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Botox and Blurry Vision

Cosmetic procedures have been prominent for both women and men for years. While the popularity of certain procedures tends to decrease and incline in waves, temporary facial “improvements” like Botox injections have become and remain one of the most popular cosmetic procedures. The popularity is thanks to its noninvasiveness, and less important influences like social media app filters that give you a visual perception of how different you can look by “just getting a little work done…”

Botox is also used at times to maintain eye alignment and treat uncontrolled eyelid twitching.

The decision is ultimately yours. While we do not oppose personal decisions within this realm, our team is here to help answer questions about anything that can pertain to the health of your eyes.

So, let’s talk about it.

The Decision-Making Process

To start, you may be wondering why we are focusing more on Botox than dermal fillers. Dermal fillers are different substances and most often used to increase volume in areas farther away from the eyes, like the lips. Botox is most often used to hinder wrinkles in the forehead and around the eyes.

While Botox injections for cosmetic reasons are often self-decided most prevalently among women older than 30, both men and women in their 20’s have started to take this facial aging preventative measure into consideration too.

As the Botox user rate increases along with other possible threats to eye health and the common problems that increase by age, one of the most proper precautions to protect your eyes is to schedule a check-up with your Optometrist first.

This precautionary action is especially important if your plan is to receive injections between the eyebrows and above the nose. This area, referred to as the glabella, is one of the riskiest areas where injections can result in vascular blindness.

The Certified Practitioner Pursuit

Taking a risk is always based on looking for a reward. Don’t take two risks in the pursuit of one reward!

The doctor or practitioner of your choice must be able to:

  1. Recognize any complications immediately
  2. Have the ability to treat them appropriately

Here are a few things to take into consideration when making the practitioner decision:

  1. Do you feel comfortable in the facility?
  2. Have the procedure risks been mentioned and fully discussed prior to your consent?
  3. Have you seen before and after photos or been able to reach out to a current patient to discuss their experience?

The Possible Perils

Cosmetician hands with botox and female patient

Botox injected by an untrained hand can permeate the wrong muscles causing a droop of the eyelid, which will ultimately settle but can be very bothersome.

The first visual disturbance case from a cosmetic facial filler was listed in 1988. The report showcased a reaction of retinal artery occlusion.

After speaking with a few users of the botulinum toxin, we received a story of one experience worth notating from a consumer in her late 20’s:

“I had Botox under my eyes once! It basically relaxed my eye muscles so much that my eyes wouldn’t shut all the way when I slept at night. It was a frustrating 3 months. It was supposed to help with the bags under my eyes but the result wasn’t as I expected. I also was extremely sensitive to light during that period of time. Other than that … my “vision” was fine.” – Julie

As facial fillers with high negative results have surely declined over the years, droopy eyelids are one of the most reported side effects that can last up to 6 months.

Other possible perils include:

  • Allergic reactions as a rejection from the body which can be detrimental to vision and eye health
  • Irritations noticeable by bloodshot eyes and temporarily blurred vision
  • Vascular occlusion, otherwise referred to as a decline of blood flow

One tip: do not rub the area of injection! Rubbing a sore area is one of the most common reactions to reduce discomfort. But, after an injection, rubbing can cause Botox to spread into other areas and lead to unwanted effects.

An immediate, emergency visit to your trusted Optometrist is suggested for reactions such as loss of vision and reactions that are highly painful or prolonged.

More Questions?

Give us a call 281-640-0739 ! Need to schedule an appointment? You can easily schedule an appointment here.

Sensitive Eyes & Cosmetics Guide

Putting makeup on is fun! It can also be considered one of the most relaxing and satisfying parts of getting ready… If it is being done on time, and not in a rush, which we can admit is pretty rare.

Of all the little mishaps that can take place during the getting ready process like, nicking your leg with a razor, or burning your arm with a curling iron, harming your eyes with cosmetics is a common mishap, too.

You might be surprised to read that everything from mascara to foundation and powder can have an effect on your eyes.

Allow us to guide you in what to look out for when buying and what to make sure of when using certain types of cosmetics.

Before You Buy:

List Out: Go ahead and take notes from influencer led social media videos, the newest products of your favorite brands and cosmetics that your friends and family members love.

Read Up: Don’t simply let the influencers, family, and friends easily influence your purchase decisions. There are still two steps to take. The next one? Read up on the list of product ingredients as some can lead to negative reactions to the delicate skin that helps safeguard your eyes.

