Causes Of Eye Allergies

Many allergens (substances that can evoke an allergic response) are in the air, where they come in contact with your eyes and nose. Airborne allergens include pollen, mold, dust and pet dander. Other causes of allergies, such as certain foods or bee stings, do not typically affect the eyes the way airborne allergens do. Adverse reactions to certain cosmetics or drugs such as antibiotic eyedrops also may cause eye allergies.

Similar to processes that occur with other types of allergic responses, the eye may overreact to a substance perceived as harmful even though it may not be. For example, dust that is harmless to most people can cause excessive tear production and mucus in eyes of overly sensitive, allergic individuals. Eye allergies are often hereditary.

Allergies can trigger other problems, such as conjunctivitis (pink eye) and asthma. Most of the more than 22 million Americans who suffer from allergies also have allergic conjunctivitis, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

Allergy signs and symptoms

Common signs of allergies include: red, swollen, tearing or itchy eyes; runny nose; sneezing; coughing; difficulty breathing; itchy nose, mouth or throat, and headache from sinus congestion.

What causes eye allergies?

Many allergens are in the air, where they come in contact with your eyes and nose. Airborne allergens include pollen, mold, dust and pet dander. Other causes of allergies, such as certain foods or bee stings, do not typically affect the eyes the way airborne allergens do. Adverse reactions to certain cosmetics or drugs such as antibiotic eyedrops also may cause eye allergies.

Eye allergy treatment

Avoidance. The most common “treatment” is to avoid what’s causing your eye allergy. Itchy eyes? Keep your home free of pet dander and dust, and stay inside with the air conditioner on when a lot of pollen is in the air. If you have central air conditioning, use a high quality filter that can trap most airborne allergens and replace it frequently.

Medications. If you’re not sure what’s causing your eye allergies, or you’re not having any luck avoiding them, your next step will probably be medication to alleviate the symptoms.

Over-the-counter and prescription medications each have their advantages; for example, over-the-counter products are often less expensive, while prescription ones are often stronger.

Eyedrops are available as simple eye washes, or they may have one or more active ingredients such as antihistamines, decongestants or mast cell stabilizers. Antihistamines relieve many symptoms caused by airborne allergens, such as itchy, watery eyes, runny nose and sneezing.

Decongestants clear up redness. They contain vasoconstrictors, which make the blood vessels in your eyes smaller, lessening the apparent redness. They treat the symptom, not the cause.

In fact, with extended use, the blood vessels can become dependent on the vasoconstrictor to stay small. When you discontinue the eyedrops, the vessels actually get bigger than they were in the first place. This process is called rebound hyperemia, and the result is that your red eyes worsen over time.

Some products have ingredients that act as mast cell stabilizers, which alleviate redness and swelling. Mast cell stabilizers are similar to antihistamines. But while antihistamines are known for their immediate relief, mast cell stabilizers are known for their long-lasting relief.

Other medications used for allergies include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or corticosteroids. In some cases, combinations of medications may be used.

Immunotherapy. You may also benefit from immunotherapy, in which an allergy specialist injects you with small amounts of allergens to help your body gradually build up immunity to them.

Eye allergies and contact lenses

Even if you are generally a successful contact lens wearer, allergy season can make your contacts uncomfortable. Airborne allergens can get on your lenses, causing discomfort. Allergens can also stimulate the excessive production of natural substances in your tears that bind to your contacts, adding to your discomfort and allergy symptoms.

Ask your eye doctor about eyedrops that can help relieve your symptoms and keep your contact lenses clean. Certain drops can discolor or damage contact lenses, so ask your doctor first before trying out a new brand.

Another alternative is daily disposable contact lenses, which are discarded nightly. Because you replace them so frequently, these lenses are unlikely to develop irritating deposits that can build up over time and cause or heighten allergy-related discomfort.

Stylish frames to look younger!

Getting older doesn’t mean you have to settle for the grandma look when it comes to glasses. Take a look at these tips to consider the next time you pair a new set of frames.

As noted by Julyne Derrick of Beauty.About.com, there are many frames and styles that will help you achieve a more youthful look.

Black frames are a classy look that show sophistication and a sense of style. These frames can be oversized but they will still appear flattering. It’s recommended you steer away from excessive jewelry and other accessories to pull off the black frame look.

Want a subtle look when wearing glasses? Try a frameless pair that won’t bring attention to your glasses. They will blend into the face better, as will thin frames. Frameless glasses also let off a sophisticated look.

