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Unique Glasses and Contact Lens Options

In addition to regular spectacles and contact lenses, there are a number of lesser known options for vision correction. These are often built for certain work or play activities or specific eye conditions. Read on to learn more about some of these unique options.

 

Photosensitive, Tinted, and Color Contact Lenses

Contact lenses are becoming more technologically advanced all the time as new materials and designs are experimented with. Recently, a product has been introduced that combines the technology of Transitions lenses into a soft contact lens. Transitions lenses are photochromic, which means they darken in response to ultraviolet (UV) waves that exist in sunlight.

Darkening in this way helps to limit UV exposure to the eyes and prevent excessive brightness on a sunny day. They do visibly darken in the sun, but they are not a replacement for a regular pair of dedicated sunglasses. These contact lenses can be highly useful for people who spend a lot of time outside or for athletes in outdoor sports.

There are also colored and tinted contact lenses, which serve different purposes. Colored lenses are for aesthetic means, subtly changing the outward appearance of the iris, which is the colored part of the eye. Depending on the interaction of the lens and iris colors, many appearances can result in the end.

Tinted contact lenses are for visual purposes. They can enhance the ability to discern color or contrast differences. They can also be used in people with low vision or other eye and brain conditions to aid visual comfort and reduce symptoms.

Protective or Task-Specific Goggles

Goggles can be used for many activities, usually for more physical ones where the goggles must be tightly held to the head and eyes.

Goggles are often utilized in sports for vision correction, eye protection, or both. They can be customized to suit whatever needs a patient desires. For example, swim or ski goggles can be built with your prescription in them and can be tinted according to your needs as well.

These lenses are also useful in work that poses a hazard to the eyes. Safety glasses, as well as goggles, can be customized with your prescription while also providing adequate eye protection.

Vocational or Avocational Lenses

There are also various customized solutions for work and play. You may know of the traditional bifocal lens design, where a visible line separates an upper lens area built with the distance prescription from a lower area for the near prescription. This same design can be used in several different ways.

For electricians and pilots, for example, the bifocal design can be inverted so that near correction is on the top, allowing the clear vision of fine details above the head, and distance correction is on the bottom. Trifocals can also be used, where an intermediate lined portion is built between the distance and near portions of the bifocal, for those that require correction at specific distances.

Finally, there are lenses specifically designed for a day on the golf course. Most of the lens is built for distance, but there is a small portion in the corner made for seeing the scorecard and the tee. Other special variations exist and can always be customized to suit your visual needs.

 

Our eye doctors at Eye Theory in Houston, TX excel in the prescription of contact lenses, glasses and various eye diseases.  Call our optometrist at 832.831.7386 or schedule an appointment online if you would like to learn more about some of our unique eyewear solutions.  Our eye doctor, Dr. Jonathan Tsao, provides the highest quality optometry services and eye exams in the Midtown, Downtown, Museum District, Montrose, East Downtown, and Southside Commons (Southside Place) vicinities of Houston, Texas.

Do You Have a Strong Glasses Prescription?

Glasses are incredibly important for individuals with high prescriptions. Without vision correction, the world would be a blur, and completing simple everyday tasks would be difficult.

Unfortunately, the higher the individual’s prescription, the more power needs to be put into the corrective lenses and the thicker and heavier the lenses will be.

Luckily, there are many tips for picking the most optimal set of glasses that will provide the best comfort. Listed below are some key factors to consider when purchasing a new pair of glasses with a high refractive error.

High Myopia (Nearsightedness or Minus Prescriptions)

The first step is often to pick a set of frames that you will enjoy wearing. Of course, color and trend are important but for high prescriptions, there are other important components to keep in mind. First of all, for minus lenses, the higher the prescription, the thicker the lenses will be at the edges.

For this reason, it is important to pick a frame that has thick enough outer edges to hold the lenses in place and also to hide some of the thickness. Avoid rimless or semi-rimless frames.

Thicker temple arms on the frames can also help to hide the thickness of the lenses. Another thing to consider is that the larger the frame, the thicker the edges will be. So, it will be optimal to pick small frame sizes rather than large frames.

It is also important to make sure that the center of the frames are close to where the individual’s eyes are in the frames. Avoid frames where the eyes are sitting too close to the center of the frame and decentered towards the nose. The frames should sit close to the face to ensure optimal clarity.

The lenses for high minus prescriptions are also very important as the weight of the lenses will make a big difference, as well as any distortion in the lenses.

The thickness of the lens can be optimized by selecting a higher refractive index, which refers to the material that is used to make the lens. The higher the index, the thinner and lighter the lens will be.

