What Kind of Lenses Do I need? Part One – Single Vision or Bifocals

There are several types of eyeglasses designed to accommodate different vision challenges. The following article discusses single vision and bifocal glasses. OptiExpress provides comprehensive eye exams, contact lens fittings, a gallery of designer frames, and a one-hour onsite lab.

What is the difference between common types of lenses? Here is an explanation of single vision and bifocal lenses.

Single Vision Lenses

By far the most common type of corrective eyeglasses, this category offers correction for a single prescription throughout the whole lens. The correction may be either for myopia (nearsightedness) or hyperopia (farsightedness). Reading glasses – prescription or over-the-counter – are also single vision.

While many people wear more than one pair of single vision glasses – one for driving and another for reading, for example – it may be more efficient and convenient to wear bifocal lenses, which address more than one vision issue.

Bifocal Lenses

Bifocal lenses are lenses with two visual fields: one for distance viewing and another for close-viewing. It can be a challenge to adjust to bifocals, because there is a clear line of demarcation across the two lenses, which causes what’s known as an “image jump,” where objects suddenly appear dramatically closer when the eye travels slightly downwards. It is recommended that bifocal wearers wear their lenses as much as possible to get used to the visual field.

Bifocal lenses have the reputation for being the standard corrective eyewear for older adults, because they generally address presbyopia in addition to other vision issues. Presbyopia is the term that describes adult-onset farsightedness that makes reading difficult. Bifocals often have a viewing area specifically for reading.

In addition to single vision and bifocal lenses, there are other corrective lens options that address particular vision issues, which we’ll discuss in part two. If you need corrective lenses and live in the South Florida region, OptiExpress offers full eye exams, a gallery of designer eyewear, and a one-hour onsite lab. Please don’t hesitate to visit our Cape Coral or Ft. Myers eye care center for a comprehensive eye test.

OptiExpress founder Dr. J. Michael Witherington has been one of Ft. Myers’s most respected optometrists for more than twenty years. To book an eye exam at our Ft. Myers or Cape Coral location, please visit our contact page.

Don’t Think You Need an Eye Test? Why Eye Exams Matter

Many of us who don’t wear corrective lenses aren’t vigilant about getting regular eye exams, yet eye exams can detect numerous health concerns that may have gone unnoticed. The following article discusses the different reasons eye exams are as important as routine dental visits and physicals. OptiExpress provides comprehensive eye exams, contact lens fittings, a gallery of designer frames, and a one-hour onsite lab.

You might not realize it, but your vision may not be as excellent as it used to be. A significant portion of the population – roughly 11 million U.S. residents – require some form of corrective eyewear. Even if you don’t think you need corrective lenses, you may be surprised by how imperfect your vision is once you have a test. If you strain to see small print or read street signs at a distance, corrective lenses may increase your comfort, reduce eye strain, and make you a safer driver.

Additionally, eye exams detect abnormalities that indicate potentially serious diseases of the eyes. Many eye diseases are symptomless at first, though catching them early and treating them quickly can be highly effective.

However, regular eye exams not only keep your vision and ocular health in check, they also provide early detection of potentially serious health issues. If you are experiencing the following symptoms, make an appointment to see an optometrist as soon as possible.

  • Compromised vision or vision loss
  • Persistent eye redness
  • Eye pain
  • Blurred or double vision
  • Halos around lights
  • Light flashes
  • Floaters (the appearance of floating objects)

Discovering and treating eye concerns early is critical to achieving positive outcomes. A few highly treatable issues (when caught early) include:

  • Cataracts
  • Diabetic retinopathy
  • Glaucoma
  • Macular degeneration

There are an estimated 61 million adults in the U.S. who are currently at significant risk for vision loss, yet fewer than half have seen an optometrist or other eye care specialist within the previous year.

If you haven’t visited an optometrist or had your eyes tested within the past few years and you live in the South Florida area, please don’t hesitate to visit OptiExpress in either Ft. Myers or Cape Coral.

