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What’s the Link Between Dry Eye and Menopause?

Dry Eye and Menopause 640Around 61% of perimenopausal and menopausal women are affected by dry eye syndrome.

During menopause, the body produces less estrogen, progesterone, and androgen, causing a variety of uncomfortable symptoms such as sweating, insomnia, and hot flashes.

Among these physical symptoms is dry eyes, characterized by dry, itchy and burning eyes.

If you’re experiencing dry eyes, contact Dry Eye Center At Atkinson Eye Care today for effective and lasting dry eye treatment.

Biological Changes That Affect Your Eyes

During menopause, the androgen hormone decreases, affecting the meibomian and lacrimal glands in the eyelids. The meibomian glands produce the essential oils for the tears, so the reduction in oil results in increased tear evaporation and drier eyes.

When these fluid and oil-producing glands are affected, the eyelids can become inflamed, reducing tear quality and production, resulting in dry eye syndrome.

Some researchers believe that dry eye is connected to changes in estrogen levels. This explains why many women experience dry eye symptoms during certain times of a woman’s monthly cycle, or while taking birth control pills.

Symptoms of dry eye syndrome

  • Red eyes
  • Burning in the eyes
  • Itchy eyes
  • Blurred vision
  • Gritty feeling in the eyes
  • The feeling something is caught in your eye. Excessive tearing

How Is Hormone-Related Dry Eye Treated?

Because reduced hormones during and after menopause can cause meibomian gland dysfunction, treatment should be focused on reducing dry eye symptoms.

Dry eye treatments can include:

  • Artificial tears
  • Lubricating eye drops
  • Eyelid hygiene
  • Oral antibiotics
  • Corticosteroid eye drops
  • Medications that reduce eyelid inflammation
  • Punctal plugs – to reduce tear flow away from the eyes

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Elizabeth Atkinson

Q: Are there home remedies to treat dry eye syndrome?

  • A: Yes. Here are a few things you can do at home to reduce dry eye symptoms.

    Limit your screen time. People who work at a computer all day blink less, which harms the tear film. Remember to take frequent breaks and to blink.
    Protect your eyes. Sunglasses that wrap around your face can block dry air and wind.
    Avoid triggers. Irritants like pollen and smoke can make your symptoms more severe.
    Try a humidifier. Keeping the air around you moist may help.
    Eat right. A diet rich in vitamin A and omega-3 fatty acids can encourage healthy tear production.
    Warm Compress. A warm compress will improve oil flow through your eyelid glands and clean your eyelids.

Q:Can dry eye syndrome damage your eyes?

  • A: Yes. Without sufficient tears, your eyes are not protected from the outside world, leading to an increased risk of eye infections. Severe dry eye syndrome can lead to abrasions or inflammation on the cornea, the front surface of the eye. This can cause pain, a corneal ulcer, and long-lasting vision problems.

    Menopause causes many changes throughout your body. If you’re experiencing dry eye symptoms due to hormonal changes, contact Dry Eye Center At Atkinson Eye Care to find out what dry eye treatments are available to give your eyes relief.



Dry Eye Center At Atkinson Eye Care serves patients from Algonquin, Schaumburg, Elgin, and Rockford, all throughout Illinois .

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Call Us 847-262-3166

4 Common Myopia Myths Debunked

4 Common Myopia Myths Debunked 640Myopia (nearsightedness) occurs when the eye elongates and rays of light entering the eye are focused in front of the light-sensitive retina rather than directly on it.

It’s by far the most common refractive error among children and young adults.

To help understand and learn more about what myopia means for your child’s vision, we’ve debunked 4 common myopia myths.

Myth: Myopia only develops in childhood

Fact: While it’s true that in most cases nearsightedness develops in childhood, it can also develop during one’s young adult years.

