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Everything You Need To Know About Keratoconus

Everything You Need To Know About Keratoconus 640×350If you’ve been diagnosed with keratoconus, our Morton eye doctors understand your challenge and are here to help you see clearly and comfortably.

Below are some of the most commonly asked questions to help you gain a better understanding of what keratoconus is and how it can be treated.

What is Keratoconus?

Keratoconus affects about 1 in every 2,000 people. This progressive eye disease impacts the shape of the cornea, weakening it and causing it to thin and bulge outward into a cone shape.

The cornea is the clear, dome-shaped outer covering of the eye. It’s responsible for focusing incoming light onto the retina at the back of the eye to enable clear vision. So, when keratoconus develops, the change in the cornea’s shape directly impacts the way light is focused.

Keratoconus often results in nearsightedness and high levels of astigmatism — two refractive errors that cause blurry and distorted vision.

If left untreated, keratoconus can lead to permanent corneal damage and even loss of vision.

What Typically Causes Keratoconus?

Keratoconus develops when the collagen fibers that support the cornea begin to weaken. While having a family member with the disease is a significant risk factor, the following conditions can also lead to keratoconus:

  • Eye trauma
  • Eye allergies
  • Excessive eye rubbing
  • Certain eye diseases
  • Marfan syndrome
  • Ehlers-Danlos syndrome
  • Down syndrome
  • Osteogenesis imperfecta
  • Addison’s disease
  • Leber’s congenital amaurosis

The Signs & Symptoms of Keratoconus

The symptoms of keratoconus include:

  • Blurry vision
  • Distorted vision, with straight lines appearing bent or wavy
  • Sensitivity to bright light and glare
  • Red and irritated eyes
  • Increasing difficulty wearing standard contact lenses

Keratoconus tends to be initially detected in teens or young adults in their 20s, but symptoms can develop at any age.

Keratoconus symptoms usually start out mild but grow progressively worse over time — often over a decade or two — until the condition plateaus.

Both eyes are usually affected, and it’s common to have a difference in optical prescriptions between each eye.

Can Keratoconus Cause Vision Loss?

Keratoconus progression causes nearsightedness, astigmatism and visual distortions to worsen.

Eventually, corneal swelling can lead to scarring of the corneal tissue, which diminishes its transparency and increases your risk of vision loss.

Early detection and treatment of this condition are therefore critical for preventing permanent vision loss.

Can Keratoconus Be Corrected?

Initially, blurry and distorted vision can be corrected with custom-fit soft contact lenses or eyeglasses. However, as the condition progresses and your cornea becomes increasingly cone-shaped, these standard methods of vision correction become less effective.

At this point, many patients with mild to moderate keratoconus opt for scleral lenses, an effective, non-surgical method of achieving clear vision.

Severe keratoconus may require a corneal transplant procedure to replace your damaged cornea with a healthy donor cornea.

Scleral Lenses for Keratoconus

Custom designed scleral lenses help patients with corneal irregularities achieve dramatic improvements in visual acuity and comfort. Scleral lenses vault over the cornea and rest on the sclera while avoiding the diseased cornea. This creates a new optical surface instead of the damaged cornea and prevents discomfort by resting on the sclera of the eye. Moreover, the reservoir of pure saline solution between the back surface of the lens and the front of the cornea ensures that the eye is always in a liquid environment – making it optimal for healing.

Don’t let keratoconus impact your quality of life. We can help you achieve clear, comfortable vision with scleral contact lenses.

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with keratoconus, call Vintage Optical today to schedule a scleral lens consultation.

Our practice serves patients from Morton, Mayfair, Tremont, and Mackinaw, Illinois and surrounding communities.

 

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Paul Velting

Q: What Are the Advantages of Wearing Scleral Lenses?

A: Below are the main benefits of wearing scleral lenses:

  • Scleral lenses are made of high-quality materials, which means they’ll last for the long haul.
  • Their large [size] enables them to stay centered and stable on your eye.
  • The vaulted lens holds hydrating saline solution which creates optimal conditions for ultimate comfort and healing of dry eyes.
  • Because the scleral lenses cover more surface of the eye than traditional lenses, they also help shield the eyes from external irritants.

Q: Are scleral lenses covered by insurance?

A: When it comes to scleral lenses, every insurance company is different. We recommend contacting us or checking with your insurance provider to find out if scleral lenses are covered under your plan.

Request A Scleral Lens Appointment
Can Scleral Lenses Help You? 309-741-2512

4 Facts You Should Know About Scleral Lenses

Woman wearing Scleral Lenses scenic viewDo you have keratoconus or another type of corneal irregularity due to a medical condition or post-surgical complications? Are you considering giving up conventional contacts due to dry eye syndrome?

