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As an eye doctor, diagnosing a red eye can be challenging. Are we dealing with an infection, allergy, inflammation or dryness?

One of the most common questions I get is, “Doc, my eyes are red, burning, itchy, and tearing. Is this dry eye or from allergies?” The short answer is it could be one, both or neither. I’ll outline various ways these conditions present clinically and the treatments for them.

The hallmark symptom of allergy – meaning if you have this symptom you almost definitely have the condition – is itching. Red, watery, ITCHY eyes are almost invariably due to an allergen, whether environmental or medicinal. It is one of the most common ocular conditions we, as eye doctors, treat - especially when plants are filling the air with pollen as they bloom in the spring and then die off in the fall.

The itching occurs because an immune cell called a Mast cell releases histamine, causing the itching sensation. It can be quite unbearable for the sufferer, causing them to rub their eyes constantly, which unbeknownst to them, actually increases the amount of histamine in the eye, leading to worsening of the symptoms.

Treatments may include:

  • Over-the-counter or prescription allergy drops (mostly anti-histamines or mast cell stabilizers).
  • Topical steroids (to get the inflammation under control).
  • Cool compresses applied to the eye.

Patients sometimes need to take drops every day to keep their symptoms under control.

Dry eye can have many of the same symptoms as allergic eye disease, with the eye being red and possibly watery (‘My eyes are tearing how could it be dry eyes?’). The main exceptions are that people with dry eyes tend to complain more of burning and a foreign body sensation - like there is sand or gravel in the eye - rather than itchiness.

Dry eye is a multi-faceted disease with many different causes and treatments. Treatment ranges from simple re-wetting eye drops to long-term medications (both topical and oral), as well as non-medicinal treatments such as eyelid heating treatment.

So how do we determine the difference? The first question I ask patients who complain of red, watery, uncomfortable eyes is, “What is your MAIN symptom? Itching or burning?” The answer will likely direct which course of treatment we take, and as those treatments sometimes overlap, you may have a component of both dry eye and allergy.

That is important to distinguish because many of the treatments we use for allergies - like antihistamine eye drops - can sometimes make the dryness worse. Though neither of these conditions is 100% curable (except maybe for allergy, where if you remove the allergen, you obviously won’t get symptoms!). We have many tools in our treatment arsenal to keep the symptoms at bay.

Unfortunately, dry eye and allergy aren’t the only two things that can cause your eye to have the multiple symptoms of red, watery, itchy, burning eyes. There are other problems, such as Blepharitis, that can produce a similar appearance, as well as bacterial and viral infections.

So before embarking on a particular therapy, it is wise to have a good exam to help you get on the right track of improving your symptoms.

Article contributed by Dr. Jonathan Gerard

redesigned website

After a lot of hard work with EyeMotion, our website company, we’re pleased to be launching our brand-new website.  Our goal has been to create a site that would assist you in learning about us, whether it’s finding our location or email form, reading about our wonderful eye doctors, or discovering some of our quality products and services.

Have questions about an eye issue?  We think you might also benefit from our great optometric content on eye diseases and conditions.

Our plan is to use this area to keep you informed on new offerings, sales, trunk shows, events, and so much more.  Check back here from time to time to keep updated.

We’re glad you found us, and we hope to see you soon!

The word “astigmatism” is used so much in the ophthalmic world that most people have talked about it when discussing their eye health with their doctor.

“Astigmatism” comes from the Greek “a” - meaning “without” - and “stigma” - meaning “a point.” In technical ocular terms, astigmatism means that instead of there being one point of focus in the eye, there are two. In other words, light merges not on to a singular point, but on two different points.

This is experienced in the real world by blurred, hazy vision, and can sometimes lead to eye strain or headaches if not corrected with either glasses or contact lenses.

Astigmatism is not a disease. In fact, more than 90% of people have some degree of astigmatism.

Astigmatism occurs when the cornea, the clear front surface of the eye like a watch crystal, is not perfectly round. The real-world example we often use to explain astigmatism is the difference between a basketball and a football.

If you cut a basketball in half you get a nice round half of a sphere. That is the shape of a cornea without astigmatism.

If you cut a football in half lengthwise you are left with a curved surface that is not perfectly round. It has a steeper curvature on one side and a flatter curve on the other side. This is an exaggerated example of what a cornea with astigmatism looks like.

