10 Ways to Keep Your Eyes Healthy

Your vision may be your most valuable of your five senses – here are a few tips for keeping it sharp and healthy for the long term. OptiExpress is Cape Coral and Fort Myers Florida’s leading optometry resource, helping diverse patients maintain their ocular health.

While most of us are given five senses that help us navigate our environment – sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch – our vision may be our most used. We use our eyes to process approximately 80 percent of all tangible phenomena, so a loss of, or reduction in, our vision significantly affects our quality of life. Moreover, vision deterioration costs the U.S. nearly $140 billion annually — $65 billion in direct health spending, a loss of $48 billion in reduced industrial productivity, and almost $24 billion in long-term and part-time care, government assistance, and medical devices.

The risk of vision deterioration increases as we age. There is a 20 percent possibility that an adult over the age of 45 will experience a loss of vision or a health concern that affects visual acuity. Fortunately, conditions like diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration, cataracts, and glaucoma can be prevented if you take a long-term approach for protecting your vision. Here are 10 tips that can help you preserve your vision at any age.

1. A Healthy Diet Promotes Healthy Vision.

A balanced diet with nutrient-rich foods – plenty of omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins A, C, and E, zinc, and lutein, especially – help ward off age-related vision issues like macular degeneration and cataracts.

2. Stop Smoking/Vaping.

Smokers are three times as likely to develop medical conditions that result in vision deterioration.

3. Always Wear Work Goggles.

If you’re an avid carpenter, gardener, or mechanic, always wear work goggles to protect your eyes from hazardous dust or chemicals.

4. Protect Your Eyes from the Sun.

Persistent exposure to ultraviolet rays can accelerate the effects of cataracts and macular degeneration. Choose a pair of sunglasses with 100 percent UV protection.

5. Take a Break From Screen Time.

While it can be difficult to tear ourselves away from our computer screens, phones, and tablets, extended exposure to the LED screens can cause eye strain and lead to dry/itchy eyes, headaches and even reduced ability to focus on objects at a distance. If you can’t reliably reduce your screen time, invest in a pair of screen exposure glasses that mitigate the effects of LED light.

6. Take a Break From Reading.

You don’t have to do all of your reading on electronic devices to experience ocular discomfort – old-fashioned books can also cause eye strain, especially if you’re reading in insufficient light. If you feel your eyes becoming tired after pouring over a stack of papers, look away from your documents for a few seconds until your eyes are relieved.

7. Visit an Eye Care Specialist Once Per Year.

Even if your vision seems fine, or your prescription lenses seem to be correcting your vision sufficiently, it’s still important to visit your optometrist regularly to check for any irregularities. The earlier any vision problems are addressed, the easier they are to correct.

8. Take Changes in Vision or Eye Comfort Seriously.

If you are experiencing blurry vision, persistent dry eyes, eye pain, or any changes in the quality of your sight, make sure you have the issues addressed immediately.

9. Discuss Inherited Vision Conditions With Your Optometrist.

If your parents or grandparents had vision problems, diabetes, or heart disease, talk to your eye care specialist about your own risks of also experiencing those ailments.

10. Maintain Your Contact Lenses According to Your Doctor’s Instructions.

You may think that you’re caring for your contact lenses properly, statistically, you probably aren’t. According to research performed by the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, even though 85 percent of study respondents believed they cared for their contact lenses properly, only 2 percent cared for them adequately, and .4 percent followed contact lens care practices fully. Not only does failure to care for contact lenses properly cause them to deteriorate quickly, it can also leave you susceptible to a variety of eye infections and disorders. Talk to your optometrist about how you should care for your specific type of lenses.

OptiExpress: Providing Family-Friendly Eye Care Services Since 1999

OptiExpress offers the Cape Coral and Fort Myers, Florida communities access to comprehensive eye care services, including eye exams, contact lens fittings, designer frames, and screenings for complex eye conditions. We’re proud to offer a one-hour digital lab that allows us to fabricate corrective lenses on-site quickly and accurately, letting customers fill their prescriptions during their lunch hour! Visit our Cape Coral or Fort Myers locations today for fantastic deals on eye exams and corrective lenses.

Caring for Corrective Lenses – Preserving Your Contacts Properly

While contact lens maintenance can seem like an involved process to those who are new to the contact lens lifestyle, once you get used to the routine, you can easily keep your lenses in excellent condition. Here are the basic rules for correct contact lens care. OptiExpress offers affordable, comprehensive eye exam and contact lens packages from our Cape Coral and Fort Myers eye care centers.