Consider scleral contact lenses! Contact Vintage Optical in Morton to learn more and to discover a new sense of freedom with sclerals!

What Are Scleral Contact Lenses?

Sclerals are customized rigid gas permeable lenses that are wider than conventional lenses. Their name reflects the fact that they vault over the cornea and rest on the sclera, the white part of the eye.

Scleral contact lenses are 14-24 mm in diameter, while regular contacts are 9mm. This gives sclerals room to accommodate irregularly shaped corneas and provides a reservoir of moisture to soothe dry eyes.

4 Essential Facts About Scleral Contact Lenses

1. Sclerals Are the Right Fit for Irregularly Shaped Corneas

Keratoconus, astigmatism and complications from eye surgery can all result in an irregular-shaped cornea, and wearing contact lenses when your eyes are hard to fit can be challenging. Because sclerals are larger than regular contacts and don’t sit on the sensitive cornea, they provide lots of space and a comfortable fit.

2. Scleral Contact Lenses Can Reduce Dry Eye Symptoms

If you have dry eye syndrome, you may be tempted to give up on wearing contacts altogether. Scleral lenses are ideal for people with dry, itchy and irritated eyes. A lubricating pool of saline solution inside each scleral lens can reduce or even eliminate dry eye discomfort.

3. Sclerals Create a Wider Field of Vision

The width of sclerals not only makes them more comfortable but can extend your field of vision. Their diameter can expand your optic zone and make your peripheral vision sharper and clearer.

4. Sclerals Are Durable and Long-Lasting

Rigid gas permeable contact lenses, including scleral lenses, last longer than conventional soft contacts. Their durable materials are designed to resist wear and tear, which is also why scleral lenses don’t require frequent replacements.

Enjoy the convenience and clear vision scleral lenses by scheduling an appointment with Vintage Optical and discover whether scleral lenses are the right choice for you.

Our practice serves patients from Morton, Mayfair, Tremont, and Mackinaw, Illinois and surrounding communities.

 

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Paul Velting

Q: Can I exercise with scleral lenses?

  • A: Scleral lenses are ideal for people who lead active lives—whether you’re a professional athlete or just like to pass a ball around with friends at the park. Thanks to their greater width, scleral lenses stay in place on the eye more than standard lenses while simultaneously providing clear crisp vision. That said, scleral lenses aren’t recommended for martial arts and other sports with a higher-than-usual rate of facial injuries.

Q: If I have keratoconus, can I avoid corneal surgery with scleral lenses?

  • A: A study published in the Journal of Ophthalmology (2018) that examined 51 patients with advanced keratoconus found that 40 of them didn’t need surgery after wearing scleral lenses. In fact, wearing them reduced the need for corneal transplant or keratoplasty by half during a 5-year period.

Request A Scleral Lens Appointment
Can Scleral Lenses Help You? 309-741-2512

Can We Stop Myopia from Progressing?

Can We Stop Myopia from Progressing 640×350If you think stronger prescription glasses are the right solution to keep your child’s myopia from getting worse, think again. Instead, talk to us about myopia management, which can slow the progression of myopia (nearsightedness) by up to 78%!

How Does Myopia Worsen?

In nearsighted people, the cornea, the clear outer layer of the eye, is more curved than normal. This shape refracts incoming light in front of the retina rather than directly on it. The result: blurred vision.

The longer the eye, the higher, or more severe, the myopia becomes. The following can contribute to the myopia worsening:

  • Eye growth – as children grow, myopia may progress.
  • Hereditary factors – if one or both parents have myopia, the condition is likely to worsen.
  • Not enough outdoor time –1 to 2 hours a day outdoors is recommended.
  • Excessive screen time – myopia development and progression has been linked to extended time in front of electronic devices.

What Is Myopia Management?

Myopia management is a custom-designed treatment plan that identifies the root causes of your child’s myopia and slows its progression. Our optometrist provides diagnostic [exams] and creates a myopia management program to keep your child’s nearsightedness in check.

Why Is Myopia Management Important?

Myopia isn’t a problem that should be left alone. The condition doesn’t just affect your child’s ability to see distant objects; it can increase your child’s risk of developing these serious eye problems in adulthood:

  • Glaucoma
  • Cataracts
  • Myopia macular degeneration
  • Retinal detachment

The sooner your child begins a program of myopia management, the better the chances of slowing myopia’s progression and reducing the risk of eye complications later on.