Avoid These Ingredients

makeup palette

A few things to check for and avoid are parabens, phthalates, and fragrances. Otherwise known as “man-made” chemicals used to help preserve products, prolong their scents and the plastics they are packaged in. Keep in mind that these chemicals often are not simply listed as “parabens”, “phthalates”, and “fragrance”. These ingredients typically have more specific names in the ingredients list.

One of the easiest suggestions? Look out for products listed as paraben-free and fragrance-free, meaning they do not have any of those manufactured chemicals in the product recipe.

Try Before You Buy

We’re sure you’ve heard the term Try Before You Buy before. We agree, it is one worth following. Brands and stores will often provide samplers for certain products. Or you can always start your search for your personally best options by buying gift sets that house several different types of one cosmetic necessity like eyeliners or mascaras.

Give these picks a try and keep track of how your eyes and the skin around your eyes react before you transfer from testing out the snack-size product to investing in the king-size one.

While You Use:

Preparation

Wash. Your. Hands: We know you know how important this step is and that it shouldn’t only apply after your toilet has been flushed. Anything that is left on your hands like facial serums or moisturizers can transfer onto other surfaces… This brings us to step number two…

Contacts: Put your contacts in! But make sure your hands are 100% dry before application as some tap water might contain dangers to the eye. Inserting contacts before embellishing with makeup is important because it prevents your lenses from getting dirty and damaged and trapping makeup between your eye and the lens.

Clean: Also keep track of the last time you’ve washed your brushes and sponges. These very important tools can harbor and grow types of mold and bacteria dangerous to the health of your eyes.

Application

Check Expiration Date: If you’re looking to use a product you haven’t used “in a minute”, see if you can find the expiration date. Cosmetics do expire! When a product expires, your skin expires to it. If you can’t find the date, keep this in mind: properly stored and/or unopened makeup lasts for an average of 2 years.

Eyeliner: When it comes to eyeliner, we have two pieces of advice for you: always sharpen your pencil and avoid the inside of your lash line. An unsharpened pencil makes it harder to precisely apply and can scratch your eyelids and lash lines. Even if you use a liquid liner or an eyeliner pen, applying it to the inside of your lash line can block important glands and lead to painful styes.

Removal

Wash Your Face: Do not, we repeat, do not go to bed without washing your face and removing all your makeup! One of the most common issues that results from sleeping before cleansing — especially if the makeup you used is borrowed or expired—is an eye infection called conjunctivitis, better known as pink eye.

Makeup Remover: Looking to try something organic to remove your eye makeup? Try a simple concoction of witch hazel and water which often also helps reduce eye inflammation.

Replace: If you ever experience an infection of any sort, removal of the brushes and products used in that area of the face are the best next step! Quickly remove and replace to avoid spreading the bacteria that caused the infection any further.

Questions? Infections?

Give us a call at 281-640-0739 ! Our team at Vision Centers of Houston - Willowbrook is here to help.

This or That: Maintaining Your Eyesight

365 days can manifest a great deal that you might not be able to set your sights on quite yet. Don’t wait until you can’t see it to believe it.

Quiz yourself in a quick “This or That!” and see where you stand when it comes to maintaining your eyesight and what’s worth *looking* into for your eye health before 2022.

Why Do Onions Make Us Cry?

Onions are one of the most common staple foods around the globe. Ironically, for a vegetable so delicious, they can often be tear-jerkers.

Read on to learn why onions cause your eyes to tear and sting, and what you can do to minimize discomfort.

Why Does Cutting Onions Cause Tearing?

Onions produce a sulfur compound called propyl sulfoxide that is stored in the cells of the onion bulb (the part of the onion we eat). Onions grow underground, where they can be eaten by all types of creatures. This odorous sulfuric compound acts as a deterrent to small animals with big appetites.

When one slices into an onion and breaks open its cells, the sulfur compound is released and mixes with the moisture in the air — turning it into smelly and irritating sulfuric acid. When this chemical rises up and comes in contact with your eyes, it stings!

To keep your eyes from potentially being damaged from this chemical exposure, your brain triggers your eyes to tear and flush out the irritating gas particles. Once enough tears have flushed out the sulfuric acids particles from the eye, clear vision and comfort is usually restored. Although your eyes may sting and feel unpleasant, symptoms are temporary and the sulfuric acid won’t damage your eyes.

