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Protect Your Eyes From Vision Loss: Diabetes Awareness Month

What Is Diabetic Retinopathy?

Diabetic Retinopathy (DR) is one of the most prevalent eye diseases affecting the working age population. It is thought to be caused by high blood sugar levels which, over time, damage the tiny blood vessels of the retina at the back of the eye, making them swell and leak. Left untreated, DR can lead to vision loss and eventually blindness.

Since diabetic eye disease is typically painless and shows no symptoms until its advanced stages, it’s critical to get your annual eye evaluation, as an optometrist can detect the developing signs early enough to prevent vision loss.

Symptoms of Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetics may not realize they have diabetic retinopathy, because it develops silently. As the condition worsens, it may cause:

  • Blurred vision
  • Poor night vision
  • Colors to appear faded or washed out
  • An increased presence of floaters
  • Vision loss
  • Blank or dark areas in your field of vision

Diabetic retinopathy symptoms usually affect both eyes.

Risk Factors

If you are diabetic, caring for your eyes by undergoing routine eye exams and taking care of your body by controlling blood sugar levels are critical to preventing vision loss. There are several risk factors associated with diabetic eye complications, including:

  • Poor blood sugar control
  • Smoking
  • High cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • Pregnancy
  • Excess weight/obesity

Are There Any Treatments for Diabetic Retinopathy?

Today’s treatment options may improve your vision, even if you feel your eyesight has begun to deteriorate. Medications can be injected to reduce swelling, and laser surgery can be used to shrink and seal off swollen and leaking blood vessels — preserving and, in many cases, even improving vision.

While certain treatments may work, frequent monitoring of your eyes coupled with managing your blood sugar levels can go a long way toward preventing or reducing diabetic retinopathy complications.

If You Have Diabetes, Make Sure to:

  • Control blood sugar and blood pressure to prevent long-term damage to the fine blood vessels within the retina.
  • Keep a healthy lifestyle routine, especially during stressful times such as the COVID-19 pandemic. (Plus, while diabetics are in the high-risk category, your chances of developing serious COVID-19 related complications is lower if your diabetes is under control.)
  • Maintain a steady diet and exercise regimen to help the body and mind feel better.
  • Quit smoking, if applicable; you can reach out to a medical professional for guidance.
  • Get yearly diabetic eye exams.

Preventing and managing diabetic retinopathy require a multi-disciplinary approach involving your eye doctor and other medical professionals. Your eye doctor will perform a comprehensive eye exam to determine whether you have diabetic retinopathy, assess its severity, and discuss preventative strategies as well as the latest treatment options.

Contact Eye Vision Associates at 631-588-5100 to schedule your diabetic eye exam today, and to learn more about what you can do to protect your vision and general health.

How Long Does It Take to Get Used to New Glasses?

Most people who wear glasses are familiar with the excitement and confidence boost that accompanies wearing new specs for the first time. But sometimes there is an adjustment period before your vision is fully comfortable. Things may look blurry, or you may notice feeling dizzy after prolonged wear. Some of these symptoms can be a normal part of the adjustment period, but sometimes they’re a reason to contact your eye doctor. If your new glasses are giving you trouble, speak with Dr. Gwen Gnadt about ensuring that your eyesight is both clear and comfortable. 

When Will My Eyes Adjust to My New Glasses?

It can take a few days to a few weeks for your eyes and brain to fully adjust to your new eyewear, whether you are increasing your prescription or wearing eyeglasses for the first time.

Even if you are getting new glasses with the same prescription, different frames or lenses can alter your vision until you get used to the new frame style or lens type. The complexity of your prescription and whether you buy a lens with premium optics versus basic spherical lens or polycarbonate material all can affect the adjustment time. 

Progressive lenses tend to be the most difficult to adjust to. This is related to the peripheral soft focus zones, which are much less blurred for customized lenses prescribed by your local optometrist. 

What Are Some Possible Visual Symptoms I Could Experience?