Myth: Wearing eyeglasses or contact lenses cause myopia to worsen

Fact: Prescription eyeglasses and contact lenses in no way exacerbate myopia. Optical corrections help you see comfortably and clearly. Another common misconception is that it’s better to use a weaker lens power than the one prescribed by your eye doctor. This is simply not true. By wearing a weaker lens you are contradicting the purpose of using corrective eyewear, which is to comfortably correct your vision.

Myth: Taking vitamins can cure myopia

Fact: Vitamins have been proven to slow the progression of or prevent some eye conditions, such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD) or cataracts. However, no vitamin has been shown to prevent or cure myopia. All vitamins and supplements should only be taken under the advice of your healthcare professional.

Myth: There is no way to slow the progression of myopia.

Fact: There are a few ways to slow down the progression of myopia:

Get more sunlight. Studies have shown that children who spend more time playing outdoors in the sunlight have slower myopia progression than children who are homebodies.

Take a break. Doing close work, such as spending an excessive amount of time looking at a digital screen, reading, and doing homework has been linked to myopia. Encouraging your child to take frequent breaks to focus on objects farther away can help. One well-known eye exercise is the 20-20-20 rule, where you take a 20-second break to view something 20 feet away every 20 minutes.

Other options to slow myopia progression include:

  • Orthokeratology/Ortho-k. These are specialized custom-fit contact lenses shown to decrease the rate of myopia progression through the gentle reshaping of the cornea when worn overnight.
  • Multifocal lenses offer clear vision at various focal distances. Studies show that wearing multifocal soft contact lenses or multifocal eyeglasses during the day can limit the progression of myopia compared to conventional single vision glasses or contact lenses.
  • Atropine drops. 1.0% atropine eye drops applied daily in one eye over a period of 2 years has shown to significantly reduce the progression of myopia

Prevent or slow the progression of your child’s myopia with myopia management. Contact Myopia Management Center At Atkinson Eye Care to book your child’s consultation today!

Myopia Management Center At Atkinson Eye Care serves patients from Algonquin, Schaumburg, Elgin, and Rockford, all throughout Illinois .

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Elizabeth Atkinson

Q: Can myopia be cured?

  • A: Currently, there is no cure for myopia. However, various myopia management methods can slow its progression.

Q: How much time should my child spend outdoors to reduce the risk of myopia?

  • A: Make sure your child spends at least 90 minutes a day outdoors.


Myopia Management Center At Atkinson Eye Care serves patients from Algonquin, Schaumburg, Elgin, and Rockford, all throughout Illinois .

 

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Call Us 847-262-3166

Tips For Wearing Scleral Lenses

Pretty Cheerful Woman Gesturing With Two Fingers Near Eyes. Youn

Scleral lenses are ideal for patients with corneal irregularities, dry eyes, and hard-to-fit eyes. Their uniquely large circumference offers the best in visual comfort and clarity. But wearing and caring for your scleral lenses can take some getting used to.

Below are our top 5 tips for anyone who wears scleral lenses. If you have questions about scleral lenses or any other optometric matter, Specialty Contact Lens Center At Atkinson Eye Care in Algonquin is here for you.

1. Lens Hygiene is Top Priority

Keeping your scleral lenses hygienic and free of buildup is key in ensuring the clearest possible vision. When you remove them from your eyes, rub them for several seconds with lens cleaner to remove surface debris and bacteria. Then, rinse them on both sides with saline solution before storing them.

Another hygiene tip: Before handling your lenses, be sure to wash your hands with soap and water, and to rinse and dry them with a lint-free cloth or paper towel. Good hygiene will significantly minimize possible complications and keep your eyes feeling fresh.

2. Manage Your Dry Eye

Many patients with dry eye syndrome (DES) choose to wear scleral lenses for their hydrating and soothing properties. While sclerals can offer substantial relief from their dry eye symptoms, patients shouldn’t forget to seek treatment for their DES.

That’s because scleral lenses help manage dry eye, but don’t actually treat it. So, it’s best to follow up with your eye doctor about any eye drops, medications, or at-home remedies to support healthy tears.

