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Seeing Clearly: A Guide to Contact Lenses

In the world of vision correction, contact lenses have revolutionized the way millions of people see and experience the world around them. These small, curved discs made from advanced materials have become an integral part of many people’s daily lives, offering a convenient and effective alternative to traditional eyeglasses. Whether you’re considering making the switch or are already a seasoned wearer, understanding the basics and benefits of contact lenses can help you make informed decisions about your eye care.

The Basics of Contact Lenses

Contact lenses are thin, curved lenses that are placed directly on the surface of the eye. They correct vision by focusing light directly onto the retina, providing a clearer vision compared to eyeglasses for many wearers. They are typically made from either soft or rigid gas permeable materials, each offering distinct advantages depending on individual needs and preferences.

  • Soft Contact Lenses: These are the most common type of contact lenses and are made from soft, flexible plastics that allow oxygen to pass through to the cornea. They are comfortable to wear and come in various types to accommodate different prescriptions and wearing schedules.
  • Rigid Gas Permeable (RGP) Contact Lenses: These lenses are made from a harder, less flexible material that allows for excellent vision correction, especially for more complex prescriptions or certain eye conditions. They provide crisp vision and are durable, although they may require a longer adaptation period compared to soft lenses.

Choosing the Right Type

The choice between soft and RGP lenses often depends on factors such as your prescription, lifestyle, and comfort preferences. Your eye care professional will assess your eye health and visual needs to recommend the best type of lens for you. They will also consider factors like how often you will wear them (daily vs. extended wear), maintenance requirements, and any specific challenges you may face, such as dry eyes.

Benefits of Contact Lenses

  1. Natural Vision: Contact lenses provide a wider field of view compared to glasses since they move with your eyes. This can be particularly beneficial for activities like sports or driving.
  2. Comfort and Convenience: Once properly fitted, many people find contact lenses comfortable and easy to wear throughout the day. They don’t fog up in cold weather or get wet in the rain, making them a hassle-free option for many.
  3. Enhanced Appearance: Some people prefer the aesthetic of not wearing glasses, enjoying the freedom to showcase their natural facial features without frames.
  4. Vision Correction Options: Contact lenses can correct a wide range of vision problems, including nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, and presbyopia (age-related difficulty focusing on close objects).

Caring for Your Lenses

Proper care and hygiene are essential to maintain eye health and ensure the longevity of your contact lenses:

  • Cleaning: Follow your eye care professional’s instructions for cleaning and disinfecting your lenses. Use recommended solutions and never use water or saliva to clean them.
  • Handling: Wash your hands thoroughly before handling your lenses. Avoid touching them with dirty or oily fingers.
  • Storage: Store your lenses in a clean case with fresh solution. Replace your case regularly to prevent bacterial buildup.
  • Regular Check-ups: Schedule regular appointments with your eye care provider to monitor the health of your eyes and ensure your prescription is up to date.


Contact lenses offer a modern solution to vision correction, providing wearers with comfort, convenience, and excellent visual acuity. Whether you’re an active individual, a fashion-conscious trendsetter, or simply seeking an alternative to glasses, contact lenses could be the perfect fit for your lifestyle. With proper care and regular check-ups, they can enhance your vision and quality of life for years to come.

If you’re considering contact lenses or looking to upgrade your current eyewear, consult with your eye care professional to explore the options that best suit your needs. Embrace the clarity and freedom that contact lenses can offer, and see the world with new eyes today!

Understanding Dry Eye Therapy: Strategies for Relief and Management

In today’s fast-paced world, where screens dominate our daily lives, the prevalence of dry eye syndrome is on the rise. Characterized by discomfort, irritation, and sometimes even pain, dry eye can significantly impact one’s quality of life. However, advancements in medical science have led to a variety of effective therapies aimed at managing and alleviating these symptoms. Let’s delve into the world of dry eye therapy to explore the options available for relief and management.

What is Dry Eye Syndrome?

Dry eye syndrome occurs when there is a lack of sufficient lubrication and moisture on the surface of the eye. This can lead to symptoms such as:

  • Irritation
  • Grittiness or feeling of foreign bodies in the eye
  • Redness
  • Blurred vision
  • Sensitivity to light

These symptoms can vary from mild to severe, affecting individuals in different ways depending on their environment, health conditions, and lifestyle.

