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5 Reasons Sclerals Are Top-Performing Keratoconus Contact Lenses

Nowadays, various types of contact lenses can be prescribed for patients with keratoconus. However, we are avid fans of scleral lenses! Scleral lenses are rigid gas permeable lenses with an extra-wide diameter that vaults over your whole cornea. In contrast to other contact lenses, they rest on the whites of your eyes (sclera) and do not make contact with the corneal surface. When it comes to providing sharp visual acuity, comfortable wearing, and healthy eyes, scleral lenses rank at the top of the charts.

Unique Advantages of Scleral Lenses:

Ultimate wearing comfort

Scleral lenses create a pocket under the contact lens that fills with tears and lubricates your eyes. (For this reason, scleral lenses are often a great option for people who suffer from dry eyes.) Not only does this cushion of moisture lead to a comfortable wearing experience, but it also promotes healthy eyes throughout the whole day.

Because scleral lenses do not make contact with your corneal surface, you also benefit from a decreased risk of corneal abrasions.

Stable vision

Regular contact lenses generally have a 9mm diameter, and scleral lenses range from 14 – 20 mm. Even if you have advanced keratoconus and an extremely irregular corneal surface, the larger size ensures that scleral lenses remain stable and centered. As a result, you’ll have more consistent, crisper vision.

The large diameter also makes it almost impossible for scleral lenses to dislodge during normal wear, even for people with keratoconus and an active California lifestyle. We hear great reviews about scleral lenses from our physically active Lombard patients!

Made to last

Scleral lenses, which are rigid gas permeable contact lenses, are typically long-lasting, as they are constructed from durable, quality materials. Therefore, while the initial cost of fitting scleral lenses may be higher than regular contact lenses, you’ll receive maximum value from these specialty lenses!

User friendly

Some people find conventional lenses difficult to handle, especially if they have poor vision or problems with manual dexterity. Scleral lenses are much larger than regular contact lenses, which can make insertion and removal easier – and it reduces the risk of you accidentally causing damage to your cornea. In general, your chances of complications from scleral lenses are significantly less.

More visual coverage

Due to their size and extra-wide optic zones, scleral lenses enable precise peripheral vision, and they reduce your sensitivity to glare and light. They are suitable for a broad range of vision prescriptions, including astigmatism, as long as they are fit by a qualified and experienced eye doctor.

For best results, you need a knowledgeable and experienced eye care professional to fit you with scleral lenses and provide follow-up eye exams. Fortunately, our eye doctor is a pro! He will will examine your eyes and measure your cornea to fit your scleral lenses precisely in our office.

Scleral lenses must be customized to meet the unique corneal irregularities of every keratoconus patient, and we’ll provide you with the personalized service and attention you need. We welcome everyone from Lombard and all nearby communities to schedule a consultation today!

How Can I Tell If My Child Needs Glasses?

Eye Doctors Share 6 Warning Signs

Every parent wants their child to make the most of his or her potential – both in and out of school. That doesn’t always mean you need to hire extra tutors and enroll your kid in daily after-school enrichment courses. In fact, one of the most effective ways to help children maximize their abilities is much less time-consuming and less costly. So what’s this secret method for helping kids to excel?… Schedule a pediatric eye exam to see if they need glasses!

Optimal vision is required to develop basic learning and socializing skills, such as reading, writing and forming new friendships. As you make a list of all the essentials your child needs for school, remember to include “eye exam”. Fortunately, it’s easy to cross that task off the list with a visit to our friendly eye doctors.

While only a thorough eye exam by our optometrist can diagnose if your child needs (or doesn’t need) eyeglasses, there are telltale warnings signs for parents to be aware of. The following 6 signs may point to your child’s need to wear prescription eyeglasses:

1. Squinting

studying reading boyThis can indicate the presence of a refractive error, which affects the eyes ability to focus on an image. Squinting can temporarily bring objects into focus.

2. Head tilting or covering one eye

By angling his head or covering one eye, your child may be able to enhance the clarity of an object or to eliminate double vision. This trick works best when eyes are misaligned, or when your child has the common condition of a lazy eye (amblyopia).

