kid with glasses cartoon

About Headaches and Childrens’ Eye Problems

It is pretty common for parents to bring their children in for an eye exam because they are complaining of headaches. Headaches are a frequent complaint of kids but fortunately they are usually not serious. Some of the more common causes of headaches in kids include migraine, the stress and tension of school, certain foods with nitrate or MSG preservatives, physical trauma, sinus infections and of course eye problems. Parents can be concerned with the serious but truly rare occurrence of brain tumors causing headaches but this is usually accompanied by other complaints of dizziness, weakness of arms and legs and a loss of coordination.

Evaluating Kids with Headaches

As part of evaluating any child with headaches I always want to be sure that there has been a complete and thorough examination by their pediatrician who may need to order additional tests or even a referral to a neurologist. Then I will need to perform a complete eye exam including evaluation of the pupils, a refraction to determine any refractive error or  need for glasses, eye alignment and binocularity testing and sometimes possible a visual field examination. Generally I will put drops in the child’s eyes to dilate the pupils, so that the optic nerves can be properly examined and the refractive error can be most accurately measured.

Eye Problems That Can Cause Headaches

If your child has uncorrected hyperopia or farsightedness, it requires extra effort to focus clearly while reading.  This can sometimes lead to fatigue and headache.  Glasses can reduce the effort required to see clearly at near and improve the headache, if significant hyperopia exists.  Mild hyperopia is normal in children, however, and generally does not cause headaches or other symptoms.

When we read or perform other near activities, our eyes pull in toward each other, this is called convergence. The decreased ability to pull the eyes toward each other when viewing near objects (convergence), particularly while reading, may cause headaches.  This is called convergence insufficiency, and symptoms include the doubling of images or words, blurred vision, fatigue, and headaches which worsen with prolonged reading.  At home eye exercises, sometimes with the help of computer software, can help treat convergence insufficiency. Glasses are sometimes prescribed, but costly in-office eye exercises are rarely necessary.

Acute infections, allergic and inflammatory diseases of the eyes can also cause headaches.  These problems are often accompanied by redness of the eye and/ or the eyelid as well as light sensitivity or photophobia. Acute glaucoma can cause headaches, but rarely affects children.  Pseudo tumor Cerebri is a condition caused by increased intracranial pressure or too much fluid around the brain, and this causes headache and swelling of the optic nerves, but does not typically cause redness of the eyes. During the complete eye exam we perform we will be able to rule out these problems as a cause of headaches in your child. If we do not find any ocular causes of your child’s headache we may refer them back to his/her pediatrician and/or to a neurologist to look for other possible causes of the headaches.

If you have questions about causes of kids headaches or children’s eye problems, or need assistance please call The Eye Clinic of Texas, an affiliate of Houston Eye Associates, at 800-423-3937, visit The Eye Clinic of Texas, Google+  or facebook.com/ecot.lasik.

The Eye Clinic of Texas is an affiliate of Houston Eye Associates, the largest ophthalmology clinic in the nation. We are a leading eye care practice serving the greater Houston, Galveston, League City and Texas City with offices at 1100 Gulf Freeway, Suite 114, League City, Texas 77573, 7111 Medical Center Drive, Suite 110, Texas City, Texas 77590 and 2302 Avenue P, Galveston, Texas.

About Nearsighted Progression

Anyone who has a child or teenager who is becoming more and more nearsighted each year wants to know if there are ways we can prevent the progression of myopia. Over the years there has been discussion of trying to under correct the nearsightedness, rather than prescribing the full correction, in order to slow down nearsighted prescription changes. Researchers reporting in Grafe’s Archives for Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmologystudied the effects of undercorrection of myopia on myopia progression and eye length elongation in a population of 12-year-olds. They followed more than 2,000 children for 1 year and used careful analysis to consider the effects of how much near work, how much outdoor activity and the amount of time glasses were actually used as well as the degree of nearsightedness. They tested them by measuring their cycloplegic auto refraction, axial length of the eye, visual acuity and near vision focusing lag. The results demonstrated that over a period of 1 year, prescribing an undercorrection or full correction of myopia by wearing spectacles did not show any differences in myopia progression. Whether this would be the same result for younger children, or if the correction was prescribed in contact lenses or over a longer period of time is not certain but initially suggests that it is not helpful to under correct nearsighted children with glasses to slow myopic progression.