The degree of astigmatism and the angle at which it occurs is very different from one person to the next. Therefore, two eyeglass prescriptions are rarely the same because there are an infinite number of shapes the eye can take.

Most astigmatism is “regular astigmatism,” where the two different curvatures to the eye lie 90 degrees apart from one another. Some eye diseases or surgeries of the eye can induce “irregular astigmatism,” where the curvatures are in several different places on the eye’s surface, and often the curvatures are vastly different, leading to a high amount of astigmatism.

Regular astigmatism is treated with glasses, contact lenses, or refractive surgery (PRK or Lasik). Irregular astigmatism, such as that caused by the eye disease keratoconus, usually cannot be treated with these conventional methods. In these circumstances, special contact lenses are needed to treat the condition.

The next time you hear that either you or a loved one has astigmatism, fear not.

It is easily corrected, and although astigmatism can cause your vision to be blurry it rarely causes any permanent damage to the health of your eyes.

If you experience blurred vision, headaches or eye strain, having a complete eye exam may lead to a diagnosis and treatment of this easily-dealt-with condition.

 

Article contributed by Dr. Jonathan Gerard

This blog provides general information and discussion about eye health and related subjects. The words and other content provided in this blog, and in any linked materials, are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice. If the reader or any other person has a medical concern, he or she should consult with an appropriately licensed physician. The content of this blog cannot be reproduced or duplicated without the express written consent of Eye IQ.

Can Wiley X eyewear stand up to a blast from a 20-gauge shotgun? See for yourself.

Can a pair of Wiley X sunglasses survive multiple blows from a hammer? You decide.

Inspired by the beauty and culture of Maui, our mission is to spread aloha through vivid color, clarity, and detail. 

For those who appreciate the sun, Maui Jim provides more vibrant colors of the world while protecting your eyes from the harsh effects of glare and harmful rays. 

We make your life brighter so you see the colors of your world at their best and always feel confident in your style.  

Maui Jim believes color and light are the key to human experience. Our sunglasses show you its full spectrum, so you can see the world like you’ve never seen. We believe everyone should experience all 16,777,216 hues of beautiful color that surrounds us every day. 

AT MAUI JIM, WE ALWAYS SHOW OUR TRUE COLORS AND GIVE YOU A BRIGHTER OUTLOOK ON LIFE. OUR SUNGLASSES ARE DESIGNED TO CHANGE THE WAY YOU SEE THE WORLD

Maui is one of the lushest, most vibrant places on earth. Yet its intense sunlight creates conditions that hide the beauty of the island. That’s why PolarizedPlus2® technology goes beyond shielding your eyes from glare and harmful UV to reveal and enhance the world’s true vivid colors in detail.

One of the hardest questions eye care professionals deal with every day is when to tell people who are having difficulty with their vision to stop driving.

Giving up your driving privilege is one of the most difficult realities to come to terms with if you have a problem that leads to permanent visual decline.

The legal requirements vary from state to state. For example, in New Jersey the legal requirement to drive, based on vision, is 20/50 vision or better with best correction in one eye for a “pleasure” driving license. For a commercial driving license, the requirement is 20/40 vision or better in both eyes.

In some states there is also a requirement for a certain degree of visual field (the ability to see off to the sides).

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the highest rate of motor vehicle deaths per mile driven is in the age group of 75 and older (yes, even higher than teenagers). Much of this increased rate could be attributable to declining vision. There are also other contributing factors such as slower reaction times and increased fragility but the fact remains that the rate is higher, so when vision problems begin to occur with aging it is extremely important to do what is necessary to try to keep your vision as good as possible.

That means regular eye exams, keeping your glasses prescription up to date, dealing with cataracts when appropriate and staying on top of other vision-threatening conditions such as macular degeneration, glaucoma and diabetes.

It is our responsibility to inform you when you are no longer passing the legal requirement to drive. Although there is no mandatory reporting law in all states, it is recorded in your medical record that you were informed that your vision did not pass the state requirements to maintain your privilege. And, yes, it is a privilege - not a right - to drive.

If you have a significant visual problem and your vision is beginning to decline, you need to have a frank discussion with your eye doctor about your driving capability. If you are beginning to get close to failing the requirement you need to start preparing with family and love ones about how you are going to deal with not being able to drive, preferably before it becomes absolutely necessary.

