How to Relieve Contact Lens Intolerance
Contact lens intolerance is a common condition that makes wearing contact lenses virtually impossible for many people. Contact lenses are an important tool for many people that need vision correction, but what do you do when contacts irritate your eyes, causing pain, and ironically, more vision problems?
The vision specialists at Eye Center of Texas are here to tell you about the causes of contact lens intolerance, and what you can do to relieve it.
Do I have contact lens intolerance?
Contact lens intolerance doesn’t just impact new contact lens wearers, in fact, it can appear in people who have been wearing contacts without discomfort for years.
Contact lens intolerance is an umbrella term used to describe any type of pain, irritation, or significant discomfort from using contact lenses. Some common contact lens intolerance symptoms include:
- Dry, itchy eyes
- Irritation and inflammation
- Pain or discomfort when putting in contact lenses
- Corneal abrasions or ulcers
These symptoms can range from mild and irritating to severe and debilitating. If you are struggling with maintaining eye and vision health, an ophthalmologist in Houston from Eye Center of Texas can put you on the right path to comfortable, healthy eyes and clearer vision.
Why do my eyes keep rejecting my contacts?
There are many reasons that your eyes might reject your contacts. Your eyes can develop an intolerance to contact lens fluid, bacteria from unclean contacts, or even the material of the lenses themselves. Some common causes of contact lens intolerance include:
- Improper use, storage, or cleaning
- Reaction to storing or cleaning solution
- Dry eyes
- An improperly fitted lens
Improper use of contacts is a huge contributor to contact lens intolerance. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) conducted a survey in which over 99% of contact wearers reported engaging in at least one risky contact lens-related behavior, such as keeping their contact lens cases for longer than recommended, sleeping in their contact lenses, or topping off solution in their case without emptying the old solution first.
This begs the question: if contacts are this difficult to use correctly, why use contact lenses at all if you don’t have to? Many imagine that getting corrective vision surgery is more of a hassle than wearing contacts, but the opposite is often true. The LASIK healing timeline is quite short, and the procedure can result in healthier eyes and clearer vision for years to come with little-to-no maintenance.
How do you relieve contact lens irritation?
For the majority of patients, contact lens irritation is a mild inconvenience that can be fixed with a little more attention to contact lens care, while for others it can be an insurmountable and frustrating obstacle. It might be as simple as putting in a few eye drops, while for others it might mean corrective vision surgery or just reverting back to glasses. If you are dealing with contact lens intolerance, you should start by asking yourself the following questions.
Q: How do you wear and care for your contacts?
As illustrated by the CDC’s report that effectively every contact lens wearer is not following recommendations, wear and care could be the solution. Before you take other steps to limit irritation, make sure that you are properly cleaning and disinfecting your contact lenses, and not wearing them for too long.
Q: Do you keep your eyes lubricated?
If your eyes are dry keep them lubricated using artificial tears or other preservative-free eye drops. Eye drops should not be a long-term solution, and are meant to only alleviate symptoms temporarily.
Q: Have you talked to your ophthalmologist about vision correction surgery?
The most effective way to eliminate pain and irritation from contact lens intolerance is to eliminate the need for contact lenses. Vision correction surgery, especially when working with some of the top eye surgeons in Houston, is often much more quick and safe than patients expect — and is much less hassle than having to wear and maintain contact lenses.
The surgeons at Eye Center of Texas offer a range of vision correction procedures, ranging from LASIK to PRK to Visian ICL. If you have questions about the distinction between all of these unique procedures, don’t worry, our ophthalmologists can tell you all about the differences between PRK vs ICL vs LASIK, and which procedure would be right for you.
LASIK has an over 95% success rate, so the overwhelming likelihood is that you will be able to say goodbye to your contacts after LASIK, and start living with better vision in a more comfortable manner.
Leave contact lens intolerance in the past with treatment solutions from Eye Center of Texas
If contact lens intolerance is causing you pain and discomfort, you can find solutions at Eye Center of Texas. Whether you need to be fitted for new contacts or need to explore vision correction procedures that will simplify your life, the trustworthy and experienced specialists at Eye Center of Texas are here to take care of you.
Call today at (713) 797-1010 or schedule an appointment online to start your journey to clearer, more comfortable vision.
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How to Treat Digital Eye Strain
March is Save Your Vision Month, and the American Optometric Association is spreading awareness on the topic of digital eye strain. Due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, many individuals found themselves spending more time in front of a computer, phone, or TV. As working from home becomes increasingly common, our eyes are continuously glued to screens.
Whether for work or for pleasure, the prolonged time spent in front of a screen can have negative effects on our eyes in the form of digital eye strain. In this article, the experts at Eye Center of Texas will be explaining what digital eye strain is, digital eye strain symptoms, and how it can be treated.
What is digital eye strain?
Do digital devices cause eye strain? Digital devices can be responsible for eye strain, especially digital eye strain. Here’s how.
Digital eye strain, also referred to as computer vision syndrome, refers to a number of eye and vision-related problems that are caused by too much time spent in front of digital screens. Digital screens emit blue light that scatters once it enters the eye –– this causes our eyes to work harder or strain to focus on that light so that we can read what is on the screen. Digital eye strain occurs with increased blue light exposure and can lead to issues with your vision if not corrected.
Other contributions to digital eye strain can include:
- Poor lighting
- Glare on a computer, television, or phone screen
- Viewing a screen from too close or too far away
- Uncorrected vision problems
Digital eye strain symptoms
The most common digital eye strain symptoms include:
- Digital eye strain headache*
- Blurred or double vision
- Dry eyes
- Eye fatigue, itching, tearing, or redness
- Neck and shoulder pain
- Light sensitivity
Many people wonder, “Can eye strain trigger migraines?” Migraines can form as a result of prolonged exposure to blue light. Because our eyes have to work overtime when we use digital screens, and if we look at them for too long without protection or any breaks, painful migraines can be one of many consequences.