Therapeutic Approaches

The treatment of dry eye syndrome typically involves a combination of lifestyle modifications, over-the-counter remedies, and prescription medications or procedures. Here are some common therapeutic approaches:

  1. Artificial Tears and Lubricating Eye Drops: These are often the first line of defense against dry eye symptoms. Lubricating eye drops can provide temporary relief by moistening the eyes and reducing discomfort.
  2. Prescription Eye Drops: For more severe cases, your eye doctor may prescribe medicated eye drops that help reduce inflammation and increase tear production.
  3. Punctal Plugs: These tiny devices are inserted into the tear ducts to block drainage, thus conserving natural tears and keeping the eyes moist for a longer period.
  4. Nutritional Supplements: Omega-3 fatty acids and certain vitamins have been shown to support eye health and may help alleviate dry eye symptoms.
  5. Lifestyle Changes: Adjustments such as taking breaks from screens, using humidifiers to add moisture to the air, and avoiding smoke or windy environments can all contribute to managing dry eye symptoms.
  6. Advanced Therapies: In some cases, advanced procedures like intense pulsed light therapy (IPL) or meibomian gland expression may be recommended to address underlying causes of dry eye.

The Role of Technology

In recent years, technological advancements have significantly enhanced the management of dry eye syndrome. For instance, specialized diagnostic tools can now provide detailed assessments of tear film stability and tear production, guiding more personalized treatment plans. Moreover, wearable devices and apps can help individuals monitor environmental factors that may exacerbate their symptoms, empowering them to make informed lifestyle choices.

Consultation with an Eye Care Professional

If you experience persistent dry eye symptoms, it’s crucial to seek guidance from an eye care professional. They can conduct a thorough evaluation to determine the underlying cause of your symptoms and recommend an appropriate treatment plan tailored to your needs. Regular check-ups are also essential to monitor your eye health and adjust treatment as necessary.


Dry eye syndrome is a common and often bothersome condition that can impact daily life. Fortunately, with a variety of therapeutic options available—from simple lubricating drops to advanced procedures—effective management is within reach for many individuals. By understanding your symptoms, consulting with a knowledgeable eye care provider, and adopting appropriate therapeutic strategies, you can find relief and protect your eye health in the long term. Remember, your eyes deserve the best care possible to maintain comfort and clarity throughout your life.

Understanding Cataracts: Clearing Up the Fog

Imagine waking up one morning and noticing that the world seems a bit cloudy, as though you’re looking through a misted-up window. This could be a sign of cataracts, a common condition that affects millions of people worldwide. In this blog, we’ll delve into what cataracts are, their causes, symptoms, treatments, and how they impact daily life.

What are Cataracts?

Cataracts refer to the clouding of the lens in the eye, leading to blurred vision. The lens, which is normally clear, becomes opaque or cloudy, making it difficult for light to pass through and reach the retina. As a result, vision becomes increasingly blurry over time.

Causes of Cataracts

Cataracts can develop due to various factors:

  1. Age: Age-related cataracts are the most common. As we grow older, the proteins in the lens can clump together, causing cloudiness.
  2. Medical Conditions: Conditions such as diabetes or hypertension can accelerate cataract formation.
  3. Genetics: Some people may be predisposed to developing cataracts due to genetic factors.
  4. Trauma: Eye injuries can lead to the development of cataracts, especially if the lens is damaged.
  5. Exposure to UV Radiation: Prolonged exposure to sunlight, especially without protection, may increase the risk of cataracts.

Symptoms of Cataracts

The symptoms of cataracts can vary but commonly include:

  • Blurred, cloudy, or dim vision
  • Increased sensitivity to glare, especially at night
  • Halos around lights
  • Colors appearing faded or yellowed
  • Double vision in one eye

Diagnosis and Treatment

If you suspect you have cataracts, it’s crucial to consult an eye care professional. They will perform a comprehensive eye exam, which may include:

  • Visual acuity test
  • Slit-lamp examination
  • Retinal examination

Treatment for cataracts typically involves surgery to remove the cloudy lens and replace it with an artificial intraocular lens (IOL). This surgery is highly effective and has a quick recovery time, often allowing patients to regain clear vision soon after the procedure.