Some common experiences shared by those adjusting to new eyewear include:

  • Eye strain, headache
  • Blurry vision
  • Trouble with depth perception, nausea and dizziness
  • “Barrel distortion” — objects appear distorted, for high plus lenses
  • “Fishbowl effect” — the feeling that your visual field is being bent along the edges, as if you’re looking through a fishbowl, common in high minus prescriptions 

Why Do My New Glasses Give Me a Headache? 

Fatigued eye muscles can cause headaches. But your eyes aren’t the only things adjusting to your new lenses. Your brain is also working hard to create a clear picture of the messages it’s receiving from your eyes. This extra brain activity can sometimes bring on a headache, which should only last about a day or so. 

Why Do I Feel Dizzy With My New Glasses?

Dizziness and nausea can be caused by problems with depth perception, similar to motion sickness. With motion sickness, you feel uneasy because your brain is having difficulty understanding the position of your body in relation to the space surrounding it. So when you wear your new glasses, your brain may need some time to understand how to interpret the new images it’s receiving, causing you to feel disoriented or dizzy. 

When Should I Call My Eye Doctor?

When the adjustment period extends beyond a few weeks, there is a possibility that there was an error in the manufacturing of the lenses. Many people purchase eyewear from somewhere other than their eye doctor or order glasses online, and some studies have shown that up to 40% of online eyewear is made incorrectly or inaccurately. 

It’s important to note that many offices may charge fees to check eyewear that is not made by them and that there may be fees for rechecking a patient’s refraction when glasses are made by another source.

Discomfort that lasts longer than a couple of weeks means it’s time to call your optometrist. Persistent symptoms like headaches, dizziness, or blurry vision can indicate that your glasses aren’t well suited to your eyes and need adjusting. Your optometrist will double check the prescription of the glasses among other things to ensure that the new glasses are right for you. 

If you need new glasses or are having a hard time adjusting to a new pair, don’t hesitate to contact Eye Vision Associates to schedule an appointment with the Nesconset eye doctor. 

What visual skills are important for reading & comprehension?

book book pages bookcase browse 415071Vision and learning go hand in hand, and one main topic to consider when thinking about this area is reading, and one’s comprehension of what they read.

For many people, they think about vision as how well they can see, are they 20/20, or do they need glasses, however, vision is much more then just resolving the letters on the page. When reading, an individual has to keep a consistent clear image through the use of their accommodative system (focusing), a single image through the use of their binocular system, and keep their eye on the target through the use of their ocular motor system (tracking).

If any of the three areas above are not working properly, or they are not working together, then getting that information on the page into the brain can be quite difficult, even with the most accurate prescription glasses. Some symptoms that are associated with these areas are difficulty reading, poor reading comprehension, intermittent blurred or double vision, skipping lines, poor depth perception, and having an abnormal head tilt or posture.

Another area that is very important to vision and reading is visual perception. Visual perception is how one’s brain interprets the information that is seen. Visual perceptual skills such as visual form perception, visualization, visual memory and spatial organization are important in the recognition, recall, and manipulation of the spatial qualities of symbols and objects such as letters, numbers, shapes. Some symptoms that are associated with difficulties in these areas are difficulty reading, poor reading comprehension, difficulty with spelling and or handwriting, general clumsiness, constant activity, letter reversals, left/right confusion and excessive body movement when performing visual tasks.

At Eye Vision Associates, we are equipped with two optometrists who are fellows of the College of Vision and Development Dr. Meltzer and Tamburro, as well as two certified vision therapists, JoAnn and Marybeth who have both been with our practice for over twenty years. Our team provides thorough testing in order to identify deficiencies in any of these areas as well as treatment. Depending on your diagnosis, treatment may include the use of vision training either at our office or at home, and or glasses that may or may not have prism and or a prescription in order to aid your eyes in an area they are deficient in. At Eye Vision Associates, each case is carefully examined and an individualized plan is created, so if you or a family member has a concern please contact us in order to set up an evaluation.

