Contact lenses for Halloween! You bet. Alot of people want to dress up including their eyes for that scary look. Contact lenses that change your eye color have been around a long time. In the past few years some companies have started making contact lenses for Halloween. Most people don’t know that all contact lenses, including those that are only intended to change the appearance of the eye. require a prescription from an eye doctor.
The reason is that contacts are an FDA approved medical device that has to undergo numerous tests for patient safety. That takes years and lot of R and D. Only then can contacts be fit by only by an eye doctor.
Although not a regulatory enforcement entity, the AOA takes seriously its central mission of serving as a resource to the public for reliable and current information related to eye and vision care, as well as safeguarding patients’ eye health. These concerns put these contacts render violations with the industry enforcement agency, the FTC, helps put these concerns under federal spotlight.
These sales potentially put patients at risk for sight-threatening complications. It’s a matter of public safety.”
Resources for doctors of optometry
An estimated 45 million Americans wear contact lenses, which provide many vision benefits provided they are worn safely. With Halloween a few short weeks away, the observance presents an opportunity for doctors of optometry to warn patients about the perils of purchasing decorative contact lens without prescriptions.
Decorative lenses are particularly popular among young adults and teenagers as accessories to their costumes. Don’t buy easily accessible decorative contact lenses from street vendors, salons and beauty supply stores, boutiques, flea markets, seasonal retailers, convenience stores and internet sites that don’t require prescriptions.
The danger of purchasing contact lens at these locations? No prescriptions are required, putting the public’s eye and vision health at risk.
Optometrists are growing increasingly concerned about the risks for patients. Allergic reactions or bacterial eye infections from contaminated, poorly fitted decorative lenses can occur rapidly, causing a painful corneal ulcer or even significant damage to the eye’s ability to function, which could lead to irreversible sight loss. The AOA regularly underscores the essentialness of annual, comprehensive eye examinations.
Football Andre Hal’s loss of vision was diagnosed. Lymphoma had affected his health and was immediately picked up by his vision loss. This was his first symptom that something was wrong.
On June 8, the team announced the Texans safety had been diagnosed with the disease. On July 25 he was placed on the Non-Football Illness (NFI) list, and then moved to the Reserve/Non-Football Illness list on September 1.
Andre Hal had noticed blurred vision at practice in May 2018. This prompted a doctor’s evaluation and the lymphoma diagnosis was determined. He played safety on his team. One of his teammates said he was a great leader. O’Brien said Hal’s “very special” to him and pointed to the safety’s leadership.
“He’s been a leader for us, and just been an unbelievable guy,” O’Brien said. “”Dre never wavered in his belief that he would beat it. And he has.” Hal, a 7th-round selection out of Vanderbilt in the 2014 NFL Draft, has nine career interceptions. He switched positions from cornerback to safety in 2015, and started 38 games there over the previous three seasons.
The team’s head trainer Geoff Kaplan said Hal attacked the lymphoma in both traditional and non-traditional medical ways, as he “did things ‘inside-the-box’ and ‘outside-the-box'” throughout his treatment. When Adre knew of his life threatening illness, “He never wavered in his faith or his spirit,” Kaplan said.
This story supports the need for eye health safety and yearly eye exams. Eye doctors examine eyes to see if there is a health condition that you might have or not know about that could be a life threatening illness. Many times these illnesses first show up in loss of vision. Andre Hal is a perfect example of this. Our vision is our most important sense as gauged by all age groups interviewed. Clarity of vision with or without glasses is not a good way to asses your vision or it’s future potential loss. Glasses and contact lenses are only as good as your body health and eyes are healthy.
At Eyewear Gallery in Memphis, we try to be sensitive and help older people with limited vision. They may only need to see better to read. They may only need to see better to drive or watch tv. If that is their day to day need, we approach their needs individually. Listening is key and many times family members can help you figure out what the best course of treatment is.
For many older people, general health conditions also affect their vision. This leads to a serious decrease in quality of life. Visual sensory deficits in the form of visual and auditory loss are common among older adults. In one study conducted by the University of Chicago Medical Center, 94% of older Americans suffered from at least one significant sensory deficit.
New data reveals that, of the five senses, most people would miss their sense of sight most, if they were to lose it. Below are the percentage rankings of what Americans feel strongest about not losing one of their senses!
Which you the five senses would you miss the most if you lost it?
See the results by age
While most say that one’s vision would be missed most if lost, the extent to which they say so varies with age. On one end, 79% of Americans aged 55 and over cite vision loss as the sense they would miss the most. Vision loss is also the most cited answer among younger Americans but to a lesser degree. Only 58% to 60% of those aged 18 to 24 and 25 to 34, respectively, say they would miss their sense of sight most.
close-up of legs of older people, invalids since walking stick
How will you know if you are losing your vision?
Most of the time it isn’t something we can detect. We assume our vision clarity will change and let us know when we might need a change in our correction. Many conditions may cause vision changes which aren’t reversible. Your vision correction is only as good as your eyes are healthy and you won’t know that unless you have your eyes examined yearly.
Dog doctors, better known as veterinarians, have studied whether dogs have color vision. Veterinarians used to believe that dogs saw only in black and white, but recent studies suggest that they actually do have some color vision—but it’s not as bright as a human’s. As it turns out, dogs have only 20% of their ability to see color that humans are capable of seeing.
