Why is my contact lens prescription a different strength than my glasses prescription?

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Many contact wearers notice that the numbers on their contact lens prescription are different from the numbers on their glasses prescriptions. While some patients may think this is a mistake, there is a very simple explanation: distance.

The distance at which a corrective lens sits from the eye causes a notable difference in the strength of the prescription. This can easily be demonstrated by taking one’s glasses and extending them further away from the surface of the eye. If you have a nearsighted prescription, you will notice the power of the lens becomes weaker as you move it further away, and a farsighted prescription becomes stronger as you move it further away. Because of this, it is important that glasses prescriptions be tested at a similar distance to where a frame sits from a patient’s eye. During an eye exam, your doctor uses a phoropter to present multiple lens options at approximately 12 millimeters from the surface of the eyes.

When fitting contact lenses, the prescription must be adjusted, because contacts are placed directly on the eye, which is 12 millimeters closer than eyeglass lenses.  For nearsighted prescriptions, this means that the minus power of the contact will need to be weaker than in a glasses prescription. For farsighted prescriptions, it means the plus power of the contact will need to be stronger than in a glasses prescription. This difference varies depending on the strength of the prescription and only affects prescriptions over four diopters.

From the eye doctors, opticians and staff at Rinkov Eyecare Centers. We’ve provided comprehensive eye exams, contact lenses, eyeglasses, sunglasses and medical treatment of eye disease such as cataract treatment in Columbus, Ohio, for over 35 years. Come see an optometrist at one of our Columbus locations – Downtown, West, East, Westerville, Dublin, Bexley, Worthington and Nationwide Plaza.

Aging Eyes and Drooping Eye Lids

Many years ago, as my dad entered middle-age, my brother and I often teased him about his growing waistline. My dad would always defend himself, naming Dunlap’s Disease as the culprit.

“It’s Dunlap’s Disease! My belly has done lapped over my belt!” he explained.

My dad said many strange things that have stuck with me through the years, and now, as I enter middle-age, it appears he has stuck me with something else: Dunlap’s Disease must be genetic, because I am starting to show signs and symptoms.

blepharochalasis

In the picture above, you can see the upper eyelid has done lapped over the lashes. Dermatochalasis—or blepharochalasis when referring specifically to the eye—is an age-related condition that causes folds of skin to lap over and weigh the eyelid down. It is a common cause of ptosis, which is the medical term for drooping eyelids.

Patients who have this condition will experience blurred vision, visual interference from the eyelashes, and/or “blocked” vision, which results in visual field defects. This condition typically requires surgery to build up the muscles of the eye, effectively lifting the skin to clear the visual field.

There are many other causes of ptosis, which can be much more sinister. These causes are usually due to systemic difficulties such as a stroke or trauma to the eye, among others. If you are experiencing symptoms of ptosis, you should have a discussion with your eye care practitioner to find the cause and the appropriate remedy.

From the eye doctors, opticians and staff at Rinkov Eyecare Centers. We’ve provided comprehensive eye exams, contact lenses, eyeglasses, sunglasses and medical treatment of eye disease such as cataract treatment in Columbus, Ohio, for over 35 years. Come see an optometrist at one of our Columbus locations – Downtown, West, East, Westerville, Dublin, Bexley, Worthington and Nationwide Plaza. 

 

How to Have Healthier Eyes in 2015

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We promise this resolution is easy!

We promise this resolution is easy!

Now that the New Year is under way, many people are working on their New Year’s resolutions. You may be working on getting fit, getting organized or getting your finances in order, but there is one easy resolution you probably forgot about: taking better care of your eyes. By making a few minor changes, you will be crossing this resolution off your list in no time.

 

  1. Schedule a yearly eye exam

A yearly eye exam is the first step to better eye health and it is essential to catching any early signs of eye disease. Many feel if they are seeing well, an eye exam is not necessary. This is not true, because many eye diseases do not show symptoms until it is too late. In addition, annual eye exams can alert your doctor to changes in your overall health.

