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How to Deal with Contact Lens Discomfort

Do your eyes itch or burn when wearing contact lenses? There are several reasons why you may be experiencing contact lens discomfort. Discover the possible causes behind the problem and see what you can do to relieve your discomfort.

What Causes Contact Lens Discomfort?

Some of the top causes of uncomfortable contacts are:

Dry eyes

Dry eye syndrome is a common condition that arises when your tears can’t keep your eyes sufficiently lubricated due to an imbalance in the tear film. Certain diseases, medications and environmental factors, like high levels of dryness and wind, can cause or contribute to red, itchy or irritated eyes, especially when wearing contacts.

Allergies

Allergens are typically harmless substances that induce an allergic response in certain people. Pollen, mold, dust and pet dander are some of the most common airborne allergens that trigger eye allergies. Cosmetics and certain eye drops, such as artificial tears with preservatives, can also induce eye allergies, which can make contact lens wear uncomfortable.

Corneal irregularities

The cornea at the front of the eye may be irregularly shaped due to astigmatism, keratoconus, eye surgeries (i.e. LASIK or cataract surgery), eye injuries or burns, scarring, corneal ulcers and/or severe dry eye. Irregular corneas often prevent traditional contact lenses from fitting correctly and comfortably.

Symptoms of Contact Lens Discomfort

  • Burning, itchy, stinging eyes
  • Sensation of something being stuck is in the eye
  • Excessive watering or tearing of the eyes
  • Unusual eye secretions
  • Redness of the eyes
  • Reduced sharpness of vision
  • Blurred vision, rainbows, or halos around objects
  • Sensitivity to light

How to Relieve Contact Lens Discomfort

Try Different Contact Lenses

Nowadays, there are many types of contact lenses on the market, including specialty contacts for dry eyes and astigmatism. Meet with our optometrist for a personalized eye exam for contacts.

With the variety of contact lens brands available, switching to a different contact lens may be the simplest answer if you’re experiencing discomfort that isn’t connected to improper fitting or issues with tear production. If your existing lenses fit well but still irritate and dry out your eyes, speak to us about trying a different design or brand of contact lenses, or changing your lens-wearing schedule.

Artificial Tears or Eye Drops

Over-the-counter artificial tears or eye drops are a common way to temporarily relieve contact lens discomfort. However, it’s important to keep in mind that unless prescribed by an eye doctor, they may not be treating the root of the problem.

Moreover, certain eye drops are incompatible with contact lenses, and may damage your contacts or harm your eyes. We also recommend staying away from products that claim to remove redness from your eyes, which temporarily reduce the size of blood vessels to lessen redness, but do not address the underlying cause of the condition, and can actually worsen it over time.

At Overland Optical Family Eye Care, we carry a preferable brand of drops that you can purchase on site or order online. These are recommended for dry eyes and are safe with contact lenses. You will notice a significant difference.

Take Good Care of Your Lenses

Inadequate contact lens care leaves residue on your lenses, which can discomfort, harmful eye infections and inflammation. Below are a few important contact lens hygiene guidelines to follow:

  • Before handling your contact lenses, thoroughly wash and dry your hands.
  • Remove your lenses before showering, bathing or swimming to prevent infection.
  • Do not sleep in your contact lenses (unless they are approved for sleeping).
  • Replace your contact lenses according to the manufacturer’s instructions (e.g., don’t reuse daily wear lenses).
  • Regularly clean your contact lens case and ask your eye doctor when to replace it.
  • Only use a contact lens solution that is appropriate for your lenses.
  • Never reuse or mix contact lens solutions.
  • Schedule regular appointments with your eye doctor.

If you are experiencing discomfort with your contact lenses, get in touch with Overland Optical Family Eye Care in either Overland (314.423.3874) or St. Charles (636.949.2900) today. We’ll get to the bottom of the problem and provide effective solutions for all-day comfort.

Q&A

What kinds of contacts are available?

Contact lenses are available in a wide range of materials and replacement schedules. Disposable contact lenses and extended wear contacts are the most convenient for many users.

I’ve already been fitted for contact lenses, so why did my optometrist ask me to come back?

If you’re asked to return a week later, it’s because your optometrist wants to rule out any issues, such as contact lens-related dry eye or irritation.

If it’s been around a year since your last eye checkup, you’ve likely been contacted to check whether your prescription has changed and to evaluate your eye health. The sooner problems are detected and treated, the better the outcome.

What Eye Drops Are Best For My Eyes?

Are you suffering from red, irritated and scratchy eyes? Do you feel like you have something stuck in your eyes? These are hallmark symptoms of dry eye syndrome, a condition that occurs when your eyes are not properly lubricated due to insufficient tear production, blocked glands, or unbalanced tear composition.

