Dry eyes are a chronic condition in which there is an insufficient amount of tears to lubricate the eye, or the quality of the tears is poor. Tears are necessary for preserving the health of the front of the eye, and to maintain clear vision.
People with dry eyes often experience symptoms of irritated, gritty, scratchy, or burning eyes, a feeling of something in their eyes, excess watering (believe it or not), and blurred vision. Progressively advanced dry eyes may cause damage to the front surface of the eye and impair vision.
There are many reasons for dry eye and may be multitude of factors, which may include:
- Age– dry eyes are a natural part of the aging process
- Gender – females are more likely to suffer from dry eyes due to hormonal changes, especially after menopause.
- Medical Conditions– Dry eyes are more likely to occur in persons with rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, Lupus, and thyroid problems. Also, problems with inflammation of the eyelids (blepharitis), inflammation of the surfaces of the eye, can cause dryness problems as well.
- Medications– General medication classes including anti-histamines, anti-depressants, hypertension, decongestants, birth control, and many other common drug classes all cause dry eye.
- Environmental Conditions– Wind, sun, indoor air conditioning or heating systems also contribute to the problem.
- Other Factors – Long term contact lens wear or sleeping with a fan on at night can cause dry eye.
So how do we treat dry eye?
There are many different ways to combat dry eyes. Depending on the root cause of each case, a specific treatment option will be tailored to achieve relief. Here are some of the options:
- Artificial tears
- Diet changes
- Lid hygiene
- Restasis (prescription eye drop)
- Punctal plugs
- Changes in environmental factors
- Medication Changes
If you have chronic dry eyes, remember that there are treatment options available. Most people are unaware that medical insurance can usually be used in dry eye visits. Give your office a call to schedule your dry eye evaluation today.
Allergies in Texas are a real problem, and most patients seen at our office have some signs and symptoms of allergies. When they affect the eyes causing itchiness, grittiness, tearing, swelling, and redness, they can be debilitating to your daily lifestyle. Treatments can include antihistamines and mast cell stabilizer drops, as well as steroid drops for more severe cases.
If ocular allergies are causing you problems, give our office a call to schedule an appointment.
Eye exams are important for patients of all ages. At Georgetown Vision Center Dr Sturm performs exams on children of all ages. It is recommended by the American Optometric Association that an exam be performed within the first year, and again around 5, or before kindergarten. Since children’s eyes and visual systems are changing so quickly at this age, an exam every 1-2 years during school years is recommended, even if there are no signs of vision problem. Remember, children are not very good at telling us when there is an issue. Early detection is the key to maintaining healthy eyes and vision.
Here are some disturbing facts regarding the vision care of children:
- Only 10% of children ages 9-15 who need glasses actually have them!!
- 1 in 10 children are at risk from undiagnosed vision problems.
- School screenings are not comprehensive exams, and do not replace the need for yearly eye examinations by an optometrist.
- 1 in 4 children struggle with reading and learning because of undiagnosed vision problems.
- According to the American Optometric Association, 60% of problem learners in school have undiagnosed vision problems contributing to their difficulties with learning.
- It is important for parents and educators to know the signs and symptoms of vision problems that interfere with academic performance. Below is a list that can help identify vision problems in children.
Here is a checklist anyone can go through if you have a child. You may want to have your child checked if any of these are observed in your child:
- One eye drifts or aims in a different direction than the other (can be very subtle).
- Turns or tilts head to see
- Short attention span
- Head is frequently tilted to one side or one shoulder is noticeably higher
- Squinting or closing of one eye
- Excessive blinking or squinting
- Poor visual/motor skills (often called “hand-eye coordination”)
- Problems moving in space, frequently bumps into things or drops things
While reading or doing close work:
- Holds the book or object unusually close
- Closes one eye or covers eye with hand
- Twists or tilts head toward book or object so as to favor one eye
- Frequently loses place and fatigues easily
- Uses finger to read
- Rubs eyes during or after short periods of reading
Your child frequently may complain of:
- Only being able to read for short periods of time
- Headaches or eyestrain
- Nausea or dizziness
- Motion sickness
- Double vision
If your child is experiencing any of these symptoms, or not been seen for a comprehensive examination recently, call our office at 512-677-5060 to schedule an eye exam. Remember, school screenings are NOT comprehensive examinations and do not replace the need for an exam.