There’s three things you should consider when you choose glasses. Most of us think about our face shape, but it’s also about hair color and personality. Square frames can balance out a longer face shape and black frames can complement a lighter hair color.

Don’t go alone when you’re shopping for eyeglasses. Always bring a friend who knows your style and can be honest with you. No one wants to buy a pair of frames and later find out they don’t look as flattering as they previously thought.

At Performance Eyecare, we offer designer frames of the highest quality and also affordable name brands such as Lafont, Oakley, Oliver Peoples, Marc Jacobs, Michael Kors, Tom Davies, OGA, Tom Ford, Maui Jim, OGI and many others.

Keep your eyes safe on the golf links

The weather is warming up and many of us will be hitting the links to play a round of golf this spring. Before you take your first swing of the season, make sure you’re wearing the proper golf eyewear.

Did you know Performance Eyecare is one of only a few offices in the St. Louis area to specialize in golf vision and prescription sunglasses for golfing?

It’s important to wear sunglasses when you’re outside to begin with, but many sunglasses aren’t optimized for the game of golf. This is why we carry several different styles of golf sunglasses in our stores.

We all have troubles finding our golf ball from time to time, but it’s become a little easier with the latest eyewear from Rudy Project Ketyium. This eyewear features a green-tinted lens which enhances all green colors and helps enhance the contrast of the white golf ball.

It also has a wrap-style frame to provide greater eye coverage for the golfer and it can also incorporate a prescription.

While finding your golf ball easier is great, the main reason you should wear sunglasses on the golf course is for protection from UV rays. Sunglasses can limit your chances of developing cataracts and possibly macular degeneration as it protects the cornea, lens and other parts of the eye. You should choose sunglasses that block 99 to 100 percent of both UVA and UVB rays.

Stop in soon or schedule an appointment to Performance Eyecare and let us help pick out the best eyewear for your style and health. The eye care professionals at Performance Eyecare give each of our patients the personal attention and care that everyone deserves and ensures that your eye health is our number one priority.

PEC Grows Through the Pandemic, Becoming Largest Independently Owned Provider in the STL Area

While many local businesses have closed their doors since the pandemic began, one St. Louis entrepreneur has used the uncertain times to grow into the largest independently owned eyecare provider in the St. Louis area.

Since March of 2020, Performance Eyecare has expanded from 4 locations to 9 across the St. Louis Metro plus Columbia, MO. Even in the tight labor market, their team has expanded to over 50 members, and has grown from 4 to 12 eye doctors on staff. Gross revenue has increased from $3.6M to a projected $9M this year – and they’re not done growing yet. 

Performance Eyecare founder Dr. Dirk Massie is a St. Louis local who has always seen potential in the Midwest market. “Our community is dominated by big corporate healthcare conglomerates who care more about the quantity of people coming through the door than the quality of service they receive. When it comes to something as important as someone’s ability to see, people deserve to work with a doctor who cares as much as they do.”

“Patient retention is extremely important to our team,” says Dr. Massie. “Our goal isn’t just to get new people in the door – we love to watch our patients grow up, have families, and bring their kids in to see us as well.” 

When asked about the key to their impressive retention rates, he shares, “Our offices are designed to put people totally at ease. From a comfortable, no-puff exam, to kind and knowledgeable doctors, to a welcoming, friendly face greeting you when you walk in the door, we help people actually enjoy their eye doctor experience.”  

Dr. Massie credits his team for the much of the business’ success over the last few years. The staff has thrived under the challenging environment of the pandemic, as well as adapting to the quick growth of the company. “The biggest thing we look for in our hiring process is a positive attitude. We can teach the skills people need to get the job done. But it’s the people who enjoy a fast-paced environment and feeling empowered to make business decisions who really thrive.”

Choosing glasses for style & personality!

Let your choice in eye wear express who you are and showcase your unique individual style.

Performance Eyecare has the perfect glasses to fit your style and personality

We all have different tastes, especially when it comes to style. That’s why it’s important to decide what you want your eyeglasses to say about you first.

As noted by Erinn Morgan of AllAboutVision.com, the first step is to consider the aspects of your life. We all have different aspects to our life, such as work and play, so sometimes it’s best to buy a couple pairs of glasses to suit each aspect.

Eyeglasses for Serious Business

It’s best to wear conservative frame shapes and colors in the business setting. Doing so will help instill trust and confidence with your clients and colleagues.

