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Contact Lenses

New To Contact Lenses? Here Are Our Top 5 Tips!

For an estimated 56 million North Americans, contact lenses are the preferred form of vision correction. So if you’ve just started wearing contact lenses — you’re in good company.

Advice About Contact Lenses from Citrus Heights Eye Doctor: Palmer N. Lee, O.D.

Here are 5 tips to quickly help you adjust to wearing and caring for your new lenses so you can enjoy the many benefits they offer.

  1. Learn How to Tell if Your Contact Lens Is Inside Out

This is a common mistake many beginners make when inserting soft contacts. Place the lens on  your index fingertip and look carefully at its shape. The edge of the lens should be pointing upwards, like the rim of a teacup. If the edge is flared outward like a blooming flower, the lens is inside out.

Some contact lenses have tiny laser markings of numbers or letters. If the numbers/letters read correctly when you hold the lens on your fingertip, they are properly oriented and the lens is ready to be inserted.

  1. Never Use a Substitute for Contact Lens Solution

Your eye doctor will recommend the appropriate contact lens solution to suit your eyes and lenses. Some people have sensitivities and not all lens solutions are the same. 

Even if you run out of contact lens solution, don’t be tempted to rinse your lenses with water, and never use saliva to moisten or clean them.

Using substances other than the recommended contact lens solution to rinse or rewet your contacts can introduce harmful microbes to the eye and cause a serious infection. That’s why it’s best to remove your contacts before showering, swimming, or any other time they might get wet.

  1. If Your Contact Lenses Feel Uncomfortable, Take Them Out!

Some newcomers mistakenly think that if their contacts feel uncomfortable or gritty, they simply need to “get used to them.” Contact lenses are supposed to be comfortable, so if you are experiencing discomfort there may be something wrong.

With clean fingers, remove your contacts and rinse them, inside and out, with the solution or rewetting drops as recommended by your eye doctor. Dust or dirt could have gotten stuck between the lens and your eye, causing irritation. Flushing the lenses with contact lens solution will help remove the irritant.

If your eyes still feel irritated, don’t place the contact lenses back in your eyes. Instead, wait until they are no longer red or irritated, and try inserting them again. If the problem persists, contact your eye doctor.

  1. Wear Contact Lens-Friendly Makeup

Wearing makeup around the eyes can be a source of irritation and infection whether you wear contact lenses or not. Here’s what we recommend when it comes to eye makeup and contact lenses:

  • Choose hypoallergenic makeup.
  • If using a cream-based product around your eyes, choose a water-based formula instead of an oil-based one. 
  • Keep your eye closed during application to avoid makeup particles entering your eye. 
  • Don’t apply eyeliner or eyeshadow to the inner rims of your eyelids.
  • Replace eye makeup at least once every 3 months to minimize the growth and spread of bacteria.
  • Never share eye makeup with friends or family.
  • Remove your contact lenses before removing your makeup.
  1. Stick to the Hygiene Guidelines

We can’t emphasize this enough — always thoroughly wash and dry your hands before handling your contact lenses.

Try to avoid washing your hands with oily or heavily scented hand soaps, as they tend to cling to the surface of the lens and could irritate the eye. Additionally, if you touch moisturizers or lotions before handling your contact lenses you run the risk of some residual product adhering to the lens and clouding your vision.

After washing your hands, dry them using a lint-free towel. It’s harder to grasp contact lenses with wet hands, and — as mentioned above — lenses shouldn’t come into contact with tap water.

Bonus Tip: Get an Eye Exam

While all this advice can be very helpful, it doesn’t replace an in-person exam with your eye doctor.  Your eye doctor will advise you when to return for your next contact lens consultation. Following this schedule is the best way to ensure you can enjoy the freedom of contact lens wear.

If you are new to contact lenses (or not!) and have any questions or concerns about your eyes or vision, call 916-727-6518. EYEcenter Optometric will be happy to schedule you for a contact lens exam and fitting.

With the help of Palmer N. Lee, O.D., you’ll be an expert in contact lens wear and care in no time!

Don’t Do These 11 Things If You Wear Daily Disposable Contacts!

Countless people around the world wear daily disposable contact lenses or dailies. These popular single-use lenses are removed and discarded at the end of each day, and a new, fresh pair is inserted the next morning. Used properly, dailies promoteeye health, and they’re comfortable and convenient.

Despite the many advantages associated with wearing daily disposables, there are plenty of ways you can damage your eyes and vision — some you may never have considered.

1. Don’t Touch Contacts with Dirty Hands

Before touching your lenses, make sure to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water. By touching your contact lenses with dirty hands, you transfer bacteria to your lenses, which can lead to an infection. Preferably dry your hands with a disposable paper towel rather than a cloth towel, and ensure that no remnants of the towel remain on your fingers.