While glasses are a reliable and centuries-old vision correction solution, contact lenses deliver more natural-feeling vision correction, so even people who are squeamish about putting objects directly in their eyes very often elect to make the switch. However, poor contact lens maintenance can degrade them quickly, and even cause medical complications. If you have decided to transition from eyeglasses to contact lenses, here are a few things you should remember about proper contact lens maintenance.

  • Adjust your daily routine. Contact lens maintenance requires adherence to an inflexible routine if you plan on wearing them daily. Always wash your hands carefully with soap and water, and allow them to dry thoroughly before handling your lenses. Keep your fingernails short enough to ensure they are clean and free of particles that may be deposited on your lenses. Sterilize your lenses with the proper solution every time you remove them. Do not sleep in any contact lenses unless they are specifically designed for overnight use and permitted by your eye doctor. Never allow water to touch your contact lenses – make sure you remove them before bathing, swimming, or submerging in any body of water.

  • Keep an easily accessible spare kit in case of emergency. There may come a time when you have to remove your contact lenses away from home. If you keep a spare kit and solution in your car or your bag, you can easily care for your lenses properly.

  • Keep a pair of eyeglasses handy. Getting contact lenses doesn’t necessarily mean saying goodbye forever to eyeglasses – you never know when you’ll need to remove your contacts.

  • Keep the line of communication between you and your doctor open. Make sure you continue your recommended eye exams even if everything seems fine. Continual eye exams will help preserve your eye health and ensure your corrective lenses are always performing optimally.

OptiExpress: Offering Comprehensive Eye Care Services and a One-Hour Digital Lab to the Cape Coral and Fort Myers, Florida Communities

If you are considering getting a prescription for contact lenses, the OptiExpress team is more than happy to provide you with excellent, affordable eye care services and contact lens packages, complete with an eye exam.

Corrective Lens 101: Finding Your Perfect Eyeglasses

While there is a wide variety of corrective lens options on the market, high definition progressive lenses may offer the best features of any external vision correction solution. Here is an overview of high definition progressive lenses, and why they might be able to deliver superior corrective power. OptiExpress offers a broad selection of corrective eyewear – from contact lenses to designer frames – from its Fort Myers and Cape Coral, Florida eye care centers.

High definition progressive lenses – how can a pair of eyeglasses be high definition?

High definition lenses, also called digital lenses or HD lenses, are corrective eyeglass lenses that are fabricated specifically for your eyes using a digital scan. Each pair is unique and tailored to the wearer’s needs at the time of evaluation. This maximizes the corrective power of the lenses and can help the wearer’s vision even surpass the 20/20 vision mark!

High Definition Progressive Lenses – What Are the Benefits?

High definition lenses differ significantly from traditional lenses in that they offer vision correction without the lens distortion typical of standard eyeglasses. When you put on a pair of traditional eyeglasses, the lens shape causes warping along the perimeter of the frame. High definition lenses use technology that allows the frame to be cut with superior precision so that there is almost no distortion and a clear and sharp field of vision.

High definition lenses are particularly good for people who require vision correction for multiple distance zones. High definition progressive lenses deliver a dramatically increased field of vision – more than 40 percent wider than traditional glasses. This contributes to the ease with which wearers can transition from close to distance viewing.

Personalized Corrective Lenses, Designed for You and Only You

With a crisp and clear field of vision throughout the frame, precise customization to your visual needs, ease of transitioning from reading to distance viewing, and a thin, sleek and stylish lens design, high definition progressive lenses offer superior vision correction in a beautifully designed package.

OptiExpress: Providing the Fort Myers and Cape Coral Communities with Exceptional Eye Care Services

OptiExpress offers comprehensive eye exams, a wide selection of designer frames, and high definition progressive lens fabrication on-site at our one-hour digital lab. If you want fast, friendly, and affordable eye care service in the Cape Coral or Fort Myers community, please don’t hesitate to visit our eye care center today!

High Definition Progressive Lenses: What Are They, and Why Do I Need Them?

While there is a wide variety of corrective lens options on the market, high definition progressive lenses may offer the best features of any external vision correction solution. Here is an overview of high definition progressive lenses, and why they might be able to deliver superior corrective power. OptiExpress offers a broad selection of corrective eyewear – from contact lenses to designer frames – from its Fort Myers and Cape Coral, Florida eye care centers.

High definition progressive lenses – how can a pair of eyeglasses be high definition?

High definition lenses, also called digital lenses or HD lenses, are corrective eyeglass lenses that are fabricated specifically for your eyes using a digital scan. Each pair is unique and tailored to the wearer’s needs at the time of evaluation. This maximizes the corrective power of the lenses and can help the wearer’s vision even surpass the 20/20 vision mark!

High Definition Progressive Lenses – What Are the Benefits?

