At one time or another almost all of us has experienced red, itchy, runny or sticky eyes and have wondered whether it’s a symptom of allergies or dry eyes or a more serious condition, such as an eye infection. To help you be a more knowledgeable participant in your care we have provided some useful facts and information.

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About Allergies & Dry Eyes

Symptoms of Allergies or Dry Eyes

  • If you work at a computer for an extended time or have allergies to products or airborne substances, you may experience dry, red or irritated eyes.
  • Generally allergies and dry eyes affects both eyes.
  • Treatment options usually include resting your eyes or using an over-the-counter or prescription eye drops, as recommended by your eye doctor.

About Eye Infections

Symptoms of Eye Infections

  • Frequently occurs when bacteria, fungi or viruses attack any part of your eye, including the surface, membrane lining of the outer eye and inner eyelid, interior portions or the soft tissue of the eyelid.
  • Infections inside the eye or in the soft tissue of the eyelid are the most dangerous and if left untreated, the condition may spread throughout the eye.
  • Symptoms usually include redness, pain, discharge, watering and sensitivity to light; usually occurs only in one eye; if symptoms are detected, immediately contact your eye doctor for an evaluation

Types of Eye Infections

  • Pink Eye (Conjunctivitis)-A common infection that is highly contagious.
  • Viral Keratitis-Can be simply related to a respiratory virus or cold or more serious such as Ocular Herpes that occurs when exposed to the Herpes Simplex Virus.
  • Fungal Keratitis-A fungus commonly found in organic matter such as soil, leaves or branches of a tree.
  • Acanthamoeba Keratitis-A parasite that attacks the eye more often in individuals wearing contact lenses and swimming in pools, lakes, ponds, hot tubs or streams who are at increased risk for contracting this infection.
  • Trachoma-Usually found in underdeveloped countries. Typically infects the inner eyelid along with eyelashes touching the area can infect the cornea and cause permanent blindness.
  • Endophthalmitis-Occurs with a penetrating eye injury or complication following eye surgery and if left untreated, may lead to blindness.

Preventing Eye Infections

  • If you experience symptoms associated with an eye infection, contact The Eye Clinic of Texas immediately. Prompt treatment is necessary to reduce the risk of permanent blindness.
  • To avoid eye infections, wash your hands throughout the day, especially if you are near an individual with a red eye or other signs of infection. Contact lens wearers should follow care and handling instructions provided by their eye doctor.

If you or someone you know is concerned about having an eye infections please call The Eye Clinic of Texas, an affiliate of Houston Eye Associates, at 800-423-3937, visit The Eye Clinic of Texas 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.

Cathy W. shared her experience with Clear Lens Extraction & ReSTOR® Lens Implants…

“I have worn glasses since I was 5 years old.  After 52 years, I decided to give myself the gift of never having to wear glasses again.  During my examination with Dr. Milstein, he recommended I have lens replacement surgery and recommended the ReSTOR® lens.  The entire process was easy!  On the day of surgery, I went home and took a nap and when I woke up, I could read the smallest of print!  I never dreamed I would never have to wear glasses again.  This procedure was well worth the investment.  Thank you Dr. Milstein!

If you or someone you know has questions about cataracts, cataract surgery or lens implants or needs to schedule an appointment for a cataract evaluation, please call The Eye Clinic of Texas, an affiliate of Houston Eye Associates, at 800-423-3937, visit The Eye Clinic of Texas 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.

Brandon N. shared, “I had LASIK a few years ago but I am still a patient at The Eye Clinic for my routine eye exams. At my last visit, Dr. Fradkin and I were talking about a fishing trip I was recently on and he asked me what type of sunglasses I wore.  I was a little taken aback by this but told him that I just used a cheap pair I got at a gas station.  He took me to the optical shop and showed me a pair of polarized sunglasses called Maui Jim.  I was in shock at how much of a difference a polarized lens makes in what you can see versus a non-polarized lens.  I really never thought sunglasses were different, I just assumed they were all the same.  I am so happy I purchased the Maui Jim and actually have bought another pair since then.”

