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Top 5 Tips for Managing Eye Allergies This Spring

Spring is a season of new beginnings, when the cold harsh winter months are behind us, flowers bloom, and people begin spending more time outdoors.

For people with allergies, spring means one more thing: suffering. Spring may be in the air, but for allergy sufferers, so is pollen, pet dander, mold, and dust. These airborne allergens can trigger uncomfortable reactions such as watery eyes, coughing, sneezing, congestion, and sinus pain.

There are some things you can do to minimize the discomfort throughout the spring season.

Check out Our Top 5 Tips for Getting Through Eye Allergy Season:

  1. Pollen tends to have a higher count in the mornings and early evenings. During these times, stay inside and keep windows closed. If you enjoy an early morning exercise run, consider an alternative indoor workout during peak allergy season.
  2. Take a shower before going to sleep. Doing this at night can rinse away any lingering allergens and leave you with a clearer eye and nasal area, as well as a more restful night’s sleep.
  3. Keep artificial tears close by. They can temporarily alleviate ocular allergy symptoms by lubricating your eyes when they feel dry and itchy, and they’re usually small enough to fit inside a purse or pocket. If you don’t have any good eye drops, use a cool compress as an alternative method of relief.
  4. If your allergies are caused by dust or pet dander, vacuum. A lot. Dust collects quickly and can be difficult to spot until there’s a high amount of it. Pets can shed fast and often, and just when you think you’ve removed all the fur from your sofa, carpet, or bed, you suddenly find more, so vacuum a few times each week.
  5. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water and change your linens more often during the spring season. Remnants of airborne allergens can stay on your hands, towels, and bed sheets. Washing them more frequently can minimize some of your allergic reactions.

Though it may be tempting, don’t rub your eyes. This can actually aggravate the allergy response. If you find yourself using artificial tears more than 4 times a day, or other short-term solutions aren’t enough, speak with your eye doctor. You may be able to receive antihistamine eye drops or other prescription medications to ease your discomfort.

When It’s More Than Allergies

Certain eye allergy symptoms can also be signs of eye conditions or diseases, so pay close attention to any reactions that don’t dissipate after allergy season ends.

These Eye Symptoms can include:

  • Dryness
  • Excessive tearing
  • Itchiness
  • Persistent eye pain
  • Redness
  • Swelling

These Symptoms Can Indicate Eye conditions, Such As:

  • Blepharitis (inflamed eyelids)
  • Conjunctivitis (pink eye)
  • Corneal Abrasions
  • Dry Eye Disease
  • Styes (an oil gland infection that causes a bump or pimple-like shape in the eyelid)

Eye Allergies and Contact Lenses

If you wear contact lenses, speak to your doctor about daily disposable contacts. These can be a great option for allergy sufferers. Since dailies are thrown away at the end of the day, there’s no heavy allergen buildup on the lenses to worry about.

Consider switching to eyeglasses for a while. Even the most comfortable soft lenses can feel irritable during allergy season. Use the springtime to get yourself a new look. With a wide range of incredible styles to choose from, including exclusive eyewear collections from today’s hottest designers, there’s something for everyone. Not sure what the choose? Talk to your optician to help you find a style that’s right for you.

An Ocular Allergy Optometrist Near You

We’re here for you, and we want to help. Contact your eye doctor for any specific questions or concerns about your eye allergies.

Dry Eye Treatment

Signs and Symptoms of Dry Eye Syndrome

dry eye syndrome banner for ft myers optometristPersistent dryness, scratchiness and a burning sensation on your eyes are common symptoms of dry eye syndrome. These symptoms alone may be enough for your eye doctor to diagnose Dry Eye Syndrome. Sometimes, he or she may want to measure the amount of tears in your eyes. A thin strip of filter paper placed at the edge of the eye, called a Schirmer test, is one way of measuring this.

Some people with dry eyes also experience a "foreign body sensation” – the feeling that something is in the eye. And it may seem odd, but sometimes DES can cause watery eyes, because the excessive dryness works to overstimulate production of the watery component of your eye's tears.

What Causes Dry Eyes?

In Dry Eye Syndrome, the tear glands that moisturize the eye don't produce enough tears, or the tears have a chemical composition that causes them to evaporate too quickly.

Dry Eye Syndrome has several causes. It occurs:

  • As a part of the natural aging process, especially among women over age 40.
  • As a side effect of many medications, such as antihistamines, antidepressants, certain blood pressure medicines, Parkinson's medications and birth control pills.
  • Because you live in a dry, dusty or windy climate with low humidity.

If your home or office has air conditioning or a dry heating system, that too can dry out your eyes. Another cause is insufficient blinking, such as when you're staring at a computer screen all day.

Dry eyes are also associated with certain systemic diseases such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, rosacea or Sjogren's Syndrome (a triad of dry eyes, dry mouth, and rheumatoid arthritis or lupus).

