Archive for February, 2013

Eyes Red?

Monday, February 25th, 2013

Why Do My Eyes Look Red

Redness in the eyes is the result of swelling or dilation of the blood vessels on the surface of the eye.

Casuses Of Red Eyes

  • blepharitis:  inflammation of the eyelid
  • conjunctivitis: allergic, bacterial, or viral
  • contact lens related problems
  • episcleritis: inflammation of the episclera
  • eye strain
  • dryness
  • glaucoma
  • injuries
  • keratitis: inflammation of the cornea
  • scleritis: inflammation of the white portion of the eye
  • toxic:  some eye drops can cause irritation
  • uveitis: inflammatory condition within the eye

Since red eye symptoms overlap with more serious infections and inflammatory conditions that can seriously affect vision an examination with your eye doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment is recommended.  If your eyes have been persistently red or the redness is accompanied by decreased vision, pain, or light sensitivity then you should be seen as soon as possible.

Learn more and schedule an appointment today. Gray Family Vision has two greater Portland Maine locations to serve you in Gray and Windham.

FDA Warning Regarding “Red Out” Eye Drops

Monday, February 18th, 2013

The FDA has issued a warning regarding the accidental ingestion of over the counter eye drops by children.  Drops with the active ingredients tetrahydrozoline, oxymetazoline, or naphazoline are affected by the warning.  These ingredients reduce redness by causing  blood vessels to narrow.  They are commonly marketed as “getting the red out”.  Accidental ingestion of these drops has caused serious events in children 5 and under.  The FDA recommends storing these drops away from small children (none of these drops currently come with child-resistant packaging), call the Poison Help Line (1-800-222-1222), and seek emergency medical care immediately if a child ingests any of these types of eye drops.

7 Causes of Eyelid Twitching

Monday, February 11th, 2013

Many of us have had it before.  The eyelid flutter that seems to mysteriously appear without explanation.  Commonly it lasts a day or two but sometimes they can occur for weeks or even months at a time-annoying!

The eyelid twitch is called myokymia and is caused by involuntary contractions of the obicularis oculi muscle.  They tend to affect the lower eyelid and are commonly caused by:

  • Anxiety
  • Excessive Caffeine
  • Eye Irritation
  • Eye Strain
  • Fatigue
  • Nutritional Deficiencies
  • Stress

If you are able to pinpoint the suspected cause, then elimination of the risk factor will generally alleviate the twitching.  You may need to update your prescription for eyeglasses or contact lenses. Some people find relief with warm compresses.  Nutritionally, potassium and vitamin B may be helpful.  On occasion, a topical tear drop (for dry eye) or topical antihistamine (for allergies or swelling) may be prescribed.  The use of quinine (found in tonic water) is sometimes recommended (not if you are pregnant) for its muscle relaxant properties.  In addition, Botox injections are sometimes used for persistent symptoms.

If the eyelid twitch extends into the facial muscles causing the entire lid to close then that can be a sign of an uncommon, but serious neurological condition.

By Dr. Cook, O.D.

Learn more and schedule an appointment today. Gray Family Vision has two greater Portland Maine locations to serve you in Gray and Windham.

What Does 20/400 Mean

Monday, February 4th, 2013

We measure  your quality of vision at 20 feet-this is the numerator (top twenty).  The denominator (bottom 400) is a comparison to someone with standard vision.  So if you have 20/400 vision you would have to be at 20 feet to see what one with standard vision would see at 400 feet.

20/400 does not correlate to your exact prescription, it is merely a measure of your vision without (hopefully) your eyeglasses or contact lenses on.

By Dr. Cook, O.D.