With the fresh waves of spring’s new growth comes the dreaded eye allergy season. The misery that comes from red, itchy, watery eyes may have you rethinking your love of the great outdoors. How can you get ahead of spring allergies that can cause so much eye discomfort? Colorado Ophthalmology Associates offers tips for understanding spring eye allergies—known as allergic conjunctivitis—and preventing eye problems caused by allergies.
Symptoms of Eye Allergies
- Watery eyes
- Red eyes
- Swollen eyes
- Itchy eyes
- Burning eyes
- Light sensitivity
- Often accompanied by nasal allergies – itchy, stuffy, runny nose and sneezing
Causes of Eye Allergies
Substances in the air, such as pollen, grass pollen, ragweed pollen, pet dander, dust, smoke, perfumes, mold, and even cooking odors, irritate the eye and trigger the release of histamines to combat them. The histamines cause the eye to become red and watery and can increase the itchy feeling and the swelling.1
Eye allergies can be inherited. If both of your parents suffer from allergic conjunctivitis, your risk for inheriting the condition is greatly increased.1
Prevention of Seasonal Eye Allergies
If you suspect you will suffer from seasonal eye allergies this spring, you can begin protecting your eyes by eliminating exposure to the sources of irritation. If the fresh flowers and pollen affect you, avoid these triggers by staying indoors as much as possible. Use air conditioning and keep windows closed. Consider using special air filter units or add HEPA filters to your air conditioner and HEPA bags in your vacuum cleaner.
When you do go outside, try wearing sunglasses, goggles or eye shield to protect your eyes from the pollen. The best time to go outdoors is after a rain has settled the pollen. Avoid windy, dry days and early mornings when pollen count is at its highest. Listen to the weather reports that give pollen counts for the day. Wear a pollen mask outdoors.2
Frequently wash your hands and face to remove irritants before they are inadvertently passed onto your eyes. If you’ve been working outdoors, remove clothes and shower to remove allergens.2
Treatment for Seasonal Eye Allergies
While there are over-the-counter medications, such as antihistamines, that can be taken, some of them can dry out the eye and not readily improve the eye discomfort you may be experiencing. Antihistamines with diphenhydramine, such as Benadryl™ or ChlorTrimeton™ can dry out the mouth and eyes. Try medications with cetirizine or levocetirizine, fexofenadine, loratadine or desloratadine that won’t cause drowsiness or dry eyes.3
Artificial tears can quickly wash irritants from the eyes before histamines are triggered. They can also keep the eyes moist. Use according to directions on the label and no more than six times a day.4
Other eye drop options include: corticosteroid eye drops, antihistamine eye drops, or decongestant eye drops. These should be used as directed and under the supervision of your ophthalmologist.4
Finally, there are immunotherapy shots that may be prescribed to help with severe seasonal allergies. Ask your ophthalmologist if you are a good candidate for this treatment option.4
Discuss your seasonal eye allergies with your ophthalmologist
Ready to nip your allergies in the bud? Call us today for an appointment and come to one of our two Colorado locations for a consultation. Our board-certified ophthalmologists are experienced in helping everything from mild to severe cases of spring allergies so you can enjoy the season free from eye discomfort.
Recently, ophthalmologists have been able to offer more and more options for specialized kinds of intraocular lens (IOL) replacements, giving you some control over how well you will see up close or far away, and if you will need to supplement with glasses. Intraocular lens replacements are most commonly used in cataract surgery.
If you have cataracts, you’re not alone. More than 25 million Americans have cataracts with approximately 4 million having cataract corrective surgery yearly1. At Colorado Ophthalmology Associates, we’re here to take the mystery out of IOLs and to help you choose the one that’s right for you.
An intraocular lens can be used as a replacement for a cloudy lens that has caused diminished vision. However, it can go beyond just being a replacement, it can also correct certain kinds of vision problems. For example, if you’ve been experiencing natural vision loss due to aging (presbyopia) and have been using reading glasses, a special IOL can help with that condition.
