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EyeSearch is a Guide to Vision and the Eye, including information on glasses, contact lenses, eye diseases, eye surgery, laser surgery, including laser vision correction, and directories of eye specialists nationwide, including ophthalmologists, optometrists, opticians and low vision services

Questions are answered by:
Certified Ophthalmic Technician (*)
a Licensed Dispensing Optician
and a Board Certified Ophthalmologist (***).

Answers are published on EyeSearch or emailed directly to the individual.

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Question from Florida
*Can I wear soft contact lenses while I have a stye?

It would be best if you could avoid wearing the contact lens on the eye with the stye. If you are wearing your contacts on both eyes and the eye with the stye feels the same as your other eye with the lens in place, it is probably okay.  If there is any drainage, the soft contact lens should be avoided until your lid is back to normal.

Question from Hawaii
*I have been diagnosed with dry eyes secondary to stapylococcal blepharitis.  I am using bacitracin ointment at bedtime (as prescribed), and am wondering this:  If I get the staph infection under control, will my eyes return to normal (not dry)?  It is really hard to wear my contacts, and dry eye is ruining my life.  Thanks

When the staph infection is gone your eyes should feel much better. Individuals who wear contact lenses can be more susceptible to dry eyes. Certain types of contact lenses are better for people with a tendency towards dry eyes. Check with your eye doctor to make sure you are in the best possible type of contacts for those with dry eyes. Are you using any kind of lubricating drops routinely? There are many different types of drops for dry eyes that you can buy over the counter to help when your eyes are really bothering you. Just make sure you purchase the type of drops that are okay to use with your contact lenses in.

Question from Florida
*What causes the white of the eye to suddenly become full of bright red blood with no  apparent cause.  This is my second day with this.  There is tenderness, but no pain.  I do suffer from mostly seasonal allergies and I have been taking lithium for the past 9 years (and premarin), klonopin and remeron (anti-depressant).  I have a feeling that it just looks worse than it is, but I guess I want to know what I'm dealing with too.  Thank you so very much. 

This condition is called a subconjunctival hemorrhage.  It is like having a bruise on your eye.  It is a broken blood vessel. No treatment is necessary.  It can occur spontaneously or if you rub your eye or take aspirin or blood thinners.  If subconjunctival hemorrhages occur frequently you should see an eye doctor.

Question from Wisconsin
*My wife is totally blind.  She was shot in the face when she was 5 (she's 29 now).  She has not been to a specialist in 20 years.  Has there been any advancements in technology to warrant seeing a specialist?  Where do we go?   What do we ask?  We would travel.  Thanks for any input.

It is hard to say if there is any new technology that could help your wife without knowing the extent of her injuries, however, it certainly would not hurt to have an ophthalmologist to take a look since it has been so long since she has seen an eye doctor. It would be helpful if your wife could get a copy of her medical records to take with her the day of her appointment. You could try checking with the Wisconsin State Academy of Ophthalmology to recommend an appropriate specialist closest to you.

Question from Georgia
*I have been having headaches and my eyes feel sore and tired most of the time. Do you have any suggestions on what might be the problem or if there even is one.

An eye exam would help determine whether your eyes are causing the headaches. Eyestrain can cause headaches. You may need glasses or your prescription updated or you could have dry eyes or a problem that is not eye related. Please make an appointment with an eye doctor to rule out any problems with your eyes.

Question from Maryland
*I am a 32 year old female in good physical health.  Over the past 8 months, I have experienced transient monocular visual loss (TMVL) (always occurring in my right eye) which lasts approximately 4 minutes.  It occurs about every 4 weeks and is characterized by a greying out and temporary loss of vision in the right eye.   It comes and goes gradually.  I have been to an ophthalmologist who is reluctant to rule it as a visual migrane until other potential disorders can be ruled out.   He suggests I see a neurologist or some other specialist.  However, my primary care physician is reluctant to give a referral and has diagnosed it as a visual migrane.   I have no other symptoms associated with these onsets - no headaches.  Do you suggest I follow up with a second opinion, as the opthamologist has suggested?  I have so far chose to ignore it, but a recent TMVL has prompted me to be pursue this again.

