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See Under the Sea & in the Swimming Pool Too

Wear goggles for clear & healthy underwater vision

You don’t swim naked at a public beach or swimming pool, and you shouldn’t swim with naked eyes either! At the beach, it’s hard to know if ocean water is really clean and not polluted, and the sand and salt content can make your eyes sting. If you prefer swimming in a pool, remember that while pool water can be clean, that’s only because it’s packed with chlorine, which can seriously irritate your eyes, stripping away your lubricating film and causing redness, pain, and blurry vision.

Goggles are the ideal solution for protecting your delicate eyes against the harshness of water. Also, due to advanced materials and modern engineering of the lenses in swim goggles, they provide crisper underwater vision than ever before! Your knowledgeable Clearwater eye doctor explains about the benefits and features of goggles:

Prescription goggles

If you normally need eyeglasses or contacts to see above water, our Clearwater optometrist strongly recommends buying a pair of prescription goggles for underwater vision. For you to see, light rays reflect off an object, enter your eyes, and are focused on your retina clearly. However, light rays don’t function the same way when they are in water. That’s why the floor of a swimming pool appears higher up than it really is. In general, goggles correct this problem by creating an air-filled gap around your eyes. But this doesn’t give sharp sight to swimmers who need vision correction. If you have nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism, you’ll need prescription goggles to see.

Wearing contact lenses and standard goggles

A lot of people are in the habit of wearing standard goggles over their contact lenses, instead of purchasing a pair of prescription goggles. What’s the problem with this? Actually, water is the problem.

Water in all bodies – lakes, pools, oceans, and hot tubs – is a natural breeding ground for bacteria and microorganisms. While your body and your eyes have a built-in defense system to protect against these menacing microbes, contact lenses interfere with your eye’s protection. Consequently, swimming with contact lenses increases your risk of getting an eye infection.

Acanthamoeba keratitis is an extremely hazardous eye infection caused by amoeba being trapped between your contact lens and your cornea. Sometimes, amoeba start to live in your eye, leading to corneal ulcers and permanent vision loss. This type of infection only happens to people who wear contact lenses, which underscores our Clearwater eye doctor’s warning against swimming with contacts!

Now, we also realize that many people will insist on wearing contact lenses at the beach or pool – despite all of our warnings. If you’re one of those people, here are some tips to help you minimize the danger to your eye health:

  • Wear daily disposable contacts for swimming, since you throw them out after a single use. Remove them immediately after you come out of the water, rinse your eyes with artificial tears and replace your lenses with a new, clean pair.
  • Even if you’re didn’t fully dip into the water, if any drops fall into your eyes, remove your contacts immediately and throw them out, or disinfect them if you aren’t wearing disposables.
  • Never open your eyes underwater
  • Never go swimming and then doze off on the shore or poolside with your lenses still in your eyes

Top features for goggles – recommended by our Clearwater optometrist

  • Prescription lenses, if you generally need eyewear with vision correction
  • Shatterproof lenses
  • Anti-fog treatment
  • Leak-free lenses that seal comfortably around your eyes
  • Built-in UV protection
  • Surfers should wear polarized lenses to protect against reflected glare, which can be very intense on the water
  • Competitive swimmers and divers should choose frames with a low profile
  • Recreational lap swimmers do best with larger lenses (they give wider peripheral vision), and more padded frames

More questions about swimming and vision? Ask our Clearwater eye doctor!

Before you dive into the blue, sparkling waters at the beach or swimming pool, consult with an expert optometrist near you. We’ll help you find the safest way to have sharp underwater vision and a fabulous look! If you do experience irritated eyes, strange discharge, pain, sensitivity or redness after wearing your contact lenses while swimming, contact us immediately for an eye exam at Northwood Vision.

Help! My Child Doesn’t Want to Wear Glasses!

Do your kids need glasses in order to see clearly? Maybe they have a strong case of nearsightedness, perhaps they have astigmatism, or another type of refractive error. Whatever the cause, getting your kids to wear eyeglasses can be a parenting challenge.

Dr. Christopher Keats treats patients from all over Clearwater, Florida with their vision correction needs. The knowledgeable, caring staff at Northwood Vision can help you and your kids if they’re struggling with their glasses or don’t want to wear them.

Why Won’t My Child Wear His or Her Glasses?

To help your children get the best vision possible, you first need to understand why they’re fighting with you over their glasses. It usually stems from something physical, emotional, or social, such as:

  • Wrong fit
  • Wrong prescription
  • Personal style
  • Reactions from friends

How do you know which it is? Pay close attention to the signs, from what your kids say, to how they behave, to how they interact with others.


