Eye Protection Essentials for When You Hit the Slopes This Winter

Nothing is more beautiful than the sun peeking up from behind snow-covered peaks. The air is crisp, the powder is fresh, and the slopes are ready. But are your eyes ready? If you participate in winter sports, you undoubtedly check your equipment and your clothing several times before heading out. One of the essentials for winter sports that is often overlooked: eye protection. Proper eye protection will not only keep you seeing clearly, but it will keep you safe and comfortable as you enjoy the winter wonderland.

Why Use Eye Protection?

There are a myriad of reasons to grab some goggles or other eye protection before going to the mountains to play. The first and most harmless reason is to avoid sunburn on the eyes. Eye burn is painful and annoying, and totally preventable.

The second reason is to avoid UV rays getting into the eyes. If you think that UV rays are absorbed by the snow, think again. Up to 80% of sunlight is reflected back by the snow and ice, making sunlight twice as damaging in the winter. UV rays can do more harm than just sunburn, they can burn and damage the retina. This damage can eventually contribute to cataracts.

UV rays that aren’t filtered by the retina can continue on to do damage to the macula, or the part of the eye responsible for visual acuity. This UV damage can cause macular degeneration and vision loss.

Finally, eyes can also be damaged by tree branches or other flying debris. Wearing protective gear over the eyes can prevent these items from doing permanent damage to the eyes. It can also shield the eyes from snow and other precipitation, making skiing or snowboarding much easier.

Good Choices for Winter Eye Protection

No matter your style or needs, there is most certainly a type of eye protection that will suit you.

Goggles

This choice offers the best protection from the sun and elements. Their design shields your eyes in the front and sides. They also help keep your face warm and can prevent frost bite. Goggles come with different tinted lenses, and certain colors work best in certain conditions:

  • Orange and yellow: best in overcast or hazy conditions, make shadows brighter
  • Brown, copper, and grey: best in sunny conditions, make it easier to focus
  • Amber, rose, and red: best in partly cloudy conditions, help emphasize shadows

Many companies offer interchangeable lenses, so you can change your lenses right there on the slope as a storm rolls in. Discomfort can be a concern with goggles, so make sure you try on plenty of pairs that fit well on both your face and your head.

Sunglasses:

Sunglasses are easier to wear and much smaller than goggles, but the downside is that they only protect your eyes from the front. Sunglasses are usually preferred for days with no snow or other precipitation. They are also best in conditions that aren’t particularly cold. When choosing good sunglasses for winter sports, remember that fashion sunglasses won’t do the trick. Look for specialty sports sunglasses with tinted lenses (see color guide above) and 90% to 100% UV blockage. The longer you are going to be on the slopes, the higher the UV blockage should be.

There’s No Excuse for Not Wearing Eye Protection

Good winter eye protection is an essential, second only to a good helmet. Eye protection can be custom fit to you, and prescription lenses can even be made for your eye protection. Eyewear can be found in all price ranges, and are available at many different outlets. Since it’s so easy and affordable to get good sunglasses and goggles, there’s no excuse to not wear eye protection this winter.

Nothing gets in the way of a great day on the mountain like not being able to see properly. If you have questions about finding great winter eyewear, look no further than Advanced Eye Medical. Their eye protection experts can help you find a great pair of sunglasses or goggles. Schedule your winter eye protection consultation today and hit the slopes with clarity.

Does High Cholesterol Have an Impact on Eyesight?

Eyes can tell you a lot about a person’s character. And as it turns out, they can also tell you a lot about a person’s cholesterol, too. High cholesterol certainly isn’t a good thing. Too much cholesterol can adversely affect the heart and circulatory system and it can also spell trouble for your eyes. It can cause serious conditions and even vision loss. With proper screening and treatment, high cholesterol can be treated and eyesight can be preserved.

High Cholesterol Explained

Cholesterol is produced by the body in order to help support cell membranes, synthesize Vitamin D, and produce hormones. However, eating a diet high in animal products, like meats and dairy, can increase the amount of cholesterol in the body and lead to problems.

Cholesterol consists of two parts- LDLs and HDLs. LDLs, or low density lipoproteins, are the bad part of cholesterol. They cause plaque buildup in the arteries, which leads to atherosclerosis, stroke, heart attack, and eye problems. HDLs, or high density lipoproteins, are the good part of cholesterol. They help to break down the LDLs in the blood stream to prevent plaque buildup.

