Dry Eye Condition Will Have You Itching For Relief

dry eye condition

Almost everyone has had sore, irritated eyes at one time or another. But if the pain and redness just won’t go away, you may have “dry eye” condition.

Normally, when you blink, tears wash smoothly across your cornea, the clear outside part of the eye. Your tears have three layers: an outer oily sheet, a middle watery layer, and an inner mucous film. The oily layer keeps the surface of the tears smooth and protects the water layer from drying out too quickly. The job of the water is to wash away foreign materials that may end up in your eye. But the watery layer could not stick to your eye without the help of the mucus, which spreads the tears across the eye and keeps the eye surface moist. After moving across your eye, excess tears are drained away by small ducts at the inner corners of your eyelids.

Causes

Dry eye happens in two ways–either the eye doesn’t make enough tears or something affects one or more of the tear layers. Many people experience dry eyes as they age, and women are often affected due to the hormonal changes of menopause. Other causes of dry eye condition include medications such as antihistamines and blood pressure drugs, medical conditions such as diabetes and eye infections, long-term use of contact lenses, and environmental factors including smoke and dry wind. Staring at a computer screen without blinking may also cause dry eye.

Symptoms

For most people, the main symptoms of dry eye are having eyes that

  • sting and burn
  • are red and irritated
  • feel scratchy or gritty
  • have mucus strings
  • water excessively, without pain relief.

Diagnosis

Your eye doctor will perform an eye exam, including completion of a medical history, assessment of your eyes, and measurement of tear quantity and quality. Based on this information, your doctor will determine the most effective treatment for your condition.

Treatment

Dry eye treatment focuses on adding tears, saving tears, and treating underlying conditions. To add tears, your eye doctor may prescribe over-the-counter artificial tear solutions; if artificial tears are not enough, the doctor may give you eye medication that increases your tear production. To conserve tears, tiny silicone or gel plugs called punctal plugs may be put into your tear ducts to slow tear drainage. These can be removed later, if desired. If an eye infection is causing your dry eye, your doctor will treat that condition.

To reduce the symptoms of dry eye at home, remember to blink regularly when reading or working at the computer, increase the humidity in your house or office, drink water to avoid dehydration, and wear sunglasses outdoors to decrease wind and sun exposure.

 

If you have questions about dry eye or need to schedule an appointment, contact us today!

“Triple Crown” Awarded to Hampton Roads Eye Associates!

Readers' Choice Award 2019 triple crown GOLD winners Hampton Roads Eye AssociatesHampton Roads Eye Associates  is proud to announce that they have won THREE Peninsula Gold awards in Coastal Virginia Magazine’s annual “Best of” contest! This “triple crown” comes with awards in the Best Eye Care Center, Best Lasik Eye Surgery Center, and Best Designer Eyewear categories. What an honor!

The Coastal Virginia Magazine ‘Best of” contest is comprised of a nomination and voting process that takes place over a 3 month period.  Community members are encouraged to vote for the businesses they love to frequent for their daily needs.  At the end of the voting period, the Peninsula’s favorite businesses are announced in an upcoming issues of Coastal Virginia Magazine.

The 2019 nomination and voting process started in January.  Nominations ended February 3rd while final voting took place from February 6 – March 31st.  Winners votes were tabulated based on the total number of nominations and votes received during that time period.  The annual Coastal Virginia Magazine “Best of” edition will be on newstands in July.

Conveniently located in the Oyster Point Area of Newport News, Hampton Roads Eye Associates provides general ophthalmology and eye disease treatment for adult and pediatric patients. We perform diagnostic and treatment procedures on children and adults including cataract surgeries, refractive surgery, cosmetic surgery, glaucoma testing, strabismus treatment, retina imaging and other eye problems diagnosis, treatment, and corrective lens services.

We are incredibly proud of our practice and the work that we do everyday for our patients. A big thank-you to all our patients and the community that voted for us and your continue to support us and our practice!

June is Cataract Awareness Month

cataract surgeryIn honor of Cataract Awareness Month, Hampton Roads Eye Associates is providing some useful information to help you understand the disease and how to protect yourself. Cataracts are the leading cause of blindness in the world and affect more than 22 million Americans aged 40 and older. 