The symptoms can be so unpleasant that many rush to the nearest pharmacy to find the perfect eye drops that will offer them the relief they need so that they can get back to focusing on other things.

However, seeking the ideal artificial tears to relieve dry eyes can be a daunting process. The eye drops shelf at the drug store offers so many options that it’s hard to know which ones are right for you. What’s more, some can actually make your symptoms worse.

Not all eye drops are created equal—currently, there are 6 main categories of artificial tears available over the counter. Choosing the artificial tears based on your specific needs can help narrow your options.

The 6 Types of Eye Drops / Artificial Tears

Preserved Artificial Tears

Preserved artificial tears contain added preservatives to maintain a very long shelf and keep bacteria at bay once the bottle is opened. Unfortunately, the preservatives can also cause inflammatory dry eye disease, irritation, and an allergic reaction in those who are sensitive. Preserved artificial tears are limited to 4 times a day for this reason. The preservatives may also leave residue on contact lenses, so they are not recommended for use with contact lenses.

Preservative-Free Artificial Tears

Preservative-free artificial tears are great for contact lens wearers as they don’t cause any preservative build-up on the lenses. They are also suitable for those with sensitive eyes since they contain fewer ingredients that can cause irritation.

Preservative-free eye drops typically come in a box of 28 to 30 small vials that fit in a pocket or purse.

To use these drops, just pop the top off and insert the drops into your eyes. Some of these vials can be re-capped to allow you to continue to use the vial for up to 24 hours, but not longer. Refrigerate opened vials between uses to prevent any bacterial growth.

Oil-Based Artificial Tears

Oil-based tears come in preserved and preservative-free versions. These are thicker than traditional eye drops, as they contain an oil-based formulation. The oil helps prevent the watery portion of the tears from evaporating too quickly.

If you suffer from moderate or severe dry eye, oil-based artificial tears may be a great option. However, they’re not recommended for contact lens wearers, as the oils may stick to the surface of the lenses, making it difficult to keep them clean.

Eye Drop Spray or Mist

These sprays are preservative-free and are used to relieve dryness and irritation in both the eyes and eyelids. They’re easy to use, especially for those who struggle to insert drops into their eyes.

To use the spray, just close your eyes and spray onto your closed eyelids. Once you blink, the tears will slide into your eyes.

Don’t use the spray if you’re wearing makeup, lotions, or creams on your eyelids, as it can cause the makeup or lotion to enter your eye.

Artificial Tear Gel

Artificial tear gel adds a thick coating of tears and can be used at any time of the day or night. However, the thicker consistency of the gel drop may blur your vision for several minutes.

The gel is applied in the same way as eye drops. It effectively soothes the eyes and provides extended relief for both moderate to severe dry eye.

Most artificial tear gels contain preservatives, so they can only be used up to 4 times a day, and usually they are not safe for contact lens wearers.

Artificial Tear Ointment

Dry eye ointments are thick and coat the front of your eye for extended coverage. They’re usually used 1 to 2 times daily as needed. It may be best to use them at bedtime, as it will blur your vision.

Get Dry Eye Relief Today!

Artificial tears may be a good way to temporarily relieve eye dryness. However, using the wrong type of eye drops can be worse than not using any drops at all. So be sure to consult your eye doctor before you get eye drops.

Keep in mind that eye drops don’t address the root cause of dry eyes; they just provide temporary relief from the uncomfortable dry eye symptoms. Only an eye doctor can examine your eyes to determine the underlying cause of your symptoms and recommend the best treatment for your unique case of dry eye.

Schedule an appointment with Overland Optical in St. Charles or Overland to learn more about dry eye syndrome and to find out which treatment is best for you.

Q&A

Frequently Asked Questions with Sara Schmitz, O.D.

Q: What is dry eye syndrome?

    • A: Dry eye syndrome is a condition where your eyes either produce low-quality tears or don’t produce enough tears to keep your eyes hydrated. This may be due to certain diseases (like diabetes or other autoimmune diseases), aging, allergies, hormonal changes, smoking, poor air quality, medications, and the environment.

    Q: What are the symptoms of dry eye syndrome?

          • A: Dry eye syndrome can cause a wide range of symptoms including:Itchy eyes
            A feeling that there is grit or debris in the eye
            Blurred vision
            Burning sensation
            Watery eyes
            Dryness
            Irritation
            Sensitivity to light and glare

      Q: Artificial Tears

                • A: Artificial tears are drops used to lubricate dry eyes. These drops help maintain moisture on the surface of your eyes. Artificial tears are available without a prescription from your optometrist. There is no one brand works best for every form of dry eyes. Aside lubricating the surface of your eyes, artificial tears can also promote healing of the eyes. Additionally, some types of drops work to decrease the evaporation of tears from the surface of your eyes. Artificial tears may also contain thickening agents, which keep the solution on the surface of your eyes longer.

