Swimming dry eyes

Dry Eyes in the Water

Dry Eyes in the Water: Swimming is an effective way to keep in shape. During the summer it is a fun way to keep cool. But if you’re in the water a lot, whether in a local pool, nearby lake or  salt water beach, you might notice that your eyes occasionally become itchy or feel gritty.

These uncomfortable sensations affect swimmers and surfers. They are signs of chemical conjunctivitis, better known as Pink Eye, and Swimmer’s and Surfer’s Dry Eye. In both conditions, the problem is usually temporary and easy to treat. If the condition lasts, professional help is advised.

Pink Eye

Chemical conjunctivitis is called Pink Eye because of the reddening effects of inflammation on the white of the eye. The chlorine used in  pools is the most common cause among swimmers, but air pollution and other chemicals in the environment also contribute.

The eye has a very thin layer of tissue that covers the white of the eye with a transparent film. Chemicals irritate this delicate membrane, causing inflammation in one or both eyes. Common symptoms include:

  • watery eyes
  • itchy feeling
  • gritty feeling
  • burning sensation
  • swollen eyelids
  • discharge
  • redness
  • sensitivity to light
  • blurred vision

In most cases the condition is easy to fix by pouring warm tap water or a saline solution over the surface of the eye.  This helps flush away the chemicals causing the inflammation. Eye drops such as Crocodile Tears work well to stop the itching and burning. Cold compresses can help relieve irritation.

If you use contacts, don’t wear them until the inflammation, redness, and itchy, burning feeling are gone.

If these home remedies don’t solve the problem, the next step is a check up at the eye doctor, either an optometrist or ophthalmologist. This is especially important if a thick discharge is seeping out or if you have cloudy vision for more than a few hours.

Prevention is always the best approach, but it can be hard in public pools. The proper pH balance is easy to fix in a pool in your own yard but beyond your authority at the community pool. That’s why using swimming goggles is essential to keep your eyes out of direct contact with chlorine and other chemicals.

Swimmer’s and Surfer’s Eye

This condition is very similar to Pink Eye. It is caused by changes in the tear film, made up principally of water, which protects the eye.  When its water content evaporates too fast, it creates an excess of salt. The result is discomfort and blurry vision. If it happens too often, the effects can become chronic.

What causes the over-evaporation is contact with chlorine in pools, the salt in the ocean and UV rays from the sun. The three main ways to prevent the problem are:

  • drink 8 to 10 glasses of water on days you swim or surf
  • use eye protection both in and out of the water
  • make sure your tear film is well hydrated before and after a dip in the water

If you get Swimmer’s or Surfer’s Eye, you can use Crocodile Tears to add moisture to the eye and tear film.

 

 

 

 

 

Helping Lasik-induced Dry Eyes

Dry eyes following Lasik surgery can be an annoyance for many, however this is a growing into a bigger issue for many Americans. Some people must endure hours of complicated daily regimes just to care for their eyes. There are others who experience so much pain from their dry eyes that they have to sit for hours with their eyes closed just to experience relief.

Are There Treatments Available?

Treatments typically consists of use of drops, mists, eye compresses, ointments, duct plugs, nutritional supplements, and moisture retention glasses. Due to the amount of people suffering worldwide from dry eye symptoms, they spend upwards of $522 million on an annual basis on products for their dry eye symptoms. This is an increasing problem, experts agree.

Even though this is a widespread problem, many Lasik surgeons are not referring to “dry eye syndrome” as a complication related to Lasik surgery. Surgeons are well aware of the complaints of dry-eye in nearly half the patients and that it could be a permanent issue alongside other issues like night vision problems, but it viewed as a common problem and not a complication.

What Typically Causes Dry Eyes?

Due to issues such issues as age, environmental pollution, air conditioning, side effects from certain prescription medications, Lasik eye surgery, and how many hours a person spends in front a computer, all of these factors contribute to dry eye. As you can see, there are a number of other factors contributing to dry eye in addition to Lasik eye surgery.

This begs the questions, though, how do patients of Lasik surgery, specifically find relief when there are so many other issues that already cause dry eye symptoms? An individual would have to think about how they are living, what their habits were prior to their surgery, and if dry eye was persistent prior to their surgery before seeking treatment. If they were receiving dry-eye treatments prior to their Lasik eye surgery, this information is important to discuss with their surgeon or their primary care physician at the time of their consultation. While over the counter medications may provide short-term relief, severe dry eye symptoms may require a prescription remedy.

How Widespread is This Problem?

Following the procedure, and expected 50% of patients will experience dry eye symptoms. These symptoms can last from two weeks to one year following the procedure. However, some patients have symptoms that have lasted longer than one year. There are FDA warnings stating that dry eye syndrome could be permanent in some patients.

It is suggested that those who have undergone Lasik eye surgery and are experiencing dry eye symptoms should file a MedWatch report with the FDA. This form can be downloaded and faxed directly to the FDA, or mailed in. Or, patients can call in for more information. This is a voluntary reporting system allowing for information to be passed along to the FDA about your issues with Lasik surgery, as well as the resulting dry eye symptoms.

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Google Glass and Your Eyes

Can you imagine seeing information in real time, displayed seemingly in the air in front of your eyes? Google Glasses will make you feel as if you’ve stepped right out a sci fi movie. Upon release of this product, consumers named Google Glass one of the company’s best inventions to date.  What makes Google Glass so unique?

What is Google Glass?

Google Glass is a pair of glasses with a tiny computer implanted into them. They’re lightweight, yet they have a strong frame. Bluetooth, wi-fi, speakers, microphone and a touchpad are all included in the frames.  The small screen attached the screen allows user to view videos, read web pages and view photos.

How does Google Glass Work

Google Glass is operated via voice command and through a touchpad where you can just tap your finger and swipe to view the menu and other apps. You can capture both videos and photos without using your hands.  Google Glass works along with your smartphone. There are more than seventy applications available for Google Glass that are downloaded via your phone.

When paired with your phone you can receive news feeds, social media notifications, text messages and phone calls through Google Glass.

Fashion Meets Technology

For a device that’s capable of doing so much, you would think Google Glass would be a clunky device. Google Glass is sleek and looks very similar to your average pair of glasses. It’s available in various color and frame designs.

Google has created four super light titanium frames that are designed to fit users prescription. They’re  made in cool colors. To safely install prescription frames into the device, Google encourages consumers to have this service completed by one of their preferred providers.

How Does Google Glass Affect Your Eyes?

Although, Google Glass has its benefits, prolonged use can cause harm to your eyes. When worn for hours at one time, Google warns that it could also cause headaches. Headaches are caused by constant eye straining.

Dr. James Salz spokesperson for the American Academy of Ophthalmology compared the experience of viewing content on Google Glass to reading small print and that constant  use could lead to eye dryness.  Experts  reveal that when wearing Google Glass for the first time, an adjustment period is needed just like with regular prescription eyewear.

Google Glass causes minor eye complications due to the fact that the display screen is placed right in the user’s field of vision, the see-through augmented reality digital information that’s displayed also takes some getting used to.

Recently, Google banned the use of Google Glass for children under thirteen years old. Patients who have undergone Lasik eye surgery are advised to check with their eye doctors to find out if Google Glass is right for them.

Yes, while Google Glass causes mild eye irritation, it poses no serious threat or harm to user’s eye health. To combat eye dryness and irritation users are encouraged to apply quality eye drops such as Crocodile Tears which are great at lubricating, protecting and moisturizing dry eyes.