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Being a Woman Increases The Chances of Developing Eye Problems
When it comes to eye health and vision, men and women aren’t created equal. It might surprise you to learn that, worldwide, two-thirds of all cases of blindness and visual impairment occur in women.
Read on to learn why being a woman increases the chances of developing eye problems, and how regular visits to your eye doctor can help.
Longer Life Expectancy
Women live about 5 years longer than men on average. Moreover, women tend to remain healthier longer than their male counterparts. According to the World Health Organization, the average woman can expect to live a full 70 years before experiencing a major disease or injury, compared to 67 healthy years for a man.
But a woman’s increased life expectancy has significant implications when it comes to her eye health and vision. Age is a major risk factor for conditions and diseases like glaucoma, cataracts, macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, and dry eye syndrome.
The longer a woman lives, the more likely that she will develop a serious eye condition or disease.
Women experience a remarkable amount of hormonal fluctuation throughout their lifespan. Puberty, pregnancy, and menopause all cause surges of estrogen, which can affect vision. Taking birth control pills also can cause visual or ocular symptoms, due to the varying levels of progesterone and estrogen.
Fluctuating estrogen levels can result in dry eye syndrome, which causes uncomfortable symptoms like red, itchy, watery eyes and, if untreated, possibly eye damage. Some women also experience blurred vision during estrogen surges. This is common during pregnancy but vision tends to normalize shortly after birth.
In almost every society around the world, women take more medication than their male counterparts. This includes both prescription and over-the-counter medications. What many don’t know is that several of these medications can pose significant risks to your eye health and vision, if taken in high dose and over an extended period of time.
Some medications that can affect your eyes include corticosteroids, antihistamines, antimalarials, and antipsychotic and antidepressant medications. Always consult your doctor before taking any prescription or nonprescription medications.
An autoimmune disease occurs when the body’s own immune system backfires and attacks the body’s own tissue. While the exact reason is still unclear, it is well documented that women have far more autoimmune diseases than men.
According to The National Institutes of Health, 75% of people living with an autoimmune disease are female. Some common autoimmune disorders that impact eye health include rheumatoid arthritis, Sjorgen’s syndrome, multiple sclerosis, lupus, and Graves’ disease (hyperthyroidism). These can cause symptoms like dry and red eyes, foreign-body sensation, pain, changes in vision, and sometimes vision loss.
What Can Women Do To Preserve Their Eye Health?
Whether you are male or female, taking a preventative approach to eye care is the best way to preserve your vision.
Eat a healthy diet rich in vitamins A, C, E, Omega-3’s, and zinc to support eye health. Quit or reduce smoking if you haven’t already. Also, limit your alcohol intake.
In addition to healthy lifestyle choices, a key factor in minimizing your risk of eye disease is seeing your eye doctor regularly.
Having frequent comprehensive eye exams allows your eye doctor to screen your eyes for early signs of disease. By detecting eye disease early, you’ll increase your chances of receiving effective treatment and preserving your vision.
Unger Eye Care optometrists in Troy, Illinois provide expert eye exams and quality eye care services.
Call Unger Eye Care to schedule your comprehensive eye exam today.
Eye Doctor in Troy, Illinois
Dry, itchy, and irritated eyes are no fun. Dry eye syndrome (DES) is a multifactorial condition that is generally caused by poor tear quality, insufficient tears, allergies, or other irritants. The symptoms of DES can range from slightly uncomfortable to debilitating and can include:
- Watery eyes
- Light sensitivity
- Blurred vision
If you suspect you have dry eyes, speak with Dr. Alice Unger about the latest treatments to manage or eliminate your symptoms. In the meantime, below are a few of our tips to ease dry eye symptoms for lasting relief.
Here Are Our Top 6 Tips for Dry Eye
1. Use Artificial Tears
Artificial tears can provide the eyes with the moisture they lack, thus relieving irritation and discomfort. Dr. Alice Unger can advise on which lubricating drops best suit your eye condition.
2. Stay Hydrated
This may sound obvious, but keeping hydrated is a crucial component in managing DES. Since the eyes are part of a larger system (the body), dehydration will affect them as well. Try increasing your water intake to see if symptoms clear up on their own. You’ll want to stick to drinking water and avoid excess caffeine or alcohol, as these can dehydrate the body. Many health authorities recommend drinking about 2 liters of water per day to stay hydrated.
3. Eat More Fish or Flax seeds
Healthy tears are made of water, oil, and mucus, and any imbalance of any of these components can result in DES. Including the recommended amount of Omega-3 fats in your diet can help support healthy tear production. The U.S Department of Agriculture recommends consuming at least 250mg of Omega-3 fatty acids daily.