There are different choices of materials within each of the five kinds of IOLs. Your ophthalmologist will discuss the best choice for your unique eye needs.
Here are 5 kinds of intraocular lenses and what they can do for vision problems1:
The basic lens available for cataract surgery is the monofocal lens. This offers the best night vision with less glare, dull vision and halo problems for those who drive at night. Monofocal lenses can be designed for near vision or for far vision, depending on your choice. If you work on the computer a lot, you may desire near vision and then supplement with glasses for driving. Or, if you prefer to see well at a distance and don’t mind wearing glasses for up-close work, you can choose far vision IOLs.
These lenses offer the greatest range of vision correction with different zones on the lens that allows you to see up close and far away. Intermediate vision is also an optional lens zone. Your brain helps you adapt to these zones in the same way as using bifocal or trifocal glasses.
Extended Depth-of-Focus Lenses
These lenses have one corrective zone, like the monofocal lenses, requiring you to supplement with glasses. But this zone is designed to stretch to include both intermediate and far away vision.
Like multifocal lenses, accommodative lenses allow the patient to see near, far and even intermediate but not because of zones on the lens. Instead, the lens flexes, allowing the focus power of the eye to be increased to see the object more clearly.
These lenses are designed to correct astigmatism. They have different zones in different areas of the lens, allowing the best correction for astigmatism when expertly placed by your ophthalmological surgeon.
Is there a price difference between the IOLs?
Yes, IOLs range in price from the lowest, monofocal lenses, to the highest, premium lenses. Premium lenses are not considered as necessities and are not fully covered by Medicare and other insurance companies, though they will often cover basic, monofocal lenses. Premium lenses can range from $1,500 to $3,000 per eye, above what insurance will cover. Additional costs may include laser procedures or limbal relaxing incisions needed to correct vision and to adapt to the IOL.
What is monovision2?
One final option for your IOLs includes monovision, which results from having two different kinds of lenses implanted – one in either eye. This can be done to offer you a greater choice in vision, such as having one eye that can see close and one eye that can see far. Or, this procedure can be done to compensate for different levels of astigmatism in each eye. Your brain adapts to the two different visions and, for some patients, this is a good option.
Get an appointment for an eye exam today
To get more information on the variety of IOLs available, call us today. If cataract surgery is in your future, we can provide expert care from start to finish. Come to one of our two Colorado locations for an exam by one of our board-certified, experienced ophthalmologists and let’s discuss the right intraocular lens that can help you see beautifully again.
While many people know that diabetes can affect your eyesight, few know that your ophthalmologist can be the first to detect diabetes by giving you a complete dilated eye exam. The eyes are directly linked to glucose levels in the body, and blood sugar that is too high for too long can often cause damage to the retina or cause changes to the lens. At Colorado Ophthalmology Associates, we are experienced in diagnosing and treating a group of vision concerns known as diabetic eye disease.
Symptoms of diabetic eye disease1
- Floaters – dark spots or strings that float in your vision
- Blurred vision
- Wavy vision
- Vision changes
- Flashes of light
- Loss of color clarity vision
Eye conditions that can be caused by diabetes
The change in pressure to the eye caused by diabetes can cause blood vessels to grow differently, which can cause a type of glaucoma, or it can cause swelling and blurred vision. Here are some of the eye conditions2 that can be caused or exacerbated by blood sugar that is out of control.
- Diabetic retinopathy
- Diabetic macular edema
- Retinal detachment
Prevention of diabetic eye disease
Your ophthalmologist at Colorado Ophthalmology Associates may be able to catch diabetic eye disease before it becomes serious, but taking steps to control your glucose levels is crucial. Here are some other ideas to help you prevent diabetic eye disease.
- Increase your daily physical activity
- Follow a healthy diet restricting carbs and sweeteners
- Lower your cholesterol levels
- Manage your blood pressure
- Stop smoking
- Carefully manage your diabetes with insulin and glucose testing
- Get annual eye exams
- Monitor any vision changes
- Get annual physical exam including an A1c test
When should I see a doctor?
