SERVICES

At Northwest Ohio Vision Center, we are pleased to offer a wide range of optometry services for our community! Our experienced optometrists can provide you with thorough eye evaluations, determine if you need corrective lenses and your exact prescription strength, fit you with the appropriate specialty eyewear, and help you pick out the most flattering pair of glasses for your face shape and skin tone.

​​​​​​​Our new patient appointments always begin with a comprehensive eye exam. If you are unsure of your family’s eye health history, it’s helpful to research beforehand, so we can better evaluate your own eye health. If you have never had a comprehensive exam, don’t worry! All the tests and exercises are simple and painless.

At Northwest Ohio Vision Center, we are pleased to offer a wide range of optometry services for our community! Our experienced optometrists can provide you with thorough eye evaluations, determine if you need corrective lenses and your exact prescription strength, fit you with the appropriate specialty eyewear, and help you pick out the most flattering pair of glasses for your face shape and skin tone.

​​​​​​​Our new patient appointments always begin with a comprehensive eye exam. If you are unsure of your family’s eye health history, it’s helpful to research beforehand, so we can better evaluate your own eye health. If you have never had a comprehensive exam, don’t worry! All the tests and exercises are simple and painless.

PEDIATRIC EYE EXAM – INFANTSEE

We provide comprehensive vision assessments for infants less than 1-year-old at no charge as part of the national InfantSEE program promoted by the American Optometric Association. Regular eye exams are important for children since their eyes can change significantly in as little as a year as the muscles and tissue development. Good eyesight is critical for a child’s life and achievements since success in school are closely tied to eye health. School demands intense visual involvement, including reading, writing, using computers, and blackboard/smartboard work. Even physical activities and sports require a strong vision. If their eyes aren’t up to the task, a child may feel tired, have trouble concentrating, have problems in school or have difficulty playing their favorite games which may affect their overall quality of life.

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When To Perform A Pediatric Eye Exam?
According to the recommendations of the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus, a child should have initial screening between 6 and 12 months of age. After that, routine eye health and vision screenings throughout childhood should be performed in order to help detect any abnormalities as their eyes develop. Then, unless otherwise recommended, every two years thereafter until the age of 18.

For a newborn, an ophthalmologist should examine the baby’s eyes and perform a test called “red reflex test” which is a basic indicator that the eyes are normal. In a case that the baby is premature or at high risk for medical problems for other reasons, has signs of abnormalities, or has a family history of serious vision disorders in childhood, the ophthalmologist should perform a comprehensive exam.

A second eye health examination should be done to infants between six months and the first birthday. This examination includes tests of pupil responses to evaluate whether the pupil opens and closes properly in the presence or absence of light, a fixate and follow test to determine whether the baby can fixate on an object such as a light and follow it as it moves, and a preferential looking test which uses cards that are blank on one side with stripes on the other side to attract the gaze of an infant to the stripes and thus vision capabilities can be assessed. Infants should be able to perform this task well by the time they are 3 months old.

For a Preschooler, between the ages of 3 and 3½, a child’s visual acuity and eye alignment should be assessed. If the child is diagnosed with misaligned eyes (strabismus), “lazy eye” (amblyopia), refractive errors (astigmatism, myopia, hyperopia) or any other focusing problems, it’s important to begin treatment as soon as possible to ensure successful vision correction and life-long benefits.

At School age or upon entering school, the child’s eyes should be screened for visual acuity and alignment. In this age group, nearsightedness (myopia) is the most common refractive error and can be corrected with eyeglasses.

There are some signs that parents can tell if their child has a vision problem. For example, the child may squint, hold reading materials very close to their face, or complain about things appearing blurry. However, there are some less obvious signs that may indicate vision problems, such as having a short attention span, quickly losing interest in games, projects or activities that require using their eyes for an extended period of time or losing their place when reading. As well as choosing to avoid reading, drawing, playing games or doing other projects that require focusing up close. Another sign is that a child may turn his or her head to the side when looking at something in front of them. This may be a sign of a refractive error, including astigmatism, so by turning their head helps the child see better.

COMPREHENSIVE EYE EXAMS

The doctors at Northwest Ohio Vision Center provide complete eye care using the latest state of the art technology, allowing the doctors to diagnose nearsightedness and farsightedness along with many other sight threatening conditions such as glaucoma and cataracts. We can also test for and fit specialty eyewear for sports, occupations, other activities and hobbies, and safety glasses.
​​​​​​​If you’ve had a vision screening recently, you might say, “My vision is fine! I don’t need a comprehensive eye exam.”

But a vision screening provides a limited perspective on the overall health of your eyes. It’s a bit like getting your blood pressure checked and not getting the rest of your annual physical. You’ll have useful information, but it’s not the whole picture.

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If you’ve had a vision screening recently, you might say, “My vision is fine! I don’t need a comprehensive eye exam.

But a vision screening provides a limited perspective on the overall health of your eyes. It’s a bit like getting your blood pressure checked and not getting the rest of your annual physical. You’ll have useful information, but it’s not the whole picture.

What Are The Limitations Of A Vision Screening?
Vision screenings only test your ability to see clearly in the distance. This is called visual acuity and is just one factor in your overall vision. Others include color vision, peripheral vision, and depth perception. The screening also doesn’t evaluate how well the eyes focus up close or work together. Most importantly, it doesn’t give any information about the health of the eyes.

What Are The Benefits Of A Comprehensive Eye Exam?
Comprehensive eye exams evaluate all aspects of your vision and eye health. The comprehensive eye exam looks at your eye externally and internally for any signs of eye disease, then tests your vision in a variety of ways.

External Exam – This is an evaluation of the whites of your eyes, the iris, pupil, eyelids, and eyelashes.

Internal Exam – This is an evaluation of the retina and optic nerve while your eyes are dilated.

Visual Function and Eye Health – This includes testing depth perception, color vision, peripheral vision, and response of the pupils to light, as well as an evaluation of eye focusing, eye teaming and eye movement abilities.

Glaucoma Testing – This is a test of fluid pressure within your eyes to check for the possibility of glaucoma.

Visual Acuity – Your doctor will test your vision with different lenses to determine if glasses or contact lenses can improve your vision.

Comprehensive Eye Exams Look At Your Total Health History.
Even though you visit a separate office for your eye health, that doesn’t mean your eyes shouldn’t be treated holistically. Your eye doctor will discuss your overall health and that of your immediate family, any medications you’re taking and whether you have high blood pressure or diabetes. They’ll also want to know if you smoke and how much sun exposure you get. All these factors help the eye doctor properly assess your eye health.

DIABETIC RELATED EYE EXAMS

You have almost certainly heard of diabetes, which is one of the most common chronic health conditions in the United States with an estimated 100 million adults currently living with diabetes or pre-diabetes. This metabolic disorder occurs when the body is no longer able to regulate its own blood sugar levels and requires intervention to keep them stable. Most people are aware that diabetes can have serious consequences for our health. However, you may be surprised to learn that it can also influence our vision. This is because patients who are diabetic can go on to develop a complication that is known as diabetic retinopathy. Without prompt treatment, diabetic retinopathy can cause permanent vision loss. It is for this reason that patients who suffer from diabetes are asked to attend regular diabetic-related eye exams.

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WHAT IS DIABETIC RETINOPATHY?
For us to be able to see clearly, our eyes need to be healthy and functioning perfectly. The most important component of our eyes are the retina. Found at the very back of the eye, the retina is a patch of light-sensitive cells that have the job of converting the light that passes into the eye into messages that are passed up the optic nerve and into our brain. Our brain then receives them and tells us what we can see and how clearly we can see it.

The retina relies on a continuous supply of blood, which is delivered using a network of tiny blood vessels. Over time, having continuously high blood vessels can damage these blood vessels causing a leak of blood and other fluids onto the retina. If this happens, scarring may occur which could compromise the quality of your vision.

AM I AT RISK OF DIABETIC RETINOPATHY?
Technically, anyone who suffers from diabetes, whether it be Type 1 or Type 2, could be at risk of developing diabetic retinopathy. However, the condition is more likely in certain situations. These include if:

  • your blood sugar levels are uncontrolled or poorly controlled
  • you have a long history of diabetes
  • you have high blood pressure (hypertension)
  • you suffer from high cholesterol
  • you are pregnant

Regular diabetic-related eye exams will enable your eye doctor to monitor your condition and ensure that any signs of diabetic retinopathy are detected and acted upon immediately.

WHAT TO EXPECT FROM DIABETIC-RELATED EYE EXAMS?
The process of a diabetic eye exam is very simple and straightforward. In fact, in most instances, it is included within the other elements of comprehensive eye exam and you may not even realize that you have had a specific test to check for diabetes-related complications.

Diabetic eye screening is non-invasive. You will be given eyedrops which will blur your vision. These may sting a little when they are administered, but this will pass within just a few moments. Once your vision is blurred, you will be asked to rest your head onto a device and stare down a lens. This leads to a camera which will take images of the backs of your eyes so that your eye doctor can assess the structures, which include the retina, for any abnormalities. You will see a flash when each image is taken, but at no point should you be in any pain.

