Can An Old Prescription Cause Headaches?

Ouch! You’ve got a headache and you don’t know why. Maybe you just gotten new glasses and you’re worried that the prescription is wrong. Or maybe it’s been way too long since you’ve seen the eye doctor and your prescription needs an update. There’s a good chance that your headache could stem from something unrelated to your vision or your eyewear, but let’s explore some possible reasons for that annoying pain around your eyes, forehead, and temples.Image result for headache from glasses

Need a New Prescription

If it has been over a year since your last eye exam, it is definitely worth making sure you are not suffering from some visual impairment that you’re unaware of. How do you know if you need glasses? Only a trained eye doctor can tell you for sure, but – believe it or not – proper vision correction can improve all aspects of life from your levels of concentration to your personal relationships. Being farsighted, in particular, when untreated can cause headaches, so that’s an easy one to remedy with a trip to your eye doctor.

Getting Used to a New Prescription

You know that an outdated prescription is not the headache culprit – because you just got a brand new pair of glasses. Well, your eye doctor may have warned you about this, but sometimes it can take a little time for your eyes to adjust to a new prescription. Blurry vision can occur – even with a correct prescription – as your eyes adjust. But any vision issues should resolve in less than two weeks. If two weeks have passed and you are still experiencing discomfort, please check back in with your eye doctor to make sure there’s not a prescription error. In the first two weeks, you can take a few steps to help get accustomed to your new prescription. First, put your new glasses on first thing in the morning when you wake up. If needed, take short breaks from wearing your new glasses. Finally, use over the counter painkillers to get relief in the meantime.

Computer problems & Reading glasses

Eyestrain comes from the overworking of muscles around the eye that are continually adjusting in order to focus. Repeated attempts to focus occur for different reasons; one is getting used to a new prescription. But eyestrain is also a common problem when wearing reading glasses while using the computer. Remember, reading glasses are for close-up work and the normal distance you sit away from a monitor is much farther away than where you would hold your reading materials. If you find yourself doing this, you may need bifocals. Eyestrain also happens when we spend too much time staring at screens. Screen time exposure can be mitigated with anti-reflective lens options and by taking steps like adjusting the lighting in your work space, and following the 20-20-20 rule. The rule is – look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds every 20 minutes.

Frame and Eye Position Adjustments

There are reasons other than an incorrect prescription that could cause a headache from wearing glasses. Your glasses should be personally customized just for you. That’s not just the prescription but also the position of your eyes, the angle and position of the frame, and the distance between your pupils, which should all be accounted for. Having an incorrect frame size or frame adjustment can cause pain behind the ears, where the temples pinch into the sides of your head. If you need a frame adjustment, you can go back to your eye doctor or try simple adjustments yourself.

Not your glasses fault

The most common symptoms of eyestrain are headache and fatigue. For some people eyestrain can even trigger migraines – but this is rare. According to the American Migraine Foundation “most eye pain does not result from an eye problem” unless the eye itself appears red, inflamed or swollen. If there are no external cues of distress in the eye, the headache most likely comes from tension. It’s also important to note that if you are experiencing nausea and vomiting then you’re not suffering from a vision related problem.

Night Time Driving

Vision Artifacts, Starbursts, and Night Driving

Uncorrected vision problems are often exasperated at night, causing visual artifacts, halos, starbursts, and blurry vision. Our eye doctors at Twenty Twenty Eyecare would like to remind you about common night vision problems and tips for correcting your vision so that you can drive safely at night.

Night Vision Problems and Dangers

As individuals age, their night vision tends to get progressively worse. This can be due to a number of factors, including cataracts, lack of vitamin A and Zinc, Lasik surgery complications and diabetes. Symptoms of night vision problems include seeing halos and starbursts around lights and blurry objects and outlines.
If you have preexisting vision problems, it is important to get your eyes checked regularly. We recommend yearly examinations, but if no vision changes are detected or if you do not have a history of vision problems, you can schedule your eye exams once every 24 months.