Does digital eye strain go away? Yes, most of these symptoms are short-term and temporary. However, if no measures are taken to help combat digital eye strain –– especially if these symptoms are coupled with pre-existing eye conditions including presbyopia or astigmatism, the effects could be more severe. It’s best to begin looking for solutions before more problems are created.
Digital eye strain treatments
Digital eye strain treatments can range from simple habit changes to easy home remedies to clinical treatments. It all depends on your specific needs and circumstances. For professional advice, schedule an appointment with an optometrist at Eye Center of Texas to discuss your treatment options.
In the meantime, here are some tips you can use at home to help if you’re experiencing symptoms of digital eye strain:
Practice the 20-20-20 rule
The American Optometric Association recommends that people follow the 20-20-20 rule when using digital devices to prevent eye strain. For every 20 minutes spent looking at a screen, look at something that is 20 feet away every 20 seconds. It’s simple but can be effective.
Turn down your screen brightness
Many cases of eye strain from phone use or any other digital device can be helped by simply turning down the brightness! Reducing the glare from your screen will make device use easier on your eyes and can prevent excessive strain.
Similar to how we wear sunglasses to protect ourselves from UV damage to the eyes, computer glasses or blue light glasses can be an effective way to protect your eyes from excessive blue light exposure. What are computer glasses? Computer glasses are prescription glasses made specifically for computer work. They are, in other words, activity-specific glasses that can alleviate eye strain if made with your specific needs in mind.
Currently, there is no one treatment for how to cure dry eyes permanently, a common symptom of digital eye strain that can be helped by wearing computer glasses –– however, there are home remedies and clinical treatments that can help treat your dry eyes. Ask your optometrist about your options to find the best solution for you.
LASIK or Laser cataract surgery
The treatment options mentioned above are temporary solutions. If you are someone who spends almost every day in front of digital devices or is currently experiencing other vision issues, LASIK or Laser cataract surgery may be your best option for treating your vision problems.
With these procedures, you won’t need to rely on glasses or contact lenses anymore. Our surgeons at Eye Center of Texas have successfully performed over 80,000 cataract procedures and over 75,000 LASIK procedures –– which means a great multitude of patients have achieved 20/20 vision.
If you are looking for a long-term solution, talk to an ophthalmologist from Eye Center of Texas today to see if you are a candidate for these procedures.
Treat Digital Eye Strain with the Help of Eye Center of Texas
There’s no denying that we are living in a digital world –– but that doesn’t mean our eyes have to suffer the consequences. We should all take extra steps to take better care of our eyes this year. The experts at Eye Center of Texas are here to help you find your perfect solution to symptoms of digital eye strain. It may be inevitable, but it is certainly treatable with our help.
Request an appointment online today to meet with one of our top eye care experts.
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Retina Surgery Options
If you think you’re suffering from a detached retina, it’s important to seek out professional help so you can start the retina surgery recovery process as soon as possible. With retina tears, you may notice blurry vision, floaters, or flashes at first, and it may just seem like your vision is getting worse. But if a detachment is left untreated, you could end up with permanent vision loss.
Treatment options for a detached retina
Before we cover retina surgery recovery tips, let’s go over the different types of treatment options for a detached retina.
Cryopexy or laser surgery
With this particular retina detachment treatment option, a doctor uses a probe or laser to seal any retina tears. This option can be done in-office in 30 minutes or less. Your eye will be numbed prior to the procedure, and you should feel little-to-no discomfort throughout the entire process.
Pneumatic retinopexy involves laser or cryotherapy, a gas bubble, and the removal of fluid. The purpose of the gas bubble is to push the retina back; however, the bubble will remain in your eye post-surgery. Over the next few days, it is important that you refrain from exertion and that you keep your head in the recommended position. The bubble will gradually disappear.
This treatment option is for more severe cases and requires the use of general anesthesia. Keep in mind, however, recovery time is still within the 2-4 week timeline. With this procedure, a band will be placed around your sclera and remain there permanently. Cryotherapy or a laser will also be used to patch up any tears.
Vitrectomy is for more serious retinal detachments. With this treatment option, the removal of vitreous gel is required. After removal occurs, a combination of a gas bubble and cryotherapy or laser is used. You can be numbed prior to the procedure, or you can opt for general anesthesia.
Retina surgery recovery tips
Again, retina surgery recovery tips vary depending on the severity of your retina detachment, as well as the treatment option you and your doctor decide to undergo. Your surgical counselor will review your recovery tips with you and let you know what suggestions should work best for your time post-op. Here are some general tips to guide you during your recovery process.
- Avoid intense or vigorous activities. Give your eyeball the chance to heal before you start jostling it around again. And remember, these activities can expand to include light exercising and even lifting heavy items.
- Take some time off work. How long does it take to recover from retina surgery? Typically two to four weeks. For that reason, we recommend asking between two to four weeks off of work.
- Avoid driving. Again, this time will vary, and it could only be a day or two. But, this really depends on how your vision is improving and whether or not your doctor recommends it.
- Take any medications and eye drops as prescribed. It is likely that you will be required to take eye drops for at least a month after your procedure. If you have any lingering pain or discomfort, make sure you speak with your doctor before taking any over-the-counter pain meds.
- Take precautions when showering or washing your face. Avoid getting any liquids near your eye and avoid swimming.
- Wear eye protection when you’re outside to protect your eyes from the sun.
- Pay careful attention to how you sleep and hold your head. This is especially true if there was a gas bubble placed in your eye, Your doctor will help you understand how to sleep after retinal detachment surgery. Because of the gas bubble, you’ll also want to avoid airplanes.
- Schedule and attend all follow-up appointments with your doctor. Make sure you maintain open communication and let them know if you’re experiencing anything uncomfortable during your recovery process.
When to contact a doctor during the retina surgery recovery process
While most retina surgery recovery processes go smoothly, there are some situations that could indicate a potential problem. Contact your doctor if you experience any of the following issues during your retina surgery recovery process:
- Eye pain that is getting worse
- Decrease in vision
- Any sudden changes in your overall health
Eye Center of Texas is here for you before, during, and after your retina surgery recovery
At Eye Center of Texas, we have experience helping the people of Houston successfully treat and recover from a wide variety of eye health issues and diseases, including retinal tears and detachment.
