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Should I Go To the ER For an Eye Emergency?

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Eye emergencies can be alarming, especially if you aren’t sure where to go or what to do when they occur.

At Unger Eye Care, we’re here to take the guesswork out of navigating eye emergencies.

What’s Considered an Eye Emergency?

A wide range of conditions fall under the category of an eye emergency, but what they all have in common is that they pose a risk to your vision and eye health.

Common types of eye emergencies include:

  • Eye Infection
  • Foreign object stuck in eye
  • Eye trauma/injury
  • Scratched cornea (surface of the eye)
  • Sudden onset and increase in visual floaters or flashes
  • Sudden loss of vision
  • Moderate to severe eye pain
  • Eyes that don’t move in sync
  • Different sized pupils
  • Bleeding or discharge coming from the eye
  • One bulging eye
  • Burning, stinging or itchy eyes
  • Conjunctivitis (pink eye)
  • Chemical or heat burns

What To Do In Case of an Eye Emergency

Try to stay calm and contact Unger Eye Care in Troy without delay.
Although your first instinct may be to rush to an emergency room or urgent care center, a trip to your eye doctor can be more efficient.

That’s because urgent care facilities are often overcrowded, understaffed, or simply aren’t as experienced in the field of eye emergencies. You may be more comfortable in an eye doctor’s office, where you won’t have to wait as long to be treated.

Here’s some science to backup that point.

A 2018 study published in Ophthalmology found that 25% of eye-related conditions treated in the emergency department were diagnosed with non-urgent conditions that could have been easily treated in an optometrist’s office.

That study also noted that people who have an established relationship with a local optometrist were 10% less likely to visit the emergency room for eye-related matters.

Of course, you’ll want to use your best judgment and seek emergency medical care in cases of severe eye injuries or infections, especially those that may require surgery or hospitalization. If you aren’t sure, call Unger Eye Care and we’ll help guide you.

We Can Treat Your Eye Emergencies

At Unger Eye Care in Troy, we offer a wide range of eye care services, including emergency eye care.

Our facility is equipped to handle all sorts of eye emergencies for your convenience and comfort.

Contact us today to learn more about our services, and ask about our emergency eye care hours.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can bleach in the eye cause blindness?

  • A:Chlorine is a main ingredient in many household cleaners and bleaches, and can seriously damage your eye tissue if it gets in your eye. In severe cases, chlorine or bleach in the eye can cause blindness. If you get bleach or other household chemicals in your eye, immediately remove your contact lenses if you’re wearing some, and begin to irrigate your eyes with clean tap water. Then, contact your eye doctor for further instructions.

Q: What should you not do in an eye emergency?

  • A: Resist the urge to rub, press or touch your eyes, as this can cause more damage. If something is lodged or embedded in your eye, or it feels like something is stuck in your eye, don’t use an object (like a cotton swab or tweezers) to try and remove it. Only an eye care professional should remove a foreign body from your eye.

Quality Frames For Prescription Eyeglasses & Computer Glasses. Visit Unger Eye Care for an eye exam and eyeglasses that match your style.


Everything You Need To Know About Keratoconus

Everything You Need To Know About Keratoconus 640×350If you’ve been diagnosed with keratoconus, our Troy eye doctors understand your challenge and are here to help you see clearly and comfortably.

Below are some of the most commonly asked questions to help you gain a better understanding of what keratoconus is and how it can be treated.

What is Keratoconus?

Keratoconus affects about 1 in every 2,000 people. This progressive eye disease impacts the shape of the cornea, weakening it and causing it to thin and bulge outward into a cone shape.

The cornea is the clear, dome-shaped outer covering of the eye. It’s responsible for focusing incoming light onto the retina at the back of the eye to enable clear vision. So, when keratoconus develops, the change in the cornea’s shape directly impacts the way light is focused.

Keratoconus often results in nearsightedness and high levels of astigmatism — two refractive errors that cause blurry and distorted vision.

If left untreated, keratoconus can lead to permanent corneal damage and even loss of vision.

What Typically Causes Keratoconus?