We have had the very unfortunate occurrence of having instructed a patient that he should stop driving because his vision no longer met the requirements only to have him ignore that advice and get in an accident. Don’t be that guy. Be prepared, have a plan.

 

Article contributed by Dr. Brian Wnorowski, M.D.

The content of this blog cannot be reproduced or duplicated without the express written consent of Eye IQ. This blog provides general information and discussion about eye health and related subjects. The words and other content provided in this blog, and in any linked materials, are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice. If the reader or any other person has a medical concern, he or she should consult with an appropriately licensed physician.

The iconic Carrera Captain, brought to life for the 21st Century. Forever bold. Forever original.

A quick explanation and background of a progressive addition lens is necessary in order to understand the importance of choosing the proper lens for your needs.

A progressive lens gives people an array of prescriptions - placed in the proper positions throughout the lens - to best imitate normal vision. Imagine having the precise correction needed to see a television screen more than 15 feet from you, while reading this article on your desktop computer, and then looking down at your keyboard in order to start entering the address to your favorite website. This, in a nutshell, is exactly what the progressive lens is ideally capable of accomplishing with one pair of glasses.

Having the least amount of peripheral distortion, and one of the wider ranges in both distance power, astigmatism, prism, and add power availability, we find this lens to be very versatile. The most important thing to you is that this product feels very natural in front of your eye. For first-time progressive lens wearers, there is a stigma that it takes a bit of time to adjust to a lens that holds multiple prescriptions. This is often still an issue if places use old technology lenses or don’t take careful measurements to assure the proper placement on the lens in the frame. However, with modern technology, the use of computers to fine tune this amazing product, and careful measurements and lens positioning by your optician, this lens does the best job we have seen in mimicking perfect 20/20 vision at all focal lengths.

Along with the progressive lens itself, there are other additional treatments, or “add-ons” that can immensely improve one’s experience with their glasses. These products will be touched upon in future articles in more depth, but options such as Transition Photochromic application, Anti-Reflective Coatings, and choosing a Polycarbonate scratch-resistant lens are just a few of the more popular choices.

So when making a decision for your next pair of eyeglasses, please understand this: Vision is an incredibly important aspect of daily life, and it should be treated with the utmost care and importance. Along with keeping up with your yearly examinations, make sure you are treating your eyes properly when it comes to your decisions for corrective lenses.

 

Article contributed by Richard Striffolino Jr.

The content of this blog cannot be reproduced or duplicated without the express written consent of Eye IQ

The colored part of the eye is called the iris. It is composed of two muscles. The constrictor and the dilator. The black circle at the center of the iris is called the pupil and is actually just an opening to allow light into the eye. The pupil appears black because the inside of the eye contains pigment to absorb all of the light that enters it, not allowing any of it to reflect back out.

When light enters your eye there is a muscular reflex in your iris to regulate the amount of light that hits the retina. Too much light and constrict muscles tighten to making your pupil smaller to limit the amount of light entering your eye. Not enough light and the dilator muscles contract allowing your pupil to get bigger.

During a comprehension eye exam, your eye doctor might want to dilate your pupils to evaluate the back of each eye under high magnification. Without dilation, the bright exam light automatically causes your pupils to constrict, making a much smaller opening to look through.

Dilating drops cause your pupils to enlarge by inhibiting the constrictor muscles from reacting to light., then the doctor can use a bright exam light combine with a magnification lens for an unobstructed view of the internal structure of each eye, including the retina, macula and optic discs.

Dilation drops typically cause blurred near-vision and light sensitivity lasting about 4 to 6 hours. Sunglasses are usually worn afterward to relieve glare discomfort, but you should be safe to drive with caution.

Keratoconus is an eye disease in which the cornea deforms from its normally curved dome shaped and becomes cone shaped. Sometimes there is a flaw in the collagen, the material of the cornea that weakens and allows the cornea to stretch into an irregular cone shape.

The cornea is the clear tissue located at the front of the eye and it refracts and focuses light as it enters the eye. Therefore abnormalities of the corneal surfaces can severely distort vision.

Symptoms usually start in the teen years with near-sighteness and astigmatism which can often be treated with contact lenses or glasses. At the onset it can be difficult to detect.