From LASIK surgery to retina detachment, we are one of Houston’s leading ophthalmological practices. We are here to answer any questions you may have about vision recovery after retinal detachment surgery, what to expect after retinal tear surgery in general, and more.
Give us a call today at 713-797-1010 or fill out our online form to request an appointment with our team.
Why Is My Vision Getting Worse?
Whether you’ve only just started having vision issues or your latest trip to the optometrist resulted in your having to up the strength of your prescription, it’s natural to wonder, “Why is my vision getting worse?”
The answer to this question depends on multiple factors. Vision changes can occur as a natural part of aging, or they may be brought on by an injury, eye disease, or underlying illness.
While it’s ultimately best to get an official diagnosis by a trusted Houston ophthalmologist at Eye Center of Texas, let’s take a look at the common answers to the question, “Why is my vision getting worse?”
Note: Not sure whether to go to an optometrist or an ophthalmologist? This article has you covered: What is the Difference Between an Optometrist and an Ophthalmologist?
How do you know if your eyesight is getting worse?
For many patients, part of asking “Why is my vision getting worse?” can include wondering whether your eyesight is actually getting worse or if you’re just being paranoid. That’s understandable. When it comes to eye health it can be easy to psych yourself out and imagine the worst.
So, take a deep breath. Again, the best way to verify whether or not your vision is getting worse is to visit an eye doctor. In the meantime, the best way to check whether or not your vision is getting worse is to check your symptoms against those of common eye problems in your age group.
Why is my vision getting worse every year? Age and vision problems.
Many vision problems, even those caused by underlying illnesses, have been tied to certain age brackets. Of course, brackets are not set in stone, but they can be useful as a guide. Note that vision changes in young children (those younger than 18) are often related to either the growth and development of the eye or to less common issues. For these reasons, we do not address vision loss in small children in this article.
Patients in their late teens to 30s
Many patients who wear glasses or prescription contact lenses will see small fluctuations in their prescriptions over time. These changes are normal and should not be blamed on your glasses (which, despite popular myth, do not weaken the eye). All of that said, certain activities and factors can contribute to worsening vision, even at this age. These include:
The effects of UV damage to eyes has been well documented. Unfortunately, most of this damage is incurred when we are young and less aware of the consequences of not taking care of our eyes.
- Symptoms: Blurry vision, eye redness, pain, light sensitivity.
- Treatment: Avoid UV damage by wearing quality sunglasses and protective headgear when outside.
Digital eye strain
With the continued prevalence of digital products, it’s hard to avoid screens these days. Looking at your computer, phone, and TV for so many of the hours of the day can lead to eye strain, especially since humans tend to blink less while looking at a screen.
- Symptoms: Dry, itchy, burning, sore, and tired eyes, light sensitivity, and headaches.
- Treatment: To avoid eye damage from cell phone use and the use of other digital products, try implementing the 20-20-20 rule in your routine. This increasingly popular exercise suggests that for every 20 minutes spent looking at a screen, you look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. There are apps that can help remind you to complete this ritual.
Poor diet, poor sleep, lack of exercise, and smoking
Like every other organ in your body, the health of your eyes is dependent upon your overall health. If you’ve ever wondered what you can do to stop your eyesight from getting worse, some of the best things you can do include trying your hardest to eat a balanced diet (that includes these top foods for eye health), get adequate sleep, exercise regularly, and avoid or quit smoking.
Patients of 40+ years of age
Just as our bodies age, so do our eyes. In addition to the above potential causes of vision loss, adults over the age of 40—even those with perfect eyesight up to this point—have a few additional culprits to keep in mind.
Presbyopia is the age-related loss of flexibility in the lens of your eye. The hardening of the lens makes it harder for the eyes to adjust to nearby objects, resulting in farsightedness or “near vision.”
- Symptoms: difficulty reading small print, eye fatigue after reading, squinting, holding items at a farther distance in order to see them better, needing brighter light.
- Treatment: Refractive lens exchange, LASIK or PRK monovision procedures
Another age-related eye issue, cataracts occur when proteins break down in the lens of your eye, creating a cloudy lens and blurry vision. Cataracts are an extremely common vision issue and cataract surgery is one of the most frequently performed surgeries in the world.
- Symptoms: Clouded and blurred vision, glare, halos, problems with night vision, fading/yellowing of colors. If these symptoms sound familiar, check our article on early signs of cataracts.
- Treatment: Laser cataract surgery with lens replacement
Glaucoma involves the buildup of fluid in the anterior chamber of the eye. Unable to drain properly, this fluid creates increased eye pressure and eventually damage to your optic nerves, which in turn can lead to blindness.
- Symptoms: Intense eye pain, blurred vision, nausea, halos, issues seeing in low light.
- Treatment: Filtration surgery, Laser Trabeculoplasty, Endoscopic CycloPhotocoagulation
Presbyopia, cataracts, and glaucoma are by far the most common eye problems and diseases patients over 40 should watch out for. Additional yet less common eye problems include macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, and keratoconus.
What if my eyesight is getting worse all of a sudden? Or if my eyesight is getting worse every day? Will I go blind?
If you’re wondering, “Why is my vision getting worse?” because your vision has deteriorated very suddenly, it’s imperative that you seek treatment as soon as possible. Suddenly worsening vision is almost always an indicator of an underlying serious condition. These conditions range from stroke to brain inflammation to acute angle-closure glaucoma.
While there is no guarantee that a sudden change in vision will cause blindness, ignoring sudden vision changes highly increases the likelihood that you will go blind. We cannot stress this enough: If you experience rapid changes in vision quality, see a doctor as soon as possible.
Can your vision improve naturally? If so, how can I improve it?
Vision improves without medical treatment only in extremely rare cases, most of which involve young children whose eyes were still developing. There are some who believe that certain eye exercises, massages, and diets can improve vision over time, but these assertions have yet to hold water in clinical tests.
When my prescription stabilizes, are there ways of improving your eyesight?