      Quality Frames For Prescription Eyeglasses & Computer Glasses In St. Louis, Missouri. Visit Overland Optical Family Eye Care for an eye exam and eyeglasses that match your style.

      3 Reasons To Wear Prescription Sunglasses

      Designer Frames & Sunglasses at Overland Optical Family Eye Care

      Designer Frames & Sunglasses at Overland Optical Family Eye Care

      Sunglasses offer clear, comfortable vision while also protecting your eyes from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet light — which is a known risk factor for developing cataracts, macular degeneration, and other sight-threatening eye conditions. That’s why it’s important to always wear sunglasses whenever outdoors.

      If you don’t already own a pair of prescription sunglasses, below we’ll explore 3 compelling reasons to pick up a pair from your local optometrist in Overland.

      They’re Convenient

      When you have a pair of prescription sunglasses, protecting your eyes while outdoors becomes a no-brainer.

      Even those who wear contact lenses can benefit from owning a pair of prescription sunglasses for days when you just want to give your eyes a break from lenses.

      They’re Customizable

      Ask your eye doctor about how to personalize your prescription sunglasses to suit your needs.

      Whether you prefer anti-reflective coatings, polarization, or other optical upgrades — your pair of prescription sunnies can be tailor-made for your eyes.

      You can even order a pair of bifocal or multifocal sunglasses if you require more than one prescription.

      They Offer Better Protection

      When you order a pair of prescription sunglasses from your local optometrist, you can be sure you’re getting superior quality.

      Sunglasses should always offer 100% UVA and UVB protection, but the fact is that many sunglasses available from other vendors don’t always provide that level of protection. And don’t be fooled by “UV blocking” stickers on the lenses — “UV blocking” is not the same as “100% UV protection”.

      At Overland Optical Family Eye Care in Overland, we carry a wide range of fashionable, high-quality, protective sunglasses that will keep your eyes feeling and looking their best.

      For all of your optical needs, we’re here for you. Call us today to learn more or schedule your appointment.

      Frequently Asked Questions

      Q: Why is it important to wear sunglasses?

      • A: It’s important to wear sunglasses all year round. Prolonged exposure to harmful UV light has been known to cause a handful of sight-threatening diseases like cataracts, macular degeneration, and photokeratitis. Sunglasses also shield your eyes from harsh winds that carry debris and irritating allergens.

      Q: Why should I buy eyewear from a local optometrist rather than online?

      • A: Whether you’re buying glasses, contact lenses, or sunglasses, it’s best to order them directly from your eye doctor rather than an online source. Online eyewear is more prone to manufacturing errors that can cause visual discomfort and even damage your eyes. When you buy from a local optometrist you get personal care and attention and can bring in your eyewear for adjustments and repairs.

      Quality Frames For Prescription Eyeglasses & Computer Glasses. Visit Overland Optical Family Eye Care for an eye exam and eyeglasses that match your style.

      Refs & Inspo
      https://www.allaboutvision.com/sunglasses/reasons-you-need-prescription-shades/

      Are You Susceptible To Vision Loss?

      Vision loss is more common than you may think! In fact, it’s among the most prevalent disabilities in adults and children. Knowing what puts you at risk of developing vision loss is important and can help you to be proactive about caring for your eyes.

      Below, we’ll explore the most common causes of vision loss and the risk factors associated with each.

      Spreading awareness and education about visual health is just one way that our eye doctors near you can help. To schedule your comprehensive eye exam, call us today.

      Common Causes of Vision Loss

      Glaucoma

      Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases caused by a buildup of pressure within the eye. Too much inner-eye pressure can damage the optic nerve and lead to vision loss.

      Since symptoms don’t usually manifest in the early stages of glaucoma, getting regular eye exams is all the more crucial. Advanced or rapidly progressing glaucoma can show a variety of symptoms, such as blurred vision, headache, severe eye pain and redness, seeing halos around lights, and nausea.

      Risk factors for developing glaucoma include:

      • Being 60 years or older
      • Family history of glaucoma
      • African, Asian, or Hispanic descent
      • High myopia (nearsightedness) or hyperopia (farsightedness)
      • Previous eye injury or certain eye surgeries
      • Certain medications, like corticosteroids
      • Thin corneas
      • Certain medical conditions, like diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, and sickle-cell anemia

      Cataracts

      Cataracts occur when the eye’s lens becomes cloudy. A healthy lens is clear and allows light to pass through it undisturbed.

      Common cataract symptoms include cloudy or blurred vision, difficulty seeing at night, light sensitivity, double vision in the affected eye, and seeing colors as faded or yellowish.

      Risk factors for developing cataracts include:

      • Aging
      • Diabetes
      • Hypertension
      • Smoking
      • Previous eye surgery, injury, or inflammation
      • Alcoholism
      • Extended use of corticosteroids

      Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)

      AMD is the leading cause of severe vision loss in adults over the age of 60. It occurs when the macula (the small central portion of the retina, which is responsible for sharp, colorful, central vision) begins to wear down.