Your description does not sound like a typical ocular migraine. Most visual aura’s last 20 minutes and you can not tell which eye the disturbance is coming from with a migraine. It might be on the right or left side but if you close either eye the disturbance should still be there. If the ophthalmologist you saw recommended you see a neurologist you should see a neurologist. Please contact the ophthalmologist who did your eye exam and get the name of the sub-specialist he recommends and make the appointment.

Question from Utah
*I have some extremely large floaters in my right eye.  These are likely a result of an auto accident several years ago.  One of them often gets hung up directly in my line of sight.  I can not focus when this occurs.  My HMO doctors say nothing can be done.  I don't believe them.  Is there a lasar surgery that would work on this.

If you have not seen an ophthalmologist to have the floaters examined please do so. Usually floaters are not treated but it depends on what the floaters are. Sometimes the floaters are blood in the back of the eye from leaking blood vessels in the retina, which would require treatment. It would be best to have an ophthalmologist determine if you need treatment or if anything can be done to help you.

Question from Connecticut
*My sister and I have gotten what appears to be conjunctivitis from our kids while our children had clear eyes within days of being on medication we are both on our fourth medication in 4 weeks (lotemax) and are not seeing any improvement. There is no discharge or crust,just very inflamed,red eyes.  We cannot wear our contact lenses at all without feeling a lot of pressure in our eyes.  Any ideas on why this isn't clearing up for us? Could it be something other than conjunctivits?  Thank you.

Please see an ophthalmologist if you haven’t already. Lotemax is an anti-inflammatory. You may need an antibiotic. If your contact lenses have not been disinfected properly you could be re-infecting your eyes when you wear your contact lenses. Please keep a record of what eye medications you have used and how you are taking care of your contact lenses and when you see the eye doctor let them know.

Question from the USA
*What causes iritis ? I did have an eye injury long ago.  Why does it act up once in awhile?  Also is it common for peoples eye color to change later in life?

Please check out the link on EyeSearch to find out more information on iritis. http://www.eyesearch.com/disorders.diseases.htm.   Some autoimmune diseases can cause iritis, such as arthritis, however many people get iritis without having these types of diseases.  Certainly, a previous eye injury can cause iritis to flare up occasionally.  It is not uncommon for eye color to dull with age.  If the change in eye color is very noticeable you should check with your eye doctor.

Question about Floaters
*I sneezed on Saturday.  I had some thing like a piece of lint come in my right eye. Later in the day that became a larger place that runs in through my eye when I move my eye.  It looks like my eye in black and white.  What have I done.  I hoped it would go away.  It is not going away.

It would be wise to make an appointment with an ophthalmologist.   It sounds like you have a vitreous floater.  When you sneezed it disturbed your vitreous which is an egg white type of substance in the back of our eye.  If you notice any flashes of light similar to a lightning bolt you should be seen right away.   Please contact your eye doctor or an ophthalmologist and tell them your symptoms.

Question about Bifocal Surgical Correction
*How close is bifocal correction?  Thanks

If I understand your question correctly, you are asking if there is a surgical procedure to correct your vision if you need bifocals. There are bifocal intraocular lens implants that require a surgical procedure very similar to cataract surgery. The FDA has not approved this surgical technique and the implants are a compromise similar to wearing a bifocal contact lens.  Check with the FDA to see where the approval process stands.

Question from Florida
*Is there an age restriction for LASIK surgery?

The age restriction for LASIK is 21. As with other vision correction surgeries, it is important to make sure the amount of prescription has stabilized before considering surgery.

Question from Pennsylvania
*How soon after cataract surgery would you consider a posterior laser capsulotomy?