Yes! As noted above, there are also many current procedures that address vision loss due to cataracts, presbyopia, glaucoma, and more.
Over time, many patients with vision issues such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism have achieved clear vision again with the help of procedures such as LASIK in Houston and PRK. Note that almost all ophthalmologists do not provide LASIK and PRK to patients under the age of 18. The eyes of patients under age 18 are typically still changing.
Worried that your eyesight is getting worse? Visit Eye Center of Texas.
The eye is an extremely important and complex organ, so it’s often difficult to get a comprehensive answer to the question, “Why is my vision getting worse?” without speaking to a doctor in person. Eye Center of Texas is one of the leading ophthalmology practices in Houston.
With nationally recognized doctors Dr. Mark L. Mayo and Edward C. Wade at the helm of Eye Center of Texas’s extremely talented team, patients can expect top-quality treatment and care. While we are most well-known for providing thousands with restored vision via laser cataract surgery and LASIK, we are also highly experienced in other eye health issues both common and rare.
Ready to see your way to clearer vision? Request a consultation with Eye Center of Texas by calling us at 713-797-1010 or contacting us online today.
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Why Are My Eyes Red All The Time?
Have you recently looked at your reflection in the mirror and thought to yourself, “Why are my eyes red all the time?” Red eyes are a common vision problem. In fact, your eyes can be red for many reasons that have absolutely nothing to do with your lifestyle.
However, red eyes can be a hassle, even if they don’t affect how well you can see. People often assume that those with red eyes don’t sleep, are stressed out, or have been partying a little too hard. But don’t worry. The question, “Why are my eyes red all the time?” can be answered. While many eye problems associated with red eyes come with relatively easy fixes, some can require a trip to your ophthalmologist as soon as possible.
Learn what may be causing your red eyes and when you should seek out a doctor at Eye Center of Texas to help you clear your red eyes.
What causes red eyes?
Red eyes are typically not a condition in and of themselves, but a symptom of another issue. In fact, the hardest part of treating red eyes is often finding out exactly what’s causing them. Here are the typical answers you’ll receive when you ask a doctor, “Why are my eyes red all of the time?”
Allergies are the primary cause of red eyes. The body reacts to an allergen—pollen, pet dander, mold, dust—by releasing histamines. Histamines increase the permeability of capillaries to let in more pathogen-fighting white blood cells, but they also cause swelling and inflammation. This swelling can cause the appearance of red veins in the eyes.
So, analyze your environment. Are there things that could be triggering an allergic reaction? And are your red eyes are accompanied by sneezing, itching, and/or a stuffy nose? If so, then allergies are almost definitely the culprit.
Maybe you just got a new pet, or perhaps pollen season has officially rolled in. Or maybe your living space is just a little bit overdue for a good cleaning. Either way, there is no need to call the ophthalmologist. Start with over the counter allergy meds, then visit an allergy specialist if your problems persist.
When your red eyes are caused by dryness, your eyes may burn, or you may feel a sensation similar to having sand or another irritant caught in your eyes. What’s happening behind the scenes, however, is that your eyes aren’t getting the proper amount of lubrication.
Each time you blink, your eye is coated in a tiny lubricating layer of liquid (made from the same stuff as tears). In today’s screen-heavy world, dry eye syndrome has become increasingly common, because we often blink less when we look at screens. In fact, some people are even turning to special computer glasses to help them deal with this issue. (For more info, check out our article What are Computer Glasses?)
Common dry eye can usually be treated effectively using over-the-counter eye drops. There are also apps that you can download which will remind you to look away from your screen. If your dry eye persists, however, your eyes may be experiencing issues producing tears, and it may be a good idea to visit your eye doctor.
If your eyes have been bright red/pink for a few days in addition to burning/itching and even occasional discharge, you may be experiencing pink eye, also known as Conjunctivitis. Keep on the lookout for signs of pink eye (especially if you have children) and make sure to see a doctor right away if you’re showing symptoms. Conjunctivitis is very contagious and can easily spread through contact, even with shared items like towels or sheets.
Burst blood vessels
If you have a sudden bloodshot eye or a bloodshot eye on one side with no associated pain, you may be dealing with a burst blood vessel. This isn’t quite as scary as it may sound. Blood vessels in your eye can burst from simple actions like sneezing, bending over, or lifting a heavy object.
Burst blood vessels should heal on their own within 1–2 weeks. However, if these symptoms are accompanied by any change in vision or pooling blood at the lower part of your iris, you should make an appointment with your eye doctor immediately.
Can stress cause red eyes?
Yes, stress can contribute to red eyes, although it typically does so indirectly. Your body often produces adrenaline in response to stress, which in turn can lead to tension and dry eyes. As discussed, both tension and dry eyes can contribute to your red eyes. If you’re feeling stressed and it’s showing in your eyes, make sure you’re staying hydrated and avoiding excessive caffeine or alcohol, as these substances may exacerbate your symptoms.
When red eyes should mean a trip to the doctor
If your eyes are always red, there is a chance that something else is wrong beyond just stress or allergies. If your red eyes are accompanied by one or more of the following symptoms, it may be time to shut down the computer/stop browsing on your phone and call your ophthalmologist to set up an appointment.
- Persistent and/or frequent pain in your eyes
- Any change in vision
- New sensitivity to light
- Swelling around the eyelid
These symptoms could signal a problematic eye condition like Uveitis, which can lead to cataracts, glaucoma, or even blindness if left untreated. Prescription eye drops can usually clear Uveitis, but your eye doctor will still need to run tests for an accurate diagnosis.
In general, any sudden changes in vision—especially when accompanied by sensitivity or pain—should be accompanied by a trip to the eye doctor.
How can I clear my red eyes? Get answers at Eye Center of Texas
Sick and tired of everyone thinking you’re sick and tired because of your red eyes? Make this time the last time you have to ask yourself, “Why are my eyes red all the time.”
The experienced doctors at Eye Center of Texas can diagnose what is causing your red eyes and help you implement a solution that can help clear up your eyes. We are your solution for eye health and vision issues, from red eyes to LASIK to UV light eye damage.
