Dry eyes?

Dry eyes is a condition that affects millions of people worldwide                    

In fact, it’s one of the most common reasons that patients pay a visit to their eye doctor. We’ve all had those days where our eyes feel dry, tired and irritated. But what does it mean? And what if it persists?

What Is Dry Eye Disease?

Tears are essential for eye health and visual performance. They protect the eye from infections and lubricate the eye’s surface, keeping it moist and washing away dust and debris. When the eye fails to produce enough tears, or the tears are not of the correct consistency, dry eye can occur.

 

                                             

Dry eye is often a chronic problem–particularly in older adults–although it can occur among any age group. Some possible causes of dry eye are:

  • Aging, especially hormone changes caused by menopause
  • Certain medications such as antihistamines, birth control pills, antidepressants and some antibiotics
  • Infrequent blinking during high-focus activities such as working from a computer, reading, watching television or playing video games can lead to dry eye symptoms
  • Other illnesses are associated with dry eye, such as rheumatoid arthritis and Sjogren’s syndrome

Experiencing dry eye can be uncomfortable and bothersome. Symptoms vary from case to case, however some report blurred vision, light sensitivity, itching and redness and a gritty feeling in the eye. As ironic as it sounds, a common symptom of dry eyes is excessive tearing and watery eyes. This happens because when the eyes are dry, the body may overcompensate and produce too many tears.

Talk To Us About Dry Eye

If you feel that your eyes are dry throughout the day or on a regular basis, or if you experience any of the above symptoms, visit a Vision Source® member near you. Based on the underlying cause of your dry eye symptoms, they will be able to offer information on certain treatment options. If you have any questions, let us know! Your eye health is important to us.

Our patients make it all worthwhile!

 

 

 

http://www.visionsource.com 

What is my optometrist saying?

It is the day of your appointment to have your eyes checked and your doctor is throwing words at you like myopia and astigmatism, terms you might not understand. Do not panic! You will most likely not go blind. Here are a few terms to get you familiarized with some refractive errors:

Myopia (nearsightedness): You can see objects up close, but distant objects are a blur.

Hyperopia (farsightedness):  You can see distant objects, but objects up close might be blurry.

Astigmatism: The surface of your eye is not perfectly round, instead it has more of an oblong shape. The oblong shape of the eye does not allow the eye to focus clearly. Astigmatism can be accompanied by myopia or hyperopia.

Presbyopia: Usually occurs over the age of 40, you lose the ability to focus on objects up close. If you are between 40 and 50 , you may have discovered you can’t read the fine print!

All of these refractive errors can be corrected by using eyeglasses or contact lenses! 

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Why are you looking so blue?

In this day and age we are constantly shifting our eyes from one device to another, increasing our exposure to blue light. What exactly is blue light? Blue light, also called high-energy visible (HEV) light, is commonly considered to be the light between 400nm and 500nm on the spectrum. It is the most scattered of the visible light rays, and therefore, causes chromatic aberration. There is accumulating research that indicates exposure to high levels of blue light can be harmful to eyes. 

Aside from it potentially being harmful to the eyes, it can also affect the body’s natural sleep cycle, as it is what suppresses the secretion of melatonin (our “sleep” hormone). Overexposure to blue light can therefore cause the body to want to stay awake when it should be sleeping.

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It’s a good thing there are now lenses that can help protect our eyes from harmful blue light!

The Importance of Routine Retinal Photos

Unfortunately most vision insurances don’t pay for routine retinal photos, but it is well worth the out-of-pocket cost. I always say a picture is worth a thousand words. As doctors we do our very best to document your retinal health but sometimes very subtle changes can be overlooked.

 

Before_retinal

Before

 

A case in point I saw a patient who I had seen for many years and we will call her Mary. Mary had baseline photos taken as well as routine retinal photos throughout the years. Well, the last time Mary came in we preformed her routine retinal photos and I noticed a difference in the photos of one of her eyes compared to last time. Everything about her eye examination was normal, but this one slight difference. The optic nerve head margin was blurred slightly on the temporal side of the right eye. Concerned I sent Mary to the retinal specialist with her photos and at that time it was decided for her to see a neurologist.

 

After_retinal

After

 

As it turned out she had a benign brain tumor. Fortunately, Mary had a previous MRI done for another reason a few years back and since it had only been a few years and there was no tumor then it was decided to remove the tumor mainly because the doctors felt it was growing fairly rapidly…….. as far as Mary everything turned out great!!!!

That is why I firmly believe that retinal photos are the best way to manage your eye health!!!!

How to care for your new glasses

Never wipe your lenses dry, like on your shirt, always rinse them under warm water first then dry them with a soft, clean 100% cotton cloth.  An old t-shirt works well for this just cut it up into several small squares and you can keep one at work, home, school, ect.  You may use a mild liquid detergent like Joy or Dawn if you like.

Avoid using paper towel and tissue, over prolonged use this can put fine scratches on your lenses; however, if that is all you have at the time using it once or twice will not hurt. Also, breathing on your lenses is not good enough you still must rinse them in order wash all the dirt off.  If you do not then you are just grinding the dirt into the lens and scratching it.  Just like you should not wipe a dusty car because you scratch the paint the same applies to your lenses.

If you like you can get a generic spray bottle and fill it with 50% Rubbing alcohol and 50% water and spray the glasses until it drips off then wipe it with your cloth.  This works best on non- Glare coatings (AR) because it removes the fingerprints and other oils.

As always, there is never a charge to have your glasses adjusted.  If they are ever too tight or too loose just call to make an appointment to have them re-fitted.  If they lose a screw or nose pad we can also fix these problems too.