Can I Stop My Child’s Vision from Getting Worse and Why is it so Important to do so?

This question is very general, and we could talk about many vision conditions that could affect your child’s vision but here we will focus on nearsightedness (or “Myopia”).

Being nearsighted means that generally your vision is good up close and blurred in the distance. There are many things that can determine if your child will need glasses from being nearsighted. Genetics will account for some risk, but the environment can account for up to 80% of the determination of if your child will become nearsighted. What in our environment makes us more nearsighted? Mostly being indoors and doing near work. This includes reading, writing, computer, phone, and tablets- really anything you spend your time doing inside at a close focal point.

Many patients that are themselves nearsighted may honestly wonder why many doctors have now started to “treat” myopia in young patients by trying to slow progression instead of just giving them an updated prescription for their glasses every year like they probably got when they were younger. Why the worry now to do something different? Simply stated: numbers! The percent of young people (under 18) that will become nearsighted in the U.S. is estimated to go up to 50% in the next 30 or so years, by 2050! Also, the amount of myopia is also climbing. Meaning that the amount of myopia is more severe and the prescription higher/worse. In order to explain why this is a more serious problem then you may realize let’s take a look at what higher amounts of Myopia do to the eye physically.

myopia diagramBelow is a picture of how your eye sees light. This shows light coming into the eye, being focused by the cornea and lens, and projected onto the retina (inside lining of the eye) to make a clear image.

If you are nearsighted the light image will fall short, in front of the retina and so the image becomes blurred. This happens because there is elongation in the Retina. The eye is physically too long. As more and more stretching or elongation occurs in the Retina, we have to give a patient a stronger and stronger lenses to compensate and put the image in the right focal point.

The risk for ALL myopic patients is that more stretching in the Retina puts you at an exponential higher risk for sight-threatening ocular diseases later in your life. For example, a low amount of myopia , -0.50 to -1.00, will put a patient at 2x the risk vs. the general population for Macular Degeneration as they age. However, once a patient progresses to about a -5.00 in their prescription their risk is now 40x greater and at a -9.00 they are about 250x greater risk! Long-standing research shows myopia increases the risk of retinal detachment, macular degeneration, cataracts, glaucoma, and more.

Children that are still growing and have high amounts of growth hormone still being released are particularly at risk for changes, progression, and worsening of vision. Laser vision correction will NOT fix this problem. Lasers can be used to reshape the cornea and redirect light onto the focal point in the retina, which results in clear vision but does nothing to reverse the stretching that has already occurred in the back of the eye. Those LASIK patients will still have the same ocular disease risk as they age.

As you can imagen more children with higher amounts of nearsightedness in the future is a worrying prospect.

The doctors at Eye Vision have multiple treatments to help slow the progression of nearsightedness in young patients at any age. Book an appointment with one of our doctors and find out which options might be best for you and your child.

How Does Head Trauma Affect the Visual System?

Dr. Meltzer answers this week’s EVA Q & A question: How does head trauma affect the visual system?

If you have a question you’d like to see answered in a future EVA Q and A, please post it in the comments below!

Head trauma comes in many different forms and has many different causes. It can be due to accidents, such as a car crash, a sports injury, a fall, or any other concussion causing injury. Head trauma may also be due to medical conditions such as a stroke, a tumor, brain surgery, direct trauma to the eye and/or the muscles that control them, or due to neurological / degenerative conditions, such as Parkinson’s Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, and others.