4. Shield Your Eyes
Wearing protective eyewear, such as wraparound sunglasses or UV blocking lenses, can shelter your eyes from harmful debris and irritants in the air. Breezy weather can also contribute to dry eyes, as the wind causes the eye’s tear film to evaporate faster than the normal pace.
5. Check Your Surroundings
Be aware of environmental factors that may be contributing to dry eyes. Always make sure your car air conditioner vents are pointed away from your eyes so as not to cause irritation. If you style your hair with a blow dryer, be sure to avoid the eye area, as the warmth and forced air will cause the tears to prematurely evaporate. Additionally, if you find that your home or work environment is too dry, try using a humidifier next to your desk or by your bed to put moisture back into the air.
6. See Your Eye Doctor
This is perhaps the most important step in treating your dry eyes. An eye exam with Dr. Alice Unger will help determine the underlying cause of the dryness and best treatment options. Our goal here at Unger Eye Care is to alleviate any eye discomfort and increase our patients’ overall quality of life. If you or a loved one are suffering from DES, schedule your appointment today and find the relief you deserve.
Eye Doctor in Troy, Illinois
With spring just around the corner, there’s no better time to learn about managing those uncomfortable eye allergy symptoms that pop up when the weather gets warmer. While eye allergy symptoms can negatively affect quality of life, they are often treatable. If you or a loved one is suffering from eye allergies, call Unger Eye Care for an eye exam to get the relief you seek.
What Are Eye Allergies?
Allergic conjunctivitis, or eye allergies, are the eyes’ response to various allergens and irritants that tend to be airborne.
Symptoms and Causes of Eye Allergies
Some eye allergy symptoms include:
- Itchy, red eyes
- Watery eyes
- Irritated or painful eyes
- Sneezing or runny nose
- Swollen eyelids
Eye allergies can be triggered by both airborne and non-airborne allergens. Some of most common include:
- Pet dander
- Dust mites
- Skin care products
5 Tips To Manage Eye Allergy Symptoms
- Clear the air of allergens by using air filters on all of your cooling systems. Keeping your home as clean as possible will also help reduce airborne allergens.
- Use cold eye compresses to alleviate symptoms. You can either purchase a cold eye compress at your local drugstore or easily make one at home. Soak a clean, soft washcloth in cold water, wring it out, and place it over closed eyelids for a few minutes at a time or until it is no longer cool. The coldness will help to soothe irritated eyes and reduce swelling.
- Try removing your contact lenses, as they can attract and accumulate allergens and irritants on their surfaces. Switching to glasses or daily disposable contacts during allergy season may help to reduce your symptoms.
- Use medicated eye drops to reduce redness and itching. There are over the counter options as well as prescription eye drops, which can be prescribed by Dr. Alice Unger. Antihistamine, anti-inflammatory, multiple-action, and decongestant eye drops can all help manage eye allergy symptoms.
- Wear protective eyewear while outdoors, such as wraparound glasses, to shield your eyes from direct contact with airborne irritants and allergens. Opt for eyewear with larger lenses that provide fuller coverage.
We Can Help Treat Your Eye Allergies
Eye allergies can be bothersome, but they don’t have to be. An eye exam with Dr. Alice Unger can help diagnose the underlying cause of your symptoms and determine the best treatment to alleviate any discomfort.
Optical Store & Eye Care in Troy, Illinois
Whether you prefer a pair of bold and bright frames or something more elegant and subtle, the trending eyeglass frames of 2020 offer something for everyone.
The Trendiest Eyeglasses of 2020
- White or translucent frames are some of the most popular eyewear styles this year. Almost every designer has their own version, so you have plenty of options to choose from if you’re looking for a pair of clear frames to make a statement.
- Classic aviators are still trending in 2020, making them a perfect choice for both men and women who prefer something sporty. Many designers are modernizing the aviator shape, offering their own spin on these flattering frames.
- Unique tortoiseshell glasses are now available in more than just classic brown. Teal, blue, and even purple tortoiseshell frames are currently trending and flatter every eye color. These beautiful frames come in thicker and thinner versions, depending on your preference.
- Gold wire frames are simple yet elegant and suit both men and women who prefer a more minimalistic design. Round golden metal frames are great for a professional look.
- “Matrix” sunglasses are making a comeback this year, especially the more angular versions out there. Celebrities such as Bella Hadid and Billie Eilish have been seen sporting these 90’s inspired frames, making them all the more popular.
- Vibrant and bold colored frames are returning in 2020 and are not for the faint of heart. Be it bright red, pink, yellow, or purple, these colorful frames are for fashionistas who want to express their individuality.