Night Driving Tips

If you notice changes in your vision, you should immediately schedule an appointment with one of our eye doctors for a complete eye examination. Many eye diseases do not show any symptoms until they are in the late stages, which is why we recommend regular eye exams and eye exams as soon as possible after a vision change is noticed.
Special lenses have been developed for individuals with night blindness or vision trouble at night. The lenses are coated with anti-glare substances that can reduce halos and starbursts.
If you have cataracts, ask our eye doctor if you are a good candidate for surgery. Your cataract obscured lenses can be removed and replaced with safe and effective artificial lenses.
Finally, exercise caution while night driving. When approaching an intersection, where most accidents occur, make sure to slow down and look both ways for oncoming traffic. If the light is red, stop completely and remain vigilant. When the light turns green or it is your turn to go, look both ways again before driving forward.
What steps have you taken to correct your night vision so that you can drive safely?

Dry Eye Syndrome

Dry eye syndrome (DES or dry eye) is a chronic lack of sufficient lubrication and moisture on the surface of the eye. Its consequences range from minor irritation to the inability to wear contact lenses and an increased risk of corneal inflammation and eye infections.

Signs and Symptoms of Dry Eye

Persistent 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 dry eye syndrome 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

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.
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.
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.
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.
To reduce the effects of sun, wind and dust on dry eyes, wear sunglasses when outdoors. Wraparound 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.

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When Should Your Childs Eyes Have a First Eye Exam?

childs eyes You want to get your young children off to a good start in every way — and that includes their eye health. But when is the right time to start having your child’s eyes checked? Babies and toddlers can’t read an eye chart, after all. It’s best to start early.
It’s important not to delay eye exams for young infants and children because some early eye problems can affect vision for life. Finding a problem early can keep a minor issue from becoming something major (and harder to treat).
We emphasize that eye exams aren’t merely a way to know whether your child needs glasses. Like regular exams with a pediatrician, eye exams are about preventive care.

When do children need eye exams?

Dr. Bigheart recommends a comprehensive eye exam by an eye care professional by age 1, to be repeated before kindergarten in children without any evident eye problems.
These exams become much more important in children who:

  • Have a sibling or a parent with a major eye problem, such as crossed or turned eye(s) (strabismus) or lazy eye (amblyopia)
  • Have an eye problem detected by a pediatrician
  • Are suspected by parents of having an eye issue

Even if there are no obvious symptoms, your child may still have a problem with his vision, she says.

Early exams may head off serious problems

Undiagnosed conditions or abnormalities can lead to vision loss. However, it’s possible to reverse some problems if they’re caught early, Dr. Morgan says.
A classic example is a lazy eye. Kids with this condition have one eye that is weaker than the other.
One of the most common vision problems in children, lazy eye typically responds well to treatment. This may include an eye patch, eye drops or eyeglasses.
Another example is crossed eyes, which involves one or both eyes turning inward or outward. This can require special eyewear or an eye patch.
So how do you know there’s a problem or your child needs to see a doctor?
Here are four key tips that will help you make sure your child has the best eye care from the start.

1. Don’t wait for school

If you have questions about your young child’s vision, don’t hesitate to schedule an eye exam.
Most children have their vision tested before they start elementary school. But Dr. Bigheart says it’s ideal to have your childs eyes tested well before they start kindergarten or preschool.
In fact, he recommends an eye exam in the child’s first year of life.

2. Consider your family history

“While it’s ideal for all kids to have their eyes tested, it’s even more important if a child’s brothers or sisters have vision problems,” says Dr. Bigheart.
As with many other health-related conditions, your child is more likely to have vision problems if they run in your family. So it’s best to start monitoring it early on.

3. See an eye specialist

As you know, your pediatrician has specialized training for treating children. By the same token, a pediatric ophthalmologist specializes in detecting and treating your childs eyes problems.
With kid-friendly tools and testing, he or she can pinpoint problems — even if your child hasn’t learned how to talk or doesn’t yet know the alphabet.

4. Go with your gut

Dr. Bigheart says it’s very important for parents to trust their instincts. After all, you know your childs eyes best.
In fact, parents are often the first ones to notice signs of trouble. “If a mom says something is wrong with her child’s eyes or vision and I don’t find anything in the initial exam, I always go back and test again,” she says.
Your doctor may not find a problem at first. But if you still have concerns, keep working to pinpoint the problem. Discuss the signs you’re seeing with your child’s doctor or get a second opinion, if necessary.
Following these tips will help you protect your child’s vision and promote healthy eyesight for life.

What is Astigmatism? What are its Implications on Vision?

What is Astigmatism?