3. Holding digital devices close to the eyes or sitting close to the screen

If your kid always sits right next to the TV screen or brings handheld devices up to her nose to see them, it may be a sign of nearsightedness.

4. Eye rubbing

Eyestrain or fatigue may lead to excessive eye rubbing. This can be a red flag for a variety of vision conditions, including eye allergies.

5. Headaches and/or eye pain

If your child goes to bed each night complaining about a headache, it could indicate that he spent the day overexerting his eyes to see clearly.

6. Trouble concentrating and/or weak reading comprehension

When learning in a classroom, kids need to constantly adapt their visual focus from near to far and back again. They are always shifting their eyes between the board, computer, notebook and textbook. If their eye teaming or focusing skills (accommodation) aren’t up to par, they won’t be able to maintain the necessary concentration.

Problems in school are often misdiagnosed as ADD or ADHD, when poor vision is really to blame. Think about it- if your child cannot see the board crisp and clear, her mind will likely wander to more interesting things. This will make it very hard for her to keep up in class and very easy to fall behind.

To protect your child from a medical misdiagnosis or being labeled with a behavioral problem, we encourage you to reserve an eye exam as soon as possible. It’s very possible that a precise vision prescription and a pair of designer eyeglasses is all the treatment your child needs!

Will I Need Glasses After Cataract Surgery?

Happy Senior Man And Woman

Clear Vision after Cataract Surgery

Following cataract surgery, a number of options are available to provide you with clear vision. Advanced lens implants may reduce your dependence upon eyeglasses and contact lenses, or you may prefer eyewear.

To explain, during cataract surgery, your eye doctor will concentrate on two specific issues:

  1. Resolving cloudy vision caused by cataracts
  2. Vision problems caused by the lens power and shape of your eye

Private insurance plans and Medicare typically cover the expense of cataract surgery, along with a single-focus intraocular lens implant – in which a clear lens replaces your opaque lens. However, as your eye doctor performs this surgery, you can also opt to have an additional procedure to improve your vision focus. This can eliminate or reduce your need for eyewear.

Ultimately, you and your eye doctor will decide together upon the most appropriate choice for your personal needs. To make the right decision, it is important to be informed how each option will affect your vision. Here are a few case examples to give you a clearer picture of the possibilities:

Mia:

A true bookworm, Mia is always reading when she is not working in data entry. She has healthy eyes with a mild astigmatism and dislikes wearing eyeglasses. She was just diagnosed with cataracts in both eyes. After cataract surgery, Mia would be very pleased to reduce her dependence upon eyeglasses.

A perfect choice for Mia would be multifocal contact lenses, which enable near and far focus without any cumbersome eyeglasses.

Another option would be a procedure described as a “corneal relaxing incision”. During her cataract surgery, Mia’s eye doctor would make an additional incision in the cornea to reshape it.

Ethan:

Ethan is an avid outdoorsman who has mild astigmatism in both eyes and wears eyeglasses for sharp vision. Recently, he was diagnosed with cataracts in both eyes. He is not bothered with wearing glasses for reading or close tasks, yet he would love to bike, swim and jog without his prescription glasses.

An ideal vision correction for Ethan would be an intraocular lens implant that resolves astigmatism. Called a toric lens, this implant can focus his distance vision and thereby reduce the need for eyeglasses when engaging in outdoor physical activities. Most likely, he will still need reading glasses to see fine print and the computer screen, as a toric lens does not help with both near and distant vision.

Matthew:

Matthew was never a fan of reading glasses. Therefore, for over 15 years, he has worn monovision contact lenses successfully to provide distance for presbyopia. Monovision lenses correct one eye for distance and one eye for near vision. After his cataract surgery, he would like to continue wearing monovision contacts. However, this is not his only option.

Multifocal lenses can be implanted in both of Matthew’s eyes, thereby giving sharp focus for both near and distance in both eyes. Alternatively, his eye doctor can implant one lens for distance and one for near – following the monovision method. The best candidates for this option are generally patients who are accustomed to wearing monovision lenses, such as Matthew. The final choice is a personal one, based on his preferences.

