Add content here…Welcome! We are re-opening with reduced hours on Monday, May 4.
Please call 270-889-9006 for an appointment! Thank you!
Add content here…Welcome! We are re-opening with reduced hours on Monday, May 4.
Please call 270-889-9006 for an appointment! Thank you!
Sometimes a person is unable to produce enough tears or their tears do not possess the right qualities to keep eyes healthy and comfortable. This can cause a consistent lack of sufficient lubrication and moisture on the surface of the eye, known as dry eyes.
Normally, the eye constantly lubricates itself with tears by producing them at a slow and steady rate, keeping itself moist and comfortable. Usually these tears consist of three layers, an oily, a watery, and a mucus layer. Each layer has a specific role in lubricating your eyes. The oily layer is outermost. It’s main purpose is to slow evaporation of the tear. The watery layer is in the middle. This makes up the majority of what a person normally thinks of as tears. This layer cleans the eye and helps to wash away small foreign objects and particles. The inner layer consists of mucus. This mucus allows the watery layer to stick to the eye and spread evenly over the eye in order to keep it lubricated. In a person with dry eyes, either hormonal changes, side effects from medication or some other factor causes the eye to either not produce enough tears, or leave out parts of the tear that make proper lubrication possible.
Dr. Shafer explains, “Symptoms of dry eyes include stinging or burning in the eyes, scratchiness, and excessive irritation from smoke or wind. Although it may sound counter-intuitive, the eyes’ response to the consistent irritation caused by dry eyes may also cause a person to experience excessive tearing. In this case, the eye is attempting to flush and lubricate itself by producing more tears, but is unable to do so successfully due to the rate of evaporation or inability to spread the tears properly.”
Although dry eyes are not always curable, your optometrist may prescribe artificial tears to help with some of the symptoms. Artificial tears are lubricating eye drops that may help with dry, scratchy feeling eyes. Different artificial tears work in different ways. Some help replenish parts of the tear that your eyes are not producing on its own, others help to produce more tears overall. Your eye doctor will assist you to choose which will help you most. Dr Shafer cautions, however, “These artificial tears should not be confused with eye drops that are advertised to ‘get the red out.’ These eye drops may indeed reduce the appearance of redness in your eyes, but this is accomplished by making the blood vessels in your eyes smaller rather than actually lubricating your eyes. As such, these drops can sometimes actually make your symptoms worse. One should also be aware that if you wear contacts, some eye drops require you to take them out before using the drops and wait 15 minutes or more before reinserting your contact lenses.”
Some cases of dry eyes are seasonal, such as those which occur as a result of cold, dry winter air. In this case, your eye doctor may recommend wearing sunglasses or goggles when outdoors to reduce your eyes’ exposure to the sun, wind and dust. For indoors, your optometrist may recommend an air cleaner and humidifier to take dust out of the air and add moisture to air which is too dry.
Studies have also shown that nutrition may have a part in helping to relieve some symptoms of dry eyes. Your eye doctor may recommend nutritional supplements such as omega-3. Good sources of omega-3 fatty acids are cold-water fish, cod, herring and salmon, as well as flaxseed oil. Mild dehydration can make symptoms worse too, so be sure to drink plenty of water, 100 percent fruit and vegetable juices and milk.
For more information, and to have Dr. Shafer help you with your dry eyes, be sure to make an appointment today!
Accurate, friendly and comprehensive eye care is an essential part of maintaining the overall visual health of the entire family. Routine eye exams, screenings for eye diseases and proper development, and keeping up with constantly changing eyeglass and contact lens prescriptions all play a vital part in the long term visual health of every member of the family from youngest to oldest. Dr. Shafer is always aiming to help families live every day with their clearest, most comfortable vision possible.
Proper eye care for the whole family starts with routine eye exams. Among the most important reasons for children is the central role that proper vision plays in his or her initial, as well as ongoing, success in schoolwork and extra-curricular activities. Dr. Shafer explains, “The eyes are responsible for a great deal of our every day sensory experience. The eyes are, therefore, the main vehicle through which most of us learn. This is why it is so important to safeguard this incredibly valuable instrument of education and experience. Also important for children are eye exams focusing on the early detection and treatment of eye conditions like amblyopia and strabismus. These conditions can be treated very easily in early childhood, but become much more complicated if allowed to advance and develop into later childhood and adulthood.
For Mom and Dad, eyeglass and contact lens prescriptions are usually pretty stable and rarely, if ever, change. Unfortunately, this leads many adults to believe that comprehensive eye exams are only for their children, and that they no longer need routine check ups to maintain good vision health. However, in some respects it is even more important for Mom and Dad to have their annual check up than their children. This is because adults, especially those 40 years old and above, and those with underlying health issues such as diabetes, are at significantly increased risk of developing sight-threatening conditions, such as glaucoma, cataracts and macular degeneration. Proper routine check ups, with a focus on early detection of these and other potentially harmful eye conditions, should be considered an important part of every adult’s health regimen.
Our comprehensive family eye care includes all the most important tests and screenings to determine the overall eye health of you and your children, the whole family for corrective lenses, and make sure that the whole family sees comfortably and clearly for many years to come.
Come see us today to experience what makes Dr. Shafer’s the best eye care clinic around!
