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Scleral Lenses Blog

woman holding eyeIs It Eye Allergies or Dry Eyes?

Eye Allergy and Dry Eye symptoms tend to be very similar. They both include redness, itchiness, tearing, and a gritty or burning sensation in the eyes.

 

Is it really an allergic reaction, or could it be Dry Eyes? Before running to the pharmacy for some antihistamines, it would be worth digging into the cause of these reactions in order to assure that you’re choosing the right treatment option.

If you’ve been using artificial tears, prescription allergy medication, or other over the counter medicine to relieve the itchy, dry feeling, but see no improvement— it may be worth visiting the Dry Eye Center at Sight Improvement Center and speaking with Dr. Hollander, who can provide a diagnosis and solution for your condition.

What’s the Difference Between Eye Allergies and Dry Eyes?

Eye allergies, also known as allergic conjunctivitis, occur when the eyes react to elements that irritate them (allergens). One can develop eye allergies from pet dander, dust, pollen, smoke, perfumes, or even certain foods. To fight off the allergen, the eyes produce a substance called histamine, which causes the eyelids to become red, swollen and itchy — and at times to tear and burn. Those with eye allergies tend to experience nasal allergies as well, which include an itchy, stuffy nose, along with frequent sneezing.

People with Dry Eyes suffer from eyes that feel dry, itchy, swollen, irritated, and at times very painful. Dry eye syndrome can be developed as a result of genetics, age, environment, lifestyle, medications, and the overall health of your eyes. When one has dry eyes, the eyes are either not producing enough tears to keep your eye lubricated, or the tears are not composed of the correct balance of water, lipids, and mucous to maintain proper lubrication.

How Are Eye Allergies and Dry Eyes Treated?

eye drops

Eye allergies can be treated using artificial tears, medicated eye drops, decongestants, antihistamines, or anti-inflammatory medications. Depending on your specific case, Dr. Hollander may recommend a combination of treatments.

However, if it is determined that you have dry eyes, Dr. Hollander may suggest artificial tears or lubricant eye drops to alleviate the discomfort, and in some cases, may even prescribe drops or steroids. For patients with more acute cases of dry eyes, the doctor might suggest alternative treatment options, such as LipiFlow, True Tear, TearCare or scleral lenses.

If you’re suffering from any of the above symptoms, speak with , who will examine and thoroughly assess the source of these reactions, determine whether they are caused by allergies or Dry Eyes, and provide the right treatment.

The Dry Eye Center at Sight Improvement Center services patients from New York City, Manhatten, The Bronx, Brooklyn, and throughout New York.

Why Choose an Optometrist who Specializes in Contacts vs Ophthalmologists

Gril with dark-colored eyes, brown hairYou need new contact lenses or maybe you’re just trying them out for the first time. How do you know who to turn to for the best advice and the right fit?

At Specialty Contact Lens Center at Sight Improvement Center, we specialize in contact lenses, especially for patients who may have difficulty wearing them due to eye disease, high refractive errors, misshapen corneas, and more.

Differences In Eyecare Professionals

Before knowing where to turn, it’s important to understand the difference in eye care professionals.

What Is An Ophthalmologist?

An ophthalmologist is a medical doctor who is licensed to practice medicine and perform vision-related surgical procedures. They receive years of advanced medical training to diagnose eye diseases and provide treatments, conduct scientific research on vision disorders, and prescribe medications for their patients.

Ophthalmologists could fit patients with eyeglasses and contacts, but often they refer to an optometrist on their team to correct patients’ refractive errors, such as myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), astigmatism, or presbyopia (farsightedness due to aging). Often, optometrists are the ones who screen patients for LASIK candidacy and will work alongside LASIK surgeons to coordinate the surgery.

What Is An Optometrist?

An optometrist is a healthcare professional who is licensed to provide vision care. This typically involves eye exams, vision tests, and diagnoses of eye diseases and conditions. Optometrists specialize in fitting patients with glasses or contacts for common refractive errors, while ophthalmologists focus on their areas of expertise

Why Choose An Optometrist?

Happy girl with fingers near eyesWhile an ophthalmologist is ideal for the treatment of severe eye diseases, vision disorders, and eye surgery, an optometrist is ideal for contact lenses. That’s because general vision care is the primary service that they offer their patients.

Think of your optometrist like a primary care physician for your eyes. When you need an eye checkup, if you notice your vision changing, or if your child isn’t seeing the board clearly in school, that’s when you visit the optometrist.

