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Dry Eye

Bloodshot Eyes – Should You Be Concerned?

You wake up in the morning ready to start your day, only to discover that your eyes are bloodshot. That might not be surprising if you stayed up late to finish a project, had too many drinks at a party or spent time in a smoke-filled room.

But bloodshot eyes can also signal an underlying eye problem. If your eyes appear red or bloodshot, make an appointment with an eye doctor for a comprehensive eye exam to determine the cause and to receive effective treatment.

Why Do I Have Bloodshot Eyes?

When blood rushes to the front of the eye, the tiny red blood vessels on the white of the eye dilate and become visible. This makes the eyes appear red and irritated.

So why do these blood vessels dilate, causing your eyes to look bloodshot?

Bloodshot eyes tend to be caused by:

  • Dry eyes
  • Irritants such as smoke, pollen and perfume
  • Lack of sleep
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Spending too much time in front of the computer

Bloodshot eyes due to lifestyle and environmental irritants may disappear on their own, or you can try to relieve them with over-the-counter eye drops or liquid tears. Lifestyle changes, such as getting more sleep, cutting down on alcohol intake and limiting screen time can often be helpful. If allergies are the culprit, oral antihistamines and antihistamine eye drops may relieve symptoms.

At other times, underlying problems requiring prompt medical attention can cause your eye’s blood vessels to dilate. The following are some of these medical conditions:

Conjunctivitis

You’ve probably heard of “pink eye.” It’s another name for infectious conjunctivitis – an infection of the conjunctiva, the thin membrane covering the eyelid and the front surface of the eye.

There are two types of infectious conjunctivitis – bacterial and viral.

If your child has conjunctivitis, they’re not alone. About 12% of kids get bacterial conjunctivitis every year. This highly contagious condition affects children and adults. In addition to reddish eyes, the following symptoms are associated with conjunctivitis:

  • Bacterial conjunctivitis – irritated eyes, swollen eyelids, eye discharge, crusty eyelids and excessive tearing
  • Viral conjunctivitis – cold or flu-like symptoms, runny nose, fever, itchy eyes, excessive tearing

If you or your child are experiencing these symptoms, it’s important to schedule a prompt appointment with an eye doctor, who can diagnose whether the conjunctivitis is viral, bacterial or due to allergies.

Depending on the diagnosis, your eye doctor will prescribe antibiotic eye drops or creams to treat bacterial conjunctivitis. The viral form may run its course after a few days, but cold compresses and non-prescription eye drops may provide relief.

Dry Eye Syndrome

If your eyes are chronically bloodshot you may have dry eye syndrome (DES). Signs of DES include:

  • Dry, irritated eyes
  • Burning or stinging eyes
  • Discharge from the eyes
  • Light sensitivity
  • A feeling you have something stuck in your eyes
  • Blurred vision
  • Watery eyes

Dry eye syndrome is most commonly caused by a blockage of the tiny meibomian glands in the eyelids. These glands secrete oil that keeps eye moisture from evaporating too quickly. Without the oil, tears dry fast, leaving your eyes feeling dry, itchy and with a bloodshot appearance.

Too much screen time, aging, certain medications such as antihistamines, and medical conditions such as Sjogren’s syndrome can cause dry eye syndrome.

In addition to any medications or in-office treatments your eye doctor recommends, make sure to get plenty of hydration, take frequent breaks from digital screens and use a humidifier in your home.

Uveitis

In addition to bloodshot eyes, if you also experience blurred vision, see floaters or your eyes feel painful, you may have an eye inflammation called uveitis. The causes of uveitis include:

  • Autoimmune or inflammatory condition
  • Infection
  • Medication side effects
  • Cancer (in rare cases)

Unfortunately, uveitis symptoms can often be mistaken for something less serious. That’s the reason it’s important to get an eye exam if your eyes are bloodshot. Left untreated, uveitis can lead to serious conditions such as retinal scarring, cataracts and vision loss.

Depending on the cause and severity, your eye doctor may treat uveitis with prescription eye drops, steroid pills, injections or eye implants.

Eye Injury

It’s vital that all eye injuries receive immediate eye care from an eye doctor.

Even a minor eye injury can cause a big red blotch to form on the white part of the eye (sclera). The cause is a broken blood vessel or a subconjunctival hemorrhage.

Although the appearance of this blood looks severe, and can make the entire white part of the eye appear bright red, a subconjunctival hemorrhage is usually painless and doesn’t cause vision loss. Any time you notice excessive blood on the eye following an eye injury, schedule an appointment with an eye doctor to assess the health of your eye.

Glaucoma

In rare cases, bloodshot eyes may signal the presence of glaucoma – a leading cause of vision loss and blindness.

