Can Eyes Heal From Sun Damage?

Sun damage usually occurs to the skin. However, many people don’t realize that sun damage can also happen to eyes. Sometimes eye damage from UV light is called sunburn, but officially, this is called photokeratitis.

What is Photokeratitis?

Photokeratitis, sometimes called ultraviolet keratitis, presents as inflammation in the cornea. The cornea is the transparent covering over the exterior of the eye.

What Are The Symptoms of Photokeratitis?

The symptoms of photokeratitis are very obvious and uncomfortable. They include:

  • Feeling like you have sand on the insides of your eyelids
  • Inability to see at all
  • Blurry vision
  • Headache
  • Swollen eyelids and/or undereye swelling
  • Feeling of pain or pressure within the eyeball
  • Ultra-sensitivity to light
  • Heavy tearing
  • Seeing halos around objects

If you have any of these symptoms, contact your Riverdale eye doctor immediately.

Causes of Photokeratitis

Your eyes are extremely sensitive to the environment. This is why if you even have a small eyelash in your eye, it can feel like a tree branch is stuck in there. The symptoms of photokeratitis are much more painful than an eyelash, as you can see from the list above. But what causes photokeratitis to begin with?

Essentially, Photokeratitis is caused by overexposure to UV light. The most common source of UV light is, of course, the sun. But there are other sources to be aware of. Your eyes can be exposed to UV light from UV light bulbs, full-spectrum bulbs, tanning beds, and more.

Furthermore, certain conditions can exacerbate the dangers of sun damage to the eyes. This can happen when you are on a boat, at the pool, or near any reflective body of water. It can happen while skiing, since the snow reflects sunlight. It can even happen on lightly colored sidewalks and roadways in towns and cities.

How to Avoid Sun Damage to the Eyes

The best way to avoid sun damage to the eyes is to wear UV-rated sunglasses while outside on sunny days. Also, avoid using tanning beds, or at a minimum, close eyes and wear protective goggles during sessions. If you use full-spectrum bulbs while doing hobbies like painting or sewing, wear UV-rated eyewear.

Your eye doctor in Riverdale can help you with tips to avoid sun damage. Contact us today for more information.

 

How To Protect Your Vision From UV Rays

Ultraviolet light consists of a harmful spectrum of light that can do damage to your eyes. UV light is emitted from the sun, but can also be emitted from certain man-made devices like welder’s torches, too. One of the most important ways to protect your eyes from ultraviolet light is sunglasses.

If your eyes are particularly susceptible to ultraviolet light, then wearing one hundred percent ultraviolet blocking sunglasses will protect your vision fully during the day. Normal sunglasses may provide some protection from glare, but under most circumstances won’t fully protect your vision. You can also purchase reading glasses with special lenses that will also block ultraviolet light.

Avoid Being In The Sun For Long Periods Of Time

Although the sun is needed both for your health and well-being, being out in the sun for too long could make you susceptible to eye damage or melanomas due to exposure to UV rays. Avoid being out at times when the sun is highest, and if possible wear a wide-brimmed hat to shade your eyes. Choose periods of the day when the sun is at its weakest, such as sunrise and sunset, to enjoy a walk outdoors.

Protect Yourself From Devices That Emit Ultraviolet Light

There are some devices on the consumer market that deceptively advertise as ultraviolet free but are not. Devices such as germicidal lamps or welder’s torches emit light spectrums that cause eye damage. If possible, wear protective glasses and clothing to avoid most if not all of the UV exposure while operating these devices.

How to Recover from UV Eye Damage

Overexposure to UV rays cause inflammation in the eye and surrounding tissues. After damaging exposure to ultraviolet light, seek a dark environment with little light to maximize healing. Eat a diet rich in Vitamin A and Omega 3’s and consider a nap to give your body time to heal from the inflammation. Ultraviolet light will only be permanently damaging after overexposure over a period of months to years, so don’t fret if you have only been exposed once or twice.

To recap, always wear sunglasses when outdoors for long periods of time, and if possible seek shade. Looking down when in direct sunlight and even squinting can help minimize UV exposure. And avoid looking into the sun and wear a wide-brimmed hat if possible.

 

Riverdale Vision Care: 5 Myths About Pink Eye

Pink eye (also called conjunctivitis) happens when the thin mucous membrane called the conjunctiva on the outside of your eye and inside of your eyelid becomes inflamed. Our team at Riverdale Vision Care believes it’s helpful to know how to spot fact from fiction when it comes to this common eye condition so you’ll be better prepared to help your loved ones avoid or manage it.