- Vintage style frames or “granny frames” are popular this year and are available in a wide variety of shapes, colors, and sizes. From light nude to dusty pink, these oversized frames could be the missing accessory to your vintage outfit.
No matter what kind of glasses you’re looking for, we can help you find the perfect pair to suit your personal style. Unger Eye Care offers a wide range of the most trendy eyewear on the market. If you’re looking to refresh your look, there’s no better way than a new pair of glasses.
Eye Doctor in Troy, Illinois
Eye allergies, also called “allergic conjunctivitis,” are the eyes’ response to environmental irritants and allergens. Their symptoms range in severity from uncomfortable to debilitating but fortunately are often treatable. If you suspect you have eye allergies, speak with Dr. Alice Unger about finding lasting relief.
Understanding Eye Allergies
What Causes Eye Allergies?
Allergies occur when the immune system becomes hypersensitized to certain allergens — otherwise harmless substances, such as pollen or dust mites. When allergens are introduced to the body, histamines are released in the blood-stream, causing inflammation and swelling.
Some airborne allergens that can cause eye allergies include:
- Pet dander
Non-airborne allergens include:
- Skincare products
- Cleaning chemicals
- Contact lens solutions
- Preservatives in multi-use eye drops
Symptoms of Eye Allergies
When the blood vessels in the eyes are affected during an allergic reaction, the following symptoms can arise:
- Red eyes
- Watery eyes
- Itchy or irritated eyes
- Swollen eyelids
- Runny nose
- Nasal congestion
- Sensitivity to light
- Burning or painful eyes
How Are Eye Allergies Treated?
There are several approaches to treating eye allergies and Dr. Alice Unger can help determine which options best suit your symptoms.
Limit Allergen Exposure
One of the best ways to reduce allergy flare-ups is to avoid allergens altogether or at least reduce exposure to them. If pollen causes your eyes to become red and itchy, try driving with the windows closed and limit your time outdoors. Additionally, wearing wrap-around glasses can shield your eyes from irritants and possibly allergens.
Take Antihistamines or Decongestants
Histamine is what gets released in the bloodstream and causes the allergic response. Antihistamines work by blocking the attachment of histamine to the body’s cells that produce the allergic reaction, thus reducing or eliminating symptoms.
Decongestants can help you breathe easier by shrinking swollen nasal pathways that may have become inflamed due to allergies. Decongestants can also shrink the blood vessels in the whites of the eyes (sclera), relieving red eyes.
Try Eye Drops
Over-the-counter lubricating and antihistamine eye drops can help soothe red, itchy, and irritated eyes. Dr. Alice Unger can recommend the brand and type that will offer the best relief, or prescribe more potent eye drops than the ones available at your local drugstore.
Aside from soothing irritated eyes, lubricating eye drops and artificial tears can help flush the eye of allergens and remove any foreign substances.
Temporarily Remove Your Contact Lenses
Allergens can accumulate on the surface of contact lenses, which makes it difficult to get rid of symptoms while wearing lenses. If you suffer from eye allergies, try temporarily switching to glasses and see if your symptoms persist. Typically, the best contact lenses for those with eye allergies are daily disposables, which are discarded daily.
Visit Your Eye Doctor
An eye exam with Dr. Alice Unger is the best way to rule out other possible eye conditions and determine the root cause of your symptoms. If you suffer from any of the symptoms mentioned above and suspect you have eye allergies, don’t hesitate to call Unger Eye Care today to schedule your eye exam.
Is your eye doctor’s appointment coming up? Are you worried about going to the eye clinic during the new coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic? Rest assured, keeping our patients and staff are safe is our top priority.
We anticipate that this outbreak will continue for a while, and do not want our patients to neglect their eye care needs during this critical time. Our optometric clinic is prudent and has adopted specific measures to protect our patients and staff from potential exposure to COVID-19 during this time of uncertainty.
That said, guidelines for slowing the spread of this epidemic are rapidly changing. Please pay close to attention to local regulatory changes to get the most up-to-date information on whether practices can still remain open/ accept non-emergency cases.
Here Are the Precautions Our Eye Clinic Is Taking to Limit COVID-19:
We employ a strict office policy that mandates that all eye doctors, opticians, office staff, and patients not enter if they are feeling unwell or have a fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, shortness of breath, or have been exposed to a known case of COVID-19 or traveled outside of the country within the last 14 days.
The staff may ask you to wait outside rather than in the waiting area in order to protect yourself and others from any circulating germs. Furthermore, we are trying to schedule our appointments in such a way that our waiting room remains as empty as possible.
