The average person blinks between 15 and 20 times per minute, or 14,400 to 19,200 times per day. Most people don’t notice the blinking unless there’s pain involved.
Dry Eye Syndrome is one of the primary reasons people visit an eye doctor. It can cause discomfort, especially for those who experience moderate to severe symptoms. Fortunately, relief is available.
Aging is the single most common cause of Dry Eye, but patients usually have a variety of contributing reasons. While Dry Eye affects both men and women, post-menopausal women are affected more often. Hormone changes during and following pregnancy may also lead to Dry Eye. There are other causes of Dry Eye, such as:
Some illnesses may also cause Dry Eye, such as:
An eye doctor can help pinpoint the cause to offer an appropriate treatment.
Common symptoms of Dry Eye include the feeling of dryness, grittiness, or a burning feeling in the eyes. Redness, excessive tearing, and the presence of mucus that can cause the eyes to feel sealed shut upon waking up are also experienced. This may lead to blurred vision. A patient may also experience the feeling of a foreign body in the eye or experience eye strain. Additional symptoms include Itching and sensitivity to light. Symptoms generally tend to worsen as the day progresses.
While an ophthalmologist can diagnose Dry Eye based on symptoms, many will also use additional diagnostics, such as dyes, testing that measures tear production, and evaluating the constitution of the tear film to validate a diagnosis. These diagnostics can also eliminate other conditions that have similar symptoms, such as conjunctivitis.
Left untreated, Dry Eye Syndrome can lead to damage to tissues and scarring of the cornea. In severe cases, blindness could result. The good news is that there are treatments available for Dry Eye Syndrome that can offer relief.
Discuss your symptoms and possible treatments with Northwest Eye’s ophthalmologists to determine suitable options for treatment. While there isn’t necessarily a cure for Dry Eye, available treatment options can offer relief, alleviate symptoms, and prevent worsening.
With two locations in Columbus and New Albany, Northwest Eye Surgeons can help you with Dry Eye and other issues. Our ophthalmologists are available by appointment to find the right treatments to alleviate your symptoms. Contact our office today to make an appointment with one of our experienced eye doctors.
Your eyes are an essential part of your overall health and well-being. They allow you to see the world around you and are crucial for daily activities such as reading, driving, and working. However, like any other part of your body, your eyes are also prone to various diseases and conditions that can affect your vision and quality of life. This is why it’s crucial to schedule regular eye exams with your eye doctor to catch any potential eye diseases or conditions early and prevent further damage.
There are several common eye diseases and conditions that can be caught early through regular eye exams. These include:
The benefits of early detection of eye diseases and conditions cannot be overstated. Catching eye diseases early can:
To catch eye diseases early, it’s important to schedule regular eye exams with your eye doctor. The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends that adults between the ages of 20 and 39 have an eye exam at least once every two to four years, while adults over the age of 40 should have an eye exam every one to two years.
When preparing for an eye exam, make sure to:
During an eye exam, your eye doctor will perform several tests to evaluate your eye health and detect any potential eye diseases or conditions. These tests may include:
Regular eye exams are essential for maintaining good eye health and catching eye diseases early. By scheduling regular eye exams and taking proactive steps to care for your eyes, you can preserve your vision and quality of life for years to come. If it’s been a while since your last eye exam, don’t hesitate to schedule one today. Your eyes will thank you for it!
Being a healthcare facility, we practice standard precautions everyday to protect our patients. Since the increased concern for this virus, we have implemented additional steps to protect our patients and our staff by increased hand washing and/or hand sanitizing (before AND after every patient), masks and increased disinfecting procedures.
HOW CAN YOU HELP?
We kindly ask any patient or family member who has been sick or has been in close proximity with someone who has been running a fever or sick for the past 48 hours to please reschedule your appointment. Any staff member of NWES who is sick or running a fever does not come into work due to our close proximity to patients.
If you answer “yes” to any of the questions below, please reschedule your appointment:
We value every one of our patients and take your health very seriously. These precautions will help ensure that our office remains a safe environment for all of us – patients, family and staff.
Thanks in advance for your help and understanding!! We will continue to update and make changes as the government dictates. Please stay safe and WASH YOUR HANDS.