Don’t let red eye irritation affect your life any longer. With six convenient locations in the Greater Houston Area, Eye Center of Texas makes it easy to fix your vision in comfort. Call Eye Center of Texas at 713-797-1010, or schedule an appointment online today.
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What Causes Pain around Eye Sockets?
Pain around the eye sockets and eyes themselves is one of the top reasons that patients visit Eye Center of Texas. That’s because when you’re experiencing pain around your eye sockets, it’s very hard to concentrate on anything else.
When someone comes to us and expresses concern about eye pain and/or pain around the eye sockets, it is our goal to relieve that patient as quickly and safely as possible.
Want to give yourself a head start? Learn about what causes pain around the eye sockets, then call Eye Center of Texas at 713-797-1010 or contact us online today.
What are the two different types of eye pain?
When discussing eye pain, eye doctors place different issues in two umbrella categories for eye pain: ocular eye pain and orbital eye pain.
Ocular eye pain is any kind of eye pain that originates on the surface of the eye. It includes sharp pain or the feeling of having something gritty in your eyes.
Types of ocular eye pain include:
- Pink eye
- Styes and chalazia
- Chemical burns
- Foreign bodies
- Corneal abrasions
However, when a patient complains of pain around the eye sockets, they are typically referring to pain that originates deeper within the eye. This type of eye pain—pain that originates from a source within tor behind the eye—is referred to as orbital eye pain.
Orbital eye pain and pain around the eye sockets
The eye is an extremely complex organ, leading to many potential causes of orbital eye pain. The following are the most common conditions and diseases that may cause pain around the eye sockets.
- Glaucoma: When people ask “What does pressure behind the eyes mean?” they are typically referencing glaucoma, a disease caused by increased intraocular pressure. While the most common type of glaucoma, open-angle glaucoma, is typically painless, a rarer, fast-acting and dangerous type of glaucoma called angle-closure glaucoma can cause redness, severe pain, and vision loss. (For more information, read our article on the types of glaucoma.)
- Iritis: Iritis is a rare condition in which the iris (the colored part of the eye) becomes inflamed. Side effects include deep orbital pain, reduced vision, redness, and light sensitivity.
- Migraines, tension headaches, cluster headaches: All three of these types of headaches can create the sensation of pain originating from behind the eye. Note that ocular migraines are different than having eye pain from a migraine; ocular migraines typically last for thirty minutes to an hour and can result in either temporary vision loss or blindness in one eye.
- Optic neuritis: Optic neuritis is the inflammation and/or infection of the nerve that connects your eye to your brain. Pain caused by optic neuritis often increases with eye movement. Patients may also experience temporary vision loss and headaches.
- Orbital cellulitis: Orbital cellulitis is an infection of the inside of your eye socket. It can occur after eye trauma, eye surgery, or as the result of infections spreading from other parts of your body (especially the teeth and sinuses). Orbital cellulitis creates redness, pain, and swelling, discharge, and fever, and can lead to permanent vision loss without immediate treatment.
- Sinusitis/Sinus infection: Yes, your sinuses can also cause pain around your eye sockets—or at least the sensation of eye pain. The congestion and inflammation associated with sinus infections can lead to increased pressure in the sinuses, which can then radiate to your eyes.
- Toothache: A toothache can cause both headaches and eye pain by pain referred via the nerves that run throughout your facial structure (especially the trigeminal nerve).
How do you relieve eye pain? See a trusted Ophthalmologist at Eye Center of Texas.
It’s impossible to know how to thoroughly treat eye pain and pain around the eye sockets without knowing what is causing that pain. The renowned ophthalmologist at Eye Center of Texas can help you identify the cause of your eye pain and put you on the road to recovery.
Whether you’re experiencing pain behind your left eye, pain behind your right eye, pain in both of your eyes, orbital pain, or ocular pain, it’s time you found relief. Request an appointment at Eye Center of Texas by calling 713-797-1010 or contacting us online today.
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Why Is There a Bump on My Eyelid?
Have you ever woken up one morning, checked your face in the mirror, and exclaimed, “Why is there a bump on my eyelid?!” Even if your discovery of a bump on your eyelid was a little less dramatic, chances are that you were still a bit concerned when you first felt or saw the bump(s) for the first time.
This concern is natural. We are instinctively protective of our eyes, and when we perceive that something is threatening them, we’re bound to not react well, even if that thing “just” a small bump on your eyelid.
As with most things, however, a little information can help allay our worst fears. Learn about the top causes of eyelid bumps, how those bumps can be treated, and whether or not you should be concerned when things get “bumpy.”
What causes eyelid bumps?
There are a few common types of eye bumps, the most common being styes and chalazia. Whether you find a bump on your upper eyelid, your lower eyelid, or both, you can rest assured that these bumps are often not cause for serious concern. In fact, they typically go away on their own.
To help identify what kind of eye bump you have, pay attention to where the bump occurs, if it is accompanied by other bumps, whether or not the bump is painful, and whether or not the bump grows in size.
- Causes: A stye (also spelled “sty and also called an external/internal hordeolum) occurs when an eyelash follicle becomes inflamed or infected and clogs the oil glands in an eyelash follicle. You are more likely to get a stye if you are experiencing stress, fluctuations in hormone levels, or suffer from blepharitis (inflammation of the eyelash follicles) or rosacea.
- Location: A stye typically forms on the outside rim of your eyelid, along the lash line, although they do occasionally form on your inner eyelid.
- Appearance: Styes (also spelled ‘sties’) are red. They are pimple-like, boil-like, or blister-like in appearance and frequently contain pus. Over time, a stye may turn yellow and leak puss.
- Growth: Styes can swell to the point where they cause excess tearing and affect the entire eyelid.
- Symptoms: Styes cause swelling, pain, itchiness, and tenderness in the eyelid. They can also cause sensitivity to light and excess wateriness of the eye.
- Are styes infectious? Yes. The bacterium (typically staphylococcus) that causes a stye can spread to others.
