Performance Eyecare is the place for children’s glasses

With the kids going back to school, it’s time to bring them in for an eye exam and pick out any necessary eyewear to help him or her succeed this school year.

We understand kids can be picky about what they want to wear, but we’re confident your child will find the perfect pair of glasses at Performance Eyecare.

Here are the five trends in children’s eyewear:

  1. Designers have taken cool and classic designs that work for adults and scaled them down for kids. Don’t be surprised if your child wants eyeglasses that look a lot like yours.
  2. Branded or licensed eyewear lines grab a child’s attention. Fisher-Price, Hush Puppies, Stride Rite, Disney and Marvel Comics appeal to kids of all ages, but especially to very young children. Lines related to extreme sports (X-Games), basketball (Nike, Converse) and other sports are very popular with slightly older kids.
  3. Spring hinges, strong and flexible frame materials and impact-resistant polycarbonate or Trivex lenses all help protect your child’s eyes — as well as your financial investment in his or her eyewear.
  4. Don’t forget about sunglasses for kids. Protecting your child’s eyes from the sun’s harmful UV rays may lower the risk of adult eye problems like cataracts later in life.
  5. Photochromic lenses made of impact-resistant polycarbonate are an excellent choice for kids who spend a lot of time outdoors. Clip-on sunglasses (or newer versions that magnetically attach to eyeglasses) also are good choices.
  6. For the child who is fast becoming a teenager, eyewear fashion is increasingly important. Designer eyeglass frames from Guess?, Calvin Klein and others are very appealing to “tweens.” Also popular are frames branded with apparel and accessories names such as Esprit, Nine West and Banana Republic, as well as celebrity brands like Hilary Duff and Thalia eyewear collections.

Colored contacts could add to your style

Are there benefits to using colored contacts

If you’re looking to create a subtle, bold or anywhere in between look, getting colored contact lenses might be the way to go.

Prescription color contacts can correct your myopia, hyperopia or astigmatism while enhancing or completely changing your eye color. Plano color contacts are worn purely for cosmetic purposes and have no lens power to correct vision.

Color contacts come in three kinds of tints:

Visibility tint. This is usually a light blue or green tint added to the lens, just to help you see it better during insertion and removal or if you drop it. Visibility tints are relatively faint and do not affect your eye color.

Enhancement tint. This is a solid but see-through tint that is a little darker than a visibility tint. This is meant to enhance the natural color of your eyes. This type of tint is usually best for people with light-colored eyes and want to make their eyes more intense.

Opaque tint. This is a non-transparent tint that can change your eye color immediately. If you have dark eyes, you’ll need this type of color contact lens to change your eye color.

So, which color should you choose?

Those with light color eyes should choose an enhancement tint that defines the edges of your iris and deepens your natural color if you’re going for a more subtle look. If you want to experiment with a different eye color while still looking natural, you might want to choose a gray or green contact lens if your natural eye color is blue.

Those with dark eyes should choose opaque colored tints. For a natural-looking change, try a lighter honey brown or hazel colored lens. If you want to really stand out from the crowd, go for contact lenses in vivid colors, such as blue, green or violet.

PeC has the latest trends in performance sunglasses

Performance EyeCare Illinois Sport Sunglasses

The interest in performance-oriented sunglasses has surged in recent years, as well as outdoor activities such as mountain biking, snowboarding, rock climbing, kayaking, skiing, golfing and in-line skating.

The boom in outdoor sports activities like mountain biking, snowboarding, rock climbing, kayaking, skiing, golfing and in-line skating has also created a demand for sports- and performance-oriented sunglasses.

These special-purpose sunglasses are designed to be exceptionally light and comfortable, able to withstand extreme conditions and stay comfortably in place during any activity.

Lenses

Perhaps the most important aspect of effective sports sunwear is the optical quality and visual enhancement properties of the lenses. In particular, sports and performance lenses are available in a wide variety of tints to modify light in certain ways to enhance contrast. This allows you to see certain objects (a tennis ball, for example) with greater clarity to enhance your reaction time.

Polycarbonate lenses are the lens of choice for most sport sunglasses because they are lightweight, super strong and more impact-resistant than lenses made of other materials.

Polarized lenses are also in demand, because they reduce glare from light reflecting off flat surfaces such as water or a field of snow. There is, however, some debate about the advisability of polarized lenses for sports like downhill and mogul skiing, since seeing sunlight reflecting from icy patches on the slopes is often beneficial.

