Itchy, Red Eyes

Itchy, Red Eyes

Allergy season is quickly approaching!  Do you suffer from spring allergies? Are your eyes usually itching and red?  Are they feeling uncomfortable?  What is the cause of these symptoms and can anything be done?  Itching and redness can be very frustrating and uncomfortable.  You may be suffering from eye allergies.  Sometimes it is nearly impossible to avoid being exposed to the things we are allergic to.

You may have tried over the counter remedies to see if they can improve your symptoms.  If the over the counter treatments are not providing proper relief, it is important to have a comprehensive eye examination to determine the cause of your symptoms.  Your condition may or may not be ocular allergies.  You want to consider when your symptoms occur most.  Are they worse in the morning or evening?  Are they worse during a particular season of the year?

Diagnosiseye allergies | Alaina Kronenberg MD

Dr. Stanley Grandon, Dr. Cindy Wang and I will take a complete history and perform an eye examination.  It is important to distinguish if your eyeballs feel itchy or your eyelids are bothering you more.

Itchy eyes are often a symptoms of ocular allergies.  You may also complain of watery eyes, stringy mucous discharge, eyelid swelling, and irritation.  Ocular allergies are when the eyes are exposed to allergens.  Different patients can react to different allergens.   Your symptoms are often due to release of histamine and mast cells and symptoms will often vary during different seasons depending on what the allergen is that is causing your symptoms.

If your symptoms are more affecting your eyelids, you may be suffering from blepharitis instead of eye allergies.  Blepharitis is inflammation of the eyelid margin and the eyelids can become itchy, red and irritated.

If you wear contact lenses sometimes your condition can be related to your contact lenses.  You may have developed a sensitivity to your contact lenses or be wearing them too much.

It is important for your doctor to make the proper diagnosis so we can offer the treatments that will improve your symptoms.

Treatment of Eye Allergies

If you suffer from eye allergies, it is important to try to avoid the allergen if possible.  Ocular allergies are often initially treated with eye drops that are antihistamines and mast cell stabilizers.  These medications work more effectively if they are used regularly during your allergy season.  If your symptoms are severe, we may add a short course of a mild steroid eye drop also.  Sometimes chilled artificial tears can also help your symptoms.

Alaina Kronenberg, M.D.
Cataract Specialist
Comprehensive Ophthalmologist
Dearborn, Michigan 48126


Red, Itchy Eyes From Eye Allergies

Itchy, Red Eyes

If your eyes are itchy and red it can be quite uncomfortable and cause difficulty with your vision.  You may have trouble wearing your contact lenses also.  You may also have other symptoms such as burning, watery eyes and swollen eyelids.  Your symptoms may be from eye allergies, also called allergic conjunctivitis.  Many eye problems such as infections can have similar symptoms so it is important me to perform an examination to assess for other conditions.

Eye Allergies
Itchy Red Eyes Due to Eye Allergies

If you have allergic conjunctivitis you may have other symptoms such as sneezing, sniffling, nasal congestion and a runny nose.  Your eye symptoms will often be in both eyes if they are due to eye allergies.   Fortunately, allergic conjunctivitis usually causes no threat to your eyesight.  It may cause temporary blurriness, though.

Triggers

It is important to try to avoid the triggers that cause your symptoms.  Your allergies may be seasonal or perennial.  If your allergies are seasonal, you may be allergic to pollen, grass or trees.  Perennial allergies can be due to dust, mold and pet dander.

Home Remedies for Allergies

If you have seasonal allergies, it is important to try to not be outdoors during peak allergen times.  It can be helpful to wear eyeglasses or sunglasses and to keep your windows closed when you drive.  If you are allergic to dust mites, washing your sheets frequently can be helpful.  Not rubbing your eyes can be helpful also.

Cool compresses and chilled artificial tears can be soothing if your eyes are bothersome.  Over the counter allergy drops such as ketotifen can be very helpful also.  There are oral over the counter allergy pills that can help.  It is important to choose an oral medication that will not be sedating if during the daytime hours.

How Can We Help You?

