Month: January 2019


There are many types of contact lenses, varying in shape, durability, and material.

Toric Versus Spherical Lenses

Just as glasses lenses will be shaped differently depending on the type of correction your vision needs, contacts are shaped differently too. Spherical contacts are shaped for treating myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), and presbyopia (age-related farsightedness), but this shape can’t do anything to fix an astigmatism. That’s where toric lenses come in. These are cylindrical lenses designed to correct the warp in the cornea, and they are kept in the correct position by gravity and blinking.

Daily Versus Extended Wear Lenses

Most contact lenses are wearable only during the day, and for the sake of our eyes’ health, we have to take them out again at night. Some are meant to be thrown away after a single day’s use, and some are meant to last multiple weeks. It is a terrible idea to try saving money on contact lenses by wearing them longer than what is recommended on the packaging and by the optometrist, because they can become contaminated over time, leading to an infection.

Extended wear contacts are specifically designed to be so comfortable and gas-permeable that they are safe to wear overnight. New technology and materials have made extended wear contacts safer than they used to be, but even in FDA approved lenses, the risk of infection and other problems from leaving contacts in for days or even weeks at a time still exists.

Soft Versus Hard Lenses

The two most common options for lens materials are silicone hydrogels (soft) and plastic (hard). Both allow plenty of oxygen to reach the cornea, but each has different advantages. Soft lenses are more comfortable and stay in place better, while hard or rigid gas permeable lenses correct more vision problems, are easy to put on and clean, cover less of the eye, and last a comparatively long time.

If you are in need of an eye exam to determine the type of contacts that will work best for you, please schedule an appointment as soon as possible. Our doctors can help answer all of your questions and get the right contacts for you.

wear eye protection

Not every eye condition is preventable, but there are definite steps that can be taken for people to try to avoid sight threatening conditions from occurring in the first place.

Know your family history

Knowing your family history is the extremely important. Many eye diseases show a direct correlation to your family history, and even if there are no exam findings to indicate a disease is present, it can be a great help to know what may happen in the future.  Two common eye diseases that are very strongly related to family history are glaucoma and age related macular degeneration. 

I was working and something flew into my eye and now I’m in pain

The easiest preventative health measure that can be taken is to wear safety glasses.  It doesn’t matter how experienced you are, wear your glasses. The worst part about many eye injuries of this type is that they can cause permanent scarring of the clear cornea on the front of the eye.  Even if the piece of metal/rock/other object is taken out, there is a risk of a permanent scar forming that will cause an irreversible reduction in vision. All safety frames will have a designation on them with a label Z87.1 meaning that both the frame and lens have passed testing to ensure protection from high impact objects.  Don’t risk it, just wear the glasses.

Your diet is important

A healthy diet that focuses on fruits and vegetables is a great way to improve your eye health.  We recommend a diet full of dark green leafy vegetables (kale, spinach, greens) to promote eye health.  Two key nutrients found in these greens are lutein and zeaxanthin which are both very important for maintaining the health of the retina over time.  Another key dietary component for maintaining eye health is omega 3 fatty acid.  This has been demonstrated to reduce the risk of macular degeneration, and it has also been shown to improve dry eye disease.  This can be found in fatty fish such as salmon, tuna and sardines.  Many omega 3 supplements are also available, but these have not been shown to be as effective towards macular degeneration as food sources. 

Wear Sunglasses

Long term exposure to sunlight without sun protection can contribute to many eye health conditions including cataracts, macular degeneration and pterygium.  A good pair of sunglasses will block 100% UVA and UVB radiation and should provide full coverage to also block reflected rays off of the ground. 

Schedule an Appointment

Coastal Eye Associates offers complete and comprehensive eye care for you and your entire family. Our mission is to be the most ethical and caring eye care provider in the Bay Area. If you have more questions you can contact us here and we will get in touch with you as soon as possible. You can also request an appointment here. We have 5 convenient locations to better serve you.