Frames

The frames for performance and sport sunglasses are made of lightweight and durable materials such as polyamide, which keeps its shape even under stress. Styles are typically aerodynamic, with sleek lines. No-slip temple grips and nose pads are popular features to help keep the eyewear in place despite wearer perspiration during the heat of competition.

What’s your sport?

Each sport has its own unique visual requirements, which has led to the development of sport-specific sunglasses. Frames and lenses are now available that are targeted specifically to the golfer, the cyclist, the boater, the rock climber and so on.

For example, a certain lens tint might help a golfer notice subtle changes in the direction of the blades of grass on a green that could affect the line of their putt, while a completely different tint might be better to help a hunter see the contrast of a flying bird against an overcast sky.

If you prefer to be a Jack (or Jill) of all sports, there are also multipurpose sports sunglasses that feature interchangeable lenses with different tints for different sports and lighting conditions.

For more information on prescription sunglasses, visit your local Performance Eyecare location!

Eyeglass Fashion For Teens

portrait of a teenage girl wearing eyeglasses

We understand that teenagers can have extremely picky taste when it comes to anything, but especially when it involves fashion.

Here are five tips to help you look fabulous in your new eyeglasses:

Tip 1: Eyeglass frames should complement your face shape, features and coloring

If your face is angular or square, round and oval frames look best. The opposite is also true: if your face is round or oval, you’ll look good in square and angular frames. Also, if the top of your face is wider than the bottom (often called heart-shaped), select a frame with a dramatic (wider, heavier, etc.) bottom edge to even out your face. Of course, if your face is wider on the bottom, choose a frame with a dramatic top edge.

The frame color should complement your coloring, including skin tone (warm or cool), skin color (ranging from fair to dark) and hair color.

Still not sure? Take a look at your veins (they’re easy to see in your wrists and feet, usually): if they seem mostly greenish, you have warm skin, while mostly blue veins mean you have cool skin.

Colors that look nice with warm skin include browns, most metals and colors like turquoise.

Those who are light in skin and hair coloring (ivory skin and blonde hair, for example) look nice with faint-colored frames. Those with medium coloring look nice with light-colored metals and browns. Those with dark coloring look nice is most metallic frames.

Tip 2: Frames must fit you properly to work right and look good

Frames that are too large can cause visual distortion and glare. If it’s too small, you limit your peripheral vision.

Frames shouldn’t be wider than the widest part of your face, with the exception of frames for oval faces. The top of the frames should not be above the eyebrow line and the bottom shouldn’t touch your cheeks. They should also be comfortable around your ears.

Tip 3: They should match your lifestyle

Take into account your life. That means your life on Saturday night, your life at church, your life at grandma’s house and more. What is your overall style? Choose something that pairs well with your typical style whether it’s dressy of jeans and T-shirts.

Tip 4: Certain prescriptions work better with certain frames

Eyeglass lenses that correct nearsightedness are thicker along the edges than in the middle. The opposite is true for farsightedness. Some frames are incompatible with lens edges that are particularly thick or thin.

Tip 5: Construction varies

Generally you can choose eyeglass frames in plastic, metal or a combination of both. Metal frame usually last longer and most have adjustable nose pads, which work well for those with noses too small or large for plastic frames.

You should take into account the kind of jewelry you like to wear as well. If you wear a lot of gold, you might not want silver frames.

At Performance Eyecare, we carry over 700 pairs of high quality and designer eyeglasses and sunglasses. We have eyeglasses of all price ranges, including high end fashion frames made from the latest materials.

Performance Eyecare carries contacts for ‘hard-to-fit’ eyes

eye doctor in Swansea IL & St. Louis

Not everyone is an ideal candidate for contact lenses. If you have one or more of the following conditions, contact lens wear may be more difficult:

  • astigmatism
  • dry eyes
  • presbyopia
  • giant papillary conjunctivitis (GPC)
  • keratoconus
  • post-refractive surgery (such as LASIK)

But “difficult” doesn’t mean impossible. Often, people with these conditions can wear contacts quite successfully. Let’s take a closer look at each situation – and possible contact lens solutions.

Contact lenses for astigmatism

Astigmatism is a very common condition where the curvature of the front of the eye isn’t round, but is instead shaped more like a football or an egg. This means one curve is steeper or flatter than the curve 90 degrees away. Astigmatism won’t keep you from wearing contact lenses – it just means you need a different kind of lens.

