Help For Color Deficiencies
A common misconception is that people with color vision deficiencies are “color blind.” There are few, extremely rare conditions that would result in someone not being able to differentiate any colors. Most people who call themselves color blind really have a color vision deficiency.
In the back of the eye is the retina. The retina is what houses the light receptors. There are four different types of light receptors: three of which are responsible for color vision. These three types differ slightly, to be better at absorbing different wavelengths (colors) compared to the others. These different light receptors have a peak wavelength that they respond best to, and they are less capable at absorbing light of wavelength further and further away from that peak. The three types of light receptors’ peak absorption is spread across the different colors of light in such a way that they allow the best differentiating of colors.
In patients with color vision deficiencies, one of those light receptor’s peak absorption is skewed one way or the other compared to most people, and this can result in difficulty in telling apart certain shades colors. Some patients are actually missing one of those light receptors and this too results in trouble discriminating certain hues.
Many people do not realize how common it is to have a color vision deficiency. Males, in particular, are very prone to this problem. 8% of males have a red-green color deficiency (deuteranomalous trichromacy or protanomalous trichromacy). The resultant color vision can vary. Some patients find their color deficiency to be very problematic in their everyday life, while others have gotten used to their color vision.
There is no current technology to totally fix color vision deficiencies to pass a standard color vision test as there is no way to change the peak absorption of a patient’s light receptors, but there are modalities of correction that can be used to help better define different shades of color in a patient's everyday life.
At Sea Eye Care, we now have contact lenses that can be used for these patients. The way they work is the patient wears one contact lens that is colored in such a way that it adjusts the speed and wavelengths the light enters that one eye.
Since the eyes now receive and send the brain the stimuli at slightly skewed times and in slightly different forms, it adds a dynamic to the information. This dynamic helps differentiate different wavelengths of light and although it doesn’t fully fix their perception of color, it can help enhance color perception.
- Dr. James Komornik
Colored Contact Lenses
Have you ever made eye contact with someone and the result was you being left in awe? Some people’s eyes are absolutely stunning. Some people also have a favorite eye color they just wished they had. Some, love the brilliant blue. Others prefer the calming hazel. The problem is, we cannot change the color of our eyes because the color is made from a structure in the eye called the iris. From person to person, the iris has varying levels of pigment. Depending on the amount you have, the color of it will be perceived as varying shades of brown, green, hazel, blue, etc.
Many wish they could change their eye color. Years ago there were a few companies that mass-produced colored contact lenses to allow this wish to become a reality for patients.
Unfortunately, due to a drop-off in the eye color craze, there was a large decrease in the production of these lenses. Many eye care providers do not even mention this option, because they are no longer as readily available. However, at Sea Eye Care there are new technologies to bring this, almost lost art, back!
At Sea Eye Care our doctors can fit you in both normal (mass-produced) and specialty colored contact lenses. Currently, Air Optix Colors is one of the only easily accessible colored contact lens. This lens works great for patients with no need for astigmatism correction and those who are looking to highlight, enhance, or slightly change their eye color.
If a patient needs astigmatismc orrection, or a color outside of Air Optix Colors scope, a specialty colored contact lens is required. At Sea Eye Care we utilize the X-Cel Specialty contact lenses that can work for patients with and without astigmatism, and it can make more drastic changes in eye color to give patients the look they want. Call to set up a colored contact lens consultation at our Norfolk/Virginia Beach office today!
- Dr. James Komornik
No More Need For Glasses?
At Sea Eye Care, we have the top frames available and they can cover every person’s sense of style. However, we also understand that some of our patients would like the option to not have to wear glasses. Some patients have tried contact lenses without success, and think they are stuck with glasses as their only option. For those people, there are options out there, like Orthokeratology (also known as Vision Shaping Treatment).
Visual Shaping Treatment (VST) is AKA Orthokeratology and Corneal Reshaping Technology (CRT). This technology utilizes specially designed contact lenses that gradually and safely reshape the front surface of the cornea. The cornea is the clear front layer of the eye that covers the colored part of the eye (the iris).
When VST contact lenses are placed on the eye, they act like retainers worn overnight. By the next morning, the patient can take the VST lenses out and have clear vision all day without having to wear glasses or contacts. VST does not damage the cornea, flatten it, or cause thinning or scarring of the tissue, rather it reshapes the cornea by adjusting the fluid dynamics. VST is more cost-effective than refractive surgeries like LASIK and PRK. VST also differs from surgical options, because it is completely reversible if a patient ever wants to discontinue the treatment.
VST can also be used in younger individuals as a form of “Myopia Control.” This is especially useful for patients who have parents with high nearsighted (myopic) prescriptions. There is a genetic component to nearsightedness, and many parents want to prevent their kids from having high prescriptions. These kids can wear the VST lenses at night and not only will they see clearly during the day without correction, but doing so slows the process of becoming more nearsighted. This is a very well-studied process, and has been shown to slow or halt the rate of myopia.
The alternative to orthokeratology/VST is to have a refractive surgery like LASIK or PRK. These procedures involve a laser etching and reshaping the center of the cornea to adjust its refractive power, so that patients will no longer need glasses.
Come to Sea Eye Care at our Norfolk office just outside of Virginia Beach for a VST or LASIK consultation, and we can determine if you would be a candidate!
-Dr. James Komornik
What's the Difference between Medical Insurance and a Vision Plan?
Vision Plans (such as VSP and EyeMed): Allow for a patient to receive routine eye exams for glasses and possibly contact lenses. These plans may also give a discount on glasses or contact lens purchases. Vision Plans do not cover any evaluations or testing for eye diseases or medical complaints such as eye irritation, dryness, eye allergies, diabetic evaluations, floating spots in vision, or glaucoma evaluations, to name a few.
Medical Insurance (such as Medicare, Anthem, Optima, etc): Allow for a patient to be evaluated and treated for any medical complaints such as dryness, eye allergies, eye pain, eye redness, etc. Medical Insurance also allows for diagnostic testing and evaluation of eye diseases such as glaucoma, keratoconus, diabetes, macular degeneration, cataracts, and blepharitis, to name a few. Medical insurances typically do not cover refractions for a glasses prescription or contact lens evaluations, so patients may have to come back under their Vision Plan, or self-pay, for these routine services.
Before a patient’s exam, our office provides a checklist sheet to help determine which level of eye services that will be given for that exam.
Vision Plans accepted at Sea Eye Care:
Vision Source Plan (VSP), Eyemed, Tricare
Medical Plans accepted at Sea Eye Care:
Medicare, Medicaid, Optima, Anthem/Blue Cross Blue Shield, Aetna, Tricare, Humana, United Health Care
Send a text to (804) 505-4280 to make an appointment or learn more!