Keratoconus develops when the collagen fibers that support the cornea begin to weaken. While having a family member with the disease is a significant risk factor, the following conditions can also lead to keratoconus:

  • Eye trauma
  • Eye allergies
  • Excessive eye rubbing
  • Certain eye diseases
  • Marfan syndrome
  • Ehlers-Danlos syndrome
  • Down syndrome
  • Osteogenesis imperfecta
  • Addison’s disease
  • Leber’s congenital amaurosis

The Signs & Symptoms of Keratoconus

The symptoms of keratoconus include:

  • Blurry vision
  • Distorted vision, with straight lines appearing bent or wavy
  • Sensitivity to bright light and glare
  • Red and irritated eyes
  • Increasing difficulty wearing standard contact lenses

Keratoconus tends to be initially detected in teens or young adults in their 20s, but symptoms can develop at any age.

Keratoconus symptoms usually start out mild but grow progressively worse over time — often over a decade or two — until the condition plateaus.

Both eyes are usually affected, and it’s common to have a difference in optical prescriptions between each eye.

Can Keratoconus Cause Vision Loss?

Keratoconus progression causes nearsightedness, astigmatism and visual distortions to worsen.

Eventually, corneal swelling can lead to scarring of the corneal tissue, which diminishes its transparency and increases your risk of vision loss.

Early detection and treatment of this condition are therefore critical for preventing permanent vision loss.

Can Keratoconus Be Corrected?

Initially, blurry and distorted vision can be corrected with custom-fit soft contact lenses or eyeglasses. However, as the condition progresses and your cornea becomes increasingly cone-shaped, these standard methods of vision correction become less effective.

At this point, many patients with mild to moderate keratoconus opt for scleral lenses, an effective, non-surgical method of achieving clear vision.

Severe keratoconus may require a corneal transplant procedure to replace your damaged cornea with a healthy donor cornea.

Scleral Lenses for Keratoconus

Custom designed scleral lenses help patients with corneal irregularities achieve dramatic improvements in visual acuity and comfort. Scleral lenses vault over the cornea and rest on the sclera while avoiding the diseased cornea. This creates a new optical surface instead of the damaged cornea and prevents discomfort by resting on the sclera of the eye. Moreover, the reservoir of pure saline solution between the back surface of the lens and the front of the cornea ensures that the eye is always in a liquid environment – making it optimal for healing.

Don’t let keratoconus impact your quality of life. We can help you achieve clear, comfortable vision with scleral contact lenses.

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with keratoconus, call Unger Eye Care today to schedule a scleral lens consultation.

Our practice serves patients from Troy, Edwardsville, Maryville, and Glen Carbon, Illinois and surrounding communities.

 

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Alice Unger

Q: What Are the Advantages of Wearing Scleral Lenses?

A: Below are the main benefits of wearing scleral lenses:

  • Scleral lenses are made of high-quality materials, which means they’ll last for the long haul.
  • Their large [size] enables them to stay centered and stable on your eye.
  • The vaulted lens holds hydrating saline solution which creates optimal conditions for ultimate comfort and healing of dry eyes.
  • Because the scleral lenses cover more surface of the eye than traditional lenses, they also help shield the eyes from external irritants.

Q: Are scleral lenses covered by insurance?

A: When it comes to scleral lenses, every insurance company is different. We recommend contacting us or checking with your insurance provider to find out if scleral lenses are covered under your plan.

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Can Cataract Surgery Prevent Dementia?

Cataract surgery is a highly successful procedure that removes cataracts, the cloudy formations on the eye’s lens that impair vision.

Now, researchers are discovering that vision loss may be linked to a higher rate of dementia and suggest that restoring clear vision (through cataract surgery, for example) may reduce the risk of developing dementia.

Is There a Correlation Between Cataracts and Dementia?

More than half of those 80 or older have had at least one cataract. Many people in this age range also have dementia, a decline in cognitive functioning.

But is there a connection between these two seemingly unrelated conditions?

Recent studies suggest that, yes, there could be a link. One 15-year study found that patients with age-related vision problems, including cataracts, had a higher incidence of dementia.

The 2021 study, published in the British Journal of Ophthalmology, followed 12,000 subjects aged 55-73. When compared to patients with healthy vision, cataract patients had an 11% higher incidence of dementia.

Can Cataract Surgery Prevent Dementia?

Can sight-saving cataract surgery reduce your risk of dementia? It certainly looks promising!

A 2022 study published in JAMA Internal Medicine found that removing cataracts was “significantly associated with a lower risk of dementia development.” In fact, patients who had undergone cataract surgery had a 29% lower rate of dementia.

In addition, MRI scans have shown greater brain activity following cataract surgery.