Lenses specially designed to correct astigmatism are called “toric” lenses. Most toric lenses are soft lenses. Toric soft lenses have different corrective powers in different lens meridians, and design elements to keep the lens from rotating on the eye (so the varying corrective powers are aligned properly in front of the different meridians of the cornea).

In some cases, toric soft lenses may rotate too much on the eye, causing blur. If this happens, different brands that have different anti-rotation designs can be tried. If soft lens rotation continues to be a problem, gas permeable (GP) lenses (with or without a toric design) can also correct astigmatism.

Dry eyes can make contact lens wear difficult and cause a number of symptoms, including:

  • a gritty, dry feeling
  • feeling as if something is in your eye
  • a burning sensation
  • eye redness (especially later in the day)
  • blurred vision

If you have dry eyes, the first step is to treat the condition. This can be done a number of ways, including artificial tears, medicated eye drops, nutritional supplements, and a doctor-performed procedure called punctal occlusion to close ducts in your eyelids that drain tears away from your eyes.

Once the dry eye condition is treated and symptoms are reduced or eliminated, contact lenses can be tried. Certain soft contact lens materials work better than others for dry eyes. Also, GP lenses are sometimes better than soft lenses if there’s a concern about dry eyes since these lenses don’t dry out the way soft lenses can.

Replacing your contacts more frequently and reducing your wearing time each day (or removing them for specific tasks, such as computer work) can also reduce dry eye symptoms when wearing contacts.

Contact lenses for giant papillary conjunctivitis (GPC)

Giant papillary conjunctivitis (GPC) is an inflammatory reaction on the inner surface of the eyelids. One cause of GPC is protein deposits on soft contact lenses. (These deposits are from components of your tear film that stick to your lenses and become chemically altered.)

Usually, changing to a one-day disposable soft lens will solve this problem, since you just throw these lenses away at the end of the day before protein deposits can accumulate on them. Gas permeable lenses are also often a good solution, as protein deposits don’t adhere as easily to GP lenses, and lens deposits on GP lenses are more easily removed with daily cleaning.

In some cases of GPC, a medicated eye drop may be required to reduce the inflammation before you can resume wearing contact lenses.

Contact lenses for presbyopia

Presbyopia is the normal loss of focusing ability up close when you reach your 40s.

Today, there are many designs of bifocal and multifocal contact lenses to correct presbyopia. Another option for presbyopia is monovision. This is wearing a contact lens in one eye for distance vision and a lens in the other eye that has a modified power for near vision.

During your contact lens fitting we can help you decide whether bifocal/multifocal contact lenses or monovision is best for you.

Contact lenses for keratoconus

Keratoconus is a relatively uncommon eye condition where the cornea becomes thinner and bulges forward. The term “keratoconus” comes from the Greek terms for cornea (“kerato”) and cone-shaped (“conus”). The exact cause of keratoconus remains unknown, but it appears that oxidative damage from free radicals plays a role.

Gas permeable contact lenses are the treatment option of choice for mild and moderate keratoconus. Because they are rigid, GP lenses can help contain the shape of the cornea to prevent further bulging of the cornea. They also can correct vision problems caused by keratoconus that cannot be corrected with eyeglasses or soft contacts.

In some cases, a soft contact lens is worn under the GP lens for greater comfort. This technique is called “piggybacking.” Another option for some patients is a hybrid contact lens that has a GP center, surrounded by a soft “skirt”.Contact lenses after corrective eye surgery

More than one million Americans each year have LASIK surgery to correct their eyesight. Sometimes, vision problems remain after surgery that can’t be corrected with eyeglasses or a second surgical procedure. In these cases, gas permeable contact lenses can often restore visual acuity and eliminate problems like glare and halos at night.

GP lenses are also used to correct vision problems after corneal transplant surgery, including irregular astigmatism that cannot be corrected with eyeglasses.

GP lenses prescribed after LASIK and corneal transplants sometimes have a special design called a “reverse geometry” design to better conform to the altered shape of the cornea. The back surface of these lenses is flatter in the center and steeper in the periphery. (This is the opposite of a normal GP lens design, which is steeper in the center and flattens in the periphery.)

Problem-solving contact lens fittings cost more

Fitting contact lenses to correct or treat any of the above conditions will generally take much more time than a regular contact lens fitting. These “hard-to-fit” cases usually require a series of office visits and multiple pairs of trial lenses before the final contact lens prescription can be determined. Also, the lenses required for these conditions are usually more costly than regular soft contact lenses. Therefore, fees for these fittings are higher than fees for regular contact lens fittings. Call our office for details.

