Dr. Heyler is happy to answer all your eyecare questions.
I have an infant, a toddler, and a teenager; should my kids be wearing sunglasses?
Dr. Heyler: Definitely! Childhhood is a very crucial time in development and appropriate measures need to be taken to protect childrens eyes early in their lives. UV protection is the most crucial before a child reaches 18-20 years old. The lens of the eye is a natural absorber of blue light and UV rays, only after around the age of 20. Up until this age, the lens allows UV or blue light into the eye. This is why it is so important for young children to wear sunglasses because we get 80% of our harmful UV exposure before the age of 18-20. However, this doesn’t mean that adults are off the hook! They still need to protect their eyes with proper sunglasses as well. Even though the lens may prevent the UV light from reaching the retina in adults, without proper protection it can still damage the front of the eye as well as the lens itself.
Q: My eyes are always burning and tired, what is causing this and what can I do about it?
A: These are often signs of dry eye syndrome, a very common condition that affects many people over time. Women are generally more prone to developing these symptoms and aging is often a cause as well. Dryness of our eyes is often due to a decrease in the oil production in our eyelid glands which causes the surface of the eye to become irritated. Certain medications and health issues can also contribute to dryness. There is no true cure for dryness but many treatments are available such as the use of artificial tears, nutritional supplements incorporating Omega 3, prescription medications such as Restasis, and eyelid hygiene. No single treatment works for every individual so we customize treatments for each person and their specific condition.
Q: Are some people more prone to having Dry Eyes than others?
A: Yes. Generally those that suffer with allergies, or have systemic inflammatory diseases like arthritis and sjogrens’, or those who use the computer or digital devices often and even contact lens wearers tend to be more susceptible to dry eye symptoms.
Q: How do I know if I have Dry Eye?
A: Dry eye can cause quite a few symptoms, anything from the eyes actually feeling dry to the eyes watering often, or having a burning, itchy, or irritated feeling. One of the most common symptoms is the eyes feeling gritty or like something is in your eye. Most people will often experience blurred vision since the tears, which comprise the outermost surface of the eye, are unstable.