How Can I Reduce Eye Discomfort When Chopping Onions?

Most experienced chefs will tell you that chilling your onions in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before slicing them will reduce the amount of tearing they cause. Propyl sulfoxide escapes slower in cooler temperatures, reducing the amount of sulfuric acid in the air.

You can also try cutting the onions at arm’s length, or direct the odorous air away with a small fan. Some say that chopping onions immersed in water also helps. Another option is to wear kitchen goggles to protect your eyes.

Furthermore, try to use fresh onions whenever possible. The longer an onion has been stored, the more likely it will induce tearing and discomfort. Try to avoid slicing near the root end of the bulb, as that area has the highest concentration of sulfuric compounds.

Still Having Eye Problems Out of the Kitchen?

If you frequently suffer from eye irritation — and not just while cutting onions — we can help. At Vision Centers of Houston - Willowbrook, we treat a wide range of eye conditions and can provide you with the treatment and relief you seek.

For further questions or to schedule an eye exam, call us today.

At Vision Centers of Houston - Willowbrook, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 281-640-0739 or book an appointment online to see one of our Willowbrook eye doctors.

Want to Learn More? Read on!

Frequently Asked Questions with Amy Parker, O.D.

Q: What exactly is glaucoma?

  • A: Glaucoma is a condition in which the eye’s intraocular pressure (IOP) is too high. This means that your eye has too much aqueous humor in it, either because it produced too much, or because it’s not draining properly. Other symptoms are optic nerve damage and vision loss. Glaucoma is a silent disease that robs the patient of their peripheral vision. Early detection is very important.

Q: What’s the difference between vision insurance and eye insurance?

  • A: Vision insurance” really isn’t insurance, but rather a benefit that covers some of your costs for eyewear and eye care. It is meant to be used for “routine” care when you aren’t having a problem but want to be sure everything is OK, like having an annual screening exam with your Primary Care Physician. It often, but not always, includes a discount or allowance toward glasses or contact lenses. It is usually a supplemental policy to your medical health insurance. Medical health insurance covers, and must be used when an eye health issue exists. This includes pink eye, eye allergies, glaucoma, floaters, cataracts, diabetes, headaches, and many other conditions. Blurry vision is covered medically if it relates to a medical condition, for example the development of a cataract. For some reason, however, it is considered non-medical if the only finding is the need for glasses or a change of prescription. Of course you can’t know this until you have the exam. In this case, with vision coverage, you would only be responsible for your co-pay, but with medical coverage without vision coverage, you’d be responsible for the usual charge.

Q: How does high blood pressure affect vision?

  • A: If the blood pressure is very high it can be called malignant hypertension and cause swelling of the macula and acute loss of vision. Otherwise hypertension can cause progressive constriction of the arterioles in the eye and other findings. Usually high blood pressure alone will not affect vision much, however hypertension is a known risk factor in the onset and/or progression of other eye disease such as glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, and macular degeneration as well as blocked veins and arteries in the retina or nerve of the eye that can severely affect vision.

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REFERENCES

https://www.britannica.com/story/why-do-onions-make-you-cry

https://theconversation.com/why-do-onions-make-you-cry-129519

15 Things You Do That Can Harm Your Eyes

Eye health isn’t just about going for that yearly eye exam. Certain actions you take (or don’t take) in your daily routine can also have drastic effects on the health of your eyes and vision. Here’s our list of 15 things you may be doing that could pose damaging risks to your eyes.

It’s important to note that before changing any of your habits, consult with a medical professional to make sure they are right for you and your overall health.

1. Smoking

We all know that smoking can cause heart disease and cancer, but its effects on the eyes are far less known to many. The truth is that smoking can actually lead to irreversible vision loss by significantly increasing the risk of developing macular degeneration, cataracts, glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy. It can also cause dry eye syndrome. If you are a smoker, do your eyes (and body) a favor and try to kick or reduce the habit.

2. Not Wearing Sunglasses

Exposing your eyes to the sun’s harmful UV radiation can damage the eye’s cornea and lens. Overexposure to UV rays can also lead to cataracts and even eye cancer. That’s why it’s important to always wear 100% UV-blocking sunglasses while outdoors, all four seasons of the year. Always check the sunglasses have FDA approval.