2. Don’t Expose Your Contacts to Water

Any source of water, whether tap, pool, or lake water, can change the shape of your lenses and cause micro-abrasions on your cornea. Plus, the water may contain bacteria that can wreak havoc on your eye health and cause you to experience temporary vision loss or even permanent blindness.

If you must get in the water with your contacts on, make sure to wear waterproof goggles. If you do get water on your contact lenses, dispose of these lenses and insert a new pair. Exposing contact lenses to chemicals like chlorine binds to the lens and cannot be cleaned off. It then leeches onto the cornea and causes irritation.

The next time you’re tempted to swim or shower with your lenses on, think twice before doing so.

3. Don’t Reuse Your Contacts

Daily disposable contacts are designed to be thrown away after every single use, and people who reuse them risk painful and risky outcomes. Dailies are thinner, more fragile, and don’t hold moisture as well as other contacts.

Users sometimes attempt to increase the lifespan of these lenses by cleaning them in a disinfecting solution and wearing them for several days or even weeks at a time. This is problematic, as the lens material doesn’t allow for repeated disinfecting. In fact, the process of cleaning the lenses tends to be not only ineffective but also breaks down the lens itself, increasing the risk of the lens falling apart while in the eye. The risk of complications and infection is not worth the few saved bucks.

4. Don’t Insert a Dropped Contact In Your Eye

One of the perks of daily lenses is that they are less expensive (per lens) than other types of contacts. So if you find yourself dropping a lens into the sink or on the floor, don’t bother placing it back in your eye. Doing so can cost you your eye health.

5. Don’t Ever Put Contacts In Your Mouth

It seems like a funny concept, doesn’t it? You wouldn’t believe the number of people who do this. If you drop a contact lens, avoid rooting around the floor trying to find it, and if you do, definitely don’t put it in your mouth to lubricate it. Your mouth contains bacteria that can infect your eyes once you reinsert your contacts.

Play it safe by carrying around an emergency pair of glasses or an extra pair of daily disposable contacts in your bag, your car, or at work.

6. Don’t Overwear Your Daily Lenses

Wearing your lenses for long periods of time can damage your eyes, even if they’re daily contacts. The maximum recommended daily use for any contact lens is 14-16 hours, though Palmer N. Lee, O.D. will determine the exact number of hours you should wear your lenses. Your eyes, just like any other part of your body, need to rest. Your corneas receive oxygen from the air, not from blood vessels, and while it’s healthy to wear contacts during the day, wearing them for extended periods can significantly reduce the amount of oxygen your eyes receive, which can lead to complications. If you don’t give your eyes the rest they need, your corneas might get swollen, which can lead to corneal abrasion and even bacterial infection.

7. Don’t Sleep With Your Lenses

Daily lenses should never be worn overnight. You’re risking your sight by sleeping in a lens that’s not approved for overnight use, as it can lead to ocular irritation, swelling and corneal ulcers.

8. Don’t Insert Contacts Before Completing Your Morning Routine

Avoid inserting your contacts before you shower or wash your face, since you risk exposing your lenses to tap water and the bacteria that come with it. We also recommend that you insert your lenses after blow-drying and styling your hair, especially if you’re using hairspray or other aerosols, as these products can dry out your contacts. Additionally, the spray can coat the lenses and leave a film that not only irritates the eyes, but can make it difficult to see. If you’re at the hairdresser’s and cannot remove your lenses, shut your eyes when spray is applied.

9. Don’t Get Makeup On Your Contacts

Insert your contacts before applying makeup, because any makeup residue on your hands, such as mascara, can easily transfer to your lenses.

It’s not uncommon for people to get concealer, eyeliner or mascara on their contact lenses. If that happens, immediately remove the lens and clean the makeup with solution (while making sure to dispose of the lens before bed). Otherwise, simply replace with another lens. Avoid wearing waterproof makeup, since it can’t always be removed from your lenses, even when rinsed with solution.

To prevent makeup from getting on your lenses, don’t apply mascara all the way from the base of your lashes up. Instead, apply it from the midway point. It’s also important not to apply eyeliner on the inner lid of your eye, but rather to the skin above your lashes.

10. Don’t Wear Contact Lenses If Your Eyes Are Irritated

As the saying goes, “if in doubt – take them out!” If your eyes feel irritated, uncomfortable, or if you notice any pain or redness, don’t power through. If your symptoms last a while, contact Palmer N. Lee, O.D. at EYEcenter Optometric. You don’t want to let a serious infection go unchecked.

When your eyes feel more rested and are free of discomfort, put in a fresh pair of contacts.