While some types of glaucoma don’t show symptoms in the early phases, bloodshot eyes can indicate the type of glaucoma that requires immediate medical care. This disease causes damage to the optic nerve due to excessive pressure within the eye. When this pressure suddenly rises, the eye’s blood vessels become dilated and visible, making the eye appear red.

If you have bloodshot eyes and/or have the following risk factors for glaucoma, immediately schedule an appointment with your eye doctor.

  • Family history of glaucoma
  • Aged 60+
  • African American, Asian or Hispanic
  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure

Bloodshot Eyes Won’t Go Away?

Talk to Us Any time you notice bloodshot eyes or blood on the front of the eye, don’t wait. Schedule your eye exam with our optometric team at Lakeline Vision Source in Cedar Park today.

Q&A With Your Local Optometrist

Can I get bloodshot eyes after LASIK surgery?

LASIK surgery is highly effective minimally invasive laser eye surgery that can correct refractive errors, but like all surgical procedures, it can have side effects. Your eyes may be bloodshot or you could see halos from a few days to three weeks after surgery. Additionally, you may experience other dry eye symptoms. Eye drops and liquid tears can alleviate these symptoms, but if you have any concerns about your eyes following LASIK surgery contact your eye surgeon.

What Should I Expect from a Glaucoma Exam?

If you have a family history and/or other risk factors for glaucoma, and if your eyes look bloodshot, consider scheduling a glaucoma exam. Your eye doctor may perform the following tests:

  • Tonometry – eye pressure test
  • Gonioscopy – to see how fluid is draining out of your eye
  • Vision field test – to examine the functioning of the optic nerve
  • Dilated pupil exam – to detect any damage to the optic nerve
  • Retinal photo or OCT – digital examination of the retina and optic nerve health

Why Is My Eyelid Twitching?

What Is An Eyelid Twitch?

Myokymia, more commonly known as an eyelid twitch, occurs when the eyelid muscles spasm uncontrollably. This sensation is generally felt in either the upper or lower eyelid of one eye.

An eyelid twitch can develop for a number of reasons, and can last anywhere from a few moments to several days, depending on the underlying cause.

Eyelid twitches are usually nothing to worry about, though persistent eyelid spasms can signal a more serious underlying condition.

What Causes Eyelid Twitching?

There are a range of factors that could be causing your eyelid to twitch, including:

Stress.

This is the most common cause. Any type of physical or mental stress leads to the release of cortisol, a steroid hormone in the body that acts as a stimulant and puts your body into “flight or fight” mode. It can affect the nervous system in uncharacteristic ways, including making the nerves stimulate your muscles to twitch.

Fatigue.

Have you stayed awake later than usual, or are you juggling work and family commitments? Your eyelid twitch may be a sign that your body is craving a few more hours of rest and shut eye.

Allergies.

Itchy, watery, irritated eyes can cause eyelid spasms.

Dry eyes.

Dry, sore eyes may sometimes lead to an eyelid twitch.

Eye strain.

Eye muscle fatigue from prolonged reading or using a digital device can lead to blurry or double vision, dry eyes, headaches and, sometimes, an eyelid twitch.

Caffeine.

Consuming too much caffeine can over-stimulate your mind and body, including the muscles in your eyes.

Alcohol.

Similar to caffeine, excessive alcohol intake can have stimulating effects on your eye muscles.

Nutrient deficiencies.

According to research, a deficiency in vitamins B12 or D, or magnesium, or other electrolyte imbalance can cause an eyelid twitch.

Blepharospasm.

This rare eye condition is caused by a neurological problem that leads to uncontrollable facial and eyelid spasms that generally worsen over time.These spasms may also cause an increase in blink rate and intensity.

Neurological disease.

Although uncommon, an eyelid twitch can be a symptom of multiple sclerosis (MS), Parkinson’s disease or Bell’s palsy.

How to Stop Your Eye Twitch

  • Schedule an eye exam to find out what may be causing your eyelid twitch. Your eye doctor may prescribe glasses to relieve eye strain, or recommend dry eye treatments, Botox injections or oral medication to treat the underlying problem.
  • Practice stress-relieving activities such as yoga and deep breathing exercises, or simply take some time out of your day to relax.
  • Use eye drops to alleviate eye allergies or dry eye symptoms.
  • Take frequent breaks from the screen and consider wearing computer glasses to reduce eye strain.
  • Limit caffeine and alcohol consumption to determine if these stimulants may be the cause of your eyelid twitch.
  • Speak with your physician to find out if you can benefit from taking nutritional supplements and to rule out a neurological disorder, especially if other symptoms are present.

Although an eye twitch is generally not a cause for concern, if it persists for longer than a few days or you notice any changes to your vision, contact our optometric team at Lakeline Vision Source today to schedule an eye exam.

