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Are Contact Lenses Safe For Young Children?

Here’s a question we often get at our practice: ‘Is my child too young for contact lenses?’ This is an important question, and the answer may surprise you. 

For children with myopia (nearsightedness), contact lenses can be a convenient method of vision correction. It allows kids to go about their day without having to worry about breaking or misplacing their glasses, and enables them to freely participate in sports and other physical activities. 

Some children and young teens may ask their parents for contact lenses because they feel self-conscious wearing glasses. Contact lenses may even provide children with the confidence boost they need to come out of their shell. Moreover, these days, it is very popular for children to wear single-use one-day disposable soft contacts, since there is no cleaning or maintenance involved. 

Some parents may deny their child’s request for contacts due to concerns about eye health and safety. There’s no reason to worry: contact lenses are just as safe for children as they are for anyone else. 

At Advanced Eyecare Center, we provide children, teens, and patients of all ages with a wide variety of contact lenses. If you’re concerned about the safety of contacts for your child, we’ll be happy to explain and explore ways to ensure maximum safety, optimal eye health and comfort. To learn more or to schedule a pediatric eye exam for contact lenses, contact us today. 

What Are the Risks of Having My Child Wear Contact Lenses?

A study published in the January 2021 issue of The Journal of Ophthalmic & Physiological Optics found that kids aren’t at a higher risk of experiencing contact lens complications. 

The study followed nearly 1000 children aged 8-16 over the course of 1.5-3 years to determine how contact lenses affected their eye health. 

The results indicate that age doesn’t have an effect on contact lens safety. In fact, the researchers found that the risk of developing infections or other adverse reactions was less than 1% per year of wear — which is comparable to contact lens wearers of other ages.

But before you decide that contact lenses are right for your child, you may want to consider whether your child is ready to wear them. During his or her eye doctor’s appointment, the optometrist may ask about your child’s level of maturity, responsibility, and personal hygiene. Since many children are highly motivated to wear contacts, they tend to display real maturity in caring for their lenses. That said, in the initial stages, parents may need to play an active role, as their child gets used to inserting and removing the new contact lenses.  

It’s important to note that just as with any other medical device, contact lenses are not risk-free. Anyone who wears contact lenses has a chance of developing eye infections or other complications with contact lenses. However, when worn and cared for according to your eye doctor’s instructions, contact lenses are low-risk and perfectly safe for children and teenagers.

So, go ahead and bring your child in for a contact lens consultation! We’ll help determine if your child is ready for contacts and answer any questions you or your child may have. To schedule your child’s contact lens fitting or eye exam, contact Advanced Eyecare Center in Manhattan Beach today.  

The Importance of Eye Exams for Contact Lenses

Are you planning on wearing contact lenses for the first time? Do you need a new contact lens prescription? Are your current contacts not as comfortable as you wish they were? Your eye doctor will perform a contact lens eye exam to ensure that your vision with contacts is clear, comfortable, and safe, providing you with the right lenses for you.

What is a contact lens exam?

If you wear or want to wear contact lenses, you’ll need an eye exam for contact lenses, in addition to your regular comprehensive eye exam. Special tests are performed during a contact lens exam to evaluate your eyes and vision with contacts.

Are eyeglass prescriptions the same as contact lens prescriptions?

No, a prescription for glasses cannot be used for contact lenses. An eyeglass prescription is for lenses that are positioned approximately 12 millimeters from your eyes, whereas a contact lens prescription is measured for lenses that sit directly on the surface of your eye.

The prescription for contact lenses also includes the brand, lens diameter and curvature, which are not part of an eyeglass prescription.

Contact lenses fitting: One size does not fit all

One contact lens size doesn’t fit all eyes. If a contact lens is too flat or too steep for your corneal shape, you may experience discomfort or even eye damage. Your eye doctor will take certain measurements to determine the best contact lens design and fit for your eyes.