Red eyes can be caused by many conditions.  Allergies are just one possibility.  Dr. Stanley Grandon, Dr. Cindy Wang and I can perform a comprehensive eye exam to determine the exact cause of your symptoms.  There are many prescription eye drops available for eye allergies.  Allergy drops are more effective if taken regularly during your allergy season.  For more severe symptoms, if due to allergies sometimes a short course of steroid eye drops can relieve your symptoms faster.

Alaina Kronenberg, M.D.
Cataract Specialist
Comprehensive Ophthalmologist
Dearborn, Michigan 48126


Blurry Vision After Cataract Surgery

Secondary Cataract Causes Blurry Vision

Most patients decide to have cataract surgery because their vision is blurry.  The purpose of your cataract surgery is to correct your blurry vision.  Sometimes, months or years after cataract surgery the vision can become blurry again.  We call this a secondary cataract.

You may worry that the cataract grew back.  This is not the case.  Once the cataract (the cloudy lens in the eye) is removed, it cannot grow back.

When the cataract is removed, an intraocular lens implant is placed into the capsular bag that the cataract previously sat inside.  Up to 50% of the time after cataract surgery, the back of the capsule can become cloudy after cataract surgery.  Some people call this a secondary cataract.  This can occur months or even years after cataract surgery.  A secondary cataract is extremely common.

Symptoms of Secondary Cataractsecondary cataract causes blurry vision

You may notice increased in blurry vision or an increase in glare and mistiness of the vision.   You may notice halos around lights.  It is important for your comprehensive ophthalmologist to perform a comprehensive eye examination to determine the cause of your blurry vision.

Symptoms of a secondary cataract are very similar to the symptoms of having a cataract.

If I feel the blurry vision is due to opacification of the capsule (in layman’s terms a secondary cataract), I will discuss the risks, benefits and alternatives of the the treatment plan.

Yag Laser Capsulotomy

A Yag Laser Capsulotomy is a relatively simple procedure typically performed in my office.  The laser procedure is painless and only takes a minute or two.  No anesthesia is required and you can drive yourself home.

I will give you drops to dilate the pupil and numb the eye.  After, I will place a lens on the surface of the eye.  I will use a laser to make an opening in the capsule.   The purpose of the procedure is to improve your vision.

After a Yag Laser Capsulotomy

Your vision may be blurry for an hour or so after the procedure because of ointment used in the eye during the procedure.  I will give you a drop to use for approximately 5 days.  I will check you in my office 2-3 weeks after your procedure.

Alaina Kronenberg, M.D.
Cataract Specialist
Comprehensive Ophthalmologist
Dearborn, Michigan 48126


When Do I Adopt New Technology?

Changes in Intraocular Implants

As a comprehensive ophthalmologist, my primary surgery is cataract surgery.  The methods and technology used for cataract surgery are constantly evolving.  For example, in the past, patients had to wear very thick eyeglasses after cataract surgery.  This is no longer necessary since intraocular implants became available.  When I completed my residency training, almost all intraocular implants were monofocal.  This means they only correct vision for one distance.  If the intraocular implant is corrected for distance, the patient still needs glasses for computer and reading.  Over the years, much new technology has been developed.

New TechnologyCataract Surgery | Intraocular Implants

It is important that I stay educated on new technology that is developed.  I focus on technology that is relevant to my practice.  I educate myself by reading peer reviewed journal articles, articles regarding experiences of other doctors, and attending local and national conferences.  I also discuss with colleagues their experiences.

I use the information I learn to gather my own opinion on the value of the new technology.  It is important that I feel it is safe for my patients and that it will offer an improved outcome.  I often wait a few months after the technology is approved by the FDA to learn from the real world experience of other ophthalmologists.

Initially when I implement a new technology, I may try in in a very select group of patients.  I evaluate the results before proceeding with a larger group of patients.

Cataract Surgery Intraocular Implants

When I first trained in cataract surgery, monofocal intraocular implants were primarily used.  Most patients still required glasses after their cataract surgery due to either astigmatism and/or near vision needs.

Many patients have astigmatism and benefit from a toric intraocular implant.  I discuss the option of this implant with all patients who have corneal astigmatism.  It reduces the dependence on glasses after cataract surgery.