Long-term contact lens wear, incomplete closure of the eyelids, eyelid disease and a deficiency of the tear-producing glands are other causes.

Dry Eye Syndrome is more common in women, possibly due to hormone fluctuations. Recent research suggests that smoking, too, can increase your risk of Dry Eye Syndrome. Dry eye has also been associated with incomplete lid closure following blepharoplasty – a popular cosmetic surgery to eliminate droopy eyelids.

Treatment for Dry Eye Eye Syndrome

Dry Eye Syndrome is an ongoing condition that treatments may be unable to cure. But the symptoms of dry eye – including dryness, scratchiness and burning – can usually be successfully managed.

Artificial Tears

Your eye care practitioner may recommend artificial tears, which are lubricating eye drops that may alleviate the dry, scratchy feeling and foreign body sensation of dry eye. Prescription eye drops for dry eye go one step further: they help increase your tear production. In some cases, your doctor may also prescribe a steroid for more immediate short-term relief.

If you wear contact lenses, be aware that many artificial tears cannot be used during contact lens wear. You may need to remove your lenses before using the drops. Wait 15 minutes or longer (check the label) before reinserting them. For mild dry eye, contact lens rewetting drops may be sufficient to make your eyes feel better, but the effect is usually only temporary. Switching to another lens brand could also help.

Check the label, but better yet, check with your doctor before buying any over-the-counter eye drops. Your eye doctor will know which formulas are effective and long-lasting and which are not, as well as which eye drops will work with your contact lenses.

Lubricant Inserts

Another option for dry eye treatment involves a tiny insert filled with a lubricating ingredient. The insert is placed just inside the lower eyelid, where it continuously releases lubrication throughout the day.

Sun Protection

To reduce the effects of sun, wind and dust on dry eyes, wear sunglasses when outdoors. Wrap around styles offer the best protection.

Indoors, an air cleaner can filter out dust and other particles from the air, while a humidifier adds moisture to air that's too dry because of air conditioning or heating.

Punctal Plugs

For more significant cases of dry eye, your eye doctor may recommend punctal plugs. These tiny devices are inserted in ducts in your lids to slow the drainage of tears away from your eyes, thereby keeping your eyes more moist.

Warm Compresses

If your dry eye is caused by Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD), your doctor may recommend warm compresses and suggest an in-office procedure to clear the blocked glands and restore normal function.

Nutrition & Hydration

Doctors sometimes also recommend special nutritional supplements containing certain essential fatty acids to decrease dry eye symptoms. Drinking more water may also offer some relief.

Medication

If medications are the cause of dry eyes, discontinuing the drug generally resolves the problem. But in this case, the benefits of the drug must be weighed against the side effect of dry eyes. Sometimes switching to a different type of medication alleviates the dry eye symptoms while keeping the needed treatment. In any case, never switch or discontinue your medications without consulting with your doctor first.

Treating an Underlying Condition

Treating any underlying eyelid disease, such as blepharitis, helps as well. This may call for antibiotic or steroid drops, plus frequent eyelid scrubs with an antibacterial shampoo.

Dry Eyes and LASIK

If you are considering LASIK, be aware that dry eyes may disqualify you for the surgery, at least until your dry eye condition is successfully treated. Dry eyes increase your risk for poor healing after LASIK, so most surgeons will want to treat the dry eyes first, to ensure a good LASIK outcome. This goes for other types of vision correction surgery, as well.

Call Our Dry Eye Specialist Schedule a Dry Eye Exam

Complete Contact Lens Services in Fort Myers, FL

These include disposable soft contact, bifocal/multifocal, toric, and colored lenses. Whether you wear daily, weekly or monthly disposables, or conventional (vial) lenses, check out our selection of lenses at Dr. Sills and Associates.

SCHEDULE AN EYE EXAM

Establishing a Good Contact Lens Fit

It starts with a thorough eye exam to ensure the most up-to-date prescription and rule out any  pre-existing conditions that could interfere with contact lens wear.

Fitting lenses to your lifestyle
We will determine the best fitting lens based on your lifestyle needs and the shape and health of your eye. In most cases, you’ll have the opportunity to try lenses on the same day as your exam. You can even go home with a few samples before making a final decision.

Follow up fittings
We follow up the initial fitting and then make any necessary changes in fit or materials to get you the best possible fit. We teach all our patients proper contact lens care and also possible consequences if proper care is not taken. Then we continue with long-term follow-up to monitor the condition of the lenses and to ensure that proper hygiene is being maintained.