Q & A

Frequently Asked Questions with Eric Hammond, OD

Q: What is dry eye syndrome?

  • A: Dry eye syndrome (DES) is a chronic condition that occurs when your eyes don’t produce enough tears or the quality of your tear film is compromised. This results in a range of symptoms that may include dry, itchy, irritated eyes, and sometimes eye twitches. While mild DES can often be alleviated temporarily with over-the-counter lubricating eye drops, moderate to severe DES generally requires specialized in-office treatments.

Q: How can I relieve eye strain after prolonged screen time?

  • A: Digital eye strain, also known as computer vision syndrome, can cause a host of uncomfortable symptoms, including headaches, eye fatigue, dry eyes and blurry vision. Computer vision syndrome may cause your eyelid to twitch.If limiting screen time isn’t practical on a daily basis, try to follow the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, look at something around 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds. It is also important to remember to blink frequently and to close your eyes completely. Lastly, speak to your optometrist about wearing computer glasses while you work, as they are designed to eliminate glare from the screen, and reduce eye strain.

Quality Frames For Prescription Eyeglasses & Computer Glasses In Cedar Park, Texas. Visit Lakeline Vision Source for an eye exam and eyeglasses that match your style.

How to Deal with Contact Lens Discomfort

Do your eyes itch or burn when wearing contact lenses? There are several reasons why you may be experiencing contact lens discomfort. Discover the possible causes behind the problem and see what you can do to relieve your discomfort.

What Causes Contact Lens Discomfort?

Some of the top causes of uncomfortable contacts are:

Dry eyes

Dry eye syndrome is a common condition that arises when your tears can’t keep your eyes sufficiently lubricated due to an imbalance in the tear film. Certain diseases, medications and environmental factors, like high levels of dryness and wind, can cause or contribute to red, itchy or irritated eyes, especially when wearing contacts.

Allergies

Allergens are typically harmless substances that induce an allergic response in certain people. Pollen, mold, dust and pet dander are some of the most common airborne allergens that trigger eye allergies. Cosmetics and certain eye drops, such as artificial tears with preservatives, can also induce eye allergies, which can make contact lens wear uncomfortable.

Corneal irregularities

The cornea at the front of the eye may be irregularly shaped due to astigmatism, keratoconus, eye surgeries (i.e. LASIK or cataract surgery), eye injuries or burns, scarring, corneal ulcers and/or severe dry eye. Irregular corneas often prevent traditional contact lenses from fitting correctly and comfortably.

Symptoms of Contact Lens Discomfort

  • Burning, itchy, stinging eyes
  • Sensation of something being stuck is in the eye
  • Excessive watering or tearing of the eyes
  • Unusual eye secretions
  • Redness of the eyes
  • Reduced sharpness of vision
  • Blurred vision, rainbows, or halos around objects
  • Sensitivity to light

How to Relieve Contact Lens Discomfort

Try Different Contact Lenses

Nowadays, there are many types of contact lenses on the market, including specialty contacts for dry eyes and astigmatism. Meet with our optometrist for a personalized eye exam for contacts.

With the variety of contact lens brands available, switching to a different contact lens may be the simplest answer if you’re experiencing discomfort that isn’t connected to improper fitting or issues with tear production. If your existing lenses fit well but still irritate and dry out your eyes, speak to us about trying a different design or brand of contact lenses, or changing your lens-wearing schedule.

Artificial Tears or Eye Drops

Over-the-counter artificial tears or eye drops are a common way to temporarily relieve contact lens discomfort. However, it’s important to keep in mind that unless prescribed by an eye doctor, they may not be treating the root of the problem.

Moreover, certain eye drops are incompatible with contact lenses, and may damage your contacts or harm your eyes. We also recommend staying away from products that claim to remove redness from your eyes, which temporarily reduce the size of blood vessels to lessen redness, but do not address the underlying cause of the condition, and can actually worsen it over time.

Take Good Care of Your Lenses

Inadequate contact lens care leaves residue on your lenses, which can discomfort, harmful eye infections and inflammation. Below are a few important contact lens hygiene guidelines to follow:

  • Before handling your contact lenses, thoroughly wash and dry your hands.
  • Remove your lenses before showering, bathing or swimming to prevent infection.
  • Do not sleep in your contact lenses (unless they are approved for sleeping).
  • Replace your contact lenses according to the manufacturer’s instructions (e.g., don’t reuse daily wear lenses).
  • Regularly clean your contact lens case and ask your eye doctor when to replace it.
  • Only use a contact lens solution that is appropriate for your lenses.
  • Never reuse or mix contact lens solutions.
  • Schedule regular appointments with your eye doctor.