High definition lenses differ significantly from traditional lenses in that they offer vision correction without the lens distortion typical of standard eyeglasses. When you put on a pair of traditional eyeglasses, the lens shape causes warping along the perimeter of the frame. High definition lenses use technology that allows the frame to be cut with superior precision so that there is almost no distortion and a clear and sharp field of vision.

High definition lenses are particularly good for people who require vision correction for multiple distance zones. High definition progressive lenses deliver a dramatically increased field of vision – more than 40 percent wider than traditional glasses. This contributes to the ease with which wearers can transition from close to distance viewing.

Personalized Corrective Lenses, Designed for You and Only You

With a crisp and clear field of vision throughout the frame, precise customization to your visual needs, ease of transitioning from reading to distance viewing, and a thin, sleek and stylish lens design, high definition progressive lenses offer superior vision correction in a beautifully designed package.

OptiExpress: Providing the Fort Myers and Cape Coral Communities with Exceptional Eye Care Services

OptiExpress offers comprehensive eye exams, a wide selection of designer frames, and high definition progressive lens fabrication on-site at our one-hour digital lab. If you want fast, friendly, and affordable eye care service in the Cape Coral or Fort Myers community, please don’t hesitate to visit our eye care center today!

Astigmatism 101: What is it, and How is it Treated?

Despite its somewhat intimidating name, astigmatism is quite a common condition, and it can be successfully treated using corrective lenses or surgical intervention.

Astigmatism is an ocular condition involving the malformation of either the cornea or the lens. In moderate-to-severe cases, this condition inhibits light from entering the retina efficiently, causing vision to become blurred at any distance, and sometimes triggering headaches, poor night vision, and eye irritation. Most people are either born with, or will develop, a very mild degree of astigmatism; many cases do not result in any noticeable vision abnormalities.

What causes astigmatism?

The precise cause of astigmatism isn’t known, but it does correlate with other conditions. Many people are born with an inherited astigmatism. It has been known to develop as one ages, and is often seen before the onset of cataracts. Astigmatism may also be a reaction to eye surgery or an eye injury. A rare condition called keratoconus causes a type of astigmatism where the cornea begins to deteriorate slowly and becomes increasingly misshapen. Severe keratoconus-related astigmatism can be treated with a surgical replacement of the cornea once the condition has become advanced.

How is astigmatism diagnosed?

If you have blurred vision at any distance – meaning you can’t see objects clearly no matter how near or far they are – you may have astigmatism. However, it very often appears with either myopia (nearsightedness) or hyperopia (farsightedness), so the degree of severity may not be apparent without a comprehensive evaluation. Here is what your eye care specialists will check when evaluating for astigmatism:

  • Visual acuity. Visual acuity is your ability to see symbols clearly at a specified distance. 20/20 vision is the ability to clearly read a letter or number from 20 feet that has been designated as being readable at a 20-foot distance.
  • The curve of the cornea. The keratometer is a tool that uses light to measure corneal curvature and assess the degree of astigmatism severity. Your eye care specialist may also use a corneal topographer, which is a more sophisticated instrument that offers greater detail of the cornea, providing a three-dimensional map of the corneal surface.
  • Refraction. This exam tests the focusing power of the eye using a device called the phoropter. It measures refractive error by placing a series of lenses before the patient, with the patient telling the optometrist which lenses produce the best correction.

What are astigmatism treatment options?

Depending upon the results of the examination, your optometrist may offer you the following correction solutions:

  • Eyeglasses. Eyeglasses remain the most common corrective measure for people with astigmatism. These may be single focus, or in the case with people with presbyopia, progressive lenses that address multiple distance issues.
  • Contact lenses. Contact lenses have an advantage over glasses because they can physically correct the shape of the cornea, provided they are gas permeable or rigid lenses. Soft contacts are not effective for astigmatism, because they adjust to the shape of the corneas instead of reshaping them.
  • Orthokeratology/Ortho-k. This procedure is the fitting of retainer contact lenses for corrective wear. The lenses reshape the corneas over time, improving the wearer’s vision even when corrective lenses or eyeglasses are not worn. While ortho-k does provide prolonged correction, the technique does not permanently alter the corneas; the retainer lenses must be worn periodically to ensure long-term results.
  • Surgical intervention/LASIK. LASIK (laser in situ keratomileusis) surgery is a process that reshapes the cornea by removing the inner tissue. This is a permanent solution, and it can fully correct moderate to severe astigmatism.

If you think you have any type of vision problem, including astigmatism, don’t hesitate to have a comprehensive eye evaluation performed.

OptiExpress: Delivering compassionate eye care to the Fort Meyers and Cape Coral communities.