Find out if you can wear contact lenses

If you are interested in wearing contact lenses, call our office to schedule a consultation. Even if you’ve been told you’re not a good candidate for contacts because you have one of the above conditions or for some other reason, we may be able to help you wear contact lenses safely and successfully.

Causes Of Eye Allergies

Many allergens (substances that can evoke an allergic response) are in the air, where they come in contact with your eyes and nose. Airborne allergens include pollen, mold, dust and pet dander. Other causes of allergies, such as certain foods or bee stings, do not typically affect the eyes the way airborne allergens do. Adverse reactions to certain cosmetics or drugs such as antibiotic eyedrops also may cause eye allergies.

Similar to processes that occur with other types of allergic responses, the eye may overreact to a substance perceived as harmful even though it may not be. For example, dust that is harmless to most people can cause excessive tear production and mucus in eyes of overly sensitive, allergic individuals. Eye allergies are often hereditary.

Allergies can trigger other problems, such as conjunctivitis (pink eye) and asthma. Most of the more than 22 million Americans who suffer from allergies also have allergic conjunctivitis, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

Allergy signs and symptoms

Common signs of allergies include: red, swollen, tearing or itchy eyes; runny nose; sneezing; coughing; difficulty breathing; itchy nose, mouth or throat, and headache from sinus congestion.

What causes eye allergies?

Many allergens are in the air, where they come in contact with your eyes and nose. Airborne allergens include pollen, mold, dust and pet dander. Other causes of allergies, such as certain foods or bee stings, do not typically affect the eyes the way airborne allergens do. Adverse reactions to certain cosmetics or drugs such as antibiotic eyedrops also may cause eye allergies.

Eye allergy treatment

Avoidance. The most common “treatment” is to avoid what’s causing your eye allergy. Itchy eyes? Keep your home free of pet dander and dust, and stay inside with the air conditioner on when a lot of pollen is in the air. If you have central air conditioning, use a high quality filter that can trap most airborne allergens and replace it frequently.

Medications. If you’re not sure what’s causing your eye allergies, or you’re not having any luck avoiding them, your next step will probably be medication to alleviate the symptoms.

Over-the-counter and prescription medications each have their advantages; for example, over-the-counter products are often less expensive, while prescription ones are often stronger.

Eyedrops are available as simple eye washes, or they may have one or more active ingredients such as antihistamines, decongestants or mast cell stabilizers. Antihistamines relieve many symptoms caused by airborne allergens, such as itchy, watery eyes, runny nose and sneezing.

Decongestants clear up redness. They contain vasoconstrictors, which make the blood vessels in your eyes smaller, lessening the apparent redness. They treat the symptom, not the cause.

In fact, with extended use, the blood vessels can become dependent on the vasoconstrictor to stay small. When you discontinue the eyedrops, the vessels actually get bigger than they were in the first place. This process is called rebound hyperemia, and the result is that your red eyes worsen over time.

Some products have ingredients that act as mast cell stabilizers, which alleviate redness and swelling. Mast cell stabilizers are similar to antihistamines. But while antihistamines are known for their immediate relief, mast cell stabilizers are known for their long-lasting relief.

Other medications used for allergies include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or corticosteroids. In some cases, combinations of medications may be used.

Immunotherapy. You may also benefit from immunotherapy, in which an allergy specialist injects you with small amounts of allergens to help your body gradually build up immunity to them.

Eye allergies and contact lenses

Even if you are generally a successful contact lens wearer, allergy season can make your contacts uncomfortable. Airborne allergens can get on your lenses, causing discomfort. Allergens can also stimulate the excessive production of natural substances in your tears that bind to your contacts, adding to your discomfort and allergy symptoms.

Ask your eye doctor about eyedrops that can help relieve your symptoms and keep your contact lenses clean. Certain drops can discolor or damage contact lenses, so ask your doctor first before trying out a new brand.

Another alternative is daily disposable contact lenses, which are discarded nightly. Because you replace them so frequently, these lenses are unlikely to develop irritating deposits that can build up over time and cause or heighten allergy-related discomfort.

Stylish frames to look younger!

Getting older doesn’t mean you have to settle for the grandma look when it comes to glasses. Take a look at these tips to consider the next time you pair a new set of frames.