In addition to the images of the back of your eye being taken, you will also be given a visual acuity test. This is where you will be asked to read letters off a chart a short distance away, as well as reading from a card held in front of you.

The information that your eye doctor will obtain from your examination will be able to tell them if you are experiencing any of the signs of diabetic retinopathy. If so, they will discuss the best way to get your condition under control. This could involve a combination of elements, including controlling your diabetes more effectively, taking medications or more invasive treatment to preserve your vision. Your eye doctor will give you more specific information based on your individual circumstances.

GLAUCOMA DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT

What Is The Goal Of Glaucoma Treatment?
At present, glaucoma is not curable. However, treatment can significantly slow the progression of the disease. If you have been diagnosed with glaucoma, you’re probably already familiar with the typical options in glaucoma treatment – eye drops, laser treatment or traditional surgery. Glaucoma damages your eye’s optic nerve. Extra fluid builds up in the front part of your eye (cornea), which increases the pressure in your eye. Reducing this pressure is the primary objective of any glaucoma treatment. This is often referred to as intraocular pressure or IOP.

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Minimally Invasive Glaucoma Surgery
Minimally Invasive Glaucoma Surgery (MIGS) procedures are small cuts or micro-incisions through the cornea that cause the least amount of trauma to the surrounding tissues. Doctors implant a tiny device to allow fluid to drain from the eye, reducing internal pressure. Some devices (iStent) are implanted during cataract surgery. Cataract surgery alone lowers pressure, but the combination of both is more effective and can lower the need for medication.

These new techniques minimize tissue scarring, allowing for the possibility of traditional glaucoma surgery in the future if needed. They also give doctors the opportunity to treat patients earlier and more safely than older surgeries.

Monitoring Eye Pressure
An easy, accurate way to measure eye pressure is critical to monitoring the progress of glaucoma and adjusting treatment as needed. For patients that require more frequent testing of their eye pressure, there’s now an at-home tonometer called iCare HOME. There’s no puff of air and no eye drops. The patient can easily share the information with their eye doctor.

If you have a glaucoma diagnosis, you can feel confident that your glaucoma treatment options are only going to improve in the years ahead. Although the disease is not curable, it is very manageable with the right treatment.

GLAUCOMA TESTING

Risk Factor Assessment
Your eye doctor will begin by assessing your risk level for developing glaucoma. This will help determine the frequency and extent of testing needed. Through a family history and medical questionnaire, the eye doctor is looking for the following risk factors:

Over the age of 60

  • Ethnic background such as African or black Caribbean descent, Hispanic, or Asian
  • Family history of glaucoma, such as a sibling or parent with glaucoma
  • History of eye conditions, injuries or surgeries
  • Prolonged corticosteroid use (eye drops, pills, inhalers or creams)
  • Chronic conditions that affect blood flow, such as migraines, diabetes, low blood pressure or hypertension
  • Current or former smoker
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If you’ve already had a comprehensive eye exam, your eye doctor will also consider these risk factors:

  • Eye pressure higher than normal (above 21 mm Hg)
  • Thin corneas (less than 0.5 millimeters)

Your type of eyesight is also important. People with farsightedness are at a higher risk for narrow-angle glaucoma, a more serious type that can advance quickly. While nearsightedness is associated with open-angle glaucoma, which progresses slowly without any symptoms.

Standard Glaucoma Tests
During a comprehensive eye exam, your eye doctor will always check for glaucoma, regardless of the risk level. This provides a baseline for comparison as you age. There are two tests: tonometry and ophthalmoscopy.

Tonometry
Tonometry measures the pressure within your eye. Your eye doctor will give you drops to numb your eyes. Then he/she will use a device called a tonometer, which applies a small amount of pressure with a warm puff of air.

Eye pressure is unique to each person, so it’s not always a reliable indicator for glaucoma. It’s simply another piece of information to help your eye doctor assess your eyes. The range for normal pressure is 12-22 mm Hg (“mm Hg” in millimeters of mercury, a scale for recording eye pressure). Most glaucoma cases are diagnosed with pressure over 20mm Hg. However, some people can have glaucoma at pressures between 12 -22mm Hg.

Ophthalmoscopy
This is an examination of your optic nerve. Your eye doctor will use eye drops to dilate the pupil, which makes it possible to see through your eye to examine the shape and color of the optic nerve. Then, using a small device with a light on the end, your optic nerve is magnified. Based on the results of these tests, your doctor may ask you to have more glaucoma exams.

Supplemental Glaucoma Tests

Perimetry
Perimetry is a visual field test. It creates a map of your complete field of vision. During this test, you’ll look straight ahead and then indicate when a moving light passes your peripheral (or side) vision. Try to relax and respond as accurately as possible. To ensure accuracy, your doctor may repeat the test to see if the results are the same the next time. If you’ve been diagnosed with glaucoma, a visual field test is usually recommended at least once per year to assess changes to your vision.

Gonioscopy
This diagnostic exam helps determine the angle of your iris and cornea. First, you’ll receive eye drops to numb the eye. A hand-held contact lens is gently placed on the eye. A mirror on the contact lens shows the doctor if the angle is closed and blocked (a possible sign of angle-closure or acute glaucoma) or wide and open (a possible sign of open-angle, chronic glaucoma).

Pachymetry
Last, your eye doctor may want to use pachymetry as another way to confirm a diagnosis. Pachymetry measures the thickness of your cornea, the clear window at the front of the eye. A probe called a pachymeter is gently placed on your cornea to measure its thickness. Pachymetry can help clarify your diagnosis because corneal thickness has the potential to influence eye pressure readings.

Glaucoma diagnosis is not as simple as you might expect. Be sure to have regular eye exams, especially if you have any of the risk factors, to detect glaucoma early.

CATARACTS

If you’ve been diagnosed with cataracts, you may wonder if cataract surgery is right around the corner. Not to worry. There are many preventive steps you can take to slow the progression of cataracts and preserve your vision. That doesn’t mean you won’t eventually need surgery, but you can at least delay the need for quite a while.

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Protect Your Eyes From The Sun
The National Eye Institute recommends protecting your eyes from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) and high-energy visible (HEV) rays by always wearing good quality sunglasses while outdoors. Look for sunglasses that block 100 percent of UV rays and absorb most HEV rays with large lenses or a close-fitting wraparound style. Remember that the peak hours for sun exposure are between 10 am and 3 pm or 11 am and 4 pm during daylight savings time and that the sun’s rays are strong enough to pass through clouds, so you need your sunglasses every day.

Avoid Steroid Eye Drops
Steroid eye drops are routinely prescribed to treat dry eyes or an arthritic flare-up in the eyes. Unfortunately, they can also speed up the progression of cataracts. Talk to your Optometrist about how you can manage both conditions without inadvertently making your cataracts worse – and hastening the need for surgery.

Check Your Medications
There are over 300 commonly prescribed medications with side effects that may impact cataract progression. Since your primary care physician may not have access to your eye doctor’s medical records, be sure to ask your doctor if your current medications will affect your cataracts. If you must stay on the medication, it’s even more important to avoid sunlight during peak hours and to wear sunglasses.

Quit Smoking
If you haven’t quit already, here’s another good reason to do it: over time, the damage from smoking can double or triple an individual’s risk of developing cataracts. If you’ve been a smoker, your habit was probably a big contributor to the diagnosis. The good news is – by quitting smoking now, you can slow the progression of cataracts.

Follow Eye Health Diet Guidelines
Studies have shown that certain vitamins and nutrients may reduce age-related decline in eye health, particularly antioxidants. If you’ve already been diagnosed with cataracts, adding foods rich in antioxidants to your diet will help slow the progression. This list isn’t exhaustive, but here are some examples to get you started: dark chocolate, blueberries, strawberries, pecans, carrots, sweet potatoes, artichokes, kale, red cabbage, beans, beets, spinach, apples, and plums.

Doctors also recommend eating more fish high in omega-3 fatty acids. This has been linked to a potentially reduced risk of cataracts or their progression. You may also consider taking a multivitamin that contains Vitamin C and E. Talk to your doctor or nutritionist about how you might adopt a healthy eating plan that’s designed to prevent cataracts.

Fortunately, making these healthy modifications to your diet can prevent many other lifestyle diseases such as diabetes. Studies have shown that a diet rich in processed carbohydrates can increase your risk of both developing cataracts and speeding up its progression. It’s important to develop a plan that works for you and supports your holistic health.

Take control of your cataract diagnosis by getting regular eye exams, communicating with your doctor, and putting these tips into practice. You’ll have better vision and prevent the need for cataract surgery in the near future.

EYE EMERGENCIES

Eye emergencies cover a range of incidents and conditions such as; trauma, cuts, scratches, foreign objects in the eye, burns, chemical exposure, photic retinopathy, and blunt injuries to the eye or eyelid. Since the eye is easily damaged, serious complications can occur from an eye injury thus, any of these conditions without proper treatment can lead to a partial loss of vision or even permanent blindness. Likewise, certain eye infections, other medical conditions, such as blood clots or glaucoma, and eye problems such as a painful red eye or vision loss that are not due to injury also need urgent medical attention.