3. Use a Cotton Swab For Cleaning

Patients with long fingernails can find it challenging to thoroughly clean their scleral lenses. Rubbing the inside bowl of the lens with a cotton swab and cleaning solution can effectively remove the buildup from the lens. Then, rinse off the cleaning solution with saline to remove the cleaning solution and any lint from the cotton swab.

4. Try Different Insertion Tools

Is your current insertion method not working as smoothly as you’d like? No worries! Ask your eye doctor about different tools you can use, such as the O-ring or applicator ring.

But please only insert your lens with tools that your eye doctor recommends!

5. Follow Up With Your Eye Doctor

Because scleral lenses are customized, they often require a few visits with your optometrist to optimize their fit. Even after the fitting process is complete, follow-ups will help ensure that your lenses are still in good condition.

If your scleral lenses are giving you any trouble at all, we can help. To schedule your scleral lens consultation, call us today!

Specialty Contact Lens Center At Atkinson Eye Care serves patients in Algonquin, Schaumburg, Elgin, Rockford, and throughout Algonquin.

Frequently Asked Questions with Our Scleral Lenses Expert in Algonquin, Illinois :

Q: How do scleral lenses work?

  • A: Scleral lenses rest and vault over the entire sclera (white of the eye), encasing a hydrating reservoir in between the lens and the cornea (front surface of the eye). This allows people with irregular corneas to wear contact lenses, since the lens isn’t in direct contact with the cornea itself.

Q: How long do scleral lenses last?

  • A: Scleral lenses generally last 1-2 years, depending on how well you care for them and how your tear film reacts with them. Even so, check-ups every 6 months are recommended to ensure they still fit well and provide clear vision.


References

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How Often Does Your Myopic Child Need An Updated Prescription?

Mom Daughter Child Eye HealthEvery year you buy your children clothing without thinking about why you are doing it. You just know they have outgrown their clothes and need a new coat and certainly new shoes. This also applies to prescription glasses. When your child grows, so do their eyes.

If their eyes grow too long, they develop myopia — nearsightedness. Children whose myopia develops quickly, and/or is moderate to severe, are at a heightened risk of developing sight-threatening eye diseases in adulthood.

Changes in Your Eyes

Babies are born with eyes about 16.5 millimeters in length. When their eyes are about 24 millimeters long — at the age of 20 and 21 — they stop getting longer.

As our eyes grow larger, the way they refract light onto the retina can change, necessitating a new prescription.

During their first few years, children are mainly concerned with interacting with their surroundings, requiring them to use their intermediate and far vision. However, when the school years start, they begin to focus more intently on close-up activities like reading from books and using computers. As a result, their eyes may become more nearsighted.

School-age children can be impacted by progressive myopia, where the myopia continues to worsen throughout the school years. Their optical prescriptions can change, often dramatically, every 6-12 months

This progression in myopia continues as long as the eyes continue to grow, so as children grow, their prescription naturally changes as well.

Since most people’s eyes will stop growing in early adulthood, you will tend to see fewer changes in their prescription after the student completes high school or during their college years.

Myopia Management

If your child has myopia they will need prescription glasses. In some children, myopia progression is gradual. In others, their myopia progresses quickly, resulting in ever-higher levels of nearsightedness. Their eyeglass prescriptions need to be updated quickly.

To try and slow the progression of your child’s myopia, Dr. Atkinson may suggest a number of treatments, such as multifocal lenses and atropine drops, among others.

Atropine Drops

Atropine eye drops are most commonly used to dilate your pupils during certain eye exams. However, recent research has shown that a low-dose (0.01%) of atropine eye drops can effectively impede the progression of myopia in children. When the eye drops are applied, at bedtime, over an extended period of time, myopia progression can be reduced.

Multifocal Lenses

Multifocal soft contact lenses offer clear vision at various focal distances. Scientific evidence has shown that wearing multifocal glasses or contact lenses limits the progression of myopia compared to the standard single vision contact lenses or glasses most children wear.