You could consider a laser capsulotomy 3 months after cataract surgery. Occasionally, depending on the specific circumstances one could require a capsulotomy sooner.

Question from Nigeria

Many people with that degree of myopia have retinal problems. If you are concerned, please seek a second opinion. It is not uncommon for someone with your wife’s prescription to require laser treatments.

Question from Los Angeles, California
*I am 55 and have been told recently that I am growing cataracts at a fairly fast pace.  I know I am relatively young for cataract formations. What are the causes of cataracs? Why could I be developing them so early.  I do not have any major diseases that I know.

Please read:   http://www.eyesearch.com/cataract.htm  

More people than you might think have cataracts at age 55 or younger. Cataracts can develop with age, trauma or from medications such as steroids that might be taken for other health reasons. Cataracts can be congenital also. There is research that indicates that exposure to ultra-violet light can cause cataracts to develop more quickly. Modern advances in cataract surgery make it an extremely safe procedure.

Question from Orlando, Florida
*My right eye feels brused when I close it or rub it in any way..but isnt.  Today it looks a little puffy in the inner corner and slightly red...should i be really worried or what?  And its not the eye itself that is hurt it feels and looks like the bottom inner corner lip or bottom lid?

It sounds as if you could be developing a sty. Many times, it will start as soreness of the lid. Try hot compresses or a clean hot washcloth to the area and see if that helps. If it isn’t getting better, please make an appointment to see your eye doctor.

Question from Columbus, Georgia, United States
*My husband has a swelling in the white of one of his eyes for years.  It looks like blisters underneath the white of the eye, and is only on the part toward the center of his face.  Gets irritated when he's tired and rubs his eyes.  What is this called, what causes it, and can anything be done to help?   Someone told me it means high cholesterol?  Thank You.

Your husband could have a pinguecula. Please look at http://www.eyesearch.com/corneal.images.htm and http://www.eyesearch.com/eye.disease.glossary.htm , this should help. If it is only on the white part of the eye it is called a pinguecula. , if it grows on to the cornea it becomes a pterygium. Most the time surgery is not required unless it develops into a pterygium. It is unclear what causes these benign growths, but more people who live in hot dry climates have them.

Question from Cleveland, Ohio
*I am a 39yr old male. Three days ago I got a black spot in looking out my right eye. Its no bigger than a pin head and looks like a speck of dirt.I can't see it by looking in a mirror. I used solution and it hasn't gone away. I had no injury and have always had 20/15 vision. What could this be?

Please read the information on EyeSearch at http://www.eyesearch.com/disorders.diseases.questions.htm on floaters. What you are experiencing is called a vitreous floater. Floaters are very common and most of us will notice them at some point in our lives. Usually, floaters require no treatment but it is always wise to have your eye doctor take a look. If you notice a sudden shower of many floaters or flashes of light, you should call your eye doctor right away.

Question from the United States

Please make an appointment to see an ophthalmologist. It sounds as if you might have dry eyes in addition to photophobia. An eye exam by an ophthalmologist can determine if there are eye medications that can help you. Please make sure you tell the eye doctor your medical history.

Question from the USA
*Two days back I observed that both of my eyes has a small white circular dot at the end of the black eye ball towards the inner side. I am surprised to see that both of them are symmetric. Is this an indication of some serious problem ? Is there any care I should take for this ? Please advise.

Please check out the image of a pinguecula on http://www.eyesearch.com/corneal.images.htm . If the growth is on the colored part of your eye then look at the image of a pterygium on that same page. These benign growths are usually not serious but can grow and interfere with your vision. A Pterygium can be removed surgically if necessary. Some people find that they can be irritating and eye drops can be prescribed to help.

Question from California
*My daughter came home from school wearing someone elses contacts, what should I do?  I am also interested in purchasing her own ( non-prescription) color contacts.  Does she have to be seen by a Dr. or can I order them over the internet.  If so how much do they run?