LASIK is the most commonly performed corrective eye surgery in the United States, with over 19 million procedures performed since its FDA approval in 1995. However, despite how prolific this surgery has been, there is still a myriad of myths and misconceptions surrounding the practice. Fortunately, the experts at Northwest Eye Surgeons are here to help. We’ve collected some of the most common myths surrounding LASIK eye surgery to set the record straight.
Myth: You can be too old for LASIK- While you can’t be too old for LASIK, there is a kernel of truth to this myth. While many people have gotten LASIK in their 40s, 50s and up even into their 60s, as people age they’re more likely to develop conditions that can affect or potentially negate their candidacy for the procedure.
Myth: Everyone can get LASIK- Unfortunately, not everyone is a potential candidate for LASIK eye surgery. Some factors that affect prospective patients are irregular corneas, eye diseases and poor health problems, which can increase the risk of a negative outcome of the procedure.
Myth: LASIK is painful- This couldn’t be further from the truth. LASIK is a completely painless procedure. Anesthetic drops are dispensed to numb the eye before the process, then over the counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen
Myth: LASIK is still new, so we still don’t know potential side effects- Contrary to popular belief, LASIK has been around for nearly 50 years. Invented in 1970, it went through rigorous testing by the FDA and was finally approved in 1995. Extensive studies have shown high rates of success and positive results long term.
Myth: LASIK can cause blindness- There has never been a confirmed case of LASIK causing blindness. While serious complications can occur, these cases are extremely rare. Before every procedure, the ophthalmologist will go over in detail the potential risks, side effects and will determine if the patient is a good candidate for LASIK eye surgery.
Myth: LASIK is exclusively used to treat nearsighted patients- While this was true in the early days of LASIK, this is no longer the case. Modern LASIK treatments can correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism.
Myth: LASIK completely removes your need to wear corrective lenses- LASIK is an excellent way to correct your vision, but it doesn’t mean your vision will be perfect forever. Your vision changes over time, which means that at some point you may still need glasses. It’s important to have routine eye exams to keep track of your eye health.
Myth: It can take a long time to recover from LASIK- Except in extremely rare cases, most patients fully recover within 24 hours. You will notice your vision has improved immediately after the procedure is completed
If you’re tired of constantly reaching for your glasses or dealing with contacts, LASIK may be the best solution. At Northwest Eye Surgeons, our experts have performed countless LASIK procedures, and are ready to help you see better. Call today for a laser vision correction consultation!
In 2018, news outlets across the country began reporting on the negative effects blue light can have on your eyes. The alarmist articles claimed that blue light was more dangerous than previously thought, and was the source of everything from premature blindness to macular degeneration. These articles spurned a panic among the general public, as people realized that blue light was everywhere they looked, from their televisions to their smartphones. Seemingly overnight, this frenzy birthed new industries in blue light mitigation, such as ‘smart glasses’ and phone covers that reduced blue light. Everywhere you went, you heard about how terrible blue light was for your eyes.
However, the general public’s fear of blue light was unwarranted, and the hysteria unfounded. The articles that vilified blue light fundamentally misunderstood the very research paper they quoted. They cited dangers out of context and associated results without understanding the science behind them.
Light is a complicated topic, but a general background is necessary to understand blue light, and how it affects you. Without getting too deep into the physics of it, light is a type of energy in the form of a spectrum of wavelengths. This spectrum includes both visible and invisible forms of light. In this spectrum, the human eye has a specific range of frequencies that it can perceive, which makes up visible light. Lower frequencies and longer wavelengths result in what we perceive as red, orange and yellow, whereas higher frequencies and shorter wavelengths become blue, indigo and violet. There is an inverse relationship between wavelength and the amount of energy they contain. The longer wavelengths of red and orange contain less energy than the shorter wavelengths of blue and violet. Even shorter wavelengths become invisible and carry even more energy. These are known as ultraviolet rays or ultraviolet radiation.
UV rays aren’t inherently bad, but they do have a noticeable effect on the body. Though they are the source of sunburn, in moderation they help the body manufacture vitamin D and make you feel more alert and awake. Visible light with shorter wavelengths such as blue and violet can have similar effects.