Contact lenses are a great alternative for vision correction. Dr. Sturm is experienced in fitting all types of contact lenses, including hard, soft, astigmatism, multifocal, colored, sport tint, or specialty lenses.
Our extensive supply allows us to fit almost any patient that walks in our door.
If you’ve never worn contact lenses, think you are too old or young, or think your prescription is too bad, think again! We can fit all ages and almost any prescription.
Technology has drastically changed over the last several years, making it possible to fit patients that were once not good candidates, especially those with the highest astigmatism prescription.
With our extensive stock of these lenses, most patients are able to leave our office with their custom prescription lenses the same day.
For those who have even higher prescription parameters, special custom lenses such as SynergEyes lenses can be ordered and shipped directly to our office for those patients. If you think your prescription is too high, think again!
Want to get out of those bifocal glasses? Newer “bifocal” or “multifocal” contact lenses allow patients to see distance and near at the same time, without the need for glasses! Dr. Sturm has many years of experience fitting these unique lenses. Even if you have never worn contact lenses, our staff makes the transition seamless with quick and easy training. Still have questions? Feel free to ask us about these great lenses!
Children and Contacts
With more advanced, breathable contact lenses such as silicone hydrogels on the market today, fitting children is safer and easier than it’s ever been. There are many reasons why contact lenses might be a good choice for children. They can eliminate an unsightly thick pair of glasses, helping them become more socially acceptable.
With children starting sports earlier and earlier, contacts bring a great alternative to glasses and all the problems that they may cause during sports. “Daily” lenses allow a new, fresh pair every day, eliminating the need to clean, store, and remember when to replace lenses.
Dr. Sturm has fit patients as young as 6 years old, and no problems. There are no age limits, but keep in mind that patient maturity, motivation, as well as personal and lifestyle visual needs all contribute to the decision on whether a child is ready for contacts. It doesn’t hurt to ask!!
Contact lenses are a great alternative for glasses for nearly every sport (ok, maybe not chess). These alternatives allow, for example, basketball players to become glasses free, cyclists to be able to slip on a pair of non-Rx sunglasses over top of their contacts, and swimmers to see with their goggles on. There are countless advantages.
Another newer concept is sport tint lenses. The lenses are made to enhance the visual performance of the athlete. Professional athletes are beginning to catch on to the benefit of these lenses. Below are examples of the colors and their benefits:
- Amber: Blocks high amounts of blue light to heighten contrast and visual acuity. These are particularly useful to improve contrast on grass and against blue skies. Sports: baseball, softball, football, cycling, fishing (especially in waters with grassy bottoms), golf, hunting, skiing, water sports.
- Grey Green: Heightens contrast (mildly) while preserving color balance and reduces brightness. Sport: golf
- Bolle Blue: blocks blue light to heighten contrast and visual acuity. Sports: Football, Tennis
- Green: Heightens contrast (mildly) while preserving color balance. Application: Use in bright outdoor light
- Yellow: Heightens contrast in overcast, hazy, low-light conditions outdoors or for indoor sports. Filters blue light for sharper focus. Sports: Hunting, Football (night games)
- Sun Tac: Reduces overall brightness while preserving 100 percent normal color recognition.
- Rgp Lenses (hard lenses)
- Reverse geometry lenses (Post lasik)
- Keratoconus Lenses
- SynergEyes Hybrid Lenses
If you have any questions about contacts or would like schedule an appointment for fitting, please call us at 512-677-5060.
When unexpected ocular problems arise, give our office a call first before visiting the ER. ER physicians are highly trained to deal with most issues, but as many of them will tell you, eye conditions are not one of their specialties.
As a highly trained eye physician, optometrists are more experienced and have the right tools to deal with unexpected eye issues including:
- Pink Eye
- Eye Infections
- Contact Lens related Inflammations/Infections
- Scratched Eyes
- Swollen Eyes
- Foreign Body Removal
- Ocular Trauma
- Flashes and Floaters in Vision
If further treatment or consultation is necessary due to the severity of the condition, our network and relationship with ophthalmology specialists allows us to get you to the right place quickly. Give our office a call today for an appointment if you are experiencing any of these conditions.
If you are passionate about sports and need corrective lenses, consider talking to your doctor about specialized sports vision wear. Your doctor can suggest protective eyewear that will prevent sports injuries as well as help to optimize your performance.