Some of the best choices are classic shapes such as ovals, rectangles and almonds. You should also choose a traditional color like gold, silver, brown, gray and black. If you choose to wear plastic glasses, stay away from bright colors or unusual shapes.

Eyeglasses That Showcase Your Creativity and Fashion Savvy

Those wanting to show their fashionable and creative tastes should choose modern shapes when picking out their eyeglasses. You have a lot more options than in the business setting so choosing prints, such as animal or flower, can also be an option to accentuate your style.

Eyeglasses for the Modern Baby Boomer or Senior

Many older people tend to choose for a conservative look, but they don’t have to stick with the same outdated one forever.

Certain colors can make you look younger, such as deep browns and burgundy for men and lighter, shinier hues for women.

Eyeglasses for Students

Unusual shapes, bright colors, larger sizes and interesting details are popular among students who are trying to create their own identity and style.

Students shouldn’t be afraid to express themselves in any variety of glasses.

Eyeglasses for the Busy Mom and Dad

Ovals, upswept rectangles and soft cat-eye shapes are functional and look great for the busy mom or dad.  You could choose to amplify the fashion effect of a basic shape with details such as jewelry-like metal accents or recognizable designer logos depending on your style.

Interesting colors such as plum deep red, soft green and black can add a fashion edge to a basic frame.

Adult Sunglasses at Performance Eyecare

Performance Eyecare St. Louis

While summer is winding down, it’s important to continue to protect your eyes with UV-blocking sunglasses, such as ones that you can find at Performance Eyecare.

As noted by GetEyeSmart.org, we often spend more time in the sun during the summer which increases our chances of developing cataracts and growths in the eye, including cancer. This risk also applies to those who go to tanning beds for their bronze look.

Do you remember that brightness when the sun reflected off a fresh snowfall six months ago? Well, that can cause photokeratitis, which is responsible for snow blindness. This same effect can happen when you’re at the beach or a pool as the sun reflects off the sand or water. This is why it’s always important to wear UV-blocking glasses when you’re out in the sun.

A survey conducted by the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), only about half of people who wear sunglasses say they check the UV rating before picking out their pair. The AAO recommends the following:

1. Wear sunglasses labeled as 100% UV protection.

It’s important to wear glasses that protect both UV-A and UV-B rays and are labeled either as UV400 or 100% UV protection.

2. Wear a hat along with your glasses

This is self-explanatory as a hat can help keep the sun away from your eyes. Clouds don’t block UV light, so sunglasses are important to wear even on cloudy days.  And remember that sun rays are strong. So strong they can pass through haze and clouds. Remember: sun damage can happen at any time of year.

3. Stay inside during UV-intense times

The sun’s light is strongest mid-day to early afternoon, at higher altitudes, and when reflected off of water, ice or snow. It’s important to remember this when you leave the house.

As Performance Eyecare, we offer designer frame sunglasses that will not only look stylish on you, but more importantly protect your vision from the sun’s harmful rays.

Performance Eyecare conducts stress-free eye exams

Performance EyeCare STL Eye Examination

We understand the word “exam” can add some unnecessary stress to your life, so we wanted to share with you what a routine comprehensive eye exam usually consists of:

As noted by Gary Heiting, OD, and Jennifer Palombi, OD, the following is what makes up a routine eye exam:

Visual Acuity Test

This measures the sharpness of your vision and it’s usually performed with a projected eye chart to measure the distance visual acuity. It also consists of a small, handheld acuity chart to measure your near vision as well.

Color Blindness Test

This test can check your color vision as well as alert your eye doctor to any possible eye health problems that may affect your color vision.

Cover Test

During this test, your eye doctor will have you focus on a small object across the room and will then cover each of your eyes alternately while you stare at the target. The doctor then assesses whether the uncovered eye must move to pick up the fixation target, which could indicate strabismus or a more subtle binocular vision problem that could cause eye strain or amblyopia, known as “lazy eye.”

Retinoscopy

Your eye doctor may perform this test early in the eye exam to obtain an approximation of your eyeglass prescription.

In retinoscopy, the room lights will be dimmed and you will be given a large target (usually the big “E” on the chart) to fixate on. As you stare at the “E,” your eye doctor will shine a light at your eye and flip lenses in a machine in front of your eyes.

Refraction

During a refraction, the doctor puts the instrument called a phoropter in front of your eyes and shows you a series of lens choices. He or she will then ask you which of the two lenses in each choice looks clearer.