11. Don’t Rub Your Eyes

If your eyes feel itchy or dry, or if a lens feels out of place, you may be tempted to rub your eyes. But rubbing, whether with contacts or without, can lead to long-term ocular issues. This may cause you to experience blurred vision, and may even damage your cornea. Instead, Palmer N. Lee, O.D. can recommend eye drops to relieve any discomfort. Make sure to apply them only when contact lenses are removed.

Above, we have delved into things you should never do with daily contact lenses. Fortunately, if you do make a mistake, you can remove the lens and replace it with a fresh one. The few dollars you might save by not opening a new pack aren’t worth the damage a mistake can cause.

 

If you have any questions or are interested in finding out more about contact lenses, contact EYEcenter Optometric in Citrus Heights today. Palmer N. Lee, O.D. will be happy to explain how to care for your eyes and maintain your vision.

Coronavirus and Your Eyes – What You Should Know

As coronavirus (COVID-19) spreads around the world, health professionals are demanding that people limit their personal risk of contracting the virus by thoroughly washing their hands, practicing social distancing, and not touching their nose, mouth, or eyes. In fact, it may surprise you to learn that the eyes play an important role in spreading COVID-19. 

Coronavirus is transmitted from person to person through droplets that an infected person sneezes or coughs out. These droplets can easily enter your body through the mucous membranes on the face, such as your nose, mouth, and yes — your eyes. 

But First, What Is Coronavirus?

Coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, causes mild to severe respiratory illness associated with fever, coughing, and shortness of breath. Symptoms typically appear within 2 weeks of exposure. Those with acute cases of the virus can develop pneumonia and other life-threatening complications. 

Here’s what you should know: 

Guard Your Eyes Against COVID-19 

  • Avoid rubbing your eyes. Although we all engage in this very normal habit, try to fight the urge to touch your eyes. If you absolutely must, first wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. 
  • Tears carry the virus. Touching tears or a surface where tears have fallen can spread coronavirus. Make sure to wash your hands after touching your eyes and throughout the day as well.
  • Disinfect surfaces. You can catch COVID-19 by touching an object or surface that has the virus on it, such as a door knob, and then touching your eyes. 

Coronavirus and Pink Eye

Pink eye, or conjunctivitis, refers to an inflammation of the membrane covering the front of the eyeball. Conjunctivitis is characterized by red, watery, and itchy eyes. Viral conjunctivitis is highly contagious and can be spread by coughing and sneezing, too.

According to a recent study in China, viral conjunctivitis may be a symptom of COVID-19. The study found conjunctival congestion in 9 of the 1,099 patients (0.8%) who were confirmed to have coronavirus. 

If you suspect you have pink eye, call your eye doctor in Citrus Heights right away. Given the current coronavirus crisis, we ask patients to call prior to presenting themselves at the office of Palmer N. Lee, O.D., as it will allow the staff to assess your condition and adequately prepare for your visit.

Contact Lenses or Eyeglasses?

Many people who wear contact lenses are thinking about switching to eyeglasses for the time being to lower the threat of being infected with coronavirus.

Wearing glasses may provide an extra layer of protection if someone coughs on you; hopefully that infected droplet will hit the lens and not your eye. However, one must still be cautious, as the virus can reach the eyes from the exposed sides, tops and bottoms around your frames. Unlike specialized safety goggles, glasses are not considered a safe way to prevent coronavirus.

Contact Lenses and COVID-19

If you wear contacts, make sure to properly wash your hands prior to removing or inserting them. Consider ordering a 3 to 6 month supply of contact lenses and solution; some opticals provide home delivery of contact lenses and solutions. At this stage there is no recommendation to wear daily lenses over monthlies.

Don’t switch your contact lens brand or solution, unless approved by your optometrist or optician.

Regularly Disinfect Glasses 

Some viruses such as coronavirus, can remain on hard surfaces from several hours to days. This can then be transmitted to the wearer’s fingers and face. People who wear reading glasses for presbyopia should be even more careful, because they usually need to handle their glasses more often throughout the day, and older individuals tend to be more vulnerable to COVID-19 complications. Gently wash the lenses and frames with warm water and soap, and dry your eyeglasses using a microfiber cloth. 

Stock up on Eye Medicine

It’s a good idea to stock up on important medications, including eye meds, in order to get by in case you need to be quarantined or if supplies run short. This may not be possible for everyone due to insurance limitations. If you cannot stock up, make sure to request a refill as soon as you’re due and never wait until the last minute to contact your pharmacy. 

It is important that you continue to follow your doctor’s instructions for all medications.