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Depending On The Type Of Injury, Any Of The Following Symptoms May Be Present:

  • Bleeding or other discharge from or around the eye
  • Bruising
  • Decreased vision
  • Double vision
  • Loss of vision, total or partial, in one eye or both
  • Pupils of unequal size
  • Eye pain
  • New or severe headaches
  • Itchy eyes
  • Redness or bloodshot appearance
  • A sensation of something in the eye
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Stinging or burning in the eye
  • One eye is not moving like the other
  • One eye is sticking out or bulging
  • Nausea or headache occurring with eye pain (this may be a symptom of glaucoma or stroke).

A black eye is usually caused by direct trauma to the eye or face, causing a bruise resulting from bleeding under the skin. The skin around the eye turns black and blue, gradually becoming purple, green, and yellow over several days. Swelling of the eyelid and tissues around the eye may also occur. The abnormal color usually disappears within 2 weeks.

A blow to the eye can potentially damage the inside of the eye. Trauma is also a common cause of hyphemia, which is blood inside the front of the eye and is often due to a direct hit to the eye from a ball. Besides, certain types of skull fractures can cause bruising around the eyes, even without direct injury to the eye.

A chemical injury to the eye can be caused by a work-related accident, common household products such as cleaning solutions, garden chemicals, solvents, or other types of chemicals. Fumes and aerosols can also cause chemical burns. With acid burns, the haze on the cornea often clears and there is a good chance of recovery. However, alkaline substances such as lime, lye, drain cleaners, and sodium hydroxide found in refrigeration equipment may cause permanent damage to the cornea. It is important to flush out the eye with large amounts of clean water or salt water (saline).

Photic retinopathy, also known as foveomacular retinitis or solar retinopathy, is damage to the eye’s retina, particularly the macula, from prolonged exposure to solar radiation or other bright light, e.g., lasers or arc welders. It usually occurs due to staring at the sun, watching a solar eclipse, or viewing an ultraviolet, Illuminant D65, or other bright light. Immediate evaluation by your doctor is advised.

In case of an eye injury, cut or trauma, gently apply a clean cold compress to the eye to reduce swelling and help stop the bleeding. Do not, however, apply pressure to control bleeding. If blood is pooling in the eye, cover both eyes with a clean cloth or sterile dressing. And, call your doctor immediately.

In case of eye injury be sure NOT to:

  • rub or apply pressure to your eye
  • try to remove foreign objects that are stuck in any part of your eye
  • use tweezers or any other tools in your eye (cotton swabs can be used, but only on the eyelid)
  • put medications or ointments in the eye

As for contact lenses wearers, attempting to remove your contacts can make the injury worse. The only exceptions to this rule are in situations where there is a chemical injury and the lenses didn’t flush out with water, or where immediate medical help cannot be received.

DRY EYE TREATMENT

​​​​​​​While dry eye isn’t a serious condition, it can have a major impact on your quality of life. You may find your eyes get tired faster or you have difficulty reading. Not to mention the discomfort of a burning sensation or blurry vision. Let’s take a look at dry eye treatments – from simple self-care to innovative prescriptions and therapies – to help you see clearly and comfortably.

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What Is Dry Eye?
Understanding dry eye will help you determine the best treatment option. Dry eye occurs when a person doesn’t have enough quality tears to lubricate and nourish the eye. Tears reduce eye infections, wash away foreign matter, and keep the eye’s surface smooth and clear. People with dry eyes either do not produce enough tears or their tears are poor quality. It’s a common and often chronic problem, especially in older adults.

Preventive Self-Care
Before we delve into more serious dry eye treatment options, here are a few simple self-care options that can manage minor cases of dry eye.

  • Blink regularly when reading or staring at a computer screen for a long time.
  • Make sure there’s adequate humidity in the air at work and at home.
  • Wear sunglasses outside to reduce sun and wind exposure. Wraparound glasses are best.
  • Take supplements with essential fatty acids as these may decrease dry eye symptoms.
  • Drink 8 to 10 glasses of water each day to avoid dehydration.
  • Find out if any of your prescriptions have dry eye as a side effect and if so, see if you can take an alternative.

Artificial Tears
For mild cases of dry eyes, the best option is over-the-counter eye drops. Here are a few tips for selecting the right one:

  • Low viscosity – These artificial tears are watery. They often provide quick relief with little or no blurring of your vision, but their effect can be brief, and sometimes you must use these drops frequently to get adequate relief.
  • *High viscosity – These are more gel-like and provide longer-lasting lubrication. However, these drops can cause significant blurring of your vision for several minutes. For this reason, high-viscosity artificial tears are recommended at bedtime.

Prescription Dry Eye Treatments
There are several prescriptions that treat dry eye differently. Your eye doctor can advise the best option for your situation.

  • Contact Lenses – There are specialty contact lenses that deliver moisture to the surface of the eye. They’re called scleral lenses or bandage lenses.
  • Antibiotics– If your eyelids are inflamed, this can prevent oil glands from secreting oil into your tears. Your doctor may recommend antibiotics to reduce inflammation.
  • Anti-inflammatory drugs – These are eye drops to control inflammation on the surface of your eyes (cornea) using the immune-suppressing medication cyclosporine (Restasis) or corticosteroids.
  • Eye Inserts – If artificial tears don’t help, another option may be a tiny eye insert. Once a day, you place the hydroxypropyl cellulose (Lacrisert) insert between your lower eyelid and your eyeball. It dissolves slowly, releasing a substance to lubricate your eye.
  • Tear-stimulating drugs – Available as pills, gel or eye drops, cholinergic (pilocarpine, cevimeline), these help to increase tear production.
  • Autologous blood serum drops – For serious dry eye that’s not responding to other treatment, these eyedrops are made with a sample of your blood. It’s processed to remove the red blood cells and then mixed with a salt solution.

Dry Eye Procedures

  • Punctal Plugs – Tear ducts can be plugged with tiny silicone plugs to reduce tear loss. By partially or completely closing your tear ducts, it can keep your tears from leaving your eye too quickly.
  • LipiFlow Thermal Pulsation – This treatment helps to unblock oil glands. Placed over your eye, the device delivers a gentle, warm massage to the lower eyelid over about 15 minutes.
  • Intense-Pulsed Therapy – This utilizes pulses of light to liquefy and release hardened oils that have clogged glands in the eyelids.

SURGICAL CO-MANAGEMENT

Northwest Ohio Vision Center works closely with many certified Ophthalmologists to provide outstanding pre-and post-operative care for patients undergoing surgeries such as Cataract Extraction and LASIK.

AM I A CANDIDATE FOR LASIK?

Candidacy For LASIK
LASIK has an extremely high success rate. According to the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery, 96% of patients achieve 20/20 vision or better. However, it’s high success rate doesn’t make LASIK automatically the right solution for everyone.

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Candidacy for LASIK is assessed by our doctors on a case-by-case basis so that you be certain that whatever treatment is recommended for you, it will give you the very best opportunity to improve your vision. During your consultation, our doctors will perform a thorough examination of your eyes and vision, ask you about your general health and talk you through both the procedure and aftercare.

The general guidelines for LASIK candidacy state that patients must:

  • be at least 18 years of age
  • have had stable vision with no prescription changes for a minimum of 12 months
  • have a current prescription for eyeglasses or contact lenses that falls between specified parameters (Our doctors will be aware of what these parameters are)
  • have no significant medical or eye-related problems such as glaucoma, macular degeneration or diabetic retinopathy
  • have no history of corneal disease
  • not be pregnant or nursing at the time of the procedure

Understanding Expectations
An important element of any LASIK consultation is the conversation surrounding the expectations and predicted outcomes of your procedure. Many people mistakenly believe that LASIK will completely eliminate their need for visual aids. While this is a possibility for some patients, a good candidate for LASIK understands and accepts that they may still require the use of prescription visual aids in some circumstances, such as when driving in low light conditions.

If you are interested in finding out more about LASIK laser eye surgery, or if you would like to schedule a consultation, do not hesitate to contact our friendly, knowledgeable team. We look forward to supporting your journey to clearer vision.

ENCHROMA

The mission of EnChroma is to help the colorblind experience a more colorful world.

HOW ENCHROMA WAS INVENTED
EnChroma Chief Scientist and co-founder Don McPherson, Ph.D., had no inkling that his love for playing Ultimate Frisbee would send him on a lifelong mission to help the color blind. Don was playing Ultimate Frisbee while wearing special eyewear he had developed to protect the eyes of doctors from lasers during surgeries. He liked how the glasses enhanced colors. One of his teammates – who is color blind – asked to try on the glasses. He marveled at all the colors he could see that he had never seen before. A light bulb went on. Don began exploring why the glasses might help the color blind better see colors. Co-founder Andy Schmeder, CEO, joined Don and developed sophisticated computer models that simulated wavelengths of light and color vision deficiency. With the support of three National Institutes of Health (NIH) SBIR grants, EnChroma was born seven years later in 2010.