Many times in life, One-size-fits-all can be really great! It takes the stress out of finding the right fit and is often quick, easy and convenient. But when it comes to contact lenses, one-size-fits-all is not only an uncomfortable, but also a potentially damaging, concept that can result in serious vision and eye issues. Contact lenses generally sit directly on the cornea, making it very important that the measurements of your contact lenses are 100% accurate to ensure a comfortable, healthy fit. This will prevent eye infections and other eye conditions such as corneal abrasion, a painful scratch on the surface of the eye that can make even blinking uncomfortable!
Switching from glasses to contacts or changing your contact lens prescription are processes best overseen by an eye care professional that will measure your eyes properly and find the best fit for you. Below, Dr. Shafer walks us through some of the most important parts and points of proper contact lens measurements and fitting.
Each person’s eyes are just a little bit different. Some corneas are steep, while others are shallow. Some people have mild astigmatism, while others’ astigmatism is more severe, and yet others don’t have at all. All these considerations and more make proper corneal measurements a very important starting point. Your eye’s curvature will first be measured using a measuring device known as a keratometer. This is a very simple procedure, in which you simply rest your chin on a support while the instrument takes photographs of your eye. These photographs are used to analyze reflections of light from your cornea to help the doctor determine the exact curvature of your eye and the size of contact lens that you will need.
In a case in which a patient has a hard-to-fit cornea, based on an unusual curvature of the eye, further computerized measurements are often taken using corneal topography, allowing a more precise picture of the shape of the corneal surface.
With astigmatism the surface of the eye is irregular and causes poor focusing. In this case toric contact lenses, which are made specifically to correct the distortions of the eye caused by astigmatism and requires more detailed measurements than a standard lens.
It is also important to get an accurate measurement of the pupil, the opening at the front of the eye where light enters, as well as the colored part of the eye, the iris. This is measured either with a ruler or with an automated device.
Your eye doctor may also perform a tear film evaluation in order to assess if you are prone to dry eyes. If you are, your eye doctor may be able to prescribe you specialty lenses that help keep the eye properly hydrated and prevent dry eye symptoms such as red, itchy, uncomfortable eyes.
After completion of all the required measurements, your eye doctor will know what type and shape of contact lens you require. Many doctors give their patients a trial pair of lenses to try on at this point. An instrument called a biomicroscope may be used for a magnified view of the cornea with the contacts in, to assess the fit. This same instrument can also be used to detect and assess any change in the health of your eyes after beginning contact lens wear. You are likely to also have a number of follow-up visits after the initial fitting. These visits are meant to ensure that your eyes are remaining healthy with contact lens use. Your doctor should be able to order your permanent prescription after the second or third visit, assuming that he or she has not seen any damage to your eyes from the trial pair and has confirmed that the fit is proper.
It is important that your lenses be properly fitted to your eyes for maximum comfort and health at all times. For more information, contact your eye doctor today.
We invite you to take a look around our new site to get to know our practice and learn about eye and vision health. You will find a wealth of information about our optometrists, our staff and our services, as well as facts and advice about how to take care of your eyes and protect your vision.
Learn about our Practice specialties including comprehensive eye exams, contact lens fittings and the treatment of eye diseases. Our website also offers you a convenient way to find our hours, address and map, schedule an appointment online, order contact lenses or contact us to ask us any questions you have about eye care and our Practice.
Have a look around our online office and schedule a visit to meet us in person. We are here to partner with you and your family for a lifetime of healthy eyes and vision. We look forward to seeing you!
Conjunctivitis, also called pink eye, is one of the most frequently seen eye diseases, especially in kids. It can be caused by viruses, bacteria or even allergies to pollen, chlorine in swimming pools, and ingredients in cosmetics, or other irritants, which touch the eyes. Some forms of conjunctivitis might be quite transmittable and quickly spread in school and at the office.
Conjunctivitis is seen when the conjunctiva, or thin transparent layer of tissue covering the white part of the eye, becomes inflamed. You can identify conjunctivitis if you notice eye redness, discharge, itching or swollen eyelids and a crusty discharge surrounding the eyes early in the day. Pink eye infections can be divided into three main types: viral, allergic and bacterial conjunctivitis.
The viral type is usually a result of a similar virus to that which produces the recognizable red, watery eyes, sore throat and runny nose of the common cold. The red, itchy, watery eyes caused by viral pink eye are likely to last from a week to two and then will clear up on their own. You may however, be able to reduce some of the discomfort by using soothing drops or compresses. Viral pink eye is transmittable until it is completely cleared up, so in the meantime maintain excellent hygiene, remove eye discharge and try to avoid using communal pillowcases or towels. If your son or daughter has viral conjunctivitis, he or she will have to be kept home from school for three days to a week until symptoms disappear.
A bacterial infection such as Staphylococcus or Streptococcus is usually treated with antibiotic eye drops or cream. One should notice an improvement within just a few days of antibiotic drops, but be sure to adhere to the full prescription dosage to prevent pink eye from recurring.
Allergic pink eye is not contagious. It is usually a result of a known allergy such as hay fever or pet allergies that sets off an allergic reaction in their eyes. First of all, to treat allergic pink eye, you should eliminate the irritant. Use cool compresses and artificial tears to relieve discomfort in mild cases. When the infection is more severe, your eye doctor might prescribe a medication such as an anti-inflammatory or antihistamine. In cases of chronic allergic pink eye, topical steroid eye drops could be used.
Pink eye should always be diagnosed by a qualified eye doctor in order to identify the type and best course of treatment. Never treat yourself! Keep in mind the sooner you begin treatment, the lower chance you have of giving pink eye to loved ones or prolonging your discomfort.