Cataract is a clouding of the eye’s lens which blocks or changes the passage of light into the eye. Fortunately, vision loss due to cataract can be restored with a simple procedure.  Cataract surgery is one of the most commonly performed procedures in the United States and has over a 90 percent success rate. 

Risk factors for developing cataract include:

  • Family history of cataract
  • Diabetes, smoking
  • Extended exposure to UV rays
  • Serious eye injury
  • Use of steroids

 Cataracts generally do not cause pain, redness or tears. However, these changes in your vision may be signs of cataract:

  • Blurred or hazy vision
  • Double vision in one eye
  • Poor vision in bright light
  • Seeing halos around lights
  • Poor vision at night
  • Yellowish tinged vision
  • Frequent changes in eyeglasses or contact lens prescription

Click to learn more about the cataract surgery options offered at Hampton Roads Eye Associates. 

Can I prevent cataracts?

There is no proven way to prevent age-related cataracts. However, making these healthy decisions may help to slow the progression of cataracts:

  • Avoid or quit smoking
  • Reduce exposure to UV rays
  • Eat healthy foods
  • Wear proper eye protection to avoid eye injury

One of the most important ways we can protect our vision is to make a commitment to take care of your eyes today. This includes getting a dilated eye exam, which helps to protect your sight for the future not just from cataract, but other eye diseases as well. If you  have not had your yearly eye exam, you can schedule one today by calling us at 757.643.8800, or filling out our online form.

Treating Glaucoma with iStent Surgery

iStent surgeryHampton Roads Eye Associates is pleased to offer iStent surgery, or  iStent Trabecular Micro Bypass,  for the treatment of mild-to-moderate open angle glaucoma.

iStent is the smallest medical device ever approved by the FDA. The device is placed in your eye during cataract surgery, and is so small that you won’t be able to see or feel it after the procedure is over. iStent is designed to create a permanent opening in your trabecular meshwork, and works continuously to improve the outflow of fluid from your eyes to help control eye pressure.

 How it works: 

  • If you have glaucoma, over time the eye’s natural  drainage system becomes clogged
  • iStent creates a permanent opening through the blockage to improve the eye’s natural outflow
  • Restoring this mechanism lowers and controls pressure within the eye

Benefits of iStent: 

  • Is safely implanted during cataract surgery
  • Spares important eye tissue that is often damaged by traditional surgeries
  • Does not limit treatment options that could help maintain your vision in the future

Our very own Dr. Steven Kitay  is a certified iStent surgeon and will perform this procedure. Download the iStent Patient Brochure to learn more about this procedure.

Summer’s Almost Here – Protect Your Eyes from Harmful UV Rays

Protect-Your-Eyes1Protect Your Eyes from the Sun

Many would agree that our vision is important to our quality of life. Therefor it is crucial to take proper care of our eyes, including protecting them against harmful UV rays.  Hampton Roads Eye Associates in Oyster Point shares some facts about the damage the sun can do to your vision. 

Over time, the sun’s rays can damage the eyes and surrounding skin, sometimes leading to vision loss and conditions from cataracts and macular degeneration to eye and eyelid cancers. However, simple daily protective strategies, including wearing sunglasses, will help keep our eyes and the sensitive skin around them healthy.

Just in time for summer, our optical shop is offering a special promotion on prescription sunglasses. Save 50% off Prescription Sun Lenses with the purchase of a frame OR save 25% off prescription sun lenses only! We are standing by to help you make a selection that will meet your unique needs.

For proper protection, sunglasses should offer the following:

  • The ability to absorb and block 99 to 100 percent of UVA and UVB light. Ideally, they should also guard against HEV light.
  • Sufficient size to shield the eyes, eyelids, and surrounding areas. The more skin covered, the better. Wraparound styles with a comfortable close fit and UV-protective side shields are ideal.
  • Durability and impact resistance.
  • Polarized lenses to eliminate glare, especially when driving, but also out in the snow or on the water, where reflection greatly magnifies glare. Continuing glare can cause fatigue, headaches, and even migraines.

Additionally, be sure to receive routine comprehensive eye exams. Eye exams allow us to monitor your eye health, maintain good vision, and keep you up to date on the latest in UV radiation protection. Schedule yours today!