Getting The Right Fit

Contact lens fittings are one of the most common eye care-related services. In fact, the CDC (The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) estimates that 45 million Americans wear contact lenses, which means there are a lot of people getting fitted for contacts.

Whether you’re a first-time lens wearer or you’ve recently had a prescription change, it’s essential to ensure proper fit. Improper fitted lenses are not only uncomfortable, they can lead to vision problems, infections, or scarring. That’s where we come in.

First, Dr. Hollander will perform a detailed eye exam to check your level of refractive error, and if you’re an existing patient, to see if your prescription has changed. The doctor will also check for any conditions that could interfere with contact lenses. The shape of your eye and personal lifestyle are also important factors. So if you spend more time outdoors or in more active environments, that may require a different lens type. The doctor will ensure the best fit for your eye and overall visual health.

Your optometrist will teach you how to put the lenses in and take them out, how to properly clean and store them, and other general care tips. Additional follow-up may be needed as we monitor the condition of your lenses and your prescription needs.

Little girl with blue eyes

Can My Child Wear Contacts?

Children can wear contact lenses, depending on their age and level of responsibility. Contacts may be a good solution for kids with vision problems, especially among the teen and tween set who tend to be more concerned over their appearance. Contacts are generally recommended for kids between the ages of 11-14, but it’s always recommended to speak with your eye doctor for any specific questions.

Let us know how we can help with your contact lens wear. Contact Specialty Contact Lens Center at Sight Improvement Center for a consultation today.



Scleral Lenses Help Even Dry Eyes!

woman applying eyedroppers, close upWhen it comes to having dry eyes, you’ve probably tried everything you can think of to get some relief. From artificial tears to medicated drops, and maybe even homeopathic remedies, nothing seems to give you long-term relief.

Until now.

Scleral lenses may just be the solution you’ve been looking for. At Specialty Contact Lens Center at Sight Improvement Center, we can help alleviate your dry eye pain with custom-made scleral lenses.

What Are Scleral Lenses?

Like standard soft contact lenses, scleral lenses sit on your eyeball and correct refractive errors such as myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), and astigmatism. But that’s where the similarities end.

Scleral lenses are made with rigid materials, giving them a smooth, round shape that stays in place. They feature a large diameter, covering the entire area of the sclera (the white part of the eye), but without touching the surface of the cornea. This unique design allows for an ultra-comfortable fit.

But what really sets them apart from other contact lenses is the built-in reservoir of artificial tears, which provides a constant source of lubrication to the eyes.

Common Symptoms of Dry Eyes

woman wiping her eyes with a tissueDry eyes cause a number of painful symptoms. The most common signs of dry eye include:

  • Blurry vision
  • Burning sensation
  • Gritty feeling
  • Itchy eyes
  • Redness
  • Stinging
  • Soreness
  • Watery eyes

Scleral lenses are an excellent treatment option due their large shape, unique features, and customized fitting for each patient. Talk to Dr. Hollander to see if scleral lenses can help with your dry eye.

Scleral Lenses Can Treat Dry Eye

A tiny pool of solution inside the scleral lens is located in the space between the back surface of the lens and the front area of the cornea. As the cornea is coated with these artificial tears, it remains moisturized for longer stretches of time than basic contact lenses. In fact, most of our patients can wear scleral lenses comfortably for up to 14 hours. This results in continuous relief for dry, irritated, and scratchy eyes.

Are Scleral Lenses Right for You?

So how do you know if scleral lenses are the right choice? First, think about what you’ve been using until now. Maybe you apply a cool compress to ease the soreness or burning sensation. It feels better for a little while, but then the symptoms return. Maybe you keep a small bottle of artificial tears in your purse or pocket and use them whenever your eyes feel gritty or dry, but you find that happening more and more often. Have you been told that you’re a ‘hard to fit’ patient? Then perhaps it’s time for something different and tailor-made for you.

Why Are Scleral Lenses Custom-Made?

Woman Putting in ContactNo two patients are alike, and neither are their corneas. Like a fingerprint, each person’s cornea has unique curves and contours, which are even more pronounced when someone has a misshapen cornea. That’s why Dr. Hollander performs a specialized, custom-fitting, to ensure you receive the best fit for optimal visual clarity. Talk about a personalized experience!

Our scleral lens patients enjoy improved visual clarity, sharper focus, and relief for burning, red, and itchy eyes. If you’ve tried standard soft contact lenses or eye drops without any easing of your Dry Eye symptoms, it’s time to try something new. Say goodbye to Dry Eye pain and hello to long-lasting relief with scleral lenses.