If you are experiencing discomfort with your contact lenses, get in touch with Lakeline Vision Source in Cedar Park today. We’ll get to the bottom of the problem and provide effective solutions for all-day comfort.

Q&A

What kinds of contacts are available?

Contact lenses are available in a wide range of materials and replacement schedules. Disposable contact lenses and extended wear contacts are the most convenient for many users.

I’ve already been fitted for contact lenses, so why did my optometrist ask me to come back?

If you’re asked to return a week later, it’s because your optometrist wants to rule out any issues, such as contact lens-related dry eye or irritation.

If it’s been around a year since your last eye checkup, you’ve likely been contacted to check whether your prescription has changed and to evaluate your eye health. The sooner problems are detected and treated, the better the outcome.

Risk Of Overusing Eye Drops

If you find yourself constantly reaching for eye drops, it’s time to start looking into the bigger issue: Why do you need them so often? While they may provide a quick and satisfying fix for irritated or itchy eyes, they don’t focus on what might be causing the irritation to begin with.

Two signs that you’re overusing eye drops: you often exceed the daily recommended dose and/or you view eye drops as a cure rather than a temporary treatment.

Risks of Overusing Eye Drops

When overusing eye drops you can run the risk of:

  • Washing away your natural tears. Artificial tears feel great as they lubricate your eyes and help with insufficient tear production. But overuse can literally wash away the natural moisturizers and your natural tears that protect your eyes.
  • Rebounding. As the effects of the eye drops subside or upon discontinuation of the drops, the original eye symptoms may return stronger than before. This is known as eye rebounding. Eye drops clamp down on the blood vessels in the eye to stop itchiness, which means your sclera isn’t getting the oxygen and nutrients it needs. When you stop using eye drops, or their effects wear off, your eyes may work in overdrive to deliver oxygen to those vessels.
  • Masking a more serious problem. Addressing the symptoms of red, itchy eyes rather than the cause could be more serious than you think.

Conditions That Eye Drops Could Be Masking

Red, itchy eyes are a symptom of several conditions, including:

  • Blepharitis – Red and inflamed eyelids, caused by a fungal or bacterial infection, gland dysfunction, parasites, or dry eye, all of which require treatment beyond over-the-counter eye drops.
  • Eye trauma – Scratching or rubbing your eye can cause blood vessels to break, making the eye itchy and red. Some more serious traumas will require prescription eye drops or surgery.
  • Eye strain – Focusing on work all day and night can cause irritated, tired, and strained eyes.
  • Foreign objects – An eyelash, dust, or something worse could be in your eye. If you have long-term issues with itchy or dry eyes, make sure a foreign body isn’t the culprit.
  • Allergies – Allergies to the environment or pets can cause dry, itchy eyes.
  • Pink eye – A bacterial or viral eye infection, also called conjunctivitis, can cause burning, swelling, and itchiness.
  • Dry eye syndrome – Irritation, redness and itchiness are common symptoms of dry eye syndrome. In severe cases, DES can damage the cornea.

Regardless of why you often use eye drops, the only way to get to the root cause of your symptoms is a thorough eye exam. Don’t cover up the symptoms with eye drops.

If you’re suffering from irritated, dry eyes that haven’t resolved on their own, contact Lakeline Vision Source in Cedar Park. We can help you find the long-lasting relief you’ve been looking for.

At Lakeline Vision Source, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 512-918-3937 or book an appointment online to see one of our Cedar Park eye doctors.

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Frequently Asked Questions with Eric Hammond, OD

Q: What are symptoms of dry eye syndrome ?

  • A: Irritation, redness and itchiness are common symptoms of dry eye syndrome. In severe cases, DES can damage the cornea.

Q: Are OTC eye drops safe ?

  • A: Eye drops may provide relief. But don’t overuse them. Overuse can cause more harm than good. Find out what happens when you overuse those relieving eye drops.

Quality Frames For Prescription Eyeglasses & Computer Glasses In Cedar Park, Texas. Visit Lakeline Vision Source for an eye exam and eyeglasses that match your style.

How Sleep Apnea Affects The Eyes

Did you know that some eye conditions are associated with sleep apnea? According to the National Sleep Foundation, more than 18 million Americans have sleep apnea, and Health Canada reports similar prevalence. It’s a sleep disorder where people stop breathing — often multiple times per night — while sleeping.

If you have sleep apnea: it tends to take longer for your tears to be replenished, you’re more likely to have ocular irritation, you have a higher chance of developing floppy eyelids, and you’re at increased risk for glaucoma.