FACTS ABOUT COLOR BLINDNESS
FACTS ABOUT COLOR BLINDNESS
There are an estimated 300 million people in the world with color vision deficiency.

  • 1 in 12 men are color blind (8%).
  • 1 in 200 women are color blind (0.5%).
  • While color blindness is often considered a mild disability, studies estimate that two-thirds of people with CVD feel it’s a handicap.
  • Red-green color blindness doesn’t mean only color confusion with red and green colors, but the whole color spectrum can cause confusion.
  • Color blindness is typically inherited genetically and carried recessively on the X chromosome.
  • A father can’t pass his red-green color blindness on to his sons.
  • If a woman is red-green color blind, all her sons will also be color blind.
  • John Dalton wrote the first scientific paper on color blindness. Color blindness is also referred to as Daltonism.
  • It’s extremely rare, but it’s possible to have normal color vision in one eye and color blindness in the other eye. This is called unilateral dichromacy.
  • The popular “red means bad and green means good” is a poor design for people with color blindness. A better choice would to use red–blue and yellow–blue color combinations.
  • Lots of color blind people are surprised to find out that peanut butter is not green.

VISION THERAPY

​​​​​​​Vision therapy is a treatment plan that is intended to develop and improve a patient’s visual skills and abilities, with the goal of making their day-to-day life easier. You may also hear Vision Therapy referred to as VT. Although most commonly associated with children, whose visual skills are still naturally developing, adults can also benefit from vision therapy.

Any patient who does not have the necessary visual skills could find themselves suffering from a range of unpleasant symptoms, including headaches, eye fatigue, stiff neck and double vision. Fortunately, vision therapy is a simple, painless technique to help patients to enhance their visual skills and overcome any issues that they may have been experiencing.

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Skills That Can Be Developed And Improved Through Vision Therapy
Vision therapy has been shown to be an effective way of developing and improving the following visual skills, all of which are important for day-to-day life.

Tracking: this refers to the ability to follow a moving object smoothly and accurately with both eyes – such as moving traffic or a ball coming towards you.

Depth perception: this is the ability to judge relative distances of objects and move accurately in a 3D space – for example, being able to walk down a flight of stairs.

Peripheral vision: this refers to the edges of your vision and your ability to be assess what’s happening in your peripheral vision while paying attention to something directly in front of you.

Acuity at different distances: this is the ability to see clearly enough to identify and understand objects at both near and far distances.

Fixation: enabling patients to quickly and accurately look at, identify and understand stationery objects one after the other, for example, reading word to word.

Binocular vision: the ability for both eyes to work together in perfect synchronization.

Shifting focus: patients with this skill can look quickly at different distances without momentary blur.

Visualization: a valuable visual skill that enables patients to form and retain images in their head.

What To Expect From A Vision Therapy Appointment?
Vision therapy is generally conducted as an in-office treatment, under the close supervision of your eye doctor. Each vision therapy treatment plan is personalized; tailored to the specific individual needs of each patient. Most patients can expect to schedule hour appointments once or twice a week. You may also be given specific exercises to complete at home, which will support the progress that you are making during your in-office appointments. The components of Vision Therapy Treatment are non-invasive and drug-free, making VT suitable for the vast majority of patients, regardless of their age, health and history. For many people, vision therapy is a safe alternative to conventional eye surgeries.

There are various techniques that can be involved in vision therapy. These include, but aren’t limited to:

  • Prisms
  • Patches
  • Occluders
  • Therapeutic lenses
  • Exercises
  • The use of tools designed specifically for use in vision therapy exercises

By attending regular vision therapy appointments, patients can see an improvement in their vision, visual comfort and experience an overall improvement with the ease in which they use their eyes for daily activities.

AMBLYOPIA

​​​​​​​Amblyopia, also known as a “lazy eye”, is described as a reduced vision in one eye compared to the other. There are some rare forms of amblyopia that involve both eyes. Amblyopia is the most common cause of partial or total blindness in one eye in children.

The term lazy eye is misleading because the eye is not actually lazy. In fact, it is a developmental problem in the nerve connecting the eye to the brain, affecting the brain’s ability to use both eyes together. It is not a problem in the eye itself, but in the brain which actively ignores the visual input from the misaligned eye, leading to amblyopia in that eye.

In addition to poor visual acuity, people with amblyopia are more prone to having difficulties with depth perception, eye movements related to reading, and visual decision making while driving.

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What Are The Causes Of Amblyopia?
Amblyopia develops in childhood due to:

  • Significant differences in the prescription (refractive) status between the two eyes due to nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism.
  • Constantly misaligned eyes or crossed eyes (strabismus).
  • An obstruction of vision in early childhood i.e. cataract, ptosis (droopy eyelid)
  • It is important to note that, because amblyopia is typically a problem of infant vision development, symptoms of the condition can be difficult to detect. Symptoms may include noticeably favoring one eye over the other, an eye turn (either upward-downward outward or inward) or a tendency to bump into objects on one side.
  • The best way to identify children who are at risk for or already have amblyopia is by performing comprehensive eye examinations.

How Is Amblyopia Treated?
Amblyopia can be treatable at any age, although the earlier the problem is found and treated, the more successful the outcomes tend to be.

Many children who have anisometropia or unequal vision, do not know they have an eye problem because the stronger eye and the brain compensate for that shortage. Over time, the weaker eye gets progressively worse, and amblyopia develops.

Treatment May Include:

Glasses
To correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism. Glasses may also correct an eye turn. Sometimes, glasses solve the amblyopia, and no further treatment is required.

Cataract Surgery
If a cataract is the cause of amblyopia, it can be removed surgically under either local or general anesthesia.

Correcting Droopy Eyelids
In some cases, amblyopia is caused by an eyelid that is blocking the vision to the weaker eye, in such cases, the usual treatment is surgery to lift the eyelid. Once the vision is corrected and any underlying medical issues are treated, then there are several other ways to help improve vision and getting the lazy eye to work,

Using An Eye Patch
For the better-seeing, an eye patch may be required for several hours each day or all day long and may continue for weeks or months. A child should be encouraged to do close-up activities while wearing the patch, such as schoolwork, reading, or coloring. (Patches can be made colorful and fun to help the child accept it)

Atropine Eye Drops
Used to blur vision in the unaffected eye. Atropine is usually less awkward for the child, compared with a patch, and can be just as effective. Thus, children who cannot tolerate wearing a patch may be prescribed eye drops instead.

Vision Exercises
This involves different exercises and games to improve vision development in the child’s affected eye which may be done in combination with other treatments.

Surgery
It is sometimes performed to improve the appearance of an eye turn, resulting in better alignment of the eyes. This may or may not improve vision.

Early diagnosing and treating increases the chance for a complete recovery. Amblyopia will not go away on its own. If not diagnosed until the preteen, teen or adult years, treatment will take longer and is often less effective. The sooner the treatment begins, the better.

SPORTS VISION

Sports vision is a growing niche in the eyecare industry, helping athletes improve their performance skills through the enhancement of visual skills. While regular eye exams are important for checking the health of your eyes and your visual acuity (how clearly you can see a still object at different distances), sports vision testing is recommended for anyone who takes their athletic performance seriously.

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Visual Skills Needed For Sports Performance
There are several key visual skills that are enhanced through sports vision programs for athletes that aim to achieve their optimal sports performance, these include:

Dynamic visual acuity: this refers to the patient’s ability to see objects clearly while in motion. This is exceptionally important as hand-eye coordination and reflex reactions are essential for success in most sporting activities.

Contrast sensitivity: good contrast sensitivity is needed to determine the difference between an object and its surroundings. Contrast sensitivity is particularly important in situations where there may be low light, fog or glare that could diminish the natural contrast between objects and backgrounds.

Eye tracking: this refers to the ability to follow a fast-moving object, such as a ball or puck.

Switching eye focus: athletes need to be able to change their focus quickly and accurately from one distance to another.

Binocular vision skills: also known as eye teaming skills, these skills determine how well your eyes work with one another to produce a single, clear image.

Processing speed: visual processing speed is defined as the amount of time it takes to make a correct judgement about a visual stimulus – for example, how fast a ball is travelling towards them.

Peripheral awareness: athletes also need to be able to be aware of what is happening at the edges of their vision while also concentrating on a fixed object in front of them.

Sports vision testing can enable your eye doctor to spot any weaknesses that you may have in any of these key visual skills. By identifying them, it is possible for you to undergo treatment to overcome theses issues and meet your specific goals that will ultimately enhance your overall athletic performance. This is known as sports vision training.