Digital Devices and Eyestrain

At times like this, people tend to use digital devices more than usual. Take note of tiredness, sore eyes, blurry vision, double vision or headaches, which are symptoms of computer vision syndrome if they are exacerbated by extensive use of digital devices, and might indicate a need for a new prescription in the near future. This usually isn’t urgent, but if you’re unsure, you can call our eye doctor’s office.

Children and Digital Devices

During this time your children may end up watching TV and using computers, tablets and smartphones more frequently and for more extended periods too. Computer vision syndrome, mentioned above, can affect children as well. We recommend limiting screen time to a maximum of 2 hours per day for children, though it’s understandably difficult to control under the circumstances. 

Try to get your child to take a 10 to 15 minute break every hour, and stop all screen time for at least 60 minutes before sleep. 

Children and Outdoor Play

Please follow local guidelines and instructions regarding outdoor activities for your children. If possible, it’s actually good for visual development to spend 1-2 hours a day outside.

 

From all of us at EYEcenter Optometric in Citrus Heights, we wish you good health and please stay safe. 

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EYEcenter Optometric ReOpening & Offering Appointments!

Information on appointment limits per household and process for scheduling material pickup.

Monday and Tuesday: 8 am – 5 pm (Midtown location: 10 am – 7 pm on Monday and Tuesday)

Wednesday: 10 am – 7 pm

Thursday: 9 am – 6 pm

Friday: 7 am – 4 pm

Saturday: 8 am – 4 pm (Midtown location closed Saturdays)

Dear Patients:

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Starting Monday, June 15th, all five EYEcenter locations will be returning to our regular business hours for routine eye health and vision needs based upon recommendations from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and directives from Governor Newsom’s office. For the health and safety of you and our staff we must limit groups of visitors to two per household, and ask that you come alone to your appointment unless absolutely necessary.

Your doctors and staff at EYEcenter will continue to provide you with state of the art, advanced eye care services that you are used to. What will be different as part of our “new normal” will be policies, procedures, and safeguards that all are intended to ensure the health and wellbeing of our patients, doctors, and staff.

As COVID-19 continues to impact our communities, we may experience some delays beyond normal in getting your materials to you within our estimated timelines. We thank you for your understanding and support as we move forward through these unprecedented times.

If you need to reschedule your existing appointment or are in need of a medical visit or special testing, please give us a call.

An Expectations Checklist—For All of Us

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What you can expect at your next visit

  • Your temperature will be taken when entering the building.
  • To maintain social distancing and keep visitor counts down inside the office, appointments are required for material pickup. Please call (916) 726-1818 to schedule.
  • All patients must complete a COVID-19 questionnaire upon arrival at the practice.
  • We ask that you arrive at your appointment alone unless you are a minor and require adult supervision then we will allow one caregiver inside with the child.
  • Patients may be asked to wait in their car for their appointment, depending on how many people are in the practice at any given time
  • We ask that upon entering our clinic, that you immediately wash your hands with soap and water or hand sanitizer
  • Anyone who enters the building will be required to wear a face mask. If a patient does not have a mask, one may be purchased for $2.
  • We may ask you to reschedule your appointment if you show flu-like signs, cold/fever, or coughing
  • We will be practicing safe distancing within the clinic and we ask that you do your best to keep a minimum of 6 feet between you and other patients.
  • Curbside pick up for glasses and contact lenses is available upon request
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Steps EYEcenter is taking

  • Hand sanitation stations are available at the entrance and throughout the practice.
  • Plexiglass shields have been installed at the front check-in desk
  • All of our staff and doctors will be wearing appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) including masks
  • Each pre-testing and examination room is disinfected after every patient exam, including all surfaces, instrumentation, door handles, and equipment
  • We will disinfect frames after a patient has contact with them
  • Regularly cleaning and disinfecting railings, door handles, counters, reception room areas, and all spaces where public interaction occurs
  • Limiting the total number of patients in the office or any area at one time
  • The exam room and pretesting instruments will be disinfected after every patient
  • We will be aware of common “touch points” within the clinic such as doorknobs, counters, keyboard, phones, credit card machines, pens, etc… and will be disinfecting these as often as possible
  • All reading material has been removed from the waiting area
  • Pens will be sanitized after each use by a patient
  • Touchless payment transactions when possible
  • Deep cleaning at the end of each day.
  • Discussions with doctors and staff will be kept to a minimum. Follow up phone calls or telehealth video conferencing will be used as often as possible
  • Ensuring a fever-free environment by taking temperatures of every employee and customer that comes in the office

We will make every element of the patient experience both effective, efficient and as safe as possible as we all have the same goal: to provide you with excellence in eye care in the safest way possible.

