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Bordering Cedar Park & North Austin, minutes from Lakeline Mall. NW Corner of El Salido Pkwy & 620, behind AutoZone.
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Dry Eye

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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You Feel Chilled, But Your Eyes Are On Fire!

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.

Want to Learn More? Read on!

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Dry Eye Treatment In Austin

We offer dry eye treatment in Austin 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. We offer treatments for dry eyes ranging from prescription eye drops to punctual plugs. Have our doctor 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)

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.
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Our Products

Lipiflow®

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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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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 +

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.

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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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Meet Our Dry Eye Doctors
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Kevin Soong

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Kim Slaughter, OD

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Jennifer Catalasan, OD

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Eric Hammond, OD

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Melodi Esmaili, OD, FAAO

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Dipa Kodukula, OD

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Laurie Sorrenson, OD, FAAO

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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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