Why Cholesterol Matters for Your Eyes

It’s obvious why cholesterol is important for your heart and arteries, but what about the eyes? Problems in the arteries lead to problems in the blood vessels. The eyes need healthy blood vessels to have optimum functioning. Here are just a few eye conditions that can be caused by high cholesterol:

  • Corneal arcus: Too much cholesterol in the body can lead to deposits of fat and cholesterol in the eye, which causes a yellow, white, or gray ring around the cornea. This condition does not affect vision, but it is a big warning sign that cholesterol levels are too high and that there could be an underlying vascular problem that needs treating.
  • Xanthoma: Fat deposits from high cholesterol levels, called xanthomas, can occur around the eyes. These deposits occur under the skin and can be quite large and unpleasant. They can burst and cause further problems, but they don’t directly affect vision.
  • Retinal vein occlusion: Plaque buildup can affect the blood vessels in and around the eyes. The plaque can cause a blood clot in the blood vessel that travels from the retina, and this clot can block the blood vessel and even cause it to burst, which cuts off the blood supply to the retina. This process happens silently, and retinal vein occlusion usually results in partial or total loss of vision. Laser treatments and other medicines can sometimes help restore vision and prevent further damage.

Screening and Treatment Can Save Your Eyes

Since the blood vessels of the eyes, particularly the retina, are easily observed, they play a key role in diagnosing vascular disease and high cholesterol. Getting an annual eye exam is crucial in helping detect a cholesterol problem early so that it can be treated. Contact Advanced Eye Medical today to schedule your eye exam and don’t let high cholesterol leave you in the dark.

 

How to Properly Flush a Foreign Object from the Eye

Whenever dirt or sand gets into our eyes, it seems like we tear up, blink a few times, and the nuisance is gone. While small foreign objects are easily flushed by the eye’s natural responses, larger objects might be more difficult to manage. Foreign objects in the eye can be painful and alarming. Knowing how to properly flush an object from the eye can help relieve pain and other symptoms while preserving your vision.

Finding the Foreign Object

Before an object can be flushed, it must be found. Minor foreign objects like dirt, grass, or a stubborn eyelash should be easily viewed in the eye. Follow these steps to find the object:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly
  • Find a well-lit area and a clear mirror to look in
  • Look up, down, and to each side to locate the object
  • If the object seems to be on the bottom eyelid, gently grasp the lower eyelid and pull down to view inside the eyelid
  • If the object seems to be on the upper eyelid, use a cotton swab placed on the upper eyelid and fold the top eyelid back over the swab to look inside the upper eyelid

Flushing the Foreign Object

Once you’ve found the object, you can begin to flush it out. If you are wearing contact lenses, remove them if at all possible before flushing the eye. Flush the eye from the inner corner to the outer corner to avoid getting the foreign object in the other eye. Hold the eyelids open while the eye is being flushed. You may choose to enlist someone else’s help in flushing the eye to help make it easier. There are several methods for flushing the eye:

  • Use an eye wash solution to cleanse the eye
  • Place the eye under a gently running tap at room temperature
  • Stand in the shower with the eye under the running water
  • Submerge the eye in a shallow bowl or dish filled with clean water
  • Use a large pitcher to pour water into the eye
  • If outdoors, use a slow running hose to wash the eye

Do’s and Don’ts for Eye Flushing

  • DO use plenty of water to flush out the object
  • DON’T use alcohol or any other household substance to flush the eye
  • DO contact your doctor if you experience continued irritation, redness, sensitivity to light, or vision changes
  • DON’T attempt to flush an object that has punctured they eye; seek medical attention immediately

Contact an Eye Doctor for Support

Having a foreign object in your eye can be a scary experience. If you are unable to remove a foreign object, a foreign object has punctured your eye, or if you have any concerns following eye flushing, don’t hesitate to seek help from an eye doctor. The doctors at Advanced Eye Medical are ready to assist you with any foreign object eye concerns. Call them today at 1-888-439-6565 get the relief you need.

Tips for Protecting Your Eyes During the Winter

Shielding our body from the cold is a big deal during wintertime. We cover up nearly every part of our body, from our neck to our toes, in an attempt to battle cold weather worries. However, a part that most of us forget is our eyes. They are particularly prone to issues caused by the cold, and they deserve some special attention from us during the winter. Let’s look at some of the bigger winter eye concerns and tips for combating them.