How Can Vision Loss Cause Dementia?

Scientists studying the link between vision loss and dementia suspect that vision loss negatively impacts the brain. They theorize that the more visual information we receive, the more active our brains are, and brain activity may be able to fend off dementia.

For this reason, by restoring clear vision, cataract surgery may stimulate the brain and prevent cognitive decline.

There could be an emotional and social dimension to cognitive decline as well. People who suffer from significant vision loss often feel isolated. They may feel discouraged by their inability to recognize faces or perform everyday tasks, and may avoid social interactions. According to the Centers for Disease Control, social isolation raises the risk of developing dementia by 50%.

If you have cataracts and you feel your quality of life is affected, schedule an appointment with Unger Eye Care in Troy without delay. We’ll answer your questions about cataract surgery and ensure you receive optimal treatment.

Q&A With Our Optometrist

How is cataract surgery performed?

Cataract surgery is a short 30-40 minute procedure that replaces your cloudy, natural lens with a synthetic intraocular lens (IOL). First, the eye surgeon makes a hole in the cloudy lens and breaks it into tiny pieces. Next, the eye surgeon places the new clear lens onto the eye. You’ll be conscious throughout the surgery. The surgery is safe, effective and painless.

Is cataract surgery always successful?

Cataract surgery is highly successful, with a 99% success rate. Complications from cataract surgery are very rare.

What’s New

We wanted to share 3 new products that we’ve brought into the practice!

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Upneeq®

Feel like you have droopy eyelids?

Upneeq® is only FDA-approved once-daily prescription eyedrop for acquired ptosis that lifts your upper eyelids. No surgery necessary!

https://www.ungereyecare.com/eye-care-services/upneeq/

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VUITY™

As we age, it becomes harder to see things up close. But now there’s VUITY™. The first and only prescription eye drops to treat age-related blurry vision (presbyopia) in adults.

https://www.ungereyecare.com/eye-care-services/vuity

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Regener-Eyes®

Regener-Eyes® is a biologic eye drop made of anti-inflammatory cytokines and growth factors used to treat dry eyes.

These types of drops have been shown to reduce inflammation & redness, eye pain, chronic dry eye issues, or unexplainable flare-up problems with the eye.

https://ungereyecare.com/advanced-services/dry-eye-optometrist/dry-eye-treatments/regener-eyes/

Contact our office to learn more about any of these new products!

Most Eye Injuries Can Be Prevented With Protective Eyewear

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What if we told you that 9 out of 10 people treated for eye accidents could have prevented their injury?

Safety experts say that nearly all eye injuries can be prevented by wearing protective eyewear: safety glasses and goggles that come in both prescription and non-prescription versions.

At Unger Eye Care in Troy, we help patients keep their eyes healthy and safe, and can guide you towards the safety eyewear most suitable for you.

Who Needs Safety Glasses?

Anyone who finds themselves in a potentially hazardous environment should wear properly-fitting safety glasses to keep their eyes safe and healthy.

Common eye hazards include projectiles, chemicals, radiation, debris, sparks, and particles of metal, wood or other materials. Fast-moving balls and hockey pucks are also potential hazards.

From DIY-ers and construction workers to hobbyists, lab technicians and athletes, there’s a wide range of people who can benefit from protective eyewear. Here’s a short list of activities that require safety glasses, whether you do them professionally or for fun:

  • Woodworking
  • Metalworking
  • Glassworking
  • Gardening
  • Fishing
  • Hunting
  • Martial arts
  • Motorcycling
  • Archery
  • Fencing
  • Bicycling

What Type of Safety Glasses Do I Need?

There are several types of safety glasses and each is made for a specific purpose or activity. Wearing the incorrect type of eyewear for your activity can be just as risky as forgoing them altogether.

Some popular choices of safety glasses include:

  • Anti-fog safety glasses
  • Polarized safety glasses
  • Over-your-glasses safety glasses
  • Bifocal safety glasses
  • Laser safety glasses
  • Medical safety glasses
  • Welding goggles
  • Splash goggles
  • Color blind safety glasses

Safety glasses come in many sizes for children and adults, ensuring the most secure and comfortable fit.

Not sure which type of safety glasses you need? No problem — we can help.

Be Safe, Not Sorry

At Unger Eye Care in Troy, we know how precious your vision is, and we’re here to help you preserve it.

