What is Pink Eye?

  • Pink eye is a common eye issue that results in redness and eye discharge. Although it is usually harmless, some cases may require prescription treatment.
  • Pink eye, also known as conjunctivitis, is most often caused by exposure to viruses, bacteria, or common allergens. It can be helpful to see a doctor to diagnose the underlying cause to determine the best treatment plan for symptom relief.

Are you or your child experiencing redness, swelling, or discharge from one or both eyes? You may be dealing with a case of pink eye. Also known as conjunctivitis, this eye condition is relatively common and usually harmless. However, it’s important for families in West Springfield, Massachusetts, to understand pink eye so they can protect themselves and seek treatment when necessary.

What Causes Pink Eye?

In general, there are three leading causes of pink eye:

  • Exposure to a virus
  • Exposure to bacteria
  • Exposure to an allergen

Sometimes, wearing contact lenses, a foreign body in the eye, or exposure to certain chemicals or pollutants can also cause conjunctivitis.

Viral and bacterial conjunctivitis are highly contagious and are most common among children. Most people contract this type of pink eye by touching their face or eyes with unclean hands. It’s important to wash your hands often and to avoid rubbing or touching your eyes. This can significantly lower your risks of developing pink eye.

What Are the Symptoms of Pink Eye?

A person who has conjunctivitis may experience redness and swelling around the eyelids. A white or yellow discharge is also common and can become crusty, especially during sleep. Pink eye can be uncomfortable and may also cause itching, burning, and eye pain.

Is Pink Eye Serious?

Most of the time, pink eye is bothersome but not dangerous. However, you should see a doctor right away if your symptoms are accompanied by:

  • Pain
  • Blurred vision (that is not caused by discharge)
  • Sensitivity to light
  • An existing immune system condition

You should also seek medical treatment if your symptoms worsen. Sometimes, it can be helpful to see an eye care specialist in West Springfield, Massachusetts, to determine the underlying cause and rule out other possible issues.

Will Pink Eye Go Away on Its Own?

Depending on the cause, a mild case of pink eye usually clears up on its own within a week or two. More severe cases may take up to three weeks before all symptoms disappear. However, certain types of bacterial conjunctivitis may not go away without treatment. Even though treatment isn’t always necessary, it can speed up healing time to resume everyday life.

What Pink Eye Treatments Are Available?

Most experts recommend some simple home care techniques to improve pink eye symptoms. Cold compresses and artificial tear eye drops can help some patients experience relief from irritation and swelling. You should also avoid using eye makeup and wearing contact lenses until you are symptom-free. Your doctor may give you special instructions about cleaning or replacing your contact lenses before you start wearing them again.

Bacterial conjunctivitis usually requires an antibiotic treatment, which is usually prescribed in the form of an eye ointment. Patients should follow the instructions carefully and complete the entire treatment. Otherwise, pink eye could come back.

While antibiotics are not effective in treating viral conjunctivitis, antiviral medications may be helpful if the case is serious. Recurring or severe allergic conjunctivitis may be treated with antihistamines and prescription eye drops.

Where Can You Turn for Complete Eye Care?

Whether you’re dealing with pink eye, refractive issues, or other eye conditions, Northeast Laser of West Springfield, Massachusetts, can help you get the care and treatment you need to see clearly. Call us at 413-363-2732 or Contact us online today to learn more about our numerous services for the entire family. We’re here to help you enjoy all of the benefits of better eye health.

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How Early Should Children Have Eye Exams?

By reading this blog post, you’ll learn: 

  • When your child should receive their first eye exam and how often they should have their eyes examined
  • What signs to look out for that may indicate an issue with your child’s vision

For parents, there’s nothing more important than the healthy development of their child. An essential part of that development is their vision, as that will aid in coordination, learning, and fine motor skills. As a child’s vision develops, though, it can be difficult to know when you should start to be concerned or when they are following the normal development path.

During this period of rapid development, your child may receive a vision screening by a pediatrician or through their preschool. While these screenings can find issues, they also miss potential concerns. This can give a parent a false sense of their child’s development. 