OptiExpress offers full eye examinations and a one-hour digital lab on site, so your prescription glasses can be ready on your lunch hour. For exceptional eye care service and excellent package deals on eye wear, contact lenses, and eye exams, please visit our family-friendly eye care center today!

How Do I Read an Eyeglasses Prescription? Here’s What You Need to Know

If you’ve just received your first eyeglasses prescription you’re probably unfamiliar with the ciphers and terminology. In fact – you don’t understand a thing! Never fear – here’s a primer on vision prescriptions, which will help you better understand your eye health.

What do the notations mean?

The standard notations for visual acuity seem confusing, but they’re pretty straightforward once they’re translated. Here’s what you need to know.

Eyeglass prescriptions are generally transcribed on a graph. The abbreviations on the right-hand side are:

  • O.D. This abbreviation stands for oculus dexter, which is Latin for right eye.
  • O.S. This abbreviation stands for oculus sinister, which is Latin for left eye.
  • O.U. This abbreviation stands for oculus uterque, which is Latin for both eyes.

While these are the standard notations, many optometrists are now using the more accessible R.E., L.E., and O.E. (right eye, left eye, both eyes).

Along the top of the graph are terms relating to the condition of your vision. These terms are:

  • Sphere: This term relates to the prescribed strength of the corrective lenses needed to address either myopia (nearsightedness) or hyperopia (farsightedness).
  • Cylinder: This term is designated for the correction of astigmatism. If this section is blank, it means that patient either does not have astigmatism, or that it is so minor that it does not affect the patient’s vision.
  • Axis: For patients with astigmatism, this category notes the angle and direction of the corneal or lens curvature.
  • ADD: This space indicates that a bifocal or multifocal prescription is recommended.

What do the numbers mean?

Under the terms at the top of the chart are numbers which describe the strength of the required vision correction. The higher the number, the more intensive the necessary correction.

There will also be plus or minus signs alongside the numbers. A plus sign indicates farsightedness; a minus sign indicates nearsightedness.

What about the other stuff?

Your optometrist will often provide special instructions for the fabrication of your corrective lenses. These instructions are meant to provide the most comfortable correction and suit your lifestyle. For example, your eye care specialist may specify variable tint lenses or anti-glare coating.

Can my eyeglasses prescription be used for contact lenses?

Eyeglass prescriptions cannot be used interchangeably with contact lens prescriptions because eyeglass prescriptions lack details that can only be gathered from a contact lens fitting. The lens has to fit the unique curve of the eye, and the corrective power is different, since contact lenses sit directly upon the eye, while eyeglasses sit approximately 12 millimeters away from the eye.

Your eyeglass prescription is your property. It must be given to you whether you specifically request it or not, or whether or not you choose to have your prescription filled by the eye care center where you had your exam. You have the right to use your prescription at any eyewear retailer you wish.

It is advisable to have an eye exam every year to ensure your lenses are always providing the appropriate level of correction.

OptiExpress: Fill your prescription fast at our one-hour onsite lab

OptiExpress offers comprehensive eye exams and a one-hour onsite lab, so you can have your prescription eyewear before your lunch hour ends. With excellent deals on designer eyewear and contact lenses, we are Fort Meyers’s and Cape Coral’s go-to eye care specialist. Come to our family-friendly eye care center for a complete eye exam today!

Contact Lens Maintenance 101

Maintaining your contact lenses properly is crucial not only for ensuring your lenses perform correctly and comfortably, but also for preserving your eye health and hygiene – wearing improperly maintained contact lenses can lead to severe eye infections that may compromise your vision. Here are a few things to remember when caring for your contact lenses.

  • Do: Always adhere to the prescribed wearing schedule and timetable. Your contact lenses will have been designed to function properly for a set period of time. Contact lenses will begin to degrade if they are worn past the manufacturer’s recommended timeframe.
  • Don’t: Attempt to wear your contact lenses for longer than prescribed. Wearing contact lenses for days on end can be extremely dangerous to your vision. You risk trapping microbes under the lenses. These can flourish in the eyes, causing ulcers and corneal perforation that can lead to blindness.
  • Do: Keep your lenses sterile. Always meticulously clean your lenses after and before each wearing. Make sure your case is always scrupulously cleaned.
  • Don’t: Use any cleaning agent other than the prescribed contact lens solution. Moistening your lenses with anything other than the proper lens solution risks introducing bacteria and irritants into your lenses and eyes.
  • Do: Remove your contacts if you feel any discomfort. If you feel any redness, swelling, itching, or irritation, remove your contacts immediately. Visit your eye care professional if you experience any changes in your vision or prolonged discomfort.
  • Don’t: Allow the contact lens solution bottle tip to become contaminated. Merely touching the tip to your finger, eye, or any surface could expose it to potentially dangerous microbes.
  • Do: Thoroughly wash and dry your hands before handling your contacts. It’s also a good idea to keep your nails short to minimize the chance of exposing your lenses to hidden bacteria.
  • Don’t: Attempt to reuse contact lens solution. Change the solution in your case – don’t top off existing solution.
  • Do: Remove your contact lenses before sleep. While there are extended wear contact lenses, it’s still a good idea to remove them before bed to facilitate oxygen flow to the eyes and reduce chances of eye infection.
  • Don’t: Expose your contact lenses to water. Tap water – even filtered water – can damage contact lenses and introduce bacteria into the eye. Take out your lenses before swimming or showering or participating in any activity where your face may get wet.

