Temporary Causes of Blindness and Blind Spots

When most people think of visiting an emergency eye doctor in Pittsburgh, PA, they think of things like traumatic wounds to the eye. However, a vision health emergency can actually be less obvious. This is the case when it comes to sudden changes in visual capabilities. From blind spots to temporary instances of blindness, any major vision changes should be treated as an emergency. Take a look at a few causes of temporary blindness and blind spots.

Migraine Headaches

Migraine headaches have the ability to cause changes in your vision. Many migraine sufferers report having light sensitivity, but some people can also experience temporary changes in visual capabilities. An ocular migraine, which affects the retina, can cause short-term vision loss.

High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure is one of the most common causes of temporary blindness. A spike in blood pressure affects the blood vessels that feed oxygenated blood to the retina and other parts of the eye. If this blood supply is disrupted, you may see spots in your vision or even temporary blindness in the most severe cases.

Acute Angle-Closure Glaucoma

When fluid in the eye is not capable of flowing as it should, it causes a buildup of pressure. This condition is what is medically referred to as acute angle-closure glaucoma. If the pressure within the eye is not treated immediately, you could be facing permanent vision loss. Signs of acute angle-closure glaucoma include blurred vision, halos around lights, and eye pain.

Talk to a Pittsburgh, PA Eye Doctor About Vision Concerns

Any major changes in your vision are a sign that something is wrong, and a Pittsburgh, PA eye doctor needs to take a look. Have you experienced blind spots or changes in your vision? Reach out to Lappen Eye Care to schedule an appointment.

What Everyone Should Know About Dry Eyes

Dry eyes can cause significant discomfort. Dry eyes can also make your eyes look red, which can be frustrating. Some people experience dry eyes seasonally, while others may experience dry eyes year-round. Understanding what causes dry eyes and how to treat them can help you manage this frustrating condition. Working with your eye doctor in the Pittsburgh area can help. Here’s what to know.

Dry Eye Causes

Dry eyes can be caused by certain medical conditions, certain medications and even by aging. Dry eyes are exacerbated by conditions in the environment like low humidity, staring into the wind and using the computer for long stretches.

How to Treat Dry Eyes

The best way to treat your dry eyes is to first see an eye doctor. Your eye doctor can determine whether your dry eyes are a chronic problem or the result of something temporary, like a medication that you’re currently taking. Your eye doctor can also determine the best course of action to treat your dry eyes.

In addition, there are many small changes you can make to your environment and behaviors that will help with dry eyes. For example:

  • Don’t blow dryers on high heat – turn the dryer to a low temperature and low setting
  • Use a humidifier in your home, especially at times of year when the humidity outside is very low
  • Use artificial tears

If your dry eyes are severe enough, your eye doctor may recommend prescription artificial tears. Medication can help your eyes stay moist enough to improve your comfort.

Dry eyes are a problem if you want to wear contact lenses, because moisture can stop infections. Get your dry eyes treated if you want to wear contacts in the Pittsburgh area. Call Lappen Eye Care for more information.

What Are the Symptoms of Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a serious condition that, if left untreated, can cause permanent blindness. The only way to protect your vision from glaucoma is to seek treatment from an eye doctor in the Pittsburgh area.

Seeing an eye doctor and getting treatment as early as possible can help save your vision. Knowing the symptoms of the signs of glaucoma is important, so you’ll know how to protect yourself from this serious problem.

Early Stages

Unfortunately, in the earliest stages of glaucoma, many people have no symptoms at all. During the early stages, the damage may be occurring slowly and without patient awareness.

Depending on the type of glaucoma affecting the patient, they may also experience one or more of the following:

  • Severe pain in the eyes
  • Redness in the eyes
  • Blurry vision
  • Foggy vision
  • Dilated pupils
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Halos around lights

Some types of glaucoma can seem to come on very suddenly, with permanent damage to the vision following shortly after. If you’re experiencing any of the above symptoms, contact your eye doctor immediately or go to the emergency room.

Later Stages

If glaucoma is left untreated, it can lead to permanent vision loss. Vision loss from glaucoma is not reversible.

Why It’s Important to See the Eye Doctor

While glaucoma can’t be cured, it can be treated, and in many cases, vision loss can be avoided. This is why it’s important to see an eye doctor on a regular basis, and get checked for glaucoma periodically. If your eye doctor detects glaucoma, it’s important to get glaucoma treatment in the Pittsburgh area. Getting glaucoma treatment can help you manage this condition and avoid blindness and other permanent damage. Call Lappen Eye Care today to make an appointment for an examination today.

3 Situations That Should Spur Emergency Eye Care

Unsure of whether you should visit an emergency eye doctor in Pittsburgh, PA? Certain situations should spur you to make the call to ensure your visual health is protected. Take a look at a few situations that require emergency eye care.