Please contact our office to schedule your eye care services at 916-726-1818 or visit our website at www.eyecenteroptometric.com for the latest updates and business hours. We also welcome your family members, friends and co-workers who are in need to eye and vision care.

We look forward to welcoming you back to our practice.

Sincerely,

Drs. Lee, Fuerst, Gittins and Coen, and the entire staff at EYEcenter

How Do I Care for My Contact Lenses Properly?

When taken care of properly, contact lenses can be the most comfortable, clear, and convenient way to see for people who need vision correction. But on the flipside, when you don’t care for your contact lenses properly, they can be painful and cause damage to the health of your eyes. Our eye doctors in Citrus Heights, Gold River, Rocklin, Folsom, and Sacramento, California , share the following guidelines on the best practices for taking care of contacts!

  1. Wash your hands with soap and water before touching your contact lenses, and dry with a lint-free towel
  2. Clean and disinfect your contact lenses after removal and before you insert them back into your eyes
  3. Use the disinfectant recommended by your eye doctor
  4. Rub and rinse your contacts to clean them, no matter what type of disinfectant olution you use
  5. Don’t touch the tip of the solution bottle to any other surface, and keep it closed when not in use
  6. Follow the contact lenses wearing schedule that your eye doctor gave you; don’t wear daily lenses to sleep!
  7. Never rewet your lenses with saliva, only use rewetting eye drops
  8. Never store your contacts or rinse your contact lens case in tap water

Is it time for a new pair of contact lenses?

Contacts can actually warp over time, and your cornea can also change shape. Visit your eye doctor in Citrus Heights, Gold River, Rocklin, Folsom, and Sacramento, California , regularly to verify that your contacts still provide a healthy fit and your prescription still satisfies your visual needs.


At EYEcenter Optometric, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 916-727-6518 or book an appointment online to see one of our Citrus Heights eye doctors.

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Can Contact Lenses Get Stuck in My Eye?

If you’ve always wondered (or worried) about your contact lenses getting stuck in your eyes, you’re in good company. Many new contact lens wearers have this concern! To relieve your fears – no, it’s impossible for contacts to get totally stuck behind your eyes. However, they can become dislodged and get stuck beneath your eyelid. In fact, many people call our Citrus Heights, California , eye doctor for help when this happens. Usually, we can provide tips for how to remove the contact on your own, but when this doesn’t work – you’ll need to visit Palmer N. Lee, O.D. at EYEcenter Optometric for assistance.

Facts about when contact lenses get stuck

  • When a contact lens dries out, it can get stuck to your cornea. This happens most frequently as a result of sleeping with lenses.
  • Contact lenses can get dislodged and move out of position under your eyelid. Typically, this occurs due to rubbing your eyes or physical contact with the lenses.
  • Pieces of contact lenses can stay in your eye for a long time, unintentionally. Sometimes a fragment of torn lens gets stuck under the eyelid. Rinsing your eyes with saline will generally loosen the lens so you can remove it gently and easily.
  • Contact lenses cannot slide behind your eye, getting stuck there forever. While contacts may get lodged under your eyelid, your eyelids serve as a barrier to block anything from slipping behind your eyeball.
  • Contact lenses stuck in your eye do not seriously endanger your health. It may not be good for you, but a lens that’s stuck will generally do nothing more than cause irritation.

How can I remove a soft contact lens that’s stuck in my eye?

  1. First of all, wash your hands with soap and dry on a lint-free towel.
  2. Rewetting eye drops are pretty much all you need. Don’t be economical when you use them, because the more moisture you add to your eye, the better the chances that the lens will simply dislodge and slip out on its own. Close your eyes and blink repeatedly to disperse the lubricating fluid.
  3. If applying eye drops doesn’t do the trick, then gently massage the upper and lower portions of your eyelid until the lens comes out. The key word here is “gently,” don’t apply any forceful pressure.
  4. If a mild massage doesn’t release the lens, then grip your eyelid and flip it upwards (inside out). Look in the mirror to search for any pieces of your lens and carefully remove them. Afterwards, rinse your eye with saline.
  5. If none of these techniques work for you, double check to make sure the lens didn’t fall out already (and you’re just feeling the sensation left by mild irritation). If the lens is still there, please call our Citrus Heights, California , eye doctor and schedule an urgent eye exam.

What do I do if my hard gas permeable contacts get stuck?

If you wear hard contact lenses, you’ll need to handle a stuck lens differently from a soft lens.

Applying rewetting eye drops is an essential first step. Then, close your eyes and blink. This may be sufficient to dislodge the lens, moving it back to the center of your eye where you can remove it as usual.

With hard contact lenses, don’t massage your eyelid! This can cause the lens to scrape your cornea, leading to a painful corneal abrasion.