Most light that we encounter every day is white light. White light is the entire spectrum of visible light, including blue light, combined at equal intensity, such as sunlight, or incandescent bulbs. Sunlight will always be the largest source of everyday interaction with blue light. However, with the advent of LED technology, we’re becoming more exposed to lopsided white light, with a greater intensity of blue light. The vast majority of LED screens incorporate more blue light with other colors to produce a brighter picture. This is why smartphone and tablet screens are considered blue light, even though they’re a near insignificant source when compared to sunlight. It’s this increase of blue light that caused the media frenzy of 2018.
The reason blue light is considered damaging came from a misunderstanding of research out of the University of Toledo. The researchers were specifically measuring the effect blue light has on retinal, an important chemical in the eye. While they came to the conclusion that blue light can have a negative impact on retinal, saying that blue light causes blindness is an oversimplification. The experiment measured the effect of blue light exclusively on the chemical retinal, and not how an actual eye responds to blue light. The retinal cells were not exposed to blue light the same way they would have been in a natural setting. It was a controlled environment, measuring an isolated cause and effect. In short, while scientifically sound, the research could not be directly translated to blue light’s effect on eyesight. However, news outlets took that conclusion and considered its causation.
If not blue light, then what?
After staring at a screen for several hours, your eyes often hurt and you can feel discomfort. While this is usually associated with blue light, as we’ve learned, that is not the case. While people typically blink around 15 times a minute, studies have shown that we blink about a third as often while focusing on screens. This causes eyes to dry and general discomfort. Furthermore, while blue light is notably not a cause of premature blindness, its effects shouldn’t be disregarded. Blue light does mimic the effects of sunlight such as increased alertness, which can have an effect on circadian rhythm. It is suggested that you try and reduce your exposure to screens for two to three hours before bed.
We know that picking out a new pair of glasses can be a daunting task, but we are here to help make it easier. Whatever your reason is for getting a pair of glasses, at Northwest Eye Surgeons we are here to offer you as much help as we possibly can. See some of our tips below!
Before going to actually pick out your new glasses, you’ve probably searched the internet a million times. After all, who doesn’t love a good Pinterest binge? You’ll find many different articles telling you the different styles of glasses, showing you which type you should get based on your face shape, and so much more. So, by now, you have discovered a lot of different styles of glasses that are available to you. But which one is right for you?
No one can tell you which glasses you 100% have to buy, so knowing your preferred style beforehand is important. Walking in to buy your glasses could be very overwhelming if you haven’t previously thought about the new style you want. Depending on your prescription and insurance, your eyewear assistant should be able to help point you in the right direction. Some styles may not be available due to insurance, prescription, and overall fit, so it’s a good idea to come in with an open mind and a few different styles you like.
When you’re buying your glasses, the eyewear assistant will check for proper fit. This is an important step in the process as you want to make sure everything about your new pair of glasses is fitting you right. If the fit is not right, you could be dealing with annoying slips, slides, and much more. If you notice your glasses slipping a lot after a few months, take them back in to have them refitted as they may have loosened a bit after prolonged wear.
Trying on new glasses can be a fun and exciting experience, so do your proper research beforehand so you don’t get too overwhelmed throughout the process. At Northwest Eye Surgeons, we want you to feel confident in your new glasses! We will work with you to ensure you find the right pair for you. Get in contact with us to set-up your next eye care appointment!
With how technology-driven our world is, the newer generations have grown up with this technology for most, if not all, of their lives. While the advances in technology are great for communication, do you know the impact they’re having on our eyes? Too much screen time for your kids can lead to eye strain, headaches, neck and back issues, and so much more according to Healthline. While too much screen time will have similar impacts on individuals of all ages, if these habits are started at a younger age they can lead to premature aging of the eyes and vision.
In our world of technology, it can be hard to get away from all the screens. While it would be near impossible to restrict all screen use, there are steps you can take to limit the amount of screen time your child is having.
Eye strain can occur to your child’s eyes when they are looking at a screen for too long. This can include a cell phone, computer, tablet, TV, or anything with a digital screen. If you are able to set limits on these devices within their settings, you should do so. If you don’t want to, or aren’t able to, set these limits on your child’s devices, then you should have a conversation with them. Talk to your child about stepping away from devices every couple of hours to give their eyes a break.