Cold Weather Eye Concern: Dry air

Cranking up the heater can mean that there is less moisture in the air. This can lead to eye dryness, which is the number one winter eye complaint. Excessive dryness can eventually damage the cornea and lead to blurred vision, so treating it is important. Try these tips to keep your eyes from feeling dry and itchy.

  • Drink plenty of water: keeping your body hydrated at the cellular level is important
  • Use eye drops: artificial tears and other eye lubricants can relieve dry, irritated eyes
  • Get a humidifier: this can add some moisture back into the air and relieve your dry eyes

Cold Weather Eye Concern: Bright sunlight

Protecting our eyes in summer is like second-nature, but many people forget that it’s just as important in the winter. UV rays are still present, and when the rays bounce off of the snow, they can be twice as dangerous. The goal with winter eye protection is to avoid Keratitis, which is a condition where UV damage causes redness, irritation, and light sensitivity. Follow these tips to keep your eyes from getting burned.

  • Wear sunglasses: this is the best way to shield your eyes while outdoors
  • Limit time outside: this is the easiest way to limit the UV exposure of your eyes
  • Be cautious at high altitudes: if you enjoy skiing or other winter sports, be mindful that UV rays are even stronger at higher altitudes

Cold Weather Eye Concern: Injury

Our eyes have a lot coming at them in winter: precipitation, slush, gravel, and tree branches just to name a few. Eye injury due to a foreign object entering the eye is a concern for those who are active during the winter months, so don’t forget these tips as you venture out.

  • Wear goggles: this is the best way to shield your eyes from damage (tinted goggles are a bonus because they shield the eyes from matter, as well as UV rays!)
  • Practice common sense: don’t engage in an activity that could easily result in eye injury, such as snowball fights or skiing down a path with many branches

Cold Weather Eye Concern: Infection

Viruses, bacteria, and other organisms are prevalent during the winter. Not only are we more likely to get a cold or the flu, but we’re at greater risk of getting an eye infection. Untreated infections are not only uncomfortable, but they could lead to serious vision problems. Practice these tips to keep your eyes unharmed.

  • Wash your hands: simple hygiene goes a long way towards preventing eye infection
  • Don’t rub your eyes: this could introduce bacteria into the eyes

Don’t Let the Cold Weather Steal Your Sight

Following these simple tips can help you avoid any winter eye issues. Despite our best efforts, sometimes we find ourselves with an eye problem. Seeking help from a medical professional is important to keep these eye problems from causing serious vision damage. The doctors and staff at Advanced Eye Medical have expert knowledge to battle a variety of cold weather eye concerns. Schedule your consultation today and experience the coolness of great vision.

10 Vision Myths that Everyone Falls For

“Don’t cross your eyes or they’ll stay that way!”

“Don’t sit too close to the TV because you’re hurting your eyes!”

“Turn a light on to read, or you’re going to make yourself go blind!”

Everyone has believed these things at one time or another. And though people get older and wiser, it seems that they haven’t wised up to the truth behind all of these pieces of eye advice. Vision can be a touchy subject for people, because blindness is one of the top healthcare-related fears. It comes in third, right after cancer and heart disease. People fear losing their vision more than any other sense, which is why they keep falling for silly vision myths. Here’s a list of the…

Top 10 vision myths that everyone falls for, and why they simply aren’t true

Myth #1: Crossing your eyes will make them stay that way

Truth: Crossing your eyes is totally harmless! Your eyes have muscles, and those muscles can move. They can move your eyes look out, up, down, or in this case, inward. Your eyes move inward to focus on an object as it gets closer to your face. So, crossing your eyes is normal, natural, and pretty hilarious, and unless you have a well-timed muscle spasm, they won’t stay that way.

Myth #2: Sitting close to the TV or computer will hurt your vision

Truth: At worst, the TV or computer will give you a bit of temporary eye strain. And it’s not even the screen’s fault, it’s your own. Most people don’t blink when they look at a screen, so your eyes get dry and your vision suffers for a bit until your eyes get moist again. As for distance from the screen, you can’t be too close. Children often sit close because they think it’s fun, and their eyes are equipped to handle it.

Myth #3: Reading in a dim environment will ruin your eyes

Truth: One ophthalmologist had a great comeback for this one: “It’s like saying if you take a picture in poor light, then the camera is going to be damaged.” Reading in dim light is certainly harder, but it won’t ruin your eyes. It’s simple science: your pupils have to enlarge in order to get more light to the retina so that your eyes can focus on an image. Having less light won’t hurt anything, but it might make it harder to read. Reading of any kind can cause temporary eye strain, but nothing more.