      Early stages of AMD usually go unnoticed, but later stages of the disease can produce symptoms like blurred vision, dark or blurry areas in your central vision, and problems with color perception.

      There’s not yet a cure for AMD, but certain treatments can help prevent vision loss.

      Risk factors for developing AMD include:

      • Smoking
      • Obesity
      • Aging
      • Long-term sun exposure
      • Hypertension
      • Heart disease
      • Family history of AMD
      • Light-colored eyes
      • Farsightedness

      Diabetic Retinopathy (DR)

      Diabetic retinopathy is a complication of Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes that affects the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye called the retina.

      Initially, diabetic retinopathy shows no symptoms but can eventually lead to blindness. As it develops, it can cause increased floaters, impaired color vision, dark spots in your visual field, and blurred vision.

      Risk factors for developing diabetic retinopathy include:

      • Length of time from diabetes diagnosis — the longer you’ve had it, the higher your chances of developing visual complications
      • Uncontrolled blood sugar
      • Obesity
      • High cholesterol or blood pressure
      • Pregnancy
      • Smoking
      • African American, Hispanic, and Native American ethnicities
      • Family history of DR

      So, what’s the bottom line ?

      Multiple factors contribute to eye disease and vision loss, and some may even be relevant to you. If you think you may be at risk for vision loss or experience any of the symptoms listed above, speak with your eye doctor in Overland as soon as possible. We also recommend you have your eyes thoroughly examined every 1-2 years, or as often as your eye doctor recommends. To schedule your comprehensive eye exam, call Overland Optical Family Eye Care today.

       

      Frequently Asked Questions With Our Overland Eye Doctors

      1. Can blindness be prevented?

      When caught early, many eye diseases can be treated to halt or slow the progression of the disease and potentially prevent vision loss. The best things you can do to preserve your vision for the long term is to lead a healthy lifestyle and make sure you undergo a comprehensive eye exam every 1-2 years.

      1. Which eye diseases are genetically inherited?

      More than 350 ocular diseases have some sort of genetic component. Certain diseases, like retinitis pigmentosa and albinism, are directly inherited through chromosomal information. In other cases, a predisposition to the disease is inherited, rather than the disease itself.

      What Are The Main Causes Of Blindness?

      Eye Exams and Vision Care at Overland Optical Family Eye Care

      Eye Exams and Vision Care at Overland Optical Family Eye Care

      About 39 million people around the world currently live without sight.

      Why so many? What causes it?

      There are several reasons people become blind, which we will delve into below. Hopefully, by spreading awareness about the causes of blindness and ways to prevent it, Overland Optical Family Eye Care in Overland will help people like you preserve their vision for a lifetime. Call today to schedule your eye exam.

      Top Causes of Blindness

      1. Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)

      This eye disease is the leading cause of near-vision impairment in people over the age of 50. Patients living with AMD often lose part or all of their central vision, making it hard to perform daily tasks like driving, recognizing faces, and watching television.

      2. Cataracts

      A cataract occurs when the eye’s natural lens begins to cloud. While most people associate cataracts with advanced age, they can actually occur at any point in a person’s life, and for a variety of reasons. Risk factors for cataracts include genetics, age, radiation, trauma, and certain medications.

      An estimated 17% of North Americans above the age of 40 have cataracts. Fortunately, they are easily removed through surgery. Left untreated, cataracts can eventually lead to blindness.

      3. Glaucoma

      Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases caused by increased ocular pressure. The two most common forms are open-angle glaucoma and closed- angle glaucoma. Open-angle is more common and typically progresses silently over a long period of time. Closed-angle glaucoma is a more painful and acute form of the disease. All forms of glaucoma can eventually lead to blindness.

      Early detection and treatment are key in preventing vision loss from glaucoma.

      4. Diabetic Retinopathy (DR)

      DR is a complication of diabetes that occurs when excess sugar in the blood damages the retina’s blood vessels. There are 4 stages of DR, with the first stages rarely presenting noticeable symptoms. In many cases the condition can be managed and treated by your eye doctor, especially if caught early on.

      Regular dilated eye exams are crucial for patients with diabetes, as it helps ensure the earliest possible detection of DR.

      Frequently Asked Questions About Vision Care

      Q: What does it mean to be ‘legally blind’?

      • A: People often assume those who are blind are unable to see anything. The truth is that to be considered legally blind, a person’s eyesight must be 20/200 — in other words, you’d need to stand 20 feet away from an object that one with healthy vision could see at a distance of 200 feet away. Furthermore, those who are legally blind cannot correct their vision with glasses or contact lenses.

      Q: Can blindness be reversed?