- Causes: A chalazion occurs when your meibomian gland—a gland in the eyelid that secretes the lipid layer, i.e. oils that keep your tears from evaporating—becomes clogged. You are more likely to get a chalazion if you suffer from meibomian gland dysfunction, blepharitis, rosacea, or diabetic retinopathy.
- Location: Chalazia appear on both the upper and lower eyelids, but are more likely to occur on the upper eyelid because the upper eyelid has more meibomian glands (25–40) than the lower eyelid (20–30). Unlike styes, they tend to occur in the middle of the eyelid instead of the rim.
- Appearance: A red, firm bump that can be as large as a pea.
- Growth: After forming, a chalazion rarely continues to grow and swell.
- Symptoms: Chalazia are typically less painful than styes. However, they may cause some pain and tenderness along the eyelid when they are first forming.
- Are chalazia infectious? No.
- Causes: A milium cyst is a small bump that is frequently found in groups called milia. Milia are the result of Keratin—the protein that helps form your nails, skin, and hair—that becomes trapped beneath your skin. While milia occur most frequently in infants, you can have milia at any age.
- Location: Milia can be found in many places on the body, but occur most frequently on the face. It is possible to have milia on the eyelids, cheeks, nose, lips, forehead.
- Appearance: Milia are small bumps that typically occur in groups. They range in color from white to yellow. They are often compared to whiteheads.
- Growth: Milia have been shown to grow up to two millimeters, but typically remain much smaller. If you notice a white bump under your eyelid that does not grow, it is likely milia.
- Symptoms: Milia may be frustrating, but they are painless. Milia in adults typically occurs after some sort of trauma to the skin (such as a burn, poison ivy, dermabrasion, etc.) Though rare, milia in juveniles may be a sign of underlying genetic disorders, including Gardner’s syndrome, nevoid basal cell carcinoma syndrome (NBCCS), pachyonychia congenita, Bazex-Depré-Christol syndrome.
- Are milia infectious? No.
- Causes: A rare condition, xanthelasma occurs when cholesterol builds up in patches underneath the skin of your eyelids.
- Location: Xanthelasma patches occur on both the upper and lower eyelids near the corners of your eye (towards the tear duct).
- Appearance: Xanthelasma patches are yellow and slightly raised. They are soft to the touch.
- Growth: Xanthelasma patches either stay the same size or grow larger. They do not go away on their own.
- Symptoms: While xanthelasma does not have symptoms itself, it may indicate high levels of bad cholesterol, a higher risk for heart disease, and other concerns.
- Is xanthelasma infectious? No.
A bump on the eyelid can occasionally be caused by skin cancer. The next section will address what to do if you suspect that the bump on your eyelid is caused by something other than a stye, chalazion, milia, or xanthelasma.
How do you get rid of a bump on your eyelid when it doesn’t go away on its own?
If the bump on your eyelid won’t go away, returns frequently, begins to obstruct your vision, causes bleeding, or is accompanied by a change in the color of the white of your eyes, it’s best to see an eye doctor.
Styes, chalazia, and milia all frequently go away on their own. However, there are some things you can do at home to expedite the process.
Treatments for styes and chalazia
- Avoid wearing makeup or using contact lenses.
- Apply a clean, damp, warm washcloth to the eye for 5–10 minutes, 3–4 times a day. The warmth helps drain the clogged gland.
- With clean hands, gently massage the area around the stye.
- Clean all eyewear and accessories to remove bacteria.
Prescribed or in-office treatments:
- Treatment of underlying conditions
- Draining the stye or chalazion using minor surgery
Treatments for milia
- The regular cleaning, exfoliation, and moisturizing of your skin (using oil-free and paraben-free products)
- Manuka honey masks
- The use of night serums that contain vitamins E or A
Prescribed or in-office treatments:
- Remove the milia using cryotherapy (freezing with liquid nitrogen)
- De-roofing (use of needle or blade)
- Curettage (numbing and scooping away of the skin)
- Chemical peels
- Laser surgery
Treatments for xanthelasma
Outside of changes in diet, xanthelasma does not respond to home treatment. While it is harmless, if you would like it removed, your doctor can offer using cryotherapy, radiofrequency advanced electrolysis (RAF), chemical peels, laser surgery, and medication.
If your doctor suspects that your eye bump is caused by skin cancer, they may need to conduct a biopsy. Keep in mind that cancerous eye bumps occur only rarely.
Concerned about a bump on your eyelid? Call Eye Center of Texas.
Tired of asking the Internet, “Why is there a bump on my eyelid?” The medical professionals at Eye Center of Texas can provide you with reliable and experienced care.
We are known for providing top-of-the-line eye treatments, including cataract surgery in Houston, eyelid surgery and the removal of excess eyelid skin, and some of the best LASIK in Houston. But we see patients with a range of conditions and eye issues, including those who are concerned about the diagnosis and removal of eye bumps.
Put your mind at ease about that nagging bump on your eye. Request an appointment at Eye Center of Texas by calling 713-797-1010 or contacting us online today.
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What is a Corneal Abrasion?
What is a corneal abrasion, how long does it take to heal, and is it possible for a corneal abrasion to heal on its own? The idea of having your eye torn or scratched is not a pleasant one; for many, it’s downright frightening.
The good news is that most corneal abrasions (aka corneal scratches) are minor and will heal in a few days. However, corneal abrasions should never be taken lightly. Knowing what is a corneal abrasion worth worrying about can help you avoid potential infections and vision loss.
Let’s review the basics of corneal abrasions so that the next time you get something in your eye, you’ll already know the answer to the question, “What is a corneal abrasion?”
What are some common corneal abrasion causes?
As you might suspect, there are a variety of ways you can scratch your eye and cause a corneal abrasion. Makeup, sand, and even your own fingers are common corneal abrasion causes.
Rubbing your eyes can make an abrasion more likely, and failing to wear protective equipment while performing work that involves flying particles (mowing the lawn, construction, etc.) can also make a corneal abrasion more likely.
Keep in mind that contact lenses are a common culprit, as well. If you wear your contact lenses for too long or if you don’t take proper care of them, they could easily lead to a corneal abrasion.
