Contact Lenses are perfect for active lifestyles

Contact lenses are a great choice  for people with an active lifestyle. If you are currently wearing prescription glasses you may well find that contact lenses enhance your enjoyment of  sports and outdoor activities like trekking, jogging and cycling.  Today’s contact lenses are lightweight, comfortable and not easily dislodged. Even in vigorous workouts, contact lenses provide clear and stable vision as they are placed directly on the cornea and stay in place with the movement of the eye.

If you are making the switch to contacts, or are just using them for sports,  here are some tips for new contact lens wearers.  While using contact lenses for the first time, it is very important to follow the care and usage instructions properly. Wear the lenses only for the prescribed period of time and throw away daily disposable lenses at the end of each day. Using them for a longer period of time may cause infection or irritation to the eyes. Contact lenses are prescribed  for individuals and should not be shared. Sharing of lenses can also lead to eye infections.  If you are not using a daily disposable lens, then always use fresh solution to clean or store your lenses. Always wash your hands before inserting or removing the lenses from the eyes. Starting with the same eye every time will help you remember the individual lens for each eye. To remove or insert the lenses into the case, place them on your palm first. This prevents damage to the lenses caused by fingernails.

Of course, Visiondirect.com is a great website for buying lenses. Visiondirect offers easy ordering, fast shipping and auto-reorder.  Visiondirect.com will quickly verify your prescription and then keep it on file for instant reordering.

Use your FSA Flexible Spending Account to save on Contact Lenses

At Visiondirect.com we are often asked about purchasing contact lenses with flexible spending account dollars. Most customers with FSA accounts find that their insurance provider does allow prescription contact lenses to be covered as an approved purchase. So if you have an FSA account take a minute and confirm contact lens coverage with your provider.

For those who aren’t familiar with flexible spending accounts, they are special accounts that allow you to pay for eligible medical expenses on a pre-tax basis. FSA and HSA (Health Savings Accounts) are increasingly an option offered with medical insurance plans. The dollars you contribute to your FSA account are automatically deducted from your paycheck on a pre-tax basis.

The type of medical expenses that FSA dollars are used to buy are typically those not covered under your health plan. They may include doctor visit co-pays, prescription drug co-payments, dental care, vision care and other items and services. It pays to become familiar with the items and services that you may spend your FSA dollars on.

At VisionDirect.com you can use your Flexible Spending Account to purchase prescription contact lenses and other eye care accessories. If you have been provided with an FSA debit card, you can make use of it to pay for your purchase. Otherwise, our FSA tracker makes it easy for you to print all the proof of purchase information you will need to submit your purchases to your FSA administrator for reimbursement. All of your FSA-related purchases will be visible in the FSA/HSA Manager section of your account online at Visiondirect.com. In order to provide better clarity and convenience while doing your FSA shopping, Visiondirect.com marks all eligible contact lens products with an FSA icon.

Visiondirect.com has all the brands of prescription contact lenses at the lowest prices such as Acuvue, Biofinity, Bausch & Lomb, Biomedics, CIBA Vision, CooperVision, FreshLook, Focus DAILIES, PureVision and many others. Additionally Visiondirect.com often offers coupon codes and special promotions to allow you to save even more. There are offers for new and existing customers. For new customers check out this page for up to the minute promotional and coupon offers. If you are already a customer, our best offers and coupon codes for your next order are often found here.

Use Your HSA Account for Contact Lenses

Tired of wearing glasses? You may be able to use your health savings account (HSA) to purchase prescription contact lenses. Health Savings Accounts are tax-advantaged medical savings accounts that let you use pre-tax dollars to manage your health care costs. They are offered as an option by a growing number of insurance plans. Check with your insurance provider to see if the purchase of prescription contact lenses are covered under your HSA.

VisionDirect.com makes it easy to use your HSA and FSA spending dollars for contact lenses and supplies. Our HSA/FSA tracker helps you keep a track of all your purchases and allows you to print receipts for reimbursement by your insurance company. Vision Direct has all the brands of prescription contact lenses at the lowest prices, including: Acuvue, Bausch & Lomb, Biomedics, CIBA Vision, CooperVision, FreshLook, Focus DAILIES, PureVision and many more.