You should receive a yearly ophthalmology exam with dilation if you have diabetes or are pre-diabetic. Your doctor may recommend even more frequent eye exams. If your ophthalmologist detects an elevation of glucose or a diabetic condition, you should follow up with a visit to your primary care physician.
If you’re pregnant, gestational diabetes can worsen diabetic eye disease, including diabetic retinopathy.3 It is important to have additional eye exams during pregnancy.
If you notice any changes in your vision, see your ophthalmologist right away. If you suddenly lose vision or experience flashes of light or floaters, it could be an urgent condition. Come to Colorado Ophthalmology Associates immediately for fast, quality care.
Treatment for diabetic eye disease
Depending on the kind of disease that has been detected, your ophthalmologist will offer a treatment plan that’s right for you. This plan could include1:
- Laser treatment
- Special equipment
Get an appointment for an eye exam today
Do you suspect your blood sugar levels may be changing your eyesight? Call us today to make an appointment for your exam. Come to one of our two Colorado locations for an exam by one of our board-certified, experienced ophthalmologists. We will go to work to check you for diabetes indicators and to check your eyes for good health and clear vision.
Tired, red, stinging, watery or itchy eyes can be a sign that you have dry eyes. Dry eyes can be an indication that your tears are inadequate or imbalanced. This can cause a condition that can become chronic. Nearly 5 million Americans suffer from dry eyes.1 If you’re one of them, start the New Year right by finding the solution to your problem with dry eyes. At Colorado Ophthalmology Associates, we treat chronic dry eyes with a balanced approach.
Symptoms of dry eyes
- Easily fatigued or tired eyes
- Red eyes
- Scratchy, gritty, itchy feeling
- Watery eyes
- Light sensitivity
- Difficulty with contact lenses
- Blurred vision
- Unusual, heavy or stringy discharge
- Stinging or burning eyes
- Difficulty with night vision
My dry eyes are irritating but are they really a serious condition?
Chronic dry eyes could be caused by atmosphere issues, such as fans or forced air, by computer eye fatigue, by hormone changes, by decreased tear production, or even by allergies. These causes can often be corrected with lifestyle changes and minor treatments.
But at other times, dry eyes can be the symptom of another underlying medical condition. If you have been suffering from dry eyes, get a complete eye exam to ensure your eyes are healthy. Some conditions that cause dry eyes include thyroid conditions, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, Parkinson’s disease, Bell’s palsy, and diabetes.
What options are available to treat my dry eyes?
At Colorado Ophthalmology Associates, we treat dry eyes starting with the most minimally-invasive options. Most conditions can be managed or reversed with these treatments and with lifestyle and environmental changes2.
- Over-the-counter products: artificial tears, gels and moisturizers
- Prescription eye drops
- Punctal plugs to block drainage duct
- Surgery to fix eyelids to prevent evaporation
- Vitamin A supplements
- Omega-3 fatty acid supplements
- Flaxseed oil supplements
- Prescription steroids
- Prescriptions slow-release eye lubricants
- Meibomian gland expression to open oil glands in eyelids
- Warm compresses
- Eye makeup removal and eye scrubs to make sure eyelids are clean
- Avoid contact lens use
- Antibiotic treatment for any eyelid inflammation or cornea inflammation
Is there any way to prevent dry eyes?
Yes, some kinds of dry eyes are preventable3. Environmental and lifestyle adjustments may be needed such as:
- Redirecting fans or staying out of the wind.
- Wearing wrap-around sunglasses to deflect wind.
- Don’t use hairdryers.
- Increase moisture with air humidifiers.
- Avoid smoke and stop smoking.
- Take frequent breaks when staring at computer or video screens. Use the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
- Lower your computer to below eye level so your eyes aren’t open as wide for as long.
- Increase blinking, especially when using a computer. Post reminders or use alarms to help you make more effort blinking.
- Use artificial tears as needed.