Regardless of the cause, any injury or trauma to the brain has the potential to disrupt the visual system. Due to the complexity of processing our vision, and controlling our eyes, almost every part of our brain is involved in one way or another. Symptoms of head trauma can include, but aren’t limited to:

  • Trouble seeing clearly
  • Missing part of one’s field of view
  • Trouble shifting focus from one position to another
  • Trouble reading: losing one’s place, skipping lines, reduced comprehension ability, or unable to sustain the ability to read as long as one once did
  • Double vision or needing to close or cover one eye occasionally or often
  • Headaches; especially in the forehead, around the eyes, and/or at the temples
  • Problems with balance or equilibrium
  • Pain or dryness of the eyes
  • Drooping of one or both eyelids
  • Trouble keeping eyes open
  • Light sensitivity
  • Needing to move your head to see better

At Eye Vision Associates, Drs. Meltzer & Tamburro can help assess these, and more, visual symptoms you may be having and help you develop a diagnosis and treatment plan to get you back to your maximum visual abilities. Call us at (631) 588-5100 to schedule a consultation if you, or a family member, may be having any of these issues. If you have any additional questions, you can leave them in the comments below or email Dr. Meltzer directly at BRMeltzer@EyeVisionAssociates.com

AMD – Macular Degeneration

Do you ever wonder, “What exactly is Macular Degeneration?”, or “What can I do to protect myself from developing Macular Degeneration?”? Well, you’ve come to the right place. First, here are a few quick facts about AMD (Age-related macular degeneration):

  • AMD is the leading cause of severe vision loss in people aged 50 and over in developed countries.
  • There are two basic types of AMD: “dry” and “wet” with 85-90% of people who are affected, having the “dry” type.
  • There is no treatment for the “dry” kind, though many studies are currently being conducted. Intraocular injections and laser are both used for treatment of the “wet” kind.
  • The biggest risk factor for developing AMD is age, which is why it is called “age-related” macular degeneration.

“How do I know if I have macular degeneration?” Early symptoms include:

  • Gradual loss of clear, central vision
  • Distortion to shapes of objects or waviness to straight lines
  • A dark spot in the center of your vision

The earlier that AMD is detected, the better; this is why most eyecare professionals recommend routine, annual eye exams.

“What can I do to reduce my risk of developing macular degeneration?” Unfortunately, many risk factors like age, sex and race are non-modifiable. There are a few things we can control:

  • Do not smoke.
  • Eat a diet rich in green, leafy vegetables.
  • Protect your eyes from UV exposure by wearing large brimmed hats or sunglasses when outside.

We at EYE VISON ASSOCIATES can help diagnose and manage macular degeneration. If you have a family history of AMD and have not had a routine eye exam in a few years, we would be happy to have you in for an exam. Please give us a call at 631-588-5100 to schedule an appointment so we can help keep your eyes healthy!

What is a Floater and Should I Be Concerned?

background blur bokeh bright 220067The term “floater” refers to deposits found in the vitreous body of the eye, which is the gel-like material inside the eyeball. The vitreous may liquefy and bunch together to form tiny strings or balls. Floaters may look like specks, lines, cobwebs or spots, floating into your vision when looking at a blank surface. They shift as the eyes do, though they do not follow this movement exactly and may still drift, particularly when the eyes are still. For most individuals, eye floaters are a minor inconvenience and are not much of a cause for concern, but in rare cases patients find they cause significant disruption to their vision.

The vitreous of the eye is clear, which allows light to enter the retina easily, resulting in vision. Moving the head while experiencing eye floaters causes the bunched pieces to move and sometimes cast a shadow on the retina, which explains why eye floaters occasionally affect vision.

Eye floaters can occur at random in one or both eyes, and the density and pattern may vary within each eye as well as overtime. Unfortunately, eye floaters do not disappear completely once noticed, but they can settle out of the patient’s field of vision. Alternatively, the patient can adapt to their presence, and their brain will thus begin to filter them out. Eye floater patterns differ among patients as some may only see one or two, whereas others can see hundreds. An increase of floaters accompanied by flashes of light is a medical emergency and should receive medical attention immediately.

The major reason patients experience eye floaters is old age. As individuals age, the vitreous around the eye gradually liquefies in a process called syneresis. These often come in pockets, which are what patients often notice as eye floaters, within the regular gel-like nature of the vitreous.