Contact lenses are medical devices and can cause serious eye problems if they do not fit properly. You daughter should not wear contact lenses that are not hers. It is very important to have her eyes measured for contact lenses. If a contact lens does not fit properly it could cause a corneal ulcer. Also wearing someone’s contact lenses could lead to eye infections if they lenses haven’t been sterilized properly. She should have a contact lens fitting by an eye professional. The costs of colored contacts vary, depending on the type. Colored contact lenses that change a brown eye to blue are called opaque and are typically more expensive than ones for a lighter colored iris. Please check around for specials or promotions in your area. Once your daughter has had a fitting and been trained on the proper care and cleaning of her contacts she can order replacement contact lenses on the internet.

Question from The Netherlands
*For about 5 weeks now my right eye pupil changes from its original round shape. It changes to a tear drop form accompanied by headache "stings" on the right side of my head. I also can feel my heartbeat in my right ear sometimes.   All this started with, what I thougt, a sinus infection because my nose was closed and I had a pain below my right eye. I steamed alot with Camille and other stuff and the doctor subscribed a Anti Biotic cur, 2 weeks later my nose was open again but now my right eye is doing strange things.I had a x-ray picture taken from my sinusses but no infection showed. I went to a hospital here in Amsterdam and measured eye pressure and so on but even this docter couldn't exactly tell what was wrong. Now I'm lost and don't where to look for the cause or a cure, maybe it is behind my eye? Should I have a brain scan taken?   Hopefully you can give me some advise or suggestions....please.

Please see an ophthalmologist if you haven’t done so already. The eye doctor will be able to advise you if you need further testing and what testing is required. Pupil abnormalities should always be checked by an ophthalmologist.

Question from the United States
*I started wearing contacts/glasses about 3 years ago for near-sightedness.  However, every year when I go for an eye exam, the doctor would say my powers/degree has gone up by -1.00, etc.  My glasses are so thick already, and I've tried eating carrots, taking vitamin A/beta carotene, but they don't seem to help.   Is there anything I can do to prevent my eyes from getting worse?  Thanks. ( I am a teenager.)

Typically, nearsightedness or myopia increases as we grow and when we reach the end of our growth phase our myopia stabilizes.  That is why you have to be at least 21 years of age in order to qualify for vision correction surgery.   When you are a teenager and growing it is very common for your nearsightedness to increase. Healthy diets are very important to our general health including the eye. Contact lenses are a good alternative to your glasses if you do not like the way they look.

Question from New York
*My son, who lives in Texas, called and said for the past couple of weeks has been having trouble seeing out of his left eye.  He first noticed it playing tennis - couldn't focus on the ball. He does not wear any type of corrective lenses.  He sees perfectly out of his right eye.  when he covers his right eye and uses only his left, he can't see beyond 4 or 5 feet.  This has just recently happened.  When he looks at his computer screen with his left eye only, it appears to be bowed in the center.  He has had no headaches since this poor vision started.   He plans to see his primary care physician and get referred to a specialist.   But isn't it odd that only one eye is affected.  Could this condition be caused by some type of tumor behind the left eye.  I am very concerned - He has had no injury to the eye.  He is 23 years old and otherwise very fit and healthy.

Please have your son get a referral to an ophthalmologist as soon as possible. Sudden vision loss should always be examined right away. Objects that looked bowed in the center could indicate a problem with the central part of the retina.

Question from Connecticut
*I recently developed cold sores around my mouth, and am concerned that I may have transmitted the virus to my eyes by unwittingly rubbing them after touching the sores.  My left eye feels a bit swollen and is tender to the touch.   Do I have cause to worry and should I go see a doctor?  Is a herpes infection of the eyes serious and can it be cured by early treatment?

Herpes infections of the eyes can be serious if the virus reaches the eye itself.  Herpes is treated with oral medication and eye drops.   If you think it could possibly be developing on your eye you should see an ophthalmologist right away.