It is first diagnosed when the cornea starts reveal progressive irregular distortion and eventually becomes to advance for conventional glasses or contact lenses to correct. At this critical point it is often treated with specially designed contact lenses to provide a smooth optical surface to focus light rays and impede progression of the bulging cone shape.

In some case keratoconus can progress to the point that corneal replacement surgery is needed. This usually occurs around the age of 35.

There are some evidence to suggest allergy suffers and people with rigid contact lenses that rub their eyes may contribute to the progression of the symptoms and cause scratches on the surface of the cornea.

If you feel you are at risk or your prescription is changing rapidly make certain your eye care professional checks for Keratoconus during your next eye health and visual examination.

More people than ever before are consulting their eye doctors about eye strain while viewing things up close for fairly prolong periods amount of time. And it is not only adult office workers, but the young are now complaining vision problems from working on computers, using hand held devices and texting on their cell phones.

If you spend a fair amount of time looking at a digital device screen you would most likely most benefit from specially designed reading glasses or possibly computer glasses. Prescription reading glasses are designed to focus at a certain distance up close and can be prescribed for any age to help enhanced reading comfort.

On the other hand, computer glasses maybe a better choice for adults. Computer glasses provide multiple focal lengths which allow users to focus at multiple ranges within lengths arms reach. This kind of versatility can reduce computer eye strain while enhancing concentration.

Before your next eye appointment you will need to measure the distance from the bridge of your nose to the screen for all of the devices that you typically use. Take that list with you to your next eye doctor appointment.

If you are a good candidate, your eye doctor can utilize this list to prescribe personalized reading glasses or computer glasses to relieve eye strain associated with close range viewing.

Why Are Eye Exams Important?

Regardless of your age or physical health, it’s important to have regular eye exams.

During a complete eye exam, your eye doctor will not only determine your prescription for eyeglasses or contact lenses, but will also check your eyes for common eye diseases, assess how your eyes work together as a team and evaluate your eyes as an indicator of your overall health.

For more information on the importance of eye exams visit AllAboutVision.com.

Diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of blindness in the United States. Diabetes is a disease that effects blood vessels throughout the body including the eye. Some of the smallest and most delicate blood vessels in our body are found in the retina. Therefore they are some of the first ones affected by poor blood sugar control.

With diabetes, the blood vessels walls get damaged by chemical reactions caused by high sugar levels in the blood. Blood vessel walls can bulge and then leak causing swelling and hemorrhaging in the eye.

With proper care, diabetic eye disease can be controled allowing vision to be maintained. When diabetic patients fail to take care of their disease and it affects the eyes there can be permenant damage such as decreased vision and even blindness.

Some diabetics never have any eye issues and some have many eye problems. Each patient is different. Fortunately your eye care professional can detect and monitor eye damage and vision changes caused by diabetes.
The good news is there are new and improved medical treatments for those patients who do have diabetic eye disease. If you have diabetes you need to keep your sugar levels under control and have regular eye exams.

Make sure you get a yearly comprehensive eye exam by your eye care professional.

Maui Jim - Like You Have Never Seen

DAILIES TOTAL1®
WATER GRADIENT CONTACT LENSES

The world's first and only water gradient contact lenses.

In a survey, eye care professionals rated DAILIES TOTAL1® Contact Lenses highest in overall performance.1

TECHNOLOGY

The innovative design of DAILIES TOTAL1® contact lenses features a unique water gradient:

  • Approaching 100% water at the outermost surface provides a silky-smooth surface for comfort that lasts until the end of the day
  • 6 times more breathable than the leading daily disposable contact lens for white, healthy looking eyes

BENEFITS

  • Breakthrough design of DAILIES TOTAL1® water gradient contact lenses allows:
  • Exceptional comfort that lasts until the end of the day4††
  • Exceptional breathability* for white, healthy-looking eyes.3

RECOMMENDED FOR

  • People who want exceptional comfort until the end of the day.
  • People looking for a highly breathable* daily disposable contact lens, for white, healthy-looking eyes.3

 

* In vitro measurement of unworn lenses. ** High oxygen transmissible lenses; DAILIES TOTAL1® (delefilcon A) contact lenses: Dk/t = 156 @ -3.00D. Other factors may impact eye health. Ask your eye care professional for complete wear, care, and safety information.