If lubricating the lens doesn’t help, use your fingertip to gently press your eye near the edge of your contact lens. This can break the suction, unsticking the lens so you can remove it easily. Or, pick up a special suction cup device (sold with the contact lenses products in most stores) that can attached to your lens to gently pull it off from your eye surface.

Why does my eye hurt after removing a stuck contact lens?

Generally, this is just a symptom caused by mild irritation. Sterile saline or artificial tears eye drops can help moisten your eye to enhance comfort. With a bit of time, the irritation will usually disappear.

However, if the pain persists and your eye appears red, reach out to our Citrus Heights, California , eye care center for instructions. You’ll need an eye exam to determine if any medical treatment is necessary.

At EYEcenter Optometric, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 916-727-6518 or book an appointment online to see one of our Citrus Heights eye doctors.

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Here’s Why Hydrogen Peroxide is an Excellent Contact Lens Solution

Once you and your doctor have decided on the type of contact lenses you’ll need, it’s time to choose the most suitable contact lens solution for your eyes and contacts. 

There exist 2 different types of solution for contact lenses: Multipurpose and Hydrogen Peroxide-based. While both remove debris and build-up, and disinfect lenses, only hydrogen peroxide is capable of penetrating the microbial biofilms for a deeper clean. As an added benefit, hydrogen peroxide does not contain preservatives — which can be particularly beneficial for those with allergies or eye sensitivities. 

Multipurpose Solution

Multipurpose solutions are straightforward and easy to use; only one solution is needed to rinse, clean, disinfect and store your contacts (as seen in the image). Their convenience and low cost make them a popular choice. 

Hydrogen Peroxide Solution

Hydrogen peroxide solutions, such as Clear Care® by Alcon or Refine One Step™ by CooperVision, contain no preservatives or allergens. This solution thoroughly breaks up the proteins and removes deposits on the lenses during the disinfection process, which can be beneficial for people who tend to accumulate large amounts of build-up on their lenses. Moreover, hydrogen peroxide is more effective at battling acanthamoeba keratitis (an eye infection that may lead to blindness) than all other types of contact lens solutions.

Since hydrogen peroxide is a chemical that causes stinging and burning when it touches the eye, after the contacts have been disinfected the solution must be neutralized to be healthy for your eyes. Included with every solution bottle is an upright contact lens case containing a platinum-coated disk that chemically reacts with hydrogen peroxide to decompose it into a safe, non-irritating, sterile saline solution. This chemical reaction produces bubbles inside the case as it undergoes the transformative process over a period of several hours. Since the neutralizing disk loses its effectiveness over time, it is critical to regularly replace it. 

If your eyes do make contact with hydrogen peroxide, make sure to immediately flush it out with sterile saline. If saline is not available, wash your eyes with water or artificial tear drops and make sure to see Palmer N. Lee, O.D. as soon as possible. Though painful, it doesn’t cause permanent eye or vision damage.

How does it work? 

To clean your lenses, place them in the designated case that is freshly filled with the hydrogen peroxide solution and soak them for 6-8 hours. This can be a one-step or two-step process, depending on the product. The one-step products contain a built-in neutralizer in the contact lens case, while the two-step products require you to add a neutralizing tablet to the solution after cleaning.

Make sure not to reuse or top off hydrogen peroxide solution after it has been neutralized, as it will have lost its disinfecting power. 

Be sure to dry your case thoroughly between uses and to replace your case every 2-3 months to prevent infection.

It is important to note that hydrogen peroxide solutions will change into unpreserved saline. Therefore, if contact lenses are stored for extensive periods of time (e.g. more than a couple days), it is safer to consider multiple-purpose solutions for long term. 

Hydrogen peroxide-based solutions are known for their exceptional disinfecting ability. At EYEcenter Optometric, in Citrus Heights, our patients are extremely satisfied with the cleanliness and comfort they experience when using hydrogen peroxide-based solutions for their contact lenses. Speak with Palmer N. Lee, O.D. to find out whether this solution is right for you.

Contact Lens Safety

Halloween is almost here, and we know it’s important to some that their ensemble has spooky details, from their eyes to their toes. Taking your costume to the next level can include decorative contact lenses, and we want to remind everyone there are scary risks that come from wearing these lenses without a prescription: Bacterial infections, allergic reactions, even the potential for irreversible sight loss.

Some quick safety tips:

  • To buy these kinds of contacts, you need a prescription from an eye doctor — even if they’re just for looks and aren’t correcting your vision
  • Never, ever, share your contact lenses with anyone. This can lead to serious eye problems
  • Buy your special-effect contact lenses from an authorized source. Know that retailers who sell Halloween contacts but don’t require an Rx are selling them illegally

Do you need a prescription?