It is also important to ensure that the lens has scratch-resistant, anti-reflective, and impact-resistant coatings. An aspheric design in the lens is also helpful as it decreases distortion when viewing outside of the optical center of the lens. Most high-quality lens manufacturers will automatically incorporate this into their higher prescription lenses.

A rarely used design for very high minus powers is referred to as lenticulation. This means that the prescription is put into the center of the lens in a circular disc (“the aperture”), with a thinner lens surrounding it (“the carrier”).

This decreases the weight of the lens and thins the outer edges of the lens. Keep in mind the aesthetic of the lens may not be preferred but comfort may increase immensely.

High Hypermetropia (Farsightedness or Plus Prescriptions)

Similar to high myopes, high hypermetropes (or plus prescriptions) will also need to be careful with their frame and lens selection. The higher the prescription, the thicker the lens, although the thickness will be at the center of the lens.

When picking a frame, it is also important to select a smaller frame and ensure that the eyes are not decentered too much from the centers of the lenses.

For higher plus powers, lens selection will mainly center around ensuring that the lenses have an aspheric design. This will decrease lens weight, thickness, and distortion in the periphery.
It will also help the lenses look more cosmetically appealing. A high index would also be preferred as it will make the lenses thinner and lighter. Coatings are of course important as well to prevent chipping and improve cosmetic appeal (scratch-resistant, anti-reflective, and impact-resistant coatings). Lenticulation is also an option for plus lenses.

 

Our eye doctors at Eye Theory in Houston, TX excel in the prescription of contact lenses, glasses, and various eye diseases.  Call our optometrist at 832.831.7386 or schedule an appointment online if you would like to learn more about how we can help if you have a strong glasses prescription.  Our eye doctor, Dr. Jonathan Tsao, provides the highest quality optometry services and eye exams in the Midtown, Downtown, Museum District, and Southside Commons (Southside Place) vicinities of Houston, Texas.

Choosing the Right Lens Options for Your New Glasses

There are many materials, designs, coatings, and treatment options to consider when you are choosing lenses to go in your newest pair of glasses.  These seemingly simple decisions can have a huge impact on your satisfaction with your lenses.  At Eye Theory, our experienced opticians can help you navigate the overwhelming task of choosing new lenses.  We have also compiled a quick reference guide to help answer some frequently asked questions about lenses. 

 

What Lens Material Should I Choose for Glasses?

The material used to make your lenses can impact the optics and clarity of your vision.  One of the most commonly used materials is CR-39, a lightweight and cost-effective plastic material that delivers good optics and clear vision.  While CR-39 is a strong lens, it does not include any additional coatings or special properties.  Another popular lens choice is polycarbonate lenses.  Polycarbonate is a durable, shatter-resistant material.  Its protective properties make it ideal for children, and it also provides some UV protection.  For people with strong prescriptions who want to avoid thick lenses, a high index material should be considered.  High index lenses help reduce the thickness and weight of lenses, which makes them more comfortable and cosmetically appealing.  

 

What Lens Coatings Should I Consider?

After you decide on a lens material, you need to decide on any additional lens coatings or treatments that you need to make your lenses suit your needs.  The most popular option is an anti-reflective coating.  This special treatment reduces reflections from both the front and back surface of your lenses and helps to reduce glare and improve visual comfort.  If you are bothered by glare from overhead lights, oncoming headlights, or long hours at the computer, this coating should be considered.  It also helps improve the cosmetic appearance of lenses and makes your lenses less noticeable.  You may consider treatments such as scratch-resistant coatings or UV-blocking coatings, though many lens materials, such as polycarbonate lenses, already include these properties.  Another popular lens option is photochromatic treatment.  Photochromatic lenses are clear lenses that transition into tinted sunglass lenses when exposed to UV light.  Photochromatic lenses are a cost-effective way to avoid buying both regular glasses and prescription sunglasses.  Though they are great for efficiency, photochromatic lenses have some drawbacks.  In certain conditions, they can be slow to change back into a clear lens after coming inside on a sunny day, leaving you with tinted lenses for longer than desired.  Additionally, because car windows and windshields are designed to block UV rays, most photochromatic lenses will not work in a car.   If you are more interested in a pair of prescription sunglasses for your outdoor needs, you can choose to have polarized lenses.  This treatment is used in sunglasses to filter out horizontal reflecting rays.   This can significantly reduce glare and improve clarity, and many outdoorsmen favor this lens coating.  

A highly trained optician is invaluable when it comes to choosing lenses.  By learning about how you use your eyes, including your job, your hobbies, and your type of prescription, they can help make tailored recommendations so you are satisfied with your glasses.  

 

Our eye doctors at Eye Theory in Houston, TX excel in the prescription of contact lenses, glasses and various eye diseases.  Call our optometrist at 832.831.7386 or schedule an appointment online if you would like to learn more about lens.  Our eye doctor, Dr. Jonathan Tsao, provides the highest quality optometry services  and eye exams in the Midtown and Southside Commons (Southside Place) vicinities of Houston, Texas.