Jerry:

Jerry has worn eyeglasses since he was a young child, and he is the proud owner of many stylish frames. In addition to providing clear eyesight, Jerry’s eyeglasses function as his trademark fashion accessory.

After cataract surgery, he is a good candidate for basic single focus lens implants. These implants will improve Jerry’s visual acuity without eyeglasses, yet he will still need eyewear to focus well on both distance and near tasks. This option is a great match for his personal preferences.

The type of vision correction you choose after your cataract surgery depends upon your ocular condition, individual lifestyle preferences and the professional recommendation of your eye doctor. Quality vision is the objective of every cataract procedure, and there is more than one way to reach this goal!

What Happens If Cataracts Are Left Untreated?

glasses senior woman portraitA cataract is a clouding of the lens in the eye, which leads to loss of vision. Cataracts are part of the aging process and are very common in older people.

If you have cataracts, they will get worse over time, and your vision will get worse. Important skills can be affected, such as driving, and loss of vision affects the overall quality of life in many ways, including reading, working, hobbies, and sports. If left untreated cataracts can cause total blindness.

The main treatment for cataracts is eye surgery. Sometimes changing your eyeglass prescription will help improve your vision, but often it will not. Eye doctors recommend having cataract surgery before your cataracts start seriously affecting your vision. If you wait too long, your cataracts can become “hyper-mature”, which makes them more difficult to remove, and can cause surgery complications. In general, the best outcomes for cataract surgery take place when surgery is performed soon after vision problems develop. It’s best not to wait too long to have the surgery performed.

The best way to decide how to treat your cataracts, and when, is to discuss your options with your eye doctor. Your eye doctor will be able to give you the information you need to make a decision about your treatment options, as well as give you information about the best eye surgeons in your area. Your eye doctor is familiar with your medical history and treatment, and is in the best position to give you information and advice about treating your cataracts.

 

 

Progressive Frames or LASIK: Which Would You Choose?

senior woman wearing glassesEye doctors today can help most patients who have vision problems stemming from presbyopia. Glasses and laser surgery are both options that are available to correct vision in this circumstance. Each option to correct vision has some advantages and disadvantages.

Progressive Frames

Glasses are an effective and common way to correct most vision problems, including presbyopia. Stylish, sophisticated and funky glasses are available for every occasion and personality.

Advantages:

Glasses are easy to wear, convenient, and comfortable. Progressive eyeglasses have become a common way to treat presbyopia, as you have one pair of glasses for reading, computer work, and distance, as opposed to needing different glasses for near and far vision. The newest lens technology makes lenses light and accurate. A wide selection of coatings for lenses are available, such as anti-reflective coatings, photochromatic coatings, and polarized coatings. Special glasses can be created for those who have special needs for work or sporting events.

Disadvantages:

Glasses without high index lenses that have strong prescriptions can be thick, and heavy, and less comfortable on your face than not wearing glasses. Glasses can fog up in the cold, and lesser quality lenses can have spots that appear blurry.

Laser surgery

Laser surgery has been an available vision correction option for about twenty years. Various procedures are available, and your eye doctor will decide what method is best for you. Generally, patients can see clearly shortly after the procedure. The most important requirement for an optimal procedure is that you are a good candidate for laser surgery to begin with. The surgical procedure is often performed as out-patient surgery, and usually only takes a few minutes.

Advantages:

You will not need glasses after the laser surgery. Modern laser correction procedures correct presbyopia. For people who hate glasses and can’t wear contact lenses, laser surgery can be a great solution. The other requirements for laser surgery are that the eye be fully formed (adults only can have this surgery), your refraction has not changed in two years, and and the cornea needs to be a certain thickness. As long as you use an experienced eye doctor, laser surgery is very low risk.

Disadvantages:

As with any surgery, laser surgery is an invasive procedure, which is performed on a basically healthy eye. Some side effects and complications could include temporarily dry eyes. These symptoms can last up to twelve weeks. Also, it’s possible that the procedure, while successful, won’t completely correct your vision, and you may need to continue to wear glasses.

Still not sure which is best for you, eye glasses or laser surgery? Schedule an appointment with our eye doctor to discuss the options.