At Myopia Management Center At Atkinson Eye Care, we provide our patients with effective, specialized treatment to control the progression of myopia. By stopping or slowing the progression of myopia, we reduce long-term risks to best ensure that your child enjoys the world with healthy eyes throughout their life.

Myopia Management Center At Atkinson Eye Care serves patients in Algonquin,Schaumburg, Elgin and Rockford, throughout Illinois .

Book An Appointment
Call Us 847-262-3166

Algonquin Eye Clinic – Is a Blinding Eye Disease Hiding?

Vision loss can occur with early signs only an eye doctor can see

Many eye diseases can be quickly and easily diagnosed during a comprehensive eye exam, pediatric eye exam and contact lens eye exam. If you were diagnosed with an eye disease, such as cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, or dry eye, you may be overwhelmed by the diagnosis and confused about what happens next. Will you need medications or surgery – now or in the future? Is LASIK eye and vision surgery an option for you? Our Algonquin eye doctor is always ready to answer your questions about eye disease and Contact lenses.

During the very early stages of many eye diseases, most people never notice a problem. For example, when age-related macular degeneration (AMD) first appears, blind spots can develop that people don’t see because their brain is compensating. But while the individual with AMD may not be aware of the disease, an eye doctor will detect it during a comprehensive eye exam. That’s why the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) strongly recommends people over age 40 to protect themselves from vision loss by visiting an eye clinic regularly for dilated eye exams.

How common is age-related macular degeneration?

Estimates report that more than 2 million Americans live with the most progressive forms of AMD, and this number is expected to rise to 4.4 million people by 2050. Age-related macular degeneration is the top cause of blindness among white Americans who are older than 40, and it’s one of the most common reasons for permanent vision loss in the world.

What is AMD?

This eye disease occurs when your macula, a part of the retina, is damaged. The macula is responsible for giving you a crisp, clear vision in the center of your field of view. A loss of central vision has far-reaching effects on your life, hampering your ability to read, drive, and see faces.

How often do I need to visit an eye care professional?

According to the AAO, adults with no signs or risk factors for ocular disease are advised to start with regular eye exams from age 40. Then, until age 54, guidelines recommend visiting an eye clinic every two to four years; between age 55-64, you should see your eye doctor every one to three years. By the time you are 65, annual eye exams are encouraged – even if you don’t experience any visual or eye symptoms. Of course, if you have additional risk factors for eye disease, your eye doctor may instruct you to visit more frequently.

Can vision loss from AMD be prevented?

Nowadays, eye doctors have even more technologies to diagnose age-related macular degeneration as early as possible – as long as you are vigilant about visiting your eye clinic for eye exams! Why are all these eye exams so important? Because the earlier AMD is detected and treated; the more effective treatment can be.

Possible treatments to help prevent vision loss from age-related macular degeneration include:

  • Injections of drugs to stop new blood vessels from forming and to block leaking from unhealthy blood vessels (symptoms characteristic of wet AMD)
  • Laser therapy to destroy abnormal blood vessels that are actively growing
  • Photodynamic laser therapy that causes damage to abnormal blood vessels
  • Taking vitamins as eye health supplements

Don’t let your brain fool you into thinking your vision is fine! Instead, let an eye doctor make that decision. In the year 2020, you couldn’t pick a better time to focus on your eyes. Contact an eye care center near you to book an eye exam today.

Call ATKINSON EYE CARE today to make an appointment: 847-854-5700 or alternatively you can book an appointment online here CLICK FOR AN APPOINTMENT

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What to Expect & Patient FAQ for COVID

What to expect upon arrival to an appointment

  • Employees and doctors will be in masks and/or gloves.
  • We are asking that all patients wear masks and gloves. If you don’t have any, we will provide them for you.
  • We are limiting the number of people in the building at the same time. If we reach that number, we may ask that you wait in your vehicle to allow time to properly sanitize in-between patients.
  • We are asking that all patients come to their appointments alone, if possible, or only bring one other person if necessary. Example: Child/Parent
  • We will have social distancing measures in place. We are asking that all patients stay 6 feet away from other patients during your visit to our practice.