References: 1. In a survey of 207 eye care professionals; Alcon data on file, 2014. 2. Angelini T, Nixon R, Dunn A, et al. Viscoelasticity and mesh-size at the surface of hydrogels characterized with microrheology. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2013;54:E-abstract 500. 3. In a clinical study with 80 patients; Alcon data on file, 2011.
4. Based on the ratio of lens oxygen transmissibilities; Alcon data on file, 2010.

For more detailed information you can view the following:
DAILIES® AquaComfort Plus® Package Insert, DAILIES® AquaComfort Plus® Patient Instruction Booklet,
DAILIES® AquaComfort Plus® Professional Fitting Guide, DAILIES TOTAL1® Package Insert,
DAILIES TOTAL1® Patient Instruction Booklet and DAILIES TOTAL1® Professional Fitting Guide

© 2014 Novartis

 Ask your eye care professional for wear, care, and safety information

†Eye exam may be required. Professional fees may apply. At participating offices.
DAILIES® AquaComfort Plus®, DAILIES® AquaComfort Plus® Toric, DAILIES® AquaComfort Plus® Multifocal and the Alcon® logo are trademarks of Novartis AG.

The bio-microscope and the slit lamp form a two part instrument that your eye doctor uses during a comprehensive eye exam to view both the anterior or front portion of your eye and your eye lids at high magnification. The slit lamp uses a high intensity light source to illuminate the front of your eye or lids. The width of the beam is adjustable from a full beam to a thin slit of light, enabling the doctor to better evaluate the health of your eyes.

The bio-microscope is basically a stereo microscope tilted forward to look at the lids and lashes and the front of your eye. With dilation solution and special hand held lenses, your doctor can focus on the back of your eye as well, to view the retina internal structures.

Your doctor might also apply orange fluorescein eye drops and use a cobalt blue filter on the slit lamp. The die, injunction with the blue light, enables your eye doctor to better see any imperfections on the cornea, white of the eye and the lids. These imperfections may include signs of dryness, scratches, infections or eye injuries.  

Blepharitis is a common problem for both children and adults. It is an inflammation that affects the eyelids and eyelashes and can be brought on by bacterial infections, poor eyelid hygiene, excessive oil production and allergic reactions. There are two types of blepharitis; anterior and posterior.

Anterior blepharitis affects the front of the eyelids where the eyelashes attach. It is caused by bacteria or dandruff from the scalp. Symptoms include redness of eyelids, itching, irritation and a crusty build up on the eyelid.

Posterior blepharitis affects the inner eyelid and is caused by a problem with the oil gland within the eyelid. It is characterized by redness and swelling of the eyelid, along with itching, burning, tearing and irritation.

Blepharitis can be treated in a variety of ways including cleaning and massaging eyelids, applying a warm compress and antibiotics. However, long term effects can cause problems, so it is important to consult with your eye care provider.

Looking for the perfect sunglasses? If you drive or spend time outdoors, polarized lenses can give you clearer vision by enhancing contrast and eliminating glare.

Glare is caused when light bounces off a smooth surface. Problems from glare range from annoyance to eye strain to temporary blindness.

Light vibrates along all axis. But when light strikes a reflecting object, such as water or a highway, a high percent of light waves bounce off in similar horizontal angles.

Polarized lenses contain microscopic vertical lines that effectively cancel out the horizontal waves—thereby reducing glare.

Select a pair of polarized glasses from the display rack. Find a bright glare on the floor, or tabletop. Next, look at the glare through the glasses. The glare is gone. Rotate the glasses sideways while looking at the same glare. Now rotate back. You can clearly see the difference.

By reducing glare, polarized sunglasses will prevent strong light from damaging your eyes, reduce your eye strain, and improve the way you perceive colors and contrast.

Latest Office News & Promotions


Dry Eyes Or Allergies? Which Do I Have?
April 5, 2018
As an eye doctor, diagnosing a red eye can be challenging. Are we dealing with an infection, allergy, inflammation or dryness? One of the most common questions I get is, “Doc, my eyes are red, burning, itchy, and tearing. Is this dry eye or from allergies?” The short answer is it could be one, both or neither. I’ll outline various ways t...
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