Find Out How Myopia Management Can Make the Difference In Your Child’s Vision

If you’re eager to preserve your child’s eyesight now and in the future, myopia management can help. Make an appointment at Vintage Optical in Morton today!

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Paul Velting

Q: Does screen time affect myopia?

  • A: Yes. Myopia is becoming an epidemic. In research published in The Lancet Digital Health (October 2021)studies, an international team of researchers found that at least 3 hours of screen time per day can increase the risk of developing myopia by 30%. Other research suggests that reducing your child’s screen time and encouraging more outdoor activities can prevent myopia and keep it from progressing.

Myopia Management Appointment
Want To Discuss Myopia? Call 309-741-2512

Could Working From Home Be Hurting Your Vision?

Working at home is a great way to ditch your commute and enjoy more flexible hours, but there can be an unexpected consequence—digital eye strain. If you’re like many workers, you probably spend most of your day on a computer or other digital device, and likely experience the headache, blurred vision, sore eyes or achy back so common with digital (computer) eye strain.

In contrast to being in the office, where workers take coffee breaks and socialize, working solo at home often translates into spending more time on the computer without breaks, and often beyond the typical 9 to 5 schedule. This can increase the likelihood of developing digital eye strain.

What Is Digital Eye Strain?

Digital eye strain, also called computer vision syndrome (CVS), affects an estimated 70% of adults, especially those between the ages of 18 and 34.The eye strain results from extended hours focusing on a computer screen, and may be worsened by hours of exposure to blue light, high-energy visible light emitted by digital screens.

Blue light can cause short-term eye strain and discomfort, and scientists are researching whether it could also be linked to serious eye conditions, such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and cataracts.

Moreover, staring at a screen, or even a printed book, causes people to blink up to 66% less often. Blinking is essential as it hydrates your eyes and stimulates the release of oil from the tiny glands in your eyelids. This oil also prevents tears from evaporating too quickly, thus drying out the eyes. Dry eyes can cause blurry vision, which further exacerbates eye strain.

What Are the Symptoms of Digital Eye Strain?

The following are common symptoms of digital eye strain:

  • Blurry vision
  • Eye soreness
  • Headaches Dry eyes
  • Light sensitivity
  • Neck, back and shoulder pain

How Can I Prevent Digital Eye Strain?

No need to ditch your job in order to avoid eye strain. There are other, more practical, ways to lessen the negative impact of screen time on our eyes. Below are some helpful tips.

Take Breaks

Even if you aren’t at the office and may not have co-workers to hang out with at the coffee machine or water cooler, make sure to take frequent breaks that don’t require screen time. Perhaps take a walk or reward yourself with a short nap. These breaks not only give your eyes a rest, but can rest your mind for a few minutes so you can work more efficiently.

Consider adopting the 20/20/20 habit. For every 20 minutes you spend in front of a screen, take a 20-second break and look at something 20 feet away. This will prevent you from overstraining your eyes and will encourage you to blink more, providing your eyes with much-needed hydration.

Adjust Screen Brightness

Bright screens can place a significant burden on your eyes. Simply adjusting your screen’s brightness can help rest your eyes.

See Your Eye Doctor

If you spend prolonged periods in front of the screen, it’s important to schedule an eye exam with your eye doctor to discuss whether you would benefit from lubricating eye drops or a pair of computer glasses. These computer glasses (or blue light glasses) allow your eyes to relax and make you feel as if you’re focusing on faraway objects. They also reduce glare and filter out blue light.

Whether you’re suffering from any of the symptoms related to digital eye strain or simply want to prevent it, we invite you to book an appointment with Vintage Optical in Morton. With the right eye care and work habits, you should be able to successfully and quickly reduce and prevent eye strain.

Q&A With Our Optometrist

How long does it take to recover from computer eye strain?

If you don’t have an underlying eye condition, symptoms of digital eye strain can sometimes disappear within a few hours or days. But if you have recurrent eye strain, speak with your eye doctor, as the right eye drops or computer glasses could improve your visual comfort and quality of life.

Can digital eye strain affect my work productivity?

You may think spending hours in front of a computer screen will improve your productivity, when in reality, it may have the opposite effect. According to a study at the University of Alabama/Birmingham School of Optometry, even minor vision problems, such as eye strain, disrupt worker productivity by at least 20%.

So make sure to take steps to control lighting and glare on the device screen and establish proper working distances and posture for screen viewing. To learn more and to alleviate or prevent eye strain, contact Vintage Optical today.

How Myopia (Nearsightedness) Can Affect Your Child’s Life

child in school unable to work due to myopiaMyopia (also known as nearsightedness) is nothing short of a global epidemic. According to the World Health Organization, 27% of the world’s population has myopia, and that number is expected to rise to 50% by 2050.

