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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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15 Things You Do That Can Harm Your Eyes

Eye health isn’t just about going for that yearly eye exam. Certain actions you take (or don’t take) in your daily routine can also have drastic effects on the health of your eyes and vision. Here’s our list of 15 things you may be doing that could pose damaging risks to your eyes.

It’s important to note that before changing any of your habits, consult with a medical professional to make sure they are right for you and your overall health.

1. Smoking

We all know that smoking can cause heart disease and cancer, but its effects on the eyes are far less known to many. The truth is that smoking can actually lead to irreversible vision loss by significantly increasing the risk of developing macular degeneration, cataracts, glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy. It can also cause dry eye syndrome. If you are a smoker, do your eyes (and body) a favor and try to kick or reduce the habit.

2. Not Wearing Sunglasses

Exposing your eyes to the sun’s harmful UV radiation can damage the eye’s cornea and lens. Overexposure to UV rays can also lead to cataracts and even eye cancer. That’s why it’s important to always wear 100% UV-blocking sunglasses while outdoors, all four seasons of the year. Always check the sunglasses have FDA approval.

3. Sleeping with Makeup On

When you sleep with eyeliner or mascara, you run the risk of the makeup entering the eye and irritating the cornea. Sleeping with mascara on can introduce harmful bacteria to the eye and cause an infection. Abrasive glitters and shimmery eyeshadow can scratch the cornea as well. Be careful to remove all makeup with an eye-safe makeup remover before going to bed.

4. Buying Decorative Contact Lenses Without a Prescription

Although ordering decorative lenses without first visiting your optometrist may sound more convenient, purchasing them without a prescription isn’t worth the long term risks. Decorative contact lenses are sometimes made by unlicensed manufacturers who tend to use poor-quality or toxic materials that can get absorbed through the eyes into the bloodstream. They also may contain high levels of microorganisms from unsanitary packaging and storage conditions.

5. Not Washing Your Hands Thoroughly

Frequently washing your hands helps to reduce the possibility of bacteria and viruses entering the eye. Pink eye (conjunctivitis) and corneal ulcers are common eye conditions that can be caused by bacteria, viruses, fungi, or parasites. When washing your hands, be sure to use warm water, soap, and thoroughly wash in between each finger and over the entire palm area. If you plan to insert or remove your contact lenses, wash and then dry your hands completely with a lint-free cloth or paper towel.

6. Overwearing Contact Lenses

Wearing contact lenses for longer periods of time than intended can lead to inflammation of the cornea (keratitis), conjunctivitis, eyelid swelling, and contact lens intolerance. Always follow the recommended wear time as instructed by your optometrist.

7. Being Nutrient Deficient

Poor nutrition can cause permanent damage to the visual system. Try to include lots of nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables in your diet, along with adequate amounts of Omega-3. Some of the best vitamins and nutrients for eye health include Vitamins A, C, E, lutein, zeaxanthin, and zinc.

8. Using Non-FDA Approved Products

Whether it’s eyebrow enhancers, eye makeup, or eyelash growth serums, always choose products that have been FDA approved and/or meet government safety regulations. Non-approved products have been known to cause infections or allergic reactions in or around the eye area.

9. Not Cleaning Your Contacts Properly

If you are wearing contact lenses that need to be replaced once every two weeks or once a month, maintaining the highest level of contact lens hygiene is essential. Optometrists will tell you that a common reason patients come in to see them is due to an eye infection from contact lenses that haven’t been properly cleaned or stored. Some patients use their contact lens cases for too long, which can also cause eye irritation. To avoid eye infections, carefully follow your eye doctor’s instructions on how to clean, store, and handle your contact lenses.

10. Showering or Swimming with Contact Lenses

There is a significant amount of bacteria that can be carried in tap water and swimming pools. For this reason, it’s important to make sure that water and contact lenses don’t mix. If you need vision correction while swimming, it may be worth investing in a pair of prescription swimming goggles.

11. Not Following Medication Instructions

When it comes to eye disease, following the medication instructions is crucial. Forgetting to insert eye drops, or administering the incorrect dosage could dramatically reduce the effectiveness of treatment, or even do harm. Speak with your eye doctor if you’re not sure about when or how to take your medication.

12. Not Taking a Holistic Approach

Your eyes are just one part of the whole system — your body. Ignoring health conditions you may have, like high blood pressure or elevated blood sugar, can pose serious risks to your eyes.

13. Not Wearing Protective Eyewear

Shielding your eyes with protective glasses or goggles while working with potentially sharp or fast-moving objects, fragments or particles (wood working, cutting glass, welding, doing repairs with nails, certain sports) is the best defense against eye injury. In fact, 90% of all eye injuries could have been prevented by wearing protective eyewear.