Astigmatism is a word that we may hear at an eye appointment, but many of us are not quite sure what it means. To keep it short, it is essentially, an imperfection in the curvature of your cornea. This is the clear, round dome covering the eye’s iris and pupil. Quite typically, in the shape of the eye’s lens. Normally, the cornea and lens are smooth and curved equally in all directions, helping to focus light rays sharply onto the retina at the back of your eye. However with astigmatism, this is not the case for its victims.

What are the different types?

A normally shaped cornea correctly refracts light rays onto the retina so you can see clearly. Astigmatism comes in two different types. If your cornea is irregularly shaped, it is referred to as corneal . If the lens shape is distorted, it is called lenticular. Either way, both these diagnoses results in near and far objects appearing blurry and distorted which consequently, causes visionary problems.

How is it Developed?

Most people are born with some degree of astigmatism. Just like many people are born with other refractive errors like nearsightedness and farsightedness. If for whatever reason you develop and are diagnosed later on in your life, you may notice a significant change in your vision. Therefore, you may have to take a series of steps to have it corrected. Comparatively, those who were born with the disorder may not complain of vision difficulties because they have never known anything different. The main difference in both cases is both time and experience with the disorder.

What can be done about astigmatism?

Having yearly comprehensive eye exams is the best way to have astigmatism diagnosed. The eye doctor will test your visual acuity and refraction. In addition, they will test for eye diseases and other chronic conditions. If you are diagnosed with astigmatism, your doctor can prescribe lenses to correct your refractive errors. It is important to have exams because if astigmatism goes undiagnosed, the cornea can develop a cone-shaped bulge known as keratoconus.
Astigmatism can cause children to perform poorly in school and prevent them from achieving in sports and activities, so make eye exams a part of your preventative health care regimen.
Make a commitment today to yourself and your family to make appointments for yearly eye exams.

Can I Wear My Glasses When I Play Sports?

Even though glasses help improve vision or correct astigmatism, they can get in the way of many things, including sports and other recreational activities.
A common question for those who wear glasses, and from the parents of teens or children who wear glasses is—“Can I wear my glasses when I play sports?” or “Can my child wear his or her glasses during sports?”
In terms of sports and vision correction, wearing the correct eye-wear is crucial to helping you see clearly, protecting your eyes from injury, and helping you play your best. However, it can be frustrating when you or your child want to be active, but can’t because of something like vision and wearing glasses.

Wearing Glasses In Contact Sports

Do you play a contact sport—or a sport that may not be “contact” by definition, but runs the risk of an accident that could break your glasses? If yes, it is a good idea to look into an alternative to wearing your regular glasses.
Wearing your “regular” glasses—the eyeglasses you wear day in and day out to work, school, while driving and so on—during a contact sport could result in your glasses breaking or a potential injury. For example, if your glasses break during a flag football game, what will you wear to drive home? To work the next day, etc.? Or, what if you collide with another player during the game and your glasses hurt your face during the impact? The potential for bodily harm is something to be considered. Glass lenses can break, running the risk of getting glass in your eye.
Consider the cost of replacing your regular glasses if they were to break during a contact sport. Is that a surprise expense you want incur? Be proactive, and before you hit the field or court, come up with a solution that’s best for you, whether it’s wearing contact lenses instead of glasses or buying a less expensive, more durable pair of glasses to wear when playing sports.

Wearing Glasses In Non-Contact Sports

You may be able to wear your glasses in non-contact sports, such as golf or tennis, without any of the issues you would have in a contact sport. In deciding whether it’s safe to wear your glasses, consider the environment in which you will be playing—is there any potential that the game or match could go from non-contact to contact (even by accident)? Most likely, the answer is no.
You may find that wearing your glasses in a non-contact sport actually helps you be a better player or perform better, due to the sharp vision.

Consulting An Optometrist

Always talk with your eye doctor about the specific activities or sports you want to take part in before you actually play or are active. Protect your eyesight and make sure you’re wearing the safest gear for the sport or activity at hand. Working with an optometrist will help you find the right solution for that particular activity or sport.
Don’t let your vision or wearing glasses prevent you from being active and involved in sports. Contact an eye doctor today to find a solution. Here at Twenty Twenty Eye care, we make sure that your vision and your life are all aligned. Contact us today if you have any questions! We are always happy to help!