Myopia almost always begins in childhood and can progress rapidly until the late teens or early twenties. Children with moderate or severe myopia are at a much greater risk of developing eye conditions that can cause vision loss and even blindness.

Fortunately, there are proven ways to slow and sometimes halt myopia’s progression during childhood, to safeguard your child’s vision for a lifetime.

What Causes Myopia?

Myopia is often inherited, but other risk factors include spending too many hours indoors engaged in ‘near work’ like reading and staring at electronic screens.

Myopia occurs when the eyeball grows longer, which causes light rays to refract incorrectly, focusing images in front of your retina instead of on your retina. This results in blurry vision.

How Myopia Can Impact Your Child

Nearsightedness can affect your child in many ways:

Difficulties at School and While Playing Sports

Sometimes parents don’t realize their child is experiencing myopia-related blurry vision until they notice a recurrence of poor grades on their report cards or tests.

Eyestrain

Trying to focus on faraway objects to see them with more clarity when they appear blurry often results in eyestrain. Yet many parents and teachers don’t realize that a child’s headaches, tired, burning, itchy eyes, blurry vision, neck and shoulder pain may be caused by myopia.

Poor Sports Performance

When you try to catch a ball, aim for a target or locate a goal post, you need to see clearly at a distance. Nearsightedness can interfere with a child’s ability to succeed on the sports field.

How Does Myopia Affect Quality of Life?

Myopia isn’t just about difficulty seeing faraway objects. Rapidly progressing myopia increases a child’s risk of developing serious eye conditions in the future. They include:

  • Glaucoma
  • Retinal detachment
  • Cataracts
  • Myopic maculopathy

What is Myopia Management?

Myopia management is the area of optometry devoted to slowing down and even halting the rapid progression of myopia in childhood. Myopia can be managed thanks to a customized treatment program provided by an eye doctor near you. The sooner a child’s myopia is managed, the lower the risk of myopia-related complications in adulthood.

To find out how myopia management can transform your child’s vision, confidence and success in life, schedule an appointment with Dr. Paul Velting today.

Our practice serves patients from Morton, Mayfair, Tremont, and Mackinaw, Illinois and surrounding communities.
Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Paul Velting

Q: Can Myopia Be Cured?

  • A: While there’s no cure for myopia, myopia management has been scientifically proven to slow and at times halt myopia’s progression. LASIK and other laser surgeries aren’t an option until a child with myopia reaches adulthood and their eyes have stopped growing (meaning, their eye prescription has stopped changing).

Q: What is High Myopia?

  • A: High myopia is a more severe form of regular myopia, usually above -3.00 dioptres. Children who develop high myopia often have rapidly progressing myopia that begins in early childhood and are at a higher risk of developing serious sight-threatening eye diseases later in life, such as glaucoma, macular degeneration and cataracts. Myopia management can help slow or halt the rapid progression of myopia, offering the child a higher quality of life in the long term.

    Myopia Management Appointment
    Want To Discuss Myopia? Call 309-741-2512

    What’s The Connection Between Dry Eye And Asthma?

    What’s The Connection Between Dry Eye And Asthma 640×350Researchers have already established several known risk factors for developing dry eye syndrome: the quality of your tears, excessive screen time, air pollution, hormonal fluctuations, aging, certain medications and medical conditions, and even being female.

    Here’s another risk factor that’s recently been added to the list: having asthma.

    Asthma is a disease of the lungs that affects about 300 million people around the globe. Symptoms include wheezing, chest tightness, coughing and breathlessness.

    Fortunately, asthmatic patients are usually able to do the activities they enjoy by taking prescription medications that facilitate easier breathing.

    But medical professionals have noticed that the individuals taking these medicines, and sometimes even asthmatic patients who don’t, have a higher incidence of dry eye syndrome.

    Let your optometrist know if you have asthma or any other risk factors for dry eye syndrome. At Vintage Optical, we can identify the underlying cause of your dry eye symptoms and relieve your discomfort.

    What is dry eye syndrome?

    Dry eye syndrome occurs when the eyes consistently lack proper lubrication, either due to insufficient tears or tears that lack essential oils.

    You know what it’s like to have dry eye if you’ve ever experienced any of of the following symptoms:

    • Burning, gritty or itchy eyes
    • Eye dryness
    • Red or painful eyes
    • Blurred vision
    • Stringy mucus around the eyes
    • Light sensitivity
    • Difficulty or inability to wear contact lenses
    • Feeling that something is stuck in your eye

    What Causes Dry Eye Syndrome?

