking for ways to serve our patients better.