What Is Optic Neuritis?

Optic neuritis is usually a temporary condition that’s caused by swelling of the optic nerve due to multiple sclerosis, lupus, or other types of infection. Because it’s responsible for carrying the signals that interpret images to your brain, a swollen optic nerve may affect your vision. To learn more about this sometimes painful eye condition, talk with your eye doctor in Pittsburgh, PA.

Is Optic Neuritis Always Temporary?

Optic neuritis will go away once it has been treated, and vision usually returns to normal. However, there are instances when the vision loss caused by swelling of the optic nerve becomes permanent. For this reason, it’s vital to see your eye doctor if you’re experiencing any unusual changes in vision.

What Are the Symptoms of Optic Neuritis?

Signs and symptoms of optic neuritis include:

  • Dull ache behind the eye that worsens with eye movement
  • Difficulty distinguishing between colors
  • Peripheral vision loss
  • Loss of vision in one eye
  • Sensation of flashing or flickering lights

One or more of these warning signs could indicate optic neuritis, or they could be early indicators of another serious disorder. Book an appointment with your eye doctor in Pittsburgh, PA, if you’re experiencing vision problems.

What Can Be Done to Treat Optic Neuritis?

Your eye doctor may be able to treat instances of optic neuritis with steroid medications. In more serious cases, plasma exchange therapy may help you recover lost vision, though this treatment is still in its early stages. The key to having a positive outcome is an early diagnosis. This may prevent serious or permanent vision loss in some patients.

Help for Optic Neuritis in Pittsburgh, PA

Lappen Eye Care provides diagnosis and treatment of eye conditions such as optic neuritis in Pittsburg, PA. Our friendly and experienced eye professionals are waiting to talk with you. Call today to schedule a consultation.

Why Are My Eyes So Itchy?

Itchy eyes aren’t usually a source for major concern, but it is a nuisance. Itchy eyes can get in the way of seeing properly, being able to complete tasks and even prevent you from getting a good night’s rest. Some of the most common reasons for itchy eyes are:

Seasonal Allergies

Even if you don’t consider yourself to have allergies, your eyes can be more sensitive to seasonal allergies. If you are also experiencing other symptoms like sneezing or a runny nose, allergies may be the cause. An over-the-counter antihistamine might offer relief.

Poor Content Lens Hygiene

If your contact lenses aren’t properly cleaned and sanitized, they can cause eye irritation and itchiness. It might be time for a new contact lens case, a fresh bottle of contact cleaning solution or a new set of contact lenses. See your eye doctor for contact lenses in Greensburg, PA for an eye exam and an up-to-date contact lens prescription.

Dry Eye Syndrome

If your itchy eyes are accompanied by a sandy, scratchy sensation, redness or other discomfort, you may have dry eye syndrome. This is a condition where your eyes don’t produce sufficient lubrication. See your Greensburg, PA eye doctor for treatment.

Pink Eye

One of the main symptoms of pink eye, or conjunctivitis, is itchy eyes. This is a contagious infection that also causes inflammation, watery eye and the tell-tale pink tint to the whites of the eye. You’ll want to book an emergency appointment with your eye doctor for treatment.


Several types of eye infection can cause itchiness in the eyes. If none of the reasons listed above seem to be the problem, it’s possible you have an infection of some kind that needs to be treated by a professional.

Any eye itchiness that interferes with your daily life or becomes chronic should be treated by your eye doctor in Greensburg, PA. Contact us today to book your appointment.

3 Questions to Ask Your Eye Doctor At the Next Visit

If you have glasses or an eye condition, then you likely see the eye doctor every one or two years. Your eye appointments are a chance to ask your eye doctor questions that can keep you informed about your eye health. Before you go to your next eye exam in Pittsburgh and the surrounding area, give some thought to the types of questions that you might like to ask your eye doctor. Below are three examples of questions that could help you understand your eye health.

1. Will My Eye Condition or Prescription Change Over Time?

Prescriptions and eye conditions change over time. If you have an eye condition that may worsen, it’s helpful to know what changes in eyesight or eye health you can anticipate, so you can be on the lookout for symptoms and signs that it’s time to go back to the eye doctor.

2. What Lifestyle Changes Can I Make to Promote Good Eye Health?

Some habits, like smoking and drinking, can contribute to poor eye health over time. Your eye doctor can coach you on the changes that you can make to ensure good eye health with time.

3. When Should I Come Back for My Next Visit?

Some people need to see the eye doctor every year, some come back every two years – or even less often. Have a conversation with your eye doctor to find out when you should return to the eye doctor’s office for your next checkup.