Yes — even novelty contact lenses are considered medical devices and can’t be purchased legally in the United States without a prescription. Come see us for a contact lens exam to have them properly fitted and prescribed, even if you don’t need vision correction. All contact lenses, even cosmetic ones, must be fitted to the person wearing them. A poor lens fit can lead to infection, corneal ulcer, decreased vision, and even blindness.

Novelty contact can also lead to scary eye problems. Testing of confiscated illegal lenses revealed many had high levels of bacteria that could cause significant eye infections. Also, the coloring of some decorative contact lenses were made of lead-based materials that could leach directly into the eye.

Where can you get your safe lenses?

To make sure you’ll have a safe wearing experience, buy your special-effect contact lenses from an authorized source. Never buy them at any store that doesn’t ask you for a valid contact lens prescription, like a flea market, street vendor, beauty salon, or Halloween store.

Watch this video from the FDA on improper use of decorative contact lenses:

https://youtu.be/H45GYPAuTdg


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The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.
At EYEcenter Optometric, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 916-727-6518 or book an appointment online to see one of our Citrus Heights eye doctors.

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12 Tips for Optimal Eye Health

Good Eye Care Habits & Hygiene

By practicing good eye care habits and hygiene, you can prevent many vision problems from occurring. Eye problems and the risks associated with vision loss only grow as you age. By neglecting eye care, you place yourself at a higher risk of suffering from cataracts, macular degeneration, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, and low vision.

So make sure you maintain great eye health by following these 12 tips for optimal eye health.

1. Avoid rubbing your eyes

Itchy eyes can be a hallmark symptom of allergies, and though rubbing may bring temporary relief, it ultimately increases swelling and worsens the itch. If you wear contact lenses, rubbing your eyes can also dislodge or even break a lens, causing the lens to get lost or scratch the cornea. Plus, eye rubbing can lead to eye infections, since our hands are typically covered with a host of germs.

2. Regularly wash your hands

Conjunctivitis (pink eye) is often caused by germs and bacteria carried to your eyes by unclean hands. Frequently washing your hands with soap and warm water helps keep bacteria away and prevents eye contamination. Prior to inserting or removing contact lenses, make sure to wash your hands with mild soap and dry them using a lint-free towel.

3. Beware of UV rays

By exposing yourself to sunlight and UV rays, you increase the risk of developing macular degeneration and corneal sunburn. Beyond just adding some style and zest to your look, sunglasses should protect your eyes from dangerous UV rays. Speak to your optometrist about the different options available for people who wear prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses too, to keep your eyes safe in the sun.

4. Stay hydrated

Staying hydrated is crucial for your body’s overall health and wellbeing — and that includes your eyes. Among other complications, if you don’t have enough fluid in your body, it impacts tear production and can cause dry eyes and irritation. Drink up!

5. Don’t smoke cigarettes

Need some extra motivation to quit smoking?

Smokers are more prone to developing age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, and other eye conditions. Cigarette smoking can also destroy optic nerves, which can adversely affect your vision over time. So think twice before you light up, and speak to your doctor about getting help to quit.

6. Eat a healthy diet

Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables to ensure that your diet is rich in antioxidants, such as Vitamins A and C. These can be found in leafy greens (your mom was right about spinach!), orange vegetables (think, carrots and sweet potato) and citrus fruit. Furthermore, fatty fish like salmon contain essential omega-3 fatty acids which also promote excellent eye health.

7. Keep a healthy distance from screens

Nip digital eye strain in the bud by positioning your computer monitor about an arm’s length away from the eyes and 20 degrees below eye level. Ideally, work in a room with enough diffused lighting to reduce stress on your eyes from the computer light.

8. Remember the 20-20-20 rule

Speaking of computers, have you heard of the 20-20-20 rule? When using digital devices, rest your eyes every 20 minutes by looking 20 feet away for 20 continuous seconds.

Once you’re at it, blink 20 times in succession to prevent dry eyes, and make it a habit to rise from your seat and take 20 steps to promote good posture and blood circulation, which helps your vision too.

9. Be careful with eye make-up

Make sure that your eye shadow, mascara, and eyeliner don’t cause your eyes an allergic reaction. Get in the habit of removing your make-up before going to sleep in order to avoid bacterial build-up from residual make-up left in the eye area. And, from time to time, clean your make-up brushes, especially those used to apply cosmetics around the eye area.

10. Sleep is golden

Just as with the rest of your body, your eyes need a break. So make sure that you get sufficient shut-eye (8 hours) each night to keep your eyes revitalized and healthy.