What Is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

There are different types of sleep apnea. The most common one is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). During OSA, your airway becomes partially blocked due to relaxed muscles in your nose and throat. This causes apnea (the absence of breathing) or hypopnea (abnormally shallow, slow breathing). It’s twice as common in men, and is more likely to affect people with obesity, hypertension, diabetes or heart disease.

What are the common symptoms of sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea occurs when the muscles in the back of your throat relax too much to allow normal breathing. These temporary breathing lapses cause lower-quality sleep and affect the body’s oxygen supply, which can lead to potentially serious health consequences.

While snoring is a common symptom, not everyone who snores has sleep apnea. Interrupted sleep can cause excessive daytime sleepiness, fatigue, irritability or depression, headaches in the morning, difficulty concentrating and thinking, and a sore throat.

Which Eye Conditions Are Associated With Sleep Apnea?

Glaucoma

Glaucoma occurs when increased pressure within the eye damages the optic nerve, which connects the eye to the brain, leading to vision loss and sometimes blindness. In some cases, it might be due to a drop in blood oxygen levels, which happens when you stop breathing. However, CPAP machines, one of the most common treatments for sleep apnea, can also cause glaucoma.

So, people with sleep apnea — even if it’s being treated — need to get their eyes checked on a regular basis for glaucoma.

Floppy Eyelid Syndrome

Floppy Eyelid Syndrome (FES) is an eye condition where a person has an unusually large and floppy upper eyelid. It can cause eye redness, irritation, discharge, or blurry vision — and over 90% of people with FES also have sleep apnea.

Non-Arteritic Anterior Ischemic Optic Neuropathy

Non-arteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy (NAION) is an eye condition that occurs when there is a loss of blood flow to the optic nerve. Patients typically complain of significant vision loss in one eye without any major pain. Approximately 70-80% of patients with NAION have been found to have OSA.

Retinal Vein Occlusion

Also referred to as an ‘eye stroke,’ retinal vein occlusion (RVO) is a blockage of the small veins that carry blood away from the retina. A recent study of 114 RVO patients found that sleep apnea was suspected in 74% of the patients that had previously been diagnosed with RVO.

Other Eye Health Issues Associated With Sleep Apnea

Some other ocular conditions that are more common in patients with sleep apnea include: papilledema, keratoconus, and central serous chorioretinopathy. Furthermore, in addition to glaucoma mentioned above, CPAP machines are associated with dry eye syndrome and bacterial conjunctivitis.

Talk To Your Doc

Get eye exams regularly to rule out eye disorders and prevent potential vision loss, especially if you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea. At Lakeline Vision Source in Cedar Park we encourage you to share your medical history with us so we can better diagnose and treat any eye conditions or ocular diseases you may have, and help you keep your eyes nice and healthy.

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Eric Hammond OD

Q: What Causes Sleep Apnea?

  • A: Sleep apnea occurs when in-part or completely stop breathing when sleeping. This causes your lungs to strain harder for oxygen, and makes the brain send signals that jerk your body awake to resume proper breathing.

Q: What are the Warning Signs of Sleep Apnea?

  • A: A common sign of sleep apnea is loud snoring. Snoring that is loud enough to disturb the sleep of the patient as well as others around, even across the walls. That said, not everyone who snores suffers from obstructive sleep apnea.

Quality Frames For Prescription Eyeglasses & Computer Glasses In Cedar Park, Texas. Visit Lakeline Vision Source for an eye exam and eyeglasses that match your style.

Do I Have Symptoms of Dry Eye?

The symptoms of dry eye can range from mild to very painful. How do you know if you’re suffering from this common condition? And what can you do about it?

The best way to get a diagnosis of dry eye – or rule it out with certainty– is with an eye exam. Contact Lakeline Vision Source to book an eye exam in Cedar Park, Texas . Our optometrists know what to look for when inspecting for dryeye syndrome and develop a personalized treatment plan to comfort your sore eyes.

Common signs of dry eye

Typically, these symptoms affect both eyes and can be a good indicator that you are indeed suffering from dry eye syndrome:

  • Stinging or burning in your eyes
  • Itchy eyes
  • Stringy mucus inside or around your eyes
  • Light sensitivity
  • Eye redness
  • A sensation that something is stuck in your eyes
  • Wearing contact lenses is uncomfortable
  • Difficulty with nighttime driving
  • Watery eyes
  • Blurred vision
  • Eye fatigue

Link between watery eyes and dry eyes

Many people mistakenly think that because their eyes are watering excessively, they can’t possibly have dry eye syndrome. Not true! As our Cedar Park, Texas , eye doctor explains, dry eyes can lead to reflex tearing. This condition occurs because the insufficient moisture on your eye surface irritates your eye, and your body then floods the area with tears to compensate for the dryness. However, because these tears are composed mainly of water – without the lubricating lipids that are necessary for healthy tears – they evaporate rapidly and can’t properly disperse moisture over your eye’s surface.