    Most cases of dry eye syndrome result from the dysfunction of the meibomian glands in the eyelids, which produce the vital oils needed for healthy tears, and which reduce tear evaporation. But dry eyes can also be caused by some autoimmune diseases, hormone replacement therapy, certain medications and, it appears, asthma or the medications that treat it.

    Environmental factors that can bring on dry eye syndrome include exposure to wind or airborne irritants, pollution, infrequent or incomplete blinking (people blink less when they use digital devices), heating, air conditioning and dry weather. Certain makeup products, including mascara, and application methods such as applying makeup on the eyelid margin, can block the glands that lubricate the eyes.

    Can Dry Eye Syndrome Be Cured?

    There are now a wide range of treatment options that can successfully manage your dry eyes. The key is to allow us to find and target the underlying cause of your condition, so we can create a plan to minimize and sometimes eliminate your dry eye symptoms.

    What’s the Link Between Asthma and Dry Eye Syndrome?

    Several studies have examined the relationship between asthma and dry eye syndrome and found that although a link exists, researchers aren’t sure exactly why.

    One study, published in BMJ Open (2019), found that asthmatic people of Australian, Caucasian and Asian descent have higher rates of dry eye syndrome than those without asthma.

    Another study, published in Medicine (2020), established a significant link between asthma and dry eye syndrome, and found that children with asthma tend to have an unstable tear film — a common cause of dry eyes.

    One hypothesis is that asthma medications like inhaled corticosteroids, oral antihistamines and leukotriene receptor antagonists may contribute to eye dryness by inhibiting tear production, but further research is needed.

    Could asthma itself be the culprit? Possibly, but more research is needed for a better understanding. What is known: low blood oxygen levels caused by severe asthma can deprive the front section of the eye, called the cornea, of oxygen, potentially leading to dry eye syndrome.

    What’s the Bottom Line?

    Research shows that having asthma may increase your risk of experiencing dry eye symptoms.

    If you have asthma, speak with your optometrist about lowering your risk of developing dry eye syndrome and make sure to bring all of your asthma medications to your next eye exam.

    If you already have some symptoms of dry eye syndrome, call Vintage Optical in Morton to schedule a dry eye consultation. We’ll create a personalized treatment plan so you can enjoy long-term relief.

    Our practice serves patients from Morton, Mayfair, Tremont, and Mackinaw, Illinois and surrounding communities.

    Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Paul Velting

    Q: What at-home remedies can relieve dry eye syndrome?

    • A: Make sure to stay hydrated and wear sunglasses whenever outdoors. If you use an indoor heater or air conditioner, direct the airflow away from your face. Use a humidifier at home and at work. You can also try using a warm eye compress. Ask your eye doctor for instructions on how to do so. But keep in mind that trying to manage dry eye syndrome without seeing a dry eye optometrist won’t be as effective.

    Q: How is dry eye syndrome treated?

    • A: The type of treatment depends on what’s causing the symptoms. For example, if premature tear evaporation is the problem, your optometrist may prescribe eye drops. Or if your meibomian glands aren’t functioning as they should, unclogging the glands may do the trick. Medicated eye ointment or drops may be prescribed, or we may recommend certain in-office dry eye treatments. Each treatment plan is carefully formulated with your eyes and lifestyle in mind.

    Request A Dry Eye Appointment
    Think You Have Dry Eye? Call 309-741-2512

    The Link Between Dry Eyes and Depression

    The Link Between Dry Eyes and DepressionDepression is a serious illness that impacts a person’s mood and emotional well-being. It creeps into all areas of a person’s life, and can become life-threatening if left untreated.

    Not only does depression impact mental health; it can manifest as physical symptoms, too, like insomnia, chronic pain and inflammation, weight loss or gain and heart problems, among others. These physical problems can worsen depressive thoughts — sometimes leading to a vicious cycle.

    Interestingly, many patients with depression also suffer from severe dry eye symptoms. The question is, how are these two conditions related?

    What is Dry Eye Syndrome?

    Dry eye syndrome, also known as dry eye disease, is a chronic condition that results from inadequate lubrication of the eyes. Ocular hydration is crucial when it comes to keeping your eyes healthy and your vision clear. Your tears are responsible for maintaining this necessary hydration, and in healthy eyes fulfill their unique mission each time you blink.

    Your tear film is made up of three layers, consisting of oil, water and mucus. If any of these layers become compromised, inadequate tear quality or insufficient tear quantity can result and lead to a host of uncomfortable dry eye symptoms.