1. Scratched Eye

One of the most common eye health emergencies, a scratched cornea can seem like no major deal. While your eye may burn and water after the corneal lens has been scratched, most people assume the issue will simply heal. However, scratches on the surface of the eye leave you prone to serious infections. Further, the potential scarring from a deep scratch can lead to long-term problems with your vision.

2. Swollen or Inflamed Eyes

Swollen or inflamed eyes can point to a series of visual health problems. If the eyelid is swollen, this may be a sign of blepharitis, chalazion, or something else. If the eye itself is swollen or inflamed, this could be anything from conjunctivitis (pink eye) to injury to the eye. All of these issues should be assessed by an optometrist.

3. Sudden Changes in Vision

Drastic changes in your vision that come about without a known cause should always be treated as eye health emergencies. Several things can be taking place within the eye or within your body that are detrimentally affecting your vision. For example, sudden changes in vision can be related to high blood pressure, but may also be a sign of high eye pressure affecting the retinal nerve.

Get Urgent Eye Care in Pittsburgh, PA

Just as an emergency situation with your body requires immediate attention, an emergency situation with your eyes requires the help of a Pittsburgh, PA eye doctor. Reach out to us at Lappen Eye Care to get immediate assistance if you believe you are dealing with an eye health emergency.

Is Smoking Bad For Your Eyes?

You may have heard that smoking is bad for you in a variety of ways, but did you know that smoking is bad for your eyes? It’s true! Smoking puts you at increased risk for a variety of problems, including certain conditions that can impact your visual health. If you smoke, it’s important to see your eye doctor in Pittsburgh and the surrounding area on a regular basis. Visiting the eye doctor can help catch some of those conditions before they become advanced. Here’s what you need to know.

Smoking Increases Risk of Certain Eye Conditions

Smoking can increase the risk of a variety of eye conditions, which may lead to vision loss or even blindness, depending on the type of condition, severity, and whether the condition is treated in its early stages. Some eye conditions that you may be at high risk for, if you smoke:

  • Age-related macular degeneration. You may be up to four times more likely to develop this condition, if you smoke.
  • Glaucoma. Smoking can increase your risk of high blood pressure, which increases your risk of glaucoma.
  • Cataracts. People who smoke heavily can be up to three times more likely to get cataracts compared to those who don’t smoke.
  • Dry eye syndrome. Dry eye syndrome is twice as likely to occur in smokers as non-smokers.

How to Keep Your Eyes Healthy if You Smoke

If you smoke, one of the ways you can help keep your eyes healthy is to get your eye exam in Pittsburgh from an experienced eye care professional. Make an appointment with Lappen Eye Care to find out more about keeping your eyes healthy.

What Are the Most Common Eye Disorders?

Worried about your vision? As we grow older and begin to experience the effects of normal aging, we often begin noticing changes in vision. We may need bifocals where we once had perfect eyesight, or we may have more difficulty reading small print. For most of us, it’s a simple fact of life, caused by growing older. However, sometimes there’s something more serious at work, which is why regular vision screenings with your optometrist in Pittsburgh, PA, are so important.

Refractive Errors

Refractive errors include near-sightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, and presbyopia. Most of us are familiar with near-sightedness and farsightedness. Usually, the answer to both is corrective lenses. Astigmatism is caused by an imperfection in the curvature of your eye’s cornea and causes blurry vision at all distances. Presbyopia, lastly, makes it difficult for your eyes to focus on objects that are close up. Eyeglasses or contact lenses can usually correct refractive errors.

Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)

This common eye condition related to aging causes a loss of central vision. You may also see straight lines as wavy. AMD is a result of damage to your eye’s macula — the part of your retina that allows you to see colors and fine details. Normal aging causes AMD in some people. Treatment includes making simple lifestyle changes, taking medication, and undergoing eye injections or laser treatment.

Cataracts

Cataracts happen when a cloud-like film develops over the lens of your eye, obscuring your vision. Many people develop cataracts as they age. Fortunately, they’re usually simple to treat through surgery that removes the cloudy lens and places an artificial one in its place.

Keeping regular appointments with your vision specialist can help with early detection of common eye disorders in Pittsburgh, PA. Call Lappen Eye Care today to schedule an appointment.

Lappen Eye Care – Should I Get Bifocals or Reading Glasses?

When it comes to getting eyeglasses, things can be complicated. If you have a certain kind of vision problem, you may have very different correction needs for distance vision versus mid-point or near vision. And depending upon your age, you may have a choice ahead of you between bifocals and reading glasses. So, which one is better, you may ask your eye doctor in Greensburg, PA. Well, there are pros and cons to each:

Pros and Cons of Bifocals

Pro: Bifocals provide both near and far viewing in one convenient set of eyeglasses Greensburg, PA.

Con: Bifocals take time to get used to, since you have to look out of different areas of the lenses to achieve clear distance or near vision.

Pro: Bifocals are now available in a seamless version, which prevents others knowing you are wearing bifocals.

Con: Depending on your near, mid and distance vision needs, it can be challenging to find a good bifocal fit.