If you or someone you know has questions about sunglasses or sunwear, please call The Eye Clinic of Texas, an affiliate of Houston Eye Associates, at 800-423-3937, visit The Eye Clinic of Texas 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.

Lisa B. told us, “I tell everyone I know, if you have ever considered LASIK, then don’t wait any longer.  It was the best decision I ever made.  No more contacts or any of the problems associated with contacts.  I wish I had done it a lot sooner!  It is a life changing surgery, in the best way.”

If you or someone you know has questions about LASIK or would like to schedule a Free Zeiss VisuMax LASIK Consultation, please call The Eye Clinic of Texas, an affiliate of Houston Eye Associates, at 800-423-3937, visit The Eye Clinic of Texas 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.

Whether you are using a laser pointer in a classroom, business meeting, lecture hall or even if playing with a children’s toy that incorporates a laser pointer-use caution to avoid eye injury!

Laser pointers are popular tools, but could be a cause for concern as the greater a laser pointer’s output power, the more likely it will cause serious eye injuries. 

Understanding Laser Pointers & Potential Eye Injury

As the power of a laser pointer increases above five milliwatts, the time margin for safe exposure decreases and permanent eye and skin damage can occur quickly. However, the output power of laser pointers may not be obvious to the user. Laser pointers often lack appropriate labeling or are mislabeled, and definitive testing of individual pointers is beyond the reach of the average consumer. What we know for sure is that even the briefest exposure to high-powered blue handheld laser products can cause serious eye injuries.

Researchers reporting the results of a study in Ophthalmology, the journal of the American Academy of Ophthalmology found that if a laser with less than five milliwatts of output power is directed at someone’s eye, that person can blink or turn away without suffering an eye injury. However, the natural protective mechanisms of the eye-such as the blink reflex- are ineffective against lasers with an output power greater than five milliwatts, and severe retinal damage may occur, even after momentary exposure. 

Here’s what the FDA advises:

  • Never aim or shine a laser pointer at anyone.
  • Don’t buy laser pointers for your children.
  • Before purchasing a laser pointer, make sure it has the following information on the label:
  • a statement that it complies with Chapter 21 CFR (the Code of Federal Regulations);
  • the manufacturer or distributor’s name and the date of manufacture;
  • a warning to avoid exposure to laser radiation; and
  • the class designation, ranging from Class I to IIIa. Class IIIb and IV products should be used only by individuals with proper training and in applications where there is a legitimate need for these high-powered products.

The problem is that many laser pointers lack labels or have inaccurate labels and the researchers found that 60 percent of the sampled laser pointer products that the FDA tests are overpowered compared with what the label says. Those pointers may be powered in the 10s or 100s of milliwatts! 

How do you know if your laser pointer is overpowered?

Ideally, you could buy a laser pointer with the certainty that it is less than 5 milliwatts but this isn’t possible based on the poor labeling and compliance.

The FDA says that if you have a laser pointer that isn’t labeled or if you don’t trust the labeling, consider the following:

  • If the pointer is small and runs on button batteries, its output probably is less than five milliwatts.
  • If it’s pen-sized and runs on AA or AAA batteries, it’s likely to be more powerful and may exceed five milliwatts.
  • If it’s flashlight-sized and runs on a cluster of AA or AAA batteries or runs on lithium batteries, it likely exceeds five milliwatts.
  • Pointers sold with battery chargers probably drain their batteries quickly and are likely to be overpowered.
  • Some pointers are sold with a removable cap that spreads the beam into a pattern.  If used without the cap, the beam becomes a single beam that could exceed 5 milliwatts.
  • Look for keywords that sellers might use to indicate a pointer is highly powered without saying that it’s over five milliwatts: powerful, bright, ultra, super, military, military grade, super bright, high power, ultra bright, strong, balloon pop, burn, burning, adjustable focus, lithium battery, lithium powered.
  • Look for videos or photos that show the laser burning, melting, balloon popping or show a bright, well-defined beam of light
  • Look for purchaser comments on websites that tout the brightness or power of the product.