  1. Wear your sunglasses

Sunglasses are not just a fashion statement, nor are they just for people who need prescription sunglasses. Your shades help to shield your eyes from UV radiation, which can contribute to cataracts, macular degeneration, and cancers of the eye. They can also protect your eyes from particles in the air.

  1. Follow your contact lenses’ directions

For those who wear contact lenses, you can drastically improve your eye health by simply following the directions for your contact lenses. Most people wear their contact lenses longer than what is recommended by their eye doctor every day. By following your optometrist’s recommendations, you can drastically reduce discomfort and risk of infections from over-wearing your contact lenses. Many contact lens wearers fail to replace their contacts on the schedule prescribed. Wearing your contact lenses past the replacement date makes you much more vulnerable to eye infections and permanent scarring of the cornea. If you’re running low on your contacts, make sure you have a current prescription and order new ones ASAP. 

By following these three simple steps, you will be able to cross this resolution off your list. These minor changes will not only lead to healthier eyes, but a healthier you.

From the eye doctors, opticians and staff at Rinkov Eyecare Centers. We’ve provided comprehensive eye exams, contact lenses, eyeglasses, sunglasses and medical treatment of eye disease such as cataract treatment in Columbus, Ohio, for over 35 years. Come see an optometrist at one of our Columbus locations – Downtown, West, East, Westerville, Dublin, Bexley, Worthington and Nationwide Plaza. 

Wide-field imaging helps detect retinal holes

The formation of retinal holes is not completely understood, but it likely involves areas of retinal thinning and/or traction from age-related changes to the vitreous (the jelly-like sac that fills the center of the eye). Many atrophic retinal holes aren’t associated with any symptoms, but some present flashes or floaters out of the corner of the eye. Retinal holes, or breaks, in limited cases can progress to retinal detachment.

Retinal Hole

Retinal Hole

This patient (on the left) had no symptoms, but had elected for a wide-field retinal image as part of her annual comprehensive eye exam, upon which an incidental diagnosis was made. Imaging is quick, painless and inexpensive. Because she was asymptomatic, not highly nearsighted and had no family history of retinal detachment, no treatment was indicated. Imaging will be used on an annual basis to track her retina.

Ask for a wide-field image for your next annual comprehensive eye exam to check for retinal holes.

From the eye doctors, opticians and staff at Rinkov Eyecare Centers. We’ve provided comprehensive eye exams, contact lenses, eyeglasses, sunglasses and medical treatment of eye disease such as cataract treatment in Columbus, Ohio for over 35 years. Come see an optometrist at one of our Columbus Ohio locations – Downtown, West Columbus, Dublin, Westerville and Reynoldsburg.

CARE : 20|20 : LIFE

*this advice is general in nature and does not constitute an exam. For specific advice, see your eye doctor or healthcare professional.*

Cloudy Crystalline Lens – the Cataract!

sim-cataractCataracts are one of the leading causes of blindness in the world. Cataracts are formed when the natural crystalline lens in the eye becomes clouded or opaque. Cataracts can be removed surgically once they become significant enough. Cataract progression can be minimized by wearing sunglasses to block harmful UV light from entering the eye. Nutrition has also been found to play a role in minimizing cataract progression. Many studies have shown that the vitamins C and E are helpful in delaying cataract formation. Studies have also shown that the daily intake of the carotenoid antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, the only carotenoids found in the lens, can be beneficial as well. These nutrients can be obtained through a healthy diet of fruits and vegetables, or through vitamin supplementation. Many eye doctors carry supplements in potencies stronger than that which can be obtained over-the-counter, as these nutrients have also been found to benefit the area of the retina called the macula.

For more information on cataracts, including some excellent educational videos on cataracts, CLICK HERE

From the Eye Doctor, Opticians and Staff of Rinkov Eyecare Centers. Providing quality comprehensive eye exams, contact lenses, glasses, sunglasses and medical treatment of eye disease. Cataract Treatment, Eye exams and eyeglasses in Columbus, Ohio for over 35 years. Come see an Optometrist at one of our Columbus Ohio locations – Downtown, West Columbus, Dublin, Westerville and Reynoldsburg.