Myth #4: Carrots can help improve your eyesight

Truth: Ah, if only it were that simple! You could eat nothing but carrots all day, and the most exciting thing to happen to your body would be orange-tinted skin. Carrots won’t change your vision. It is true that they are an excellent source of Vitamin A and beta carotene, which are nutrients that eyes need to be healthy. Keep eating them as part of a healthy diet, but don’t expect the numbers on the chart to get clearer because of them.

Myth #5: Squinting is bad for your eyes

Truth: This one is in the same vein as the cross-eyed myth. Squinting is our body’s natural response to a bright environment. The eyelids come together to help filter out some of the light before it hits the pupil, which helps the eyes focus better. That’s why people who can’t see squint- it helps them focus. It isn’t bad for your eyes and it won’t worsen vision. You might get a headache from working all those face muscles, though.

Myth #6: If you don’t wear your glasses, your vision will just get worse

Truth: Let’s be clear here: your vision will get worse over time. Period. Dot. This happens with or without corrective lenses. If you need glasses but don’t wear them, you will just live in a blurry world and you will probably have a headache from squinting too much. Your eyes don’t know that you are supposed to be wearing your glasses, and they won’t punish you by deteriorating further. Not wearing glasses won’t make you see worse.

Myth #7: If your parents have poor vision, then so will you

Truth: When Shakespeare wrote that “the sins of the father are to be laid upon the children,” I don’t think he was referring to glasses. Just because your parents can’t see doesn’t mean you’ll be cursed with the same fate. Some eye conditions are inheritable, but there’s no guarantee. Many eye conditions are a result of environment rather than genetics. Many, like cataracts, are simply the result of aging eyes.

Myth #8: Wearing glasses will make your vision worse and cause dependence on glasses

Truth: It’s funny how people want to personify their eyes. Eyes really don’t have a personality. They don’t think that glasses are a horrible thing that cause addiction and decay. This myth just isn’t true. Wearing glasses isn’t going to change the physiology of your eyes. The lens of the eye continues to grow throughout someone’s life, and the growth can cause continued problems with vision. That’s why someone may need a stronger pair of glasses in the future, not because of wearing glasses.

Myth #9: Staring at the sun is okay if you’ve got sunglasses on

Truth: Don’t look at the sun. Just don’t do it. UV rays will fry your eyes. Sunglasses make the frying harder, but not impossible. If you stare at a solar eclipse, you could even go blind. DO NOT STARE AT THE SUN.

Myth #10: You only need to see an eye doctor if something is wrong

Truth: This might be the worst myth of all. Remember that prevention is the best medicine!

A regular eye exam can not only keep your eyes healthy and ensure proper vision, but it can screen for other health issues and avoid future eye disease. Catching problems early minimizes the consequences. Don’t wait until something is wrong to see an eye doctor, even if you have perfect vision.

Be a Myth-Buster: Take Care of Your Eyes the Right Way!

Don’t fall for silly vision myths. Use common sense with your eye care, and remember that if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. If you are wondering about these or any other vision myths, why not ask an ophthalmologist? The doctors at Advanced Eye Medical would be happy to answer any questions and get you on the right path to great eye health.

High Blood Pressure and Eyesight

High blood pressure, or hypertension, is called the silent killer. This is because it often goes untreated and undiagnosed in many people. Left untreated, it can cause damage to the heart, the lungs, and the circulatory system. So what does this condition mean for your eyes? According to the American Heart Association, there are…

Three ways in which hypertension can affect your eyesight:

1. Hypertension can damage the blood vessels in the eye, as well as the optic nerve

Since blood flows through the blood vessels at a higher pressure than usual, the delicate blood vessels can become damaged. In the eyes, high blood pressure makes blood vessels restrict or even break, causing eye bleeding and vision problems. The damage to the blood vessels could also cause leakage in a layer of tissue under the retina. This condition, called choroidopathy, can cause scarring that will permanently damage vision. High blood pressure can also make the optic nerve swell, which reduces vision.

2. Hypertension can cause a stroke, which can lead to vision damage or loss

The arteries in the brain are damaged by hypertension, which makes a stroke more likely. Arteries to the brain are either clogged or burst during a stroke, meaning that a part of the brain will lack oxygen and nutrients and will begin to die. This could mean damage in the area of the brain responsible for handling vision. Damage to the brain could also result in damage to the optic nerve (optic neuropathy), which could impair vision.