Risk factors for dry eye

Along with the above symptoms, if you have any of the usual risk factors for dry eye – then the likelihood of experiencing this irritating vision condition is even higher. The most common risk factors include:

  • Over age 50, because tear production tends to decreased as you age
  • Being female, especially if hormonal changes are occurring due to pregnancy, using birth control pills, or menopause
  • Not eating enough vitamin A, which you can find in carrots, broccoli, and liver
  • Not eating enough omega-3 fatty acids, found mainly in walnuts, fish, and vegetable oils
  • Wearing contact lenses

At-home fixes for dry eyes

There are several ways to help alleviate your irritating symptoms of dry eye, in addition to visiting our eye care center for dry eye treatment. The following tips can be very effective:

  • If your home or office is heated or air-conditioned, the lack of moisture in the air may be your problem. Use a humidifier, or place plants and dishes of water around the room. Keeping a bottle of eye mist handy to spray when your eyes feel dry may also help.
  • When outdoors, wear wraparound sunglasses to protect your eyes from the wind, dust, and sun’s rays – all elements that contribute to dry eye pain.
  • Take care to remove all eye makeup from your lids and lashes nightly, using quality antiseptic wipes that work gently.
  • Change your contact lenses regularly to prevent the buildup of irritating protein deposits. Even better, consider wearing daily disposable lenses instead, or ask about contacts for dry eyes.

 

Suffering from dry eye? We can help restore moisture to soothe your sore eyes! Contact our Cedar Park optometry practice to book a personalized dry eye exam.

At Lakeline Vision Source, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 512-918-3937 or book an appointment online to see one of our Cedar Park eye doctors.

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8 Causes of Burning Eyes and Blurry Vision

You’re probably familiar with the feeling of burning or stinging eyes, but you may not always know what’s causing this irritation. A variety of causes can be behind this type of pain. To pinpoint the exact culprit, visit our Cedar Park, Texas , eye doctor for an eye exam. To prepare you for your visit to Lakeline Vision Source, here’s a heads up about the possible diagnoses that you may hear:

1. Eye Allergies

Allergic conjunctivitis, which is a type of pink eye caused by allergens, is a classic cause of burning eyes. Allergens, such as pollen, dust, and pet dander, irritate the delicate membrane that covers both the inside of your eyelids and your eyes. Just like in all allergies, your body overreacts to a harmless substance that triggers an immune response. To protect your body from what it perceives as a health threat, your immune system releases antibodies (immunoglobulin) that travel through your body releasing chemicals that prompt an allergic reaction – giving you burning eyes often accompanied by itching.

2. Dry eyes

In general, eyes burn when they dry out, and vision can be blurry. How and why do dry eyes happen? The healthy eye surface is coated in a lubricating tear film that has three layers: a mucous layer that helps to disperse tears evenly, a thick and watery middle layer, and an outer layer that has an oily composition. This oily outer surface is essential for preventing evaporation of the water layer. The oil comes from sweat glands in your eyelids that are stimulated by blinking. That’s why blinking can often clear your fuzzy vision. However, if your oil glands get blocked, blinking becomes less effective, and the tears can dry out. The outcome is burning eyes that blinking can’t alleviate.

3. Eye contact with a foreign substance

We’re constantly touching our face and rubbing our eyes, which makes it easy to put your eyes in contact with a number of offensive substances, such as moisturizers, soap, sunscreen, chlorine, spices, and any residue on your fingers. Even your most expensive face wash or flecks of makeup can cause extreme eye irritation. If your eyes suddenly flare up in pain, pay attention to any new products you started using.

4. Blepharitis – eyelid inflammation

One symptom of blepharitis is a gritty sensation and/or burning eyes. This eyelid inflammation can make your eyelids red, crusty, and itchy. It can stem from a bacterial infection, an allergic reaction to makeup, or other health conditions such as rosacea.

5. Sunburnt eyes

You may not have known this, but your eyes can get a sunburn. Known as photokeratitis, sunburnt eyes occur due to overexposure to UV rays, usually from the sun. These dangerous rays can damage your cornea and conjunctiva, causing burning eyes and blurry vision (among other more serious symptoms).

6. Overuse of contact lenses

Wearing your contact lenses for too long can lead directly to eye pain, including stinging eyes and blurry vision that’s so bad you can’t read the page in front of you.

7. The common cold

Certain viruses, such as the common cold or the flu, can also lead to burning eyes.

8. Uveitis or orbital cellulitis

These serious sight-threatening conditions are uncommon, but burning eyes are one of the warning signs. That’s why it’s so important to visit our Cedar Park, Texas , eye doctor for a precise diagnosis of what’s causing your symptoms – so you can get treatment before any vision damage has occurred.