These tips are basic guidelines for contact lens use and storage; always follow your optometrist’s or physician’s instructions for wearing and caring for your contact lenses.

Although contact lenses are a great vision correction solution that offer a wider field of vision than glasses, they might not be right for everyone. Here are a few conditions that may make wearing contact lenses challenging or ill-advised.

  • You are prone to eye infections or have highly sensitive eyes.
  • You either live or work in highly dusty conditions.
  • You experience significant allergies – watery, itchy eyes – with symptoms that persist even when they are being treated.
  • Your lifestyle or living situation makes it difficult for you to maintain your contact lenses properly.

Discuss your vision correction options with your optometrist before deciding on a solution.

OptiExpress: Providing comprehensive eye exams and one-hour onsite labs to the Cape Coral and Fort Meyers communities

OptiExpress is a family-friendly eye care center, providing excellent deals for designer eyewear, contact lenses, and eye exams to the Fort Meyers and Cape Coral, Florida communities. Visit our experienced and licensed optometrists for an eye exam today!

Digital Lens Announcement

Optiexpress is pleased to announce that We are now licensed to manufacture digital lenses. These lenses deliver a far Higher quality of vision than even the finest non-digital lenses could ever possibly achieve. The result is sharp vision, Not only when looking straight ahead, but Even on the lens edges peripherally! Many Patients have complained about and endured poor peripheral vision through their eyeglasses in the past. Now, with this excellent optical technology, that problem has been solved. These lenses are available in clear, transitions, and polarized. Come by soon, and let us help you look and see your best!

What is the Correct Age for Contact Lenses?

What is the Correct Age for Contact Lenses?

Many children who wear glasses look forward to a time when they can switch to contact lenses, but it can be a challenge for parents to determine the right age. While there is no definitive age when a person is ready to bear the responsibility of contact lenses, there are a few things parents should keep in mind before allowing their child to make the leap from glasses to contacts.

Some mild vision impairments may be corrected, or improved, by wearing contact lenses.

There have been numerous studies indicating that certain types of contact lenses – known as Rigid Gas Permeable or RGPs – may help slow the growth of the eye, which may inhibit further development of nearsightedness (myopia). These lenses are designed specifically to facilitate a temporary reshaping of the cornea, and to address mild but progressive nearsightedness. They may be used on patients as young as 8-years-old.

Contact lenses require scrupulous sanitizing to be worn safely.

If your child isn’t fastidiously clean, then wearing contact lenses responsibly may be a challenge. Contacts must be kept sterile, and if your child can’t be relied upon to wash her hands thoroughly or keep a tidy room, then she might not be ready for contact lenses. If your child routinely loses, breaks, or scratches her glasses, then she likely won’t properly care for contacts.

Contact lenses are good for athletic children.

If your child is a part of a sports team, then you should consider contact lenses. Contact lenses are safer than eyeglasses, as they allow children a greater range of visibility, eliminate the risk of broken glasses, and allow for the wearing of protective eye gear.

If you are in the Cape Coral or Fort Meyers community and your child wants to transition from glasses to contacts, visit the eyecare professionals at OptiExpress. We are a comprehensive eyecare center, specializing in eye exams and contact lens fittings for the whole family.

Presbyopia

People are often surprised when they discover in their forties that the can no longer see clearly up close without reading glasses. Are there people that can avoid this problem? No. That’s because the human lens that focuses for close vision loses its elasticity with time, and there are no exceptions to this problem. If someone can see up close without glasses in their mid forties, it’s because they are nearsighted, and don’t need to focus up close. The price they pay, is that they can’t see far away without glasses. Multi -focal glasses and contact lenses are used for presbyopia, which is the loss of focusing power to compensate for this problem. At Optiexpress we offer many interesting solutions to help people see clearly up close again. We look forward to helping you too.