Visiondirect.com has ongoing promotions for new and repeat customers. For new customers check out this page for up to the minute promotional offers. If you are already a customer, our best offers for your next order are often found here.

Halloween Contact Lenses – The Scariest Coolest Part of a Costume

Whether you want to be a spooky vampire or a creepy zombie for Halloween, special theatrical contacts are perfect for completing your costume. Halloween contact lenses are available for all ‘creatures of the night’ so it can be a lot of fun choosing lenses to match your costume. They’re great for completing your costume, going to a Halloween party or for acting in spooky video or play.

 The first step is choosing Halloween contact lenses to complement your outfit. If you’re dressing up as a vampire, there are many types of contacts to choose from. Color-pop lenses in icy blue or emerald green are a striking choice or go for a hair-raising effect with blood-red lenses or stark white ones. For werewolves and were-cats, lenses with elongated pupils are a great choice. These were-animal lenses are available in eye-catching colors like green, yellow or white for a complete transformation on Halloween night.

 Besides lenses for vampires and were-creatures, lens and eye health stores also offer black sclera contacts that cover the whole eye. These lenses are ideal for a dramatic look for Halloween. With these complete blackout lenses, you can transform into a wizard, an otherworld creature or a super villain for the night. Other costume lenses to choose from include baby eye lenses, anime lenses and lenses with illustration like flames or stars. Contact lenses in neon colors are also ideal for donning a spooky avatar for Halloween.

 You’ll need to take the same basic precautions and care as you would with regular lenses while wearing your costume lenses. Wash your hands before handling the lenses to prevent an eye infection. Apply the makeup that is a part of your Halloween costume after putting on the lenses. Choose eye makeup in gel or liquid form and not loose powder so it stays on and doesn’t fall on your lenses after application.

 While buying contacts for Halloween, you’ll need a prescription for them so schedule an appointment before choosing them. These lenses are available both for zero power prescription as well as corrective prescription. Non-corrective lenses are available instantly while it may take some time to ship lenses with prescription. It’s a good idea to choose Halloween contact lenses well before the day so you get them in time and have a chance to try them on before the big day.

 The Internet is a great resource for contact lenses for Halloween. Visiondirect.com has a wide collection of contact lenses for Halloween, theatrical productions or just everyday fun. Shopping from Visiondirect.com also has other advantages like online offers, easy shipping and more.  You’ll also get a chance to read customer reviews before buying to help you make an informed decision. To explore, visit http://www.visiondirect.com Image

I want to wear Contact Lenses but my doctor says I have an astigmatism. What is that anyway?

Astigmatism is a very common vision condition that causes blurred vision mainly due to the way your cornea is shaped. It prevents light from focusing on your retina, causing the images you see to be blurred.

Many people with astigmatism feel that they cannot wear contact lenses because of this and nothing could be farther from the truth. Contact Lens manufacturers make “toric” lenses, which are especially made for people with astigmatism. These soft, disposable lenses have tiny weights in the lens that are shaped to help you focus and see better.

There are many lenses to choose from, depending on your lifestyle. Acuvue has a weekly disposable lens called Acuvue Oasys for Astigmatism that you use daily for 2 weeks and start a new pair when you throw the old ones out.

If you’re not interested in cleaning and disinfecting your lenses daily, you can opt for Focus Dailies Toric. They come in either a 30 day box or a 90 day box for each eye. There is no maintenance with these lenses, you simply throw them out at the end of the day and start a fresh pair every morning.

Speak to your eye care professional on which lenses will work best for your prescription and lifestyle. Most locations will give you a trial pair with your eye exam so you can test the comfort and vision before making a purchase.

Are your lenses as clean as they should be?

A recent study in the December 2011 Journal of Optometry and Vision Science has shown that while 85% of contact lens wearers believe they do a good job taking care of their contact lenses, in actuality, less than 2% of them properly care for their lenses. .

