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Many seek contact lens wear for convenience, appearance, or performance in physical activities. While they are extremely useful on all of these fronts, the initial introduction to contact lenses can be overwhelming with how many types of lenses are available and what exactly is necessary in order to take proper care of your eyes when wearing them. This article outlines the types of soft contact lenses that our eye doctors may recommend to you.


 

rheumatoid arthritis eye health people holding hands
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a disease that can affect the entire body, including the eyes. Systemically, RA is associated with joint stiffness, fever, weight loss, and feelings of illness. The disease is labelled as an autoimmune disorder, meaning that the body is essentially attacking itself. There are many ways that the disease can affect the eyes and below are a few of the most common ocular signs. 

contact lenses in case blue background issues complications
Many people choose contact lenses for the convenience of being free of glasses. However, the use of contacts can be misinterpreted as a low maintenance procedure without risk of discomfort or consequence. It is important to remember that proper care and maintenance of these lenses and your eye health are necessary to ensure no complications from their use. Make sure to follow the instructions provided by our optometrists. Read on to learn about some common and rare-but-serious complications from contact lens wear and what you can do to prevent them.

first eye exam happy baby in field with parents
Taking care of a child comes with the responsibility of organizing their various healthcare appointments. From visiting the family doctor, setting up playdates or scheduling their first haircut, it is easy to lose track of the recommended appointments. The frequency with which your child should get their eyes examined varies with their age. Listed below are the recommended frequencies for eye exams for your child, modified from the American Optometric Association. This may be subject to change if your optometrist has differing recommendations based on your child’s eye condition / risk level. 

laser eye surgery hand in front of projector screen
Laser eye surgery is a common method of vision correction. Many people seek it in order to free themselves of glasses or contacts. However, depending on one’s prescription, eligibility, choice of surgical procedure and outcome can vary and it is important to keep expectations as realistic as possible. In certain cases, if you are only slightly nearsighted, it may actually be desirable to keep this prescription so that you are less dependent on reading glasses later in life. Explained below are three very common refractive procedures. It is worth mentioning that there are other less common methods that your eye doctor can discuss with you if you have specific needs or concerns. 

ocular rosacea dry eyes picture of eyelid with hazel eye
Rosacea is a skin condition that causes redness of the face and bumpy skin lesions, and it is relatively common in the US.  It can also be a significant risk factor for dry eye disease.  Many people who suffer from rosacea also experience inflamed eyelids, Meibomian gland dysfunction, and moderate to severe dry eyes.  When these symptoms are caused by the underlying skin condition, they are referred to as ocular rosacea.  Ocular rosacea can be difficult to diagnose and effectively treat, so it is important to know the risk factors and warning signs. 

 

What is Rosacea?


Rosacea is not an ocular condition, it is a skin condition, and it must be diagnosed, treated, and managed by a dermatologist.   It causes chronic symptoms that most commonly includes facial redness, and may also include highly visible blood vessels (also known as telangiectasia), pus-filled bumps on the facial skin, and even a large bulbous appearance to the nose.  The exact underlying cause of rosacea is still unknown, but doctors do know that certain triggers can be responsible for flare-ups or worsening of symptoms.  Common triggers include stress, sun exposure or warm temperatures, exercise, certain foods (especially spicy cuisine), alcohol, or even some medications or lotions.  Avoiding triggers is an important aspect of living with rosacea.  It can also be controlled with topical or prescription medications.  

 

How does Rosacea Cause Dry Eyes? 


Rosacea results in chronic inflammation of the eyelids and surrounding tissue.  As we know, the eyelids play a pivotal role in the health of the ocular surface.  When rosacea results in inflamed eyelids, it can cause additional eye problems like blepharitis and Meibomian gland dysfunction.  Both of these eyelid conditions cause or worsen symptoms of dry eye disease.  Those who are affected by ocular rosacea are more likely to suffer from dry eyes, and typically experience a more severe degree of dry eye symptoms.  Some people affected by rosacea will have red and puffy eyelids, but for others the condition is much less noticeable.  At a routine eye examination, your doctor can closely review your medical history and the health of your eyes to see if an underlying condition, such as rosacea, is causing or worsening your symptoms of dry eye disease. 