During your eye exam:
- The eye doctor may use a special plastic barrier called a slit-lamp breath shield to block the exchange of breath between patient and doctor.
- The optometrist may wear a mask with a plastic shield over the eyes.
- The practitioner will wait for your slit-lamp eye exam to be over before speaking with you or answering any questions you may have.
- We sanitize all equipment and patient contact surfaces after every use and at the end of the day.
- We sanitize all surfaces and equipment (front desk counters, telephones, pens, door handles, waiting room chairs) with antibacterial wipes.
- All staff members wash their hands after contact with each patient and throughout the day.
- Our office is equipped with several sanitizing stations.
- We request that patients sanitize their hands prior to and after trying on frames. We also make sure to clean frames that have come into contact with patients with soap and hot water.
- If we don’t shake hands with our patients during this time, please don’t take it personally.
Please call Unger Eye Care at 618-667-2020 with any questions or concerns you may have. If you feel it’s best for you or a member of your family to reschedule your appointment, we encourage you to do so.
To stay abreast of the coronavirus pandemic, please visit the following official health organizations:
- Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) at www.CDC.gov
- World Health Organization (WHO) at www.WHO.int
Thank you and stay safe!
Emergency Eye Care in Troy, Illinois
What are Eye Emergencies?
Eye trauma refers to an eye injury caused by a direct blow that causes damage to the eye, adjacent tissue, or surrounding bone structure. Eye traumas can occur in a number of ways, such as punches, a blow from a ball, or flying objects. The severity of eye trauma can range from minor to emergency. However, in all cases, one should seek medical attention and call Dr. Alice Unger as soon as possible.
What Are the Symptoms of Eye Trauma?
When the eye is forcefully impacted, blood collects underneath the affected area, potentially causing any of the following symptoms:
- Troubled vision
- Visible blood in the eye
- Protruding eye
- Reduced mobility in the injured eye
Other eye trauma symptoms include:
- Cut in the eyelid
- Unusual size or shape of the pupil
- Something embedded in the eye or underneath the eyelid
If you’ve suffered an eye trauma, make sure to immediately seek medical attention. In the event of minor eye trauma, there are several things you can do to prevent more damage until examined by your eye doctor.
Home Care For Ocular Traumas
While you await medical attention, it’s important to prevent further damage and thus further harm.
- Never touch, rub, or apply any pressure to the eye
- Don’t attempt to remove a foreign substance from the eye
- If the eye has been cut or an object is stuck in the eye, place something protective (such as a paper cup) on the surrounding bone of the eye
- Do not apply ointments or medications to the eye – they can often exacerbate the condition
- In the event of a black-eye, a cold compress may be applied to decrease swelling and promote healing
- Never use dry cotton (cotton balls or swabs) or sharp objects (such as tweezers) near the eye area
Emergency Treatment For Eye Trauma
We can’t stress this enough – call Unger Eye Care to have Dr. Alice Unger examine your eye injury. When you call, make sure to tell us about the injury and please ask any questions you may have.
Our staff is trained to assess the patient’s condition in specific ways and offer specialized care that one wouldn’t receive in an ordinary urgent care facility. We can help with extracting foreign objects, prescribing medicine, bandaging the eye, and if necessary, refer you to another practitioner for surgery or other procedures.
Don’t delay calling – the earlier you seek treatment, the better your chances are for recovery and preserving your vision. Call us at Unger Eye Care in Troy for any eye emergency – we’re here to help.
Eye Care & Eye Exams in Troy, Illinois
A scratch on the cornea (or corneal abrasion) is one of the most common eye injuries. It can happen without anyone noticing because it doesn’t take a major accident to scrape or scratch the cornea.
If you suspect your child may have scratched his or her eye, seek the help of an eye care professional near you immediately. A corneal abrasion can quickly get worse and lead to serious eye infections unless it receives professional treatment. An experienced and qualified optometrist such as Dr. Alice Unger in Troy, Illinois can offer effective treatment.
Symptoms of a Scratched Eye
Is your child rubbing its eye and complaining that there’s something in it? Make sure he/she stops rubbing and washes out the eye with clean water. If the feeling prevails, there’s a good chance he or she may have scratched the eyeball.
Check for additional symptoms:
- High sensitivity to light
- A red spot or red line in the white part of the eye
- General redness of the eye
- Blurry or decreased vision
- Sometimes even nausea
These are signs of a possible corneal abrasion, a scratch on the outer protective layer of the cornea (the round dome covering the front of the eyeball). This layer is called the corneal epithelium.
What Can Cause a Scratch on the Cornea?