Question from Arizona
*Why and how are broken vessels in the eye come about.  I have 2 , one in each eye. Is there anything to be done about them except time?  They look awful, thanks.

Broken blood vessels on the eye are like a bruise on the skin. Many people get them for no apparent reason. Individuals on blood thinning medications or those who take an aspirin a day are at a higher risk. Sometimes if we rub our eyes vigorously they can occur. If you have them frequently, you should contact your eye doctor. No treatment is necessary for these broken blood vessels.

Question from New York
*I hear that you can make your eyesight better by eating a lot of carrots.  Is this true? What makes your eyesight better?

Certainly a healthy diet with many fruits and vegetables is good for our whole body including the eye.  There is no direct evidence that eating carrots can improve eyesight.  Research has shown that green leafy vegetables, such as spinach, kale and broccoli are helpful in preventing some eye diseases.  Also, studies show that zinc helps prevent or slow the disease macular degeneration.   Exposure to ultra-violet light is harmful to our eyes and should be avoided.

Question from Muscat, Oman
*Thank you for your reply on my question about the Subcapsular cataract.  I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW ABOUT THE CAUSE OF THE SUBCAPSULAR CATARACT?   WHY IT DEVELOPS?  WHAT ARE THE CAUSES?

Please read the information at this link - http://www.nejm.org/content/1997/0337/0001/0046.asp.   The causes are age, trauma and steroid usage.  If you would like additional info or have a more specific question please feel free to email us again.

Question from Georgia
*Hello my question is that one evening around 10pm I felt something in my eye.  It felt like a grain of sand. The next day I went to my M.D and he told me I had pink eye, so he perscribed me a drop called Sulfacetamide 10%, this drop brunt my eye and caused burning around my nose and check.  So I called him back and he gave me another perscription called Cortisporin.  Well this drug gave me an adverse reaction and made it seem worse.  So I decided to go to the optometrist who looked at my eye and said that I had a bacterial infection so he prescribed me tobramycin which didn't help at all so I went back again and he prescribed me Gentamicin which seemed to help at first but I was still having the watering and the itching and I still would wake up with my eye closed.  So I again went back and he took another look and said he was going to try yet another drop called Polytrim and when I put the first drop in I had within 5 minutes a adverse reaction and it was like I started the whole process over.  So I went back again and he said we where going to try to use a regular eye drop and yet again this is not working.  If you have any suggestions please help.  I have started to notice my eye is real cloudy and I am getting worried.  Thank you for your time.

Please have your primary care physician refer you to an ophthalmologist.  Blurry vision associated with a foreign body sensation should be checked by an ophthalmologist.  Hopefully, you can get an appointment soon.

Question from Canada
*Hi: I am an RGP wearer. I have been wearing contacts for 4 years. I have replaced my right lens once 2 years ago because I experienced excess tearing and some pain. But now the problem is coming back again. My right eye will be totally fine for a long time, but the pain and tearing will suddenly appear again. What could be the problem?

Please consult your eye doctor.  It sounds as if the contact is irritating your cornea. Do you ever have the tearing and pain when the contact lens is not in your eye?  It could be something as simple as a rough edge.  You could try having the contact lens cleaned and polished and see if that helps.  Your best bet is to have your eye doctor look at the lens on your eye.

Question from North Carolina
*I  wear  contact lens and have not been to my eye doctor in about 2 years, I usually have no problem waiting this long.  One year ago I started a new job where I sit  at a computer all day and my eyes  seem to be dryer than usual.  This past week, my eyes have felt like they have sand in them and this morning when I woke up, I have a very very bloodshot left eye.  What would cause this, and should I continue to wear my contacts?  (I have the kind that I take out every night)   Thanks for your help.

It would be best not to wear your contacts until you see your eye doctor.  It could be a combination of the age of your contacts and your work environment.  When your eyes start to turn red and have a feeling like sand it could mean your cornea is irritated by the contact lenses.