If you or someone you know have questions about nearsightedness, types of correction for nearsightedness including glasses, contact lenses of even LASIK, please call The Eye Clinic of Texas, an affiliate of Houston Eye Associates, at 800-423-3937, visit The Eye Clinic of Texas, Google+  or facebook.com/ecot.lasik.

The Eye Clinic of Texas is an affiliate of Houston Eye Associates, the largest ophthalmology clinic in the nation. We are a leading eye care practice serving the greater Houston, Galveston, League City and Texas City with offices at 1100 Gulf Freeway, Suite 114, League City, Texas 77573, 7111 Medical Center Drive, Suite 110, Texas City, Texas 77590 and 2302 Avenue P, Galveston, Texas.

Eye Problems from ADHD Medication

If you, your child or someone you know takes ADHD medication it is important to understand the possible side effects that might impact eyes, cause eye problems and alter vision. The most common prescription medication we see children and even adults taking for treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is methylphenidate which has a number of trade names such as Ritalin, Concerta, Adderall, Methylin and Daytrana. While the common side effects of loss of appetite, nervousness and difficulty sleeping are easily recognized, researchers reporting in the Journal of the American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus raised some concern that this treatment may be associated with increased risk of angle closure glaucoma and a disturbance of eye refraction and optical prescriptions. They initiated a study to investigate the effects of methylphenidate treatment on refraction, intraocular pressure (IOP), and the anterior chamber in children with ADHD. This was a pilot study where children diagnosed with ADHD were examined before the start of methylphenidate treatment and again 3 and 9 months after the start of treatment. Their examinations included an eye exam with ordinary as well as cycloplegic refraction-one performed with eye drops and high resolution imaging study of the anterior chamber of the eye where the delicate structures related to glaucoma could be viewed and measured.

ADHD Medication Eye Study Conclusions

The researchers found that methylphenidate does not seem to affect refraction, or optical prescription in most children with ADHD. But, after 9 months of treatment there was a reduction in the eye anterior chamber depth, which has been described as a powerful predictor of angle closure glaucoma. As this was a pilot study more work is needed to really understand any increased risk.

What You Need to Know and Do

If you, your child or someone you know is taking methylphenidate of any type for ADHD, it would be worthwhile scheduling a routine eye examination so that we can measure the refraction, the intraocular pressure (IOP) and anterior chamber angle and depth. We do this regularly during your eye exam. BE SURE TO TELL US YOU ARE TAKING METHYLPHENIDATE. If your eye exam is normal we will most likely ask you to have a repeat exam in a year. BUT, if at any time there s a change in your vision, pain, redness, glare or light sensitivity we want you to call right away and schedule an immediate appointment for that day.

If you or someone you know is being treated for ADHD with methylphenidate medications such as Ritalin, Concerta, Adderall, Methylin and Daytrana, it is important to have a routine eye exam to avoid any risk of eye problems please call The Eye Clinic of Texas, an affiliate of Houston Eye Associates, at 800-423-3937, visit The Eye Clinic of Texas, Google+  or facebook.com/ecot.lasik.

The Eye Clinic of Texas is an affiliate of Houston Eye Associates, the largest ophthalmology clinic in the nation. We are a leading eye care practice serving the greater Houston, Galveston, League City and Texas City with offices at 1100 Gulf Freeway, Suite 114, League City, Texas 77573, 7111 Medical Center Drive, Suite 110, Texas City, Texas 77590 and 2302 Avenue P, Galveston, Texas.