Contact lenses, Eye Care in Fort Myers, FL
Our Recommended Brands:
  • Contact Lens Brand- Acuvue
  • Contact Lens Brand- Bausch & Lomb
  • Contact Lens Brand- CooperVision
  • Alcon

Visit Dr. Sills in Fort Myers For An Eye Exam & Contact Lens Fitting:

Progressive Dailies

progressive dailies fort myers, FL

BENEFITS

  • Crisp, clear vision for those with presbyopia

  • Brand new pair every day

  • Exclusive all day refresher with blink-activated moisture

  • No cleaning or disinfecting

  • No deposit build-up

RECOMMENDED FOR

  • Presbyopia (inability to focus on nearby objects)

  • Those dissatisfied with current multifocals (progressive) contact lenses

  • On-the-go lifestyles

  • Frequent Travelers

  • Sports

  • A great alternative to reading glasses or bi-focals

  • Extra convenience and flexibility

 

Prescription Eyeglasses Fort Myers

eyeglasses at our Fort Myers optometristDr. Sills and Associates provide prescription eyeglasses to residents of Fort Myers, FL. We are sure that our optometrists can fit you with the best prescription lenses in the Fort Myers area.

Read more below about the types of prescription eye glasses we offer and their advantages.

Prescription Lenses for your Lifestyle

No matter what your eye condition, or how you choose to view the world, there are now prescription lenses that meet your unique lifestyle and vision correction needs. Eyeglass lenses that change as the light changes, from clear indoors to dark outdoors. Bifocal lenses that provide multiple fields of vision. High-index lenses that are thinner and lighter than ever before. And progressive lenses that eliminate the traditional lines of multi-focal lenses. The point is, while eyeglass lenses are prescribed to correct all kinds of vision problems, prescription lenses have come a long way—offering you the opportunity to truly customize your eyeglasses and make a statement about how you choose to look at the world.

Our Selection of Sunglasses

We Offer a Large Selection of Sunglasses Fort Myers, FL

family wearing sunglasses bought at our fort myers eye doctor

Dr. Sills and Associates in Fort Myers, Florida offer a huge selection of sunglasses. If you are looking for a new pair of sunglasses in Fort Myers visit our optical.

Whether or not you require vision correction, sunglasses can add an element of comfort and enhanced performance to your activities, while helping you look great.

Browse some of the designer eyewear brands we carry!

Eye Disease Management

Ocular Eye Diseases Fort Myers, Florida

Dr. Sills and Associates eye care clinic in Fort Myers, FL makes it a policy to ensure that all staff members are up-to-date on the latest technology and techniques to make your visit as comfortable and effective as possible. As optometric technology changes, it is even more important to select a Fort Myers eye doctor who has all the right optometry qualifications and follows the latest developments in eye care.

Utilizing cutting edge technology we are diagnosing and managing, with greater precision, diseases like Glaucoma, Macular degeneration and Cataracts. Earlier and more precise diagnosis means earlier treatment and better outcomes. We are taking an aggressive approach to diseases that previously had few treatment options. Great advances have been made in the treatment of these diseases.

Pediatric Eye Exams

Eye care, little boy at an eye exam in Fort Myers, FL

According to experts, 80% of learning is visual, which means that if your child is having difficulty seeing clearly, his or her learning can be affected. This also goes for infants who develop and learn about the world around them through their sense of sight. To ensure that your children have the visual resources they need to grow and develop normally, their eyes and vision should be checked by an eye doctor at certain stages of their development.

According to the American Optometric Association (AOA) children should have their eyes examined by an eye doctor at 6 months, 3 years, at the start of school, and then at least every 2 years following. If there are any signs that there may be a vision problem or if the child has certain risk factors (such as developmental delays, premature birth, crossed or lazy eyes, family history or previous injuries) more frequent exams are recommended. A child that wears eyeglasses or contact lenses should have his or her eyes examined yearly. Children’s eyes can change rapidly as they grow.

Dr. Sills treats patients as young as 3 years old.

Eye Exams in Infants: Birth – 24 Months

Eye care, baby painting colors in Fort Myers, FLA baby’s visual system develops gradually over the first few months of life. They have to learn to focus and move their eyes, and use them together as a team. The brain also needs to learn how to process visual information from the eyes to understand and interact with the world. With the development of eyesight, comes also the foundation for motor development such as crawling, walking, and hand-eye coordination.

You can ensure that your baby is reaching milestones by keeping an eye on what is happening with your infant’s development and by ensuring that you schedule a comprehensive infant eye exam at 6 months. At this exam, the eye doctor will check that the child is seeing properly and developing on track and look for conditions that could impair eye health or vision (such as strabismus(misalignment or crossing of the eyes), farsightedness, nearsightedness, or astigmatism).

Since there is a higher risk of eye and vision problems if your infant was born premature or is showing signs of developmental delay, your eye doctor may require more frequent visits to keep watch on his or her progress.