Patient FAQ for COVID-19

Is it safe to schedule a regular appointment?

  • We are taking all safety precautions to ensure a safe and sanitary environment for all patients.

Why am I scheduled with a doctor that isn’t my regular doctor?

  • We are spacing out appointments to honor social distancing measures and will be scheduling one doctor a day to be working in the building. The doctor scheduled on the day of your appointment may not be your regular doctor, but we can ensure they will provide the ultimate care for you during this visit.

What if I don’t have a mask and gloves? Am I able to still make an appointment?

  • Absolutely. We are asking that all patients wear gloves and masks to appointments. If you don’t have these items, we will provide a sterile mask and gloves for you to use during your appointment.

What precautions are you taking to stop the spread of COVID-19?

  • We have several precautions in place to ensure the safety of our team and our patients. Our team will be wearing masks and gloves, and we are also providing masks and gloves to patients, as needed. We are enforcing a 6-foot rule for patients waiting in line at the reception area. We are limiting the number of people inside the building at one time, and asking that all patients come alone or bring one other person if necessary. We are spacing out our appointments to allow time to thoroughly disinfecting all surfaces and equipment in between each patient so we can ensure a sanitary environment for the next patient.

Should I be wearing contact lenses during this time?

  • Yes, it is okay to wear contacts. One of the main concerns around preventing COVID-19 is the number of times you touch your eyes and face – If you handle your lenses properly, it’s not as much of an issue. That means you should wash your hands thoroughly before putting your contacts in and properly disinfecting your contacts with a multi-purpose solution, not saline. It also means disposing of your contact lenses according to your doctor’s instructions. If you become sick, we do recommend you discontinue contact lens wear, whether it is the flu or coronavirus, as a good eye health practice.

Can I try on frames at this time?

  • Of course! In addition to cleaning each frame after it is tried on, we are continually cleaning all frames and surfaces with disinfectant to maintain the highest level of cleanliness. We also provide additional hand sanitizer for customer use.

Can I still get my new frames fitted when picking them up?

  • Yes! We ask that you set up an appointment to pick up your frames so we can ensure that we have a tech ready to fit them for you.

Do You Know Great Opticians?

Be Our New OpticianAs we celebrate twenty-five years of devoted service to our community, we at Atkinson Eye Care are pleased to announce that we are looking to hire another optician.

If you know of anyone who can fit the role of a Full Time, Experienced Optician including evenings and Saturdays, please reach out!

The ideal candidate will be dynamic and friendly, organized, and efficient at multi-tasking in a very busy environment. Knowledge of lenses and vision care plans is a must. We have an outstanding and professional work environment and are a great place to work with; we have both a friendly staff and wonderful patients!

Resumes with cover letters can be emailed to aec@atkinsoneyecare.comcastbiz.net or call Atkinson Eye Care 847-854-5700

 

Do I have Eye Allergies?

Know the symptoms of seasonal eye allergies and how to get rid of this pesky problem

As the weather warms, flower buds are opening, and your neighbors are dragging their lawnmowers out for an annual spring tune-up. And suddenly you find a need to rub your itchy, red, and sore eyes constantly. Yep, it’s that time of year again – the time that seasonal allergies blossom with the trees.

Nasal symptoms of seasonal allergies, like a runny nose and sneezing, usually get all the attention, but actually, eye allergies (your eye doctor may call it “allergic conjunctivitis”) are pretty common – affecting millions of people in the US. Grass allergy and pollen in the eyes are the primary cause of eye irritation. What’s the best treatment? And how can you get rid of your eye allergies?