Corneal curvature

This measures the curvature of your eye’s clear front surface (cornea) so the eye doctor can select the optimal curve and diameter for your contact lenses. If your eye’s surface is somewhat irregular because of astigmatism or other conditions, you may require a special lens.

Pupil and iris size

The size of your pupil and iris (the colored part of your eye) is also important in determining the best contact lens design.

Tear film evaluation

This test evaluates the quality of your tears, to determine whether they will be able to keep contact lenses and your cornea sufficiently hydrated throughout the day. If you have dry eye disease, standard contact lenses may not be right for you.

Trial lenses

Following the eye exam, you will be provided with trial lenses to verify that the chosen contact lenses offer clear and comfortable vision. This will allow the eye doctor to make any fine adjustments to the prescription.

Contact Lens Eye Exam Near You

Wearing the correct contact lenses for your eyes allows you to enjoy all of the benefits of wearing contacts, while keeping your eyes healthy and comfortable.

If you’re already a contact lens wearer, visit your eye doctor at least once a year to make sure the lenses are still providing you with optimum vision and comfort.

Contact Advanced Eyecare Center in Manhattan Beach to book your contact lens eye exam today!

Why Does Your Eye Doctor Dilate Your Pupils for an Eye Exam?

If you’ve been following the guideline to have regular eye exams, then you’re probably familiar with having your pupils dilated. Why does your eye doctor do this?

By dilating your pupils, the eye doctor can get a better view of your inner eye structures – so the eye exam is more comprehensive and more detailed. While the back of your eye can be seen through an undilated pupil, it cannot be examined as fully.

A full evaluation of your macula, retina and optic nerve is possible through dilated pupils. In many common eye diseases, such as macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma, these are the parts of the eye that exhibit signs of a problem. Also, health conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes can often be detected on these parts of the eye.

What happens when the eye doctor dilates your pupils?

Your eye doctor or a technician will insert eye drops into your eyes; it takes 20 – 30 minutes for them to take full effect. Then, your eye doctor will use a lighted microscope to inspect your eyes.

Initially, you may feel a slight stinging when the drops are first inserted, but the discomfort is typically minor and short-lived. For a few hours afterwards, your eyes will be extra-sensitive to light and vision may be slightly blurred. Wearing sunglasses can help manage this sensitivity. Dilation usually wears off within four to six hours.

Even though getting your pupils dilated for an eye exam may feel like a nuisance, it enables your eye doctor to check your ocular health and overall body health with much more accuracy. So the benefits are clear! Contact an expert eye doctor near you to schedule an eye exam.

At Advanced Eyecare Center, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 310-620-1345 or book an appointment online to see one of our Manhattan Beach eye doctors.

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Your Eyes Are the Windows to Your Health

Your eyes aren’t just the windows to your soul — they can also reveal valuable information about your general health beyond whether you need glasses, including: diabetes, heart disease, and even cancer. It is not unusual for people to come in for an eye exam just to check their eyesight and then have certain health issues or predispositions picked up by the optometrist.

Eye Exams and Your Health

Eye examinations can help doctors detect general health conditions early enough to intervene. Advanced screenings enable eye doctors to better predict cardiovascular incidents like stroke, and possibly detect signs of mental changes such as Alzheimer’s. Read below to learn how eye exams can unveil a whole lot more than just eye health.

Brain Cancer & Stroke

Because of the similarities between the blood vessels in the eye and brain, an eye doctor can occasionally detect an issue taking place in the brain by examining the blood vessels in the eyes. If swelling or shadows in the eye is observed, it may indicate a serious condition in the brain, like a tumor, or clots that might result in a stroke.

Diabetes

Diabetes can cause damage to the blood vessels in the retina at the back of the eye, resulting in Diabetic Retinopathy (DR) and Diabetic Macular Edema (DME). If an optometrist detects leaky blood vessels in the eye, the patient would be advised to see a doctor to help control their blood sugar. Changes are gradual, and they start before visual symptoms are noticed. The earlier diabetic eye disease is managed, the better the chances are of preserving eyesight.