OptiExpress founder Dr. J. Michael Witherington has been one of Ft. Myers’s most respected optometrists for more than twenty years. To book an eye exam at our Ft. Myers or Cape Coral location, please visit our contact page.

Fungal Growth and Contact Lenses: How to Keep Your Lenses Sterile

Maintaining your contact lenses properly is critical to keeping your eyes healthy and your contacts in good condition. Here are a few strategies for avoiding the dangers of contaminated contact lenses. OptiExpress provides comprehensive eye exams, contact lens fittings, a gallery of designer frames, and a one-hour onsite lab.

First-time contact lens wearers are typically fastidious with their contact lens care, but as they grow used to wearing lenses without any discomfort or other problems, they may get slightly more lax about their sterilization routines. This failure to adhere to proper maintenance guidelines can put your vision at significant risk.

Proper contact lens care includes:

  • Washing hands thoroughly – at least 20 seconds – with antibacterial soap before handling contacts.
  • Cleaning one lens at a time with the clinician-recommended solution by gently rubbing the lens with the solution in the palm of your hand.
  • Rinsing the lenses thoroughly for the recommended length of time.
  • Always using fresh solution when storing your lenses; do not “top off” solution.
  • Using a protein remover if your optometrist recommends it.

Fungus is a particularly insidious problem for contact lens wearers. Fungal growth can easily occur in moist and warm environments, which is why many home bathrooms are particularly susceptible to fungus. Moreover, fungus feeds on plastics – the material used in contact lens cases. Proper disinfecting and maintenance dramatically reduces the likelihood that you’ll experience fungal contamination in your contact lenses, but even proper maintenance still isn’t enough in certain rare conditions.

According to a study published in 2015 by researchers for the Eye & Contact Lens Association, there had been incidences of contact lenses – even those that had been properly maintained – being contaminated by fungus at a far higher rate than researchers anticipated. Approximately 7 percent of the samples collected had evidence of fungal growth that could have potentially caused eye infections. This may have been due to several factors, including:

  • Ineffective disinfection solution (hydrogen peroxide-based solutions were determined to be less effective against fungal contamination than multipurpose solutions).
  • Living in a warm and moist climate where fungus flourishes easily.
  • Failing to replace the contact lens case, although the lenses themselves were replaced.

If you wear contact lenses, make sure you use optometrist-recommended cleaning solutions, replace your contact lens case every few months, and if you live in a warm and moist environment, consider investing in a home dehumidifier to keep fungus and other potentially hazardous microbes at bay.

If you are considering switching to contact lenses and live in the South Florida area, please visit the OptiExpress eye care center in Cape Coral or Ft. Myers for a comprehensive eye exam and contact lens fitting.

OptiExpress founder Dr. J. Michael Witherington has been one of Ft. Myers’s most respected optometrists for more than twenty years. To book an eye exam at our Ft. Myers or Cape Coral location, please visit our contact page.

How to Apply and Remove Your Contact Lenses

Knowing the right way to apply and remove your contact lenses is incredibly important for maintaining your eye health. Here are a few guidelines for putting in contact lenses in order to preserve your lenses and keep your eyes healthy. OptiExpress provides comprehensive eye exams, contact lens fittings, a gallery of designer frames, and a one-hour onsite lab.

If you are new to contact lenses, here are a few basic guidelines for contact lens wear that will help protect your eyes and your lenses.

To apply your contact lenses:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly before handling your lenses. Do not use moisturizing soaps that leave an oily residue on your skin after rinsing, since this residue can stick to your lenses and degrade them over time, and may also irritate your eyes. Moisturize your hands after installing your lenses.

  • Shake your lens case before opening it to make sure your lenses aren’t stuck. Pulling a stuck lens from the case may tear it. If you discover that your lenses are slightly stuck, just close the case and shake it gently again to dislodge them.

  • Gently put the lens into the palm of your hand. Don’t put your contact lens into your eye immediately after retrieving it from the case. Make sure you rinse your lenses in the palm of your hand with fresh solution before applying them.