      • A: Certain types of blindness are reversible. In cases of cataracts, corneal diseases, wet AMD and some instances of diabetic retinopathy, surgery, injections, and other treatments can return at least some sight to an individual who has experienced vision loss. On the other hand, diseases like glaucoma, retinitis pigmentosa, and dry age-related macular degeneration can cause irreversible vision loss.

      Quality Frames For Prescription Glasses & Computer Glasses


      As you may have noticed, the underlying theme in preventing all of these sight-threatening conditions is early detection. By undergoing yearly comprehensive eye exams, you stand a higher chance of keeping your eyes and vision healthy for the long term.

      To schedule your annual comprehensive eye exam, call Overland Optical Family Eye Care in Overland today.

      Refs
      https://ibvi.org/blog/what-are-the-main-causes-of-blindness/

      How Sleep Apnea Affects The Eyes

      Did you know that some eye conditions are associated with sleep apnea? According to the National Sleep Foundation, more than 18 million Americans have sleep apnea, and Health Canada reports similar prevalence. It’s a sleep disorder where people stop breathing — often multiple times per night — while sleeping.

      If you have sleep apnea: it tends to take longer for your tears to be replenished, you’re more likely to have ocular irritation, you have a higher chance of developing floppy eyelids, and you’re at increased risk for glaucoma.

      What Is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

      There are different types of sleep apnea. The most common one is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). During OSA, your airway becomes partially blocked due to relaxed muscles in your nose and throat. This causes apnea (the absence of breathing) or hypopnea (abnormally shallow, slow breathing). It’s twice as common in men, and is more likely to affect people with obesity, hypertension, diabetes or heart disease.

      What are the common symptoms of sleep apnea?

      Sleep apnea occurs when the muscles in the back of your throat relax too much to allow normal breathing. These temporary breathing lapses cause lower-quality sleep and affect the body’s oxygen supply, which can lead to potentially serious health consequences.

      While snoring is a common symptom, not everyone who snores has sleep apnea. Interrupted sleep can cause excessive daytime sleepiness, fatigue, irritability or depression, headaches in the morning, difficulty concentrating and thinking, and a sore throat.

      Which Eye Conditions Are Associated With Sleep Apnea?

      Glaucoma

      Glaucoma occurs when increased pressure within the eye damages the optic nerve, which connects the eye to the brain, leading to vision loss and sometimes blindness. In some cases, it might be due to a drop in blood oxygen levels, which happens when you stop breathing. However, CPAP machines, one of the most common treatments for sleep apnea, can also cause glaucoma.

      So, people with sleep apnea — even if it’s being treated — need to get their eyes checked on a regular basis for glaucoma.

      Floppy Eyelid Syndrome

      Floppy Eyelid Syndrome (FES) is an eye condition where a person has an unusually large and floppy upper eyelid. It can cause eye redness, irritation, discharge, or blurry vision — and over 90% of people with FES also have sleep apnea.

      Non-Arteritic Anterior Ischemic Optic Neuropathy

      Non-arteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy (NAION) is an eye condition that occurs when there is a loss of blood flow to the optic nerve. Patients typically complain of significant vision loss in one eye without any major pain. Approximately 70-80% of patients with NAION have been found to have OSA.

      Retinal Vein Occlusion

      Also referred to as an ‘eye stroke,’ retinal vein occlusion (RVO) is a blockage of the small veins that carry blood away from the retina. A recent study of 114 RVO patients found that sleep apnea was suspected in 74% of the patients that had previously been diagnosed with RVO.

      Other Eye Health Issues Associated With Sleep Apnea

      Some other ocular conditions that are more common in patients with sleep apnea include: papilledema, keratoconus, and central serous chorioretinopathy. Furthermore, in addition to glaucoma mentioned above, CPAP machines are associated with dry eye syndrome and bacterial conjunctivitis.

      Talk To Your Doc

      Get eye exams regularly to rule out eye disorders and prevent potential vision loss, especially if you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea. At Overland Optical Family Eye Care in Overland we encourage you to share your medical history with us so we can better diagnose and treat any eye conditions or ocular diseases you may have, and help you keep your eyes nice and healthy.

      Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Sara Schmitz, O.D.

      Q: What Causes Sleep Apnea?

      • A: Sleep apnea occurs when in-part or completely stop breathing when sleeping. This causes your lungs to strain harder for oxygen, and makes the brain send signals that jerk your body awake to resume proper breathing.

      Q: What are the Warning Signs of Sleep Apnea?

      • A: A common sign of sleep apnea is loud snoring. Snoring that is loud enough to disturb the sleep of the patient as well as others around, even across the walls. That said, not everyone who snores suffers from obstructive sleep apnea.

      Quality Frames For Prescription Eyeglasses & Computer Glasses In St. Louis, Missouri. Visit Overland Optical Family Eye Care for an eye exam and eyeglasses that match your style.

