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Are Contact Lenses Safe For Young Children?

Here’s a question we often get at our practice: ‘Is my child too young for contact lenses?’ This is an important question, and the answer may surprise you.

For children with myopia (nearsightedness), contact lenses can be a convenient method of vision correction. It allows kids to go about their day without having to worry about breaking or misplacing their glasses, and enables them to freely participate in sports and other physical activities.

Some children and young teens may ask their parents for contact lenses because they feel self-conscious wearing glasses. Contact lenses may even provide children with the confidence boost they need to come out of their shell. Moreover, these days, it is very popular for children to wear single-use one-day disposable soft contacts, since there is no cleaning or maintenance involved.

Some parents may deny their child’s request for contacts due to concerns about eye health and safety. There’s no reason to worry: contact lenses are just as safe for children as they are for anyone else.

At Aspen Eye Care, we provide children, teens, and patients of all ages with a wide variety of contact lenses. If you’re concerned about the safety of contacts for your child, we’ll be happy to explain and explore ways to ensure maximum safety, optimal eye health and comfort. To learn more or to schedule a pediatric eye exam for contact lenses, contact us today.

What Are the Risks of Having My Child Wear Contact Lenses?

A study published in the January 2021 issue of The Journal of Ophthalmic & Physiological Optics found that kids aren’t at a higher risk of experiencing contact lens complications.

The study followed nearly 1000 children aged 8-16 over the course of 1.5-3 years to determine how contact lenses affected their eye health.

The results indicate that age doesn’t have an effect on contact lens safety. In fact, the researchers found that the risk of developing infections or other adverse reactions was less than 1% per year of wear — which is comparable to contact lens wearers of other ages.

But before you decide that contact lenses are right for your child, you may want to consider whether your child is ready to wear them. During his or her eye doctor’s appointment, the optometrist may ask about your child’s level of maturity, responsibility, and personal hygiene. Since many children are highly motivated to wear contacts, they tend to display real maturity in caring for their lenses. That said, in the initial stages, parents may need to play an active role, as their child gets used to inserting and removing the new contact lenses.

It’s important to note that just as with any other medical device, contact lenses are not risk-free. Anyone who wears contact lenses has a chance of developing eye infections or other complications with contact lenses. However, when worn and cared for according to your eye doctor’s instructions, contact lenses are low-risk and perfectly safe for children and teenagers.

So, go ahead and bring your child in for a contact lens consultation! We’ll help determine if your child is ready for contacts and answer any questions you or your child may have. To schedule your child’s contact lens fitting or eye exam, contact Aspen Eye Care in Sherwood Park today.

5 Ways to Set Up Your Home Computer to Reduce Eye Strain

Aspen Eye Care | Computer Glasses in Sherwood Park

Nearly 60% of people who routinely use computers or digital devices experience symptoms of digital eye strain — also called computer vision syndrome — according to recent data. Since COVID-19 began, the number of hours spent on a computer for tasks like working from home, online schooling, and online shopping has increased dramatically.

Symptoms of computer eye strain include eye fatigue and discomfort, dry eye, headaches, blurred vision, neck and shoulder pain, eye twitching, and red eyes.

If your eyes feel dry and tired, your vision is blurry by the end of the day, or your head, neck, and shoulders ache, the way you utilize your computer and other digital devices might be to blame.

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How to Reduce Eye Strain

Spending less time in front of your computer is the best way to reduce digital eye strain, but if you’re working from home or you or your children are learning online, that might not be an option.

Here are 5 steps you can take to lower your risk of eye strain:

1. Use proper lighting

Excessively bright light, either from sunlight or from interior lighting, can cause eye strain.

By reducing exterior light (by closing your drapes, shades or blinds), and tweaking the lighting inside your home (using fewer light bulbs or fluorescent tubes, or lower intensity bulbs and tubes) you can lower glare and reflections off the screen.

Also, if possible, position your computer screen so the windows are to the side, instead of in front or behind it.

2. Blink more often

When staring at a screen, people blink one-third less frequently than they normally do. Blinking moistens your eyes to prevent dryness and irritation.

To reduce your risk of dry eye during computer use, every 20 minutes blink 10 times by closing your eyes very slowly. This will lubricate your eyes and help prevent dry eye.