Question from California
*Why is my right eye vision so much worse than my left.  I am nearsighted.  My eye Dr. said that this is normal.  But I find that kind of hard to believe.  Also, he said I have dry eye in my right eye.  And it feels kind of puffy.  Why do the little veins on the white of my eye sometimes become very red?

There are many people who have a big difference in the prescription of each eye. Some individuals are nearsighted in one eye and farsighted in the other. This condition is called anisometropia. It is common for people with this condition to wear contact lenses because it is easier to tolerate the difference between the two eyes. Contact lenses can make your eyes dry, especially soft contacts because they absorb some of your tears. There are many over the counter lubricating drops that can help relieve the dryness.

The blood vessels on the white part of your eye can become more pronounced when irritated causing redness. Eye dryness, pollutants or allergies can cause this. Your eye doctor can recommend the type of eye drops that would be best for your eyes.

Question from Kentucky
*I have worn soft daily contact lenses for  14 years & have in last 10 months been experiencing extremely dry eyes.  I use OTC drops and lubricating ointment at night. I have a humidified in my bedroom, but when I wake up my eyes are very dry.  When I wear my contacts, my vision even gets blurred.  I do suffer from seasonal allergies, but when I have an allergy attack, my eyes usually get watery, not dry.  Are there prescription drops or medications available to relieve the dryness?

Most lubricating drops and ointments do not require a prescription; however, there are some that are thicker than others. Celluvisc and Refresh Plus are two that are thicker and will stay in the eye longer. You should not use these with your contacts in and most likely they will blur your vision at first. There is a new drop called TheraTears, but I am not sure if it is available yet. You might consider trying a different type of contact lens even ones that you replace more often and see if that makes a difference. Your eye doctor might be able to get you a sample or trial of a different type to try.

Question from the United States
*I have Giant Papillary Conjunctivitis, and am also interested in corrective laser surgery
Is the surgery possible with this condition, and will the results be the same as if I had healthy eyes?  Thank you very much.

This condition is usually caused by contact lenses. Once you are out of your contact lenses it generally clears up. You will be required to go without your contact lenses for awhile before your exam for laser surgery. The length of time depends on the type of contact lenses you wear. Your eye doctor will be able to advise you best about your particular situation.

Question from North Carolina
*I occasionally see a dot. The dot is like a shadow and tiny.   It moves.  Should I be concerned?

What you are experiencing is call a vitreous floater.   Floaters are very common and usually nothing to be concerned about unless you experience a sudden shower of floaters or flashes of light.  It is always wise once you notice something new like a spot in your vision to have it checked out by your eye doctor or an ophthalmologist. Please read the previous questions regarding floaters on - http://www.eyesearch.com/disorders.diseases.questions.htm, if you have any additional question feel free to email us again.

Question from Waterville, Maine
*How do you correct NEAR SIGHTEDNESS?

There are many ways to correct nearsightedness or myopia.   The most common are glasses and contact lenses.  If you qualify, myopia can be corrected by vision correction surgery.  Usually, nearsightedness continues to increase until we are in our twenties and then stabilizes.

Question from South Carolina
*I am a 33 yr old male in good health.  I had a regular eye exam, in which the doctor found a "spot" in my eye.  He said it may be a mole, or something else.  He has referred me to a specialist.  Can you give me any ideas on what this might be?  I am experiencing no pain, or blurred vision.   I have worn glasses for years.  I have used contacts with no problems for 2 yrs.

Commonly, people can moles or freckles in their eyes. Usually no treatment is required for these "spots". However, it is important to have an ophthalmologist check your eyes to make sure no further treatment or testing is necessary.

Question from Texas
*My son was hit in the eye with a rock and has scarring on the white of his eye.  Should we do anything or will this injury heal itself.  We washed the area and covered the eye with sterile gauze.

Please have an ophthalmologist take a look at your son’s eye. Often, injuries can occur on the inside of the eye that you might not be aware of. Please make an appointment for him if you haven’t done so already.

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