As noted by Julyne Derrick of Beauty.About.com, there are many frames and styles that will help you achieve a more youthful look.

Black frames are a classy look that show sophistication and a sense of style. These frames can be oversized but they will still appear flattering. It’s recommended you steer away from excessive jewelry and other accessories to pull off the black frame look.

Want a subtle look when wearing glasses? Try a frameless pair that won’t bring attention to your glasses. They will blend into the face better, as will thin frames. Frameless glasses also let off a sophisticated look.

There’s three things you should consider when you choose glasses. Most of us think about our face shape, but it’s also about hair color and personality. Square frames can balance out a longer face shape and black frames can complement a lighter hair color.

Don’t go alone when you’re shopping for eyeglasses. Always bring a friend who knows your style and can be honest with you. No one wants to buy a pair of frames and later find out they don’t look as flattering as they previously thought.

At Performance Eyecare, we offer designer frames of the highest quality and also affordable name brands such as Lafont, Oakley, Oliver Peoples, Marc Jacobs, Michael Kors, Tom Davies, OGA, Tom Ford, Maui Jim, OGI and many others.

PEC Grows Through the Pandemic, Becoming Largest Independently Owned Provider in the STL Area

While many local businesses have closed their doors since the pandemic began, one St. Louis entrepreneur has used the uncertain times to grow into the largest independently owned eyecare provider in the St. Louis area.

Since March of 2020, Performance Eyecare has expanded from 4 locations to 9 across the St. Louis Metro plus Columbia, MO. Even in the tight labor market, their team has expanded to over 50 members, and has grown from 4 to 12 eye doctors on staff. Gross revenue has increased from $3.6M to a projected $9M this year – and they’re not done growing yet. 

Performance Eyecare founder Dr. Dirk Massie is a St. Louis local who has always seen potential in the Midwest market. “Our community is dominated by big corporate healthcare conglomerates who care more about the quantity of people coming through the door than the quality of service they receive. When it comes to something as important as someone’s ability to see, people deserve to work with a doctor who cares as much as they do.”

“Patient retention is extremely important to our team,” says Dr. Massie. “Our goal isn’t just to get new people in the door – we love to watch our patients grow up, have families, and bring their kids in to see us as well.” 

When asked about the key to their impressive retention rates, he shares, “Our offices are designed to put people totally at ease. From a comfortable, no-puff exam, to kind and knowledgeable doctors, to a welcoming, friendly face greeting you when you walk in the door, we help people actually enjoy their eye doctor experience.”  

Dr. Massie credits his team for the much of the business’ success over the last few years. The staff has thrived under the challenging environment of the pandemic, as well as adapting to the quick growth of the company. “The biggest thing we look for in our hiring process is a positive attitude. We can teach the skills people need to get the job done. But it’s the people who enjoy a fast-paced environment and feeling empowered to make business decisions who really thrive.”

Choosing glasses for style & personality!

Let your choice in eye wear express who you are and showcase your unique individual style.

Performance Eyecare has the perfect glasses to fit your style and personality

We all have different tastes, especially when it comes to style. That’s why it’s important to decide what you want your eyeglasses to say about you first.

As noted by Erinn Morgan of AllAboutVision.com, the first step is to consider the aspects of your life. We all have different aspects to our life, such as work and play, so sometimes it’s best to buy a couple pairs of glasses to suit each aspect.

Eyeglasses for Serious Business

It’s best to wear conservative frame shapes and colors in the business setting. Doing so will help instill trust and confidence with your clients and colleagues.

Some of the best choices are classic shapes such as ovals, rectangles and almonds. You should also choose a traditional color like gold, silver, brown, gray and black. If you choose to wear plastic glasses, stay away from bright colors or unusual shapes.

Eyeglasses That Showcase Your Creativity and Fashion Savvy

Those wanting to show their fashionable and creative tastes should choose modern shapes when picking out their eyeglasses. You have a lot more options than in the business setting so choosing prints, such as animal or flower, can also be an option to accentuate your style.

Eyeglasses for the Modern Baby Boomer or Senior

Many older people tend to choose for a conservative look, but they don’t have to stick with the same outdated one forever.

Certain colors can make you look younger, such as deep browns and burgundy for men and lighter, shinier hues for women.

Eyeglasses for Students

Unusual shapes, bright colors, larger sizes and interesting details are popular among students who are trying to create their own identity and style.