Pros and Cons of Reading Glasses

Pro: Reading glasses can be precision-made to fit your exact near vision needs, whether it’s for work, hobby activities, reading, etc.

Con: Since reading glasses are separate, it’s harder to ensure they are handy when you actually need to use them. For this reason, many people keep several reading glasses located around the home or office.

Pro: Reading glasses are now available in trendy and stylish designs, making them a more attractive option even for younger individuals

Con: It can get old very fast to have to remove regular eyeglasses and switch to reading glasses every time you need to see something in close proximity.

Talk to your eye doctor in Greensburg, PA about which option might be best for you between reading glasses and bifocals. Since every situation is different, you and your eye doctor will be able to come up with the best solution.

Am I At Risk for Glaucoma?

Are you at risk for glaucoma? You might be and not even know it. Glaucoma is a condition that you might develop without ever realizing it, until permanent damage is done to your eyesight. If you’re at risk for glaucoma, it’s very important to see your eye doctor in Pittsburgh and the surrounding area. Only your eye doctor can catch glaucoma in its earliest stages. Catching it early can help you avoid potential loss of eyesight.

Glaucoma Risk Factors

Everyone can get glaucoma, but some people are at higher risk than others. Genetics is one risk factor. If members of your family have been diagnosed with glaucoma, you may be at higher risk as well.

Below are some more risk factors that can make you more likely to get glaucoma.

  • Age. People over age 60 are more likely to get glaucoma.
  • Eyesight. If you’re extremely near-sighted or far-sighted, you may be more likely to get glaucoma.
  • Medication. People who take corticosteroid medications (especially for a long time) are at increased risk to get glaucoma.
  • Health. Some conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease put patients at an increased risk of getting glaucoma.

For a full list of risk factors, speak with your eye doctor at Lappen Eye Care.

How to Know If You Have Glaucoma

Since the early stages of glaucoma may have no symptoms, the only way to tell if you have glaucoma may be to get an eye exam in Pittsburgh. At Lappen Eye Care, we provide eye exams for patients in the Pittsburgh area. During the eye exams, we’ll check your eyes for glaucoma and other chronic conditions that could dramatically impact your eye health. To make an appointment, call today.

When Should My Little One See the Eye Doctor?

Has your little one ever gone to the eye doctor in Pittsburgh? If not, they should! It’s important for children to see the eye doctor regularly. Catching vision problems at a young age can help your child meet developmental and academic milestones. In this article, we’ll talk about how often and when your child should see the eye doctor. Here’s what to know.

Eye Exam Schedule for Babies and Toddlers

Children should get an eye exam in Pittsburgh once before they’re 3 years old, and again between the age of 3 and 5. Once your child is school-aged, they should see the eye doctor annually.

It’s very important to catch vision problems as soon as possible, because vision problems can impact your child’s performance in school. Children who have a hard time seeing in school may struggle or lose interest in their lessons, which can impact them for years to come.

Know the Signs of a Problem

Sometimes it’s hard to tell when a child has a vision problem. Knowing the signs that your child is having a vision problem can help you decide when it’s time for your child to see the eye doctor. Here’s what to look for:

  • Squints when looking at certain objects
  • Sits close to the television or the white board at school
  • Struggles to read or stay engaged while reading
  • Often loses their place while reading

Benefits of Seeing the Eye Doctor

Seeing the eye doctor can help your child get the services they need to help them succeed in school and later in life. To find out more about how an exam can help your child, call Lappen Eye Care.

When Is It Time to See the Eye Doctor?

Do you know when it’s time to see the eye doctor in Pittsburgh? Knowing the signs of a problem and how often eye doctors recommend coming in for check-ups can help you take care of your eyes. Visiting the eye doctor on a regular basis is important. Your eye doctor can help you avoid chronic eye conditions and help ensure that you’ve got the right prescription lenses for your needs.

See the Eye Doctor on a Regular Basis

Many eye doctors recommend that adults get their eyes examined on a regular basis – whether they need corrective lenses or not. The reason it’s important to see the eye doctor, even if you don’t need corrective lenses, is that some eye conditions have no symptoms in the early stages.

Seeing the eye doctor can help you identify those conditions before they lead to permanent damage. After age 60, eye doctors recommend that patients without corrective lenses see the eye doctor every year or two. If you wear corrective lenses, see the eye doctor annually, regardless of your age, to find out if your prescription has changed.

When You Notice Signs of a Problem

See the eye doctor when you notice signs of a problem. Signs of a problem include:

  • Blurry vision
  • Dry eyes
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Spots in your vision
  • Headaches
  • Eye pain

You Want New Glasses

Do you want new eye glasses in Pittsburgh? See the eye doctor! Your eye doctor will give you an eye exam. Once you have a new prescription, you can get new glasses.

Is It Time to See the Eye Doctor? Contact Lappen Eye Care

Make your next eye appointment with Lappen Eye Care. Call today!