Safety and Sports Glasses

Each year, thousands of individuals sustain eye injuries due to sports and other accidents, many causing permanent damage and vision loss. Over 98% of these injuries can be prevented by proper eye protection. Further The National Eye Institute states that when it comes to children, eye injuries are the leading cause of blindness and that most of these injuries are sports-related.

Just like wearing a helmet when riding a bike or swinging a bat, sports safety glasses or goggles should be part of the uniform and equipment of any high impact sport. Not only do sports glasses protect your eyes but they can also improve vision and performance. Similarly, when involved in work or hobbies that pose a danger on the eyes, such as construction, chemical use, or home improvement projects, safety goggles should always be worn.

What are Sports and Safety Glasses or Goggles?

Sports and safety glasses or goggles are specialized, protective eyewear that are made to reduce the risk of eye damage during sports or work that could be dangerous to the eyes. They are typically made from impact resistant and shatterproof materials such as hard plastics and polycarbonates (frames) or polycarbonate or Trivex (lenses) and cover a larger surface area around your eyes for enhanced protection. Depending on the type of glasses and for what sport or activity they are intended, they may have additional features such as UV protection, polarized lenses, scratch resistance or ultra flexibility or coverage.

When it comes to sports, protective eyewear is becoming more of a norm that it was in previous generations with many leagues requiring their use as a prerequisite to play. Whether it is high speed balls, elbows, debris, snow, sun or water, sports glasses come in a variety of options to suit the particular needs of the sport you play.

Many options will come with rubber padding around the frame to improve safety to the area around the eyes and increase comfort, fit and stability.

Prescription Sports and Safety Eyewear

Advances in sports and safety eyewear technology not only allow for enhanced sharpness and color vision but for corrected visual acuity for those with vision impairment. If you wear glasses or contact lenses, chances are most safety glasses are available with prescription lenses, allowing you to see and perform your best under all circumstances. Another option is to wear contact lenses under your safety eye gear.

Look for Fit and Comfort

Especially when it comes to children, comfort and fit are essential for compliance in wearing protective eyewear. Additionally, instead of enhancing performance, glasses that don’t fit will cause a distraction that hurt your ability to play or work at optimal success. Look for frames that are held in place (wraparound frames and bands help with this), don’t slip, don’t press in at the temples or nose and that fit nicely around the eyes. If you plan to wear goggles over your prescription glasses, make sure that you try them on together and that they fit properly and are able to provide full protection with your prescription glasses on. Similarly, if a helmet will be worn, make sure that the glasses fit, snug but not too tight, within the helmet.

With children who grow, it is important to reassess sports glasses each year to make sure they have not gotten too tight or small, otherwise they could be doing more harm than good.

Sunglasses: High Style with High-Level Protection against Skin Cancer and Vision Loss

It’s common knowledge that ultraviolet sun rays are harmful to skin, and too much exposure will put you at a greater risk of skin cancer. This damage begins from a young age, starting with kids who fail to adequately protect their delicate skin from the sun. Kids’ skin is particularly sensitive to sun damage, and the effects are cumulative. Children love to spend time in the shining, bright outdoors. It’s critical to keep them safe while they have fun in the sun. Wearing UV protective sunglasses is one eye-catching, effective way to help prevent skin cancer around the eyes and nose and to keep vision healthy.

Woman Blue SunglassesSunburn, which indicates damaged skin cells, is the most immediate symptom caused by UV rays. Red or blistered skin should serve as a warning sign that your child is being placed at risk for worse problems – as burnt, damaged skin cells are at a much higher risk of becoming cancerous. Some of your child’s most vulnerable skin tissue surrounds the nose and eyes. Sunglasses are a voguish way to save this skin and keep it healthy, supple and soft.

In addition to blocking UV rays from reaching skin, sunglasses act as a barrier over your child’s eye lens. Until about age 10, the lens is clear, which enables more solar rays to penetrate. As kids grow and their visual system develops, the lens becomes more opaque, providing enhanced natural protection. Retinal exposure to UV rays is linked to cataracts and macular degeneration later in life. When you take measures to protect your young child’s eyes, you’re setting the base for healthier vision later on.