    The most common dry eye symptoms include:

    • Dry eyes
    • Red or irritated eyes
    • Itchy eyes
    • Gritty eyes
    • Light sensitivity
    • Blurry vision

    Can Depression Cause Dry Eye (or Vice-Versa)?

    This is what researchers are trying to find out.

    In a March 2022 study published in JAMA Ophthalmology, researchers examined the link between depression and severe dry eye symptoms. The study followed 535 dry eye patients for an entire year.

    After a year, the patients who tested positive for depression had more severe dry eye symptoms than the patients who didn’t have depression. Their symptoms were measured based on the Ocular Surface Disease Index (OSDI), Brief Ocular Discomfort Index and composite dry eye disease sign score.

    Additionally, severe depression was associated with more severe dry eye symptoms at baseline, six months, and one year.

    The study concluded that depression was associated with more severe dry eye symptoms, which suggests that among patients with moderate to severe dry eye syndrome, those with depression may be likely to have more severe dry eye symptoms.

    The researchers said further research is needed to learn exactly why people with depression have more severe dry eye symptoms than those without depression.

    Could the sometimes debilitating symptoms of dry eye syndrome actually cause depression and anxiety?

    A 2016 dry eye study published in Nature concluded that chronic discomfort and pain from dry eye symptoms can negatively affect the cognitive processes, sleep, mood and mental health. The researchers urged eye doctors to be aware of the higher incidence of dry eye syndrome in people with depression, whatever the underlying cause.

    Can Antidepressants Cause Dry Eye Symptoms?

    Yes. Antidepressants have been shown to increase dryness in the body, including the eyes. These medications work by blocking signals between nerve cells, which can result in insufficient tear production and dry eye syndrome.

    If you’re taking an antidepressant, be sure to inform your eye doctor during your consultation.

    How We Can Help

    At Vintage Optical in Morton, we recognize that some of our patients that come in with dry eye symptoms may be suffering from depression.

    We’ll diagnose the cause of your dry eye symptoms and offer the most effective dry eye treatments to give you the relief you’re searching for.

    Contact us today to schedule a dry eye assessment and take the first step towards regaining your quality of life.

    Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Paul Velting

    Q: Who is affected by dry eye syndrome?

    • A: While dry eye syndrome is most common in adults over 50, it can occur at any age. The following factors can increase your risk of dry eye:
      – Aging
      – Hormonal changes
      – Medical conditions such as Sjogren’s syndrome and rheumatoid arthritis
      – Prolonged screen time
      – Living in a dry, dusty or windy environment
      – Eye allergies
      – Blepharitis or meibomian gland dysfunction
      – Certain medications, such as decongestants, antihistamines, antidepressants, hormone replacement therapy
      – Vitamin A deficiency

    Q: How can you reduce your risk of dry eye?

    • A: While some dry eye risk factors can’t be avoided completely, making some lifestyle changes can help. Practice these recommended tips:
      – Use a humidifier to add moisture to the air
      – Wear wraparound sunglasses outdoors to protect your eyes from harsh winds
      – Take frequent screen breaks and blink often while using your digital device.
      – Quit smoking
      – Use lubricating eye drops
      – Consume a healthy diet including omega 3 and drink plenty of water.
      – Have regular eye exams

    Request A Dry Eye Appointment
    Think You Have Dry Eye? Call 309-741-2512

    Are Myopic Parents More Likely to Have Myopic Children?

    Myopic child wearing glassesIf you have myopia (nearsightedness), can you pass nearsightedness on to your children? Yes, you can. Having myopic parents greatly increases a child’s risk of developing myopia.

    Due to heredity and other risk factors, myopia is reaching epidemic proportions – with more than 50% of the population expected to be myopic by 2050. That’s worrying, as having moderate to severe myopia greatly increases the risk of developing sight-threatening eye diseases like glaucoma and macular degeneration later in life.

    What Is Myopia?

    If you have myopia, distant objects will appear blurred. This happens when your cornea or eye lens is oval-shaped and excessively curved. As a result, the light entering your eye focuses images in front of your retina instead of directly on it, causing blurred vision.

    Can Myopia Be Inherited? What the Stats Say

    The answer is yes, myopia can be passed on from parents to children. There are 40 genes that influence the eye’s development and shape, and these could be responsible for nearsightedness.

    Children with one myopic parent are 1.5x more likely to develop the condition, and the risk is tripled if both parents have myopia. This makes getting a comprehensive eye exam a must for any child of nearsighted parents.

    Other risk factors include spending less than two hours a day outdoors and engaging in “near work” activities like reading and spending time on an electronic device, such as a computer or cell phone. Fortunately, there are ways to manage, slow and sometimes halt myopia progression.