When to Call Your Cedar Park Optometrist

Contact your eye doctor immediately if you experience any of the following symptoms along with burning or stinging eyes:

  • Pain
  • Excessive light sensitivity
  • Oozing discharge from your eye
  • Blurry vision
  • Eye floaters or flashes of light
  • Double vision

Also, if your burning eyes continue for more than a few days – even without any of the above symptoms, contact us at Lakeline Vision Source to book an urgent eye exam.


At Lakeline Vision Source, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 512-918-3937 or book an appointment online to see one of our Cedar Park eye doctors.

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Dry Eye Treatment In Austin

We offer the latest, most effective dry eye treatments, including IPL and LLLT Light therapy, Lipiflow, Blephex and Regenereyes biogic drops at Lakeline Vision Source. As your optometrists in North Austin, we are experts in examining your eyes for dry eye syndrome and treating them in the best way possible.

Our treatments for dry eye range from prescription eye drops & punctual plugs to heat and light therapy to extract blocked meibomian glands. During your next eye exam with one of our doctors, we can examine your eyes to determine the best dry eye treatment for them.

Dry eyes or dry eye syndrome (DES) is an ongoing condition that treatments may be unable to cure. But the symptoms of dry eye—including dryness, scratchiness and burning—can usually be successfully managed. Artificial tears, which are lubricating eyedrops may alleviate the dry, scratching feeling and foreign body sensation of dry eye. We are lucky to now have prescription eyedrops. Some work on each layer of the tear film, some work on increasing production and some work on improving the quality of the tears.

Check with your doctor before buying any over-the-counter eye drops. Many over the counter eye drops have harsh preservatives or chemicals that can be toxic to the cornea. To reduce the effects of sun, wind and dust on dry eyes, wear sunglasses when outdoors. Wraparound styles offer the best protection. Indoors, an air cleaner can filter out dust and other particles from the air, while a humidifier adds moisture to air that's too dry because of air conditioning or heating.

What Is Dry Eye?

Dry Eye Syndrome can range from a mild irritant to chronic problem. The symptoms of Dry Eye Syndrome may include:

  • Dry, irritated, or red eyes
  • Excessive tearing/watery eyes
  • Inflammation
  • Sore or sensitive eyes
  • Itchiness
  • Burning or inflammation
  • A gritty or pasty feeling in the eyelids
  • Crusty or gunky eyes
  • Blurriness
dry eye advanced technology

North Austin Dry Eye Treatment for Severe Cases

For more significant cases of dry eye, our North Austin eye doctors may recommend punctual plugs. These tiny devices are inserted in ducts in your lids to slow the drainage of tears away from your eyes, thereby keeping your eyes more moist.

Many times our doctors recommend omega 3 Fatty Acids which has been proven to help with Dry Eye Syndrome.

If medications are the cause of dry eyes, discontinuing the drug generally resolves the problem. But in this case, the benefits of the drug must be weighed against the side effect of dry eyes. Sometimes switching to a different type of medication alleviates the dry eye symptoms while keeping the needed treatment. In any case, never switch or discontinue your medications without consulting with your doctor first.

Treating any underlying eyelid disease, such as blepharitis, helps as well. This may call for antibiotic or steroid drops, plus frequent eyelid scrubs with an antibacterial shampoo.

If you are considering LASIK, be aware that dry eyes may disqualify you for the surgery, at least until your dry eye condition is successfully treated. Dry eyes increase your risk for poor healing after LASIK, so most surgeons will want to treat the dry eyes first, to ensure a good LASIK outcome. This goes for other types of vision correction surgery, as well. To read more about the symptoms and causes of dry eyes, visit Eye Articles & Videos.

Treatment Protocol for Dry Eyes (Print Out)

Take the Google Tour of Our Dry Eye & SPA Room

How Can I Improve My Lifestyle To Prevent And Treat Dry Eye Syndrome?

Of the many ways you can treat dry eye, we first recommend preventing dry eye symptoms before they start. Address lifestyle factors that may be making dry eye worse!

  1. Blinking often will help renew your tear film to keep your eye moist and fresh.
  2. Staying hydrated is helpful and can relieve some of the dry eye symptoms as well.
  3. Check if any medications have dry eye side effects.
  4. Over the counter eye drops do bring relief to minor symptoms, and are widely available. During a dry eye exam, ask your eye doctor which specific brand of eye drops works best for your particular case of dry eye.
  5. Maintain a healthy diet with a focus on vitamins like Omega 3.
bruder mask at dry eye clinic

Our Products

Lipiflow with Activators

LipiFlow® Thermal Pulsation System

A cleared medical device for Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD) shown to improve gland function.