Local Contact lens supplier near you in Algonquin, Illinois

Eye exam to diagnose eye allergies in Algonquin, Illinois eye doctor’s tips on how to recognize and relieve allergies.

The ocular symptoms of your seasonal allergies are caused when your body’s immune system becomes sensitized and overreacts to an environmental trigger that’s really harmless. That trigger, called an allergen, makes contact with antibodies in your eyes – and these cells respond by releasing histamine. Histamine and other natural chemicals cause tiny blood vessels in your eyes to leak, which can lead to redness, itchiness, burning, inflammation, and watery eyes. The symptoms can range from mild to severe enough to interfere with your clear vision. Rest assured – eye allergies are not dangerous, as annoying as they can be.

However, these symptoms alone are not enough to blame seasonal allergies. All of these signs are not unique to eye allergies and could point to several different eye diseases. That’s why a precise diagnosis is imperative! Our Algonquin, Illinois eye doctor will perform a comprehensive evaluation of your eyes to identify the cause of the irritation.

Atkinson Eye Care Eye Clinic and seasonal allergies in Algonquin, Illinois

Many eye diseases can be quickly and easily diagnosed during a comprehensive eye exam. If you were diagnosed with an eye disease, such as Cataracts, Glaucoma, Macular degeneration, Diabetic retinopathy, or Dry eye, you may be overwhelmed by the diagnosis and confused about what happens next. Will you need medications or surgery – now or in the future? Our Algonquin eye doctor has prepared the following answers to your questions about eye disease.

Avoid your trigger to get rid of eye allergies

Grass allergy and pollen in your eyes are the most typical triggers for seasonal eye allergies, often called hay fever. Since that’s the case, you’re probably wondering how you can possibly avoid these widespread allergens. Before you lock yourself in your room and wait for the seasons to change, our eye doctor recommends:

  • Keep windows closed when the pollen count is high. Use a/c in your home, office, and the car in order to clean the air around you.
  • Do not rub your eyes! This spreads the pollen (and irritation!) all over.
  • When you are outdoors, always wear glasses and sunglasses to keep pollen out of your eyes. Don’t wear your contacts! Contact lenses can exacerbate eye allergies because they are a great surface for pollen to cling to and pile up.
  • When you return indoors after being exposed to seasonal allergens, rinse your eyes with saline drops.
  • Clean your floors with a damp rag, instead of sweeping with a dry broom that pushes any pollen that’s settled back into the air.

Local seasonal allergies in Algonquin, Illinois

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What’s the best treatment for eye allergies?

Some of the symptoms can be managed with nonprescription drugs, especially if your eye allergies are mild. Try using artificial tears to keep your ocular surface clean. Decongestant eye drops may also help, however, it’s not a good idea to use these for more than a few days since they can worsen your condition with prolonged use.

What about antihistamines for red eyes and seasonal allergies? Antihistamine eye drops, mast cell stabilizer eye drops, corticosteroid eye drops, and NSAID eye drops are accepted short-term treatment for eye allergies. Because these are all prescription drugs, you will need to visit your eye doctor (and possibly an allergist too) to determine which medication is most suitable for you. Some non-sedating oral histamines may also be effective at relieving your symptoms, but they can dry out eyes – thereby making the irritation worse. If your seasonal allergies are extreme and get in the way of functional living, immunotherapy allergy shots or tablets may offer long-term relief.

Are seasonal allergies disrupting your life?

Visit Atkinson Eye Care for more tips on how to enjoy clear and comfortable vision in Algonquin, Illinois , all year-round! Call Atkinson Eye Care on 847-260-9509 to schedule an eye exam with our Algonquin optometrist. Alternatively book an appointment online here CLICK FOR AN APPOINTMENT

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Just in case you missed them, here are some of our previous blog posts :

The Sneak Thief of Sight

Algonquin Eye Clinic – Is a Blinding Eye Disease Hiding?

The Right (and the Wrong) Way to Clean Your Glasses

What You Should Know About Eye Herpes