Living with Cataracts

Living with cataracts can significantly impact daily life. Simple tasks like reading, driving, or recognizing faces become challenging as vision deteriorates. Fortunately, advancements in surgical techniques and lens technology have made cataract surgery safer and more effective than ever before.


While not all cataracts can be prevented, you can reduce your risk by:

  • Wearing sunglasses that block UV rays
  • Managing health conditions like diabetes
  • Eating a healthy diet rich in antioxidants
  • Avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol consumption


Cataracts are a common and treatable condition that affects many as they age. By understanding the causes, symptoms, and treatments available, individuals can take proactive steps to preserve their vision and maintain a high quality of life. If you or a loved one notice changes in vision, don’t hesitate to seek professional advice—it could be the first step towards clearer sight and brighter days ahead.

Type 2 Diabetes Affect on Eyes

Diagnosed cases of diabetes continue to rise in our society and alarmingly, they continue to rise in children. The CDC’s research has found that people with diabetes have a 25 times higher risk of developing blindness than people who do not. This is especially concerning for children who have diabetes.

One of the leading causes of blindness is diabetic retinopathy. In a study done by the AAO found that children with type 2 diabetes are almost twice as likely to develop diabetic retinopathy than children with type 1 diabetes. We think it is important to understand that if you or your child have this disease, it gives you even more reason to visit the eye doctor at least once a year!

In order to keep our patients informed, we want to give some background on what diabetes is and how it affects your eyes, so you know what to pay attention to.

What is Diabetes?

A disease that causes your body not to make enough insulin or keeps your body from using the insulin it has the way that it should. This in turn will cause there to be too much sugar that stays in your bloodstream. If left untreated it can cause serious health problems like kidney disease, heart disease, and vision loss.

There are two types of diabetes:

Type 1:  Autoimmune reaction is said to be the cause. Basically, your body is attacking itself mistakenly and it keeps your body from creating the insulin needed to regulate your blood sugar. This is the type is usually diagnosed in children and teens. Daily insulin injections are required for this type of diabetes and there is no known way to prevent it.

Type 2: When your body doesn’t use the insulin it has well. This is the more common type of diabetes and is usually diagnosed later in life but can also be diagnosed in children and teens.

What is Diabetic Retinopathy?

Diabetes can cause high blood pressure, which leads to Retinopathy eye disease. High blood sugar levels can cause damage to the blood vessels in the retina. The damage caused can swell, leak or close the blood vessels which will stop blood from passing through. If left untreated this can cause blindness.

What are the signs to look for?

In order to diagnose eye disease early in yourself or your children, the best course of action is to have yearly eye exams. A yearly eye exam is going to catch issues early so they are easier to treat.

If you or your child has diabetes, some things to look for in between eye exams:

  • Spots or dark strings floating in your vision
  • Blurry vision
  • Difficulty seeing at night

Make sure to make an appointment with us if you notice any of the above issues!

Importance of Comprehensive Eye Exams

As we grow older, it can get easier and easier to let things like your regular eye exams slip through the cracks. We wanted to re-visit this topic because there are so many reasons to have your eye’s examined regularly. There are implications of other health concerns that can be caught in an eye exam. It can be easy to think your vision doesn’t need any correction, until you get an exam and realize you haven’t been seeing the world as clearly as you could have been!

Why You Need to See a Doctor

Eye diseases are can go unnoticed with no symptoms for a long time before they cause harm. If you are regularly seeing a doctor, they can notice changes in your eye before symptoms occur. If caught early enough some diseases can be treated to prevent vision loss later on. 

We actually offer a specific service not all eye doctors have, the Optomap Prime, which allows our doctors to do a comprehensive eye exam without having to dilate your eyes. This new technology takes away the invasive process of dilation that can deter some people from their regular eye exam. Make sure to ask us about this at your next visit.

An eye doctor is going to examine a few different things in your eye exam such as:

  • visual acuity (sharpness)
  • depth perception
  • eye alignment
  • eye movement

In addition to catching eye issues early, an eye exam may also be able to catch other health conditions like high blood pressure or diabetes. They can let you know what they find so you can follow up with your primary care doctor.