Improper fit is a big reason why glasses could feel uncomfortable. If they slip down, itch behind the ears, or put pressure on the bridge of the nose, it can explain why a child wouldn’t like to wear them.

If there’s been a big change to their prescription, they may need time to get used to it. If they were given the wrong prescription, they may be straining their eyes, getting headaches, or having eye fatigue. An incorrect prescription can make wearing glasses painful or awkward. It doesn’t correct their vision, either, so they’ll still see blurry images. When this happens, your eye doctor can check the prescription and make an adjustment.


Your kids at home aren’t the same as your kids in school, on the sports field, or with their friends. They may be afraid of being made fun of in school, or they may not want the sudden attention on their appearance. These feelings can be even stronger among the tween and teen set.


Even young kids can feel different when they put on a pair of glasses, especially if it’s for the first time. Feeling different or weird, in their eyes, translates to a negative experience. When wearing glasses makes them feel like the odd man out, they may not want to wear them. The last thing your child wants is to feel like a social outcast. After all, everyone wants to belong.

How We Can Help

First, bring your child in to the eye doctor for an eye exam. Our optometrist, Dr. Christopher Keats, will check to make sure that your child has the right prescription and that any vision problems are being corrected. Next, we’ll take a look at the glasses and place them on your child’s face to determine if they’ve got the proper fit. Our optician will take care of any adjustments that need to be made.

The Vision They Need, The Style They Want

Fashion isn’t only for adults. Your budding fashionista or trendy young stud wants to look awesome, so don’t forget about style. When your kids look great, they’ll feel great! Give them the top-quality eyewear they need without compromising on style. Your kids are a lot more likely to wear glasses when they like the way they look.

What You Can Do to Help

Encourage, stay positive, and don’t give up. Avoid telling them what you want them to wear. Let them choose for themselves. In the end, they’re the ones wearing the glasses. Making decisions is an important life skill, something they’ll need as they grow up and become more independent.

For younger children, use positive words to encourage them. Talk about how glasses are like magic, letting them see beautiful things around them. Show them how a pretty flower or a bright red truck looks with the glasses on, and how different it looks with the glasses off. For older kids, throw in a little pop culture. Tell them how trendy they’ll look by showing them pictures of celebrities who also wear glasses. You’ll also rack up some cool parent points.

At Northwood Vision, we have the experience and unique approach to children’s eyewear that will make your kids want to wear their glasses. Schedule an eye exam today – you can book an appointment online right here. If you have any questions or concerns, give us a call and we’ll be glad to help.


Northwood Vision we offer a large selection of eyeglasses, contact lenses and designer frames and sunglasses. We carry the latest European and American designer eyewear collections in a variety of styles, colors and materials including titanium, stainless steel and plastic.

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Quality Eyeware in Clearwater

Making a decision about your eyewear goes beyond good vision and makes a statement about who you are. Your decision affects how you see and also how you want to be seen by others. But with so many different styles to choose from, getting the right look for your face and your lifestyle can be overwhelming

Our Clearwater staff will help you find the best fit for your specific needs and explain how different lenses and frames will impact your vision. They will help you narrow down your choices so you can find the look, fit and functionality you want from your eyewear.

New clients and all our current patients are welcome to visit us with their current prescription - no appointment necessary.

Our Eyewear Services:

Request An Appointment
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Patients Portal
Coronavirus Letter to Patients
Order Contact Lenses
Emergency Eye Care


At Northwood Vision we offer a wide selection of contact lenses including disposable soft contact, bifocal/multifocal, toric, and colored lenses. Whether you wear daily, weekly or monthly disposables, or conventional (vial) lenses, check out our selection of lenses that fit your needs. Visit Northwood Vision for a full eye exam and to learn all about your contact lens options.

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Establishing a Good Contact Lens Fit

A good contact lens fit starts with a thorough eye exam to ensure the most up-to-date prescription and rule out any  pre-existing conditions that could interfere with contact lens wear.

Fitting lenses to your lifestyle
Our eye doctor will help you determine the best fitting lens based on your lifestyle needs, the shape and health of your eye. In most cases, you’ll have the opportunity to try lenses on the same day as your exam. You can even go home with a few samples before making a final decision.