 

Presbyopia and Vision Changes As You Age

Most middle-aged adults experience vision changes related to a condition known as presbyopia.  Presbyopia results in the gradual loss of the ability to focus on near objects.  It is a normal age-related change that begins to occur around the early to mid-40s and continues throughout adulthood.  Though this vision condition can be frustrating, confusing, or even embarrassing at first, it is a completely normal occurrence and there are many different options to help correct the blurry near vision caused by presbyopia.  

 

What Causes Presbyopia?

The focusing system of the eye is what allows us to view objects that are up-close, far away, and all distances in-between.  In youth, the focusing system of the eye is robust and flexible, and can easily focus to a wide range of distances.  However, as we age, the focusing system becomes more rigid, making it more difficult to clearly view objects at a close distance.  The acquired rigidness of the focusing system is a normal, age-related change and has no impact on the overall health of the eye or visual system.  Presbyopia gradually worsens over time, and near objects will become blurrier and blurrier.

 

Symptoms of Presbyopia

The early symptoms of presbyopia can be confusing at first. One of the most common early signs of presbyopia is needing to hold objects further away than normal in order to see them clearly.  While holding objects further away may work temporarily, presbyopia causes progressively blurred near vision as time goes on.  It may be more difficult to focus on fine print, and near work may be accompanied by headaches or significant eye strain.  People who are naturally farsighted may experience the symptoms of presbyopia sooner and more severely, while those who are nearsighted typically do not notice the symptoms quiet as early in life. Unfortunately, the blurred vision caused by presbyopia cannot simply be fixed by “focusing harder.”  For most, this vision condition requires optical correction in order to clearly and comfortably see close objects again. 

 

Seeing Clearly with Presbyopia 

Luckily, there are many corrective options for those affected by presbyopia.  Many people choose to use reading glasses to help them see up-close, but these glasses need to be removed in order to see clearly far away.  For people interested in a single pair of glasses that can be worn full time, there are several different options that can provide clear vision for near and distance objects.  Lined bifocal lenses contain a distance prescription at the top of the lens, and a reading prescription at the bottom.  Similarly, progressive lenses, or “no-line bifocals,” contain a gradient of prescriptions to allow for clear vision at a range of distances.  Many people prefer these lens options in order to avoid putting on and removing glasses many times throughout the day.  There are even contact lens options for those affected by presbyopia that want to avoid glasses altogether.  Multifocal contact lenses are special soft lenses that provide correction for both distance and near vision.  They come in many different brands and designs, so almost all contact lens wearers can find a multifocal lens that works for them.  

 

Our eye doctor at Eye Theory in Houston, TX excels in the prescription of contact lenses, glasses and various eye diseases.  Call our optometrist at 832.831.7386 or schedule an appointment online if you would like to learn more about presbyopia.  Our eye doctor, Dr. Jonathan Tsao, provides the highest quality optometry services  and eye exams in Houston and Midtown Texas area.

Glasses and Refractive Error

There are several different vision conditions that require correction with glasses, contact lenses, or corrective surgery.  These conditions affect the way that light enters the eye, causing rays of light to incorrectly focus in front of or behind the retina.  Refractive error is the term used to describe these conditions that cause blurred or distorted vision.  These vision problems are relatively harmless and easily corrected by glasses or contact lenses to alter how light enters the eye, allowing light to properly focus on the retina and eliminating blurred vision.  Continue reading to learn more about refractive error and what to do if you are affected. 

 

The Rise of Myopia

Myopia is also referred to as nearsightedness.  This is a very common form of refractive error in which objects that are far away are blurred, but up-close objects are clearer and easier to see.  In myopia, light rays enter the eye and focus too far in front of the retina. This can occur because the front surface of the eye is too curved and alters the way light bends when it enters the eye, or it can occur because the eye is too long.  Most commonly, it is a combination of both of these attributes that leads to myopia. Nearsightedness is easily corrected by glasses or contact lenses that modify the way light enters the eye, pushing back light rays so they focus on the retina. The lenses used to correct for myopia are annotated with a “minus” value, such as -3.00.  Because nearsightedness is oftentimes caused by an elongated eyeball, those with moderate to high amounts of myopia are at a higher risk for retinal health problems such as retinal holes, tears, detachments, or even the development of glaucoma. Because of these risks, those with myopia should receive an annual eye examination that includes a retinal health evaluation. 

 

Hyperopia and Farsightedness

Farsightedness, or hyperopia, causes blurred vision, eyestrain, or eye fatigue while looking at up-close objects.  This occurs because light focuses too far behind the retina. In some people, especially children and young adults, the focusing system of the eye is strong enough to compensate for this form of refractive error.  But over time the focusing system weakens, and many people experience uncomfortable symptoms of hyperopia with extended near or up-close visual tasks. Most people become farsighted in their mid 40s due to a visual condition known as presbyopia.  Like myopia, both hyperopia and presbyopia can be corrected by glasses or contact lenses. Refractive surgery is less commonly used to treat or manage these vision conditions. 

 

Astigmatism

An astigmatism refers to a visual condition in which the cornea, or the front surface of the eye, is not perfectly curved.  If one portion of the cornea is curved differently than another, it alters how light enters the eye and causes distorted or blurred vision while looking at objects that are both close up and far away.  Astigmatism is much more common than people think; in fact, almost everyone has some degree of astigmatism. This condition is just like myopia or hyperopia in that it is easily corrected by contact lenses or glasses.  

 

Our eye doctor at Eye Theory in Houston, TX excels in the prescription of contact lenses, glasses and various eye diseases.  Call our optometrist at 832.831.7386 or schedule an appointment online if you would like to learn more about your refractive error.  Our eye doctor, Dr. Jonathan Tsao, provides the highest quality optometry services  and eye exams in Houston and Midtown Texas area.

Digital Screens and Computer Vision Syndrome

For many people, extensive use of digital screens is an important part of maintaining a professional or personal life.  Unfortunately, extended and uninterrupted screen time using computers, tablets, or smart phones may cause a group of symptoms known as Computer Vision Syndrome or Digital Eye Strain.  The more time spent viewing digital screens, the worse the symptoms of this condition may be. Computer Vision Syndrome is becoming increasingly common. In fact, research suggests that the vast majority of people who use computers or other digital screens show some degree of symptoms associated with the condition. Continue reading to learn more about how Computer Vision Syndrome may be affecting your eyes. 

 

What are the Symptoms of Computer Vision Syndrome?

Computer Vision Syndrome, also called CVS, can cause a wide range of symptoms.  Most commonly, people affected by this condition can experience blurred vision, eye fatigue or strain, and dry uncomfortable eyes. In more severe cases, symptoms can include headaches or double vision.  Using digital screens late at night can also disrupt the body’s natural circadian rhythm and may result in difficulty sleeping. The more time spent using digital screens, the more likely the symptoms of Computer Vision Syndrome are to be severe and bothersome.  For some people, these symptoms improve when they stop using a screen, but for others the symptoms can persist long after screen use has stopped. Those people may need to turn to other options for relieving the symptoms of CVS.

 

Specialized Computer Glasses

Eyestrain and fatigue is one of the most common symptoms associated with prolonged computer use. These symptoms occur because working on a computer or other digital screens in close proximity creates a lot of extra work for the focusing system of the eye. If you frequently experience this eye strain, a prescription can be written for specialized computer glasses to help improve visual comfort.  A computer prescription can be determined during a comprehensive eye examination, and will take into account factors like your traditional glasses prescription and the distance you sit from your screen.  These glasses can be made in a wide variety of lens designs, including progressive or bifocal glasses for those who view digital screens at a range of distances. They can also incorporate blue-blocking lenses to reduce additional eye fatigue associated with screen use.   

 

Treating Digital Dryness

When we look at digital screens, we tend to blink less often than normal.  This reduced rate of blinking leads to uncomfortable symptoms of dryness and irritation.  To address these symptoms of CVS, ask your optometrist for recommendations for a lubricating eye drop.  These over-the-counter artificial tears can be used during and after using digital screens to nourish the front surface of the eye and reduce discomfort associated with prolonged screen use. 

 

Remember to Take a Break from Digital Screens

As we have discussed, using digital screens for a long period of time can place a burden on the focusing system of the eye.  In addition to specialized computer glasses, one way to reduce eyestrain associated digital screens is to periodically give your focusing system a break.  To do this, try following the “20-20-20 rule.” This rule states that for every 20 minutes, you should look at an object at least 20 feet away for 20 seconds.  This temporary change in focus helps relieve the visual system and can reduce symptoms such as blurred vision, eyestrain, and headaches.  

If you are affected by Computer Vision Syndrome or Digital Eye Strain, make an appointment with one of our optometrists to discuss your symptoms and determine a treatment plan.

 

Our eye doctor at Eye Theory in Houston, TX excels in the prescription of contact lenses, glasses and various eye diseases.  Call our optometrist at 832.831.7386 or schedule an appointment online if you would like to be evaluated computer vision syndrome or for us to help with the visual requirements of your digital screens.  Our eye doctor, Dr. Jonathan Tsao, provides the highest quality optometry services  and eye exams in Houston and Midtown Texas area.