If you’re fine with your child’s screen use during the day, try limiting the amount of time they are on their devices once it gets dark out and close to bedtime. Being on a screen right before going to bed will make it a lot harder for them to fall asleep. The blue light in the screen will disrupt their sleep pattern and it might take a little while for them to get back in that sleep pattern. This disruption will lead to them feeling more tired throughout the day because of their lack of sleep, or restful sleep.
It’s ok for you, as a parent, to tell your kids that they can’t be on their devices during certain times. It is ok for you to tell them they have to entertain themselves in other ways and for them to play outside. While it can be hard for the newer generations to imagine fun without a device, it’s important that they understand how to entertain themselves without one. Set up a fun, outdoor family activity to show them how much fun they can have without their devices.
If you’re concerned about your child’s eyes and the impact screens are having on them, talk to your child’s doctor. They might be able to prescribe your child a pair of glasses specifically for when they’re on the computer that will help protect their eyes from the blue light that comes off our computer screens. These glasses would help protect their eyes from strain and premature aging.
It’s important to take the necessary steps to help protect your child’s eyes as early as possible. You want your child to have the best possible eyesight for as long as they can. Call Northwest Eye Surgeons today to schedule an appointment for your next eye exam!
Wearing contact lenses for the first time can be an intimidating experience. However, it doesn’t have to be scary every single time. Below are some tips for those first-time contact users that may be a bit hesitant to put their lenses in for the first time.
Tip #1: Take a Deep Breathe
A lot of contact users get very nervous before putting their contacts in and try to rush to get it over with. However, trying to get it over with can end up leading to issues. Be sure to take a deep breath and focus. Your doctor has given you the proper instruction on your lenses, so be confident in yourself.
Tip #2: Stick to Proper Wear & Replace
Be sure to listen to your doctor about the amount of time you should be wearing your lenses. Like most things, it will be specific for your lenses. It’s extremely important to never sleep in your lenses, unless your doctor has told you this is OK – this will be the case if they’ve prescribed you with a continuous wear lens. Replace your lenses once they have reached expiration and your eyes will thank you.
Tip #3: Keep Your Lenses Clean
It’s important to keep your contact lenses clean and to follow the exact cleaning regimen your doctor goes over with you during your appointment. Skipping any steps, or trying to use solutions not made for your specific contacts, can negatively impact your lenses and lead to irritation in your eyes.
Tip #4: Listen to Your Doctor
Always be sure to follow your doctor’s instructions for your contact lenses. It is important to do exactly what they tell you in regards to routine cleaning and wear to ensure you are keeping your eyes healthy. Each contact lens brand will be a bit different, so listening to the instructions for your specific brand is important.
We hope that these tips help you with your contact lens use. Once you’ve been wearing your contact lenses for a couple weeks, you will become a pro at this! Be sure to contact our office if you have any issues or further questions regarding your lenses or your eyes in general.
At Northwest Eye Surgeons, we know that summer is the time to spend your days outside and bask in the warmth and sunlight. However, we also know the sun has damaging impacts on your eyes. The ultraviolet radiation from the sun is what causes the issues for many things, including our eyes. Even when it’s cloudy outside it’s important to protect your eyes because the UV rays can get through the clouds. This is very similar to your skin’s exposure to the sun as well, you will want to be sure to wear sunscreen even when it’s cloudy outside.
While you can be impacted by the sun’s UV at any time during the year, it is especially important to be cautious of it during the summer months. Places where the UV rays are particularly strong year-round should also be extra cautious of this. These would be places that have sunny days all year – think of places you would most likely go for a beach vacation in the middle of winter. If your eyes have a lot of exposure to the sun’s UV rays, it can cause both short-term and long-term problems to your vision. Some of these issues include photoconjunctivitis, cataracts, cancer, and many other issues as well.