At What Age Should My Child See An Eye Doctor?

first eye examA common question that parents ask is: What age should my child first see an eye doctor?

Hampton Roads Eye Associates has an answer that is fairly straightforward.

Initial Exam:

The American Optometric Association (AOA) recommends that a child have a  first comprehensive eye exam at their 6 month checkup. This exam will generally be performed by the pediatrician at their checkup. The main objective will be to see if the child is following objects and observing the environment in a normal manner for their age and development.

Next Exams:

Additional eye exams are recommended at age 3 and then again before entering Kindergarten or 1st grade, which is generally between ages 5 and 6.

This is because eyesight is essential for students to be able to learn appropriately as they enter their primary school years.

There are a variety of conditions that could keep children from learning properly during their years in primary school, including:

  • near vision problems
  • distance vision problems
  • a lack of binocular (two eye) coordination
  • a lack of eye movement and following skills
  • a lack of eye focusing skills
  • a lack of peripheral awareness
  • a lack of hand-eye coordination

Schools have required an eye exam for all students entering school for the first time to screen out any vision problems that may exist and inhibit their learning.

What Are the Findings of These Initial Exams?

These eye exams at ages 3 and then again at 5-6 are finding that about 10-15% of school-aged children have some sort of vision issue.

Most of these issues are easily fixed by prescribing corrective eyewear that is determined by your child’s individual needs.  Rarely, a child needs corrective surgery for a vision issue, which would be performed after diagnosis and other, less invasive treatment is attempted.

Tell Your Eye Doctor the Following:

While most eye exams are pretty self-explanatory, be sure to tell your doctor about anything specific that may affect your child’s vision exam.

The following are some key factors your eye doctor may need to know to help provide your child with the best quality eye exam possible:

  • a history of a premature birth
  • any sort of delayed motor development
  • frequent eye rubbing
  • excessive blinking
  • failure to maintain appropriate eye contact
  • inability to maintain a gaze (fixation) while studying or looking at a specific object
  • any poor eye tracking skills you observed

These can all be signs of other problems that your child may be developing with their vision. Our doctors use this information along with the results of their eye exams to determine if issues exist with your child’s vision.

Also, Remember:

Regular eye exams ensure that any issues your child is having with their vision are corrected immediately before these issues impact their ability to function and learn appropriately. Routine eye exams are meant to detect problems and treat them so your child has the best chance to excel in the future.

To schedule a comprehensive eye exam for your child, contact Hampton Roads Eye Associates – Oyster Point at  (757) 643-8800.  Our pediatric specialists are specially trained to detect and treat vision issues in children.

 

February is Age-Related Macular Degeneration Awareness Month

AMD-Awareness-logoAge-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a disease that affects part of the back of the eye called the macula, the central part of the retina. This can cause the center part of your vision to become blurry or wavy. It could also cause a blind spot in the center of your vision. According to Prevent Blindness (formerly Prevent Blindness America), over 2 million adults over the age of 50 in the US suffer from AMD,

Fortunately, an AMD diagnosis does not have to signal the end to independence. With some adjustments and a little assistance, AMD can be managed and independence can be maintained for many patients. It is awareness that can make a difference; that is why regular eye exams are so important. Visiting your eye doctor regularly and being mindful of symptoms can help your doctor discover and treat the disease early – a key factor in preserving as much vision as possible.

Education is an important step in fighting Age-Related Macular Degeneration. That’s why February has been deemed National AMD Month. At Hampton Roads Eye Associates it is our goal to educate our patients about the symptoms, risk factors and treatment options for AMD.

The risk factors of AMD include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity and smoking, as well as genetic factors such as age, family history and race. Symptoms include blurred vision, blind spots and straight lines appearing wavy.

There are medical, surgical and other treatments for AMD, and our Retinal and Low Vision Specialists are available at Hampton Roads Eye Associates to help you remain independent and maximize your vision. Learn more about the different treatment options for AMD on our website.

The single best thing any of us can do to protect ourselves from the AMD is to have an annual eye exam. If you haven’t already scheduled an exam for 2014, you can do so by calling us at 757.643.8800, or you can schedule an appointment online.