When shopping for the ideal sunwear for kids, it’s best to buy sunglasses that block 99-100% of UV rays. Another rule of thumb is that the more skin covered by the sunglasses – the more efficient the protection. Think wraparound designs for high coverage. Kids nowadays are tuned into their own fashion sense and expression. Save yourself loads of time and energy by letting them choose their own trend-setting sunglasses. They’ll look forward to showing off their new style, and soon all their friends will be sporting sunglasses too.

Macular Degeneration: Who is at risk?

There are many risk factors for Macular Degeneration. Some of these risk factors are things that you cannot control, and some are things that you can control.

senior couple at risk for AMDRisk Factors that you can’t control:

Age – Age is a major risk factor for AMD. The disease is most likely to occur after age 60, but it can occur earlier.

Gender – AMD is more common in women than men

Eye Color – AMD is more common in people with blue eyes

Smoking – Research shows that smoking doubles the risk of AMD.

Race – AMD is more common among Caucasians than among African-Americans or Hispanics/Latinos.

Family history and Genetics – People with a family history of AMD are at higher risk. At last count, researchers had identified nearly 20 genes that can affect the risk of developing AMD. Many more genetic risk factors are suspected.

Risk Factors you can control:

Smoking – Smoking increases your risk, especially if AMD runs in your family

Diet – A poor diet, low in antioxidants and high in saturated fats and processed foods.

Obesity – People who are very overweight have a higher risk of AMD.Exercise – A sedentary lifestyle contributes to AMD.

Cholesterol – High cholesterol is bad for your eyes and your heart.Blood Pressure – High blood pressure may be involved in AMD.

Sun Exposure – Ultraviolet and blue light from the sun and electronics can damage the eye.

What Steps Can You Take to Decrease Your Risk for AMD?

nutrition for AMDTo decrease your risk of developing age-related macular degeneration, or to decrease the rate of progression if you already have age-related macular degeneration, here are some actions you can take:

  • Don’t smoke – and if you do smoke, try to stop.Don’t eat packaged, processed foods, as much as possible.Don’t eat artificial fats.
  • Eat real bakery goods, made with real fat – just don’t eat the whole box.
  • Do wear sunglasses, preferably with an amber, brown, or orange tint that blocks blue light.
  • Do eat lots of dark green leafy vegetables. These vegetables – such as kale, spinach, and collards – contain lutein, a substance that neutralizes the free radicals that will otherwise cause damage to the macula. If you are taking Coumadin and can’t eat these vegetables because of the vitamin K in them, you can take a lutein supplement.
  • Do eat lots of omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in fish, fish oil, flaxseeds, and some nuts. Omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation.
  • Do control your blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
  • Do exercise regularly and keep your weight down.

How is AMD Detected?

Grandmother with macular degenerationUnfortunately, the early and intermediate stages of macular degeneration do not have any symptoms. The only way to detect macular degeneration in the early stages is to have a special eye exam, and your doctor can include certain tests for macular degeneration during a routine eye exam. It’s important that your doctor reviews your medical and family history, as well as conducting a thorough eye exam.

Your eye doctor may also do various other tests, including:

  • Dilated eye exam. Your eye doctor will put drops in your eyes to dilate them and use a special instrument to see your retina. Your doctor will look for small yellow deposits called drusen which might appear under the retina. The appearance of drusen is an early sign of macular degeneration.
  • Visual acuity test. This test measures how well you see at distances.
  • Amsler grid vision test. During an eye exam, your eye doctor may ask you to look at an Amsler grid. This is a pattern of straight lines designed like a checkerboard. If the lines look wavy to you, it could be a sign of macular degeneration.
  • Fluorescein angiography. This test involves your doctor injecting a colored dye into a vein in your arm. Photos are taken as the dye travels to your eye and enters the blood vessels in your retina. The images will show if any blood vessels are leaking into the macula, a part of your retina.
  • Optical coherence tomography. This is a noninvasive imaging test that shows a magnification of your retina. Your doctor will be able to see changes in your retina such as thinning, thickening or swelling.

If you suspect you have macular degeneration, or if you have a history of macular degeneration in your family, make an appointment to have an eye exam to check for macular degeneration by calling 555-555-55555.