Eye health and vision problems from contacts lenses can be prevented by avoiding known risky behaviors. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention almost all of the 41 million estimated contact lens wearers in the United States may be engaging in at least one behavior known to increase their risk of eye infections. Nearly one-third of contact lens wearers who participated in a national survey reported going to the eye doctor for red or painful eyes related to wearing contact lenses. More than 99 percent of survey respondents reported at least one risky behavior. The majority of wearers reported:

• Keeping their contact lens cases for longer than recommended (82.3 %)
• “Topping off” solution in the case by adding new solution to the existing solution instead of emptying the case out fully before adding new solution (55.1%)
• Wearing their lenses while sleeping (50.2 %)

Each of these behaviors has been reported in previous studies to raise the risk of eye infections by five times or more!
An online survey was administered to a sample of contact lens wearers to determine how often contact lens wearers engaged in behaviors that could put them at risk for an eye infection. CDC collaborated with the Contact Lens Assessment in Youth (CLAY) group, a multi-university group of researchers, to conduct the survey. A separate survey was used to estimate the number of contact lens wearers – about 41 million adults. Taken together, the survey results indicate that millions of Americans could be at risk for serious eye infections because of poor contact lens hygiene behaviors.

We know that contact lenses can be worn safely if wearers are mindful of using good hygiene. To prevent eye infections, contact lens wearers should:
• Wash hands with soap and water and dry them well before touching contact lenses
• Take contacts out before sleeping, showering or swimming
• Rub and rinse contacts in disinfecting solution each time they remove them
• Rub and rinse the case with contact lens solution, dry with a clean tissue and store it upside down with the caps off after each use
• Replace contact lens cases at least once every three months
• Avoid “topping off” solution in lens case (adding fresh solution to old solution)
• Carry a backup pair of glasses in case contact lenses have to be taken out

If you or someone you know have questions about contact lens care, hygiene, safety and how to avoid eye infections from contact lens wear, or wish to have a contact lens consultation or fitting, please call The Eye Clinic of Texas, an affiliate of Houston Eye Associates, at 800-423-3937, visit The Eye Clinic of Texas, Google+ or facebook.com/ecot.lasik.

The Eye Clinic of Texas is an affiliate of Houston Eye Associates, the largest ophthalmology clinic in the nation. We are a leading eye care practice serving the greater Houston, Galveston, League City and Texas City with offices at 1100 Gulf Freeway, Suite 114, League City, Texas 77573, 7111 Medical Center Drive, Suite 110, Texas City, Texas 77590 and 2302 Avenue P, Galveston, Texas.

Dry Eye Slows Reading Speed

Anyone who experiences the symptoms of dry eye is familiar with dryness, discomfort, burning, light sensitivity and even watering that can mark the presence of dry eye disease. But, did you know that dry eye problems and disease can impact visual function? Researchers reporting in Cornea compared visual function using reading tests including the Radner Reading Test, the International Reading Speed Texts [IReST], and the Wilkins Reading Test and studied cognitive function, fatigue, dry eye symptoms, reading acuity, reading rate and blink rate. The results showed significantly lower reading rates in all reading tests in patients with dry eye and a significantly increased fatigue level when reading in dry eye patients.

If you suffer from symptoms of dry eye such as dryness, burning, light sensitivity or watering and have noticed an uncomfortable slowing of your reading ability and even greater eye fatigue or tired eyes when reading, please call The Eye Clinic of Texas, an affiliate of Houston Eye Associates, at 800-423-3937, visit The Eye Clinic of Texas, Google+  or facebook.com/ecot.lasik.

The Eye Clinic of Texas is an affiliate of Houston Eye Associates, the largest ophthalmology clinic in the nation. We are a leading eye care practice serving the greater Houston, Galveston, League City and Texas City with offices at 1100 Gulf Freeway, Suite 114, League City, Texas 77573, 7111 Medical Center Drive, Suite 110, Texas City, Texas 77590 and 2302 Avenue P, Galveston, Texas.

