Spring is officially here, which means allergies are in full swing! Eye allergies develop when the body’s immune system overreacts to something in the environment, causing tiny blood vessels to leak and eyes to become itchy, red, and watery.
Eye allergies share symptoms with some eye diseases, making accurate diagnosis imperative. The symptoms of eye allergies can range from mildly annoying redness to inflammation severe enough to impair vision.
The first approach in managing eye allergies is to avoid any known allergens. Stay indoors as much as possible during the mid-morning and early evening hours, when pollen counts are at their peak, and wear sunglasses when outdoors. This will minimize the amount of pollen entering your eyes. Avoid using window fans that can draw pollen and mold into the house. Be sure not to rub your eyes, as this will further irritate them and could worsen your condition.
Many allergens that trigger eye allergies are airborne, so you can’t always avoid them. Artificial tears can temporarily wash allergens from the eye, which often become dry when red and irritated. These drops, which can be refrigerated to provide additional soothing and comfort, are safe and can be used as often as needed.
If symptoms persist, be sure to consult your optometrist to determine which treatment options are right for you. They will review your medical history and symptoms, as well as conduct tests that can reveal an eye allergy. If you suffer from severe eye allergies, click here to schedule an appointment with an IEC doctor!
What is a stye?
A stye, or hordeolum, is a pimple-like bump that forms on the inside or outside of your eyelid, and is caused by the clogging of oil glands or sweat pores in the eyelid. While they usually do not cause any actual vision problems, these bumps can be painful and annoying to deal with. A stye will often go away on its own within a few days, but there are some ways that you can expedite the healing process.
The best way to ease the pain of a stye and speed up the healing process is to apply a hot compress to your eye four to five times a day for about 90 seconds at a time. This can unclog any blocked pores.
When you have a stye, it is important to keep your eyes clean at all times. Cleanse your eyelids several times a day, and do not wear makeup. If you require vision correction, you should refrain from wearing contacts until the stye goes away. Be sure to wash your hands after touching your eyes and throw away any makeup, makeup applicators, or contact lenses that came into contact with your eye while it was infected.
Consulting your Optometrist
Be sure to consult your optometrist if your stye becomes painful, persists for more than a week, or if you develop a fever. In some severe cases, styes can require further treatment or even surgery.
International Eyecare Center is hosting our second annual “IEC Family Gone Not Forgotten” company-wide food drive to honor IEC staff members who have passed away too soon, and to benefit local food pantries in their memory.
IEC will be collecting non-perishable food items from March 20th through March 31st during regular business hours. IEC staff members will be available to accept donations, and patients that donate a food item will receive a free cleaning cloth!
“In the memory of the IEC family members that we have lost, we will fill the shelves of food pantries, so families who have little will have the security of food in their times of need,” stated Teresa Carter, IEC President.
The food drive was established in memory of IEC employee Kylie Farrell who passed away in 2015. IEC’s food collection will be held annually on the week of March 22, the date that Kylee began working for IEC in 2010.
For more information about the Food Drive, call toll free 1-877-457-6485.
Parents often wonder when they should schedule their child’s first eye exam. While many schools require children to have an eye exam before beginning kindergarten, the American Optometric Association (AOA) suggests that children have their first comprehensive eye exam as early as 6 months of age, with additional exams at ages 3 and 5. Exams should then continue every two years if the child has no vision problems, or annually if the child requires vision correction.
With 25% percent of school-aged children having vision problems, early detection is vital. Children need basic eyesight skills such as near vision, distance vision, hand-eye coordination, and focusing skills in order to learn. Early eye exams are crucial in order to ensure that children have the best chance possible to succeed in school. If left untreated, vision problems can lead to learning issues or even permanent vision loss.
While some schools offer vision screenings, they are often not thorough enough to diagnose more in-depth problems such as amblyopia (lazy eye) or eye coordination issues. Most school vision screenings only test for problems with distance vision and are often performed by someone with limited training.
International Eyecare Center offers 50% off exams and, if needed, eyewear for children entering kindergarten. Set your child up for success from the beginning with a comprehensive eye exam!
Click Here to schedule an appointment!
IEC Optometrists from left to right: Dr. Kelly Sharpe, Dr. Austin Krohn, Dr. Mindy Blackford, and Dr. Timothy Leahy.
Four International Eyecare Center optometrists attended the 56th Annual Heart of America Eye Care Congress on February 10-12, 2017. Dr. Mindy Blackford of Kirksville, Missouri; Dr. Austin Krohn of Quincy, Illinois; Dr. Timothy Leahy of Pittsfield, Illinois; and Dr. Kelly Sharpe of Kirksville and Memphis, Missouri attended the conference held at the Sheraton Crown Center in Kansas City, Missouri.
“I attended lectures on how systemic diseases can present in the front of the eye, as well as a lecture on the best techniques for diagnosing and treating strabismus – wandering or crossed eyes,” said Dr. Kelly Sharpe. The doctors attended presentations on a range of topics including the diagnosis and treatment of diseases and how to utilize new technology.
For over 35 years, International Eyecare Center has offered the latest innovations in eye care in order to better serve each patient. Attending conferences, such as the Annual Eye Care Congress, allows the doctors to bring that knowledge back to benefit their patients and communities.
According to Dr. Austin Krohn, “attending conferences helps keep us up to date on the latest advances in systemic and ocular health, in addition to overall vision.”
International Eyecare Center has 13 offices across Illinois, Iowa, and Missouri and was founded in 1981 in Quincy, IL. IEC offers the latest in eye healthcare, contact lens innovations, fashion eyewear, and comprehensive eye exams for the entire family. Request an appointment by calling toll-free at (877)457-6485 or clicking here.