Whether it’s a routine eye exam or helping you select the right protective eyewear — your eyes and vision are our top priority.

To learn more about our eye care services or to schedule an appointment, call Unger Eye Care in Troy today!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Do I need safety glasses for sports?

  • A:Yes, in many cases. Sports that require protective eyewear include but aren’t limited to shooting/hunting, lacrosse and soccer. Safety glasses are highly recommended for sports like football, baseball, basketball, tennis and racquetball. To learn if your sport or activity requires safety glasses, contact ​​Unger Eye Care today.

Q: Do I need a second pair of safety glasses?

  • A: Whether it’s safety glasses or regular prescription glasses, having a backup pair is always a good idea in case one pair gets lost or damaged. You also may want to have another pair to switch up your look, or to protect your eyes from different activities. Your gardening safety eyewear wouldn’t be the same as your cycling glasses.

Quality Frames For Prescription Eyeglasses & Computer Glasses. Visit Unger Eye Care for an eye exam and eyeglasses that match your style.


Can We Stop Myopia From Progressing?

boy and a girl with myopiaIf you think more powerful prescription glasses are the right solution to keep your child’s myopia from getting worse, think again. Talk to us about myopia management, which can slow the progression of myopia (nearsightedness) by up to 78%.

How Does Myopia Worsen?

In nearsighted people, the cornea, the clear outer layer of the eye, is more curved than in non-myopes. This elongated eyeball shape refracts incoming light in front of the retina rather than directly on it. The result? Blurred vision.

In other words, the longer the eyeball, the more severe the myopia.

The following can contribute to myopia progression:

  • Eye growth – as children grow, so do the eyeballs. And in certain cases, they become elongated (myopia).
  • Hereditary factors – if one or both parents have myopia, the condition is likely to progress at a rapid pace.
  • Not enough outdoor time –1 to 2 hours a day outdoors is recommended to prevent myopia progression.
  • Excessive screen time – myopia development and progression have been linked to extended screen time.

What Is Myopia Management?

Myopia management is a custom-designed treatment plan that identifies slows or stops myopia progression. Our optometrists provide diagnostic eye exams and create a myopia management program to keep your child’s nearsightedness in check.

Why Is Myopia Management Important?

Myopia doesn’t just affect your child’s ability to see distant objects; it can increase your child’s risk of developing these serious eye problems in adulthood:

  • Glaucoma
  • Cataracts
  • Myopia macular degeneration
  • Retinal detachment

The sooner your child begins myopia management, the better the chances of slowing myopia’s progression and reducing the risk of eye diseases later in life.

Myopia Management Can Preserve Your Child’s Vision

If you’re eager to preserve your child’s eyesight now and in the future, myopia management can help. Book an appointment at Unger Eye Care today!

Our practice serves patients from Troy, Edwardsville, Maryville, and Glen Carbon, Illinois and surrounding communities.

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Alice Unger

Q: Does screen time affect myopia?

  • A: Yes. In a study published in The Lancet Digital Health (October 2021), an international team of researchers found that at least 3 hours of screen time per day can increase the risk of developing myopia by 30%. Other research suggests that reducing your child’s screen time and encouraging more outdoor activities can prevent myopia and keep it from progressing.

Q: When should one start myopia management?

A: As soon as possible! Research shows that the earlier a child becomes myopic, the faster their myopia will progress. Act quickly if you want to have the greatest impact on slowing myopia progression.

 

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June 27 Is National Sunglasses Day!

Monday, Jun 27, 2022 is National Sunglasses Day, so grab your favorite pair of sunnies and celebrate!

Many people think sunglasses are little more than a fashion accessory or a way to minimize glare while driving.

But the truth is that wearing sunglasses is vital if you want to safeguard your eye health and vision.

Why Sunglasses are Important

The number one reason to wear sunglasses is that they prevent ultraviolet (UV) light from entering your eyes.

UV light has been shown to age every part of the eye, from the delicate outer eye tissue to the tiny structures within the eye itself. Chronic UV exposure raises your risk of developing cataracts, age-related macular degeneration and corneal damage.

The skin on your eyelids is the thinnest skin of your body, and UV light exposure can further thin eyelid skin, leading to premature aging and the appearance of dark circles and under-eye bags. Additionally, wearing sunglasses can help prevent wrinkles because you’ll squint less in the sunshine. Who knew sunglasses can be a key player in your anti-aging routine?