Hypertension

High blood pressure, characterized by having too much pressure in the blood vessels, can be detected during an eye exam, sometimes even before it’s diagnosed by your regular doctor. The damaged blood vessels lead to swelling, hemorrhages, and leaking — all of which can be observed in the eyes. According to the CDC, hypertension “the silent killer” affects nearly 1 in 3 adults, and up to a whopping 20% of those don’t even know they have it. So early detection at an eye doctor’s evaluation can be truly life-saving.

High Cholesterol

Eye exams can also detect a buildup of cholesterol. High cholesterol is among the easiest conditions to spot during a complete eye exam, as the cholesterol deposits manifest on the front of the eye, appearing as a thin, gray rim around the cornea. It can also be detected in the retina by assessing artery and vein patterns.

These deposits may indicate the current or future development of Retinal Blood Vessel Occlusion, a condition where blockages restrict blood flow to the back of the eye, causing temporary or permanent vision loss.

Heart Conditions

In some cases, heart conditions associated with a buildup of plaque in the carotid artery in the heart can also lead to deposits that clog the ocular arteries in the eye. If an optometrist detects such changes to the vascular structure at the back of the eye, he or she will typically recommend going to a specialist.

Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

Sudden vision loss may be attributed to Multiple Sclerosis (MS). While the optometrist can recognize signs indicating the presence of MS, such as the color and appearance of the optic nerve, such cases will be referred for further testing to confirm the diagnosis.

Thyroid

Thyroid disease can make itself apparent through the eyes in several ways. The thyroid gland controls the hormones that regulate tear production so some thyroid disorders can cause dry eye disease. Additionally, overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism) can make the extraocular muscles enlarge and stiffen, causing bulging eyes — an indicator of Graves’ disease.

Inflammation

Systemic conditions that are associated with inflammation in the body can have an inflammatory effect on the eyes. Uveitis, for example, causes eye inflammation, redness, and blurred vision, and tends to occur in people with lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and other autoimmune diseases.

Cancer

Breast cancer, leukemia, and other metastatic cancers are occasionally discovered during an eye evaluation. In addition to brain cancer mentioned above, melanoma and basal cell carcinoma (skin cancer) can be detected, and eye doctors can also diagnose lymphoma and other eye tumors. Eye exams save lives.

What the Future Holds

Alzheimer’s

Recent studies show that a non-invasive and precise imaging device called Octa (optical coherence tomography angiography) can signal the presence of eye changes associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Because the retina is in many ways an extension of the brain, the altered blood vessels at the back of the eye offer a glimpse into the changes taking place within the brain.

Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s Disease can often be misdiagnosed as its early symptoms are characteristic of other conditions. Research has shown that subtle eye tremors, an early Parkinson’s marker, could be detectable using advanced eye exam technology. One day soon, practitioners may send patients to an eye doctor to test for this and other diseases.

Your Eye Doctor’s Appointment Could Change Your Life

So the next time you visit Dr. Hansen at Advanced Eyecare Center in Manhattan Beach, remember that a comprehensive eye exam can do more than determine your eyeglasses or contacts prescription. Dr. Hansen can evaluate your eyes for existing or potential health issues, and communicate them to your primary care physician for the best possible care. By knowing that you’re at risk for a certain disease, you can take precautions early on and manage the condition as needed. After all, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Why Daily Disposable Contact Lenses Are Your Best Choice

See why single-use dailies are so popular!

Contact lenses are the go-to type of vision correction for many people nowadays. You can enjoy sharp, natural vision – free of bothersome glasses! With ultimate comfort, clarity, and convenience – what’s there not to love about daily contact lenses? At Advanced Eyecare Center, our eye doctors fit many patients with contact lenses in our eye care centers in Manhattan Beach and Redondo Beach, California, and we highly recommend daily disposable contact lenses as the best choice for most people.