Based on your answers, your eye doctor will continue to fine-tune the lens power until reaching a final eyeglass prescription.

Autorefractors and Aberrometers

An autorefractor, like a manual refraction, determines the lens power required to accurately focus light on your retina. Autorefractors are especially useful in certain cases such as evaluating young children who may not sit still, pay attention or interact with the eye doctor adequately for an accurate manual refraction.

Slit-Lamp Examination

The slit lamp, also called a biomicroscope, allows your eye doctor to get a highly magnified view of the structures of your eye to thoroughly evaluate your eye health and detect any signs of infection or disease.

During this test, your doctor will have you place your chin on the chin rest of the slit lamp and will then shine the lamp’s light at your eye. The doctor looks through a set of oculars (much like a microscope in a science lab) and examines each part of your eye in turn.

He or she will first examine the structures of the front of your eye (lids, cornea, conjunctiva, iris, etc.). Then, with the help of a special high-powered lens, your doctor will view the inside of your eye (retina, optic nerve, macula and more).

The Glaucoma Test

A common glaucoma test is the “puff-of-air” test, technically known as non-contact tonometry, or NCT. (This test was immortalized on the hit TV show Friends, when Rachel couldn’t sit still for it.)

For NCT, the test begins with you putting your chin on the machine’s chin rest. While you look at a light inside the machine, the doctor or a trained assistant will puff a small burst of air at your open eye. It is completely painless, and the tonometer does not touch your eye.

At Performance Eyecare, we do not use the air puff. Instead, our doctors instills an eye drop and determines your eye pressure while looking with the microscope. There is no pain and this method is much more accurate than blowing air into your eye.

Pupil Dilation

To obtain a better view of the eye’s internal structures, your eye doctor instills dilating drops to enlarge your pupils. Dilating drops usually take about 20 to 30 minutes to start working. When your pupils are dilated, you will be sensitive to light (because more light is getting into your eye) and you may notice difficulty focusing on objects up close. These effects can last for up to several hours, depending on the strength of the drop used.

Once the drops have taken effect, your eye doctor will use various instruments to look inside your eyes. You should bring sunglasses with you to your eye exam, to minimize glare and light sensitivity on the way home. If you forget to bring sunglasses, the staff usually will give you a disposable pair.

Visual Field Test

In some cases, your eye doctor may want to check for the possible presence of blind spots (scotomas) in your peripheral or “side” vision by performing a visual field test. These types of blind spots can originate from eye diseases such as glaucoma.

Analysis of blind spots also may help identify specific areas of brain damage caused by a stroke or tumor.

Performance Eyecare has same day contact lenses

Woman holding contact lens to eye

There’s no need to sit around waiting and wondering when your prescription contact lenses are going to be finished. At Performance Eyecare, we have several hundred contact lenses in our office and can routinely fit our contact lens patients the same day. It is not uncommon to hear from our new contact lens patients, “You mean you have MY contact lens prescription here and I can take my contact lenses home today?”

If you’re new to wearing contact lenses, Liz Segre of AllAboutVision.com has some tips to help you with common questions:

Is my contact lens inside out?

The trick is to place the lens on your finger so that a cup is formed. Then hold the lens up directly in front of your eyes so you’re looking at the side of the cup.

If the lens forms a “U” with the top edges flared out, it’s inside out. If it forms just a “U,” it’s in the correct position.

Applying your contact lenses

Make sure you wash your hands thoroughly before applying your contact lenses, but avoid scented or oily soaps that might adhere to the lens surface. Especially avoid using products containing lanolin and moisturizing lotions.

Some eye doctors say to always apply the first contact lens in the same eye, so you’ll avoid the possibility of mixing up lenses for the right eye and left eye.

Other basic guidelines for contact lens application:

  1. Gently shake your lens case containing the storage solution, to loosen the contact lens should it be stuck. (Don’t try pulling at the lens with your finger, or you might damage it.)
  2. Slide the lens out of its case and into the palm of your hand. Rinse thoroughly with the appropriate contact lens solution.
  3. Place the contact lens on the tip of your index or middle finger, which should be dry or mostly dry.
  4. With the fingers and thumb of your other hand, simultaneously pull up on your upper eyelid and down on your lower eyelid.
  5. Position the lens on your eye while looking upward or forward, whichever you find to be easier. You also can apply the contact lens by placing it on the white of the eye closest to your ear.
  6. Gently close your eye, roll your eyes in a complete circle to help the lens settle, and then blink.
  7. Look closely in the mirror to make sure the lens is centered on your eye. If it is, the lens should be comfortable and your vision should be clear.

