Resource Center

A baby's fingernail. A hairbrush. A grain of sand. A tree branch.

 

These are just a few causes of scratches to the surface of the eye, called corneal abrasions. Whether the scratch results from a poke in the eye or from rubbing the eye when a foreign body is present, corneal abrasions can be painful and cause severe sensitivity to light.

 

If something has scratched your eye, its’ very important to call us right away for an appointment or, in an urgent care situation , seek treatment in an emergency room.
Scratches can make your eye susceptible to infection from bacteria or fungus. In some cases, there is a risk of blindness, especially if whatever scratched your eye is dirty or contaminated.

 

Don’t rub a scratched eye, and don’t patch your eye. Bacteria thrive in dark warm places, and a patch might provide the ideal environment. Simply keep your eye closed, or loosely tape a paper cup or eye shield over it. Then see your eye doctor as soon as possible.

 

Minor surface scratches may need only simple monitoring after an initial visit to make sure complications or infections don't occur.

 

Other eye injuries, such as deep puncture wounds from accidents, may require immediate treatment or surgery to prevent permanent eye damage resulting in vision loss.

 

Remember to use commonsense precautions, such as wearing safety goggles to prevent eye injuries, when in situations that may present hazards to the eye.

Did you know that 1 in 10 preschoolers have a vision problem? Poor vision can affect your child’s development and learning potential at this crucial time.
Early childhood eye exams are easy painless, and often quite fun for the child. Your family doctor or pediatrician usually performs a simple eye test during routine checkups. As eye care specialists, we perform a more comprehensive eye exam.

 

First, make sure to schedule your child’s appointment for a time when you know he or she will be alert, not sleepy. You can expect to fill out a medical and family health history, which will be followed by a vision test. Your preschooler will be asked to identify symbols and shapes just like the adult Snellen eye chart test, but without the ABC’s.
Then, unlike an simple vision screening, we check visual performance, including:

 

  • Ability to see color.
  • Ability to see in three dimensions (stereopsis)
  • Peripheral, or side, vision.
  • Near convergence, the point at which both eyes see a single image.
  • The closest distance at which the eyes see an image clearly.

 

Because up to 80 percent of learning in children is visual, its’ important to have your preschoolers vision checked. This way, we can detect and correct problems before your child misses out on important milestones.

For allergy and hay-fever suffers, it can seem as if every season offers its fare share of irritants. The best solution for hay-fever sufferers is to avoid pollen as much as possible by closing windows and keeping surfaces clear with a damp duster. Exposure to pollen may also set off an allergic reaction of the conjunctiva-the membrane covering the white of the eye-which becomes inflamed , causing watery, itchy eyes. While you don’t have to stop wearing contact lenses, you may find it more comfortable to remove them if the symptoms become severe. Here are other tips that might bring relief to eyes burdened by hay fever and allergies.

 

  • Try to avoid wearing contact lenses in dry or dusty conditions. If you’re not comfortable going without your contacts, try wearing sunglasses or protective eye wear at the same time to help protect your eyes from dust and pollen.
  • Avoid wearing contact lenses when cutting grass or raking leaves.
  • If your eyes become dry, use lubricating eye drops.
  • When the pollen count is high, wear your glasses rather than your contact lenses.
  • The level of pollen is usually lower in the evening, so you may find the symptoms ease during that time of the day.
  • If your eyes become very sore and red, take out your lenses immediately.
Floaters, sometimes called spots, are small, and semi-transparent or cloudy particles that float within the vitreous, the clear, jelly-like fluid that fills the inner portion of your eyes. Floaters are usually harmless and are seen by many of us at one time or another.

 

They generally look like translucent specks of various shapes and sizes or like cobwebs. They are frequently visible when you are looking at a plain lighted background like a blank pastel wall, a blue sky or the white pages of a book.

 

Floaters become visible when they fall withing the line of sight and cast a shadow on the retina (the light sensitive portion of the back of the eye).

 

There are a number of possible causes for floaters. They may be small flecks of protein or other matter that were trapped during the formation of your eyes before birth and remain suspended in the clear fluid of the vitreous.