Regular Eye Exams Save Vision

Like we were saying, if some eye conditions are caught early enough, there are treatments that can help to save your vision. An eye exam can catch some common eye diseases. Some common eye diseases that can lead to permanent vision loss are:

  • Cataracts – this is a clouding of the eye lens and is the leading cause of vision loss in the US.
  • Diabetic Retinopathy – this causes damage to blood vessels int he back of the eye.
  • Glaucoma – this describes a group of diseases that damage the optic nerve.
  • Age Related Macular Degeration – this is a gradual breakdown of the light sensitive tissue in the eye.

We have published blogs on each of these conditions, if you are looking for a deeper dive into them check out the other blogs on our website. 

How Often Should You Have an Eye Exam?

It is very important for children to have their eyes examined frequently as they are growing. There are some learning disabilities that can be misdiagnosed vision problems, and you won’t know until your child has an exam. It is recommended that children get at least one exam between the ages of 3 and 5. Ideally school aged children should be examined every year, especially if you are noticing any issues with focusing at school.

People with diabetes should have a dilated eye exam every year and people who are at higher risk for glaucoma should have a dilated exam every two years.

If you can’t remember when your last exam was, it is probably a good idea to schedule one!

Pupillary Distance Measurement

There really isn’t anything you can’t get online these days. Groceries, clothes, household supplies. You name it, you can order it. The age of convenience is upon us and boy has it made our lives a little easier.

It may seem like the best idea would be to do most of your shopping online. There are still somethings that it is important to go in person to buy. Eyeglasses would be one of those things. We want to explain why it is so important for you to come to your local eye store for your glasses and contact needs.


This measurement is referring to the distance between the center of each of your pupils. It is important to get this measurement just right so that your eyes are able to focus together.

There are two different ways this type of measurement can be taken.

  1. Binocular PD-one number that represents the measurement of the center of one pupil to the center of the other in millimeters.
  2. Monocular PD-two numbers that represent the measurement of each pupil to the center of the bridge of your nose in millimeters.

If you try to do your own PD measurement at home and this measurement is off, it can cause eye strain, headaches, blurry vision and discomfort. This is a tough measurement to get right, especially on your own. We highly recommend letting a professional do it so that you get the right glasses the first time around.


TriCounty Eye Associates prides itself on the fantastic customer experience you get when you come to one of our offices. We are locally owned and treat all our customers like family.  Our staff aims to provide all eye care needs for our customers, and our service will speak for itself once you come to visit. This is something you cannot get from an online store.


Small businesses can be forgotten when big box stores take over a community. That, along with web based stores that boast convenience, can severely impact the customer base of a small local business. With large chain eye care stores you are going to miss out on the specialized customer experience of being taken care of people who know you. Consumers like you can have a direct effect on the locally owned businesses around you.

A couple of big reasons to shop local are:

  1. You help stimulate the local economy which has a direct impact on your local businesses.
  2. You inadvertently help local charities because local business owners tend to donate more to local charities.
  3. It will add jobs to the local community. As one small business grows, they are going to need more help.
  4. More small businesses mean there are more choices for you, the consumer as well as lower prices.
  5. You matter more. Like we were saying earlier, we treat our customers like family.

Here at TriCounty Eye Associates, we want to make sure you get the best eye care possible. We can assure you will get that with us because we will provide you with accurate pupillary distance measurements and the best possible customer experience. YOU will get the satisfaction of knowing you are supporting your locally owned businesses and supporting your local community.

How Important is Sleep?

Sleep has been proven to be a huge factor in keeping your body healthy overall. We are sure you are all aware by now that we here at TriCounty Eye Associates are very concerned with keeping our customer’s eyes healthy. It turns out that, most of the same recommendations for a healthy lifestyle are also recommendations for keeping your eyes healthy and happy! Today, we wanted to dive a little deeper into the connection between your vision and your sleep habits.

How much sleep do you need?

It is recommended that the average adult needs 7 to 8 hours of good sleep to give your body enough time to recover each night.