Is it time to make an appointment with your eye doctor in Pittsburgh and the surrounding area? Contact Lappen Eye Care to get your next appointment on the schedule.

Can Dry Eye Worsen As the Days Turn Colder?

Winter is challenging in many ways, but for those who struggle with a condition known as dry eye, it can be especially uncomfortable. If you notice your symptoms of dry eye worsening as fall turns into winter, your optometrist in Pittsburgh, PA, has solutions.

What Is Dry Eye?

Dry eye is a condition that occurs because your body can’t produce enough tears to keep your eyes comfortably lubricated. There may be many reasons why someone may experience the symptoms of dry eye, including:

  • Dehydration
  • Hormonal changes
  • Illness or disease
  • Certain medications
  • Inflamed eyelid glands
  • Allergies

If you develop dry eye, you may notice symptoms such as burning, itching, and redness of the eyes. It may feel as though you have debris caught under your eyelid, and you may find yourself fishing thin strings of mucus out of the eye. This condition is usually very uncomfortable, which is why it’s important to schedule a dry eye screening with your vision specialist right away. Treatment for dry eyes can bring immediate relief.

How Do the Winter Months Affect Dry Eyes?

Dry eyes often worsen as summer fades to fall and fall to winter, because there’s less moisture in the air. This is especially true indoors, where the air is constantly being heated.

Some people are also more allergy-prone during the cooler months because of common triggers such as ragweed, mold, and dust mites. Ragweed usually releases pollen between the months of August and October. And it’s estimated that roughly 75 percent of those who have spring plant allergies are also sensitive to ragweed.

Where to Find Help for Dry Eye in Pittsburgh

If you’re struggling with dry eyes in Pittsburgh, call Lappen Eye Care to schedule an eye exam. The friendly and professional eye specialists at Lappan Eye Care can help ease the pain and discomfort associated with dry eyes.

Is It Dry Eye, or Pink Eye? What to Know

Do you have red, itchy eyes? Are you worried that you might have dry eye, or pink eye, and you’re not sure which? The symptoms of these two conditions can be surprisingly similar! At Lappen Eye Care, we provide eye care and eye exams in Pittsburgh and the surrounding area to help you recover from eye related conditions. Here’s what you need to know about dry eye and pink eye – and the difference between the two.

Dry Eye and its Symptoms

Dry eye is a condition that occurs when your eyes don’t make adequate tears to keep your eyes properly moist. Tears can help protect your eyes from bacteria, dirt and debris. The tears your eyes make also help you focus your vision, so it’s important for your eyes to make enough tears! Symptoms of dry eye include:

  • Scratchy, burning eyes
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Mucus in or around your eyes
  • Difficulty wearing contact lenses
  • Redness of the eye
  • Watery eyes (a response from your body to your dry eyes)

Pink Eye and its Symptoms

Pink eye is a condition that involves inflammation of the membrane around the eyeball (called the conjunctiva). Pink eye looks very similar to dry eye in that its symptoms include:

  • Red, itchy eyes (one or both eyes)
  • A scratchy or gritty feeling in the eye
  • Tearing
  • Discharge around the eyes

When to Go to the Eye Doctor

You may not know whether you have pink eye or dry eye. That’s why it’s important to speak with an eye doctor! If you’re having a problem with red eyes and discomfort in your eyes, contact your eye doctor in the Pittsburgh area to find out what your next steps are. The professionals at Lappen Eye Care can help!

Afraid of Losing Your Glasses? What You Can Do

Your eyeglasses are too valuable to lose! Some people struggle to keep track of their glasses, but there are many things you can do to keep your glasses where you can find them. If you’ve just purchased eyeglasses in Pittsburgh area, then these tips can help you keep your glasses where you can find them.

Create a Place Where Your Glasses “Live”

If you always put your glasses in different places when you take your glasses off, this will make them harder to locate when you’re not wearing them. Put your glasses in the same one or two places every time you take them off. Knowing where you always put your glasses will help you find them later.

Buy a Brightly Colored Case

Glasses tend to blend into the background easily, especially when your glasses have thin wire rims. If you take off your glasses and set them down on a table or countertop, they might be hard to see. You can fix this problem by putting your glasses inside something large and brightly colored.

When you remove your glasses, put them in a large, vibrant case. This will make it easier for your glasses to stand out in the room where you set them down.

Wear Your Glasses As Often As Possible

Some people take off their glasses whenever they’re not using them, but the easiest way to avoid losing your glasses is to keep them on your face. Get in the habit of wearing your glasses as long as you’re awake.