Types of contact lenses

Daily disposable contact lenses are not to be confused with “daily wear” lenses, which must be removed and cleaned before sleeping. Daily wear lenses can be replaced weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly, depending on the brand. In contrast, a new pair of convenient daily disposable contact lenses are inserted every morning and thrown away every night before bedtime.

In addition to disposable dailies and daily-wear lenses, there are quite a few types of contacts available, such as rigid gas permeable contacts and extended wear contacts. With these types, a variety of materials are used and you need to follow the replacement schedule instructed by your eye doctor.

Daily contact lenses optimize eye health

Even with so many different brands and types of lenses on the market, daily disposable contact lenses, also known as dailies, are often the healthiest, best option. They are considered the most hygienic option because you toss them nightly, with no need to disinfect or store them in special solutions. Each morning, you simply insert a fresh pair.

Because you restart your vision every day with a new pair of contacts, there’s no time for deposits or debris to accumulate on your lenses. Natural eye substances, such as calcium, lipids, and proteins can build up on contacts that you wear for longer periods. Airborne allergens can also stick to contacts, causing itchiness and swelling. Even with nightly cleaning, these deposits can lead to irritation and infection.

Dailies give top convenience

Gone are the days of removing your lenses, rubbing and rinsing them nightly. When you’re tired and can’t wait to get to bed, nothing beats simply removing your contacts and throwing them in the garbage. Also, they’re ideal for traveling – no need to pack bulky bottles of contact lens solution.

Cost of daily contact lenses

In recent years, contact lens manufacturers have developed new methods and materials, such as silicone hydrogel, for crafting high-quality dailies at a lower cost. This has brought down the price of daily disposable contacts significantly, making them a very affordable option. Also, even if daily contact lenses cost more than other types, such as monthlies, the higher price is offset by the fact you don’t need to buy any lens care products. At the end of the day, many people find they spend more money on their morning java than on their dailies.

Dailies come in many prescriptions

Once upon a time, daily contact lenses were only available for a narrow range of vision prescriptions. But now, they are made in most prescriptions, including toric daily lenses to correct astigmatism, multifocal designs to correct presbyopia, and even in colored lenses.

Are daily contact lenses best for you?

Visit our eye doctor in Manhattan Beach and Redondo Beach, California, to find out more about daily disposables and how they can be the best choice of vision correction for your eyes and your lifestyle!

At Advanced Eyecare Center, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 310-620-1345 or book an appointment online to see one of our Manhattan Beach eye doctors.

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Good Blue Light vs. Bad Blue Light

Learn the pros and cons of blue light

Blue light can boost your energy and improve your memory during the daytime. However, too much of it can also disrupt your sleep pattern and damage your eye health. Blue light has many benefits and potential risks. How can you make the most of it, while keeping your eyes safe and healthy? Our eye doctors in Manhattan Beach and Redondo Beach, California, explain.

Where is blue light?

You are bombarded with blue light every time you step outdoors on a sunny day, switch on a light indoors, and turn on your computer, phone, or any digital gadget. Basically, blue light is everywhere – emitted in significant quantities by the display screens of all electronic devices. While the amount of blue light given off by digital screens is tiny compared to that emitted by the sun, people nowadays spend hours of each day using their devices and holding them very close to their face. As a result, many eye doctors are justifiably concerned about the long-term effects of this overexposure to blue light on visual health.

What is blue light?

Natural sunlight contains the whole spectrum of colored light wavelengths. On the spectrum of visible light, there are short wavelengths that are high energy and long wavelengths that have less energy. Blue light, also called blue-violet light, has the shortest wavelength and the highest energy of all, and it makes up about one-third of all visible light. (Once you go beyond the spectrum of visible light, there is ultraviolet (UV) radiation, invisible electromagnetic rays.)

Can the eye block blue light?