14. Using Unsafe Home Remedies

Some might think that because something is “natural” that it is safe for use around the delicate eye area. Home remedies, like using breastmilk to cure pink eye, could introduce harmful bacteria to the eye and cause infection. If your eyes are giving you trouble, make an appointment to see your local optometrist.

15. Skipping Your Recommended Eye Exam

Your eye doctor will advise you how often you need to come for an eye examination. Adults should visit their eye doctor at least every year for a comprehensive eye exam to determine whether their optical prescription is up-to-date, and to check for the beginning stages of eye disease. Catching eye diseases in their early stages offers the best chance of successful treatment and preserving healthy vision for life.

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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Pink Eye? It Could Be Coronavirus

How to prevent conjunctivitis and protect your eyes

When you have a virus, especially one that causes a hacking cough, runny nose, and other symptoms of a common cold or flu, it’s typical for your eyes to also get puffy and red. You may be suffering from viral conjunctivitis, also known as pink eye.

How do viruses get into your eyes?

It’s rather simple. When you’re sick, you can easily transfer viruses to your eyes by sneezing, coughing into your hands, or blowing your nose – and then touching the area around your eye.

The coronavirus – pink eye connection

According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), doctors have discovered that COVID-19 can cause conjunctivitis. If you’re standing within six feet of an infected person, and they cough or sneeze, the virus can enter your eye. Alternatively, if someone sneezes and virus particles land on the shopping cart that you take and push around a store, and then you touch your eyes without washing your hands first – you’re giving the virus direct access.

However, despite the apparent ease with which coronavirus can infect eyes, the AAO reports that only about 1 – 3% of all patients with the virus contract pink eye.

Preventing pink eye

Like always, prevention is the most effective medicine! Eye care professionals recommend following these tips to help prevent getting viral conjunctivitis:

  • Wash your hands correctly

The CDC instructs people to wash their hands in accordance with these steps: wet your hands, turn off the tap, apply soap, lather and scrub for 20 seconds, turn on tap and rinse. Air dry your hands, use a disposable paper towel and discard it immediately, or use a clean (not shared) towel.

  • Keep your fingers away from your face

No rubbing or wiping your eyes! Even if you don’t feel any symptoms of coronavirus, it’s essential not to touch any part of your face. To wipe away tears or remove makeup, use a clean tissue.

  • Don’t share your personal things

As generous as you may feel about letting others use your personal items, now’s the time to keep things to yourself. For example, the CDC recommends not sharing eye drops, makeup, makeup brushes, contact lenses cases, pillowcases, or towels. Pink eye is highly contagious.

  • Consider wearing glasses instead of contacts

While there’s currently no evidence to prove that wearing contacts raises your risks of contracting the novel coronavirus, there’s some evidence that shows you can get Covid-19 by touching a contaminated surface and then touching your eyes. In general, contact lenses wearers touch their eyes more often than people who wear eyeglasses, so it may be smart to make a temporary switch from contact lenses to glasses. However, this is only a friendly recommendation and not a hard-and-fast rule. If you prefer to stick with wearing contacts, washing your hands thoroughly can help keep you and your eyes safe.

Treatment for conjunctivitis

Regardless of whether your pink eye is caused by coronavirus or a different virus, there is no treatment for viral conjunctivitis. Usually, it goes away on its own within one to two weeks.

To alleviate your painful symptoms, eye doctors recommend:

  • Taking an over-the-counter pain medication, such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen or any anti-inflammatory drug
  • Applying a warm compress on your eye for a few minutes; take care to use a clean wash cloth each time and for each eye
  • Use artificial tears (lubricating eye drops) to soothe your eye irritation; don’t touch the bottle tip to your eye

Are you sick and have pink eye symptoms?

Now is not the time to make a DIY diagnosis. Eye redness, even if you have a virus, doesn’t necessarily indicate that you have conjunctivitis. A wide range of other conditions can lead to the same symptoms. Contact an eye doctor near you for help to figure out what’s causing your eye pain. Don’t visit your eye care practice without calling for guidance first, because extra precautions must be taken with patients who may have COVID-19.

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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Eye Pain – Causes and Treatment

What’s causing my burning eyes, and what should I do?

Eye pain is a very general term that people use to describe symptoms they feel in, on, around, or behind their eyes. The pain may be felt in just one eye or both eyes. Sometimes it’s entirely obvious what’s causing the problem – such as an injury or a torn contact lens. But other times, figuring out the root of the problem can be more challenging. Contact Lakeline Vision Source to book an urgenteye exam in Cedar Park, Texas – we’ll diagnose your problem and provide treatment to bring relief.