Students shouldn’t be afraid to express themselves in any variety of glasses.

Eyeglasses for the Busy Mom and Dad

Ovals, upswept rectangles and soft cat-eye shapes are functional and look great for the busy mom or dad.  You could choose to amplify the fashion effect of a basic shape with details such as jewelry-like metal accents or recognizable designer logos depending on your style.

Interesting colors such as plum deep red, soft green and black can add a fashion edge to a basic frame.

Adult Sunglasses at Performance Eyecare

Performance Eyecare St. Louis

While summer is winding down, it’s important to continue to protect your eyes with UV-blocking sunglasses, such as ones that you can find at Performance Eyecare.

As noted by GetEyeSmart.org, we often spend more time in the sun during the summer which increases our chances of developing cataracts and growths in the eye, including cancer. This risk also applies to those who go to tanning beds for their bronze look.

Do you remember that brightness when the sun reflected off a fresh snowfall six months ago? Well, that can cause photokeratitis, which is responsible for snow blindness. This same effect can happen when you’re at the beach or a pool as the sun reflects off the sand or water. This is why it’s always important to wear UV-blocking glasses when you’re out in the sun.

A survey conducted by the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), only about half of people who wear sunglasses say they check the UV rating before picking out their pair. The AAO recommends the following:

1. Wear sunglasses labeled as 100% UV protection.

It’s important to wear glasses that protect both UV-A and UV-B rays and are labeled either as UV400 or 100% UV protection.

2. Wear a hat along with your glasses

This is self-explanatory as a hat can help keep the sun away from your eyes. Clouds don’t block UV light, so sunglasses are important to wear even on cloudy days.  And remember that sun rays are strong. So strong they can pass through haze and clouds. Remember: sun damage can happen at any time of year.

3. Stay inside during UV-intense times

The sun’s light is strongest mid-day to early afternoon, at higher altitudes, and when reflected off of water, ice or snow. It’s important to remember this when you leave the house.

As Performance Eyecare, we offer designer frame sunglasses that will not only look stylish on you, but more importantly protect your vision from the sun’s harmful rays.

Performance Eyecare conducts stress-free eye exams

Performance EyeCare STL Eye Examination

We understand the word “exam” can add some unnecessary stress to your life, so we wanted to share with you what a routine comprehensive eye exam usually consists of:

As noted by Gary Heiting, OD, and Jennifer Palombi, OD, the following is what makes up a routine eye exam:

Visual Acuity Test

This measures the sharpness of your vision and it’s usually performed with a projected eye chart to measure the distance visual acuity. It also consists of a small, handheld acuity chart to measure your near vision as well.

Color Blindness Test

This test can check your color vision as well as alert your eye doctor to any possible eye health problems that may affect your color vision.

Cover Test

During this test, your eye doctor will have you focus on a small object across the room and will then cover each of your eyes alternately while you stare at the target. The doctor then assesses whether the uncovered eye must move to pick up the fixation target, which could indicate strabismus or a more subtle binocular vision problem that could cause eye strain or amblyopia, known as “lazy eye.”

Retinoscopy

Your eye doctor may perform this test early in the eye exam to obtain an approximation of your eyeglass prescription.

In retinoscopy, the room lights will be dimmed and you will be given a large target (usually the big “E” on the chart) to fixate on. As you stare at the “E,” your eye doctor will shine a light at your eye and flip lenses in a machine in front of your eyes.

Refraction

During a refraction, the doctor puts the instrument called a phoropter in front of your eyes and shows you a series of lens choices. He or she will then ask you which of the two lenses in each choice looks clearer.

Based on your answers, your eye doctor will continue to fine-tune the lens power until reaching a final eyeglass prescription.

Autorefractors and Aberrometers

An autorefractor, like a manual refraction, determines the lens power required to accurately focus light on your retina. Autorefractors are especially useful in certain cases such as evaluating young children who may not sit still, pay attention or interact with the eye doctor adequately for an accurate manual refraction.

Slit-Lamp Examination

The slit lamp, also called a biomicroscope, allows your eye doctor to get a highly magnified view of the structures of your eye to thoroughly evaluate your eye health and detect any signs of infection or disease.

During this test, your doctor will have you place your chin on the chin rest of the slit lamp and will then shine the lamp’s light at your eye. The doctor looks through a set of oculars (much like a microscope in a science lab) and examines each part of your eye in turn.