      5 Sunglasses Trends Worth Knowing

      Designer Sunglasses at Overland Optical Family Eye Care

      Designer Sunglasses at Overland Optical Family Eye Care

      Sunglasses have been a fashion accessory for decades, so it’s no wonder that favorite styles frequently make a comeback, while others remain popular year after year. So what’s changed? The realization that sunglasses aren’t just a fashion statement. They also protect your eyes from the sun’s harmful rays.

      At Overland Optical Family Eye Care in Overland we can offer you cool stylish looks while protecting your eyes with our large selection of designer sunglasses.

      We’ve listed 5 sunglasses trends to keep in mind when shopping for your new pair of shades.

      1. Oversized Lenses

      Oversized designer sunglasses are not only a must-have accessory. They’re also highly functional. Larger frames and lenses help block more sunlight from your eyes. Oversized sunglasses also come in polarized and nonpolarized lenses, so you can see better and more clearly while still looking great.

      2. Colorful Shades

      If you already have a large collection of sunglasses, sunglasses with colorful lenses can be an inspired addition, both fashion-wise and functionally. Each tint provides different benefits to suit your lifestyle. For example, to improve depth perception choose a brown/amber or red tint. Red and yellow tints reduce eye strain. Gray-tinted lenses reduce glare on both sunny and cloudy days.

      3. Aviator Sunglasses

      There’s a reason that aviator glasses are a staple. They go with everything. Aviator sunglasses protect your eyes while also giving you a sporty, fashionable edge. To add some fun, check out aviator shades in pink, blue, or classic grey.

      4. Round Sunglasses

      Round sunglasses, which were immortalized by John Lennon, are always trending. They’re especially flattering to people with a round, square or heart-shaped face.

      5. Mirrored Lenses

      Mirrored lenses are not only stylish but provide a reflective optical coating. From the outside, the coating looks like a mirror and has a reflective surface that reflects a clear image. However, the mirror doesn’t pass on the inside of the lens. Mirrored lenses offer several advantages: they help with glare, making it more comfortable to drive; they keep light from getting into your lenses; they improve how well you see colors; and they protect your eyes from UV rays. They’re a sleek fashion accessory that enhances any outfit.

      No matter what style you go for, remember it’s also about protection. The sun gives off strong UV rays, so it’s just as important to protect your eyes while looking cool and stylish. Visit us to see our large variety of designer sunglasses and get the look you’ve always wanted.

      Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Sara Schmitz, O.D.

      Q: Should I wear sunglasses during the winter?

      • A: Absolutely! Ultra-violet (UV) rays are present and harmful whether it’s cloudy out or sunny! While we all know that UV rays can cause damage to the skin, UV exposure can also cause damage to several important parts of the eyes and can lead to problems such as early-onset cataracts and macular degeneration later in life.

      Q: How do I know which sunwear lenses absorb UV rays the most?

      • A: Generally, most sunwear lenses will absorb UV lenses to some degree. Lenses that are marked CR-39R plastic, absorb about 88 percent of UV light. If sunglasses contain polycarbonate lenses, UV absorption will be 100 percent.

      Quality Frames For Prescription Eyeglasses & Computer Glasses. Visit us for an eye exam and eyeglasses that match your style.

      3 Benefits of Anti-Glare Coating

      Glare refers to the excessive brightness caused by direct or reflected light. It can cause eye strain, digital eye strain (when using a computer, for example), halos, and headaches. Glare can also reduce visibility, making it unsafe to drive.

      Anti-glare coating, also known as anti-reflective (AR) coating, is a thin layer applied to the surface of your eyeglass lenses that allows more light to pass through your lenses. By reducing the amount of glare that reflects off of your lenses, you can see more clearly and experience more comfortable vision. You can request anti-glare coating for lenses when you buy eyeglasses.

      AR Coating Offers 3 Major Advantages

      Better Appearance

      Without an anti-glare coating on your glasses, camera flashes and bright lights can reflect off your lenses. This can hinder your appearance when speaking to people or in meetings, cause flash reflections when picture-taking, and make it difficult to find the right angle for video calls. Anti-reflective coating eliminates the harsh reflections and allows others to clearly see your eyes and face.

      Reduced Digital Eye Strain

      You know that tired, irritated feeling you get after staring at a digital screen for several hours? That’s digital eye strain. Anti-glare coating helps reduce digital eye strain by lowering exposure to excessive glare from digital devices and lighting.

      Safe Driving at Night

      The bright headlights from cars driving in the opposite direction can pose a serious danger when driving at night. These sudden glares can lead you to momentarily lose focus of the view ahead. AR coating on your prescription eyewear effectively reduces reflections from headlights at night, allowing you to enjoy a better view of the road and safer driving at night.