 

Deterioration of the vitreous fluid may also cause floaters to develop. This can be part of the natural aging process and is often not serious, though it can be very annoying. And, certain eye diseases or injuries can cause floaters.

 

Sometimes flashes or streaks of light may appear. This may be happening because the jelly-like vitreous is shrinking and pulling on the retina. The retinal receptor cells are stimulated to “fire” by this tugging action and cause the perception of lights flashes.

 

Vitreous shrinkage can continue and result in a part of the vitreous actually becoming detached or peeled away from the back of your eye. Flashes, floaters and vitreous detachment are common and only infrequently lead to serious eye problems.

 

On rare occasions, vitreous detachment can cause small tears or holes in the retina. The damaged part of the retina subsequently does not work properly and a blind or blurred spot in vision results. If untreated, retinal tears or holes can continue to worsen and severe vision loss can result if the retina becomes detached.

 

While flashes and floaters can be symptoms or signs of ether vitreous detachment or retinal detachment, vitreous involvement occurs far more frequently and usually requires no treatment.

 

It is important to have a comprehensive eye health examination soon after experiencing flashes or floaters, or if you become aware of an increase in the number or intensity of flashes or floaters. In a comprehensive examination, your doctor or optometry can use a variety of special instruments to look at the vitreous, the retina and the other interior parts of your eyes to determine the causes of the flashes and floaters that you see.

 

That’s why regular optometric examinations are an important part of keeping your eyes and vision healthy. Call Paye Vision at (920) 499-2147.

Glaucoma is an eye disease in which the passages that allow fluid in the eye to drain become clogged or blocked. This results in the amount of fluid in the eye building up and causing increased pressure inside the eye. This increased pressure damages the optic nerve which connects the eye to the brain. The optic nerve is the main carrier of vision information to the brain. Damage to it results in less information sent to the brain and a loss of vision.

 

The exact cause of glaucoma is not known and, it cannot currently be prevented. It is one of the leading causes of blindness in the U.S. But, if detected at an early stage and treated promptly, glaucoma can usually be controlled with little or no further vision loss. That’s why regular optometric examinations are so important. People of all ages can develop glaucoma, but it most frequently occurs in people:

 

  • who are over age 40
  • who have a family history of glaucoma
  • who are very nearsighted
  • who are diabetic
  • who are african american

 

Of the different types of glaucoma, primary open angle glaucoma often develops gradually and painlessly, without warning signs or symptoms. This type of glaucoma is more common among blacks than whites. It can cause damage and lead to blindness more quickly in blacks, making regular eye examinations, including tests for glaucoma, particularly important for blacks over age 35. Another type, acute angle-closure glaucoma, may be accompanied by:

 

  • blurred vision
  • a loss of side vision
  • appearance of colored rings around lights
  • pain or redness in the eyes

 

Regular eye examination are in important means of detecting glaucoma in its early stages, and will include:

 

  • Tonometry – a simple and painless measurement of the pressure in the eye.
  • Ophthalmoscopy – and examination of the back of the eye to observe the health of the optic nerve.
  • Visual field test – a check for the development of abnormal blind spots.

 

Glaucoma can usually be treated effectively by using eye drops or other medicines. In some cases surgery may be necessary. Unfortunately, any loss of vision from glaucoma cannot usually be restored. But, early detection, prompt treatment and regular monitoring can enable you to continue living in much the same way as you have always lived.

 

Protect your eye health and your vision… Be sure to visit your doctor of optometry regularly. Call Paye Vision at (920) 499-2147.

 

Compliments of:
American Optometric Association
243 North Lindbergh Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63141
www.aoanet.org/aoanet

Blepharitis is a chronic or long term inflammation of the eyelids and eyelashes. It affects people of all ages.

 

Among the most common causes of blepharitis are:

  • poor eyelid hygiene
  • excess oil produced by the glands in the eyelids
  • a bacterial infection (often staphylococcal)
  • an allergic reaction

 

There are two ways in which blepharitis may appear. The most common and least severe, seborrheic blepharitis, is often associated with dandruff of the scalp or skin conditions like acne. It usually appears as greasy flakes or scales around the base of the eyelashes and as a mild redness of the eyelid.