Moreover, UV light has been shown to slow the cornea’s ability to heal itself, making sunglasses a medical necessity for people who’ve recently had eye surgery like LASIK, or those who frequently wear contacts (overwearing contacts can irritate the cornea).

Finally, sunglasses are a fun way to show the world your personality and accessorize any outfit.

Activities for National Sunglasses Day

Not sure how to celebrate National Sunglasses Day? Here are a few ideas you may enjoy.

Sport your favorite pair of sunglasses during an outdoor activity, whether it’s a barbecue with friends, a concert at a stadium or time spent in the park.

You can also celebrate National Sunglasses Day by gifting a pair of quality sunglasses to a friend, spouse or child!

No matter how you choose to celebrate National Sunglasses Day, we hope you enjoy and keep your eyes protected.

For all matters related to eye health, ​​Unger Eye Care in Troy is here for you. Contact our eye doctor today!

FAQ With Our Optometrist

Should kids wear sunglasses?

Yes, children of all ages should wear sunglasses whenever they’re outdoors. In fact, it’s crucial because a child’s crystalline lens within the eye is much more clear than an adult’s, letting more light through. Contact us to learn more about kids’ eye health or to schedule an eye exam.

Can sunglasses block blue light?

Sunglasses with lenses that have a yellowish tint offer the most amount of blue light protection, from the sun and other sources. If you’re interested in blocking the blue light that’s emitted from your digital devices, speak with us to determine if computer glasses are right for you.

The Importance of Regular [Eye_Exams] for Seniors

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As the famous saying goes, ‘With age comes wisdom.’ Unfortunately, age also comes with a heightened risk of developing sight-threatening eye conditions like cataracts, glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and diabetic retinopathy.

Many of these eye conditions show no obvious signs or symptoms in their initial stages, when the chances of maintaining your good vision and preventing vision loss are highest. The best way to catch eye disease early is by having regular eye exams.

So, if you’re over 60, make sure to schedule regular comprehensive eye exams at Unger Eye Care in Troy.

What Can An Eye Exam Tell You?

The purpose of a comprehensive eye exam isn’t just to evaluate your visual clarity (eyesight). During a thorough eye exam your eye doctor will also examine the inner structures of your eyes and look for anything out of the ordinary: from signs of dry eyes and allergies to eye disease and eye cancer.

In addition, an eye exam can often reveal signs of certain health conditions, such as diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure.

What Is Checked During An Eye Test?

All eye exams involve a series of tests to enable your eye doctor to thoroughly evaluate your eye health and visual clarity. Most eye doctors recommend a dilated eye exam to anyone over the age of 65. Dilating your pupils gives your eye doctor a better view inside the eye. This allows an easier examination of the retina and optic nerve situated in the back of your eye.

Here are some of the tests you may encounter during your senior eye exam:

  • Preliminary tests – evaluate your depth perception, color vision, eye muscle movements and pupillary light response
  • Visual acuity – measures how clearly each of your eyes can see both near, intermediate and distant objects
  • Refraction – determines your optimum optical prescription providing clear and sharp vision at all distances
  • Digital retinal imaging – provides a high resolution, colored picture of your retina, optic nerve and the blood vessels in the back of your eye
  • Tonometry (eye pressure test) – assesses the amount of pressure within your eye to rule out glaucoma
  • Slit-lamp exam – offers a magnified view of your inner and outer eye structures, including your tears, eyelids, tear ducts, cornea, pupil, iris, lens and retina
  • Ophthalmoscopy – enables a magnified examination of the back of your eye under bright light to assess your eye health, including cataracts, retinal detachment, optic nerve damage and AMD
  • Dilated pupil exam – allows your eye doctor to view your retina and optic nerve

How Often Should Seniors Get An Eye Exam?

Most eye doctors recommend that seniors get an eye exam every year, and more frequently if you have any eye condition, diabetes or a family history of eye disease.

Regular annual eye exams are vital for maintaining your eye health and preserving your vision.

Enjoy your golden years with clear vision and healthy eyes. Contact Unger Eye Care in Troy today to schedule an eye exam.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What’s the difference between a vision screening and an eye exam?