      Let your eyes look and feel better every day with anti-glare coated lenses. Contact us to book your appointment today!

      Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Sara Schmitz, O.D.

      Q: Can you request lenses made from glass? Is glass still used for lenses?

      • A: Yes. Opticians still sometimes use glass for lenses. However, glass is not used very often because they aren’t as safe. If these glass lenses breaks, they can shatters into many pieces and can injure the eye. Glass lenses are much heavier than plastic lenses, so they can make your eyeglasses less comfortable to wear.

      Q: Can a coating be added to eyeglasses to protect them from further scratches?

      • A: A protective coating can’t be added to a lens after it’s scratched. The coating is applied when the lens is manufactured and can’t be put on later.

      Quality Frames For Prescription Eyeglasses & Computer Glasses In St. Louis, Missouri. Visit Overland Optical Family Eye Care for an eye exam and eyeglasses that match your style.

      What You Should Know About Night Blindness

      If you don’t see well while driving at night, there’s a chance you have night blindness. Night blindness, or nyctalopia, is the inability to see well at night or in dim lighting. It’s not considered an eye disease, but rather a symptom of an underlying problem.

      Our eye doctor in Overland can help diagnose, manage and treat your night blindness with specialized digital eye exams, so that you can enjoy being out and about at night again.

      Here are 4 things you should know about night blindness:

      Causes of Night Blindness

      The inability to see well at night can be the result of a condition such as:

        • Vitamin A Deficiency — Vitamin A helps keep your cornea, the layer at the front of your eye, clear; it’s also an important component of rhodopsin, a protein that enables you to see in low light conditions. Although uncommon in North America, deficiency of this vitamin can induce night blindness.
        • CataractsA buildup of protein clouds the eye’s lens, leading to impaired vision, especially at night and in poor lighting conditions.
        • Diabetic RetinopathyDamage to the eyes’ blood vessels and nerves can result in vision loss, including difficulty seeing at night.
        • GlaucomaThis group of eye diseases is associated with pressure build-up in the eye that damages the optic nerve. Both glaucoma and the medications used to treat it can cause night blindness.
        • MyopiaAlso called nearsightedness, myopia makes distant objects appear blurry, and patients with it describe a starburst effect around lights at night.
        • KeratoconusAn irregularly shaped cornea causes blurred vision and may involve sensitivity to light and glare which tend to be worse at night.
        • Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP)A progressive genetic eye disease which can be associated with other diseases, RP leads to night blindness and peripheral vision loss.
        • Usher SyndromeThis genetic condition causes both hearing loss and vision loss, including night blindness and RP, mentioned above.

      Symptoms of Nyctalopia

      Since night blindness is a symptom of some serious vision problems, it’s important to get your eyes checked regularly to ensure that everything is in good working order. Contact your eye doctor as soon as possible if you notice that you don’t see as well in dim light as you used to, such as when driving at night or when adjusting from being outdoors in the sunshine to being indoors.

      Symptoms of Night Blindness Include:

      • Reduced contrast sensitivity
      • Difficulty seeing people outdoors at night
      • Difficulty seeing in places with dim lighting, like a movie theater
      • Trouble adapting to the dark while driving
      • Excessive squinting at night
      • Trouble adjusting from bright areas to darker ones

      Treatments for Night Blindness

      Your eye doctor will want to diagnose the cause of your night blindness in order to treat it. For example, in the rare case of vitamin A deficiency, it can be treated with vitamin supplements and vitamin-A rich foods; myopia can be corrected with eyeglasses or contact lenses. Other conditions may require medications or surgery.

      If night blindness is caused by a birth defect, Usher syndrome, or retinitis pigmentosa, low vision aids and devices can help you make the most of your remaining vision.

      Prevention

      While there is no proven way to prevent night blindness resulting from genetic conditions or birth defects, consuming healthy, nourishing foods and taking certain vitamin supplements may prevent or slow the onset of some eye conditions that cause night blindness.

      If you experience poor vision at night or in dim lighting, we can help. Contact Overland Optical Family Eye Care in Overland to schedule your appointment today.

      Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Sara Schmitz, O.D.

      Q: Can you request lenses made from glass? Is glass still used for lenses?

      • A: Yes. Opticians still sometimes use glass for lenses. However, glass is not used very often because they aren’t as safe. If these glass lenses breaks, they can shatters into many pieces and can injure the eye. Glass lenses are much heavier than plastic lenses, so they can make your eyeglasses less comfortable to wear.

      Q: Can a coating be added to eyeglasses to protect them from further scratches?

      • A: A protective coating can’t be added to a lens after it’s scratched. The coating is applied when the lens is manufactured and can’t be put on later.

      Quality Frames For Prescription Eyeglasses & Computer Glasses In St. Louis, Missouri. Visit Overland Optical Family Eye Care for an eye exam and eyeglasses that match your style.