Eye Exams in Preschool Children: 2-5

The toddler and preschool age is a period where children experience drastic growth in intellectual and motor skills. During this time they will develop the fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination and perceptual abilities that will prepare them to read and write, play sports and participate in creative activities such as drawing, sculpting or building. This is all dependent upon good vision and visual processes.

This is the age when parents should be on the lookout for signs of lazy eye (amblyopia) – when one eye doesn’t see clearly, or crossed eyes (strabismus) – when one or both eyes turn inward or outward. The earlier these conditions are treated, the higher the success rate.

Parents should also be aware of any developmental delays having to do with object, number or letter recognition, color recognition or coordination, as the root of such problems can often be visual. If you notice your child squinting, rubbing his eyes frequently, sitting very close to the tv or reading material, or generally avoiding activities such as puzzles or coloring, it is worth a trip to the eye doctor.

Eye Exams in School-Aged Children: Ages 6-18

Eye care, young teen girl in Fort Myers, FLUndetected or uncorrected vision problems can cause children and teens to suffer academically, socially, athletically and personally. If your child is having trouble in school or afterschool activities there could be an underlying vision problem.

Proper learning, motor development, reading, and many other skills are dependent upon not only good vision but also the ability of your eyes to work together.

Children that have problems with focusing, reading, teaming their eyes or hand-eye coordination will often experience frustration and may exhibit behavioral problems as well. Often they don’t know that the vision they are experiencing is abnormal, so they aren’t able to express that they need help.

In addition to the symptoms written above, signs of vision problems in older children include:

  • Short attention span
  • Headaches
  • Frequent blinking
  • Avoiding reading
  • Tilting the head to one side
  • Losing their place often while reading
  • Double vision
  • Poor reading comprehension

The Eye Exam

In addition to basic visual acuity (distance and near vision) an eye exam may assess the following visual skills that are required for learning and mobility:

  • Binocular vision: how the eyes work together as a team
  • Focusing
  • Peripheral Vision
  • Color Vision
  • Hand-eye Coordination
  • Tracking

The doctor will also examine the area around the eye and inside the eye to check for any eye diseases or health conditions. You should tell the doctor any relevant personal history of your child such as premature birth, developmental delays, family history of eye problems, eye injuries or medications the child is taking. This would also be the time to address any concerns or issues your child has that might indicate a vision problem.

If the eye doctor does determine that your child has a vision problem, they may discuss a number of therapeutic options such as eyeglasses or contact lenses, an eye patch, vision therapy or Ortho-k, depending on the condition and the doctor’s specialty. Since some conditions are much easier to treat when they are caught early while the eyes are still developing, it is important to diagnose any eye and vision issues as early as possible. To do this we use many different diagnostic technologies at our Vision Center.

Following the guidelines for children’s eye exams and staying alert to any signs of vision problems can help your child to reach his or her potential.

Sports and Specialty Eyewear Fitting

sports male cyclist roadbike wearing sunglasses in Fort Myers, FL

If you are serious about your sport or require specialty eyewear for your job or hobby, it’s worth scheduling a specialty eyewear fitting with your eye doctor. In addition to safety and eye protection, top athletic and occupational performance requires optimal visual acuity as well as a number of other visual functions such as peripheral vision, depth perception and hand-eye coordination. Sometimes color vision, eye tracking, night vision and light adaptation are also critical to performance. Your eye doctor will be able to do a full assessment of your vision while understanding your personal vision needs in order to recommend the best possible eyewear solution for you.

A standard comprehensive eye exam will not usually test for some of the additional visual and perceptual skills you need for serious sports or work environments. Your eye doctor will need to know the details about the skills required and conditions you face, in order to assess the best performance eyewear for your needs.

Learn about Presbyopia Diagnosis and Treatment.

Macular Degeneration Treatment

Macular Degeneration Treatment

There is currently no cure for macular degeneration. Macular degeneration treatments in Fort Myers, FL exists that can slow the progress of the disease or improve vision based on the type of macular degeneration you are experiencing. To understand the risks and the limitations of all macular degeneration treatments, speak frankly with your Fort Myers, FL eye doctor.

Dry macular degeneration treatment actually begins with routine eye exams, especially after age 60. The goal here is to catch the development of ARMD early. If detected, you may be prescribed a specific mix of high-dose zinc and antioxidants that have shown an ability to slow the progression of the disease.
Wet macular degeneration treatment can include a number of options; including laser surgery, light-activated dyes that are injected into the circulatory system, or drugs injected directly into the eye that inhibits the growth of abnormal blood vessels that cause the wet form of the disease.
With any macular degeneration treatment, there are no guarantees that the disease can be stopped, no promises that a treatment won’t need to be repeated, and a sobering reminder that vision, once lost, is rarely restored.

 

For More Information About Eye Care Contact Our Eye Doctor in Fort Myers, FL