What’s Involved In Sports Vision Training?
Sports vision training refers to a personalized treatment plan that is designed to train the brain to achieve maximum efficiency in the way that it receives, processes, and responds to visual input. Exactly what is involved in your sports vision training will depend on your athletic activity and the visual skills that your eye doctor identifies for improvement after comprehensive sports vision testing. Your treatment program will use a variety of tools, techniques, and exercises. You may also be asked to complete some exercises at home to further enhance your progress. With sports vision training, the ultimiate goal is for athletes to continue to see faster and clearer, giving them a distinct competitive edge.

For more information about sports vision and how it can benefit amateur and professional athletes, please contact our team.

CONTACT LENS EXAM

If you’ve never worn contact lenses before, it can seem a bit intimidating. After all, you’re inserting something into your eye! Let’s ease your mind about the first step – your contact lens exam. This post will walk you through what’s involved in a contact lens exam and what you can expect every step of the way.

It Begins With A Comprehensive Eye Exam.

Your eye doctor will first determine your overall eye health and vision. This includes a discussion of your health history and then a series of standard eye tests. These tests will evaluate eye focusing, eye teaming, depth perception, color vision, peripheral vision, and the response of your pupils to light. The doctor will also measure your eye’s fluid pressure to check for glaucoma, evaluate your retina and optic nerve, and test your vision with different lenses to assess whether contact lenses can improve your vision.

Then, A Discussion About Your Contact Lens Preferences.

If contact lenses are appropriate for you, it’s time to talk about your contact lens preferences. For example, do you want to enhance or change your eye color? Would you prefer daily disposable lenses or overnight contacts? Ask about the benefits or drawbacks of each, so that you make the best decision. If you’re over 40, your doctor will likely discuss age-related vision changes and how contact lenses can address these issues.

Next, The Eye Doctor Will Conduct Eye Surface Measurements.

Contact lenses require precise measurements of your eyes to fit properly. Using an instrument called a keratometer, your doctor will measure the curvature of your eye’s cornea, the clear front surface of your eye. Next, the size of your eye’s pupil is measured using a card or ruler showing different pupil sizes which is held next to your eye to determine the best match.

You May Also Need A Tear Film Evaluation.

If you have dry eyes, your eye doctor will perform a tear film evaluation to measure the amount of tear film on the surface of your eye. If your tear film is insufficient or you have chronic dry eyes, contact lenses may not be a good option for you. However, some newer contact lenses deliver moisture to the surface of the eye, making them a better choice for individuals with dry eye issues.

Its Time For The Contact Lens Fitting.

The final step is to fit you with a trial pair of contact lenses. Once inserted, your eye doctor will examine the lenses in your eyes to ensure a good fit. He/she will check the alignment and movement of the lenses on the surface of your eye and if the fit looks good, the last step is to ensure the prescription is correct with a few more tests.

Now It’s Your Turn To Test It Out.

Your contact lens exam is over, but you’ll need to come back. Your doctor will usually have you wear the trial lenses for a week. After that, you’ll have a short follow-up exam to confirm that the lenses are working well for you and you can then order a supply of contact lenses.

If this is your first contact lens exam, don’t worry. Choose a qualified optometrist and they’ll answer all your questions as you go. Just be sure to let them know you’re interested in contact lenses so that they know to allow for extra time in your appointment for the consultation and any specialized tests.

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CORNEAL REFRACTIVE THERAPY

Corneal refractive therapy, also known as CRT, is a simple, painless treatment for refractive eye errors like myopia and has two core benefits. First, it can be used to help patients see clearly during the day without using glasses or contact lenses, giving them the freedom and flexibility that they need to live life to the fullest. Second, CRT has been shown to help slow the progression of myopia, keeping prescriptions under control and potentially reducing the likelihood of patients developing serious eye health problems associated with high myopia in the future.

Here’s everything that you need to know about corneal refractive therapy and what it means for you.

Understanding Refractive Eye Problems

Refractive eye problems like nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism are extremely common, with nearsightedness – also known as myopia – being the most common of all. Patients with myopia can see nearby objects clearly, but those further away become progressively more blurred. Refractive eye errors occur when the shape of the clear dome covering the front part of the eye, called the cornea, impair the light-bending and focusing process in your eyes. This leads to the light ending up in the wrong place inside the eye, and the message that is sent to our brain from our eyes is muddled, causing blurred vision.

What Is Corneal Refractive Therapy?

Corneal refractive therapy was initially developed as a treatment to correct and slow the progression of nearsightedness. However, it has also been found to be effective at controlling other refractive errors, including farsightedness, astigmatism and an age-related refractive condition called presbyopia.

CRT is a non-invasive, painless and straightforward method of correcting patient vision so that they don’t need to wear contacts or glasses, and they don’t need laser vision correction surgery to see clearly. CRT uses special contact lenses that are worn overnight and apply light pressure to the cornea in order to reshape it so that light is refracted correctly, and the image sent from the eyes to the brain is clear. The cornea is able to retain this new shape even after the contact lenses are removed the next morning, meaning that you can continue to see clearly for several hours. The more consistently you wear your CRT lenses overnight, the longer your eyes will learn to retain their new shape and eventually, patients can enjoy up to 48 hours of clear vision without using prescription lenses. However, the effects aren’t permanent so if you stop wearing the lenses, your vision will gradually return back to normal over the course of a few days.

Slowing The Progression Of Myopia With Corneal Refractive Therapy

Another key benefit of CRT is that it can actually help to slow the progression of myopia. Most people who are nearsighted find that their eyesight gets progressively worse as they get older. This deterioration may not be rapid, but it can end in patients requiring high prescriptions. Studies have found that patients who have high myopia are more likely to develop serious eye problems in the future, including glaucoma, macular degeneration, cataracts and a detached retina. Regular use of your corneal refractive therapy lenses could help keep your prescription stable and lower your risk of developing these problems.

Am I A Candidate For Corneal Refractive Therapy?

  • You may be a candidate for corneal refractive therapy if you:
  • Have a myopia prescription within specific parameters
  • Have a prescription for hyperopia, presbyopia or astigmatism within specific parameters
  • Have stable vision, which means that your prescription hasn’t changed during the last two years
  • Are not a suitable candidate for laser vision correction
  • Have a job that makes it impractical or unsafe to wear glasses or contact lenses
  • Enjoy hobbies that make it impractical or unsafe to wear glasses or contact lenses
  • Have healthy eyes and are generally in good health

KERATOCONUS AND YOUR TREATMENT OPTIONS

Keratoconus is a terrifying diagnosis to those that have experienced it. To compound issues, many patients complain that they had poor initial treatment due to a lack of understanding about the disease. If proper treatment is not achieved, individuals may experience a rapid deterioration in their ability to see. This leads to a reduced quality of life. You can reduce the stress related to a keratoconus diagnosis and increase the benefits of treatment by understanding your treatment options.

Understanding Keratoconus
Keratoconus is an eye disease that causes the cornea to thin and bulge. This bulge generally takes on the appearance of a cone. As light enters the eye, it becomes distorted by the cone causing vision abnormalities.

Modern research is connecting keratoconus with an enzyme imbalance in the cornea. This imbalance leaves the eye susceptible to oxidative free radicals. Keratoconus has also been linked to UV damage, excessive eye rubbing, poorly fitting contacts, and chronic eye irritation.

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Treatment Options
While your eye professional will have the best understanding of what treatment option is right for you, we have compiled ten of the most common treatments here.

Corneal Cross-linking (CXL) – There are two different types of this procedure, but they both introduce riboflavin to the cornea in order to strengthen the corneal tissue and stop the bulging from progressing.

Custom Soft Contact Lenses – Soft contacts are generally more comfortable to wear than gas permeable lenses. Recently, some contact companies have been able to create a contact specifically to correct the issues related to mild and moderate cases of keratoconus.

Gas Permeable Contact Lenses – Gas permeable lenses are a hard contact lens that physically forces the eye to adhere to the lens shape. This allows for the correction of keratoconus. The fit is often time-consuming and may take several different lenses to achieve the proper fit.

Piggybacking Contact Lenses – This method is used for individuals who require a gas permeable lens but cannot tolerate wearing rigid contacts. Piggybacking utilizes a soft lens placed on the eye first, and then a gas permeable lens is placed over the top. This offers the comfort of soft contacts with the rigidity and clarity of the gas permeable lenses.

Hybrid Contact Lenses – Hybrid contact lenses were designed specifically for keratoconus. This technology blends a rigid contact lens center with a softer edge, or skirt, of the contact

Scleral and Semi-Scleral lenses – These lenses are gas permeable lenses but cover a larger area of the eye than a standard rigid lens. These lenses don’t put pressure onto the cone shape of the eye. The reduced pressure results in a more comfortable fit for patients.

Prosthetic Lenses – This lens is used specifically for patients that have very advanced keratoconus and have ruled out other options. The advanced scleral lens also doubles as a protective prosthetic shell. There are special requirements to qualify for this lens though, so check with your eye care professional if this is an option for you.

Intacs – These implants are surgically placed in the eye. They are a small plastic insert that is inserted into the eye, just under the surface. This option is also designed for patients who could not use other contact lens types.

