35th Anniversary - Eye Dream and Orthokeratology

February 22nd, 2012

The 5th and final week of the 35th birthday celebrations for Graham Coe Opticians in Burton Street. This is the last of our fantastic offers which will take us up to 35 days of amazing deals. We hope we have managed to tell you a bit about ourselves and informed you about various aspects of optical frames and lenses, and maybe given you a little insight about some of the differences by being an Independent Opticians.

 

Contact lenses can make the world of difference to those who need vision correction. Those who play sports where spectacle frames are just not practical can find their co-ordination dramatically improved with contacts, while self-conscious children can find their confidence (and possibly marks) boosted with vision correction they want to wear. We have all seen those photographs of special occasions where the spectacles look wrong with the outfit, and have been on nights out when glasses fog up when you walk into the pub!

Contact lenses have improved dramatically over the past few years in terms of the materials used to manufacture them and in the technology used to design and fit them. Difficulties with certain prescriptions, such as astigmatism and presbyopia (the loss of near focus that comes with middle age) have to a large extent been overcome, while comfort and oxygen transmissibility have much improved. Cheaper production costs have meant that disposable lenses are now the norm, which have led to further improvements in comfort and as well as lower infection rates. Further benefits, such as the UV filters incorporated into Acuvue lenses, help to protect the eyes.

 

Advances are not just restricted to the soft contact lenses. For those who need rigid gas permeable lenses, our Topographer can map the contours of the front of the eye to give a computer generated image on which we can virtually try different rigid lenses and to tailor them to give the best fitting. This also allows us to fit more specialized lenses for conditions such as keratoconus, and for those with very uneven corneas, scleral lenses.

 

ORTHOKERATOLOGY

 

Wearing contact lenses to correct vision is, in most cases, fairly straight forward. You wear the lenses during the day and take them out before going to bed. For many people this works well, but for those who work, for example, in dusty environments or who are involved in contact sports or swimming, wearing lenses during the day can make their eyes feel uncomfortable and increase their risk of eye problems. Orthokeratology, commonly abbreviated to Ortho K, turns this on its head. Lenses are worn overnight and then removed in the morning, leaving the eyes free of lenses throughout the day but still with the right vision correction! It works by using contact lenses to carefully flatten the cornea by less than a hair’s breadth into a shape that will correct short-sight. Because the cornea is very flexible, when the lenses are taken out the cornea slowly starts to return to its normal shape, and so the lenses need to be worn again the following night, although many people find the effect lasts long enough to need them only every other night. Crucially, unlike laser surgery, this makes the procedure completely reversible and any future changes in prescription can easily be taken into account. It is often seen as a cheaper, and changeable, alternative to laser surgery.

 

The idea has actually been around for some 3000 years, when the Chinese found that sleeping with sandbags on their eyes could improve their vision long enough to go out and catch dinner. Today’s technique has been refined somewhat since then, (thank goodness!) becoming available in the 1960’s, but never having mass appeal as it was expensive and complicated. New technology has now made the fitting process simpler and more accurate, while developments in the lens materials and cleaning solutions have greatly reduced any complications. This also means Ortho K has become much more affordable.

 

There is also anecdotal evidence that Ortho K can slow down the progression of short-sight in teenagers. This is to date unproven, but the technique has support of the Institute of Optometry, which is recommending Ortho K to some patients.

http://www.eyedreamlenses.co.uk/  for more information.

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