11. Wear protective eyewear

Whatever you do, make sure your eyes are well-protected. If you’re swimming, wear goggles to prevent chlorine from entering your eyes. If you’re gardening or engaged in a DIY project at home, wear safety glasses to keep dust particles and bacteria at bay and prevent eye injuries. Ask your local eye doctor about protective eyewear for sports and other activities.

12. Regularly visit your eye doctor

Don’t underestimate the importance of getting a routine eye exam, whether you need an updated prescription or not. Even if you can see well today, a comprehensive eye exam can pick up early signs of eye diseases and conditions before symptoms become noticeable, such as glaucoma, diabetes, retinal holes which could lead to retinal detachment, and cancers like melanoma. Early detection and management can prevent further complications and serious vision loss down the line.

Only an eye doctor has the required knowledge, experience, tools and techniques to determine whether you have these or other eye conditions.

It is recommended that everyone gets a comprehensive eye exam once a year (or at least every two years). Children, whose eyes are rapidly developing, and people at higher risk for developing eye problems such as diabetics and older people, need to undergo eye exams even more frequently: at the minimum, yearly.

During the evaluation, the eye doctor will check for things like:

  • Farsightedness, nearsightedness, astigmatism and/or presbyopia
  • Eye coordination
  • Optic nerve and eye pressure tests to spot glaucoma

It’s also important to be on the look-out for any changes in your vision. If you experience hazy or double vision, worsening eyesight, red eyes, eye pain, swelling or floaters, contact Palmer N. Lee, O.D..

Incorporate these tips and habits into your lifestyle to maintain healthy eyes and a high quality of life. EYEcenter Optometric offers comprehensive eye exams in Citrus Heights, California , and will be happy to answer any questions you may have about ways to maintain healthy vision.

At EYEcenter Optometric, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 916-727-6518 or book an appointment online to see one of our Citrus Heights eye doctors.

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Wearing Colored Contact Lenses This Halloween? Beware and Take Care!

Countless adults, teens and even children will be wearing colored contact lenses this Halloween, but few are aware of the risks involved. Ever wondered what those cat-eye contacts are doing to your eyes? If you got them without a prescription, beware of health complications.

Enjoy a safe and happy Halloween by educating yourself and others about the dangers of wearing colored contact lenses without a prescription.

Why Can Over-The-Counter Colored Contact Lenses Cause Eye Damage?

Contact lenses made to change one’s appearance go by many names: cosmetic, theatrical, Halloween, circle, decorative, colored, or costume contact lenses. While it’s illegal to sell colored contact lenses without a prescription, authorities rarely enforce the law — which means they’re still accessible in many places.

Many people believe that wearing non-prescription color contact lenses can cause no harm. This unfortunate myth has led to many contact lens complications. For instance, when a person feels that a contact lens is “dry”, it could be because the lens is not a good fit. Ideally, the lens should follow the contour of the eye, and stay centered, with enough lens movement to allow tear exchange beneath the lens.

Furthermore, non-medical colored contact lenses are often produced by unlicensed manufacturers that tend to use inferior plastic and toxic materials, such as lead (often used in lens coloring), which can get absorbed through the eyes into the bloodstream. These illegal lenses may also contain high levels of bacteria from unsanitary packaging, shipping, and storage conditions.

Therefore, purchasing any kind of contact lenses without a prescription or medical oversight can result in a variety of eye complications, such as corneal abrasions, eye sores, conjunctivitis, other eye infections, vision impairment and, in rare cases, even permanent vision loss.

Even if you have perfect vision, all contact lenses, including colored contacts, require a prescription and proper fitting by an optometrist.

Contact us at EYEcenter Optometric and make an appointment with Palmer N. Lee, O.D. to get properly examined for a contact lens prescription.

The Dos and Don’ts of Colored Contact Lenses

  • DO make sure you undergo a comprehensive eye exam by an optometrist who will measure your eyes and properly fit you for contact lenses.
  • DO get a valid prescription that includes the measurements, expiration date and the contact lens brand name.
  • DO purchase the decorative contact lenses from a reliable retailer (hint: they should demand a prescription.)
  • DO follow the contact lens hygiene directives (cleaning, inserting and removing lenses) provided by your eye doctor.
  • DO make sure to undergo follow-up eye exams as directed by your eye care professional.
  • DON’T ever share contact lenses with anyone else.

So don’t let an eye infection get in the way of your fun this Halloween. Wearing decorative lenses without a valid prescription can result in serious harm to your eyes, which can haunt you long after October 31st.

Get your comprehensive eye exam and contact lens fitting by an eye doctor in Citrus Heights at EYEcenter Optometric.

At EYEcenter Optometric, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 916-727-6518 or book an appointment online to see one of our Citrus Heights eye doctors.

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