Removing your contact lenses

Always wash your hands before removing contact lenses. If you are standing in front of a sink, use a clean paper towel to cover the drain where the contact lens might accidentally fall.

To remove soft contact lenses, look upward or sideways while you pull down on your lower eyelid. With a finger, gently maneuver the lens onto the white of your eye. There, you can very gently pinch the lens together with your index finger and thumb and lift it off the eye.

Rigid contact lenses can be removed by holding out the palm of your hand, bending over, and then opening your eye wide. With one finger of your other hand, pull the skin between your upper and lower eyelid (just outside the lateral aspect of your eye) outward toward your ear with your eye wide open. Then blink. The contact lens should pop right out and into your open palm.

Dry Eyes and Allergen Problems? We Can Help!

There are many unpleasant feelings in this world – an itch you can’t reach to scratch, having a hangnail or two, and, of course, dry, itchy eyes that never seem to go away!

Allergen problems are oftentimes hereditary and happen due to processes that are associated with other types of allergic responses. When an allergic reaction takes place, your eyes may be overreacting to something that they perceive as harmful, even though it usually isn’t harmful. These usually harmless substances that bother your eyes so much are called allergens!

One very common allergen that most people experience problems with is dust. It is harmless to most people, but in allergic individuals, dust can cause an excessive production of mucus and tears in the eyes.

Did you know that about 30% to 50% of all residents in the United States have allergy symptoms and problems? About 75% of those symptoms also affect the eyes!

What Are The Symptoms?

How do you know you are experiencing trouble with allergens? Here are the typical symptoms one experiences when combating allergens:

  • Red, swollen, or itchy eyes
  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing and coughing
  • Itchy nose, mouth, or throat
  • Headache from sinus congestion
  • Fatigue and a lack of sleep

How To Deal With Dry Eyes

What can you do if you’re experiencing dry eyes and problems with allergies? We recommend the following tips to help you through allergen issues:

Avoid The Triggers – One of the most common pieces of advice given to those who suffer from allergens is to avoid whatever causes your eye allergy to flare up as much as you possibly can. If you have dry, itchy eyes, do your best to keep your home free of dust and pet dander, and remember to keep your pets off of the furniture. When the pollen count is high, stay indoors with the air conditioner on. During the cold months, use high quality furnace filters, which will trap common allergens. Be sure also to replace your furnace filters frequently.

Take Medicine – If you’re unsure what’s causing your eye allergies to flare up or you cannot avoid the allergens that affect you, your next best bet is to probably take some medicine to at least help alleviate the symptoms you might be experiencing. You can also take over-the-counter drops, but be sure to ask your doctor which kind of eye drop is right for you!

Use Eye Drops – Nothing feels as refreshing and alleviating as eye drops to dry, itchy eyes. Eye drops may have one or more active ingredients to help with symptoms such as antihistamines, decongestants, or mast cell stabilizers that inhibit inflammation. Be sure to talk to your doctor or to me about using eye drops for your dry eyes!

Talk to Me If You Wear Contact Lenses – You may generally wear contact lenses pretty successfully, but allergies can make your contacts uncomfortable or even unbearable. Airborne allergens can get on your lenses and can also stimulate the excessive production of natural substances in your tears. These can bind to your contacts and cause blurry vision and even more discomfort to occur. Ask us about eye drops that can help relieve your symptoms and also help keep your contact lenses clean.

Try Daily Disposable Contact Lenses – If you wear contact lenses and experience allergy problems, you may want to consider acquiring daily disposable contact lenses, which you discard at the end of the day. Because you replace these types of contacts much more frequently than usual, you are unlikely to develop irritating deposits that can build up over time and cause or increase any allergy-related discomfort you may feel.

If you’re experiencing dry eyes and allergy problems and would like to make an appointment, give your local Performance Eyecare office a call or schedule your appointment online. You don’t have to suffer from dry, itchy eyes – just come see us, and we can make your eyes feel so much better!

CMV Retinitis

CMV (Cytomegalovirus) retinitis is a viral inflammation of the eye’s retina. CMV is very common and serious infection that most often occur in people with a weakened immune system. Some conditions and situations that may lead to a weakened immune system are AIDS, chemotherapy, and organ (or bone marrow) transplant. Some symptoms of CMV retinitis include blurred vision, blind spots, and floaters.