      6 Common Myths About Glaucoma

      Glaucoma is an eye disease in which increased pressure causes progressive, permanent vision loss and even blindness. Unfortunately, many misconceptions about the disease can leave you misinformed. Below we sort fact from fiction by debunking 6 of the most common glaucoma myths.

      Glaucoma Facts vs. Myths

      MYTH 1: Glaucoma is a single disease

      FACT

      Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases; the most common ones are open-angle glaucoma (OAG) and angle-closure glaucoma (ACG).

      In open-angle glaucoma, the drainage structure in your eye (called the trabecular meshwork) doesn’t allow the fluid inside the eye to flow out as it should, causing an increase in internal ocular pressure that damages the optic nerve. OAG develops slowly, and usually by the time people perceive symptoms, such as peripheral vision loss, they already have optic nerve damage.

      In angle-closure glaucoma, the eye doesn’t drain fluid as it should because the drainage channel between your iris and cornea becomes too narrow, causing increased eye pressure. This pressure damages the optic nerve, leading to vision loss. ACG can occur suddenly or gradually.

      MYTH 2: Only the elderly suffer from glaucoma

      FACT

      Although it’s true that people over 60 are at a greater risk of developing open-angle glaucoma compared to people in their 40s, there are other types of glaucoma that can affect people aged 20 to 50 and even young infants (due to abnormal ocular development).

      In addition to age, those with a higher risk of developing glaucoma include:

      • African Americans and Hispanics
      • Individuals with a family history of glaucoma
      • Patients with cardiovascular disease, diabetes, or sickle cell anemia
      • Those who have previously sustained an eye injury
      • People taking steroid medications over the long term

      MYTH 3: Glaucoma shows symptoms early on

      FACT

      The most common form of glaucoma, open-angle glaucoma, shows virtually no signs or symptoms until its later stages when vision loss sets in. Despite what people may think, the increased eye pressure causes no pain. And since peripheral vision is the first to go, you may not recognize vision loss until your vision has become significantly impaired. The only way to detect glaucoma is to undergo a comprehensive eye exam.

      MYTH 4: Nothing can be done once you have glaucoma

      FACT

      While there’s currently no cure for glaucoma, many effective treatment options exist: eye drops, oral medications, as well as laser and surgical procedures that can help slow glaucoma progression. Each treatment option is used to get the fluid to flow properly out of the eye, reducing pressure inside the eye and decreasing damage to the optic nerve.

      MYTH 5: Testing for glaucoma is painful

      FACT

      Actually, testing for glaucoma is practically painless. One of the tests includes a non-contact device that blows a gentle puff of air into each eye to test the intraocular pressure. The sound of the puff may be startling, but it’s over in a second and is painless. With the Goldmann applanation tonometry test, an anesthetic eye drop is inserted into each eye, which may cause a stinging sensation for a few seconds. Your eye doctor will then use a blue light to quickly and gently touch the cornea to precisely measure intraocular pressure. The most accurate of all, however, are visual field testing and OCT (optical coherence tomography), non-invasive imaging, both of which are also painless.

      MYTH 6: You can’t prevent glaucoma

      FACT

      Regular eye exams are the only way to prevent glaucoma, as blindness or significant vision loss can be prevented if the disease is diagnosed and treated in the early stages. That’s why routine comprehensive eye exams which include glaucoma testing are so important.

      Getting your eyes checked regularly can ensure that any existing eye problems are detected early enough to prevent or slow ocular damage. Contact Overland Optical Family Eye Care in Overland to book your comprehensive eye exam today!

      Frequently Asked Questions with Sara Schmitz, O.D.

      Q: If one of my parents has glaucoma, does that mean I will develop it as well at some point?

      • A: Having a parent with glaucoma does not mean that the child will automatically develop the condition too. However, those people with an immediate family history (parents, siblings) of glaucoma are at more risk to develop this disease. Patients should have a comprehensive eye examination each year to evaluate the health of the eyes and to look for signs of glaucoma. Some of these signs can be an increase in the pressure of the eyes as well as changes to the appearance of the optic nerve. Many times there are no symptoms noticed by the patient. If there is suspicion of glaucoma, more frequent visits to the eye doctor along with additional nerve testing are often required.

      Q: Why do I need to scan my retinas/back of the eye?

      • A: The retina shows us a lot about the overall ocular health as well as systemic conditions that can affect the eyes. Often diabetes, hypertension or high cholesterol can be observed from a retinal scan. Also, retinal scans allow us to diagnose and treat macular degeneration and glaucoma. Scans are often very important for a complete eye check up.

      Quality Frames For Prescription Eyeglasses & Computer Glasses In St. Louis, Missouri. Visit Overland Optical Family Eye Care for an eye exam and eyeglasses that match your style.

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