No matter how smart you think your dog is, they cannot read eye charts unfortunately or take color vision tests. Most eye exams for humans include testing for color vision and if their purse pooches that accompany them, could participate, it would make everybody happy!
Behavioral tests performed suggest that dogs see in shades of yellow and blue and lack the ability to see the range of colors from green to red. In other words, dogs see the colors of the world as basically yellow, blue, and gray. Humans without color vision deficiencies can see the color ranges from red to green including blue and yellow and hues of those colors.
One amusing fact is that the most popular colors for dog toys today are red or safety orange. The problem, of course, is that red is difficult for dogs to see and may appear to them as a very dark brownish gray or even black. So if your dog runs right past the toy that you tossed, he may not be stubborn. He’s probably just having a hard time discriminating it from any other pets, or the green grass of your lawn.
Memphis Youth plays sports with cataracts! People don’t think of young people getting cataracts. Memphis high school track star doesn’t let poor vision slow him down.
We take our senses for granted until one is taken away. This young man is Skylan Stephens. Many people feel their sense of vision is the last one they wish to lose.
Stephens is a senior track star at Senior Middle High School in Memphis who, despite his challenges, can see nothing but a bright future ahead.
He has very limited vision after getting Cataracts in both eyes when he was just 5-years-old, but that hasn’t stopped him from achieving academically and athletically.
He first started noticing his vision problem when he was 5-years-old in kindergarten class. “I started seeing lines and dots and figures that I knew weren’t on the paper” Stephens said. He went to his eye doctor and was diagnosed with cataracts. He had the Cataracts taken out when he was in second grade, but it didn’t heal his impaired vision.
Stephens still has very limited vision. It poses its own challenges, whether inside the classroom or walking to it. “As far as reading, I’ve used magnifying glasses, different technology, I’ve used ipads to look at the board to see the lessons and things of that nature. For the most part I just use resources to help me,” Stephens said. “I never looked at it as a bad thing. Just something I’m going through. And I got used to it over the years.”
Skylan decided to run cross country. Stephens qualified for the city championship, running the 400-meter race in under 51 seconds. Stephens said wherever he goes to college, he’ll run track while majoring in business.
This is a great local story. Eyewear Gallery and Drs. Warren Johnson and Do Nguyen feel this story hits home with what they preach in their office about eye health care. Cataracts are usually found in persons who are older than 40. Skylan shows that even children may get cataracts. Eye Exams should be Eye health exams to determine if poor vision is a result from a sight threatening problem and to see if a visual correction may be needed for seeing and learning. Eye exams should be done yearly even if your child sees well to look for any eye health and potentially sight threatening. Vision screenings at their doctor or at school is not an eye exam. Schedule your appointment. www.EyewearGallery.com
You think you may want to wear contact lenses so you need to go to an eye doctor and have your eyes examined. Contact lenses are great for someone’s peripheral vision. They shouldn’t be worn in place of a glasses prescription or all of your waking hours but they are a great addition to glasses. Some people just don’t like wearing glasses. Contact lenses are a great vision correction option.
Many people wear contact lenses. Most everyone wears disposable contacts. Since contact lenses may cause eye infections, disposable contacts may help reduce eye infections because they are generally cleaner because they are changed often. Daily wear disposable contacts are great for sports or the person who doesn’t like cleaning their contacts or doesn’t wear contacts very often. It’s great both standard disposable contacts and daily wear disposable contacts are available for patients with astigmatism and even bifocal contacts. Your eye doctor should make sure that he has checked your overall health and your eye health before determining if you are a good candidate to wear contacts.
In our office, when a contact lens patient is needing an exam, they usually want more contact lenses. We find that life styling a patient is so important. We find out what their vision needs are and what health histories there may exist for them or members of their families. Health histories like diabetes may cause eye wounds and irritations to heal slowly. This is one health example that precludes someone from wearing contacts usually. So, some patients are not good candidates for contact lenses.
Who are good candidates for contact lenses?
Patients with high prescription corrections
Patients who don’t or can’t wear glasses for sports or physical activities
Kids who play sports
People who don’t like the way they look in glasses
Daily wear disposable contacts for people who don’t want to clean their contacts
What patients are not good candidates for contacts?
Patients who sleep in their contacts
People who do a lot of close work on digital screens or phones
People with dry eyes
Diabetics and other health related problems
People who have frequent eye infections
People who take alot of medications or certain medications
Dry work environments or parts of the country
People who expect the same clarity of vision that their glasses provide
Should you wear glasses if your wear contacts?
Definitely, because our eyes don’t breathe with contact lenses if they are worn too much.
If you get an eye infection you need glasses so your eyes can heal.
Digital devices may affect the health of your central vision if you only wear contacts because they don’t absorb the UV exposure
Eyes work harder to focus when you wear contacts and may cause your vision prescription to get worse
Think about your eye health. Make sure your eyes are examined yearly so you can tell your eye doctor how you function visually day to day. Many people assume that unless they need more contacts or glasses they don’t need to have their eyes examined. You should have your eyes examined yearly even if your contacts or glasses are working fine. Visual health and prevention of macular disease from blue light from our electronic devices needs to be monitored in an eye exam by your eye doctor yearly.
Contact lenses are great vision correction but make sure your eye doctor approves. Make sure if you wear contact lenses you should protect your eyes from damaging UV rays by wearing good polarized sunglasses.
Come to Eyewear Gallery to ask questions you might have about contacts lens vision correction options and/or glasses lenses options that might work. Schedule An Appointment!