    What’s Myopia Management?

    Myopia management is a systematic approach to preventing the progression of myopia. It includes lifestyle changes and treatments that help keep your child’s myopia from progressing.

    At ​​Vintage Optical , we use the latest technology to ensure your child’s vision remains stable and healthy for years to come.

    Protect Your Child’s Vision With Myopia Management

    Let us help your child diminish the risk of developing ocular disease and vision loss with our effective myopia management program. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Paul Velting at Vintage Optical in Morton. We’ll use the latest technology to ensure your child’s vision remains stable and healthy for years to come.

    Our practice serves patients from Morton, Mayfair, Tremont, and Mackinaw, Illinois and surrounding communities.

    Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Paul Velting

    Q: What are some ways I can reduce my child’s screen time?

    • A: It isn’t easy to change habits, but as a family, you can work together to reduce screen time. Try the following:- Set limits on total amount of screen time per day
      – Create routines around screen use–such as after homework and chores
      – Model healthy screen use for your child
      – Talk to your children about why it is important to limit screen time
      – Engage in physical activity and outdoor sports as a family

    Q: When Does Myopia Typically Develop?

    • A: Myopia begins in children as young as 6 and tends to progress until roughly the age of 20. The more it progresses, and the higher the prescription, the greater your child’s risk of developing potentially sight-threatening eye conditions, such as cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration and retinal detachment later in life.

    Myopia Management Appointment
    Want To Discuss Myopia? Call 309-741-2512

    Regular Contact Lenses Not Working for You? Consider Scleral Lenses

    Woman wearing scleral lensesIf you have dry eye syndrome, a corneal transplant, keratoconus or who simply find conventional contacts uncomfortable to wear, you may want to try scleral contact lenses. Scleral lenses are larger than standard lenses and vault over the entire surface of the cornea. Because the lens sits firmly on the eye, it offers more comfortable and stable vision than traditional lenses.

    Eye Problems That Can Make Contact Lens Wearing Difficult

    If your cornea is irregularly sized or shaped, standard contact lenses may not fit you properly or may move when you blink. Furthermore, standard contacts can also cause or exacerbate dry eye symptoms, such as red, irritated, itchy or dry eyes.

    Below are common eye conditions that can make contact lens wearing a struggle:

    • Keratoconus
    • Dry eye syndrome
    • Astigmatism
    • Corneal transplant
    • Post-refractive surgery (i.e. LASIK)

    Why are Scleral Lenses a Comfortable Alternative?

    These oversized lenses provide relief, clear vision, and visual rehabilitation for dry eye, keratoconus, corneal degeneration, eyelid abnormalities, and corneal ectasia, among other conditions. That’s because the custom-designed scleral lenses are fitted to your unique eye shape, providing a superior level of comfort.

    Moreover, a fluid reservoir between the lens and the cornea optically neutralizes any corneal irregularities and hydrates the ocular surface, providing a moist and comfortable environment between the eye and the lens.

    How Large are Scleral Lenses?

    The average size of regular contact lenses is 9mm, which is smaller than the cornea, whereas scleral lenses measure between 14.5mm to 24mm in diameter. This allows the scleral lens to form a dome over the cornea, creating a cushion of tears between the lens and the eye.

    What Happens During a Scleral Lens Fitting?

    Scleral lenses are custom-fit to each person’s unique eye shape, corneal curves, and contours, providing unparalleled comfort. Their size and shape also ensure stability.

    To design the lenses, your Vintage Optical eye doctor in Morton will take exact measurements of your cornea through a process called corneal topography. This process ensures that your personal pair of scleral lenses allows the right amount of light in and sits stably on the eye, thus offering superior vision, all-day ocular hydration, and increased comfort.

    Schedule an appointment with Dr. Paul Velting and talk to us about getting fitted with scleral lenses.

    Our practice serves patients from Morton, Mayfair, Tremont, and Mackinaw, Illinois and surrounding communities.

     

    Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Paul Velting

     

    Q: Can Scleral Lenses Treat or Cure Keratoconus?

    • A: While scleral lenses aren’t a cure for keratoconus, they are highly effective at correcting vision if you have irregular-shaped corneas or cone-shaped corneas.Because those with keratoconus have irregular, cone-shaped corneas, glasses and standard contact lenses cannot conform to the shape of the eyes and thus cannot adequately correct the patients’ vision. The best solution, therefore, is scleral contact lenses, since they sit on the sclera without touching the cornea and deliver maximal clarity while being perfectly comfortable in most cases.

