Saturday, November 13, 2010

Red eyes? Don't go grabbing just any eyedrop!

If you have red, irritated eyes, you may be tempted to grab the nearest bottle of Visine "Get the Red Out". These eyedrops contain a special ingredient which temporarily constricst the blood vessels, helping the eyes to whiten in most cases. However, there is a 'rebound reaction', and the blood vessels can return. Sometimes people become dependent on them, and if you read the small print on the bottle label, it might say "Overuse may cause more redness". Great!

Eye redness may be due to multiple factors. Sometimes staring at a computer screen all day can dry out the eye and cause redness. Eye fatigue, dryness, irritation, allergies, infection and contact lenses can all contribute to mild redness. It is best to have a thorough exam where your tear film can be evaluated and we can determine the cause and extent of your redness.

Some mild dry eye and redness problems can be solved with over-the-counter eyedrops. I have a few favorites, but it depends on each person as to which one works best for them. Some are formulated better for allergies, some are for severe dry eye, and some are for mild dry eye. There are also several prescription eye drops which help relieve more persistent cases of redness or dry eye.

If you have trouble with dry, irritated or red eyes, please do not settle for an eyedrop that might make things worse! Come in and see us for a thorough, personal exam to determine the best treatment for you!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

You are what you see...

What do you see to the left? A young lady or an old woman?

I see the back of a young lady, but if you look closely enough, you will notice that it could also be a picture of an old woman. Turn the young lady's ear into a wrinkled eye, and turn the young chin into a crooked nose of an old woman.

This optical illusion is a reminder that there is often more than one way to 'see' any situation. If we undergo a hardship in life, it may look like an 'old woman' when in reality it is a 'young lady' full of life and promise.

What is your 'old woman' that needs to be turned into a 'young lady'? I am reminded of a patient who came to our office for an exam because his labrador puppy had chewed up his expensive glasses. He was so mad at that puppy! However, because of the exam and the retinal photos that were taken, it was found that he had early stages of an eye disease. It turns out the puppy may have saved his vision because his condition was managed at an early stage and will not progress to vision loss.

I believe that any, and I mean any negative situation can be turned around for good. Look at it in a positive light and it will become a positive experience. We are what we see... Let's see the good in any situation!

If you have a story you'd like to share to help encourage the rest of us, don't be shy! Feel free to leave your story below.