3. Untreated hypertension can lead to hypertensive retinopathy

Maybe the biggest concern for hypertension and vision is a disease called hypertensive retinopathy. In this disease, the high blood pressure causes damage to the blood vessels that lead to the retina. This can result in eye cells dying, which means blurred vision, eye bleeding, and permanent vision damage. Any damage done by hypertensive retinopathy is non-reversible, and untreated hypertension could lead to permanent blindness.

How to Combat Eye Problems Caused by High Blood Pressure

Getting your blood pressure tested by your regular doctor annually is important. Early detection of blood pressure problems can help treatment begin before any damage is done.

Also, be sure to have an annual eye exam with an expert ophthalmologist. These trained eye doctors know the exact signs and symptoms of hypertension-related eye problems. They also know when problems in the eye can be a sign of a bigger problem within the body. Simply getting an eye exam can do more than get you a prescription for glasses or contacts, it could truly save your life.

Get Checked at Advanced Eye Medical

If you want to avoid the blurry vision, eye bleeding, and vision problems that can come with high blood pressure, then call the experts at Advanced Eye Medical today. Getting a simple exam can keep your eyes healthy and effective and can even screen for bigger problems. Schedule your appointment today and protect your body and your eyes.

Common Eye Injuries and How to Treat Them

An injury to the eye can be pretty daunting. After all, vision is important, and you only have one pair of eyes. Some injuries are caused by everyday activities, like shampoo getting in the eyes, and are considered minor, while some injuries, like taking a speeding hockey puck to the eye, can be far more dangerous. Eye injuries are fairly common, and knowing what to do for an eye injury can help save your vision and heal your eyes.

Injury: Foreign object in the eye

This occurs when any foreign object, from wood to plastic to metal, enters the eye and becomes trapped.

How to Treat:

Do not attempt to remove the foreign object from the eye, as that could cause even further damage. Also, do not rub the eye. If the substance contains iron, it can rust in the eye and cause additional damage that needs to be treated. Loosely cover the eye and seek medical attention right away.

Injury: Corneal abrasion (scratched eye)

Getting scratched in the eye, poked in the eye, or rubbing debris, like sand, in the eyes can all cause scratches or cuts to the cornea, or surface of the eye.

How to Treat:

Don’t rub the eye or flush it with water. Since infection is an important concern, don’t wear an eye patch, as dark, wet places can encourage bacterial growth. Instead, protect the eye using a paper cup taped to the facial bones surrounding they eye. See your eye doctor as soon as possible.

Injury: Subconjunctival hemorrhage (bleeding of the eye)

Any eye injury can cause bleeding in the tiny conjunctival blood vessels, located over the white part of the eye, known as the sclera. Bleeding can be concentrated or widespread.

How to Treat:

Although this injury looks bad, it doesn’t require treatment. The blood will dissipate and the eye will return back to its normal, white color after some time. If the subconjunctival hemorrhage occurred as part of a trauma to the eye, consult your eye doctor to make sure that there aren’t any other underlying conditions.

Injury: Chemical burns or exposures

This type of injury can occur when anything but good old water gets into the eye through splashing, spraying or rubbing.

How to Treat:

Before a chemical burn can be treated, it is important to know what kind of substance got into the eye:

  • Acid: such as vinegar, drain cleaner or even citrus juices
  • Alkali: such as bleach or ammonia

Acidic substances are very irritating, but can usually be easily flushed from the eye with water. Alkaline substances are not as irritating, but are more difficult to clean out and can cause more serious damage than acids. In any case, place your eye under a lukewarm running tap for about 15 minutes. Then, call your eye doctor or local hospital and report your injury, including the exact substance and how you’ve treated your eye thus far, for further instructions.

Injury: Orbital blowout fracture or hyphema

These injuries are caused by blunt trauma to the eye and often occur together. An orbital blowout fracture is a break in a facial bone surrounding the eye, while a hyphema is bleeding in the anterior (front) chamber of the eye in between the cornea and iris.

How to Treat:

Do not apply any pressure to the eye. Seek medical attention immediately.

Injury: Eye swelling

“Black eyes,” or swollen, puffy eyelids, can result from being struck in the eye

How to Treat:

This injury is treated very simply: an ice pack on the eye to reduce swelling. Call your eye doctor to make sure that there is no additional damage to the eye.