Results show that some of the biggest non-compliance issues are:

  • Replacing lenses infrequently and wearing them longer than the recommended time frame
  • Sleeping in their lenses
  • Exposing their lenses to water when showering, swimming or rinsing lenses in tap water
  • Not emptying out their lens case/topping off with solution
  • Changing their lens case infrequently
  • Not properly washing their hands before handling their lenses

Non-compliance can cause issues beyond simple lens discomfort, including conjunctivitis, also known as “pink eye,” getting a sty on the eyelid or more serious compilations such as E-Coli due to the bacteria growing in their lenses and cases.

The study also shows that while most wearers are aware of proper lens care practices, very few actually follow through resulting in 72% of patients experiencing complications with comfort and 19% experiencing some type of infection. .

What can you do to prevent issues?

  • Make sure to wash your hands with warm water and soap before handling your lenses and touching your eye.
  • Wear a fresh pair of lenses at the recommended time, i.e. daily, every two weeks or monthly as suggested by your eye doctor.
  • Remove your lenses before showering or going swimming, or wear proper fitting eye goggles that prevent water from entering the eye.
  • Do not sleep or nap in your lenses.
  • Clean your lenses every night with contact lens solution and use fresh solution in your lens case every night. Don’t use water or top off the solution in your case, mixing old solution with new.
  • Rinse your lenses in solution before inserting them.
  • Rinse your lens case with solution daily and allow it to air dry while not in use.
  • Replace your lens case every few months. Many lens solutions come with a case in the box, so replacing your lens solution is a good time to throw out the old case and start fres

Promote Your Eye Care Practice with Google Places

Local independent eye care providers are the backbone of consumer focused optical care.  Eye care providers (known in the industry as ECPs) provide consumers access to eye care diagnostic screening and prescribe corrective optical contact lenses and glasses. This post discusses how a local ECP may use Google Places to make it easy for desktop and mobile Internet users to connect to their services.

Google Places – the new “Yellow Pages”

According to statistics from Google, 97% of consumers search for local businesses online. Even if the actual number were only half of that, being well presented in Google is as important as the yellow page phone directory used to be. Practically speaking, Google has replaced the yellow pages as the directory of choice for consumers.

Get found with Google Places

Google Places for business is a free local marketing platform from Google. When you sign up with Google Places and add information about your business, Google will display rich detailed information on your business when local users enter location specific searches for your services or search specifically for your practice.

Help your business stand out

With Google Places you may add photos, videos, and offers (coupons and promotions!) and even a virtual tour to show customers why they’ll want to choose your practice over your competitors. You may offer first-time and returning customer promotions and post updates anytime.

Use Google Places to actively manage your reputation

Google allows users to leave reviews on any business with a phone number and address. With Google Places you will be able to ‘claim’ your business… your practice… and actively respond to any negative comments and show good faith in resolving issues. Even better, you may encourage satisfied customers to leave feedback on Google Places for you. Even a few positive reviews go a long way in helping you stand out above your competitors.

Get usage metrics from Google Places

Free reports in Google Places will help you understand what keywords people interested in your business are searching for and where the users are located. This data may help you make decisions on the scope of your services and possible areas for office expansion.

If you haven’t already, should now claim your eye care practice’s record on Google Places. Even if you have an existing Google Places account, it is important to review and update your profile regularly.

Here is the link to Google Places
Google Places Merchant Center

Cost Effective Local Search Marketing for Eye Care Providers

Local independent eye care providers are a vital link the chain of optical care.  In this post we will describe how local eye care professionals can cost-effectively use search engine marketing to attract new patients and retain existing ones.

Keyword Search Engine Marketing – Contextual Search Ads

Small text ads woven into the search results pages on Google, Bing and Yahoo are a fact of life for every Internet user.  This type of advertising is called ‘contextual search advertising.’ The short text ads are ‘contextual’ because they are served up to search users based on the relevance of the ad to the search terms (the ‘context’) the user enters into the search box on the search engine. Those little ads in one form or another account for over 90% of Google’s revenue.  They are also very important in driving customers to millions of businesses worldwide.  A local eye care professional will set up an account with Google (or Microsoft Adcenter which feeds ads to Bing and Yahoo) and pay per click for each user that visits their website from one of their ads on the search engines.