Posterior vitreous detachment, another condition causing eye floaters in old age, occurs when the collagen fibers start to condense and cause the vitreous to pull away from the back of the eye. This is considered normal as patients age, but may result in a retinal tear or complete detachment.

Patients who have diabetes are at a higher risk of retinopathy, where the capillaries in their retinas become leaky and allow the blood and its contents into the retina, resulting in swelling. Diabetic retinopathy puts individuals at a higher risk for eye floaters because of the stress placed on their retinas and the potential for hemorrhage. Cellular material such as red blood cells or white blood cells due to hemorrhage and inflammation can cause floaters. Hemorrhages may occur as a result of diabetic retinopathy, injury, eye surgery, or retinal tear through a blood vessel.

Nearsightedness or myopia causes the patient’s eyes to lengthen, resulting in more changes to the vitreous. Ultimately, this increases the patient’s risk of developing eye floaters, and often the number of floaters they experience as well. Nearsightedness can be quite frustrating for individuals to deal with, but thankfully there are quite a few ways this condition can be managed, such as wearing glasses or contact lenses. There are also techniques now available at Eye Vision Associates to control the progression of myopia and therefore lessen the visual consequences associated with it. While the vitreous of the eye can still change, treating nearsightedness as early and as effectively as possible can help reduce the patient’s risk of developing eye floaters.

Various eye infections and injuries to the eye can also increase an individual’s risk of developing eye floaters. Eye injuries and infections can cause swelling, negative impacts on vision, pressure on certain portions of the eye, and more. Any or even all of these can make eye floaters appear in the eye, even if it turns out to be a temporary reaction, such as blinking away spots in vision after looking directly at bright lights for a short period.

Uveitis is a condition in which the middle layer of the eye, called the uvea, swells. The uvea is responsible for supplying blood to the retina, which is the part of the eye that views images and send them to the brain. This condition can be the result of both infectious causes as well as non-infectious ones. In many instances, the cause of uveitis is unknown and occurs in healthy adults, but it can also occur due to autoimmune disorders, serious infections, toxin exposure, or trauma to the eye. Aside from eye floaters, other symptoms of uveitis include pain, blurred vision, sensitivity to light, and severe redness in the eye.

As its name suggests, retinal detachment is a condition where the retina detaches from the back of the eye. The result of this happening is a loss of vision. This loss of vision can be either total or partial, depending on the extent of the detachment. It is crucial to note the cells of the retina may be severely deprived of oxygen when it is detached from the rest of the eye. It is largely because of this, and if patients experience sudden changes in vision, that retinal detachment is considered a medical emergency.

One of the sudden and severe changes in vision to watch for when it comes to retinal detachment is eye floaters. When retinal detachment is the cause, eye floaters will appear suddenly and in great numbers.

An individual who has bleeding in the eye can see eye floaters. Bleeding or hemorrhage into the vitreous can be caused by many factors including eye injury, brain bleed, obstructed blood vessels in the eye, diabetic retinopathy, posterior vitreous detachment, and sickle cell disease. If there is blood inside someone’s eye, it blocks the normal transmission of light to the retina and the result is the appearance of eye floaters.

Routine eye examinations with the doctors at Eye Vision Associates are encouraged to detect and diagnose various eye conditions during their early stages, which can help prevent complications such as eye floaters from occurring in the first place. Of course, sometimes eye floaters are one of the first symptoms of many eye conditions, including uveitis. If this is the case, routine eye exams can still catch eye floaters and help the doctor diagnose the underlying problem before it causes issues with your vision. In all instances, though, routine eye examinations are necessary for promoting eye health and handling eye floaters in all forms.

What is Astigmatism?

I wanted to discuss astigmatism because it is very common. In fact most people wearing glasses and reading this now have at least some small amounts! Many doctors like to explain astigmatism to patients by telling them that their eye is “shaped more like a football than a baseball”, so in other words astigmatism has to do with the shape of your eye. But what exactly does that mean for your vision and how do we correct that in your glasses or contact lenses?