Two great ways that you can help protect your eyes from the harmful exposure of the sun are by wearing sunglasses and hats when you go outside. As a nice bonus, the hat will also help protect your scalp and facial skin and the sunglasses will protect the sensitive skin close to your eyes. It’s important to be checking in on your vision to be sure to catch any issues you may have early on to prevent anything from getting worse. If you want to check on your vision to make sure it’s all good before heading into the sunny days of summer, be sure to get in contact with Northwest Eye Surgeons today!
Recently, Dr. Rachel Watson participated in a medical mission trip to Port-au-Prince, Haiti, through the organization Hope for Haiti’s Children. This organization sponsors 10 different schools around the city. Each of the schools gets to come to the annual clinic. In just four days, a team of 46 volunteers and 40 Haitian staff were able to treat over 800 kids and 200 adults.
At the clinic, the children have a school picture taken. They are measured for height and weight. The kids see a nurse and a doctor, if needed. And they get their vision tested to see if they need glasses or have glaucoma. As this is an annual clinic, the children may only see a doctor “once a year, if they are lucky,” says Dr. Watson.
One of the biggest reasons proper eye care is necessary for the people of Haiti is that about 20% of the population there has glaucoma. That’s a very high concentration in such a small area. During the trip, even children as young as six were diagnosed with glaucoma. With glaucoma, catching the disease as early as possible is critical. The doctors were able to distribute a year’s worth of glaucoma medication to patients.
Eye exams also revealed a great need for prescription glasses. Many people were able to see clearly for the first time due to the doctor’s efforts. “These people couldn’t see more than a couple of inches in front of their face. We gave them prescription glasses and suddenly they could see across the room… for the first time in their lives,” commented Dr. Watson
The available prescription glasses were donated from previous users to the Lion’s Club who provided them to the project. Each donated pair is cleaned, the prescription measured, and then they are distributed to the people of Haiti. Kids and adults not needing prescription glasses were given sunglasses to help protect their eyes from the Caribbean sun.
The volunteers, doctors, and patients faced 85 to 90-degree days with little access to air conditioning. There were also hints of civil unrest during the time of the trip. Security guards had to be supplemented by armed guards. One day, the clinic was evacuated in a hurry because of riots occurring and tear gas being used just outside their hotel. Some children had to miss their only chance to see the doctor due to the political unrest.
Many more children went through other trials to get to their appointments. “It was heartbreaking. Some of the kids that came to our clinic would walk three hours down the mountain and sleep on the concrete floor of a school. Then they get on the bus the next day for maybe an hour and come see us,” Dr. Watson explains.
Despite the circumstances, the children of Haiti are some of the most well behaved. Dr. Watson adds, “it’s crazy to think what these kids went through to get to the clinic. You would never guess from their attitudes and clean and pressed school uniforms the conditions they came from.” But the volunteers with the mission didn’t just treat the kids with medicine and glasses.
“We were handing out candy,” Dr. Watson says. “this was a big luxury for them. A child could have two pieces, but they still wanted to give one of them to us. It melted your heart.” Several days, the group tossed candy to the people through school bus windows on the way to and from the clinic. One woman was even throwing pairs of shoes. Haiti is a poor country where clean water, food, and basic necessities are scarce. Each child at the clinic was given a gift bag containing a toothbrush, washcloth, socks, and underwear. Meals were also served for the children.
Dr. Watson describes her motivations. “Some people from my church—an MD and a couple of nurses—had worked with this organization before and they kept telling me they needed an eye doctor. I had been on another mission trip to Venezuela in optometry school, so I was interested in doing that again.”
But it’s not like a luxury vacation—although you pay a luxury price for going. Dr. Watson had to cover all her own expenses and even get shots before entering the country. It was about $2500 to go. However, the experience was certainly worth the expense and effort. “Haiti has a very different culture. We were so welcomed, and it was nice to meet everyone. Even the translators we used from the island were coveted for their roles in getting to help us.”
If you want to help the people of Haiti, please bring in your gently used eyeglasses as a donation. Dr. Watson will get them where they need to go. You can also sponsor a Haitian child through https://www.hopeforhaitischildren.org/ Each sponsorship helps with school tuition, supplies, uniforms, and transportation to and from school. Only about 50% of Haiti’s children go to school because the education system is not free. Donate to this amazing organization today and be assured that you are making a difference.