6 Habits that Cause Dry Eyes

Our Eye Doctors Will Help Find the Cause of Your Irritated Dry Eyes

Are you always rubbing your eyes or blinking constantly to spread more moisture across the surface? Dry eyes can be extremely irritating, even painful for some people. Inadequate lubrication may cause sore eyes, redness, an inability to wear contact lenses and overall uncomfortable vision. At our eye care clinic, our experienced, expert eye doctors will perform a thorough eye exam to diagnose Dry Eye Syndrome.

As every patient is unique, our eye exam will include questions about your personal lifestyle in order to identify what’s causing your dry eyes. Finding the cause is the best way to find an effective solution!

Depending upon the results of your eye exam, we’ll recommend a number of lifestyle changes to help alleviate the annoying symptoms caused by your dry eyes. Here are 6 possible culprits for Dry Eye Syndrome:

Extreme Weather Conditions

Whether it’s summer or winter, extreme weather can stress your eyes so that they can’t produce enough tears to keep your eyes lubricated well. In the winter, it’s helpful to wear goggles or glasses to protect your eyes from frigid temperatures and wind. This is particularly beneficial when you hit the ski slopes or lace up your ice skates. In the summer, heat can lead to dehydration, which saps the moisture from your eyes too. The best way to avoid this problem and stay comfortable is simply to drink enough!

A/C or Indoor Heating

Air-conditioning, fans and indoor heating are directly linked with drying out your eyes. Blowing air evaporates moisture from your eyes more quickly, and it also dries out the atmosphere inside your home or office. A humidifier is a worthwhile investment to solve this problem. In the winter, a humidifier will give you an extra bonus of keeping your sinuses moist too, which helps to relieve the symptoms of your winter cold.

Seasonal Allergies

Recent studies have shown a strong link between spring allergens and dry eyes. When pollen counts are highest. an increased number of patients visit our eye doctors with complaints of dry eye symptoms. During allergy season, using an air filter indoors may be the most efficient way to avoid the effects of pollen on your eyes.

Skin Conditions

Specific skin conditions and disorders are associated with dry eyes. Blepharitis, which refers to an inflammation of the skin along the edge of your eyelids, often leads to Dry Eye Syndrome, because the oil-producing glands are often clogged. This ruins your eyes’ ability to produce tears with a healthy composition of oil. Rosacea, an inflammatory skin condition that generally appears on the face, may also block the oil-producing glands of your eyes.

Environmental Effects of the Great Outdoors

While fresh, outdoor air is generally healthy for your eyes, skin and lungs, too much exposure to smoke, wind, dust, and extreme temperatures can certainly lead to eye dehydration. Global climate change has been blamed for many of these ill effects, as your tear film depends upon natural humidity to stay moist. Yet as our environments have changed (and continue to change), the amount of hydration that your eyes can obtain from the outdoor environment has been reduced. Air pollution is also detrimental to healthy eyes, damaging and drying out your tear film.

Low-Tear Production

Our eye doctors diagnose many cases of dry eyes that are due to a reduced tear production. Officially termed keratoconjunctivitis sicca, a decreased manufacture of tears can result from a variety of causes. To stimulate tear production, it may be helpful to up your intake of omega-3 fish oil.

Aging is a common reason for inadequate tear production, as well as certain medical disorders, including rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, diabetes, thyroid conditions, scleroderma, vitamin A deficiency and Sjorgen’s syndrome. If you’ve undergone radiation treatments, your tear glands may have suffered damage. Laser eye surgery is another potential culprit, however symptoms of dry eyes due to these procedures are generally short-lived.

When your eyes are unable to keep up with healthy tear production, it’s a good idea to take a look at any medications you’re taking. Common household drugs, such as decongestants and antihistamines are known to affect the moisture level of your eyes. Other medications that could cause dry eyes include: antidepressants, hormone replacement therapy, acne drugs, medication for Parkinson’s disease, hypertension treatment and birth control.

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To all Klein ISD employees. As you may know, we will no longer be providers on your vision plan for 2021. We value your business, therefore, beginning January 1st, we will be offering you significant discounts on eye exams and glasses in lieu of insurance. Please call our office for more details.