How do you know if you have a corneal abrasion?
How do you know if you actually have a corneal abrasion as opposed to another eye issue? Your cornea — the clear, protective outer layer of your eye — is chock full of nerve endings. So having even a small particle in your eye can feel like somehow you got a boulder wedged in there. That said, corneal abrasions are often accompanied by telltale signs and symptoms.
So, what does a scratched cornea feel like?
- You might feel like there’s something stuck in your eye (like sand)
- You could experience blurry vision or light sensitivity
- You might feel pain when you open or close your eyes
- Your eyes could appear red, start to tear up, or even twitch
- You might feel nauseous or have unexplained headaches
For more extensive information, please read our article regarding scratched cornea symptoms, which outlines what you may be feeling in more detail.
Can a scratched eye heal on its own?
It is possible for a minor abrasion to heal on its own. However, it’s always wise to get a professional opinion regarding the existence or severity of a corneal abrasion, as treatment can help a minor abrasion from becoming worse.
And if you do wind up with a deeper scratch, ignoring it can lead to further complications. Larger abrasions can easily become infected, which in turn can lead to permanent vision loss, scarring, corneal ulceration.
How do you treat a corneal abrasion?
If you feel as though you have something stuck in your eye, immediately rinse your eye with clean water. Do not rub your eyes or touch your eye with your fingers, as doing so could make a scratch worse (or create an abrasion even if you did not have one before).
If your eye remains uncomfortable after you’ve rinsed it a few times, consider calling a doctor. Most professionals recommend antibiotic eye drops for even a minor abrasion, but other treatments may also be deemed necessary.
Treatments options for a corneal abrasion:
- Eye drops or antibiotic ointment (to provide a protective layer)
- Special contact lenses (to ease pain and speed up the healing process)
- Steroids (to help with inflammation)
- An eye patch (to protect your eye from further damage)
How long does a corneal abrasion take to heal?
Minor abrasions often heal within a few days — sometimes as soon as 24 hours later. However, deeper abrasions can take up to two weeks or longer to heal. The length of time it takes for your abrasion to heal will depend on the severity of damage inflicted, how quickly you seek treatment, and how diligent you are with aftercare.
Think you might have scratched your cornea? Call Eye Center of Texas.
If you think you have recently scratched your eye and are just starting to find answers to the question, “What is a corneal abrasion,” consider seeing an ophthalmologist as soon as possible. When it comes to the health of your eyes, it’s not worth it to take risks.
Eye Center of Texas is home to some of the best eye doctors in Houston. Our nationally recognized ophthalmologists can help you determine whether or not you have scratched your cornea, recommend treatments, and follow up with you on your healing.
We’re here for Houston’s eyes. Request an appointment online or give us a call at 713-797-1010.
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How to Lift Eyelids and Excess Eyelid Skin
Excess eyelid skin can be frustrating for more than cosmetic reasons. When your excess eyelid skin begins to hang over your eyelashes, it can cause both discomfort and vision problems. Luckily, patients who are researching how to lift eyelids and eyelid surgery in Houston have an excellent resource in Eye Center of Texas.
Let’s go over what can cause excess eyelid skin and answer a few of the most commonly asked questions regarding excess eyelid skin in the process.
What is excess eyelid skin called, and what causes eyelids to droop?
In everyday vernacular, most people refer to excess eyelid skin as having “droopy eyelids.” Others refer to the condition as “Lazy eye,” although this nomenclature is more likely to be in reference to amblyopia (a weakness in the eye itself). Excess eyelid skin can occur for a variety of reasons. Here are some of the most common causes of droopy eyelids, along with clinical names.
Ptosis, the loosening of the upper eyelids’ muscle strength, is the most common of these conditions. As you age, the muscle that holds up your eyelid — the levator — can lose its elasticity and/or weaken. When this occurs, your upper eyelid can droop and start to block the pupil and cause vision problems. Ptosis is also a result of congenital conditions (particularly in children), eye diseases, eye trauma, botox injections, or as an aftereffect of eye surgery.
Like ptosis, dermatochalasis is caused by a weakening and loss of elasticity — but in this case, the weakening takes place in the connective tissue of the very front of the eyelid. Dermatochalasis is called “baggy eyes” informally and can be caused by either separate diseases or a congenital condition. Dermatochalasis often happens in conjunction with blepharitis, an inflammation of the eyelids caused by the congestion of oil glands found at the base of each eyelash.
Note: Dermatochalasis is often confused with blepharochalasis. Both conditions result in lax, excess eyelid skin, but whereas dermatochalasis is typically involutional (related to aging), blepharochalasis is caused by the atrophy (degeneration) of eyelid tissues after long-term or chronic attacks of periorbital edema (swelling or puffiness of the eyes). Blepharochalasis is a rare syndrome.
Ectropion and Entropion
When people think of excess eyelid skin and how to lift eyelids, they often have the upper eyelids in mind. However, patients can also suffer from excess eyelid skin in the lower lids, which results in the conditions of ectropion and entropion.
Entropion occurs when weak lower eyelid muscles allow the skin of the lower eyelid to droop inward. When this sagging occurs, the lower lashes are constantly in contact with the cornea and can cause tearing, irritation, and a sensation of constantly having something in your eye.
Ectropion occurs when weak lower eyelid muscles allow the skin of the lower eyelid to droop outward. When this sagging occurs, the upper and lower eyelids don’t meet, causing irritation, dryness, and excess tearing.
What can I do about droopy eyelids? Blepharoplasty and non-surgical options.
While there are a few types of eyelid surgery, the most common is blepharoplasty. Sometimes used as a cosmetic procedure, blepharoplasty involves the removal of excess skin, muscle, and fat. Blepharoplasty can also tighten or strengthen sagging muscles when applicable. The procedure can be performed on both the upper and lower eyelid.
Many insurances cover blepharoplasty procedures intended to help vision problems. Check with your ophthalmologist at Eye Center of Texas to see if you meet your insurance qualifications for coverage.