First, we have to discuss how the eye processes an image. Your eye works a lot like a camera. Light comes in through the cornea and lens to a focal point that lands on your retina.

astigmatism diagram

If you are nearsighted or myopia then your retina is elongated/stretched and the image falls in front of the retina. The opposite is true for farsighted or hyperopia, the eye is smaller and the image falls behind the retina. With astigmatism, because of that oval shape the image splits! These images can be in front, behind, or both in the same eye.

Patients with astigmatism tend to squint a lot to reduce the blur they see. Astigmatism is notorious for giving people glare, halos, eye strain, and headaches. It can be the cause of poor night vision and/or computer fatigue and discomfort.

Some people only need to correct their astigmatism for certain tasks and others need it corrected full time. If you look at the Rx below:

OD -3.00 sph

OS -3.00 -1.00 x180

The right eye (OD) does not have astigmatism. This eye has one power over the whole lens that redirects the light to focus properly on the retina and is spherical. The left eye (OS), however, has different corrections to compensate for the shape of the eye and this brings the split image together.

Astigmatism can be in any amount at any axis between 0 and 180 degrees. It can decrease or increase with age or change axis.

If you have any questions or topics you would like to hear about please let us know!

Is 20-20 Vision Important for the Classroom?

Hi there. Dr. Meltzer here to answer this week’s EVA Q&A question about the importance of 20/20 vision in the classroom. I often see children whose parents state that their child’s vision was tested by their pediatrician or school nurse. What they usually mean is that their child’s ability to see 20/20 was tested. While this is important, is it the MOST important skill needed for children to do well in school? Here are two photos for you to observe. The one over here is a pixilated image of someone you may recognize. Did you figure out who it was almost immediately? I’m sure most of you did. The photo surely is NOT sharp and crisp like a 20/20 image should be but your brain was able to process the visual information there, match it with known visual information you’ve experienced, and come up with Abraham Lincoln rather quickly, right?

Now over here is another photo. I assure you that it has not been blurred, changed, or edited in any way at all. It is a clear picture of something you have all seen at some time in your life. You can go to this video blog post on our website, eyevisionassociates.com, and take as long as you’d like to look at this picture. I won’t say what it is but I will tell you this: Once your brain is able to figure out what it is seeing here, you will never see this picture as you do now as your brain will process it, immediately, as what you now know it to be. This is because there vision is MORE THAN just reading a 20/20 size letter on a chart!

Pixilated AL For BLOG POST

Vision is our brain’s ability to analyze and quickly process what we are looking at and make appropriate responses and actions. Even though the Abraham Lincoln photo wasn’t 20/20, many of you were able to quickly process it. A sharp, crisp, 4k, 20/20 image was NOT needed to do so correctly. And many of you with good eyesight may still have no idea what that second picture is. Are you starting to see that there is MUCH MORE to how we see than just reading the 20/20 line on an eye chart?

Vision screenings neglect to assess the importance of the following skills that are essential to a child’s success in the classroom:

  • First, there is our eyes Accommodative or focusing skills. This refers to the ability of the eyes to keep am image in focus as we look at different distances. It also refers to the visual system’s ability to sustain that focus over an extended period of time, for example, keeping the text clear when reading a book.
  • Secondly, good scanning and tracking skills are vital. These refer to our ability to move the two eyes together. This can be done as pursuit which is when we smoothly move our eyes to track and follow something, like the teacher walking around the classroom. This can also be done as a rapid shifting of our eyes from one object to another, also called a saccade, where the eyes quickly take their attention from one point in the classroom and very quickly move it to another point in the classroom.
  • Another important skill is the ability to aim our eyes between near and far objects; also referred to as converging; when we look from far to near or diverging; when we look from near to far. Equally important, and related, is the ability to keep the eyes aligned when looking at a fixed distance over an extended period of time.