If you are not getting enough sleep, indicators in your eye health could be…

  • Dry eyes
  • Itchy eyes
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Bags under your eyes Eye twitches/spasms Light sensitivity
  • Blurry vision

If you have any of these symptoms above, it could be an indicator that you need to get more sleep.

Sleep Apnea and Glaucoma

While there are normal everyday stressors that can keep you from getting a good nights sleep, there are also some outside forces that can affect your vision. According to the national counsel on aging approximately 39 million adults in America suffer from sleep apnea.

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that can cause you to stop breathing during your sleep. Glaucoma is an eye disease that can lead to loss of vision.

There have been studies done that link glaucoma with sleep apnea. During your routine eye exam with us here at Tricounty Eye Associates, your doctor could be able to spot signs of sleep apnea due to changes in eyelids, retina or vision. This is another great reason to get regular exams, so your doctor has comparisons from year to year.

Tips for a better night’s sleep and lasting vision health

It can be hard to wind down after long day of work and family pressures. If you find yourself having trouble getting the recommended amount of sleep and consequently developing some eye symptoms, try these:

  • Turn off all electronics 30 minutes prior to your selected bedtime.
  • Unwind by reading, listening to music or meditating.
  • Create a dark, cool comfortable environment in your bedroom.
  • Set a bedtime and stick to it.

Never forget, Tricounty Eye Associates are here for you through every step of your eye health journey. Always check back here for more tips on spotting potential issues in the future. Don’t forget to schedule your yearly exam for yourself and your loved ones!

Prism Correction

On our blog, we have covered diplopia before, also known as double vision. This occurs when someone sees two images of one object. Prism correction can help to align the two images so that a person only sees one image.

The reason some people have double vision, is because the light coming into the eye and hitting the retina is falling on different parts of the retina in each eye. In order to see one image, light would need to fall in the same place on the retina in each eye.

How Does Prism Glasses Fix Diplopia?

Prism glasses are incredibly cool and can fix someone’s vision if they are seeing double. The prism added to the glasses bends the light before it travels through the eye. It redirects the light to the right place on the retina in each eye which then triggers the brain to fuse the two images together to make one picture.

Can Prism Glasses Fix All Double Vision?

The short answer is no. The long answer is that there are a number of double vision causes that prism glasses can fix:

  • Eye muscle problems
  • Brain related issues
  • Nerve related problems

Unfortunately though, there are some causes that prism glasses cannot help to correct. Double vision can be a sign of a seiours health condition. It is so important to make sure to seek professional care if you are suffering from double vision. Especially if your double vision:

  • Happens for unknown reasons
  • Is a new development
  • is caused by eye misalignment

How do you know if you need Prism in your glasses?

Like most eye correction methods, your eye doctor will determine whether you will benefit from prism being added to your glasses. There are a few different tests that can be performed if your eye doctor decides they are necessary.

  • Hirschberg Test – In this test a pen light is aimed at the eyes, and the lights reflection should appear in the center of the pupil in each eye. If the reflection is off center in either eye, there may be an alignment issue.
  • Krimsky Test – This test is used to find the severity of a misalignment that has been identified. This test uses a pen light as well with the addition of prisms of different strengths. The different prisms are placed in front of the eye, and when a prism brings the reflection in each eye to the center, the correct prism measurement has been found.
  • Cover Test – There are three different types of cover tests. The cover/uncover test, the prism and alternate cover test, and the Maddox rod test. Each of these tests will help your eye doctor to determine what type of double vision you have.

Prism Correction in eyeglasses can help to correct diplopia, or double vision. Be sure to always bring up any eye issues with your eye doctor in your normal ey exams. This will help your eye doctor to decide the best course of action to diagnose and correct any vision problems you are having!

Eye Pressure

Something that doesn’t get a lot of attention is eye pressure, or Intraocular Pressure. This little discussed topic is actually an incredibly important part of your eye health.

Intraocular (eye) Pressure is the pressure inside your eyes. It is the measurement of fluid pressure in your aqueous humor. There is a certain amount of pressure that your eyes need in order for them to work and be healthy. If your eye pressure is high, it can lead to other eye issues like glaucoma. If left untreated over time, it can cause harm to your vision.

A look at what Eye Pressure is

Eye pressure is an important part of your eyes overall health. Your eyes are filled with fluid. There are two types of fluid in your eye.