Non-surgical options may include the regular use of artificial tears, eye shields (to retain eye moisture at night), and taping (for entropion only). Your ophthalmologist can instruct you in best practices with regard to these treatments.
There has been a recent increase in online videos professing to help individuals get rid of excess eyelid skin with the regular practice of facial exercises and the use of tape. These exercises do not work, and patients should only use tape as instructed by a trained professional.
When should you contact a professional about excess eyelid skin?
Excess eyelid skin can cause your brows to ache (from constantly trying to raise your eyebrows/lids. It can also cause reduced peripheral vision. If left untreated, more advanced cases of droopy eyelids can lead to additional vision issues and complications.
If your excess eyelid skin causes you pain, affects your vision, or develops suddenly (overnight or in just a few hours), contact your ophthalmologist as soon as possible.
Suffering from excess eyelid skin? Have more questions?
Whether your excess eyelid skin is bothering you for cosmetic or vision-related reasons, the Houston eyelid surgeons at Eye Center of Texas can help. Our eye doctors, including the esteemed Dr. Mark L. Mayo and Dr. Edward C. Wade, have decades of experience helping Houstonians overcome eye and vision problems.
We’re here to answer any questions you may have regarding eyelid surgery, as well as more general questions, from “What do I need to know about LASIK surgery recovery” to, “What is the difference between being nearsighted and farsighted?”
To discuss your options, request an appointment with one of our ophthalmologists by calling 713-797-1010 or contact us online today.
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What Are the Signs of Pink Eye?
What are the signs of pink eye? Can these signs be similar to other signs of eye issues? Exactly how long does it take for pink eye to show up so that you can be sure of what you’re dealing with?
If your child has recently come home from school complaining that their eye is bothering them, chances are that you may be Googling questions like these at a frantic pace.
Find the answers to questions like “What are the signs of pink eye?” and more, in Eye Center of Texas’s overview of all things pink eye.
What is pink eye?
Pink eye, also known as conjunctivitis, is the inflammation of the clear tissue that covers the white part of your eye (aka the conjunctiva). Inflammation may be caused by viruses, bacteria, fungi, allergies, irritants, your eyes’ negative reaction to eye drops, or even prolonged contact wear. Sexually transmitted diseases can cause rare and dangerous versions of conjunctivitis.
Note: when most patients and doctors refer to pink eye, they’re likely talking about viral pink eye, which is by far the most common type of pink eye.
OK, what are the signs of pink eye?
Your pink eye symptoms will vary according to the cause behind the inflammation. However, we can create a general list of pink eye symptoms to answer the question, “What are the signs of pink eye?”
Typical pink eye symptoms include:
- Swollen, irritated conjunctiva
- Itchy, burning eyes
- Blurred vision and sensitivity to light
- Green, yellow, or white discharge (removable with a warm washcloth).
- Frequent tears
If you or your child has a viral pink eye infection, they might also experience swollen lymph nodes. (This is true particularly for the nodes found beneath your jaw or near the front of your ear).
How do you know if you have pink eye or “just allergies?”
Technically, if the conjunctiva of your eye is inflamed because of allergies, that is still considered pink eye.
That said, it can be difficult to tell the difference between pink eye caused by allergies vs. pink eye caused by a virus. For that reason, if you want to know whether your pink eye is caused by allergies, a viral/bacterial infection, or other irritants, it’s best to visit your optometrist.
If your doctor tells you that your child’s or your conjunctivitis is caused by irritants, you may find the following resources to be helpful:
- Most Common Vision Problems
- Itchy, Dry Eyes in Winter
- Does Looking At Your Phone Hurt Your Eyes?
- How to Protect Your Eyes in Summer?
- Are Computer Glasses Helpful?
Is pink eye contagious? How do you treat pink eye?
Once people have the answer to the question, “What are the signs of pink eye?” their follow-up questions tend to be something along the lines of, “How long is pink eye contagious?” or “Can you go to school with pink eye?”
The answers to these questions depend on what kind of pink eye you have.
Bacterial conjunctivitis: Bacterial conjunctivitis, the type of conjunctivitis that is typically brought on by the same bacteria that causes strep throat, is contagious once symptoms appear. Bacterial conjunctivitis is treatable with antibiotics. After the first 24 hours of antibiotics, bacterial conjunctivitis ceases to be contagious, and patients may return to normal activities.
Viral conjunctivitis: Unfortunately, the most common type of pink eye is also highly contagious It cannot be treated by antibiotics and must wait for it to run its course before you are no longer contagious. Viral pink eye is also often accompanied by a cold or other sinus issues.
Conjunctivitis caused by allergies/other irritants: These types of pink eye are not contagious and can be treated using allergy medication and limiting your exposure to the offending irritants.
How long does pink eye last? If possible, how do you get rid of pink eye overnight?
Again, your pink eye’s incubation time will depend on the type of conjunctivitis you have.
It is not possible to get rid of pink eye caused by a virus or bacteria overnight. With the help of antibiotics, patients will likely experience relief from pink eye caused by bacteria in a few days. Pink eye caused by a virus must run its course — typically 10–14 days — before symptoms clear.
Patients with allergic conjunctivitis can experience relief from symptoms within 24 hours by avoiding allergens and irritants and/or using doctor-prescribed medication.
What kind of eye doctor should I see for pink eye?
If you or your child has pink eye, it’s best to visit an optometrist as soon as possible. Doing so means you will get an accurate diagnosis of what’s causing your conjunctivitis. Please visit our optometrist webpage to find a suitable optometrist near you (and check out our page on the difference between optometrists and ophthalmologists if you need clarification).
If you’ve been told your vision problems are not due to pink eye, but another eye disease, Eye Center of Texas is here to help. Request an appointment online or call Eye Center of Texas today at 713-797-1010.
Other Helpful Articles by Eye Center of Texas:
- One Student’s Account of LASIK
- Cataract Surgery in Both Eyes at Once?
- How Many Times Can You Have LASIK?
- Caring for Someone Who Has Had LASIK
- Why Use Preservative-Free Eye Drops After LASIK
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