Strengthening of the immune system is the one of the most important aspects of treating CMV retinitis. Long term treatment can often help stabilize and restore vision. CMV retinitis treatments, such as Ganciclovir and other antiviral medicines are available. They can be administered orally, intravenously, or as an intraocular injection. Time-release medication can also be implanted directly into the eye in some cases.

Our team of experts is trained to assist with a variety of eye conditions, including CMV! Give your local Performance Eyecare a call – or schedule your appointment online – and experience how we put the ‘care’ in eyecare.

Are You an Athlete? Let Us Protect Your Eyesight!

Every spring, both professional and amateur athletes head out to the play their favorite sports. And while many people love to look cool sporting their jerseys on the field, it’s important to remember to protect your body from injury, especially your eyes.

Why protect your eyes when playing baseball, basketball, or any other sport? Just imagine an errant pitch or a baseball lost in the sun going right toward your unprotected face. Perhaps another player on the basketball team accidentally hits you in eye with his or her elbow. These instances can cause scratched corneas, fractured eye sockets, and even permanent vision loss, all because you didn’t think it was “cool” to protect your eyesight in front of your friends or rivals.

And think about it – you protect your knees, shoulders, head, and other parts, bones, and joints when you play sports, so why not your eyesight? After all, broken bones and bruises will heal in time, but serious eye injuries can take you off your favorite sport’s roster permanently.

Luckily, we at Performance Eyecare can provide you with your sport’s eyewear needs! Check out some of the great products we offer!

For Baseball Players – America’s favorite pastime is a very visually-demanding sport, especially when you need to hit a 90+ mile per hour fastball. We offer some fantastic, special sunglasses just for you!

For Football Players – Since football players must wear helmets, we recommend that you wear our very own retainer contact lenses and take advantage of the Gentle Vision Shaping System (GVSS).

For Tennis Players – We have many types of lenses that will improve contrast and enhance the color of the yellow tennis ball. We also have lenses that are best for certain weather conditions when playing from sunny to cloudy and everything in between.For Golfers – Did you know that we are one of only a few offices in the St. Louis area to specialize in Golf Vision? That’s right! We carry several different styles of golf sunglasses. The latest is the Rudy Project Ketyium featuring a green-tinted lens that enhances all green colors, thus enhancing the contrast of the white golf ball while it is resting on the green, tee box, or fairway. This wrap-style of frame provides great coverage for the golfer and can also incorporate a prescription.

For Swimmers – Don’t let chlorine get you down! We carry an assortment of swimming and scuba goggles. You can even have your own prescription lenses inserted into them so that you can see whenever you swim.

For the Hunters – We provide several lens tints that can be utilized to achieve optimal visual performance based on various weather conditions,

If you’re ready to get out there and play your sports while protecting your vision, schedule an appointment at your local Performance Eyecare office today!

Amblyopia (Lazy Eye)

Amblyopia, commonly known as lazy eye, is a condition development disorder of sight. It usually results in decreased vision in an otherwise normal eye.

Symptoms of Amblyopia

Signs or symptoms of amblyopia develop early on. Characteristics of “lazy eye” include an eye that wanders inward or outward, eyes appearing to work separately, and poor depth perception.

Causes and Treatment of Amblyopia

There are three primary causes of amblyopia: Stabismic, Deprivation, and Refractive. Strabismus, an imbalance in eyes’ positioning muscles, is most common. It can cause one of both eyes to turn in or outward. Deprivation occurs when the eye is “deprived” of visual stimulation caused by cataracts or other similar condition. Refractive amblyopia is the result of a significant difference between the vision in each eye.

There are several treatment options for amblyopia. Occlusion (eye patching) is often used to enhance he visual acuity in the amblyopic eye. This forces the use of the weaker eye, enabling it to become stronger. A similar technique is the use of atropine drops to lower the visual acuity of the non-amblyopic eye. This also encourages the use of the weaker eye.

Complete vision therapy is also used to treat amblyopia. While using an eye patch or atropine drops is effective in increasing the strength of the amblyopic eye, this technique does not often address the child’s ability to use the two eyes together. In vision therapy, the patient is encouraged to simultaneously use both the amblyopic and unaffected eyes through engaging visual activities.

Regardless of which treatment option is chosen, the treatment should begin as early as possible. If you suspect your child may have amblyopia, please schedule an eye care appointment with us today.