Tips for Healthy Vision in the New Year

eye glasses and eye chartA New Year means new goals! Your vision is a critical part of your health that often gets neglected. Consider getting your vision back on track this year by making an appointment for a comprehensive eye exam. At Hampton Roads Eye Associates Oyster Point, we provide general ophthalmology and eye disease treatment for adult and pediatric patients. We perform diagnostic and treatment procedures on children and adults including:

  • cataract surgeries
  • refractive surgery
  • cosmetic surgery
  • glaucoma testing
  • strabismus treatment
  • retina imaging
  • eye problems diagnosis and treatment
  • corrective lens services

How Hampton Roads Eye Associates Can Help
We offer comprehensive eye care services to the Hampton Roads community. In the meantime, you can take care of your vision by following these tips for maintaining good eye health.

Eat for good vision. Start incorporating healthy foods in your diet that will reduce your risk of obesity related diseases such as diabetes – which can adversely affect vision.

  • Green, leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale, and collards
  • Salmon, tuna, and other oily fish
  • Eggs, nuts, beans, and other non-meat protein sources
  • Oranges and other citrus fruits or juices

Quit smoking. Smoking can increase your risk of cataracts, macular degeneration and optic nerve damage. Your overall health is greatly improved when you stop smoking.

Take frequent breaks from staring at the computer screen. Staring at the computer screen for long amounts of time can cause the following symptoms:

  • Eye strain
  • Blurry Vision
  • Headaches
  • Dry eyes

If you have extensive computer related work, it is important for maintaining good eye health to incorporate frequent “eye” breaks into your day.

Wear Sunglasses. Wearing sunglasses with UV protection will protect your eyes from the sun’s harmful rays. Too much exposure to sunlight can cause cataracts as well as macular degeneration.

Visit your eye doctor. It is never too late to get your vision back on track! Schedule a complete eye exam with your doctor today to get a baseline for your eye health. This makes diagnosing and treating all eye conditions more effective.

Hampton Roads Eye Associates Oyster Point looks forward to helping you maintain healthy vision in the new year. Call our office today for your yearly eye exam 757.643.8800.

 

 

 

Happy Holidays From Hampton Roads Eye Associates!

Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year

When Do I Need To Get Glasses?

glassesIf you’re finding it hard to see clearly, it may be time for a pair of eyeglasses. We use our eyes all the time, from the time we wake up until we go to sleep at night, we watch, read and perceive objects. This is why it is essential to choose the perfect pair of glasses for yourself, as whatever you do, they will be helping you see.

Hampton Roads Eye Associates recommends that as soon as you notice blurred or distorted vision, make an appointment for an exam.  Eyeglasses can help you avoid eyestrain and headaches and can help you improve your performance at work or school.

VISION PROBLEMS CORRECTED BY GLASSES

  • Myopia (nearsightedness) is a vision condition in which close objects are seen clearly, but objects farther away appear blurred. Nearsightedness occurs if the eyeball is too long or the cornea, the clear front cover of the eye, has too much curvature. As a result, the light entering the eye isn’t focused correctly and distant objects look blurred.
  • Astigmatism (uneven focusing of light) a vision condition that causes blurred vision due either to the irregular shape of the cornea, the clear front cover of the eye, or sometimes the curvature of the lens inside the eye. An irregular shaped cornea or lens prevents light from focusing properly on the retina, the light sensitive surface at the back of the eye. As a result, vision becomes blurred at any distance.
  • Hyperopia (farsightedness) is a vision condition in which distant objects are usually seen clearly, but close ones do not come into proper focus. Farsightedness occurs if your eyeball is too short or the cornea has too little curvature, so light entering your eye is not focused correctly.

EFFECTS ON SCHOOL, WORK AND PLAY

Poor vision can have an effect on your ability to perform well at school and work. Some children, who are labeled as having ADHD, may actually have an untreated vision problem. Bad eyesight can result in a reduced attention span or in difficult understanding printed material. In addition it can be difficult to clearly see a ball or the positions of your teammates if you have vision problems. Correcting the problem with glasses and help to improve sport performance.

Eye examinations are an important part of health maintenance for everyone. Adults and children should have their eyes tested to keep their prescriptions current and to check for early signs of eye disease.  If you’ve noticed any change in your vision, make an appointment with us for an eye exam by calling 757-643-8800.