Category Archives: dry eye

Signs Your Child Needs Glasses

When your child is of a very young age, it can be difficult to tell if they are having difficulty with their vision or are simply developing strange habits. It can be especially difficult to tell if your child is having vision difficulty if they have yet to learn how to speak. Because of this, we have gathered some common vision impairment signs.

  1.     Getting too close to objects. This is usually a more common concern for parents. If your child is sitting too close to the T.V. or holding objects close up to their face in order to see, they could be near sighted.
  2.     Are constantly squinting or closing an eye. These are other common signs of vision impairment. If your child is doing this, it can be because they are trying to reduce blurred vision or they are trying to cover the poorer vision. These are signs of amblyopia, strabismus or cataract.
  3.     Tilt their head to see. When children constantly tilt their heads when looking at object, it could be to help reduce double vision. If this is the case, they could have an eye muscle imbalance, also known as strabismus.
  4.     Are constantly rubbing eyes. This can be a sign of tiredness or eye fatigue. If this is constantly occurring, it could be a sign of allergic conjunctivitis.
  5.     Teary eyes. This is common for children whose eyelids don’t completely close when they’re asleep. This can cause dry eyes and vision impairment.

If any of these signs are common or visible in your child, schedule an eye exam to help correct their vision and help them see more clearly!

 

Vision and Pregnancy

Pregnancy can be an amazing experience full of new feelings and the excitement of the arrival of a beautiful baby.  Unfortunately, pregnancy can also throw more than its fair share of curve-balls.  Swollen feet and ankles, back pain, mood swings and, of course, the dreaded “morning sickness” are just the start of the potential side effects of pregnancy. Many pregnant women are surprised when their vision changes. The fact is that hormonal and physical changes that accompany pregnancy can affect eyesight. Let’s examine the vision issues that can accompany pregnancy.

  • Blurry Vision – Water retention (common during pregnancy) may cause the thickness and curvature of the cornea of your eye to increase slightly. It’s a small change, but it could affect how well your glasses or contacts correct your vision. It’s also why laser eye surgery isn’t recommended during pregnancy and why it’s not a good time to be fitted for new contact lenses.
  • Dry Eyes – During pregnancy, some women may notice that their eyes are drier than usual. Dry eyes can make wearing contacts irritating and uncomfortable. Using artificial tears to lubricate eyes may ease dryness.
  • Vision Changes due to Preeclampsia – High blood pressure occurs in 5-8% of pregnancies. Vision changes due to this condition can include: a temporary loss of vision, light sensitivity, blurry vision, auras, and the appearance of flashing lights. Preeclampsia can be a serious condition.  If these symptoms are noticed, contact a doctor or head to an emergency room immediately.
  • Gestational Diabetes and Vision – Pregnancy can also bring about changes in existing eye conditions – for better or for worse. If you have diabetes, see an ophthalmologist before you get pregnant and again in early pregnancy to get screened for damage to the blood vessels in your retina. This condition, called diabetic retinopathy, often worsens during pregnancy, so you’ll need more frequent eye exams while you’re pregnant and in the postpartum period. (Source- The Baby  Center)

Dry Eye Syndrome

According to the American Optometrist Association, “Dry eye is a condition in which there are insufficient tears to lubricate and nourish the eye. Tears are necessary for maintaining the health of the front surface of the eye and for providing clear vision. People with dry eyes either do not produce enough tears or have a poor quality of tears. Dry eye is a common and often chronic problem, particularly in older adults.” Let’s look at causes, symptoms and potential treatments.

Persistent dryness, scratchiness, red eyes and a burning sensation are common symptoms of dry eyes. Many of us experience these symptoms at some point or other in our lives but certain characteristics such as age, gender and use of medications may make some people more susceptible to dry eye.

  • Age– Dry eye is an unfortunate part of the aging process for many people.  Seniors over 65 experience dry eyes at some point or another.  Persistent and continued problems with dry eye should be looked at by your eye doctor.
  • Gender – Due to hormonal changes women tend to experience dry eye more often then men. Menopause seems to be a key time for the initial symptoms to appear in women.
  • Medications – Certain medications can reduce the amount of tear production such as: antihistamines, decongestants, blood pressure medications and antidepressants.

There are also environmental factors that may cause dry eye.  These include:

  • Living in a dry, dusty or windy climate.
  • Working or living in an environment with dry air conditioning and or heating.
  • Long-term contact lens wear – in fact it is the most common complaint of contact lens users.
  • Insufficient blinking, such as when you’re staring at a computer screen all day is also an environmental factor.

Treatment – Depending upon the severity of the dry eye your doctor will try several treatments to reduce the symptoms. One of the primary approaches used to manage and treat mild cases of dry eyes is adding tears using over-the-counter artificial tear solutions. Tear duct plugs are an alternative treatment to help conserve tears. Prescription eye drops that help to increase production of tears can be recommended by your optometrist, as well as omega-3 fatty acid nutritional supplements. Be sure to visit your eye doctor if any of these symptoms occur regularly to discuss an appropriate course of treatment.