CARE : 20|20 : LIFE

*this advice is general in nature and does not constitute an exam. For specific advice, see your eye doctor or healthcare professional.*

 

Can a glasses prescription be used to get contact lenses?

vision wearOur patients sometimes ask us if a they can use their glasses prescription to purchase contact lenses. The short answer is no and if you see an eyecare professional that is using a glasses prescription for contact lenses, we strongly recommend that you RUN as fast as you can out of that office. A competent eyecare professional understands that taking shortcut can result in permanent vision loss for his/her patient. That said, there are several reasons why a glasses prescription cannot be used for contact lenses.

First, the strength of glasses and contact lenses are often different. This is because contact lenses sit closer to the eye and therefore don’t have to be as strong in near-sighted patients, and must be stronger in far-sighted patients. Also any amount of astigmatism is corrected in glasses, whereas astigmatism is only corrected precisely once it reaches a certain level in contact lenses, otherwise the near-sighted or far-sighted power is adjusted to account for this small amount of astigmatism.

Second, and most importantly, is that contact lenses must be matched to the measurements of the cornea that were obtained in the contact lens fitting. On a contact lens prescription the curvature and diameter of the contact lens are specified. The precise brand and material of contact lens must also be specified on the contact lens prescription. This is because all brands of contact lenses will fit, feel, and behave differently on the eye.

Most of our patients are unaware that contact lenses are a regulated medical device. Make you have a reputable eyecare professional perform a contact lens evaluation and fit. This process should take at least 2 visits to make sure that the contact lenses prescribed are right for your eye. Equally as important is to make sure you follow the doctors instructions as to how long you can wear the prescribed contact lenses and what type of solutions to use. Remember, your sense of sight is so important. Don’t risk damaging one of your most precious senses. See an professional and follow the instructions. Anyone is willing to sell you contact lenses without a proper contact lens prescription  is putting their profits ahead of your health.

To learn more about our contact lens evaluation, please click here: Contact Lenses in Columbus, Ohio.

From the Eye Doctor, Opticians and Staff of Rinkov Eyecare Centers. Providing quality comprehensive eye exams, contact lenses, glasses, sunglasses and medical treatment of eye disease. Eye exams and eyeglasses in Columbus, Ohio for over 35 years. Come see an Optometrist at one of our Columbus Ohio locations – Downtown, West Columbus, Dublin, Westerville and Reynoldsburg.

CARE : 20|20 : LIFE

*this advice is general in nature and does not constitute an exam. For specific advice, see your eye doctor or healthcare professional.*

 

What is a Pinguecula?

A pinguecula is an area of degeneration of the deep conjunctival layers.  In other words, it is an area of disrupted tissue on the white part of one’s eye.  Usually located at the 3- or 9-oclock position near the cornea the tissue may appear slightly yellowed or red due to an increase of blood vessels in the area.  The tissue may be raised or flat.  Pingueculas arise from over exposure to UV light or chronic irritation of the tissue caused by dust or wind.  It is important to protect one’s eyes from such elements with sun or safety glasses depending on the environment.  If the tissue is continually subjected to irritation it can expand into the cornea and cause dryness, discomfort and eventually decreased vision.  Once this occurs surgery is often needed to remove the tissue.  It is important for people of all ages to protect their eyes from sun light and other irritants to prevent pingueculas from forming.

From the Eye Doctor, Opticians and Staff of Rinkov Eyecare Centers. Providing quality comprehensive eye exams, contact lenses, glasses, sunglasses and medical treatment of eye disease. Eye exams and eyeglasses in Columbus, Ohio for over 35 years. Come see an Optometrist at one of our Columbus Ohio locations – Downtown, West Columbus, Dublin, Westerville and Reynoldsburg. Click here for more information about eye exams in Columbus, Ohio.

CARE : 20|20 : LIFE

*this advice is general in nature and does not constitute an exam. For specific advice, see your eye doctor or healthcare professional.*

What is astigmatism?