Injury: Ultraviolet keratitis

This is essentially a sunburn of the eye and is caused by UV rays.

How to Treat:

This condition should not last for more than 24 hours. If it persists, contact your eye doctor for evaluation and treatment.

Have an Expert Eye Doctor that You Can Trust

With any eye injury, it’s a good idea to contact your eye doctor for consultation or care. Having a doctor that you can trust can help you rest easy that your eyes are in good hands. Drs. R.K. and Faris Ghosheh have over 30 years of experience in treating all types of eye problems. Contact their office today to get the best eye doctors in Southern California on your side in case of eye injury.

Can Working Out Cause That Red Eye?

You’re working out one day and you know you are pushing yourself pretty hard. You feel pounding in your head during your run or during your weight lifting. Everything seems fine, but you look in the mirror after your workout only to find that the white of your eye has turned bright red! That red eye can be pretty frightening, and you might be wondering what to do about it.

What Is It?

The name for that red eye is subconjunctival hemorrhage. That’s a fancy way of saying that a tiny blood vessel has burst and blood is now flowing out (hemorrhaging) into the tissue under the white of the eye (conjunctiva).

Are You Safe?

This condition looks much worse than it really is. The bloody look of the eye can be frightening, but subconjunctival hemorrhages are totally benign. Your vision shouldn’t be affected. Most of the time they occur due to unknown causes. What is known is that activities that raise blood pressure, such as strenuous heavy lifting or running, can be a contributing factor.

When Should You Worry?

If your eye becomes red and your vision isn’t affected, there’s no need for worry. The blood should start leaving the white of the eye within 2 or 3 weeks. However, some symptoms, together with a subconjunctival hemorrhage, can be a cause for concern:

  • Sudden change in vision
  • Pain
  • Light sensitivity
  • Eye discharge
  • Severe headache
  • Blood doesn’t clear away after 3 weeks

If you experience any of these symptoms, talk to your eye doctor right away.

Can You Keep Working Out?

It is completely safe to keep working out with a subconjunctival hemorrhage. It is wise to avoid any extremely strenuous and exerting exercises while your eye is healing. However, you should be fine with your normal workout routine. You might also want to try using artificial tears 2 to 3 times a day for 10 days while the hemorrhage heals. Be aware that aspirin and other blood thinners (e.g. warfarin) can make healing harder, so you may want to contact your doctor about taking those medications.

Using a proper breathing technique during your workout can help you avoid another subconjunctival hemorrhage in the future. If you hold your breath when you work out, which many people accidentally do, your blood pressure can raise and you increase the chances of a blood vessel bursting. Regular breathing will help regulate that pressure and keep your eyes safe.

Let a Great Eye Doc Soothe Your Red Eye Worry

Red eye is common and usually isn’t a cause for concern. If you are worried about a subconjunctival hemorrhage, you’ll want to contact an eye doctor you can trust. The doctors at Advanced Eye Medical have the knowledge and caring to help you be confident that your vision isn’t in danger. Contact their office today to address any concerns so that you can work out with confidence and strong vision.

Common Eye Infections

Eye infections can be tricky. Many different types of eye infections can occur for many different reasons. They can be caused by bacteria, fungi or even viruses. One or both eyes might be affected, and any or all parts of the eye can be affected as well. Understanding the most common eye infections is an important first step in treating and preventing eye infections.

Conjunctivitis

Conjunctivitis, commonly known as pink eye, is perhaps the most well-known eye infection. The conjunctiva, or the thin tissue that covers the white of the eye, becomes inflamed and infected. It can be caused by a bacteria or a virus. Some forms of conjunctivitis are highly contagious and spread quickly, particularly among children.

Fungal Keratitis and Bacterial Keratitis

Keratitis can be either fungal or bacterial. This infection affects the cornea, or the clear portion of the front of the eye that covers the iris and pupil. This type of infection can progress rapidly and can cause serious damage, even blindness, if not treated correctly. It can be caused by bacteria (usually Staphylococcus Aureus or Pseudomonas Aeruginosa) or fungus (Fusarium, Aspergillus, or Candida) that enters the eye via contact lenses or other organic matter, such as a stick poking the eye.