- Drink enough water each day.
- Get 8 to 10 hours of sleep in a darkened room each night.
- Medication management – some prescriptions can cause dry eyes. There are also prescriptions that can help manage conditions that cause dry eyes.
Get an appointment for an eye exam today
Dry eyes can reduce your quality of life and interfere with your activities. Let us give you a thorough examination to try to pinpoint the cause of your dry eyes. Come to one of our two Colorado locations for an exam by one of our board-certified, experienced ophthalmologists and let us help you start feeling better again. Call us today to make an appointment:
It is said that the eyes are the windows to the world, but when you suffer from any vision defect or disease, your world may turn upside down as you will find it difficult to see things. Historically there were generally available options to correct vision problems including wearing glasses, contact lenses, or complex surgical procedures. However, more and more people are opting for the non-surgical procedures that are convenient and affordable at Colorado Ophthalmology Associate’s Denver and Lakewood locations.
Check out some of the surgical procedures that have become a blessing for those with eyesight problems:
LASIK eye surgery is a vision correction surgery wherein the shape of the cornea is flattened, steeped, or made smooth in case of nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. This procedure hardly takes up to 15 minutes. We offer 100% blade-free LASIK wherein advanced technology is used for correcting the vision in a safe and secure environment. Moreover, the recovery takes a maximum of two weeks.
2. Cataract Surgery
Cataracts are a condition of the eyes wherein the natural lens of the eyes appears cloudy due to genetic predisposition or exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun. It can occur at any age. Surgery for cataracts becomes necessary when the loss of vision begins and interferes with routine activities. During the procedure of cataract surgery, an advanced Intraocular Lens (IOLs) Implant is used that is highly effective in improving the vision.
3. Corneal Transplantation
Corneal Transplantation refers to a surgical procedure where the damaged or ailing cornea is replaced with the donated tissues. Corneal transplantation procedures are performed for various reasons such as partial and full-thickness grafts. The recovery requires using topical drops and is pretty fast. The procedure is one of the most sensitive surgical procedures that cure Keratoconus which refers to the optical irregularity of the cornea.
4. Retinal Surgeries
Retinal surgical procedures are complex and are required to cure various retinal defects. Retinal surgeries such as Refractive errors, Diabetic Retinopathy, Retinal Detachment, Retinal Tears, Macular Holes, Macular Pucker Surgery, etc. are commonly operated in the USA.
5. Surgical Treatments for Glaucoma
Glaucoma is one of the major causes of blindness across the globe and can occur at any stage of life wherein the drainage canals of the eyes get blocked slowly and gradually. However, it can be treated with early medication and surgical treatment which is absolutely painless.
Avail Safe, Secure, and Affordable Vision Correction Surgeries in USA
Colorado Ophthalmology Associates is one of the safest, secure, and affordable vision correction centers located in Denver and Lakewood, USA that provides 100% blade-free LASIK surgeries. Their team of excellent, experienced, and respected eye doctors and surgeons have cured thousands of patients with 100% positive results since 1960 with innovative and advanced medical as well as surgical eye care. They are covered by most of the health insurance along with offering their own financing scheme of 0% interest for 24 months. Apart from this, they also accept Flex Spending Account or HSA as offered by various companies.
If your eye’s lens has become cloudy, causing your vision to become blurry, hazy and dulled, your ophthalmologist from Colorado Ophthalmology Associates has likely recommended cataract surgery. One of the most common procedures worldwide, cataract surgeries can help people who have been noticing increasing difficulty seeing when driving, watching TV, climbing stairs, or even focusing in bright lights.
In cataract surgery, your ophthalmologist will use delicate instruments to make a small incision in the eye to remove part of the lens and then to remove the cataract. An artificial lens, folded up, will then be inserted into position1. It will unfold and become the new permanent lens implant, allowing light to refract onto the retina for a clearer visual image.
What will happen during my pre-surgery appointment?