The physical act of trying to read requires ALL of these skills to work together, at the same time, in order to be successful. The eyes have to be able to look at that first word in a paragraph, focus on it so that it is legible, converge the eyes to both be aiming at that word, so that it is not double, and then finally jump from one word to the next, and one line to the next, in order to read. And this is just describing how to read the words. We haven’t even discussed the most crucial aspect of the visual system! It’s ability to interpret and process what it is seeing. That is the difference between the act of reading and the ability to comprehend what we read!

So the final area we need to briefly discuss before I end this video are those visual processing skills! These skills refer to the ability of our brain to interpret and analyze what our eyes are seeing. This is a complicated process that, in order to explain it properly, will be the topic of a future blog post! For the purpose of this video, I will just say that it is the pinnacle of our ability to look at something and glean as much information as possible from it and truly be able to comprehend what we are looking at and our ability to interact with the world around us.

Many children who struggle in the classroom are found to have excellent eyesight, the ability to see 20/20 but have a poorly functioning visual system. Whether they cannot aim, focus, or track properly or struggle with more complex issues with how their brain process the information their eyes are gathering, is the purpose of seeing a behavioral optometrist who understands these skills, how they should have developed in a child, and, most importantly, how to help your child develop any skills that may not be adequate for what they are doing in school.

COW FOR 20 20 Blog post

So if you have a child who has passed a school or pediatrician’s vision screening but they are still struggling to learn to read or succeed in the classroom, please have them see one of our residency trained Behavioral Optometrists. Drs. Meltzer and Tamburro will help determine how we may be able help your child achieve their full potential in the classroom!

 

 

 

 

 

What Does it Mean If I Have Pink or Red Eye?

Pink eye, also known as conjunctivitis, is an inflammation of the conjunctiva. The conjunctiva is a thin membrane that lines your eyelid and covers the white part of the eye. When blood vessels of the conjunctiva become inflamed, they get enlarged which causes the eye to appear red or pinkish.

Pink eye is highly contagious and it can spread very quickly. Fortunately, it’s rarely serious. It’s very rare that it damages your vision. Early treatment is the key to a quick recovery. Proper measures are required to prevent its spread which can mitigate the chances of long-term complications caused by pink eye.

Pink eye can be irritating as it can cause severe burning and itching. Symptomatic treatments can help decrease the discomfort of pink eye. Early diagnosis and treatment can help limit the spread of pink eye.

Pink eye generally has three main causes: Viral, bacterial, or allergic.

Pink Eye caused by viruses is very contagious so quarantine might be necessary. The virus most commonly responsible is the adenovirus. This virus often causes upper respiratory type infections, such as a sore throat. Coronavirus can also cause pink eye. In addition, the herpes virus can also cause a viral pink eye infection. Unique symptoms of pink eye-specific to this type include swollen or tenderness in the front of ears, excessive tears, and whitish discharge.

When Pink Eye is caused by bacteria the symptoms include discharge of grey or yellowish color, eyelashes sticking together, and swelling of the upper eyelid. Some mild pain may be present as well. This type is extremely contagious as well, and so isolation is important. This type does have treatment with antibiotics, however. So, healing time can be cut in half with these.

When allergies are the culprit to pink eye, pollen, make-up, dust, pets, or mold may be involved. Some allergies such as pollen and plants are difficult to avoid. There are many types of allergy eye drops available to minimize the discomfort from eye allergies. This type of pink eye is not contagious, so work may continue as usual. If the redness is in one eye and not the other, it is not likely to be attributed to this type.

Practicing good hygiene is important to control the spread of pink eye. Certain measures are:

  • Never touch your eyes with your hands.
  • You should wash your hands often.
  • It is important to use a clean towel daily
  • Never share your towels or washcloths with your friends or family.
  • Change your pillowcases often.
  • It is advised not to share eye cosmetics or personal eye care items with others.

If the eye shows more redness, then the things listed above may not be the cause and something more serious may be the problem. The Doctors at Eye Vision Associates are available 24/7 to triage your problems and are happy to help you solve your eye care needs.

 

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