3. Sleeping with Makeup On

When you sleep with eyeliner or mascara, you run the risk of the makeup entering the eye and irritating the cornea. Sleeping with mascara on can introduce harmful bacteria to the eye and cause an infection. Abrasive glitters and shimmery eyeshadow can scratch the cornea as well. Be careful to remove all makeup with an eye-safe makeup remover before going to bed.

4. Buying Decorative Contact Lenses Without a Prescription

Although ordering decorative lenses without first visiting your optometrist may sound more convenient, purchasing them without a prescription isn’t worth the long term risks. Decorative contact lenses are sometimes made by unlicensed manufacturers who tend to use poor-quality or toxic materials that can get absorbed through the eyes into the bloodstream. They also may contain high levels of microorganisms from unsanitary packaging and storage conditions.

5. Not Washing Your Hands Thoroughly

Frequently washing your hands helps to reduce the possibility of bacteria and viruses entering the eye. Pink eye (conjunctivitis) and corneal ulcers are common eye conditions that can be caused by bacteria, viruses, fungi, or parasites. When washing your hands, be sure to use warm water, soap, and thoroughly wash in between each finger and over the entire palm area. If you plan to insert or remove your contact lenses, wash and then dry your hands completely with a lint-free cloth or paper towel.

6. Overwearing Contact Lenses

Wearing contact lenses for longer periods of time than intended can lead to inflammation of the cornea (keratitis), conjunctivitis, eyelid swelling, and contact lens intolerance. Always follow the recommended wear time as instructed by your optometrist.

7. Being Nutrient Deficient

Poor nutrition can cause permanent damage to the visual system. Try to include lots of nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables in your diet, along with adequate amounts of Omega-3. Some of the best vitamins and nutrients for eye health include Vitamins A, C, E, lutein, zeaxanthin, and zinc.

8. Using Non-FDA Approved Products

Whether it’s eyebrow enhancers, eye makeup, or eyelash growth serums, always choose products that have been FDA approved and/or meet government safety regulations. Non-approved products have been known to cause infections or allergic reactions in or around the eye area.

9. Not Cleaning Your Contacts Properly

If you are wearing contact lenses that need to be replaced once every two weeks or once a month, maintaining the highest level of contact lens hygiene is essential. Optometrists will tell you that a common reason patients come in to see them is due to an eye infection from contact lenses that haven’t been properly cleaned or stored. Some patients use their contact lens cases for too long, which can also cause eye irritation. To avoid eye infections, carefully follow your eye doctor’s instructions on how to clean, store, and handle your contact lenses.

10. Showering or Swimming with Contact Lenses

There is a significant amount of bacteria that can be carried in tap water and swimming pools. For this reason, it’s important to make sure that water and contact lenses don’t mix. If you need vision correction while swimming, it may be worth investing in a pair of prescription swimming goggles.

11. Not Following Medication Instructions

When it comes to eye disease, following the medication instructions is crucial. Forgetting to insert eye drops, or administering the incorrect dosage could dramatically reduce the effectiveness of treatment, or even do harm. Speak with your eye doctor if you’re not sure about when or how to take your medication.

12. Not Taking a Holistic Approach

Your eyes are just one part of the whole system — your body. Ignoring health conditions you may have, like high blood pressure or elevated blood sugar, can pose serious risks to your eyes.

13. Not Wearing Protective Eyewear

Shielding your eyes with protective glasses or goggles while working with potentially sharp or fast-moving objects, fragments or particles (wood working, cutting glass, welding, doing repairs with nails, certain sports) is the best defense against eye injury. In fact, 90% of all eye injuries could have been prevented by wearing protective eyewear.

14. Using Unsafe Home Remedies

Some might think that because something is “natural” that it is safe for use around the delicate eye area. Home remedies, like using breastmilk to cure pink eye, could introduce harmful bacteria to the eye and cause infection. If your eyes are giving you trouble, make an appointment to see your local optometrist.

15. Skipping Your Recommended Eye Exam

Your eye doctor will advise you how often you need to come for an eye examination. Adults should visit their eye doctor at least every year for a comprehensive eye exam to determine whether their optical prescription is up-to-date, and to check for the beginning stages of eye disease. Catching eye diseases in their early stages offers the best chance of successful treatment and preserving healthy vision for life.

At Vision Centers of Houston - Willowbrook, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 281-640-0739 or book an appointment online to see one of our Willowbrook eye doctors.