Before your cataract surgery, your ophthalmologist will want to measure your eye for the right fit and for the correct power of your intraocular lens (IOL). The details of the surgery will be discussed and you will be given instructions for the day of surgery, such as not wearing any makeup, creams or facial lotions that day. You will also be instructed not to eat or drink anything for 12 hours prior to your surgery.
Your doctor will want to know what medications you are taking, so bring a list with you. You may receive instructions to stop taking some of the meds prior to your surgery. Additionally, you may receive an antibiotic eye drop prescription along with instructions to use the drops before your surgery. These drops may help prevent infections and lessen swelling.1
What will cataract surgery be like?
On the day of your surgery, you will need to have someone drive you home, so be sure to make arrangements. Surgery will last only 10 to 15 minutes, but with prep and recovery, plan on an hour in the office. Here are the steps to the surgery:
- Eye dilated with drops
- Eye numbed with drops or injection
- You may be given a light sedative to make you groggy and relaxed
- You will be awake and see light and movement, but not exactly what the doctor is doing
- Your surgeon will use a special microscope to view the eye and the procedure
- The old cataract will be removed and the new, artificial lens will be implanted
- Stitches are not usually needed since the lens will attach and heal by itself
- A shield will be placed over your eye to protect it while it heals
- You will rest in recovery for 15-30 minutes before being discharged
What will recovery be like?
Your vision will usually start to improve within a day or so, though it may start out blurry. Since the cataract was likely a brown or yellow color, you will probably notice a remarkable difference in colors. You may experience some mild discomfort for a few days while the eye heals. If it feels itchy, avoid rubbing or touching it. Your doctor may have you wear an eye patch during the day and a shield during the night.
Eye drops may be prescribed. It is important to follow these instructions to prevent infection and to protect your eye during healing.
Your ophthalmologist will want to see you a day or two after surgery. You will have a follow-up appointment or two within the first month so the eye can be monitored closely. If both eyes are receiving surgery, your second cataract surgery will be scheduled to take place after the first eye heals. By two months, your eye should be completely healed.
You may still need to wear glasses after cataract surgery. After the eye has healed, you will need to have a new prescription for your glasses. If you chose an intraocular lens (IOL) implant, you may not need glasses or you may only need them part of the time.
At Colorado Ophthalmology, we specialize in fitting the right IOL to the right patient to improve vision and to reduce dependency on eyeglasses. Your ophthalmologist will discuss the different kinds of IOLs with you prior to your surgery.
- A monofocal IOL gives you one clear focal point. You can choose whether that point is near, middle or far. Many patients prefer to see clearly farther away so they don’t have to wear glasses for driving but only for reading and doing things close-up.
- A trifocal IOL will help you see clearly in all three positions: near, middle and far. Unlike trifocal glasses, you will be able to see in all directions.
- A toric IOL is designed for patients with astigmatism where the cornea is flatter on one side than the other. This kind of IOL can either give you monofocal or trifocal vision.
Other than these IOL choices, your ophthalmologist may recommend phakic lenses. A phakic lens helps patients with severe nearsightedness. In this case, the eye’s lens is not removed, but this lens is added to it to correct the vision.
You will be on restriction for a few days following surgery with instructions on how much you can lift and bend and how much you are safely allowed to do. It is important to rest and to allow the eye to heal without straining it during this time.
What are the risks of cataract surgery?
As with any surgery or procedure, there are certain risks that come with cataract surgery2. These risks, though rare, include:
- Inflammation or swelling
- Eyelid problems
- Detachment of artificial lens
- Detachment of retina
- Secondary cataract
- Halos or glare from light
- Vision loss
What urgent conditions should I watch out for?