Blue & Violet Laser Pointers Are the Most Dangerous!

Blue and Violet laser pointers are the most dangerous because the human eye actually is less sensitive to blue and violet. So, while a person would react quickly to a red or green laser, that person may not blink or turn away as fast from an equally powerful blue or violet light, creating a greater likelihood of injury. 

If you or someone you know is concerned about laser pointer use and eye safety, please call The Eye Clinic of Texas, an affiliate of Houston Eye Associates, at 800-423-3937, visit The Eye Clinic of Texas 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.

Being aware of some important eye injury facts and myths can go a long way to helping you preserve your eye health and vision. The #1 fact you should know about eye injuries is that by wearing proper protective eyewear it is possible to prevent 90 percent of those injuries! What is troubling is that according to a survey by the American Academy of Ophthalmology, only 35 percent of people say that they always wear protective eyewear when performing home repairs or maintenance and even less wear protective eyewear while playing sports.

Eye Injury Facts & Myths

  • Who is more likely to have an eye injury-men or women? Men!
  • Are eye injuries more common on the job or at home? Nearly half of all eye injuries occurred in the home! In fact more than 40 percent of eye injuries were caused by projects and activities such as home repairs, yard work, cleaning and cooking. More than a third of injuries in the home occurred in living areas such as the kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, living or family room.
  • More than 40 percent of eye injuries every year are related to sports or recreational activities.
  • Eyes can be damaged by sun exposure, not just chemicals, dust or objects.
  • Among people who have had eye injuries, more than 78 percent of people were not wearing eyewear at the time of injury!

If you or someone you know is concerned about eye injury and wants to learn more about preventing eye injuries and protective eyewear, please feel free to call The Eye Clinic of Texas, an affiliate of Houston Eye Associates, at 800-423-3937, visit The Eye Clinic of Texas 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.

Josh F. reported, “I own a fencing business and I am always outside.  I wanted a good pair of sunglasses with polarized lenses that were also were durable.  Randy, the optician recommended I try a pair of Costa del Mar sunglasses. I had no idea how much clearer things would become when having a polarized lens.  These glasses were definitely worth the expense.”

If you or someone you know has questions 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 or .

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.

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Most cars today incorporate the use of both seatbelts and airbags as safety measures to help occupants avoid bodily injury in car accidents. Using airbags along with seat belts is an important safety feature in cars today. But, a recent report in Survey of Ophthalmology suggests that the incidence of eye injury and facial trauma from airbags is increasing. How can this be happening?

Airbags & Eye Injury

Airbags were originally designed as a supplemental safety system to seatbelts, to protect the head from hard surfaces in frontal crashes. It is critical that all passengers wear their seatbelts even if your car has airbags in the front, back and sides of the passenger cabin. Seatbelts accomplish two things. First, they restrict and prevent you from being quickly and forcefully thrown forward and second they stop you from colliding with the rearward inflating and accelerating airbags as they are deployed during a car accident. Airbag deployment and passenger collision with airbags has been reported to cause eye injuries including corneal abrasions, alkali burns and the serious effects of eye compression such as retinal tears, retinal and vitreous hemorrhages, retinal detachment and even cataracts. SO-the message is clear. For eye protection and safety in motor vehicle accidents, all occupants of cars should wear safety belts at all times even if your vehicle has airbags!

If you or someone you know has questions about airbag eye injury and car accidents, 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 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.

Making responsible and healthy lifestyle choices can go a long way to preserving eye health and vision. Here are some basic tips and guidelines to help you make those good choices and decisions.

Have Regular Comprehensive Dilated Eye Exams

Making sure to schedule regular dilated eye health and vision exams-at intervals your eye doctor recommends- is the first step to maintaining eye health and good vision. Early detection, diagnosis and treatment when necessary allows us to find eye diseases, conditions and problems so that we can address them before they are sight threatening. Many eye diseases do not have early warning signs, but signs and symptoms can be identified during a comprehensive dilated eye exam.