 

How is Ocular Rosacea Treated? 


Treating ocular rosacea is a long-term process.  The most important aspect of controlling the symptoms is to manage the underlying eyelid inflammation.  This includes lifestyle modifications like avoiding triggers and taking any medications that are recommended by your dermatologist.  It also requires ocular treatments like lid scrubs to keep the eyelids free of bacteria and debris.  In many cases of ocular rosacea, prescription medications will be recommended to reduce eye inflammation and improve comfort.  This can include topical ointments, eye drops, or oral medications.  If you suffer from ocular rosacea, it is likely that you will need to work closely with both your dermatologist and your optometrist in order to control inflammation, improve ocular health, and reduce uncomfortable symptoms of dry eye disease.  

 

Our eye doctor at Innovative Vision Care in Belton, Missouri excels in the prescription of contact lenses, glasses and various eye diseases.  Call our optometrist at 816.331.9590 or request an appointment online if you would like to be evaluated for ocular rosacea or dry eyes.  Our eye doctor, Dr. Aaron Law, provides the highest quality optometry services  and eye exams in Belton, MO.

punctal plug dry eyes
Dry eye treatment can include over-the-counter eye drops, prescription medications, ointments, and more.  In moderate to severe cases of dry eye disease, these treatment options may not be enough to completely relieve symptoms of burning, grittiness, and irritation.  For those resistant cases, punctal plugs may be the answer.  Punctal plugs are small medical devices that can provide a more permanent form of treatment and deliver long term relief for those who are significantly affected by dry eye disease.  

kids contact lenses, contact lens on finger
For kids and teenagers, trying contact lenses for the first time can be both a scary and exciting experience.  Most first-timers and their parents will have lots of questions about trying contact lenses.  What age is appropriate for trying contacts for the first time? What type of lenses should be worn?  Are there any risks?  The truth is that the answers to these questions varies from person to person.  There are many factors to consider and to discuss with your optometrist before trying contact lenses.  Continue reading to learn more about them. 

contact lenses dry eyes contact lens inserted to blue eye
Symptoms of dry eye disease are very common and affect millions of people.  For some people who rely on contact lenses for clear vision, dryness and irritation can be worsened by the daily wear of their lenses.  While this can be a frustrating experience, luckily there are many options to improve comfort for people who experience dryness related to their contact lenses.  If you are experiencing discomfort and dryness, talk to your eye doctor before giving up on your contacts.  

pink eye, corneal injection corneal abrasions
Pink eye is a well-known term that is commonly used to describe conjunctivitis, an ocular condition that causes red irritated eyes.  The conjunctiva is a clear membrane that covers the white portion of the eye.  When conjunctivitis occurs, the conjunctiva becomes infected, irritated, or inflamed due to a variety of reasons.  There are several different forms of “pink eye,” each with different underlying causes, symptoms, and treatment approaches.  Continue reading to learn more about pink eye. 

myopia nearsightedness man holding glasses in middle of street
Myopia, more commonly known as nearsightedness, is becoming more and more prevalent across the world.  This vision problem causes objects that are far away to appear blurry and out-of-focus. Most of the time, myopia can be easily fixed with glasses, contact lenses, or refractive surgery such as LASIK or PRK.  However, the condition can also increase the risk of certain eye health conditions such as retinal tears or detachments, glaucoma, or the early development of cataracts. Because myopia is becoming increasingly common, especially among American children, this public health concern has the attention of eye care providers.  

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COVID-19 Update

To Our Valued Patients:

We are excited to announce that we have re-opened for routine eye care. To make an appointment click here:  https://www.innovativevisioncare.com/make-an-appointment/

We are spacing out appointments during this time and modifying some of our procedures (visit https://www.innovativevisioncare.com/covid-19-info/ for full details).

In addition to social distancing within the office, we will check temperatures before entering the building and require mask wear while in the office, in accordance with CDC and MO Department of Health regulations.

Continue to stay safe and healthy, and we look forward to providing eye care for new and existing patients again.

The Innovative Vision Care team