Instead, parents should seek out a comprehensive eye examination conducted by a doctor of optometry. By utilizing a specialist, you’ll gain the needed insights to take early corrective action as necessary. 

When Should You Book Your First Children’s Eye Exam? 

Infant eye exams, preferably before they turn a year old, can help identify a variety of early vision issues: 

  • Astigmatism
  • Farsightedness
  • Nearsightedness 
  • Nontypical eye movement 
  • Nontypical eye alignment 
  • Nontypical responses to stimuli like light
  • Weakness in one eye when compared to the other 

After this first initial examination, your child should undergo another one after they’ve turned three but before they’ve turned five years old. Generally, a full eye examination should also be conducted before they enter first grade. Once they’ve reached elementary school, their eyes and vision should be checked annually. 

Based on the results of any of these examinations, the eye doctor may recommend further examinations or follow-up appointments. This approach will help uncover potential issues early enough so they shouldn’t affect other aspects of the child’s development.

What Are the Common Signs of Vision Issues in Children? 

Of course, if you suspect that your child is having issues with their eyesight, you don’t need to wait until their next eye examination to discuss it with a doctor. You can book an earlier appointment before the schedule suggested in the previous section, especially if you notice some of the common indicators of a child’s vision issue: 

  • • Covering an eye 
  • • Frequent eye rubbing 
  • • Frequent headaches 
  • • Holding a book too close 
  • • Issues with eye-hand-body coordination 
  • • Noticeable sensitivity to light 
  • • Reading with their fingers 
  • • Sitting too close to the TV 
  • • Squinting 

Your child won’t know they have difficulty seeing as they are unable to compare their experience to others. Keeping watch for any of those signs will help you know when a quicker return to the eye doctor is needed. 

How Can You Help With Your Child’s Vision Development? 

There are ways to help your child develop improved vision skills. Some of these things are fairly routine, like providing time to color or giving them building blocks with which to play. Other things may take further involvement, such as playing catch, even with a bean bag, or reading aloud and having your child follow along in the book. Playing with other children will also aid in developing visual skills. 

Where Should You Go for Pediatric Eye Care? 

If it’s time for your child’s eye examination or if you’re noticing potential issues with their vision, contact Northeast Laser in West Springfield, MA today for an appointment. We offer comprehensive exams and services to help identify and correct potential eyesight concerns. Call us today at 413-363-2732.

Featured Image: Peakstock/Shutterstock

Wearing Eye Makeup & Vision

  • Wearing eye makeup carries some risk for negatively impacting the health of the eyes.
  • The best way to avoid potential vision care issues is to practice good hygiene, avoid sharing eye makeup products, and never apply mascara in a moving vehicle.

To look good, you have to be able to see correctly. So, it makes sense that one of the most common questions people ask about their eye makeup is whether it can lead to potential vision issues in the future.
Any time you apply anything to the area around your eye, there is a chance of inflicting unintentional damage. However, if you practice basic cleanliness as well as some foundational safety tips, you should be able to avoid significant harm.

How Makeup Affects Eye Health

You only get one set of eyes in your life, so it’s important to understand how makeup could potentially interfere with the health of your peepers. For instance, if you wear contacts, makeup products could touch the lens and potentially reduce its visual impact or cause an infection.
Beyond the possible issues that stem from contact use, there are generally four main concerns when it comes to eye makeup:

  • Allergic reactions to some makeup products
  • Bacterial infections, such as pink eye, from shared makeup or expired makeup
  • Eye irritation from wearing glitter makeup or forgetting to remove eye makeup before falling asleep
  • Scratched corneas when applying mascara

Some of the harm here may be minor and easily fixable. For example, if you’re allergic to a specific product, you can avoid products containing the specific ingredient that causes the reaction. Some brands even market themselves as hypoallergenic.

Yet, it can also be easy to misunderstand the source of the issue. This can lead to repeated and lasting damage to your vision. If you’re ever unsure of the underlying cause of the eye problem you’re dealing with, you should consult with an eye doctor.