While the adult eye can naturally and effectively block many UV rays from reaching the retina at the back of the eyeball (And sunglasses with UVA and UVB protection are a great solution to block 100% of all UV light!), your eye cannot block blue light. Virtually all blue light makes it through the cornea and lens to reach the retina.

Why is blue light so bad for long-term eye health?

  • Studies have shown that blue light exposure may raise your risk of macular degeneration, because it reaches the retina and can damage these light-sensitive cells.
  • Blue light scatters easily, reducing visual contrast and exacerbating the symptoms of digital eye strain, causing symptoms such as headaches, eye fatigue, and blurry vision. Computer glasses with yellow-tinted lenses and a special blue light filter can help with this problem.
  • If you’ve had cataract surgery, more blue light can get through the artificial intraocular lens that replaced your natural lens, making you even more susceptible to the hazards of blue light.

When is blue light good for you?

The tricky part of blue light is that blocking it entirely also isn’t wise! Some blue light exposure is necessary to promote a strong memory, daytime alertness and energy, and a good mood. In fact, blue light is often used to treat a type of depression called SAD (seasonal affective disorder), which is related to changes in seasons. Before the sun sets each night, exposure to natural blue light also helps to regulate your healthy circadian rhythm, the body’s natural wake-sleep cycles. (That’s why too much artificial blue light late at night can disrupt sleep and lead to insomnia.) In sum, you need blue light in your life.

How can you protect your health from bad blue light?

Filters for digital devices are available to block blue light from reaching your eyes. If you use your computer, phone, tablet, or other digital tech constantly, these specialized filters and/or computer glasses may be a good investment. For personalized tips on how to stay safe from blue light, consult our eye doctors in Manhattan Beach and Redondo Beach, California.

At Advanced Eyecare Center, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 310-620-1345 or book an appointment online to see one of our Manhattan Beach eye doctors.

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3 Ways Diabetes Can Affect Your Vision and Eyes

Did you know that people with diabetes are 20 times more likely to get eye diseases than those without it? There are three major eye conditions that diabetics are at risk for developing: cataracts, glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy. To prevent these sight-threatening diseases, it’s important to control your blood sugar level and have your eyes checked at least once a year by an eye doctor.

But First, What Is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a disease that is associated with high blood glucose levels. Insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas, helps our cells get energy from the sugars we eat. Diabetes develops when the body doesn’t produce or respond to insulin effectively, leaving too much sugar in the blood stream instead. Over time, diabetes can lead to potentially irreversible ocular damage and poor eyesight. However, by taking care of your blood sugar levels and your eyes, you can prevent vision loss.

Annual eye exams are recommended for everyone, but routine screenings are even more important for diabetics. Eye doctors may send diabetic eye health reports to a patient’s primary care physician or internist to adjust medication as needed to prevent complications.

What’s the Link Between Vision and Diabetes?

Blurred vision or fluctuating eyesight clarity is often one of the first noticeable signs that diabetes has begun to affect your eyes. Sometimes, fluid leaking into the eye causes the lens to swell and change shape. This, in turn, makes it difficult for the eyes to focus, resulting in fuzzy vision. Such symptoms can indicate that an eye disease is developing, or may simply be due to imbalanced blood sugar levels which can be rectified by getting your blood sugar back to healthy levels.

If you start to notice blurry vision, make an appointment with Dr. Hansen as soon as possible.

The 3 Ways Diabetes Impacts Vision

Cataracts

While cataracts are extremely common and a part of the natural aging process, those with diabetes tend to develop cataracts earlier in life. Characterized by a clouding or fogging of the lens within the eye, cataracts impede light from entering the eye, causing blurred vision and glares. The best treatment is cataract surgery, which is very safe and effective.

Glaucoma

Glaucoma refers to a group of eye diseases characterized by optic nerve damage. Since it tends to impact peripheral vision first, glaucoma often goes unnoticed until significant damage has occurred. However, routine glaucoma screenings can detect warning signs; early treatment can prevent disease progression and vision loss.