  • Make sure your fingers are dry before installing your lenses. Put you contact lenses on the tip of a dry index or middle finger, because this will help prevent the lens from slipping.

  • Hold your eyelids open with your opposite hand. Use your thumb and forefinger to gently hold your upper and lower lids while installing your lenses.

  • Place your lenses on the whites of your eyes. While staring either upwards or forwards, place the lens on the white of your eye closest to the outer rim nearest your ear. You then close your eye and roll your eyes in a circular fashion to position the lens properly. If it is properly positioned, your eyes should be comfortable and you will be able to see clearly.

To remove your contact lenses:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly. Even though you may be tired and just want to go to bed, it’s still important to make sure your hands are thoroughly clean before taking out your lenses. Bacteria and other particles on your hands can stick to your lenses and flourish in the case, making your eyes vulnerable to infection.

  • Place a clean microfiber towel in and around the sink before removal. This will protect your lens if you drop it accidentally during removal.

To remove soft contacts:

  • Gently hold your eyelids open. Use the index or middle finger of your opposite hand to move the lens towards the white of your eye closest to the outer edge. Then use your index finger and thumb to pinch the lens away from your eye.

To remove gas permeable/hard contact lenses:

  • Stare-Pull-Blink. Hold out your hand underneath your eye. Lean forward, open your eye as wide as you are able, stretch your eyelids open and outward using your opposite hand, and then blink, which will cause the lens to pop out into your extended hand.

If you are in the South Florida area, wear corrective glasses and want to switch to contact lenses, please visit the Cape Coral or Ft. Myers OptiExpress eye care center for a comprehensive eye exam and contact lens fitting.

OptiExpress founder Dr. J. Michael Witherington has been one of Ft. Myers’s most respected optometrists for more than twenty years. To book an eye exam at our Ft. Myers or Cape Coral location, please visit our contact page.

5 Signs You Should Schedule an Eye Exam

While everyone should have periodic eye exams, there are certain circumstances that demand more urgent attention. Here are a few conditions that should be examined by an eye care professional sooner rather than later. OptiExpress offers comprehensive eye exams, contact lens fittings, a gallery of designer frames, and a one-hour onsite lab.

Although an eye exam every year or every other year is typically adequate for most people, there are some situations that require immediate attention from an optometrist or ophthalmologist. Optical health can change significantly in one year, and this is particularly true for people aged 50 and older, so recognizing issues with eye health is critical in order to preserve long-term vision and overall health. Here are a few signs that you should visit an eye care professional soon.

  1. You have persistently dry eyes. Dry eyes have numerous causes – essentially your eyes aren’t producing sufficient tears to keep your eyes moistened and comfortable. While it might not be an indicator of a serious medical issue, dry eyes can leave your eyes vulnerable to infection, which may compromise your vision.

  2. You have a family history of, or risk for, diabetes. If you have diabetes or are at risk for diabetes, you should have regular eye exams. Diabetes can put you at significant risk for retinopathy, glaucoma, and cataracts, among other conditions. Diabetes is a leading cause of total vision loss in adults between the ages of 20 and 75.

  3. Your night vision is reduced. If you noticed that your night vision is compromised and have trouble driving at night, you should schedule an eye appointment immediately. The condition could be caused by cataracts, or might be an indication of a significant health concern.

  4. Your vision is changing. Any changes in vision should be addressed quickly, as they may be a sign of something significant. If you are over the age of 40, you may be experiencing age-related presbyopia, which is the reduced ability to focus on near objects.

  5. You have experienced head trauma. Sometimes minor head trauma, like whiplash, can trigger changes in vision. If you had a head injury and are experiencing any vision issues, like trouble shifting between near and far focus, seek immediate medical attention.

You shouldn’t wait for any of the above events to occur before seeing an eye health professional – if you haven’t had an eye exam in a year or more, schedule an appointment with your local eye care professional today.

OptiExpress founder Dr. J. Michael Witherington has been Ft. Myers’s leading optometrist for more than two decades. To schedule an eye exam at our Ft. Myers or Cape Coral location, please visit our contact page.