Specialized eyewear ranges from:
- Contact lenses for almost any prescription
- Sport tint contact lenses, with tints specific to each sport, such as golf or baseball
- Sport sunglasses and performance eyewear
- Prescriptive diving masks and swim goggles
- Scratch resistant and shock resistance frames and lenses
- Protective sports goggles
- Prescriptive safety glasses and goggles required in some work environments
If you are an avid sports enthusiast and participant, feel free to contact our office to schedule an eye exam with one of our doctors today. We will gladly answer any of your questions and provide you with the best treatment options available to you. Don’t go another day wearing eyewear that does not help you perform your best. Not sure if your child is old enough for contact? No problem, feel free to contact us and ask!
Latisse is prescription ophthalmic drop that when applied to the eyelash area can produce longer, thicker eyelashes. This USDA approved medication was originally used as a glaucoma medication to reduce intraocular pressure. The side affect of using the glaucoma drops what that eyelashes grow longer and thicker.
Have thin, brittle eyelashes and want to do something about it? Well now you can! Call our office and schedule an exam today and ask us about Latisse.
Lose those old glasses!! Lasik vision correction has advanced considerably in the last several years. Higher prescriptions with larger amounts of astigmatism can now be corrected, and with more precise outcomes. The procedure is now typically performed completely by lasers, hence the “all laser Lasik.”
Vision correction has become more common and affordable and accessible to almost anyone. Several factors are evaluated when considering whether a patient is a good candidate for the procedure. These include age, prescription, corneal thickness, corneal scarring or dystrophies, and other health conditions such as diabetes.
If you are interested in vision correction, contact our office for a free lasik consultation. This is a great way to learn whether or not you are a good candidate, answer any questions or concerns you may have, and of course the financial obligations of such a procedure.
Glaucoma refers to a group of eye diseases that cause permanent peripheral vision loss and ultimately blindness. It is typically a result of high eye pressure damaging the optic nerve, which is the connection between the eye and the brain. Glaucoma is often considered the silent thief of sight, because it has no symptoms.
Certain risk factors exist when considering who may have a greater risk to develop the condition. Although these factors put more risk on a particular group for developing the disease, it does not indicate that they will develop it for sure, nor does it clear you from the condition if you have no risk factors.
- Family History
- African American
- Thin Corneas
- Others- trauma, uncontrolled diabetes, steroid use
Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness in the world. Much of this blindness is preventable. Early detection is key, and annual exams can catch the earliest signs of glaucoma. Give our office a call to schedule your comprehensive exam, which includes a glaucoma screening.
As part of our comprehensive eye examinations, Dr Sturm checks all patients for cataracts. Cataracts are a clouding of the crystalline lens in the back of the eye resulting in varying degrees of opacification. Many people have misconceptions at to what a cataract is.
It is not a growth, or acquired disease, but a slow loss of transparency of the crystalline lens. These very slow changes cause symptoms of reduced vision, glare at night, and reduced color perception.
Several factors contribute to the formation of cataracts. Long-term exposure to UV light, genetics, radiation exposure, ocular trauma, certain medication use, and most importantly, age. Cataracts are like wrinkles, they are inevitable and if you live long enough, they will develop.
There are many types of cataracts that can develop. Here are a few:
Like wrinkles, there is not way to prevent the development, but only slow the progression. Sun protection to block UV rays is the key preventative step that can be taken.
Treatment includes cataract surgery for the removal of the natural lens, and replacement with a clear, artificial lens (intra ocular lens, or IOL). This procedure has advanced dramatically in the last decade, resulting in procedures that are fast, painless, and much more precise than ever.
The patient’s refractive power is actually integrated into the IOL, in an effort to fully correct vision without the need for glasses after surgery.
Premium multifocal lenses also allow for the correction of both distance and near vision into the IOL, in an effort to rid the patient of glasses completely. Vision is clearer, colors are brighter and more distinguishable, and the dependency on glasses is greatly reduced. The procedure is also typically covered by medical insurances and Medicare plans.
Dr Sturm co-manages cataract surgeries, which means that the screening and pretesting procedures will be performed in our office, as well as post-operative visits to ensure a successful outcome after surgery.
If you have any questions about cataracts, think you may have cataracts, or want to be screened for cataracts, schedule an appointment with our office today.