5 Common Myths About Pink Eye (Conjunctivitis)

 

1. Pink eye is always contagious.

While certain types of pink eye are very contagious—such as the kinds caused by viruses or bacteria—other types, like allergic or chemical conjunctivitis, are not contagious and can’t be passed from person to person.

2 Only school-aged children get pink eye.

Pink eye is very common in young children, but people of all ages can get it—even newborns.

3. If your eyes are red and itchy, it means you have conjunctivitis.

Red, itchy, watery eyes are the main signs and symptoms of conjunctivitis. But other conditions can cause these symptoms, too. The only way to know for sure what’s causing your symptoms is to see an eye doctor.

4. It’s not a big deal to rub your eyes if you have pink eye.

While rubbing your eyes may provide temporary relief from pink eye symptoms like itchiness, doing so may cause eye damage or worsening infection. If your case of pink eye is contagious, touching your eyes also increases the risk of spreading the condition to your other eye or other people.

Long story short: do NOT rub your eyes! Our Riverdale optometrist team recommends treatments such as eye drops or warm compresses to soothe eye irritation.

5. Pink eye heals up on its own, so you don’t need to go to an eye doctor.

Most cases of pink eye do heal up on their own in about two weeks, but some cases can lead to complications if left untreated. An eye doctor can provide appropriate treatment to help you heal properly and stay more comfortable.

You should also see an eye doctor if your pink eye symptoms don’t go away after two weeks or if you have eye pain, blurry vision, a weakened immune system, or a preexisting eye condition.

  

Do you live near Riverdale NJ and have concerns about your loved ones’ eye health? Contact Riverdale Vision Care at (973) 248-0060 to schedule an eye exam for the whole family and learn more about the comprehensive eye care services we offer.

Screen Time and Your Eyes | Protecting Your Vision

The average person in the modern-day world spends at least 11 hours staring at a screen, which means they are using their phone, computer, or tablet or watching television. All this time spent staring at a screen can have an effect on your vision, but this is something that most people rarely consider. Take a look at a few things you should be doing to protect your eyes.

Take Frequent Breaks to Give Your Eyes a Rest

One of the simplest things you can do to protect your eyes from the damages that too much screen time can cause is to take breaks. You don’t have to get up, put down your device, or close your laptop, but it is best to pull your eyes away from the screen, look around, and even close your eyes to take a break. It is easy to hold your eyes focused in one spot when you are really interested in something, and just like the muscles in the rest of your body, your eyes need to be stretched.

Practice Conscious Blinking

One of the biggest dangers of too much screen time is that you don’t blink as often when you are focused on something. Therefore, your eyes can get dry and irritated, which can lead to a host of other problems. While you are watching TV or working on your laptop, make sure you consciously blink every little bit. The average person should be blinking 15 to 20 times per minute, and there really is no such thing as blinking too often.

Keep Your Prescription Glasses Up to Date

If it has been a while since you have had your prescription glasses or contact lenses updated and you spend a lot of time watching screens, it is important that you go ahead and schedule an appointment. Keeping your prescription up to date will ensure you are not straining your eyes too much while you spend time looking at a screen.

Contact Us for Vision Help in Riverdale, NJ

Your vision is one of the most important senses you have. It should be rightly protected. If you have vision concerns due to a lot of screen time, contact us at the Riverdale Vision Care office to schedule an appointment.

 

How to Treat Swollen, Puffy Eyes

You know that awful moment when you wake up in the morning and you look in the mirror and your eyes are swollen and puffy? There’s nothing worse than having to show up at work or school looking like you were the loser in a boxing match. Swollen, puffy eyes don’t look good on anyone. Here’s how to treat this condition so you can appear at your best.

Consider the Cause

To treat swollen, puffy eyes effectively, it’s important to consider the cause. There are many things that can lead to swollen, puffy eyes, and depending on what’s causing yours, you’ll want to take a different action.

How to Treat or Prevent Common Causes of Swollen, Puffy Eyes

Some of the most common causes of swollen puffy eyes include:

Allergic Reaction

If the condition comes on suddenly, you may be having an allergic reaction to something you encountered, or something you ate or drank. Think back. Were you exposed to poison ivy or poison oak? Did you ingest anything unusual? To treat, consider an over the counter antihistamine. If your reaction is severe, you may need a steroid injection, which you can get from an emergency room.

Fluid Buildup While Sleeping

Do you always wake up with swollen, puffy eyes? If you, it’s likely they are a result of fluid build-up while you sleep. To prevent, elevate your head slightly using a fluffier pillow or an extra pillow. To treat, get up a little earlier than usual so the fluid has a chance to leave the upper area. After about 20 minutes, the swelling will naturally reduce.

Bad Reaction to Makeup

Your eye makeup may be to blame for your swollen, puffy eyes. If you can’t see any other reason, look at your skincare and makeup routine. Consider switching to all-natural products with no or very few chemical ingredients. To treat, try going without eye makeup for a few days. For immediate relief, lie down with your head elevated. Place a very cool cloth over your closed eyes. The swelling should reduce.

If your swelling doesn’t go down easily with the solutions mentioned above, you may have an eye infection. Make an appointment with your eye doctor for a thorough examination.

3 Things Your Optometrist Can Tell You About Your Health During an Eye Exam

The eyes have often been called the window to the soul, but they are also a window to your internal health. A routine eye exam could very well yield you new insight into what is taking place inside your body because many common conditions have an effect on the eyes. Take a look at some of the things your optometrist can tell you about your overall health during an eye exam.

High Blood Pressure

Hypertension is often referred to as the “silent killer” because so many people have no idea they have blood pressure issues. It is not at all uncommon for people to first learn that they have high blood pressure when they visit the eye doctor for a routine exam. High blood pressure can generate changes in the vessels that lead to the retina, and bleeding from the new blood vessels in the retina can also be present. Those with high blood pressure are prone to having issues with blurred vision due to these issues.

Diabetes

There are tiny and somewhat fragile vessels in the retina of the eye. When someone has diabetes, these vessels can seep fluids that are a yellow color and blood as well, and these symptoms can be spotted during a routine eye exam. Diabetic retinopathy, one of the number one causes of blindness in this country, is a condition relative to this kind of ocular reaction to unstable blood sugar levels. Even though diabetic retinopathy is not curable, treatments are available to help slow the progression of the disease.

Tumors or Aneurysm

Something like an eyelid that is droopy or pupils that have an irregular shape are strong signs of something serious taking place inside the body. According to the Digital Journal, these symptoms can be indicative of a tumor in the neck or even an aneurysm, both of which are serious medical conditions that should be examined right away. If your optometrist suspects something is wrong, they will likely refer you to a physician for further treatment.

If you neglect to have your eyes examined regularly, you could easily miss out on some insightful information about your overall health. Contact us at Riverdale Vision Care in New Jersey for advice about your eye health or to schedule an appointment.

Eye Health for College Students

College bound students often have so much on their minds that they don’t put a great deal of thought into taking the best possible care of their eyes. However, good vision is one of the best learning tools college students can have. Following are just four of the many things that those headed for college in the near future can do to ensure optimal eye health and good vision.

Wear Eye Protection for Sporting Activities

Eye injuries are a leading cause of vision problems for college students, particularly if they’re active in sports or outdoor activities. Whether you’re riding your bike across campus, hiking on nearby trails, playing casual sporting games with friends, or playing sports on an official college team, always wear eye protection that’s appropriate for the activity.

Don’t Share Makeup With Friends or Roommates

College students tend to live in pretty close quarters, and this makes it tempting to borrow a roommate or friend’s makeup items in a pinch. However, this often results in eye infections, so only use your own cosmetics. As an added protection, keep your personal eye makeup stored where it isn’t easily accessible to others.

College student with glasses studying

Keep Contact Lenses Clean

Busy schedules and late nights studying and socializing sometimes leads to students neglecting contact lens care, but this is another good way to ensure an eye infection. No matter how tired you are, always take them and put them in their cleaning solution. Always wash your hands before handling them, and never sleep in your contacts.

Beware of the Digital Danger

Eyestrain has always plagued college students, but the screens of the digital age may be harder on the eyes than the study materials of the past. Those using digital media blink far less than those using its traditional counterparts, and the glare on screens can cause considerable eye strain. Taking frequent breaks and alternating digital media with printed material, if possible, helps circumvent this.

Scheduling eye exams on a regular basis is also an essential part of maintaining optimal ocular health no matter what stage of life you’re in. Please contact us to schedule an appointment or if you have questions about keeping your eyes as healthy as possible during your college years.

What are Ocular Migraines?

If you’ve ever had the frightening experience of temporarily losing vision in one eye, you may be dealing with a rare but concerning condition known as ocular migraines. In this article, we’ll explain what ocular migraines are, what causes them, and what you need to do if you believe that you are suffering from this condition.