Want to Learn More? Read on!

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The Surge In Cosmetic Procedures During COVID Raises Eye Health Concerns

COVID-19 has indirectly impacted eye health in ways that few would have anticipated. With many classrooms, business meetings, and hang-outs being relocated to virtual settings like Zoom and FaceTime, people are spending more time scrutinizing other people’s faces — and their own.

For some people, the more time they spend watching themselves in the thumbnail, the more time they focus on real or imagined imperfections and features that make them feel insecure.

In fact, plastic surgeons and cosmetic doctors all over the world are reporting something called the ‘Zoom Boom’ — the recent surge in cosmetic procedures to perfect ‘Lockdown Face.’ Yep, it’s a thing.

What many don’t realize is that cosmetic facial procedures can pose serious risks to eye health and vision, and in some cases result in serious eye damage or vision loss.

While opting to undergo a cosmetic procedure is a personal choice that each individual should make for themselves, a fully informed decision requires a visit to your eye doctor. Also, those interested in having a cosmetic eyelid lift should consult with a reputable oculo-plastic surgeon who has experience in this particular procedure.

How Can Cosmetic Procedures Impact Your Eyes?

Before undergoing a cosmetic facial procedure, it’s important to know which procedures pose potential risks to your eyes and vision.

Eyelash Extensions

The adhesive used for eyelash extensions has been known to cause allergic lid reactions, infections, styes, and dry eye. Eye doctors unanimously agree that eyelash extensions should be the last resort for those who want fuller, thicker lashes.

Additionally, the addictive nature of eyelash extensions make them particularly risky. A side effect of lash extensions can be reduced eyelashes, which often drives the individual to have this procedure done repeatedly.

A safe alternative to getting eyelash extensions is using a medication called Latisse. This eyelash enhancing product can be prescribed by your eye doctor and may reduce the need for false eyelashes or extensions.

Laser Procedures

Lasers are used for various cosmetic procedures due to their high efficiency and accuracy. However, exposing the naked eye to a laser beam can be dangerous.

All laser procedures should be performed while the patient wears specialized goggles or corneal shields for protection. If the procedure is performed by an unlicensed individual, there is a much greater chance that effective eye protection won’t be used.

A study published in The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology found that ocular injuries can occur even when protective shields are utilized correctly.

Episcleral Tattoos

This procedure is the tattooing of the whites of the eye. Dye is injected beneath the conjunctiva and into the sclera (the white of the eye) to make it appear the desired color.

Episcleral tattoos can cause headaches and severe light-sensitivity, and increase the risk of eye infections, conjunctival hemorrhaging, and permanent vision loss.

Botox Injections

Botox injections are one of the most popular cosmetic procedures offered today, but they can harm eye health and vision when injected around the eye area.

Some common complications include allergic reactions, blurred vision, and droopy eyelids. Most of these reactions are temporary, but if symptoms persist and if blurred vision is prolonged, see an eye doctor immediately.

Always choose a qualified and licensed doctor to perform the procedure.

When to Visit Your Optometrist

If you are considering having any facial or eye procedures done, speak with your optometrist about how to keep your eyes safe during the process.

An eye exam with Amy Parker, O.D. will determine the state of your eye health and what risks would be involved with the procedure you want.

If you’ve already undergone a cosmetic procedure or surgery and are experiencing any eye health or visual symptoms, call Vision Centers of Houston - Willowbrook in for a prompt eye exam.

We want you to feel confident in the way you look, while keeping your eyes healthy and safe. Call Vision Centers of Houston - Willowbrook to schedule your eye exam today.

At Vision Centers of Houston - Willowbrook, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 281-640-0739 or book an appointment online to see one of our Willowbrook eye doctors.

Want to Learn More? Read on!

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How Can My Child’s Myopia Be Corrected?

At Vision Centers of Houston - Willowbrook, we help children like yours achieve clear and comfortable vision, so they can succeed at the important things in life.

Methods of Myopia Correction

Contact Lenses

Contacts can be a great choice, especially for physically active children or teens who don’t want to worry about breaking or misplacing their eyeglasses. In some cases of very high myopia, contact lenses can offer clearer vision than glasses.