Complications from cataract surgery are very rare. However, if you experience any of the following, call your surgeon right away:
- Eyelid swelling
- Pain that doesn’t lessen with over-the-counter medications
- Increase or change in redness of the eye
- Flashes of light, halos, light spots in the eye
- Vision loss
Get an appointment for a cataract consultation today
If you suffer from blurred vision due to cataracts, we can help. Come to one of our two Colorado locations for a consultation to see if you are a good candidate for surgery so you can start to enjoy a more active lifestyle again. Call us today to make an appointment:
Wondering about laser eye surgery in Denver? Tired of your contacts, glasses and not being able to see clearly? The answer to your vision challenges might be a refractive surgery, such as LASIK. LASIK surgery is a corrective surgery that allows people with nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism to see better.
By reshaping the cornea with laser technology, your ophthalmologist from Colorado Ophthalmology Associates can manipulate how the light strikes the retina and then travels to the brain as an image. In effect, this surgery could reduce or eliminate the need for glasses altogether.
Am I a good candidate for LASIK?
According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology1, candidates for LASIK surgery must meet several requirements such as:
- Must be 18 years or older, but ideally over 21 when your vision is more likely to have stopped changing.
- Your eyes should not have changed much in the past year.
- The refraction needed to correct your vision must be viable for LASIK treatment.
- Eye health is key. Your corneas need to be thick enough and healthy enough and your eyes must be healthy.
What kinds of things would eliminate me from consideration for LASIK?
Conversely, several conditions would make you not a good candidate for LASIK surgery. Some of these conditions include:
- Cone-shaped corneas
- Dry eyes
- Eyes that are changing or unstable
- Extreme levels of nearsightedness, astigmatism or farsightedness
- Cornea disease or damage
- Corneas that are too thin
- Pregnancy or nursing
What are the risks of LASIK surgery?
There are certain risks that come with LASIK surgery2. These risks include:
- Dry eyes
- Light sensitivity – may be temporary
- Double vision
- Reduced vision in dim light or fog
- Corneal flap problems
- Vision loss or changes
What can I expect from my LASIK surgery?
Your ophthalmologist will perform a thorough eye exam, including measurements, to ensure you are a good candidate for the surgery and have healthy eyes. Before the surgery, you will be asked to not use eye makeup, lotions or perfumes the day before or the day of surgery to minimize the risks of infection2. Cleansing the eyelashes prior to surgery will also help minimize the risk of infection.
The day of surgery, you will need someone to drive you to the clinic and home again. The procedure is short, so plan on over an hour. You will lie back in a comfortable reclining chair and numbing drops will be placed in your eye. With your eye numb, an instrument will hold your eyelid open. Your surgeon will place a suction ring on the cornea and you will notice a change in your vision. A careful incision will be made on the cornea flap to expose the cornea. A pre-programmed laser will then reshape the cornea. The flap will be placed back in place and will reattach in minutes. It will heal on its own with no stitches. The procedure will then be repeated on the other eye, if needed.
After surgery, you will experience burning, itching, gritty feeling, watering eyes, dry eyes, and/or some pain. Prescription drops and pain relievers may help alleviate some of these symptoms. You will likely feel like sleeping once you get home. You will need to wear eye shields when you sleep. We will schedule several visits to examine you after surgery.
Your eyes need several weeks to heal and your vision to stabilize. You will need to refrain from eye makeup for a few weeks and avoid hot tubs, swimming or contact sports as your eyes heal.
Get an appointment for an eye exam today!
Intrigued by the possibility of LASIK surgery to help you see better? Come to one of our two Colorado locations for a comprehensive exam to determine if the procedure would correct your vision concerns. Since it is considered an elective surgery, your insurance provider may not cover it. We can discuss payment options during your exam. Call us today to make an appointment:
Are you suffering from watery, red, swollen eyes? As the leaves fall, allergies flare up, causing eye irritation and discomfort for many people in the Denver and Lakewood, CO, region. At Colorado Ophthalmology Associates, we see our share of patients struggling with seasonal allergies during this time when all the vegetation is becoming dry, dusty and airborne. Here is some information to help you during this uncomfortable time.
What are the symptoms of seasonal eye allergies?