Pinpoint your pain

The eye doctor diagnoses the problem and provides treatment to soothe your eye pain; it helps if you can identify exactly what part of the eye hurts, for example:

  • Cornea: the clear outer surface of your eye
  • Sclera: the whites of your eyes
  • Conjunctiva: the thin membrane that coats your sclera and inner eyelid
  • Iris: colored section of your eye, with the pupil in the center
  • Orbit: eye socket; the bony depression where your eye and its muscles are located
  • Extraocular muscles: responsible for rotating your eye
  • Eyelids: external covering over your eyes that protect and spread lubrication

Common causes of eye pain

The following is a review of the most typical causes of eye pain that we treat in our Cedar Park, Texas , eye clinic:

  • Conjunctivitis: also known as pink eye, this is an eye infection that leads to swelling of the conjunctiva. Classic symptoms include bloodshot eyes, oozing discharge, itchiness, burning eyes, and the feeling that you need to keep rubbing your eyes. When it is a bacterial infection, your eye doctor will prescribe antibiotic eye drops or ointment as treatment.
  • Blepharitis: an infection or inflammation of the eyelid that is often irritating and is a common cause of dry eye symptoms
  • Corneal abrasions: these are the same as corneal scratches, which can be quite painful. Vigorous rubbing of your eyes can actually cause corneal abrasions, as well as any foreign object contacting your delicate eye surface. Generally, corneal scratches heal within a few days without complications.
  • Corneal infections (keratitis): a bacterial or viral infection can cause your cornea to become infected or inflamed. Improper hygiene of contact lenses is the usual cause of corneal infections.
  • Foreign bodies: when any object gets stuck in your eye, even a speck of dirt, it can irritate it. Flushing out the item will usually bring relief within a short period.
  • Dry eyes: this type of eye pain usually starts more gradually than a corneal scratch or foreign object and often causes stinging or burning eyes. Lubricating eye drops are often enough to restore comfort.
  • Migraine headaches: the pain is usually concentrated behind only one eye and it’s often accompanied by pain elsewhere on the same side of your head
  • Sinus infection: the symptoms are typically more mild than pain from a migraine
  • Stye: this is an inflamed spot on the edge of your eyelid, which generally goes away after a few days – especially if you apply warm compresses to your eyelid several times a day
  • Optic neuropathy: the pain caused by this condition is usually severe, and immediate medical attention is required. When left untreated, it can cause permanent vision loss. Usually, the eye pain is accompanied by reduced visual acuity and a dimming of your color vision. Moving your eyes will make the pain worse.

When to see an eye doctor for eye pain

Certain cases require emergency medical care, while other types of eye pain require a visit to your eye doctor – but they are not as urgent.

Emergency eye care is needed when:

  • Eye pain is accompanied by fever, headache, and unusual light sensitivity
  • You experience sudden vision changes
  • You also experience vomiting or nausea
  • The pain is triggered by a foreign object or chemical splashed in your eye
  • You suddenly see halos around lights
  • There is inflammation in or around your eyes
  • It’s difficult to move your eye or keep it open
  • Blood or pus is coming out from your eyes

Don’t take chances with your vision!

Even if you don’t have any of the above eye emergency symptoms, you should still regard any eye pain as a reason to visit your eye doctor. To keep your vision safe for as long as possible, schedule an eye exam with our eye doctor near you in Cedar Park, Texas , as soon as possible.

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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Why You Shouldn’t Visit the ER for Eye Emergencies During COVID-19

On April 22, the American Optometric Association (AOA) urged patients with emergency eye care needs to get in touch with their local optometrist prior to seeking treatment in hospital emergency rooms. Doing so not only eases the burden on emergency departments but also helps prevent the spread of COVID-19.

What Is Considered an Eye Emergency?

Most eye-related conditions can be treated in an outpatient optometry office or clinic. Emergency eye care includes, but is not limited to, urgent clinical advice or intervention for eye injuries and conditions that entail a foreign object in the eye, chemical burns, a sudden change in vision, flashes and floaters (which might suggest a retinal detachment), contact lens discomfort, red eyes and any other problems or symptoms that may impact or interfere with daily activities.

Prioritizing Your Eye Care Needs During COVID-19

During the coronavirus outbreak, we have been going above and beyond to ensure that people are receiving the emergency eye care they need.

Patients should first contact Lakeline Vision Source for guidance and potential treatment prior to heading to an overwhelmed hospital emergency room. Dr. Eric Hammond, OD can assess the level of care the patient needs—whether it’s telehealth or urgent care that requires a visit to the eye clinic or, in severe cases, even the emergency room.

This will ensure that patients get prompt treatment while allowing hospitals to conserve their resources for the current pandemic. In fact, research has shown that treating eye emergencies at eye doctors’ offices can potentially divert 1.4 million patients away from emergency rooms per year.

While we have closed our store for routine appointments, Lakeline Vision Source at Cedar Park continues to provide emergency care for those who need it. We’d like to reassure our patients that we are here to help with anyone’s emergency eye care requirements – for both for new and existing patients.

References:

https://www.visionmonday.com/eyecare/coronavirus-briefing/crisis-response-tactics/article/aoa-cautions-patients-against-avoidable-er-visits-for-primary-eyecare-services-during-covid19-pandemic/

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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