Corrective contact lenses are usually placed in the eyes upon waking and removed at night before bedtime. There are several types, including: soft contacts, daily disposables, extended wear, and rigid gas permeable (hard) lenses. Navigating through the differences between them can be daunting. Fortunately, if you’re located in Willowbrook our eye doctor will be happy to guide you. Speak with Amy Parker, O.D. to determine whether your child is ready for contact lenses.

Prescription Glasses

Glasses are a popular choice among our younger patients. Choosing from an array of styles makes the process fun and exciting! Allowing the children to be active participants in selecting their eyewear increases the likelihood that they’ll actually wear them. There are strong, flexible and resilient frames which look great and are comfortable too.

The optician can customize the lenses with additions and upgrades like impact-resistant or shatter-proof materials, scratch-resistant and anti-reflective coatings, UV filters, and transition lenses that darken in the sun. For those requiring vision correction for distance and near, we also offer bifocal or multifocal lens prescriptions.

We Can Help Correct Your Child’s Myopia

If you’re located near Willowbrook, Texas, an eye exam with our optometrist can determine your child’s exact prescription, and give you the opportunity to receive answers to any questions you may have about your child’s eye health and vision. Progressive myopia, where a growing child’s prescription continues to worsen, is why it’s important for myopic children to undergo eye exams at least once a year.

At Vision Centers of Houston - Willowbrook, our friendly and knowledgeable staff will be happy to recommend the most suitable method of correcting your child’s myopia to meet his or her individual needs. Thanks to the wide range options available, your child will walk away with eyewear that will not only enhance his or her style but will also be a boost of confidence.

Let us help your child see the world in a whole new light. To schedule your child’s annual eye exam or if you have any further questions, contact Vision Centers of Houston - Willowbrook at 281-640-0739 today.

Are Floaters and Flashes Dangerous?

You’ve likely experienced occasional visual “floaters” or flashes and may have wondered what they were and if they’re a cause for concern. They look like tiny lines, shapes, shadows, or specks that appear to be drifting in the visual field. More often than not, seeing floaters is a normal occurrence and does not indicate a problem with ocular or visual health. However, when floaters become more frequent and are accompanied by flashes of light, that can indicate a more serious problem.

Eye flashes resemble star-like specks or strands of light that either flash or flicker in one’s field of vision. They can either be a single burst in one visual zone, or can be several flashes throughout a wider area. Flashes can sometimes be missed as they most often appear in the side or peripheral vision.

Floaters & Flashes Eye Care in Willowbrook, Texas

If you suddenly, or with increasing frequency, experience flashes or floaters, call Vision Centers of Houston - Willowbrook and schedule an eye exam with Amy Parker, O.D. right away to rule out any serious eye conditions.

What Causes Floaters?

The vitreous in the eye is a clear gel that fills most of the eyeball and resembles raw egg-white. Within the vitreous are small lumps of protein that drift around and move with the motion of your eyes. When these tiny lumps of protein cast shadows on the retina — the light-sensitive lining at the back of the eye — the shadows appear as floaters.

As we age, the vitreous shrinks, creating more strands of protein. This is why the appearance of floaters may increase with time. Floaters tend to be more prevalent in nearsighted people and diabetics, and occur more frequently following cataract surgery or an eye injury.

If seeing floaters becomes bothersome, try moving your eyes up and down or side to side to gently relocate the floaters away from your visual field.

What Causes Flashes?

Flashes result from the retinal nerve cells being moved or tugged on. As the vitreous shrinks over time, it can tug at the retina, causing you to “see stars” or bursts of light. The process of the vitreous separating from the retina is called “posterior vitreous detachment” (PVD) and usually isn’t dangerous.

In about 16% of cases, PVD causes tiny tears in the retina that can lead to retinal detachment — a sight-threatening condition that causes irreversible blindness if left untreated.

Other possible causes of flashes are eye trauma or migraine headaches.

When To Call Your Optometrist About Floaters

If you experience any of the following symptoms, promptly make an appointment with an eye doctor near you for emergency eye care.

Symptoms You Shouldn’t Ignore

  • A sudden onset of floaters accompanied by flashes (which can be any shape or size)
  • An increase of floaters accompanied by a darkening of one side of the visual field
  • Shadows in the peripheral vision
  • Any time flashes are seen

In many cases, seeing floaters is no cause for concern; however the above symptoms could indicate retinal detachment—which, if left untreated, could cause a permanent loss of sight or even blindness.