Acanthamoeba Keratitis

Keratitis caused by acanthamoeba is an infection that puts contact wearers at risk. This infection typically occurs in conjunction with bacterial keratitis due to bacteria found in the contact lens case. This particular infection is caused by acanthamoeba entering the eye and infecting the cornea. It is caused by water getting into the contacts and not being cleaned out properly. Good contact lens cleaning habits can prevent this infection from occurring.

Blepharitis

Blepharitis is an infection of the eye lid. It causes the eyelid to be swollen or inflamed, and can often lead to two types of complications:

  • Stye: a painful, red bump on the eyelid due to an infection of an oil gland
  • Chalazion: a small lump due to an inflamed oil gland on the eyelid

Blepharitis can occur on both the outer and inner eyelids. It is most often caused by the Staphylococcus bacteria.

Trachoma

One of the leading causes of blindness worldwide is trachoma. This infection, while not common in the United States, is spread very easily where there is lack of proper sanitation. It is caused by the Chlamydia trachomatis bacteria. It affects both the eyes and the eyelids. It can cause scarring of the inner eyelid, causing the eyelid to turn inward. Then, the eyelashes scratch the cornea and cause permanent damage and loss of vision. This infection is often recurring and can be difficult to treat.

Symptoms of Eye Infections

All eye infections have common signs and symptoms. A good acronym to remember with eye infections is RSVP:

  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Vision problems
  • Pain

Other common symptoms include discharge, tearing, dryness, light sensitivity and itching. If you experience any of these symptoms, contact your eye doctor right away so that your eye infection can be properly diagnosed and treated.

Don’t Let an Eye Infection Get You Down

An eye infection doesn’t have to be tricky. Knowing the signs and symptoms of the more common infections can help you know when to seek treatment. Good hygiene and safe eye care practices can help prevent most infections. If you are concerned about your eyes, contact an eye care professional immediately. The professionals at Advanced Eye Medical have the expertise you need when fighting an eye infection. Contact their office today at 1-888-439-6565 to schedule your appointment.

Healthy, Happy Eyes: Understanding Glaucoma

Maybe you’ve never heard of glaucoma. Maybe you’ve heard of it and even been screened for it by your eye doctor, but you aren’t quite sure what it is. Glaucoma is something everyone should know about. Why? Here are 4 good reasons from glaucoma.org:

  • Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness
  • There is no cure and the disease cannot be reversed
  • There may be no symptoms
  • Everyone is at risk for glaucoma

Understanding certain facts about glaucoma can help you prevent the onset of the disease and keep your eyes healthy and happy.

What is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma actually refers to a group of diseases that all have the same effect. The most common type is called open-angle glaucoma. Essentially, the optic nerve, which connects the retina to the brain, gets damaged, leading to vision impairment or loss. The damage to the optic nerve results from too much pressure in the eye. Elevated eye pressure due to excess eye fluids is believed to play a part in the disease. Thus hypertension, or high blood pressure, is also a contributing factor.

Symptoms of Glaucoma

Unfortunately, glaucoma has no obvious symptoms. There is no pain, no redness, and no other sign that something is wrong. A change in vision is the first sign that glaucoma is present. Glaucoma affects the peripheral vision first, so that the outer edges of the field of vision are lost. This “tunnel vision” becomes increasingly worse, until the central vision is impaired or lost altogether.

Detecting the Disease

According to the National Eye Institute, a comprehensive glaucoma screening should include the following:

  • Dilation of the pupil and use of a magnifying lens to examine the retina and optic nerve
  • Visual acuity test to measure vision at varying distances
  • Visual field test to measure peripheral vision
  • Measuring of eye pressure using a tonometer
  • Measuring of the thickness of the cornea

Early detection can help your eye doctor determine the right treatment options, which could include medicines, eye drops and laser surgeries to relieve eye pressure.

How to Prevent Glaucoma

There is no one way to prevent glaucoma. However, keeping your eyes as healthy as possible can help lessen your risk of developing the disease. Be sure to have an eye exam every two years until age 40, and then every year after age 40. If glaucoma is detected, proper treatment can prevent the disease from worsening and can help keep your vision intact. Exercising regularly can have a positive benefit for your eyes, as can a healthy diet with good vitamin and mineral intake. Be sure to protect your eyes from injury by wearing proper safety gear, as well.

Consult a Glaucoma Expert Today

Glaucoma can be easily treated when detected and supervised by an eye care professional. The doctors at Advanced Eye Medical have over 30 years of experience in screening and treating the disease. Schedule your appointment now and get started in preventing glaucoma. Your eyes will thank you for it!