Not sure if you have allergies, a cold, or even COVID-19? Here are some common allergy symptoms to help you distinguish:
- Red eyes
- Burning eyes
- Swollen eyes
- Bags under the eyes
- Watery eyes
- Itchy eyes
- Dark circles under the eyes
- Runny nose
- Itchy nose, roof of mouth
To further distinguish between allergies and COVID-19, consider these two key points. First, coronavirus usually does not produce red, watery, itchy eyes like allergies do. Second, coronavirus usually comes with a fever and allergies don’t1.
What are the causes of seasonal eye allergies?
When an irritant comes in contact with your eyes, the body’s mast cells respond by releasing a substance called histamines. Histamines attack the invader in an attempt to fight it off. This can cause the red, watery and itchy eyes.
Some people are more susceptible to allergens than others. If both of your parents have allergies, you are much more likely to suffer from them as well2.
The eyes can react to a wide variety of irritants and allergens such as:
- Dried leaves
- Dried weeds
- Pet dander
- Preservatives in eye drops
When should I see my ophthalmologist?
If you have red, watery, irritated eyes, you can get an appointment at Colorado Ophthalmology & Associates any time for an evaluation. We can easily diagnose eye allergies through a microscopic examination of your eyes as well as a compilation of family history of allergies3. Your eyes will be examined for infection to ensure they are healthy during this season of heightened allergens.
What is the treatment for eye allergies?
The first and easiest step to treat eye allergies is to reduce your exposure to irritants. This would include staying indoors with doors and windows closed, using air conditioning, wiping or brushing pets when they come indoors, and changing clothes when you come inside. Keep inside air clean with wet mopping and HEPA air filters, and use a dehumidifier to keep mold away. Avoid lawn work that would increase your exposure as well as hanging laundry to dry outside. Try to go outdoors after a rain has settled the pollen and wear a pollen mask when you do go outside4.
Over-the-counter antihistamines may provide some relief from your eye allergies. Your ophthalmologist will be able to recommend a good brand of antihistamine, decongestant or combination medication that can help. Artificial tears and saline nasal washes can cleanse irritants from the eyes and sinuses. Your doctor may also prescribe corticosteroids or antihistamines with mast cell stabilizers. Immunotherapy shots may also be a treatment option.
Get an appointment for an eye exam today!
If you are suffering from seasonal eye allergies, come to one of our two Colorado locations for an initial exam so we can evaluate your eye health. We’re here to help when your eyes are irritated and reacting to the environment. Call us today to make an appointment:
Sometimes headaches or migraines are accompanied by vision issues which can be very disruptive to a person’s day. These ocular migraines usually fade rapidly and are often not a cause for alarm, but there are some cases when a migraine accompanied by visual disruptions—known as a retinal migraine—signals a much more serious underlying condition.
So how do you know if your ocular migraines are harmless or serious? The board-certified ophthalmologists at Colorado Ophthalmology Associates have answered some FAQs to help you know the difference.
What are the symptoms of ocular migraines?
Ocular migraines that involve your vision can contain auras that are present in both eyes. Auras are disruptions in the vision that usually don’t last long and may or may not be accompanied by a headache. According to Mayo Clinic1, these symptoms can include:
- Flashes of light
- Zigzagging patterns
- Blind spots
- Shimmering spots
- Sparkling lights
- Blurred vision
- Fuzzy areas or swirled colors
- Sensation of looking through broken glass, water, heat waves, etc.
- Loss of color vision
- Depth perception issues
What are the symptoms of retinal migraines?
Retinal migraines are rarer than ocular migraines. They can affect one eye, rather than both, and are much more serious than ocular migraines. Retinal migraines can come before or accompany a headache and the symptoms can be recurring. The symptoms include2:
- Diminished vision
- Areas with decreased vision
- Temporary blindness
- Twinkling lights
- Tunnel vision
- New dark spots or floaters in one eye only
- New flashes of light in one eye only that persist over an hour
When should I see my ophthalmologist?
If you are experiencing any vision changes, such as ocular migraines or retinal migraines, you should see your ophthalmologist at Colorado Ophthalmology & Associates right away. We can track the changes you’re experiencing and help determine a course of action to try to head off future migraines.