This is the tricky part. Almost anything can scratch an eyeball, from a fingernail to a piece of paper, from a branch to sand or dust. In many cases, the child will not feel anything when it happens, but develop symptoms a few hours later.
When a child plays outside, it may fall and get some dirt on his face and a tiny sharp rock or wooden splinter into the eye. This is enough to scratch the sensitive cover on the eyeball.
A sudden blow of strong wind can carry sand and dust particles, which sometimes are sharp enough to cause a scratch on the cornea. Such dirt and sand particles may also hide in a pile of snow your child is using to build a snowman.
If your child is playing with others or with a pet, a fingernail can accidentally get into the eye, even for a brief moment without causing any pain.
How to Treat a Scratched Cornea
There is nothing you can do to treat a scratched eye by yourself. An eye care professional needs to diagnose the severity of the damage and prescribe treatment.
Make sure you or your child do
- NOT rub the eye
- NOT use eye drops to relieve redness
- NOT patch or bandage the eye
To minimize discomfort and risk do
- Rinse the eye with a sterile saline solution or multipurpose contact lens solution
- Encourage the child to blink frequently to ensure sufficient moisture
- Let the child wear sunglasses
What Will the Optometrist Do?
The eye doctor will examine the eye to determine the severity of the injury and assess treatment. Lubricating drops may be used to support the eye’s natural healing process. In many cases, the doctor will prescribe antibiotic drops as a preventive measure against infections.
A scratched cornea will heal within a few days. Typically, it takes less time to heal than a cut to the skin would. If you are not sure about whether your child has injured its cornea, consult Dr. Alice Unger at Troy, Illinois now.
Contact Lenses & Eye Care in Troy, Illinois
For those who need vision correction but don’t want to wear glasses or undergo LASIK surgery, contact lenses are a great option. Yes, there are many types of contact lenses to choose from. The list below will take the guesswork out of navigating the various options. Speak with Dr. Alice Unger and the friendly staff at Unger Eye Care to select the best contact lenses for your eyes.
4 Contact Lens Categories
- Soft lenses are made from hydrogels (water-containing plastic) that are very thin, soft, pliable, and easily hug the surface of the eye.
- Silicone hydrogel lenses resemble regular soft lenses, though they’re more porous, allowing for more oxygen to reach the eye. These are by far the most commonly prescribed contact lenses in the United States and Canada.
- Gas permeable (GP) lenses are rigid lenses. They allow for the passage of oxygen, rendering them more comfortable than regular hard contacts. These lenses tend to be as comfortable as soft lenses (after the initial adjustment period) and often provide better optics.
- Hybrid contact lenses have a rigid center with a flexible outer rim that tend to provide the same sharp vision offered by GP lenses, but with the comfort of soft lenses.
Apart from their material composition, contact lenses can also be categorized by wear-time and other features.
Contact Lens Wear Time and Replacement Frequency
Contact lenses are often selected according to preferred wear time and replacement frequency.
Daily contact lenses are removed at night, while the extended-wear contacts are worn day and night without removal, usually for a period of 7-30 days.
All contact lenses require proper hygienic care and need to be replaced periodically to avoid irritation or infection.
- Daily disposable lenses are worn during the day and discarded before bedtime. A new pair is inserted the next day.
- Weekly/ Monthly disposable lenses are to be replaced every two weeks at the latest. Others can be replaced every month or quarter.
- Traditional/reusable lenses are discarded every six months.
Contact Lenses For Every Eye Type
Contact lenses come in several design features that accommodate almost every eye condition.
- Certain contact lenses, such as scleral lenses, can help treat dry eye syndrome (DES) and benefit those with corneal irregularities, all the while providing comfort and sharp vision.
- Those with astigmatism or farsightedness (presbyopia) may choose bifocal contact lenses.
- Multifocal contacts help to slow the progression of myopia (nearsightedness) in children.
- Prescription colored contact lenses are great for those who wish to experiment with different eye colors.
- Spherical contacts are used to treat hyperopia, myopia, and presbyopia.
- Toric lenses can also benefit patients with astigmatism and provide clearer vision than standard contact lenses.
- Varifocal lenses can also be worn by those that are farsighted, thus eliminating the need for reading glasses.
- Monovision lenses are used to treat presbyopia by strengthening the eye-brain connection.
Schedule a contact lenses eye exam and fitting to achieve clear and comfortable vision with contact lenses. Our eye doctor and professional eye care staff at Unger Eye Care in Troy will happily help you choose comfortable contact lenses that best suit your eyes and lifestyle.
Visit Unger Eye Care in Troy, Illinois
Our office is located at 534 Edwardsville Rd, Troy, IL 62294. Please enter your zip code or city, state below for door-to-door directions.
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