 

Sometimes, it may result in a roughness of the (normally smooth) tissue that line the inside of the eyelids; or chalazia, which are modules on the eyelids (often painless and firm in texture). And, acute infection of the eyelids can result in styes.

 

Ulcerative blepharitis is a less common, but more severe condition that may be characterized by matted, hard crusts around the eyelashes, which, when removed, leave small sores that may bleed or ooze. There may also be a loss of eyelashes, distortion of the front edges of the eyelids and chronic tearing.

 

In severe cases, the cornea, the transparent covering of the front of the eyeball, may also become inflamed.

 

In many cases, good eyelid hygiene and a regular cleaning routine may control blepharitis. This routine can include:

 

  • frequent scalp and face washing
  • warm soaks of the eyelids
  • eyelid scrubs

 

In cases where bacterial infection is the cause, eyelid hygiene may be combined with various antibiotics and other medications; and if the cause is an allergic reaction, the source of the reaction (eye makeup, for example) should be removed.

 

Eyelid hygiene, in all cases, is particularly important upon awakening because debris can build up during sleep.

 

Blepharitis is usually not serious and can often be treated easily, but if left untreated, can be very uncomfortable, unattractive and lead to more serious problems.

 

Your doctor of optometry can determine the cause and recommend the right combination of treatment specifically for you.

 

Directions For a Warm Soak of the Eyelids

  • Wash your hands thoroughly.
  • Moisten a clean washcloth with warm water.
  • Close eyes and place washcloth on eyelids for about 5 minutes.
  • Repeat several times daily.
  • Directions for an Eyelid Scrub
  • Wash your hands thoroughly.
  • Mix warm water and a small amount of shampoo that does not irritate the eye (baby shampoo).*
  • Close one eye and using a clean washcloth (a different one for each eye) rub the shampoo mixture back and forth across the eyelashes and the edge of the eyelid.
  • Rinse with clear, cool water.
  • Repeat on other eye.

 

*There are also commercially prepared lid scrub solutions that your doctor of optometry may recommend. Call Paye Vision at (920) 499-2147.

 

Compliments of:

 

American Optometric Association
243 North Lindbergh Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63141
www.aoanet.org/aoanet

Macular degeneration is a leading cause of vision loss among people over age 50. It results from changes to the macula, a portion of the retina, which is located on the inside back layer of the eye. The macula is responsible for clear, sharp vision and is many times more sensitive than the rest of the retina. Without a healthy macula, seeing detain or vivid color is not possible.

 

There are two types of age-related macular degeneration. In the dry type, the tissue of the macula becomes thin and stops functioning properly. This type is thought to occur as part of the aging process of the eye in some people. There is currently no treatment available for this slowly progressive condition.

 

In the wet form, which is less common, fluids from newly formed blood vessels leak under the macula and cause significant vision loss. This condition can sometimes be treated with laser therapy, but early detection and prompt treatment is vital in limiting damage.

 

Some symptoms of macular degeneration are:

  • A gradual loss of ability to see objects clearly
  • Objects appear to be distorted in shape or straight lines appear wavy of crooked
  • a gradual loss of clear color vision
  • A dark or empty area appearing in the enter of vision

 

These symptoms may also indicate other eye health problems, so if you are experiencing any of these, you should contact your doctor of optometry as soon as possible.
In a comprehensive eye examination, your doctor will perform a variety of tests to determine if you have macular degeneration or other eye conditions.

 

Unfortunately, there is no way to restore central vision lost to macular degeneration. However, since macular degeneration does not affect side vision, low vision aids such as a special telescopic and microscopic lenses, magnifying glasses and electronic magnifiers for close work, can be prescribed to help make the most of remaining vision. With adaptation, a person can often cope well and continue to do most things he or she is accustomed to doing.

 

Remember! Early detection of macular degeneration is the most important factor in determining if you can be treated effectively. Ask your doctor about scheduling a screening test. Call Paye Vision at (920) 499-2147.