Although there is no true cure for glaucoma, most glaucoma patients successfully manage it with special eye drops, medication, and on occasion, laser treatment or other surgery. The earlier glaucoma is diagnosed and managed, the better the outcome.

Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy occurs when the small blood vessels on your retina (capillaries) become weakened and then balloon (microaneurysm) due to poorly controlled blood sugar levels. The resulting poor blood circulation in the back of the eye causes more abnormal blood vessels to grow, which also bleed or leak fluid, and can lead to scar tissue, retinal detachment and even blindness, over time.

Often there are no symptoms until the advanced stages of diabetic retinopathy, where patients may begin to see spots and missing patches in their vision. Retinopathy can be treated through surgery and eye injections, but the best way to prevent this disease from progressing is to regularly have your eyes screened.

The good news is that diabetic eye disease can often be prevented with early detection, proper management of your diabetes and regular diabetic eye exams. Contact Advanced Eyecare Center in Manhattan Beach to set up your eye doctor’s appointment today.

Dry Eyes & Light Sensitivity

Are you photophobic? Dry eye treatment can help

Chronic dry eyes are usually accompanied by burning, redness, grittiness, and hypersensitivity to light. This condition, called photophobia, doesn’t always occur with dry eyes – but it isn’t a rare symptom either. Many patients who visit our eye care centers in Manhattan Beach and Redondo Beach, California, complain about light sensitivity when they suffer from dry eye syndrome.

What is photophobia?

Although the word photophobia technically means “fear of light,” this condition is really a sensitivity or intolerance to light that can cause uncomfortable or painful symptoms, including migraine-like headaches. The type of light is irrelevant, people can be bothered by sunlight, fluorescent, and incandescent light all the same.

Light sensitivity is not a disease. It is a symptom of another condition that can irritate the eyes, such as dry eye syndrome.

What’s the connection between dry eyes and photophobia?

A dry ocular surface has irregularities that scatter the light entering the eye, which may be a reason for the development of photophobia. Infection and inflammation can cause these corneal irregularities.

While scientists are not entirely sure which area of the brain causes and controls light sensitivity, recent studies also indicate that retinal disorders may be related. That’s another reason why we recommend visiting our eye doctor in Manhattan Beach or Redondo Beach, California – to make sure your photophobia not a sign of a more serious eye problem that requires treatment.

Treatment for photophobia

When photophobia is a symptom of dry eyes, the primary therapy goes to the root of the problem and involves finding the most effective dry eye treatment. Our eye doctor may therefore treat your problem with medicated eye drops, anti-inflammatory medications, drugs to trigger tear production, or even moisturizing eye inserts that release lubrication gradually into your tear film. By treating your dry eyes, we will be able to eliminate your light sensitivity.

Coping with photophobia

One of the best ways to manage this condition is to wear sunglasses! Check out our optical collection in Manhattan Beach and Redondo Beach, California, to pick up a pair of sunglasses to match your style and needs. Sunglasses with polarized lenses can be a good option.

Rose-colored sunglasses are often most useful, because they help to block the blue light that causes the most discomfort when you have light sensitivity. Our eye doctors at Advanced Eyecare Center caution though, don’t wear your sunglasses indoors! Doing this can actually increase your eyes’ sensitivity to light. For the same reason, if you have dry eyes – avoid dimming all of your interior lights. Sometimes, gradually exposing yourself to more light can help improve the symptoms of photophobia.

Dry eyes with light sensitivity? Visit for an eye exam

Both dry eyes and photophobia can be very irritating conditions that reduce your enjoyment of day-to-day life. Sometimes, the pain associated with light sensitivity can become extreme. If you suffer from any symptoms of dry eyes or photophobia, book an eye exam at one of our optometry offices in Manhattan Beach or Redondo Beach, California.


At Advanced Eyecare Center, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 310-620-1345 or book an appointment online to see one of our Manhattan Beach or Redondo Beach eye doctors.

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