Follow up fittings
We follow up the initial fitting and then make any necessary changes in fit or materials to get you the best possible fit. We teach all our patients proper contact lens care and also possible consequences if proper care is not taken. Then we continue with long-term follow-up to monitor the condition of the lenses and to ensure that proper hygiene is being maintained.

Dr. Keats answers your questions about contact lenses

What is the difference between an eye exam geared toward wearers of glasses and an eye exam geared toward wearers of contact lenses?

An eye exam for glasses is also known as a comprehensive eye exam. The vision is tested, glasses needs are addressed, including the ability for the two eyes to work together. The front surface of the eye is tested along with the intra-ocular pressure, and the internal parts of the eye, like the macula and optic nerve are assessed for a comprehensive medical assessment of the eye.

An eye exam for wearers of contact lenses is exactly the same, but the patient is billed an additional charge for a contact lens fitting and follows up. Here, the most appropriate contact lens modality is discussed and fitted. The contact lenses are evaluated on the eyes, and changes to the powers are made for the most enhanced vision possible.

A final trial lens is given or ordered and there is potentially a secondary or even a tertiary visit to check for potential harm the lens might cause to the eye, and to finalize the powers. This care is inclusive with the contact lens assessment.

If I have had a glasses exam by another eye doctor, can I just come to you for a contact lens fitting?

If the doctor who did the glasses examination sends me a letter stating they did a comprehensive eye examination and present with a summary including the glasses prescription, and they express a desire for me to do the contact lens fitting for them, then I can proceed with that portion of the evaluation and send them a report back with my findings and final contact lens prescription. However, if I do not receive the request by your doctor in writing, I must, by state law, conduct a comprehensive eye examination first, and then proceed with the contact lens fitting.

Does a contact lens examination cost more than a glasses examination?

Yes. The glasses examination, better known as a comprehensive eye examination, will be done first. Then a separate and additional charge will be given for the contact lens evaluation. It is required for us to do this by state law unless another doctor requests in writing that they want us to do the contact lens fitting only after they have done the eye exam.

The fitting fee for the contact lenses can vary depending on the complexity of the care. Patients may need spherical, astigmatism, monovision, multifocal, rigid gas permeable (RGP), RGP multifocal, keratoconus, or scleral lens designs for optimal vision and lifestyle needs. The time it takes to fit, analyze, refit, and finalize the custom designs can create a variety of pricing structures. We can give you more specifics when we understand the nature of your glasses prescription.

What are some advantages and disadvantages of contact lenses?

Contact lenses are popular with many patients mostly because they offer a wider peripheral field of view and no magnification or minification as seen with higher powered glasses. They are preferable when patients are exercising, or working outside in sweaty conditions, or for patients who have trouble with their glasses fogging up going form one temperature to another at work.

Some patients struggle to comfortably wear eyeglass frames or simply don’t like the way they look in them, so contact lenses solve these issues. Conversely, most contact lenses will exacerbate a dry eye problem, and if the eyes are dry, it is not uncommon to have fluctuating vision when blinking. Patients with astigmatism can have intermittent blur compared to the stability of glasses.

There is an increased risk of infection wearing contacts compared to wearing glasses. The cost of wearing contact lenses is greater as they should not be worn all waking hours in most cases. It is recommended to wear them about 14 hours per day and wear glasses in the evening at home, and on days when the eyes are red or tired. Contact lenses are a wonderful option for many people, however, and the negative consequences rarely dissuade patients from wearing them comfortably and clearly.

Can you explain the difference between contacts lenses you keep for a month and ones you throw away on a daily basis?

Years ago, patients would have only one pair of contact lenses to last the whole year. The cost of owning that pair made it impractical to throw them away more often due to the overall cost. As mass production of contact lenses became mainstream, and the grave complications and blinding events with these lenses were increasing, manufacturers were able to offer monthly lenses.

The risk of complications went down significantly. But dryness/irritation concerns and over wear abuse has not resolved the complications. So to help patients have less dryness, lower risk of infection, and the joy of not having to worry about whether or not the lenses were cleaned properly every single night, daily disposables have now been popularized and eliminate these concerns.

About 60 percent of our patients wears daily disposables due to the convenience, the comfort, and the added safety. Yes, they cost a little more per month, but for many patients, that is a small price to pay for the benefits of daily disposable contact lenses. And, in today’s technology, there are good options for almost all of our patients.

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Our Recommended Brands:
  • Contact Lens Brand- Acuvue
  • Contact Lens Brand- Bausch & Lomb
  • Contact Lens Brand- CooperVision
  • Alcon

Our Contact Lens Services: