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.


Can I Buy New Eyeglasses During the Pandemic?

With the new COVID-19 restrictions on business practices, you may wonder if it’s possible to buy new eyeglasses during the pandemic. If you’re a person with poor vision, you know how essential new eyeglasses are for daily life. When your old eyeglasses have been lost or broken, will you be able to buy new ones during this pandemic? The short answer is yes, but there are some important things you’ll need to know. Buying new eyeglasses right now will be a different experience than it was before COVID-19. Here’s what to expect.

Obtain Your Prescription From Your Eye Doctor

Be sure to obtain your latest prescription from your Riverdale Vision Care eye doctor. You can ask to have your prescription emailed or faxed to you so that you don’t need to have personal contact with the office. Alternatively, you can have your prescription faxed or emailed directly to your eyeglass store if you’ve already chosen a new pair of frames.

Wear Your Mask

Whether or not your state currently has mandatory mask requirements, chances are that the frames shop will require masks. Bring a mask that you feel comfortable in because you’ll need to keep it on while you try on frames.

Expect a Temperature Check

Many frames stores check visitors’ temperatures at the door using a forehead, contactless thermometer. Don’t be personally offended. This is for the added safety of other customers and staff members.

Prepare to Wear Gloves

It’s possible that the frames store will also require customers to wear gloves while shopping for frames. If you have a latex allergy, be prepared by bringing your own vinyl or cloth gloves, just in case.

Place Frames in Bins

Many frame stores have implemented a protocol for disinfecting frames after they have been tried on by customers. You may be presented with a small plastic basket for frames that you’ve tried. Instead of putting the frames back on the display wall, you’ll put them in the basket so the staff can disinfect them.

Once you find a pair of frames that you like, a staff member will fit the frames to your face as usual. However, they will be wearing a mask as well. Don’t put off getting needed eyeglasses during the pandemic. Although the process is different, you can still anticipate getting the prescriptive eyewear you need.


Why Are My Eyes Always Red?

Red eyes are a common and often irritating issue for a surprising number of people. This condition can be caused by a variety of reasons that range from viruses, bacteria, lifestyle, workplace hazards, and even the climate. For instance, when the seasons change and the air gets chillier, your eyes may have trouble producing as much moisture as they do in wetter seasons. Conversely, when spring comes around, all that pollen often gets becomes airborne and irritates the eyes. However, some people have chronic red eyes, which can be caused by a multitude of other things.

Dry Eyes

Dry eyes is a very common reason for chronic red eyes. Dry eyes are more common as people get older. It can cause chronic redness, irritation or make it feel like something is actually in the eye. In dryer climates, individuals who are not adapted can be prone to having dry eyes and subsequent reddening of the whites of the eyes. A lot of times, artificial tears or other more aggressive types of treatment for dry eyes can help significantly. Artificial tears may also relieve redness and irritation symptoms. It’s important to note that if you suspect that you have dry eyes, you should see an optometrist. Long-term use of artificial tears can actually exacerbate dry eyes.


Another cause of chronic red eyes is Inflammation. Inflammation can cause the surface of the eye to swell up abnormally. This can be brought on for a variety of reasons; a common one being an allergic reaction. Individuals often end up living in a household where they are having an allergic reaction to a product or item, yet be unaware of the allergy. The next time you are with your doctor, bring up the possibility and speak to them about it.


Infection is another common cause of red eyes. If you work or spend copious amounts of time in an environment with lots of bacteria, such as a meat processing plant or a janitorial position, then it’s possible you are picking up bacteria and accidentally introducing it to your eyes. If you think this might be a contributing factor to your red eyes, pay attention to hygiene. Make sure to always wash your hands after work and at home, especially before touching your face. Even if it isn’t the sole cause, it will definitely help alleviate the irritation to your eyes.

There are other possible reasons why your eyes are always red. For a professional diagnosis, always consult with your optometrist. Lastly, if your eyes are chronically red for extended periods of time, speak to your physician, as this may be a symptom of an underlying medical condition.


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.