If the receptionists pick up the phone and hear the main concern is floaters or flashes, they will try to squeeze in the appointment within 24 hours. Expect the pupils to be dilated during your eye exam, so the eye doctor can get a really good look at the peripheral retina to diagnose or rule out a retinal tear or other serious condition, as opposed to a non-vision-threatening condition such as uncomplicated posterior vitreous detachment (quite common) or ocular migraine.

Please contact Vision Centers of Houston - Willowbrook in Willowbrook at 281-640-0739 with any further questions, or to schedule an eye doctor’s appointment.

Tips to Relax Your Eyes

Do your eyes hurt after spending a significant amount of time reading, playing video games, driving, or staring at a screen? These visually intense activities can sometimes be hard on the eyes, causing uncomfortable symptoms like headaches and blurry vision. Other symptoms of eye strain can include light sensitivity, neck and shoulder pain, trouble concentrating, and burning or itchy eyes.

Fortunately, preventing painful computer vision syndrome and eye fatigue symptoms can be as simple as trying a few of these eye exercises. To learn more about digital eye strain and discover the best relief options for you, call Vision Centers of Houston - Willowbrook at 281-640-0739 and schedule an eye exam with Amy Parker, O.D..

Relax Your Eyes with These Supportive Techniques

Many of these exercises are designed for computer users. Eye strain resulting from long drives, reading, or other activities, can be alleviated by modifying some of these recommendations.

The Clock Exercise

The clock exercise relieves strain on overworked eye muscles and can help you avoid headaches and eye pain, among other symptoms. Begin the exercise by imagining a large analog clock a few feet in front of you. Keep your head still and move your eyes to the imaginary 9, then to the imaginary 3.

Keep moving your eyes to the opposite pairs on the clock — 10/4, 11/5, 12/6, and so on. Hold your gaze for a second or two on each number before moving on to the next one. Continue doing this for 4-5 minutes.

The 20-20-20 Rule

The 20-20-20 rule helps you avoid dry eyes and eye strain by giving your eyes frequent breaks. After about 20 minutes of screen time or doing close-up work, focus on an object at least 20 feet away for 20 seconds. This gives the eyes a much needed rest and helps them relax. There are also free apps available that provide pop-up reminders that notify you when it’s time to shift your gaze.

Screen Ergonomics

The American Optometric Association recommends placing computer monitors 20 to 28 inches, or 50-70 cm, away from your eyes and the top of the computer should be at eye level or right below for optimum eye comfort. Glare filters can reduce the amount of glare produced by digital devices and improve your viewing experience.

Poor sitting posture can also contribute to eye strain. Your chair should be situated so that your feet are flat on the floor, or use an angled footrest for additional comfort.

Optimize your Eyewear

Since regular prescription lenses or glasses may not adequately meet your visual needs for lengthy computer use, you may benefit from wearing computer glasses. These prescription glasses are customized to your needs and also reduce glare and block blue light.

 

You don’t have to live with the discomforts of eye strain. If symptoms persist, it may be time to visit Vision Centers of Houston - Willowbrook and get the relief you seek. Call our office to schedule a convenient eye doctor’s appointment.

 

Can Your Eye Doctor See Floaters?

Eye floaters look like little specks or shapes that glide slowly across your visual field. They can resemble dark specks, outlined strings, or fragments of cobwebs – all of which are actually little pieces of debris or clumps of cells floating in your vitreous gel. When they cast shadows on your retina, you see them. Can your eye doctor also see them?

Yes, your eye doctor can see eye floaters during an eye exam. While most of the time floaters are harmless, sometimes they can indicate a serious, sight-threatening eye problem – such as retinal detachment. Your eye doctor will perform a dilated eye exam to inspect your eye health closely, looking out for signs of a problem.

If you only experience mild floaters without any retinal problem, there’s usually no need to treat eye floaters. However, if they’re severe and interfere with vision (and don’t go away on their own after several months), you may need laser treatment. But this is rare.

If eye floaters appear suddenly and in a large quantity, call your eye doctor immediately for an emergency eye exam. They could signal the start of retinal detachment, which can cause blindness when left untreated.

In the vast majority of cases, eye floaters are nothing more than bothersome, and people can usually ignore them more easily as time passes.

At Vision Centers of Houston - Willowbrook, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 281-640-0739 or book an appointment online to see one of our Willowbrook eye doctors.

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