 

Compliments of:
American Optometric Association
243 North Lindbergh Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63141
www.aoanet.org/aoanet

Get the Facts: Dry Eye Checklist

 

  • Red Eyes
  • Burning
  • Itching
  • Foreign Body Sensation
  • Sandy or Gritty Feeling
  • Light Sensitivity
  • Watery Eyes
  • Occasional Tearing
  • Constant Tearing
  • Pain or Soreness In Or Around Eyes
  • Tired Eyes
  • Contact Lens Discomfort
  • Decreased contact Lens Tolerance
  • Seasonal Allergies
  • Dry Throat or Mouth
  • Arthritis / Joint Pain

 

If you experience three or more of the symptoms above, you may be suffering from CDED. Left untreated your symptoms will most likely intensify, making your daily life unpleasant, or worse, deteriorate your visual acuity. If in doubt, as your eye care specialist if the Parasol® Punctal Occluder can help you.

 

What Is Chronic Dry Eye Disease?
Your tears function to protect the eyes and keep them lubricated and comfortable. Chronic Dry Eye Disease (CDED) is the decline of the quantity and / or quality of the tears produced. It is caused when the tear glands in the upper and lower eyelids do not produce enough tears, or they don’t produce the right kind of tears. This phenomenon causes irritation, scratchiness, burning redness, and discomfort. Chronic Dry Eye Disease is the most common of all eye disorders, affecting approximately 20% of our population.

 

The Complexity Of Tears
Your eyes are moistened by two different types of tears: lubricating tears and reflex tears. Lubricating tears are produced continuously to moisturize the eye and contain natural infection-fighting antibiotics. Reflex tears are produced in response to sudden irritation (smoke, onions, foreign particles), injury, or emotion. Ironically, the irritation from dry eyes can trigger reflex tears do not have the proper lubricating composition the discomfort persists. Thus, “watery eyes” can actually be a symptom of CDED.

 

WHAT CAUSES DRY EYES?

CDED has many causes, which explains why millions are affected. The most common causes include:

 

  • The Aging Process – Tear flow normally decreases with age. In fact, approximately 75% of individuals over age 65 suffer from CDED symptoms.
  • Contact Lens Wear – Contact lens wear can dramatically increase tear evaporation, causing discomfort, infection, and/or increased protein deposits. Research shows that CDED is the leading cause of contact lens intolerance.
  • Hormonal Changes In Women – Various hormonal changes associate with pregnancy, oral contraceptives, and menopause can contribute to CDED.
  • Environmental Factors – People who are exposed to smoke, air pollution, high altitude, sunny, windy, cold or dry air conditions are at risk for CDED.
  • Side Effects Of Disease / Medications – There are several diseases and medications which can lower your ability to produce tears. be sure to give your doctor a complete medical history.
  • Sjogren’s Syndrome – An immune system disorder characterized by inflammation and dryness of the mouth, eyes and other mucus membranes. This disorder damages the lacrimal glands and affects tear production.
  • Laser Vision Corrective Surgeries – Following various ophthalmic surgical procedures, patients may develop CDED. Many patients have benefited from temporary punctal occlusion following such procedures.
  •  

    YOU DON’T HAVE TO SUFFER ANY LONGER.

     

    What Treatments Are Available?
    Depending on the intensity of the condition, treatment may be as simple as using artificial tears a few times a day. In more persistent cases, however, a simple non-surgical procedure is available that provides long-term relief of CDED through the use of tiny plugs called “punctal occluders.”

     

    What Are Punctal Occluders?
    As the name suggests, these devices occlude (block) the punctum, or tear duct, which is the drainage duct that carries tears away from the surface of the eye. There are upper and lower punctum ducts int he inner corner of each eye. Blocking theses drainage ducts prevents tears from draining away too quickly. Punctal occlusion can be compared to putting a stopper in a sink drain, keeping the tears on the eye’s surface for longer periods. This widely performed procedure is safe, quick, painless, and totally reversible.

     

    The Parasol® Punctal Occluder

    The Parasol® Punctal Occluder from Odyssey is one of the most advanced occluders available. Its unique, patented shape is easy to insert because it automatically adjusts to the patient’s tear duct opening. In addition, the Parasol’s advanced design provides a truly custom fit which, in turn, means greater patient comfort. The Parasol Punctal Occluder can also reduce or eliminate the major cause of discomfort for many contact lens wearers, or those who are unable to tolerate contact lenses.