3. Relax your eyes

Constantly staring at a computer screen can lead to focusing fatigue, which causes digital eye strain. To reduce your risk of tiring your eyes, look away from your computer at least every 20 minutes and gaze at a distant object (at least 20 feet away) for at least 20 seconds.

Some eye doctors call this the “20-20-20 rule.” Looking far away relaxes the focusing lens inside the eye to
reduce fatigue.

Aspen Eye Care Eye Clinic and digital eye strain, eye health, reduce eye strain , eye exam, Optometrist, Eye doctor, Eye care in Sherwood Park, Alberta

Many eye diseases can be quickly and easily diagnosed during a comprehensive eye exam. If you were diagnosed with an eye disease, such as Cataracts, Glaucoma, Macular degeneration, Diabetic retinopathy, or Dry eye, you may be overwhelmed by the diagnosis and confused about what happens next. Will you need medications or surgery – now or in the future? Our Sherwood Park eye doctor has prepared the following answers to your questions about eye disease.

4. Take frequent breaks

Taking frequent breaks from your screen can help reduce eye strain and neck, back and shoulder pain during your workday.

It is recommended to take at least one 10-minute break every hour. During these breaks, stand up, move about and stretch your arms, legs, back, neck and shoulders to reduce tension and muscle aches.

5. Modify your workstation

Poor posture also contributes to digital eye strain. Adjust your workstation and chair to the correct height so your monitor is not too close to, or too far from your eyes, or in a position that causes you to crane your neck.

Position your computer screen so it’s 20 to 24 inches from your eyes. The center of your screen should be about 10 to 15 degrees below your eyes for comfortable positioning of your head and neck. With this adjustment, you will not only reduce neck, back, and shoulder pain, but reduce eye strain as well.

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People experience different levels of digital eye strain, so if after you have shut down your computer the symptoms persist, then you may have a visual problem that requires attention from your eye doctor. If these symptoms are ignored and nothing is done to alleviate the eye strain the problem will only worsen.

Having a yearly checkup can help you preserve your eye health. Contact Aspen Eye Care to learn more about how to keep your eyes healthy and reduce eye strain when working on computers.

Call Aspen Eye Care on 587-400-2101 to schedule an eye exam with our Sherwood Park optometrist.

Alternatively book an appointment online here CLICK FOR AN APPOINTMENT

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Just in case you missed them, here are some of our previous blog posts :

6 Ways to Prevent Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)

What Eye Drops Are Best For My Eyes?

Welcome to our New Website

Does Smoking Affect Vision?

When Should You See An Eye Doctor?

Optometrist Near You | Aspen Eye Care

Any changes in the eyes’ appearance, visual status or function warrant a visit to the eye doctor. It’s helpful to have a baseline eye exam on record so that if and when a problem occurs, Dr. Aleem Bandali can immediately compare your new test results to previous ones and determine whether a change has indeed taken place.

Eye problems often manifest as blurred, distorted or double vision, blind spots, light sensitivity, flashes of light, or the sudden appearance of new floaters, among others. Sometimes people ignore serious eye problems if they are not in pain, or are managing to function using just one eye.

If you experience vision changes, particularly if the onset is sudden, promptly visit Aspen Eye Care in Sherwood Park for an immediate assessment and treatment. The earlier your eyes are treated, the better your chance of preventing complications.

Get An Eye Exam If You Experience Any of the Following:

Head, face, or eye injuries. These should be evaluated to ensure that vision and visual function haven’t been affected. For example, loss of peripheral vision or distorted central vision may be ominous and require evaluation.

Diabetes. Patients recently diagnosed with diabetes should also be regularly examined, as diabetes can lead to poor vision or even blindness. Ocular diseases related to this condition include diabetic retinopathy, diabetic macular edema, cataracts, and glaucoma.