Need a spare pair of eyeglasses? Need new glasses? Call your eye doctor in the Pittsburgh area. At Lappen Eye Care, we provide eye exams and offer a range of stylish eyeglasses. Call today to learn more.

What’s Causing My Dry Eye and What Can I Do About It?

Dry eye can be a pain! Dry eyes can ruin your day by making your eyes red, itchy and uncomfortable. Knowing the causes of dry eye and how to get dry eye treatment in the Pittsburgh area can help restore your vision – and eyes – to better health. Here’s what you need to know.

Dry Eye Causes

There are many things that can cause dry eyes, so if you’re suffering from dry eye, you may not immediately understand why. Some common causes of this problem:

  • Certain medications, particularly antihistamines
  • Aging, hormonal changes and menopause
  • Changes in the environment that lead to dry air
  • Diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, Sjogren’s syndrome and certain collagen vascular diseases
  • Seasonal allergies

Dry Eye Treatment

The way that dry eyes are treated depends on the cause. Mild dry eyes can be treated with over-the-counter artificial tears.

Another way to treat your dry eyes is to eliminate the cause. For example, some people experience dry eyes in winter, when the air is less humid. If this is the cause of your dry eyes, using a humidifier in the parts of your home where you spend the most time can help treat the problem.

Ultimately, your eye doctor can help you determine the best treatment for your dry eyes. If needed, your eye doctor can prescribe medications that can help restore the appropriate moisture your eyes.

Get Dry Eye Care at Lappen Eye Care

If you’re suffering from dry eye, contact your eye doctor in the Pittsburgh area. At Lappen Eye Care, we help patients identify the causes of dry eye and also help them manage their dry eye symptoms. Call today to make an appointment.

When Should I Be Concerned About Occasional Double Vision?

Seeing double is a relatively normal occurrence for most of us, even if it happens rarely. The medical term is diplopia and it’s defined as seeing two different images of a single item (regardless of whether it’s a person or a piece of furniture). It may go away with a blink or two or a good night’s sleep, but not always. We’ll look at the specifics of the condition and what you can do if you’re concerned.

What You Should Know About Seeing Double

Most people who have double vision won’t see their doctor for it, so it might surprise you that hundreds of thousands of people still visit a healthcare provider because of it. As one of the more common reasons to head to the ER, it should give you an idea of how often this happens.

Diplopia can sometimes be caused by dry eye syndrome or ill-fitting contact lenses. In this case, it’s as simple as an eye drop or a quick adjustment to fix it. Sometimes, it’s caused by something more nefarious, like cataracts or an iris abnormality. If you’re seeing double, it’s not unusual for this symptom to be accompanied by headache, nausea, or general blurry vision. If you’ve seen any type of change in the recent past, it might be worth a trip just for your peace of mind.

See an Optometrist in Pittsburgh, PA

If you’re getting blurry or double vision in Pittsburgh, PA relatively often, it might be time to talk to someone who can diagnose the issue as either innocuous or indicative of something more. At Lappen Eyecare, our doctors are here to treat the condition, regardless of its severity or underlying causes. Contact us to tell us more about your symptoms or to schedule an appointment.

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 Is Astigmatism?  

You may have heard the term “astigmatism” before, but if you’re like many people, you probably don’t know what astigmatism is. When you see your eye doctor in Pittsburgh, you can find out what astigmatism is and whether you have it. If you’re diagnosed, your eye doctor can also give you treatment. Here’s what you need to know about astigmatism.

What Is Astigmatism?

Astigmatism is a type of curvature of the eye that causes blurry vision no matter what the distance. This condition occurs when the front surface of the eye has a mismatched curve. The curved surface of the eye and the lens should be round like a ball, but instead, one or both of the curves is egg-shaped.

What Causes Astigmatism?

Astigmatism is a condition that is present at birth. Sometimes, astigmatism is so subtle that it goes undiagnosed.

What are the Signs of Astigmatism?

Symptoms of astigmatism include:

  • Blurry vision
  • Squinting
  • Vision distortions
  • Eyestrain
  • Headaches
  • Eye discomfort
  • Poor night vision

What Can Your Doctor Do About Astigmatism?

People who have astigmatism have many options for correcting their problems. Corrective lenses, either in the form of contact lenses or in the form of glasses, can help. Some people who have astigmatism also opt for surgical correction, which can help improve their vision.

If you have blurry vision and believe you may have astigmatism, start by getting an eye exam in Pittsburgh. Your eye doctor can diagnose your condition and make recommendations for treatment.

At Lappen Eye Care, we help with conditions like astigmatism and other refractive errors. Getting treatment for your eye conditions can help improve your quality of life. Call today to make an appointment.