  • A: A vision screening is a basic test that generally checks only your visual acuity, such as if you have myopia (nearsightedness). It doesn’t assess eye health or provide an optical prescription for clear vision. A vision screening can be performed by almost anyone — a nurse, a doctor or even an untrained volunteer.An eye exam can only be performed by a qualified and licensed eye doctor. This type of exam is a comprehensive way to detect any vision or eye health problems like dry eyes and allergies, and also looks for early signs of eye disease. Based on the results, your eye doctor can choose the best solution for you and your lifestyle.

Q: Can I drive after a dilated eye exam?

  • A: Pupil dilating eye drops will make your eyes more sensitive to bright light, especially sunlight. You may also experience some blurred vision for a couple of hours. So while wearing sunglasses can help to reduce light sensitivity, driving isn’t recommended after a dilated pupil exam. If you’re having a dilated eye exam, it’s best to arrange for someone to drive you home from your appointment and schedule your workday or errands accordingly.

Quality Frames For Prescription Eyeglasses & Computer Glasses. Visit Unger Eye Care for an eye exam and eyeglasses that match your style.


What’s The Connection Between Dry Eye And Asthma?

Woman with Dry Eye And AsthmaResearchers have already established several known risk factors for developing dry eye syndrome: the quality of your tears, excessive screen time, air pollution, hormonal fluctuations, aging, certain medications and medical conditions, and even one’s gender (females are more prone).

Here’s another risk factor that’s recently been added to the list: having asthma.

Asthma is a disease of the lungs that affects about 300 million people around the globe. Symptoms include wheezing, chest tightness, coughing and breathlessness.

Fortunately, asthmatic patients are usually able to do the activities they enjoy by taking prescription medications that facilitate easier breathing.

But medical professionals have noticed that individuals taking these medicines, and sometimes even asthmatic patients who don’t, have a higher incidence of dry eye syndrome.

If you have asthma or any other risk factors for dry eye syndrome, let your eye doctor know. The eye care professionals at Unger Eye Care can identify the underlying cause of your dry eye symptoms and provide you with lasting dry eye relief.

What is dry eye syndrome?

Dry eye syndrome occurs when the eyes consistently lack proper lubrication, either due to insufficient tears or tears that lack essential oils.

Here’s a list of the common dry eye symptoms:

  • Burning, gritty or itchy eyes
  • Eye dryness
  • Red or painful eyes
  • Blurred vision
  • Stringy mucus around the eyes
  • Light sensitivity
  • Difficulty or inability to wear contact lenses
  • Feeling that something is stuck in your eye

What Causes Dry Eye Syndrome?

Most cases of dry eye syndrome result from the dysfunction of the meibomian glands in the eyelids, which produce the vital oils needed for healthy tears, and which reduce tear evaporation. But dry eyes can also be caused by some autoimmune diseases, hormone replacement therapy, certain medications and, it appears, asthma or the medications that treat it.

Environmental factors that can bring on dry eye syndrome include exposure to wind or airborne irritants, pollution, infrequent or incomplete blinking (people blink less when they use digital devices), heating, air conditioning and dry weather. Certain makeup products, including mascara, and application methods such as applying makeup on the eyelid margin, can block the glands that lubricate the eyes.

Can Dry Eye Syndrome Be Cured?

There is now a wide range of treatment options that can successfully manage your dry eyes. The key is to allow us to find and target the underlying cause of your condition, so we can create a plan to minimize and sometimes eliminate your dry eye symptoms.

What’s the Link Between Asthma and Dry Eye Syndrome?

Several studies have examined the relationship between asthma and dry eye syndrome and found that although a link exists, researchers aren’t sure exactly why.

One study, published in BMJ Open (2019), found that asthmatic people of Australian, Caucasian and Asian descent have higher rates of dry eye syndrome than those without asthma.

Another study, published in Medicine (2020), established a significant link between asthma and dry eye syndrome, and found that children with asthma tend to have an unstable tear film — a common cause of dry eyes.

One hypothesis is that asthma medications, like inhaled corticosteroids, oral antihistamines and leukotriene receptor antagonists may contribute to eye dryness by inhibiting tear production, but further research is needed.

Could asthma itself be the culprit? Possibly, but more research is needed for a better understanding. What is known, however, is that having low blood oxygen levels caused by severe asthma can deprive the front section of the eye (the cornea) of oxygen, potentially leading to dry eye syndrome.

What’s the Bottom Line?

Research shows that having asthma may increase your risk of experiencing dry eye symptoms.

If you have asthma, speak with your optometrist about lowering your risk of developing dry eye syndrome and make sure to bring all of your asthma medications to your next eye exam.

