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					NEW ADVANCES IN VISION CORRECTION
There have been major advances in vision correction in the last few years. The most common vision problems are called refractive errors. You may recognize them as nearsightedness (difficulty seeing at a distance), farsightedness (difficulty adjusting up close), and astigmatism (a common distortion of vision). These new alternatives in correction allow patients to have improved vision with greater comfort, convenience, and affordability. Advances in eyeglasses, contact lenses and laser surgery can effectively help preserve and restore one of our most precious gifts - our eyesight! Eyeglasses Eyeglasses are the most common form of vision correction and have been around the longest. Not only do glasses provide a simple way to help people see, but they also add fashion with the many styles of frames and lenses from which to choose. In the past, eyeglasses were made of heavier lenses. Today most lenses are made of high-tech plastics that are thinner, lighter, less breakable and more scratch resistant. They can even be treated with special filters to block out harmful ultraviolet light. These are some of the new types of eyeglass lenses that are available: polycarbonate lenses that are light weight and safe because they are almost unbreakable, Transitions™ lenses that change from clear inside to dark outside, new types of progressive bifocals, anti-glare lenses, computer glasses, sports glasses and the many new sunglasses. An eye care professional can help you select the lens that best fits your vision needs and lifestyle. Take the time to find out which lenses are best for you. **Remember to see your optometrist each year to ensure that your eyeglass prescription best meets your ever-changing vision needs.** Contact Lenses Contact lenses are the favorite choice of millions of people. They are an effective alternative to eyeglasses for people needing vision correction. Recent advances in contact lens technology offer many new and exciting alternatives for contact lens wearers. A recent catalog of all contact lenses listed over 1400 different sizes, shapes and colors of contacts. More than ever before, you need to see an optometrist who knows the ins and outs of

the many contact lenses available. To get the best contacts, you want good comfort, without a dry feeling and clear vision at all times. Below are some of the basic types of contact lenses available: Soft Contact Lenses are made of a soft material that holds water. These lenses are comfortable and are now available in many types of wearing schedules. There are daily disposable lenses for people who don’t normally tolerate contacts well, don’t like to clean contacts daily, or who just need contact lenses for special occasions. The two-week disposable contact lenses are still the most commonly prescribed and most affordable. Other contact lenses can last one to three months. Most people take out their contact lenses each night. The newest advancement came this past year with the 30-day night and day lens. This lens is almost like wearing nothing at all and has been worn for up to 30 days straight by many patients. It is the healthiest option for anyone who sleeps in contact lenses. Again, seek the advice of an optometrist who makes contact lens prescribing his or her specialty. Look for an optometrist with experience, six or seven day a week access to the office for questions and supplies of contacts and a large inventory of contacts on hand. In many cases you will walk out of the office wearing contact lenses the same day as your first appointment. Color Contact Lenses are not only fun and fashionable, but are also practical. There are four types of colored lenses each of which has a slightly different benefit: 1.) Visibility tint lenses are lightly tinted so they can be easily seen if dropped, but do not affect the color of your eyes, 2.) Enhancement tint lenses are tinted to enhance your natural eye color, 3.) Basic color lenses are deeper in color with a clear center that change the color of your eyes and come in a wide variety of novelty and specialty colors, 4.) Blended color lenses offer a combination of two or more colors for the most natural look. Bifocal Contact Lenses are for people who have presbyopia (the condition experienced by people over 40 years old who can’t see to read as well as they used to). They provide correction for both near and distance and come as both soft and rigid gas permeable lenses. A successful alternative to bifocal lenses is monovision whereby one contact lens focuses for near vision and the other contact lens focuses for distant vision. This continues to be a popular alternative for many people. Toric Contact Lenses are for people with astigmatism. They are made from the same materials as many other contact lenses. Toric contact lenses

correct the distortion caused by astigmatism. The new toric lenses have probably made the biggest advances of any type of contacts in the last one to two years. Anyone who would like to wear contact lenses but had trouble with them in the past should make an appointment to try contact lenses again. Most contact lens experts will be able to tell you in advance if you are a good candidate and even let you try on a sample of the new style lenses. Ask about this service when you make your appointment. **Contact lens wearers need to remember the importance of good contact lens maintenance and regular visits to their optometrist.** Laser Surgery In recent years, tremendous advancements have been made in the field of corrective vision surgery also called refractive surgery. Most refractive surgeries involve reshaping the cornea, which is the clear front part of the eye. Then the light traveling through the cornea is to now able to focus correctly on the back of the eye without the aid of glasses or contact lenses. LASIK is still the most popular surgery used to correct vision problems in people who are nearsighted, farsighted and have astigmatism. The procedure is performed in two steps and takes less than 15 minutes from start to finish. Millions of people have now had successful Lasik surgery. While the results of these laser eye surgeries have been very promising, there are still some side effects and risks to consider. More than any other decision you will make about your eyes, refractive surgery is the most critical. Keep these simple facts in mind: 1) Your friend or neighbor may not be the best one to give you advice. 2) Ask your optometrist who the best surgeon or surgeons are for your eyes. 3) Advertisements can be deceiving because they only list the lowest price. 4) Often the best surgeons don’t have to advertise because they get their referrals from optometrists and other surgeons. **To find out if you are a suitable candidate for laser eye surgery, consult your family optometrist for further information.**


				
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