Regular eye exams are the best way to help prevent vision loss from diabetic retinopathy. The eye examinations for diabetic retinopathy need to be thorough and when necessary include advanced testing such as retinal photography, fluorescein angiography and ocular coherence tomography (OCT) in order to really document how the retina and it’s blood vessels are functioning. Depending on the severity and the risk of progression of each patient’s diabetic retinopathy we will advise them of the frequency and intervals for their exams. But, patients with diabetes need to know that it is terribly important to keep their appointments.

Vision loss from diabetes and especially catastrophic vision loss from diabetic retinopathy can be prevented with early detection, diagnosis and treatment. If you or someone you know has diabetes or even elevated blood sugar levels they should work to prevent diabetic eye disease and problems with regular eye exams by calling The Eye Clinic of Texas, an affiliate of Houston Eye Associates, at 800-423-3937, visiting The Eye Clinic of TexasGoogle+ or facebook.com/ecot.lasik.

The Eye Clinic of Texas is an affiliate of Houston Eye Associates, the largest ophthalmology clinic in the nation. We are a leading eye care practice serving the greater Houston, Galveston, League City and Texas City with offices at 1100 Gulf Freeway, Suite 114, League City, Texas 77573, 7111 Medical Center Drive, Suite 110, Texas City, Texas 77590 and 2302 Avenue P, Galveston, Texas.

mediterranean plate

Can eating a Mediterranean diet provide help for dry eyes or dry eye problems? We know that research has shown that the traditional Mediterranean diet reduces the risk of heart disease, cancer, as well as a reducing the incidence of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases. Recently, researchers tried to determine whether eating a Mediterranean diet could provide help for dry eyes. Reporting in the journal Cornea, the researchers had patients fill out the Block Food Frequency Questionnaire and the Dry Eye Questionnaire 5 and then studied their tear film and measured its quality and quantity and measured the serum level of Vitamin D for each patient.

The final results suggested that eating a Mediterranean diet was NOT associated with an improvement in dry eye symptoms and complaints but higher vitamin D levels had a small but favorable effect on dry eye syndrome symptoms.  So, while the Mediterranean diet itself doesn’t directly reduce dry eye symptoms, it does seem to be an eating plan that can help promote health and prevent disease for your whole family.

If you or someone you know has questions about dry eyes or diet or needs to schedule an appointment, please call The Eye Clinic of Texas, an affiliate of Houston Eye Associates, at 800-423-3937, visit The Eye Clinic of TexasGoogle+ or facebook.com/ecot.lasik.

The Eye Clinic of Texas is an affiliate of Houston Eye Associates, the largest ophthalmology clinic in the nation. We are a leading eye care practice serving the greater Houston, Galveston, League City and Texas City with offices at 1100 Gulf Freeway, Suite 114, League City, Texas 77573, 7111 Medical Center Drive, Suite 110, Texas City, Texas 77590 and 2302 Avenue P, Galveston, Texas.

Dry eyes and help for dry eye problems sometimes requires multiple approaches to make patients comfortable and preserve the health of their eye surface and maintain vision. Recently, the role of diet supplements was studied to see if they could be a helpful part of the treatment plan.

Anchovies in a row

Research on Dry Eye Help with Diet Supplements

According to researchers reporting in Clinical Ophthalmology taking dietary supplements that contain a combination of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and antioxidants can be helpful in the treatment of dry eye symptoms. A study was conducted to understand the effectiveness and tolerability of dietary supplements containing a combination of omega-3 essential fatty acids and antioxidants for help for dry eye symptoms and complaints. The researchers wanted to know if the dry eye diet supplements helped scratchy and stinging sensation in the eyes, eye redness, grittiness, painful eyes, tired eyes, grating sensation, and blurry vision. After 12 weeks of taking the supplements all individual symptoms improved significantly from an average rating of 11.9 to 6.8 after treatment indicating that dietary supplementation with a combination of omega-3 essential fatty acids and antioxidants was an effective treatment for dry eye.