Signs and Symptoms of Possible Vision Problems

  • Loss of peripheral vision
  • Changes in the color of the iris
  • Presence of blood
  • Red or itchy eyes
  • Pain in or around the eye
  • Any sudden change in vision
  • Discharge
  • Droopy eyelids
  • Soreness
  • Sudden loss or changes in vision
  • Double vision
  • Seeing a “curtain coming down” over one eye
  • Cloudy or transparent looking pupil
  • Sudden onset of flashes of light or floaters
  • Light sensitivity

Any changes in your vision or your eyes’ appearance should not be ignored, as symptoms may indicate a serious problem that can grow in severity if not attended to early on. If your eyes experience any of the symptoms listed above, make sure to schedule an appointment with Dr. Aleem Bandali.

    See Under the Sea & in the Swimming Pool Too

    Wear goggles for clear & healthy underwater vision

    You don’t swim naked at a public beach or swimming pool, and you shouldn’t swim with naked eyes either! At the beach, it’s hard to know if ocean water is really clean and not polluted, and the sand and salt content can make your eyes sting. If you prefer swimming in a pool, remember that while pool water can be clean, that’s only because it’s packed with chlorine, which can seriously irritate your eyes, stripping away your lubricating film and causing redness, pain, and blurry vision.

    Goggles are the ideal solution for protecting your delicate eyes against the harshness of water. Also, due to advanced materials and modern engineering of the lenses in swim goggles, they provide crisper underwater vision than ever before! Your knowledgeable Sherwood Park eye doctor explains about the benefits and features of goggles:

    Prescription goggles

    If you normally need eyeglasses or contacts to see above water, our Sherwood Park optometrist strongly recommends buying a pair of prescription goggles for underwater vision. For you to see, light rays reflect off an object, enter your eyes, and are focused on your retina clearly. However, light rays don’t function the same way when they are in water. That’s why the floor of a swimming pool appears higher up than it really is. In general, goggles correct this problem by creating an air-filled gap around your eyes. But this doesn’t give sharp sight to swimmers who need vision correction. If you have nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism, you’ll need prescription goggles to see.

    Wearing contact lenses and standard goggles

    A lot of people are in the habit of wearing standard goggles over their contact lenses, instead of purchasing a pair of prescription goggles. What’s the problem with this? Actually, water is the problem.

    Water in all bodies – lakes, pools, oceans, and hot tubs – is a natural breeding ground for bacteria and microorganisms. While your body and your eyes have a built-in defense system to protect against these menacing microbes, contact lenses interfere with your eye’s protection. Consequently, swimming with contact lenses increases your risk of getting an eye infection.

    Acanthamoeba keratitis is an extremely hazardous eye infection caused by amoeba being trapped between your contact lens and your cornea. Sometimes, amoeba start to live in your eye, leading to corneal ulcers and permanent vision loss. This type of infection only happens to people who wear contact lenses, which underscores our Sherwood Park eye doctor’s warning against swimming with contacts!

    Now, we also realize that many people will insist on wearing contact lenses at the beach or pool – despite all of our warnings. If you’re one of those people, here are some tips to help you minimize the danger to your eye health:

    • Wear daily disposable contacts for swimming, since you throw them out after a single use. Remove them immediately after you come out of the water, rinse your eyes with artificial tears and replace your lenses with a new, clean pair.
    • Even if you’re didn’t fully dip into the water, if any drops fall into your eyes, remove your contacts immediately and throw them out, or disinfect them if you aren’t wearing disposables.
    • Never open your eyes underwater
    • Never go swimming and then doze off on the shore or poolside with your lenses still in your eyes

    Top features for goggles – recommended by our Sherwood Park optometrist

    • Prescription lenses, if you generally need eyewear with vision correction
    • Shatterproof lenses
    • Anti-fog treatment
    • Leak-free lenses that seal comfortably around your eyes
    • Built-in UV protection
    • Surfers should wear polarized lenses to protect against reflected glare, which can be very intense on the water
    • Competitive swimmers and divers should choose frames with a low profile
    • Recreational lap swimmers do best with larger lenses (they give wider peripheral vision), and more padded frames

    More questions about swimming and vision? Ask our Sherwood Park eye doctor!

    Before you dive into the blue, sparkling waters at the beach or swimming pool, consult with an expert optometrist near you. We’ll help you find the safest way to have sharp underwater vision and a fabulous look! If you do experience irritated eyes, strange discharge, pain, sensitivity or redness after wearing your contact lenses while swimming, contact us immediately for an eye exam at Aspen Eye Care.