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Blepharitis is a chronic inflammation – a long-term swelling – of the eyelids and eyelash follicles. It may be caused by seborrheic dermatitis, acne, bacterial infection, allergic reaction, or poor eyelid hygiene. They eyes may become red, blurry or tear frequently. The eyelids crust, flake, scale or redden, and the smooth inside lining of the lids may become rough. In more serious cases, sores can form when the crusting skin is removed; the eyelashes may fall out; the eyelids can deform; the infection can spread to the cornea, and patients often suffer from excessive tearing. Blepharitis can also cause styes, chalazions, and problems with the tear film.
Treatment and preventative care for blepharitis involves thorough but gentle cleaning of the eyelids, face and scalp. Warm compresses can be applied to loosen crust and dandruff shampoo can help keep the eyelids clear. This may be combined with antibiotics if a bacterial infection is causing or contributing to the problems. Sometimes omega 3 supplements or doxycycline may be recommended orally.
Dry eye occurs when the eyes aren't sufficiently moisturized, leading to itching, redness and pain from dry spots on the surface of the eye. The eyes may become dry and irritated because the tear glands do not produce enough tears, or because the tears themselves have a chemical imbalance.
People usually begin experiencing dry eye symptoms as they age, but the condition can also result from certain medications, conditions or injuries.
Dry eye is not only painful, it can also damage the eye's tissues and impair vision. Fortunately, many treatment options are available.
Non-surgical treatments for dry eye include blinking exercises, increasing humidity at home or work, and use of artificial tears or moisturizing ointment. If these methods fail, small punctal plugs may be inserted in the corners of the eyes to limit tear drainage, or the drainage tubes in the eyes may be surgically closed. Eyelid surgery is also a solution if an eyelid condition is causing your dry eyes. Sometimes Restasis eye drops are prescribed to improve the quality of the tear film.
Regular eye exams are an invaluable tool in maintaining eye health by detecting and preventing disease. Some diseases, such as glaucoma, develop gradually without causing pain or vision loss. Patients may not notice that anything is wrong until significant and irreversible damage has been done. Early detection of eye diseases can allow for a choice of treatment options and reduced risk of permanent damage.
Patients should see an ophthalmologist for a comprehensive eye exam every one to three years, depending on their age, risk of disease and overall physical condition. Children should have regular tests to ensure the proper development of their vision and prevent any interference with their academic achievements. Older adults are often at a higher risk for eye conditions such as glaucoma, macular degeneration and cataracts. Even if your eyes are healthy, you should still have a regular eye exam to detect any problems as soon as possible and begin necessary treatment.
An eye exam is different from a vision screening, which only tests vision and is commonly performed by a school nurse, pediatrician or other health care provider. Only your eye doctor can perform a comprehensive eye exam to evaluate the overall health of the eye and detect any changes that may indicate a vision disorder. During a routine eye exam, Dr. Keamy will evaluate your eyes for refractive errors, as well as common conditions such as:
This is done through a series of eye tests that examine all aspects of the eye, including a visual field test, dilation, glaucoma testing, slit-lamp examination, and refraction. These tests can all be performed in the office and are safe for all patients.
After completing the comprehensive exam and coming to an accurate diagnosis, Dr. Keamy will develop a treatment plan based on the findings of the exam. This treatment plan usually includes a prescription for eyeglasses or contact lenses, medication, vision therapy, eye vitamins, vision supplements or surgery for serious conditions.
The most common eye conditions diagnosed during a comprehensive eye exam involve refractive errors that cause blurry vision for patients. These conditions affect millions of people in the US and often get progressively worse as patients age. Fortunately, refractive errors can be easily treated to let patients enjoy clear vision at all distances.
Nearsightedness, or myopia, is a vision condition in which nearby objects are clear and distant objects appear blurry. This may be caused by excess corneal curvature or an oblong rather than a spherical shape to the eye, both of which affect the way light is bent upon entering the eye and whether or not it focuses properly on the retina.
Myopia affects nearly one-third of all people in the US to some degree, with symptoms usually appearing before the age of 20. Patients with myopia have difficulty focusing on objects in the distance, such as a chalkboard or TV.
All of these vision conditions can be effectively corrected through eyeglasses and contact lenses. Eyewear may be used during certain activities, such as watching television or driving, or at all times. At our practice, we offer patients a wide selection of eyeglass frames, lenses and contact lenses in our Optical Shop.