If you or someone you know has questions about dry eyes or needs help with dry eyes or needs to schedule an appointment, please call The Eye Clinic of Texas, an affiliate of Houston Eye Associates, at 800-423-3937, visit The Eye Clinic of TexasGoogle+ or facebook.com/ecot.lasik.

The Eye Clinic of Texas is an affiliate of Houston Eye Associates, the largest ophthalmology clinic in the nation. We are a leading eye care practice serving the greater Houston, Galveston, League City and Texas City with offices at 1100 Gulf Freeway, Suite 114, League City, Texas 77573, 7111 Medical Center Drive, Suite 110, Texas City, Texas 77590 and 2302 Avenue P, Galveston, Texas.

bodymassindex

What does being overweight or even obese have to do with your risk of developing cataracts? As it turns out, more than you may think. Body Mass Index (BMI) is recognized as a well known risk factor for some common diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease and joint problems however the relationship between BMI and risk of cataract is controversial and not completely obvious. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines a normal weight with a Body Mass Index (BMI) as18.5-<25 kg/m2, being overweight as BMI of 25-<30 kg/m2, and obesity as BMI of ≥30 kg/m2.

Research of Cataract Risk & BMI

An extensive Meta Analysis and statistical review of BMI and cataracts found that being overweight or obese were significantly associated with an increased risk of cataracts, especially those called “posterior subcapsular cataracts” which typically cause the greatest vision decline. This relationship was independent of sex, alcohol intake, diabetes and hypertension.

If you or someone you know is concerned about cataracts and weight or body mass index (BMI) please share this information with them and ask them to call The Eye Clinic of Texas, an affiliate of Houston Eye Associates, at 800-423-3937, visit The Eye Clinic of Texas , Google+ or facebook.com/ecot.lasik.

The Eye Clinic of Texas is an affiliate of Houston Eye Associates, the largest ophthalmology clinic in the nation. We are a leading eye care practice serving the greater Houston, Galveston, League City and Texas City with offices at 1100 Gulf Freeway, Suite 114, League City, Texas 77573, 7111 Medical Center Drive, Suite 110, Texas City, Texas 77590 and 2302 Avenue P, Galveston, Texas.

Early detection of Alzheimer’s Disease can help physicians and caregivers prepare and contribute the best possible treatment and management plans for patients. The sooner detected, the better we can do patients and their families.

Alzheimers 1

Research on Eye Movements & Early Detection of Alzheimer’s Disease

Researchers reporting in Investigative Ophthalmology & Vision Science noted that a subtle change in eye movements may provide a useful diagnostic tool for the early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease. During the typical reading process, eye movements follow a reproducible and consistent with each eye movement ending up at a fixation point, which allows the brain to process the incoming information and to program the next set of movements. The researchers found that Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) produces eye movement abnormalities and disturbances in reading with those patients with early AD displaying abnormal fixation patterns. This is now being further investigated so that evaluation of eye movement behavior during reading might provide a useful tool for a more precise early diagnosis of AD and for monitoring the progress or stability of Alzheimer’s Disease.

If you or someone you know has questions about eye movements and Alzheimer’s Disease or needs to schedule an appointment, please call The Eye Clinic of Texas, an affiliate of Houston Eye Associates, at 800-423-3937, visit The Eye Clinic of Texas, Google+  or facebook.com/ecot.lasik.

The Eye Clinic of Texas is an affiliate of Houston Eye Associates, the largest ophthalmology clinic in the nation. We are a leading eye care practice serving the greater Houston, Galveston, League City and Texas City with offices at 1100 Gulf Freeway, Suite 114, League City, Texas 77573, 7111 Medical Center Drive, Suite 110, Texas City, Texas 77590 and 2302 Avenue P, Galveston, Texas.