If you have suddenly lost vision in one eye or have experienced decreased vision or changes in one eye, go to the nearest emergency room (ER) immediately. This could be a symptom of a much more serious condition, such as a stroke, diabetes or concussion.
What is the treatment for ocular migraines?
Patients suffering from recurring migraines are encouraged to keep a headache diary and try to pinpoint the triggers and then avoid them. Common triggers could be anything like disrupted sleep patterns, alcohol, caffeine, food additives, perfumes, dehydration, hormones or stress3.
Over-the-counter medications can help alleviate symptoms until they subside. Prescription medications are also available and some things like beta-blockers might be prescribed to be taken daily as a preventative measure.
Get help with your ocular migraines today!
If you’ve been suffering from migraines that affect your vision, come to one of our two Colorado locations for an initial exam so we can track your vision changes and evaluate your eye health. Our ophthalmologists are experienced in evaluating and treating ocular migraines and are ready to bring our expertise to help you start to feel better. Call us today to make an appointment:
What does your child’s school year look like? In-person, online at home, graduated returning, hybrid learning? No matter how your child is going to receive his or her education this year, clear vision is crucial to school success. Since being able to see properly can directly impact a student’s academic achievement, Colorado Ophthalmology Associates recommends each child receives an annual eye exam in preparation for a great school year.
To get your student started on the right track, schedule a comprehensive eye exam today. Our board-certified ophthalmologists are able to make sure your child is ready for success in a predominantly visual-based learning environment.
What does a back-to-school vision test include?
Your board-certified ophthalmologist will use a few different tests to determine your child’s visual acuity and eye health.
This eye exam may include:
- Pupil dilation to examine optic nerve and retina
- Examination for conditions such as lazy eye, drooping eyelid, color blindness or crossed eyes
- Testing depth perception
- Testing eye-hand coordination
- Examination for near-sightedness or far-sightedness
- Recommendation for eye protection for specific sports
Warning Signs in Children
Many parents feel a false sense of security because they know their child receives a vision screening in school each year. In fact, these screenings only catch a small percentage of the vision problems with which students may be silently struggling.
As a parent, you have to stay vigilant about your child’s vision health. To help, here are some warning signs you can watch out for that can tip you off to your child’s vision problems:
- Squinting to see signs in the car or unable to read signs
- Sitting too close to the TV
- Holding book or electronic device close to the face
- Squinting to look at you
- Unusual amount of tripping or clumsiness
- Eye-hand coordination problems that show up in sports
- Doing poorly in school subjects
- Sensitivity to light
- Frequently rubbing eyes
- Stopping normal activities such as doing puzzles or reading
- Asking friends to read what’s on the board
- Shortened attention span
- Inability to look right at the camera for pictures
What about screen time and eye health?
With the sharp increase in online learning, ophthalmologists are seeing more and more cases of nearsightedness and computer fatigue symptoms1. If your child is suffering from dry eyes, headaches or tired eyes, try these tips to help offset the effects of screen time.
- Take a 20 second eye break every 20 minutes. Look out a window or focus on something far away. Set a timer for this action.
- Get plenty of time out in the sun away from devices.
- Keep computer screens away from window glare.
- Keep screen at least 18 to 24 inches from the face.
- Remind child to blink more often.
At what age should I begin my child’s eye exams?
The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends eye screening beginning at birth2 and continuing to the start of school, then annually after that. If you’ve never had your child’s eyes examined, now is the time to start. Your doctor will do a comprehensive eye exam to ensure healthy vision.
Even if your child is no longer a child but is going off to college this year, there are some important eye health tips for college students. Make sure he or she has an eye exam as well before leaving.
Schedule your child’s back-to-school vision exam today!
Set your student up for success with a comprehensive vision exam at one of our two Colorado locations. Choose the location that is convenient for you and let our board-certified ophthalmologists do the rest. Call us today to make an appointment @