Topography-Guided Conductive Keratoplasty – This treatment option is still being researched, but it uses the energy from radio waves and small probes to map the surface of the eye. This detailed mapping allows for an appropriate treatment plan for the patient.

Corneal Transplant – Patients with advanced keratoconus may no longer be able to tolerate a contact lens, or the different lens types may not be correcting the issues. This surgery removes the damaged cornea and replaces it with a healthy cornea.

SCLERAL LENSES

WHAT ARE SCLERAL LENSES?
Scleral contact lenses get their name from the fact that, unlike regular contacts, they vault over the entire corneal surface and rest on the white part of the eye, which is called the sclera. This makes them larger than standard contacts, which in turn provides a variety of benefits. Their size makes them easier to handle and more stable when on the eye, which in turn provides the patient with sharper and more reliable vision. They are also less likely to become dislodged and come out.

Scleral contact lenses are also gas permeable, which means that oxygen can pass right through them and reach the surface of the eyes. This is important for comfort, particularly for patients who experience dry eyes. The gap that is created between the back of the contact lens and the front surface of the eye can also trap tear film, acting as a fluid reservoir which will keep the eyes moist and healthy.

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TYPES OF SCLERAL LENSES
Within scleral lenses there are several different sizes to choose between. These are based on where the lenses meet the surface of the eye and are as follows:

Full scleral lenses: the largest type, they provide the greatest amount of clearance between the cornea and lens and rest on the outer sclera.

Mini scleral lenses: the mid-size variety, make contact with the eye on the anterior sclera.

Semi-scleral lenses: although larger than conventional lenses, they are not huge, and the edge of the contact lens rests on the junction between the cornea and the sclera.

Your scleral lens provider will be able to make a recommendation as to the correct size for you, which will be based on your individual requirements.

WHO ARE SCLERAL LENSES RECOMMENDED FOR?
Although technically anyone can wear and benefit from scleral lenses, they are a particularly good option for patients who have eye conditions or irregularities that for which regular contacts are not suitable. This includes patients with:

Dye eye syndrome. Contact lenses float on a fine layer of tear film, which keeps them comfortable and in position. Patients with dry eye syndrome either do not have enough natural tear film, or what they do have drains away too quickly. This can make wearing regular contact lenses difficult and uncomfortable. However, the design of scleral lenses keeps moisture on the surface of the eyes, eliminating some of the effects of dry eyes. This makes scleral lenses a great choice for patients with dry eyes.

Irregular corneas. The cornea is the clear dome that covers the front part of the eye and many people have a cornea that is a slightly, or significantly, irregular shape. This causes light to be refracted incorrectly when it enters our eyes, triggering vision problems. Issues arising from irregularly shaped corneas cannot be completely corrected using glasses or conventional contact lenses. Therefore, scleral lenses, which provide sharper and more accurate vision, are recommended.

For more information about scleral lenses, please do not hesitate to call our expert eye care team.

SPECIALTY CONTACT LENSES

As you may have guessed from the name, specialty contact lenses are unconventional contacts that are designed for patients that which regular contacts might not be suitable. Here are some of the main types of specialty contact lenses and who they are recommended for.

Who Might Be A Good Patient For Specialty Contact Lenses?
Some of the patients that might benefit from specialty contact lenses include those who:

  • have been diagnosed with dry eye syndrome
  • have corneal scarring
  • have been diagnosed with keratoconus, a condition characterized by the bulging of the cornea
  • suffer from strabismus, a condition where the patient has an eye that turns in or out relative to the other
  • have suffered an injury to the eye
  • suffer from a peripheral corneal thinning disorder
  • are intolerant to other types of lenses

Your eye doctor or contact lens provider will be able to tell you if you need specialty contact lenses and if so, which lenses would be best based on your individual requirements.

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TYPES OF SPECIALTY LENSES

Rigid Gas Permeable Lenses
Also known as RGP lenses, these are made from special material that allows oxygen to pass through them and reach the surface of the eyes. This helps to keep the eyes hydrated and comfortable, making these lenses easier to wear, especially for patients who suffer from dry eyes. Dry eyes aren’t just a symptom, but a very real condition, characterized by dry, stiff and uncomfortable eyes, blurred vision and eye fatigue. RGP lenses are more rigid than soft lenses, and this helps to keep them stable and secure on the eyes so that patients can enjoy sharper vision. They also help the cornea to maintain their shape, which helps to minimize the effects of some corneal abnormalities.

Scleral Contact Lenses
Scleral contact lenses are very different to standard contact lenses. This is because scleral lenses are much larger in diameter, with three different sizes available depending on your specific needs. This size difference means that the edges of the contact lens fall on a white part of the eye, called the sclera rather than the cornea. Scleral lenses are also different in that they vault over the surface of the cornea rather than touching it, leaving a space between the front surface of the eye and the back of the contact lens. This makes scleral lenses a good choice for patients with dry eyes and corneal abnormalities. The space can trap tear film which keeps the eyes hydrated, while the space also accommodates many corneal abnormalities, such as the bulge associated with keratoconus.

Limbal Fit Contact Lenses
Limbal contact lenses are another type of specialty lens that fall between rigid gas permeable lenses and scleral varieties in terms of their size. Their larger overall diameter helps to increase their stability on the surface of your eyes. They also offer minimal interference with the eyelids, which helps to ensure comfort and clarity of your vision.

Hybrid Contact Lenses
Hybrid contact lenses are a combination of both soft and gas permeable contact lenses, giving patients the opportunity to enjoy the best parts of both designs. The middle part of hybrid lenses is made from gas permeable material that lets oxygen pass through to the eyes. However, the gas permeable part of the lens is more rigid, and this firmer center gives the lens greater stability and the patient enhanced clarity. The RGP portion of the lens also helps to trap a tear film between the cornea and the lens so that the eye remains hydrated. Meanwhile, the outer edge of hybrid lenses is a soft lens skirt. This means that patients don’t have to deal with the hard edges associated with RGP lenses that many be uncomfortable. Instead, the comfort levels that patients experience are more like wearing fully soft lenses.

For more information about specialty contact lenses, don’t hesitate to speak to our dedicated eye care team.

DAILY CONTACT LENSES

Wearing contact lenses gives patients the flexibility and freedom to live life to the fullest, without some of the difficulties presented by wearing glasses. Many people who choose contact lenses do so because they don’t like the way that glasses look or feel, or because wearing glasses compromises their ability to perform certain tasks or activities, such as sports or jobs that require the use of safety goggles.

There are lots of different contact lenses to choose from, with two of the most popular being daily disposables and toric lenses.

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TYPES OF DAILY CONTACT LENSES

Disposable Lenses
As their name suggests, these daily contact lenses are disposable. This means that they can and should be discarded at the end of each day rather than re-worn. Disposable lenses do tend to be a little more expensive than some repeat-wear varieties, but the benefits usually outweigh the cost.

Some of the advantages of choosing daily disposable contact lenses include:
You don’t have to clean them, which saves patients a great deal of time and hassle. It also helps save money in terms of the ongoing cost of cleaning solution.

Disposable lenses are also great for people with eye allergies. This is because with ordinary lenses, there’s an opportunity for deposits and microorganisms to build up. With daily disposables, allergens have less chance to attach themselves to the lenses and cause irritation and other allergy symptoms.

You don’t need to schedule regular replacements either, which makes wearing contact lenses easier on your schedule.

Disposable contact lenses are particularly good for people who have busy lives and are likely to cut corners when it comes to caring for their eyes or contacts since there is no cleaning or maintenance required.

Daily disposable contact lenses are available in a wide range of prescriptions, including those for patients with nearsightedness and farsightedness. Your eye doctor will be able to advise you if you are a candidate for disposable contact lenses.

Toric Lenses
Toric contact lenses are recommended for patients who have a refractive eye problem called astigmatism. Patients with astigmatism have corneal abnormalities that cause the refraction of the eye to be different between the vertical and horizontal planes, causing blurred vision and difficulty seeing fine details. Toric contact lenses are shaped in a particular way that creates the different focusing powers needed in each part of the lens to correct your vision. For this reason, it’s essential that Toric lenses are placed into the eyes in the correct position. Fortunately, manufacturers design Toric lenses with features that help them to stay in place, including:

Thin/thick zones
Creating areas of the lens that are thicker or heavier which helps secure it in position

An area where the bottom of the lens is slightly cut off

To keep them stable, Toric lenses are a little firmer than conventional soft lenses. This means that some patients can find them a little less comfortable, but the superior vision they obtain outweighs this. Your eye doctor will be able to advise you if you are a good candidate for Toric contact lenses and which variety would best suit you.

To find out more about daily contact lenses, speak to our friendly and knowledgeable team.

TECHNOLOGY

Here is some of the technology that we use at Northwest Ohio Vision Center.

OPTOMAP TECHNOLOGY

The optomap is fast, easy, and comfortable for anyone. The entire image process consists of you looking into the device one eye at a time. The optomap images are shown immediately on a computer screen so we can review it with you.