Safe Eye Makeup Application Practices

Generally, it doesn’t take much effort to prevent eye makeup from harming your eyes. Routine hygiene practices such as washing your hands before touching your eye and putting in your contacts before applying makeup can prevent possible infection or irritation.

Still, there are times where we engage in risky behavior without realizing it. This can be the case when the behavior could lead to serious injury but often does not. To prevent these situations from occurring, make sure to incorporate some standard practices into your eye makeup regimen:

  • Do not apply mascara in a moving vehicle.
  • Never share eye makeup with anyone.
  • Never wear eye glitter or sparkles.
  • Only let a professional apply faux lashes.
  • Remove your makeup before falling asleep.
  • Replace your eye makeup after an eye infection.
  • Throw out eye makeup that’s past its expiration date, gives off an odd odor, or is more than three months old.
  • Use fresh applicators if trying on makeup at a store.

If you’ve recently had an eye operation, you should not wear any makeup until your eye doctor gives their approval. Eye makeup can negatively impact the healing process and possibly cause the need for another procedure.

Better Vision Care with Northeast Laser in West Springfield, MA

At Northeast Laser, we care about your eye health. We offer a variety of services, from comprehensive eye exams to corrective surgery to help improve your vision and keep your eyes healthy.

If you live in West Springfield, MA, and need Ophthalmology services, contact us today for an appointment or consultation by calling 413-363-2732.

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Why No-Blade LASIK Is Your Best Bet

Why No-Blade LASIK Is Your Best Bet

Your vision is too important to gamble with, so it’s worth learning about the ways you can perfect it as safely as possible. Glasses and contact lenses are good standbys, but you might be a good candidate for a more permanent option: Laser eye surgery.

LASIK techniques have evolved dramatically since the procedure became widely available in the late 1990s, giving patients better results with less risk. Both conventional and blade-free modern procedures involve similar steps for creating a corneal flap and reshaping the eye’s surface with directed laser pulses. The difference is that no-blade LASIK surgery uses a laser instead of a knife to remove the upper layer of the cornea before reshaping the tissue beneath it.

Here’s why going blade-free could be your best choice.

Greater Control

Conventional LASIK procedures use a specialized blade called a microkeratome to make the initial incision and reveal the inner corneal surface to be reshaped. A bladeless technique gives the surgeon more precise control when creating the flap. The laser pulses are carefully placed to allow your doctor to customize the procedure for the shape and thickness of your cornea, which is more challenging to do with a blade.

Fewer Complications

As laser-assisted eye surgery has evolved, complication rates have steadily decreased. One reason for this trend is the rise of bladeless technology. In a 2015 study on corneal surgery, patients who chose no-blade LASIK eye surgery had fewer complications and less risk of scarring than those who had conventional procedures. Infection is rare for any LASIK procedure, but the small risk of post-surgical infections is reduced further with blade-free eye surgery.

Shorter Recovery Time

The recovery time for traditional LASIK is fairly short, but no-blade LASIK procedures typically have an even shorter recovery period. Unlike a physical blade, a laser is always uniform, leaving smoother surfaces that heal more quickly. Many patients report less inflammation and greater comfort after blade-free eye surgery than people who chose conventional LASIK surgery.

Improved Results

The point of any LASIK procedure is to perfect your vision as much as possible, and blade-free LASIK surgery comes closer to achieving that goal. A reduced risk of scarring may mean better vision in low light and less eye dryness throughout the day. Because your surgeon can customize the shape and size of the corneal flap during your first procedure, you’re less likely to need additional sessions to correct your vision further. Uneven corneal corrections can also introduce astigmatism, and bladeless procedures are less likely to leave uneven surfaces on the corneal flap.

Your current pair of eyes are the only ones you’ll ever have, so it makes sense to have all the facts before deciding on the best LASIK procedure for you. If you have questions, call us and get complete answers in plain English. Dr. John Frangie is ready to talk with you about blade-free LASIK and other options to improve your vision.