Understanding AstigmatismA lot of our patients ask us what astigmatism is. We find that most think it is a disease or growth in the eye. It is actually just a refractive condition similar to near-sightedness or far-sightedness. It is caused when the cornea or lens of the eye is not perfectly spherical like a baseball, but instead has two curvatures like a football. The curvature is one of the main things to give power to the cornea or lens. Therefore if they have two different curvatures, they have two different powers, and they bend light rays to two different points in the back of the eye. This causes distortion or blur. This can be accommodated for by prescribing glasses or contact lenses with two different curvatures to counteract that of the eye. What to learn more? Check out our website www.rinkoveyecare.com for more information.

From the Eye Doctor, Opticians and Staff of Rinkov Eyecare Centers. Providing quality comprehensive eye exams, contact lenses, glasses, sunglasses and medical treatment of eye disease. Eye exams and eyeglasses in Columbus, Ohio for over 35 years. Come see an Optometrist at one of our Columbus Ohio locations – Downtown, West Columbus, Dublin, Westerville and Reynoldsburg. www.rinkoveyecare.com

CARE : 20|20 : LIFE

*this advice is general in nature and does not constitute an exam. For specific advice, see your eye doctor or healthcare professional.*

Reasons you should not sleep while wearing your contact lenses!

Traditionally there have been two main reasons why sleeping in contact lenses can be dangerous. The first is that the cornea becomes starved of oxygen and new blood vessels will grow into the cornea. The blood vessels are not transparent like the cornea and will block your vision. With the arrival of the newer silicone based contact lenses that are oxygen permeable, this problem has been greatly minimized. However the other reason for not sleeping in contact lenses still exists. That is that metabolic waste products from the cells of the cornea get trapped under the contact lens while sleeping and cause an inflammatory reaction. This can lead to infections, ulcers, and scarring, all of which can lead to permanent vision loss.

You only have two eyes… vision is so important. Don’t risk harm to one of you most important senses. If you are interested in special contact lenses which are approved for overnight wear, please give us a call.

From the Eye Doctor, Opticians and Staff of Rinkov Eyecare Centers. Providing quality comprehensive eye exams, contact lenses, glasses, sunglasses and medical treatment of eye disease. Eye exams and eyeglasses in Columbus, Ohio for over 35 years. Come see an Optometrist at one of our Columbus Ohio locations – Downtown, West Columbus, Dublin, Westerville and Reynoldsburg.

CARE : 20|20 : LIFE

*this advice is general in nature and does not constitute an exam. For specific advice, see your eye doctor or healthcare professional.*

 

 

What you should know about LASIK

Many people have had their vision permanently improved through LASIK, or laser eye surgery. This can be a wonderful option for those who don’t like dealing with glasses or contact lenses. Anyone who is contemplating having LASIK performed on their eyes, however, must keep a few things in mind.
Most people will at some point still have to wear reading glasses for near vision. LASIK corrects your distance vision and not near vision. This is true even if you can currently remove your glasses to read at near, as this will not be possible after having LASIK. One option for getting around this is monovision, or leaving one eye near-sighted to keep the ability to read at near. This can affect depth perception due to the fact that the eyes won’t work together as a team as well because you will always have one clear eye and one blurry eye.
Commonly after LASIK, patients will complain of nighttime glare and dryness. These symptoms usually improve or resolve after approximately six months, but can however last longer or be permanent.
One of the main things to remember is that there is no guarantee that you will be perfect 20/20 after the surgery. Because everyone heals differently, many people are left with a slight prescription afterwards. If the residual prescription is too great, an enhancement surgery can be performed. However, many people will have a very thin pair of glasses to wear occasionally to see their very best.

For more information, please visit our website’s LASIK page, found here: http://rinkoveyecare.com/lasik.html

From the Optometrists, Opticians and Staff of Rinkov Eyecare Center. Providing quality comprehensive eye exams, contact lenses, glasses, sunglasses and medical treatment of eye disease. Eye exams and eyeglasses in Columbus, Ohio for over 30 years. Come see an Eye Doctor at one of our Columbus Ohio locations – Downtown Columbus, West Columbus, Dublin, Westerville and Reynoldsburg.