Eyes Water?

Watery eyes are an annoying symptom commonly caused by allergies or dry eye.

Although the symptom is the same, the cause is very different. With allergies, allergens such as pollen, mold, dander, or dust cause the release of histamine which in turn produces itchy, red, watery eyes.  Dry eye, on the other hand, is caused by poor tear film stability which triggers the eyes to make reflex, watery tears.  Poor tear film stability can be caused by many factors such as advancing age, tear gland problems, systemic disease, and certain medications.

Allergies or dry eye rarely cause serious problems.  The symptoms however can overlap with more serious infections and inflammatory conditions that can seriously affect vision so an examination with your eye doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment is recommended.

By Dr. Cook, O.D.

Can Contact Lenses Get Stuck Behind The Eye?

Ever wonder if a contact lens can travel up behind the eye.  The simple answer is no, but it is a common misconception.  The inner lining of the eyelid is called the conjunctiva and at the back it folds back on itself and becomes the white of your eye. It is this continuous nature of the conjunctiva that does not allow a contact lens to go behind your eye.

Do you have a question about your contact lenses?  Call or schedule an eye examination at Gray Family Vision today.

By Dr. Cook, O.D.

FDA Alert: Foreign Glasses May Be Substandard

Glasses imported into the United States must meet minimum impact resistant standards.    A recent sample of children’s sunglasses found that nearly every lens failed impact testing and another sample of adult glasses had a 38% rate of failure.  This data mirrors a study published in September 2012 issue of Optometry: Journal of the American Optometic Association that found that 45% of internet glasses failed to meet prescription or safety standards.  A complete list of the companies in question can be found here.

Need a quality pair of eyeglasses fast?  Learn about our same day glasses service here.

What You Should Know About Glaucoma

What is glaucoma

Glaucoma is actually a group of eye diseases that cause damage to the optic nerve resulting in vision loss.  Nearly half of your vision can be lost before one becomes aware of the vision loss.

Glaucoma facts

2.7 million Americans have glaucoma, although nearly half don’t know it-yet.  Glaucoma is the number one cause of preventable blindness.

Glaucoma risk factors

  • being of African, Asian, or Hispanic decent
  • being over 40 years of age
  • being highly nearsighted
  • having diabetes
  • having a family member with glaucoma

Although there is no cure for glaucoma currently, treatment can slow or prevent future vision loss. Routine eye exams can assess your risk of developing glaucoma.

By Dr. Cook, O.D.

Glaucoma Drug Good For Baldness?

One of the most popular medications used to treat glaucoma is now being studied as a baldness treatment.   Bimatoprost is the active ingredient in Lumigan by Allergan and has been an effective medication to lower eye pressure.  It has been a great medication to treat glaucoma with one strange side effect:  it causes eye lash hair darkening and growth.

It was subsequently marked by Allergan as Latisse to enchance the length and thickness of lashes and now is being looked at as a possible treatement for baldness. There already has been anecdotal evidence that it works, but Allergan recently completed a Phase II study comparing brimatoprost to minoxidil for male pattern baldness.  There is hope for the hair challenged.

By Dr. Cook, O.D.

One More Holiday Concern: Your Vitamin D Level May Be Low

The most readily available source of vitamin D is the sun’s UVB rays.  With cold weather comes more clothing, less outdoor time, and shorter days; possibly resulting in some of our lowest vitamin D levels of the year. Some experts are concerned that the increased use of sun screen is making vitamin D deficiency a year round concern.

Role of vitamin D:

  • promotes calcium absorption in the stomach
  • maintains serum calcium/phosphate levels
  • promotes bone growth/remodeling
  • linked with decreased risk of cancer, Crohn’s,                 depression, type 1 diabetes, MS, autism, and prostate   hyperplasia

Vitamin D and your eye:

General guidelines:

  • under 1, 400 IU
  • between 1-70, 600 IU
  • over 70, 800 IU

Those at highest risk of vitamin D deficiency:

  • diabetic individuals
  • those with macular degeneration
  • homebound individuals
  • people who have undergone gastric bypass
  • those with fat absorption problems
  • elderly individuals

If you think you are at risk for vitamin D deficiency, then ask your doctor about having your serum levels tested.  It is generally accepted that levels below 30 ng/mL are inadequate and levels above 50 ng/mL are sufficient.

By Dr. Cook, O.D.

Win a Free iPad

Enter for a chance to win a free iPad!  Purchase any complete (frame and lenses) pair of prescription eyeglasses at Gray Family Vision between October 1, 2012 and December 14, 2012 and you are eligible to enter. 

Cholesterol Medication May Raise Cataract Risk

Cataracts are a clouding of the lens within the eye. Symptoms of cataracts include blurred vision, glare from lights, and difficulity seeing in dim illumination like night driving. Risk factors for cataracts include:

  • advancing age
  • uv exposure
  • smoking
  • diabetes
  • some meidcations such as steroids

Now, a recent study has also found a potential link between cataract development and patients taking statin medications to lower cholesterol. This is in direct opposition to what had been commonly thought.

Dr. Cook, O.D.

Circle June 21 4-7 pm: Multifocal Contact Lens Open House

Here is the scoop: We will provide free trial multifocal contact lenses along with snacks, beer, and wine.  You get to try contact lenses and if you like what you see, we will schedule a follow up appointment to complete your fitting. All successful fits will recieve a $50 discount for attending the multifocal open house!

How To Find The Best Eye Doctor In Maine

Eye ExamThe National Eye Institute (NEI) recommends the following ways to find the best optometrist for you:

  1. Check with family and friends to recommend an experienced optometrist.
  2. Check with your insurance company for a list of optometrists covered under your plan.
  3. The optometric association can be contacted for a list of eye doctors.
  4. You can call the hospital for details if they have an optometry department.
  5. Ask other health professionals including your family doctor, dentist, pharmacist, or nurse.

See what others are saying about us here!

By Dr. Cook, O.D.