    Q: Can Scleral Lenses Help Improve Vision Following Corneal Transplants?

    • A: Though corneal transplants have a high rate of success, it can take more than a year for the eye to recover from surgery. This is because the eye needs time to adapt to the new cornea, during which time nearsightedness or astigmatism may develop. For this reason, scleral lenses are the ideal choice for clear and comfortable vision following a corneal graft.

     

    Request A Scleral Lens Appointment
    Can Scleral Lenses Help You? 309-741-2512

    Stay Active and See Better With Scleral Lenses

    Stay Active and See Better With Scleral Lenses 640×350Scleral contact lenses have long been the way to provide clear and comfortable vision to people with keratoconus, severe dry eye syndrome, irregularly shaped corners and patients recovering from corneal transplants and refractive surgeries.

    But did you know that scleral lenses are also a great option for active people who need their lenses to sit securely and not pop out? Many people find that traditional contact lenses don’t provide the stable and clear vision required for their active lifestyle. This is especially true for athletes with high astigmatism who want to achieve a greater level of clarity comparable to LASIK surgery.

    Whether you like to run marathons, go skiing or play sports that require sharp vision, scleral lenses can provide the vision correction and peace of mind you’ve been seeking.

    What Makes Scleral Lenses Different?

    Scleral lenses are hard, gas-permeable contact lenses that settle on the eye in a more stable position than regular soft or hard contacts. That’s because scleral lenses have a larger diameter than standard lenses, so they’re less prone to falling out or moving on the eye.

    In addition, these lenses vault over the cornea to rest on the sclera, the whites of the eyes, on a cushion of fluid, providing additional comfort. Your eyes stay hydrated when exposed to harsh winds during winter sports or in hot and dry conditions.

    These features make sclerals a good option for active people and athletes.

    What Else Are Scleral Lenses Used For?

    Scleral lenses are the go-to lenses if you have an irregularly shaped cornea or keratoconus, which causes the lens to thin, bulge and develop a cone-like shape. As keratoconus progresses, patients often can’t achieve clear vision from eyeglasses or regular contact lenses.

    The fact that scleral lenses are custom-designed to fit a patient’s eyes can make them the best option for people who can’t wear traditional hard or soft lenses.

    Who Is a Good Candidate for Scleral Lenses?

    The following people may find a particular benefit from scleral lenses:

    • Active people and athletes who need clear vision and want contacts that will stay firmly in place
    • People with irregular corneas, such as keratoconus
    • Those with dry eye syndrome
    • Post-corneal transplant patients
    • Those who have poor vision due to complications after eye surgery.

    Can You Play Sports with Scleral Lenses?

    Thanks to their greater width, scleral lenses stay in place on the eye more than standard lenses while simultaneously providing clear crisp vision. Many wearers also find them more comfortable than other contact lenses. This makes sclerals ideal for most sports, including baseball, basketball, cycling and skiing.

    There are, however, some direct contact sports, such as karate, boxing and wrestling, where sclerals aren’t recommended due to the risk of eye injury if the lens is damaged.

    Do Scleral Lenses Treat Keratoconus?

    Scleral lenses aren’t a cure. However, sclerals are highly effective at correcting vision if you have irregular-shaped corneas because the lenses vault over the cornea and rest on the sclera, compensating for the misshapen cornea.

    If you love sports, live an active lifestyle, have an irregularly shaped cornea or dry eyes, consult with Dr. Paul Velting at Vintage Optical to see whether scleral lenses are the right solution for you.

    Our practice serves patients from Morton, Mayfair, Tremont, and Mackinaw, Illinois and surrounding communities.

    Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Paul Velting

    Q: How Can Scleral Lenses Improve An Athlete’s Vision?

    • A: Athletes are typically exposed to challenging environmental conditions, such as dust, chalk, sand and wind. These can all interfere with the comfort of wearing soft contact lenses. Because scleral lenses provide a seal over the eye’s surface, the eyes are better protected from the elements, allowing athletes more stable, clear, crisp vision.

    Q: Do Scleral Lenses Cure Keratoconus?

    • A: No. Custom-designed scleral lenses help patients with corneal irregularities, like astigmatism and keratoconus, achieve dramatic improvements in visual acuity and comfort. These lenses vault over the cornea and rest on the sclera, thus creating a new optical surface. Moreover, the reservoir of pure saline solution between the back surface of the lens and the front of the cornea ensures that the eye is always in a liquid environment, ensuring optimal vision and comfort for those with keratoconus.

    Request A Scleral Lens Appointment
    Can Scleral Lenses Help You? 309-741-2512