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.

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 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!

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.

2 Factors to Consider When Choosing the Eye Glasses for You

The eye glasses you choose can have a big impact on your personal appearance and personal comfort. The eye glasses you choose can also affect your confidence. To select the best eye glasses for your needs, it’s important to work with an eye doctor in Pittsburgh that stocks quality eye glasses in a range of styles and colors. It’s also helpful to know what factors to consider when trying to choose your glasses. Here’s what you need to know.

1. Comfort

Choose glasses that feel comfortable on your face, but remember that glasses can be bent (within reason) to fit the contours of your face. Wire-rim glasses tend to be lighter than plastic glasses, so you’re less likely to notice their presence on your face once you get used to wearing them.

It’s important to choose glasses that fit your face, because the size of the glasses can’t be changed. If your glasses are too small or too large, they may become uncomfortable. The representative at the eye doctor can help you find glasses that fit you, so don’t hesitate to ask for help if you need glasses that fit.

2. Appearance

Appearance is another important factor to consider when you’re trying to find the right glasses for you. Wire-rimmed glasses tend to be understated, while plastic glasses come in bold colors and often have thicker frames. As you’re trying on glasses, ask yourself whether the glasses you’re wearing achieve the look that fits your personality.

Need Eyeglasses? Contact Lappen Eye Care

If you’re in need of eye glasses in Pittsburgh and the surrounding area, contact Lappen Eye Care. We stock a range of eye glasses in our stores, including plastic and wire rimmed. Call today to learn more.