  • The vitreous humor in the chamber at the back of your eye.
  • The aqueous humor the fills the area at the front of your eye. The aqueous humor is thinner than the vitreous humor.

Normally, your eyes will know how to regulate this on their own. As your eye makes new aqueous humor, it will remove the same amount.

Measuring Eye Pressure

The best way to get your eye pressure measured is during a regular eye exam. The test used to measure eye pressure is a tonometry test. This test measures the pressure inside of your eye by flattening your cornea. The more force needed to flatten your cornea, the higher your eye pressure is.

The air puff tonometry is the most common type of tonometry. You may have had this done in the past, it’s not particularly fun, but it is so important. If necessary another way to test this would be to numb your eye and press a tool against your cornea.

A normal and healthy amount of eye pressure to have is between 10mmHg and 20mmHg. (millimeters of mercury). Your eye doctor can determine if your eye pressure is normal with one of the two described tests.


There are many different things that can cause high eye pressure. Since your body knows to automatically adjust the pressure in your eye, if this pressure is off that means there is something wrong. Some things that can change your eye pressure faster than your body can regulate it are:

  • Trauma or eye injuries
  • Side effects of medications like corticosteroids
  • A blockage
  • Your eye producing too much aqueous humor

If you have high eye pressure you are risk of developing glaucoma and it can lead to damaging you vision.

Symptoms and Treatment

High eye pressure does not normally cause any kind of symptoms that you would notice in your day to day life. This is another good reason to have regular eye exams regardless of just your eyesight. We have covered many times just how important eye exams can be to your overall health.

High eye pressure isn’t going to cause any symptoms until it’s already damaged your optic nerve enough to affect your vision. You can discuss with your eye doctor at your next visit how often they recommend to get your eye pressure tested.

If you are diagnosed with high eye pressure there are a few different ways to treat it:

  • Laser treatment
  • Surgery
  • Medication like eye drops

Your eye doctor will recommend what they think will be best based of off their findings from your eye pressure test.

Bottom Line

As always we want to reiterate how important regular eye exams are to your overall health. There are a lot of issues that will be identified early if you have regular eye exams. Not only do you have a record of your previous eye health but your eye doctor will notice smaller changes from year to year since they regularly see you.

Your eye health is important and we want to make sure you are well equipped with the knowledge to keep them healthy for as long as possible!


Have you ever heard of keratoconus? We love to bring you information about common eye issues that everyone may face in their lifetime. Every now and then, we like to bring awareness to the lesser know eye issues that not as many people know about.

One that we wanted to bring attention to today is Keratoconus. This eye issue happens in approximately 2,000 people in the United States. It can begin usually in puberty and then progressing into the mid 30s. The condition may take up to 10 years to progress, or even longer.

What is Keratoconus?

This eye condition is when your cornea gets thinner and gradually bulges outward into a cone shape. The Cornea is the clear, dome front of your eye. If your cornea becomes coned shaped, it can cause a lot of issues for your vision.

This condition can affect one eye more than the other eye, so you may need a different prescription in one lens.

Symptoms of Keratoconus

  • Sudden worsening or clouding of vision
  • Blurred or distorted vision
  • Frequent changes in eyeglass prescriptions
  • Increased sensitivity to bright light and glare

What Causes Keratoconus?

There are not any known causes for keratoconus. It is thought that there are genetic and environment factors that can contribute to it. The statistics go up if your parent has the condition.

Things that can increase your chances of developing keratoconus:

  • Rubbing your eyes vigorously.
  • Having other conditions like retinitis pigments, Down syndrome, Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, Marfan syndrome, hay fever and asthma.
  • Having a family history of keratoconus.


Depending on the severity of the condition the treatment can range from prescription eye glasses to surgery.

In the early stages, the vision problems can be corrected with glasses or soft contact lenses. If the condition develops, you may need to be fitted with rigid, gas permeable contact lenses or other types of lenses like scleral lenses. If the condition continues to progress and get worse, you may need a cornea transplant.

There is a procedure called corneal collagen cross-linking that may stop or slow the progression of keratoconus, if caught early enough. This could also prevent the need for a future cornea transplant.

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