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Annual eye exams are vital to maintaining your vision and overall health. Northwest Ohio Vision Center offers the optomap® as an important part of our eye exams. The optomap produces an image that is unique and provides Dr. Tara Richmond with a high-resolution 200° image in order to ascertain the health of your retina. This is much wider than a traditional 45° image. Many eye problems can develop without you knowing, in fact, you may not even notice any change in your sight – fortunately, diseases or damage such as macular degeneration, glaucoma, retinal tears or detachments, and other health problems such as diabetes and high blood pressure can be seen with a thorough exam of the retina.

The inclusion of optomapas part of a comprehensive eye exam provides:

  • A scan to show a healthy eye or detect disease.
  • A view of the retina, giving your doctor a more comprehensive view than they can get by other means.
  • The opportunity for you to view and discuss the optomap image of your eye with your doctor at the time of your exam.
  • A permanent record for your file, which allows [Doctor Name(s)] to view your images each year to look for changes.

The optomap is fast, easy, and comfortable for anyone. The entire image process consists of you looking into the device one eye at a time. The optomap images are shown immediately on a computer screen so we can review it with you.

Schedule your optomap today!

LIPIFLOW

Dry eyes are one of the most common conditions that can affect our eyes and is estimated to affect millions of Americans. As you’ve probably guessed, dry eyes occur when tears fail to provide enough natural lubrication for the eyes to be comfortable and healthy. Exactly what causes dry eyes can vary significantly, from side effects from medications to prolonged computer use. What is clear is that while the condition isn’t sight-threatening, it can make day to day life much harder than it needs to be. Fortunately, there are treatments that can help, and arguably one of the most effective is Lipiflow.

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What is Lipiflow?
Lipiflow is a new technological solution that addresses the underlying cause of your dry eyes, rather than simply treating the symptoms. It is most effective at helping patients whose dry eyes are caused by meibomian gland dysfunction – a condition characterized by problems with the way that the meibomian glands produce the oil that forms an essential part of our tear film. The meibomian glands can become less productive, or in some cases, even blocked by hardened oil deposits. This prevents the oil from reaching your tear film, making it less effective. Lipiflow targets the meibomian glands, warming them to break down oily blockages and massaging your eyes to make sure that the oil, and then the tear film, is evenly dispersed.

This helps to combat the symptoms associated with dry eyes, which can include:

  • Eye fatigue
  • Dry, scratchy and uncomfortable eyes
  • Blurred vision
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Difficulty wearing contact lenses

Your eye doctor will be able to advise you if Lipiflow has the potential to be a suitable solution for your dry eyes.

WHAT TO EXPECT FROM LIPIFLOW TREATMENT?
Lipiflow treatment is a simple, painless process that is performed in the comfort of your eye doctor’s office. There is no need for anesthetic. Once you are settled in your chair, your eye doctor will open the sterile, single-use applicators which are placed over your eyes. These are connected to a machine that causes the inner eyelids to heat to approximately 42.5°C to, while simultaneously placing gentle pressure on the outer eyelid surfaces. Lipiflow takes around 12 minutes per eye, during which time you can relax. You can even listen to music if you’d like to. There is no downtime, and patients can return to their usual activities right away. It takes around 3 days for patients to begin to see an improvement in their dry eye symptoms, although they may require further treatment in the future to maintain them. Optimal results are usually achieved around 6 to 8 weeks following your Lipiflow treatment.

For more information about Lipiflow, or to schedule a consultation to talk about this treatment for dry eyes, please contact our office.

MACULOGIX

Above Toggle: Maculogix are the manufacturers of the AdaptDX Pro – a fully automated dark adaptometer. This innovative piece of technology measures how quickly eyes can adjust from being in bright light to darkness and vice versa and is an invaluable tool for the detection and diagnosis of macular degeneration.

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WHAT IS MACULAR DEGENERATION?
Macular degeneration, also known as age-related macular degeneration or AMD, is a common progressive eye disease most often seen in people over the age of 60. It is a leading cause of permanent vision loss and any sight that has been compromised will not be able to be restored. AMD occurs when the cells in a part of the retina called the macula degenerate, usually with age, but this degeneration is also likely to happen more quickly in patients with poor lifestyle choices, such as those who are overweight, who smoke and who have high blood pressure and other cardiovascular diseases.

There are a range of symptoms associated with macular degeneration. These include:

  • Reduction in central vision
  • Distortion of straight lines in your central vision
  • Trouble recognizing faces
  • Difficulty reading, driving or watching tv
  • Problems seeing in dark environments
  • Generally blurred vision

One symptom is an increase in the amount of time it takes for the eyes of someone with the disease to adjust when walking from a bright environment into a dark one. This is known as dark adaptation and is something that is considered when diagnosing AMD.

WHAT IS THE MACULOGIX ADAPTDX PRO?
AdaptDX Pro allows your eye doctor to perform darkness adjustment testing in a standard room rather than a darkroom. This is because the cups that are placed over the eyes form a perfectly light-proof seal, shutting out all traces of light and showing how well your eyes adjust to pitch black darkness.

WHAT TO EXPECT FROM YOUR APPOINTMENT?
Once the AdaptDX Pro headset is placed over your head and adjusted to fit you, and the eyecups have been altered to block out all light, you’ll be asked to look into the device and wait. Every time you see light, you’ll be asked to push down on a button that you will be holding in your hand. The technology within the headset attached to the cups tracks the way that your pupils react to light changes in real time, then provide this information as data, which your eye doctor can then use to decide if you should receive a diagnosis of macular degeneration. The test is simple, painless and takes just a few minutes.

If you are concerned that you may be experiencing some of the symptoms associated with macular degeneration and would like more information about the condition, or to talk to someone about Maculogix AdaptDx Pro testing, please get in touch with our office today.

NEUROLENS

Neurolens are the first and only prescription lenses that include an element of contoured prism in their design. This prism is designed to bring the patient’s eyes into more equal alignment, and this should help to provide relief from the symptoms that are associated with several eye misalignment conditions, including digital eye strain and binocular vision dysfunction.

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WHAT IS DIGITAL EYE STRAIN?
Digital eye strain is the name given to describe a group of symptoms that can occur when someone spends long periods of time using digital devices. Since using digital devices requires the eyes to work harder than normal and we don’t always position our devices the perfect distance away, it can lead to issues such as eye pain, dry and irritated eyes, eye fatigue, light sensitivity and blurred vision. Unsurprisingly, the number of people who are experiencing digital eye strain has grown significantly over the last few years and is expected to continue to do so.

WHAT IS BINOCULAR VISION DYSFUNCTION?
Binocular vision dysfunction, also known as BVD for short, is another eye condition but is one that is very misunderstood. Binocular vision dysfunction occurs when the eyes aren’t perfectly aligned, causing your brain and eyes to work harder than normal in order to create a clear visual image and remain focused. This places pressure on the trigeminal nerve, which is the nerve that is responsible for the majority of the sensations that we experience in our head and back. BVD can often manifest as other things owing to the huge range of symptoms that are associated with the condition.

These can include, but aren’t limited to:

  • Blurred vision
  • Headaches/migraines
  • Double vision
  • Motion sickness
  • Vertigo
  • Dizziness
  • Anxiety

Many people don’t think to visit an eye doctor when they are experiencing these symptoms, but all can occur simply because the eyes are out of alignment.

WHAT ARE NEUROLENS LENSES AND HOW DO THEY HELP?
As well as containing your usual prescription, Neurolens lenses also contain a specific amount of contoured micro-prism. This micro-prism alters the position of images so that they are aligned in the same plane. This then reduces the pressure on the muscles around the eyes as well as bringing the eyes into alignment, easing the symptoms that the patient has been experiencing.

The amount of prism in Neurolens lenses is decided using the Neurolens eye-tracking device. This non-invasively measures the misalignment that the patient is experiencing, and this is used to form the basis for the patient’s Neurolens prescription. After this, it’s fairly normal for the amount of prism to need to be adjusted by infinitesimal amounts to achieve the optimal relief from your symptoms. Most patients who choose Neurolens treatment see a 50% improvement in their vision as soon as they start to have micro-prism incorporated into their prescription lenses. However, with careful adjustments, many patients see as much as an 80% reduction in the effects of digital eye strain and binocular vision dysfunction.

Want more information about Neurolens? Please contact our knowledgeable eye care specialists.

OPTICAL COHERENCE TOMOGRAPHY

Optical Coherence Tomography is a non-invasive imaging test that may be performed as a standard part of your regular, comprehensive exams, or you may be able to request this test as an addition to your usual exam.

Optical Coherence Tomography uses light waves to take cross-section images of your retina, which is the area of light-sensitive cells at the back of your eye that is responsible for receiving light and transmitting it into messages that are sent up to the brain. The technology behind OCT enables your eye doctor to see each of the different layers that make up the retina. By being able to see these and measure them, they can obtain a much clearer picture of the overall health and condition of your eyes.