Ocular Migraines Explained

Ocular migraines occur when blood flow behind the eye is constricted or the blood vessels behind the eye begin to spasm. The result is a temporary loss of vision in the affected eye that may last for an hour or more. Aside from the fear and discomfort caused by vision loss, ocular migraines can often be a pain-free experience. However, they may also be accompanied by a migraine headache. It’s thought that migraine headaches and ocular migraines both share the same cause, with both conditions being triggered when the brain releases inflammatory substances around the blood vessels and nerves in the patient’s head and brain.

It’s also important to note the distinction between ocular migraines and the less severe visual migraines. While both share similar symptoms, they are sperate conditions. Ocular migraines are considered to be the more serious of the two and tend to affect only one eye for a more extended period – as opposed to visual migraines which affect both eyes and have a shorter duration. With that said, it’s wise to see a doctor if you experience any vision loss, regardless of whether it is caused by an ocular migraine or a visual migraine.

Treating Ocular Migraines

While ocular migraines can be a frightening condition, they are typically relatively easy to treat and prevent using the same medication that is used to prevent migraine headaches. If you experience any form of vision loss – even if it is temporary – it is important to see an eye doctor as soon as possible. Vision loss may mean that you are suffering from ocular migraines or an even more serious condition.

At Riverdale Vision Care, we are experts who are treating and preventing ocular migraines as well as all other vision-related conditions. If you would like to schedule an appointment with one of our skilled physicians, we invite you to contact us today.

Top Questions to ask your Optometrist

When you’re visiting your optometrist in Riverdale, it’s a great opportunity for you to ask any questions you may have. Whether your questions pertain to your own eye health or eye care in general, your optometrist will be more than happy to answer your questions. Here are some of the top questions you might want to ask.

1. Are My Eyes Aging as They Should Be?

Eyes age along with the rest of the body. As you age, you may notice certain changes in your eyesight that you can discuss with your optometrist. But one of the things you might like to talk about is whether your eyes are aging as they should be considering your actual age. It will be comforting to know if things are progressing as they should be. If not, this is an excellent chance to have an open discussion about what you can do to improve your eye health.

2. Are Drugstore Readers Safe to Use?

Drugstore readers are those inexpensive eyeglasses that you see hanging on cardboard displays. Essentially, they’re just magnifying lenses set into eyeglass frames, but many people feel they are very convenient to use. If you require readers to see up close and you’re tempted to buy drugstore readers, it’s best to talk to your optometrist first. There’s a chance that those readers may do more harm than good, or your optometrist may tell you they’re fine to use in your case. Either way, get the professional’s opinion first.

3. Am I a Good Candidate for Laser Eye Surgery?

Laser surgery could enable you to forego wearing glasses or contact lenses. This treatment option has been around for long enough to prove its safety and efficacy. However, your eyes need to be in a reasonably good healthy in order for optimal results. If you’re tempted to undergo this procedure, speak to your optometrist in Riverdale, who is familiar with your eye history and condition.
These top three questions are all things that your optometrist will be happy to discuss with you on your next visit. To make your appointment today, please email or call us.

Protecting Your Eyes Over the Summer Holidays

As the biggest holiday of summer vacation rolls around, you want to be ready. Drinks are on ice, and your favorite bathing suit is looking good, and… you have the latest safety gear for your eyes? Does that sound about right? If your eyes are the last thing on your mind for this Fourth of July, don’t worry. We have you covered with advice on how to protect your eyes this sizzling summer season.

Daytime Fun in the Sun

If you get lucky enough to have sunny weather on this Fourth of July, hopefully, you will remember to wear your shades. The UV damage from sun rays can lead to sunburns of the cornea and even advanced aging and vision loss. Make sure to wear sunglasses that block UV rays by 100 percent.

Fireworks by Nightfall

The grand finale of this explosive summer event is a round or two of fireworks. To protect your eyes against the fallback of these explosives, always stay at least 500 feet away. If you are using fireworks, such as sparklers or other simple explosives, among children, make sure they are wearing safety goggles to protect their eyes.

Swimming and Summer Safety

Saltwater, chlorine, or river water…wherever you manage to cool off this Fourth of July, make sure you are wearing eyewear. Swimming goggles fitted with prescription lenses are ideal if you need to have vision correction in order to see clearly. Basic goggles protect the eye against swimming bacteria or other such creatures. You won’t be left with red itchy eyes at the end of a fun-filled swimming day on the Fourth.

Contact Riverdale Vision Care

The best way to protect your eyes this Fourth of July is to come in for a comprehensive eye and vision exam. Here at Riverdale Vision Care, we provide eye health care for your entire family. Whether you need someone for pediatric eye exams or to diagnose macular degeneration, we have you covered. Please contact our office at 973-248-0600 to schedule an appointment for eye care in Riverdale, New Jersey.