He or she will first examine the structures of the front of your eye (lids, cornea, conjunctiva, iris, etc.). Then, with the help of a special high-powered lens, your doctor will view the inside of your eye (retina, optic nerve, macula and more).

The Glaucoma Test

A common glaucoma test is the “puff-of-air” test, technically known as non-contact tonometry, or NCT. (This test was immortalized on the hit TV show Friends, when Rachel couldn’t sit still for it.)

For NCT, the test begins with you putting your chin on the machine’s chin rest. While you look at a light inside the machine, the doctor or a trained assistant will puff a small burst of air at your open eye. It is completely painless, and the tonometer does not touch your eye.

At Performance Eyecare, we do not use the air puff. Instead, our doctors instills an eye drop and determines your eye pressure while looking with the microscope. There is no pain and this method is much more accurate than blowing air into your eye.

Pupil Dilation

To obtain a better view of the eye’s internal structures, your eye doctor instills dilating drops to enlarge your pupils. Dilating drops usually take about 20 to 30 minutes to start working. When your pupils are dilated, you will be sensitive to light (because more light is getting into your eye) and you may notice difficulty focusing on objects up close. These effects can last for up to several hours, depending on the strength of the drop used.

Once the drops have taken effect, your eye doctor will use various instruments to look inside your eyes. You should bring sunglasses with you to your eye exam, to minimize glare and light sensitivity on the way home. If you forget to bring sunglasses, the staff usually will give you a disposable pair.

Visual Field Test

In some cases, your eye doctor may want to check for the possible presence of blind spots (scotomas) in your peripheral or “side” vision by performing a visual field test. These types of blind spots can originate from eye diseases such as glaucoma.

Analysis of blind spots also may help identify specific areas of brain damage caused by a stroke or tumor.

Performance Eyecare has same day contact lenses

Woman holding contact lens to eye

There’s no need to sit around waiting and wondering when your prescription contact lenses are going to be finished. At Performance Eyecare, we have several hundred contact lenses in our office and can routinely fit our contact lens patients the same day. It is not uncommon to hear from our new contact lens patients, “You mean you have MY contact lens prescription here and I can take my contact lenses home today?”

If you’re new to wearing contact lenses, Liz Segre of AllAboutVision.com has some tips to help you with common questions:

Is my contact lens inside out?

The trick is to place the lens on your finger so that a cup is formed. Then hold the lens up directly in front of your eyes so you’re looking at the side of the cup.

If the lens forms a “U” with the top edges flared out, it’s inside out. If it forms just a “U,” it’s in the correct position.

Applying your contact lenses

Make sure you wash your hands thoroughly before applying your contact lenses, but avoid scented or oily soaps that might adhere to the lens surface. Especially avoid using products containing lanolin and moisturizing lotions.

Some eye doctors say to always apply the first contact lens in the same eye, so you’ll avoid the possibility of mixing up lenses for the right eye and left eye.

Other basic guidelines for contact lens application:

  1. Gently shake your lens case containing the storage solution, to loosen the contact lens should it be stuck. (Don’t try pulling at the lens with your finger, or you might damage it.)
  2. Slide the lens out of its case and into the palm of your hand. Rinse thoroughly with the appropriate contact lens solution.
  3. Place the contact lens on the tip of your index or middle finger, which should be dry or mostly dry.
  4. With the fingers and thumb of your other hand, simultaneously pull up on your upper eyelid and down on your lower eyelid.
  5. Position the lens on your eye while looking upward or forward, whichever you find to be easier. You also can apply the contact lens by placing it on the white of the eye closest to your ear.
  6. Gently close your eye, roll your eyes in a complete circle to help the lens settle, and then blink.
  7. Look closely in the mirror to make sure the lens is centered on your eye. If it is, the lens should be comfortable and your vision should be clear.

Removing your contact lenses

Always wash your hands before removing contact lenses. If you are standing in front of a sink, use a clean paper towel to cover the drain where the contact lens might accidentally fall.

To remove soft contact lenses, look upward or sideways while you pull down on your lower eyelid. With a finger, gently maneuver the lens onto the white of your eye. There, you can very gently pinch the lens together with your index finger and thumb and lift it off the eye.

Rigid contact lenses can be removed by holding out the palm of your hand, bending over, and then opening your eye wide. With one finger of your other hand, pull the skin between your upper and lower eyelid (just outside the lateral aspect of your eye) outward toward your ear with your eye wide open. Then blink. The contact lens should pop right out and into your open palm.