Over 85% of all dry eye cases are due to MGD. Through the LipiFlow® Thermal Pulsation System, our team of eye care professionals are able to treat MGD patients in the office with confidence and efficiency.

The LipiFlow System represents more than 10 years of dedicated research and is protected by more than 30 patents. A phased pressure profile with adaptive force equalization and proximal-to-distal peristaltic motion evacuates gland contents as the inner lid is gently heated. This process provides long-lasting relief for persistent, chronic dry eye patients.

Click for more about LipiFlow

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IPL & LLLT Light Therapy for Dry Eye

Intense Pulsed Light Therapy (IPL) & Low Level Light Therapy (LLLT) Dry Eye Treatments

Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) Therapy, which has been traditionally used as a cosmetic procedure for treating facial skin conditions, effectively treats chronic dry eye and Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD). In fact, IPL Therapy is among the more groundbreaking treatments for dry eye.

Low Level Light Therapy (LLLT) uses specially designed LED lights to gently warm up the eyelids, causing the meibomian glands to unclog and release oils. The LLLT treatment is often used along with an IPL treatment to increase the effectiveness of treating dry eye and even styes or demodex.

Click to learn more about our IPL treatment

Click here to learn about LLLT

blephex

BlephEx®

The first and Only Doctor Eyelid Cleaning Procedure to Help Maintain Clean and Healthy Lids

Over 50% of all patients suffer from some type of dry eye and blepharitis symptoms. BlephEx® is a new, in-office procedure that allows your doctor to take an active role in helping prevent, as part of a healthy lifestyle, the risk of dry eye and blepharitis.

BlephEx® cleans eyelids to maintain eyelid hygiene. With regular treatments, as part of a healthy lifestyle, patients may be able to reduce their risk of returning symptoms associated with dry eye and blepharitis. The BlephEx® treatment only takes a few minutes to perform. Click for more about blephex

zocular

Zocular® products are the result of transformative research and development on dry eye.

The link between the eye and skin led to the development of a natural and proprietary activated okra complex called Zokrex. Our okra-based formulation with Zokrex changes the paradigm for both eye care and skin care by catering to the intrinsic needs of your eye and skin with natural solutions, not with harsh drugs or synthetic compounds.

Our eye care professionals utilize Zocular products to provide the most gentle, convenient, and effective platform to address almost any eyelid issue. Zocular is a quick and immediate dry eye treatment to help your eyes feel and look better. Click for more about Zocular

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Regener-Eyes

Regener-Eyes is a sterile, preservative-free biologic eye drop that comes in two versions, LITE (for mild ocular surface disease) and PRO (for moderate to severe ocular surface disease). Both the Pro and LITE have a shelf life of 3 years. The Pro version is required to be refrigerated while LITE may be placed at room temperature.

This placenta-based drop has unique proteins such as anti-inflammatory cytokines, chemokines for healing properties, growth factors for regenerative potential, and hyaluronic acid for high-level lubrication.

Click to learn more about Regener-Eyes

OCULUS Keratograph 5M

OCULUS Keratograph 5M

OCULUS Keratograph 5M is a corneal topographer that is useful for the detection & evaluation of Dry Eye symptoms. With its built-in real keratometer and color camera, the Keratograph 5M produces incredible images of your eye.

Click for more about the OCULUS Keratograph 5M

What Our Patients Are Saying...
Lakeline Vision was on time and courteous. Dr. Susan Shauger was professional and gregarious. There were no delays and they followed COVID precautions carefully.
1 day ago
- pc c.
Meet Our Dry Eye Doctors
Kevin Soong, OD

Kevin Soong, OD

Kim Slaughter, OD

Kim Slaughter, OD

Jennifer   Square Pic

Jennifer Catalasan, OD

Eric   Square Pic

Eric Hammond, OD

Melodi Esmaili, OD, FAAO

Melodi Esmaili, OD, FAAO

Dipa Square Pic 2017

Dipa Kodukula, OD

Laurie SquarePic 2017

Laurie Sorrenson, OD, FAAO

Susan Shauger

Susan Shauger, OD

Serving Patients From:

Austin | Cedar Park | Jollyville | Brushy Creek | Round Rock | and the state of Texas

Lakeline Vision Source is Cedar Park, TX owned and operated. We have convenient hours with appointments available in the evenings and on Saturdays. Our staff is highly educated and are all certified in their profession and we are committed to keeping our staff trained and educated with the latest information and technology. You will not find a better trained or more motivated care team in North Austin.

Lakeline Vision Source is dedicated to having all the technology and equipment necessary to take the very best care of our patients. At Lakeline Vision Source we love being able to help people see better, look better and feel better…and we have fun doing it!

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