Each advertiser creates a set of simple text ads and they enter a series of keywords that they want their ads to be displayed with when searched for. Google analyzes the advertisers text ads, the keywords they’ve chosen, the amount the advertiser is willing to pay for a given keyword, the content and quality of the advertiser’s landing page and the interest that search users have in the ads over time. All this analysis goes into a ‘quality score’ (from 1 to 10) that Google assigns to each keyword in the advertisers’ set of target search terms.

The higher the quality score and the higher the bid for a search term results in a higher number of views of the ad and equates to a higher number of referrals (clicks) to the advertiser’s website.

Local Search Marketing

What not everyone knows is that Google, Bing and Yahoo make an effort to serve users ads that are relevant to their physical location.

This localization of paid search results is done in primarily two ways:

  1. Advertiser geo-targeting. Advertisers may elect to have their ads served only to users that are searching from a specific location. These ads may be targeted to single or multiple country, state/province and metropolitan locales. The major search engines attempt to locate their users geographically. If you are a mobile user you may be located to within a few feet of your current location. If you are a computer user you may be geo-located to a continent, country, province or city.
  2. Local keywords added by a user to the search phrase. When an advertiser sets up a text or display ad campaign on a search engine, they select the search terms they want their ads to appear on and how much per click they are willing to pay for each visitor. A best practice in choosing your keywords is to add location modifiers to all keywords. For example, instead of bidding on searches where a user types in “best eye doctors”, an eye care provider in Bellevue, WA may bid on terms such as, “best eye doctors in bellevue wa”, “best eye doctors in factoria”, “lake sammamish eye doctors”, “eye doctors in downtown bellevue”, etc.

By combining the two concepts above, the local eye care provider will drive highly qualified leads to their website and increase the number of phone calls to their offices. In summary, the best practice for local keyword search engine advertising is to: a) geo-target your search campaigns to your local practice areas, and b) bid high on a wide variety of highly relevant search terms that include your practice locations.

For more information:

Google Adwords Express for Local Businesses

Bing and Yahoo Advertising for Local Businesses

Daily Disposable Contact Lenses – a Growing Trend in the U.S.

Daily disposable lenses have been the best-selling lens in Europe and Asia over the past few years and here in the United States, the trend is just catching on.

A few years ago there were very few options available for daily disposables in the country. If you had astigmatism or needed multifocal lenses, your only options were extended wear contacts or glasses.

Lately, contact lens manufactures have begun to take notice and now there are options for just about anyone. Acuvue, for example, offers standard daily disposables in both 30 and 90 day supplies and there’s a new daily disposable lens for astigmatism as well that comes in a 30 day pack. Do you need multifocal lenses? CooperVision will soon have their Proclear brand available in a new daily disposable multifocal lens in a 30 day pack. Do you like colored contacts? Freshlook offers a 10 pack of colored daily disposables as well.

Have you considered making the switch to daily disposables? Here are a few things to consider

-Comfort is a big plus. Imagine wearing a fresh pair of lenses every day!
-No cleaning required! You throw them out every night, so there’s no need to clean and disinfect your lenses at night. In the morning, simply put in a fresh pair.
-Don’t wear lenses often? Great! You can wear a new pair every time you wear contact lenses. You don’t have to keep your lenses soaking in solution for days or weeks in between wears.
-Price. While the daily disposable lenses are a little more expensive than traditional extended wear lenses, they’re much easier to maintain and save money by not requiring lens solution and cases.

If you’re interested in a disposable daily lens, please consult your eye doctor for more information and to get a prescription.

The focus is on 1-Day Acuvue Contact Lenses with the Celebrity Mentor Contest

As they did last year, Acuvue launched the celebrity mentor contest for 2012 via the Acuvue YouTube Channel.  This gives a teen the chance to win an individual life mentoring session for a day with a teen star from music, entertainment and sports.  The list of celebs includes:  Demi Lovato, Joe Jonas, Tyler Blackburn, Meaghan Martin and Allyson Felix.

Check out all the rules and prizes.  You may enter now thorough June 7th.

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