Know Your Family History of Eye Problems

Many eye health and vision problems and eye diseases tend to run in families. This suggests that if an eye disease is present in any family member it may put you at greater risk of that eye problem. This is particularly the case for eye diseases such as glaucoma and age related macular degeneration (AMD). Stay abreast of the eye diseases and conditions as they exist in your family, AND BE SURE TO TELL US ABOUT THEM WHEN YOU COME IN FOR AN EYE EXAM. 

Nutrition and Diet Affect Eye Health & Vision

Make sure to pay attention to what you eat and try to include a steady diet of foods high in important nutrients that support good vision, such as the following:

  • Vegetables: collard greens, bell peppers, broccoli, tomatoes and dark, leafy greens, such as kale and spinach
  • Nuts: sunflower seeds, almonds, hazelnuts and peanuts
  • Fruits: strawberries and blueberries
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids: tuna, halibut and salmon
  • Beans: chickpeas, kidney beans and legumes

Watch Your Weight & Exercise

Being overweight exposes you to a greater risk of diabetes. In fact there is an epidemic of diabetes in the U.S. today. Diabetic eye problems include a greater risk of glaucoma, cataracts and sight threatening diabetic retinopathy. Exercise-even moderate amounts of daily exercise reduce your risk of developing MANY eye diseases and problems.

Wear Protective Eyewear

Eye injury prevention is relatively easy-if you wear the appropriate protective eyewear when taking part in sports or home activities that expose you to risk. It is estimated that some 90% of eye injuries can be prevented by taking a minute to review the need for protective eyeglasses before doing home projects, trimming branches or shrubs, using saws, tool or weed whackers-and on and on. In addition, when spending time outdoors or near the water, wear sunglasses designed to block out 99 to 100 percent of the sun’s UV-A and UV-B rays.

Be smart and be safe.

Stop Smoking

Not only does smoking cause a host of cardiovascular and systemic vascular problems, but smoking is now recognized as increasing the risk of cataracts, macular degeneration and, all of which could lead to vision loss. We also now know that if you do smoke, there is considerable benefit in stopping!

Avoid Computer Eyestrain

CRT or video display terminals used for computers are well known to expose you eye fatigue, headache and more troubling-dry eye problems. When working on the computer or using a smartphone or tablet, practice the 20-20-20 rule to reduce eyestrain-that is, every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet away for about 20 seconds. If you have any sensation of dryness, grittiness or “something in your eyes”, use an eye surface lubricant or eye drop to replenish your tears.

If you or someone you know has questions 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 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.

What does obesity have to do with age related macular degeneration (AMD) you ask?

It is well known that being overweight is related to a number of overall health problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure, orthopedic problems, heart disease and even cancer. Having extra pounds (particularly around the abdomen) is just bad for your health. A lesser known fact is that obesity can increase one’s risk of vision loss from conditions such as macular degeneration.

Certain controllable factors can contribute to vision loss. These include smoking, high blood pressure and diets high in fat. When these risk factors are combined with obesity, can increase the risk of macular degeneration significantly. In fact, two Israeli ophthalmologists reviewed more than twenty studies involving thousands of patients across the world to determine the connection between weight and eye health. Their study found a consistent link between obesity and the occurrence of eye disease.

Their review and analysis found that:

  • Obese patients were more than twice as likely to lose more vision than those with normal BMI’s.
  • The bigger a person’s waist, the higher their risk of vision loss.
  • Eye diseases such as age-related macular degeneration are more likely to progress more quickly in obese individuals.
  • Exercising at least three times a week cut the risk of AMD getting worse by 25%.

In fact, another study known as the Beaver Dam Eye Study looked at the relationship between exercise and AMD and concluded that increased walking of more than 12 blocks per day decreased the incidence of wet macular degeneration by 30% over 15 years!

If you or someone you know has questions about AMD or age related macular degeneration risk factors, or needs to schedule an eye exam appointment, please call The Eye Clinic of Texas, an affiliate of Houston Eye Associates, at 800-423-3937, visit The Eye Clinic of Texas 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.