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WHY ARE OPTICAL COHERENCE TOMOGRAPHY SCANS IMPORTANT?
When you choose to have an OCT scan at fairly regular intervals, such as during your normal comprehensive eye exams, your eye doctor can compare newer results to previous ones. This helps them to build up a picture of the health of your eyes, and spot any changes which may be concerning, early, before they cause symptoms or have a permanent effect on your vision.

Anyone can have an OCT scan, but they are particularly recommended for patients over the age of 25 who are concerned about the health of their eyes, or who are at risk of or already have diabetes, glaucoma or a family history of eye disease. This is because they can be used to spot the early signs of a range of eye diseases, including glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration, disorders of the optic nerve and more – even before you realize that you are affected.

WHAT HAPPENS DURING AN OPTICAL COHERENCE TOMOGRAPHY SCAN?
An OCT scan is a quick, painless experience. To prepare you, your eye doctor may require you to have eyedrops that will dilate your pupils and make it easier to see your retina. This means that the scanner will get clearer, more concise images. You’ll be asked to sit in front of the OCT machine where you will rest your head against a support to help you sit perfectly still. As you stare ahead, the equipment will perform the scan of your eyes. There is no contact with your eyes whatsoever, you will just need to sit still, with your eyes open as much as possible during the process, which usually takes less than 10 minutes. The images will be sent digitally to your eye doctor for them to assess immediately and stored digitally on your personal record.

There’s no downtime after an OCT scan, but if you have had your eyes dilated you may find that you are particularly sensitive to light for a few hours afterwards. This occurs because the pupils remain wider and therefore able to let more light in that usual.

If you would like to find out more about Optical Coherence Tomography, don’t hesitate to speak to our professional eyecare team.

OPTIKAM

Eye care professionals use Optikam’s technology to capture more than 3 million eyewear measurements every year. The OptikamPad iPad app is a total dispensing solution that enables eye care professionals to successfully assist patients at all stages of the eyewear dispensing process, providing them with a unique and custom patient experience.

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OPTIKAM POSTURE DEVISE (OPD)
You may be surprised to learn that wearing glasses can and likely will affect your posture. Glasses lenses are most accurate when you look directly through their center. This means if your glasses are sitting too low or have slipped down your nose, you may find that you are subconsciously tilting your head back and this can affect your overall posture.

Optikam’s OPD measurement device is a cutting-edge tool that obtains eyewear measurements that take into account how the frame will be worn by patients, enabling the fit to be customized to their individual parameters. The ten measurements considered when determining each patient’s position of wear include:

  • Monocular pupillary distance
  • Multifocal seg heights
  • Pantoscopic tilt
  • Rear vertex distance
  • Wrap (face form tilt)
  • Near pupillary distance

This results in frames that not only look fantastic, but that also fit perfectly, remaining both comfortable and stable on the face without you needing to adopt an unnatural posture. The measurements obtained by the Optikam OPD measurement tool are immediately visible on your eye doctor’s tablet so that they can recommend which alterations to the frames are needed to ensure that the frames fit with precision and gives you the best visual experience.

BENEFITS OF OPTIKAMPAD AND OPTIKAM OPD
Traditionally, the process of a comprehensive eye exam, choosing frames and fitting glasses requires fairly close contact with your eye doctor or other eye care professionals. However, with social distancing being a new process variable, many patients are looking for more virtual options. Fortunately, OptikamPad makes it possible for optical stores to dispense eyeglasses with minimal human contact. This is because the OptikamPad can take measurements from a further distance or even through plexiglass screens. It can even be placed on a stand and the app operated using a Bluetooth mouse, putting even greater distance between your eye care professional and you.

If you would like to find out more about Optikam OPD and OptikamPad, our knowledgeable team would be delighted to help. Please contact us with any questions or to schedule an appointment.

TONOMETER

A tonometer refers to the equipment that is used in tonometry – a test that measures the pressure inside your eyes, also known as intraocular pressure or IOP for short. Tonometry is rarely performed at your average comprehensive eye exam unless you are at high risk of or have been already diagnosed with glaucoma. Fortunately, tonometry can be used to detect changes in eye pressure before they cause any symptoms, enabling prompt action to be taken before your vision is affected.

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WHAT TO EXPECT FROM TONOMETRY TESTING
There are various methods of tonometry testing, but many eye doctors use either Goldmann tonometry, which is the conventional technique to measure eye pressure, or electronic tonometry.

Goldmann tonometry testing is carried out using the Goldmann applanation tonometer, which is attached to a slit lamp microscope. This requires anesthetic eye drops to be used which numb your eyes, before a small probe is pressed gently against the eye, indenting the cornea. The pressure that the cornea pushes back onto the tonometer is what is measured to give your IOP reading. Electronic tonometry is where a handheld, mobile device is gently and quickly applied to the cornea to check the pressure, providing an accurate reading. Some eye doctors also offer non-contact tonometry which is where a puff of air is used to flatten the cornea, although this is reported to be less accurate than the Goldmann technique.

If you would like to find out more about Tonometry testing, please call our office to speak with our dedicated eyecare professionals.

VISUAL FIELD

Visual field testing is an important part of most standard comprehensive eye exams. Also sometimes known as perimetry testing, Visual field testing is a method to measure the entire scope of vision of an individual, including their peripheral/side vision.

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THE IMPORTANCE OF VISUAL FIELD TESTING
Visual field testing is one of the most effective diagnostic treatments in the detection of glaucoma. This is because when patients are affected by glaucoma, it is usually the peripheral vision that is affected by their condition first. However, it can also be used to detect central or peripheral retinal diseases, eyelid conditions such as drooping, optic nerve damage and conditions that affect the visual pathways from the optic nerve to the area of the brain where this information is processed into vision.

Visual field testing is also an important part of monitoring for people who are considered to be at risk for vision loss from disease and other problems, including those who have been diagnosed with the following:

  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Pituitary gland disorders
  • Central nervous system problems (such as a tumor that may be pressing on the brain)
  • Stroke
  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure

WHAT TO EXPECT FROM VISUAL FIELD TESTING
There are a variety of methods that can be used to perform visual field testing, including:

Static automated perimetry. This is where a machine is used to quantify how well the patient is able to detect flashing lights of varying size and brightness in different areas of their visual field, while they concentrate on a central point. The patient responds by pushing a button when they see the light.

Kinetic perimetry. This involves points of light that are fixed in size and intensity and are presented along the patient’s peripheral vision, before being gradually moved inwards to determine their field of vision.

Visual field testing is non-invasive, painless and doesn’t require patients to have their eyes dilated. The results, which are usually presented in a series of charts, are digital and sent directly to your eye doctor for interpretation. Depending on the outcome of your results, you may be recommended for further diagnostic testing which could include blood tests. If you have been diagnosed with glaucoma, you will probably be recommended to have several visual field tests each year, which will help your eye doctor to monitor the progression of your condition and recommend treatments to slow it.

If you would like more information about visual field testing, or if you have concerns about your peripheral vision, please don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment with our experienced and knowledgeable eyecare team today.

CIRRUS OPTICAL COHERENCE TOMOGRAPHY (OCT)

Cirrus OCT reveals the retinal layers in high-resolution, cross-sectional views, offering the most advanced insight for diagnosis, treatment and ongoing management of retinal disorders.

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Now we can view and accurately measure structural changes to the retina and optic nerve, especially with the following eye conditions:

  • Glaucoma
  • Age related macular degeneration
  • Diabetic retinopathy
  • Macula holes

EYESCAPE DIGITAL FUNDUS PHOTOGRAPHY
Digital Fundus Photography consists of a digital camera system that takes a photograph of your retina. Diseases such as macular degeneration, glaucoma, retinal tears or detachments, as well as other health problems such as diabetes and high blood pressure, can be detected with a thorough exam of the retina.

HUMPHREY VISUAL FIELD ANALYZER
The Humphrey visual field is a diagnostic device used to test a patient’s complete “visual field,” which includes the peripheral vision. It is a simple, painless, out-patient procedure and takes only minutes. This test is invaluable in diagnosing, and monitoring the treating patients with glaucoma, where peripheral vision irreversibly lost without symptoms until later stages.

MACULAR PIGMENT OPTICAL DENSITY (MPOD)
Macular pigment plays an important role in protecting the cones in the back of the eye that are responsible for your central vision. The macula can “thin” over time due to age, but other factors like family history, and lifestyle choices may contribute to lower Macular Pigment Optical Density (MPOD), a key risk factor for Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD).

MARCO AUTOREFRACTOR/ AUTOKERATOMETER
Autorefractors are machines that automatically determine the correct lens prescription for your eyes. If you’ve discovered you might need vision correction during your eye examination, it’s vital to determine just how “much” your eyes need to be corrected with lenses or contact lenses. This is called measuring your “refraction.” Autorefractors automatically measure this value during an eye examination.

SONOMED PACHYMETRY
A pachymeter is a medical device used to measure the thickness of the eye’s cornea. It is used to perform corneal pachymetry prior to LASIK surgery, for Keratoconus screening, LRI surgery, and is useful in screening for patients suspected of developing glaucoma among other uses.

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