If you already have certain symptoms of dry eye syndrome, promptly contact Unger Eye Care to schedule a dry eye consultation. We’ll create a personalized treatment plan so you can enjoy long-term relief.

Our practice serves patients from Troy, Edwardsville, Maryville, and Glen Carbon, Illinois and surrounding communities.

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Alice Unger

Q: What at-home remedies can relieve dry eye syndrome?

  • A: Make sure to stay hydrated and wear sunglasses whenever outdoors. If you use an indoor heater or air conditioner, direct the airflow away from your face. Use a humidifier at home and at work. You can also try using a warm eye compress. Ask your eye doctor for instructions on how to do so. But keep in mind that trying to manage dry eye syndrome without seeing a dry eye optometrist won’t be as effective.

Q: How is dry eye syndrome treated?

  • A: The type of treatment depends on what’s causing the symptoms. For example, if premature tear evaporation is the problem, your optometrist may prescribe eye drops. Or if your meibomian glands aren’t functioning as they should, unclogging the glands may do the trick. Medicated eye ointment or drops may be prescribed, or we may recommend certain in-office dry eye treatments. Each treatment plan is carefully formulated with your eyes and lifestyle in mind.

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What Are Blue Light Glasses?

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Today’s digital world has led to a dramatic increase in the amount of time people spend in front of digital screens.

While technology offers many advantages, there are also risks associated with excessive screen time. With so many people relying on their digital screens to work, study, stream entertainment, play games and socialize, these risks are nearly impossible to avoid.

Blue light-blocking glasses are designed to combat these issues head-on. At Unger Eye Care in Troy, we’ll help you find your perfect pair for ultimate eye comfort and eye health.

But First, What Exactly Is Blue Light?

Sunlight consists of a rainbow of colors, known as the visible light spectrum, which ranges from red to blue light. The blue light, also called high energy visible (HEV) light, has the shortest wavelength and carries the highest amount of energy.

In appropriate doses, natural blue light exposure can be beneficial to your physical and mental health. It can improve your memory and mood, boost alertness and regulate your body’s natural sleep/wake cycle.

However, many people are exposed to more blue light than ever before. In addition to the natural blue light emitted by the sun, all digital screens emit a low level of blue light, which can lead to symptoms of digital eye strain: headaches, eye fatigue, blurry vision, dry eyes and neck pain.

Prolonged blue light exposure has also been linked to insomnia, and scientists are now investigating whether there’s a link between blue light and eye conditions like macular degeneration and cataracts.

What Do Blue Light Glasses Do?

Blue light glasses contain specialized lenses that filter out blue light to reduce the negative effects associated with blue light exposure.

Because blue light has a high frequency energy, the eyes can’t focus as sharply and as easily as the other colors on the light spectrum. The scattered light causes a glare on the screen that impacts the clarity of your vision, leading to eye strain and fatigue.

Blue light glasses contain yellow-tinted lenses to reduce glare, increase contrast and improve visual clarity, so you won’t have to worry about digital eye strain and headaches affecting your productivity or screen time experience.

Blue light glasses are available with or without a prescription and are customized to meet your visual needs and lifestyle.

When Should You Wear Blue Light Glasses?

Whether you spend hours on the computer at work, are writing a research paper for school or just scrolling through social media on your phone, blue light-blocking glasses can make a world of difference.

That’s especially true at night, when blue light exposure can affect your natural sleep cycle and make it harder for you to fall — and stay — asleep.

So before you turn on your screen, pop on a pair of blue light glasses. Your eyes will thank you later.

Think you can benefit from blue light glasses? Call Unger Eye Care in Troy today and we’ll help you find the perfect pair.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Are there blue light glasses for kids?

  • A: Yes! Nowadays, children and teens are exposed to digital screens more than ever. Wearing blue light glasses can protect them from digital eye strain and may even help them fall asleep easier at night and sleep more soundly. That’s why many eye doctors recommend that kids wear blue light-blocking glasses any time they use a digital device.

Q: How long before bed should you avoid blue light?

  • A: Blue light exposure before bedtime can delay the production of melatonin — the sleep hormone stimulated by darkness — signaling to your brain that it’s still daytime.So try to put your digital device away 2 to 3 hours before you plan to go to bed. This will give your body a chance to produce enough melatonin to help your body relax and fall asleep.

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