Multifocal implants can help correct vision both at distance and for near activities.  These intraocular implants can work well for patients who wish to be less dependant on glasses for both distance and near.  I am cautious about recommending these intraocular implants due to the potential for decreased contrast sensitivity and difficulty with night driving.

The Symfony implant corrects vision provides more of a continuous vision by using an extended range of focus technology.  This lens will be a good option for patients who have a desire to be less dependent on glasses for all activities.  It does not run the same risk of halos and glare.

Staying Educated

It is important that I continue to learn and evolve the technology that I utilize.  This will provide my patients with the best outcomes possible.

Alaina Kronenberg, M.D.
Cataract Specialist
Comprehensive Ophthalmologist
Dearborn, Michigan 48126


What is Astigmatism?

What is Astigmatism?

Astigmatism is a very common cause of blurry vision.  The eye is shaped more like an egg or football rather than an orange.  Either the cornea or the lens of the eye is not round if you have astigmatism.  Instead it is oblong.

It is often hereditary and you are often born with it.  Most people have astigmatism in their glasses prescription.  The amount and direction can change over time.  If you have astigmatism, objects can look elongated either vertically or horizontally.

Children and AstigmatismWhat is Astigmatism?

It is important that astigmatism is diagnosed in children at an early age.  Children may not complain of blurry vision.  If your child has a lot of astigmatism that goes undiagnosed, the visual system may not develop properly.  This can lead to a condition called amblyopia (lazy eye).  If your child does not pass a screening evaluation at either their pediatrician or school, it is important that they have a comprehensive eye examination to determine the reason.

Undiagnosed astigmatism can cause blurry vision and possibly difficulty seeing at school.  Refractive error is not affected if you child sits too close to the TV or reads in low light.

What Causes Astigmatism ?

Astigmatism can be caused by either the shape of the cornea or the lens.  The cornea is the windshield of the eye and the lens focuses light inside the eye.  If either structure is shaped more oblong, you may have astigmatism.

How Do I Treat Astigmatism?

You will want to have your astigmatism treated to provide the best possible vision.  It can be treated with glasses and / or contact lenses.  There are many contact lens options available.

It can also be treated with Lasik or Epi Lasek eye surgery.  Dr. Stanley Grandon and I can perform a thorough eye examination to determine if you are a candidate.

If you have astigmatism and require cataract surgery, we can evaluate you for a special implant to correct the astigmatism.  This implant is called a toric implant and can greatly reduce your dependency on glasses after cataract surgery.

Alaina Kronenberg, M.D.
Cataract Specialist
Comprehensive Ophthalmologist
Dearborn, Michigan 48126


Eye Pain

 

Eye Pain Can Be an Emergency

What are the causes of eye pain?  Is it an emergency?  Sometimes it is hard for you to know if you should seek urgent attention.  You should seek urgent attention if you have had recent eye surgery or trauma to the eye.  There are many causes of eye pain.  Many eye diseases such as cataracts, most types of glaucoma and macular degeneration do not have pain.  I will discuss some of the more common causes of eye pain.

Corneal AbrasionEye Pain

A scratch on the cornea can be very painful.  The cornea is one of the most sensitive tissues on the body.  It may feel as if there is a foreign body in the eye.  Your vision may or may not be blurry depending on where the abrasion is.  If you think you have a corneal abrasion it is important to have an examination.  Sometimes, Dr. Stanley Grandon, Dr. Cindy Wang and I can control the pain with a bandage contact lens on the eye.  You will also be prescribed an antibiotic drop.  Call us at the Eye Surgery Institute for evaluation.

Foreign body

A foreign body in the eye can be very uncomfortable.  Sometimes a foreign body can be underneath the upper lid or the lower lid and may be difficult to see.  It may also be embedded in the cornea.  If you think you have a foreign body make an appointment for an urgent eye evaluation.  We offer same day appointments for eye pain.

Eyelid pain

Pain and swelling of the eyelid can often be caused by a stye (or hordeolum).  You may feel tenderness and swelling of a portion of the eyelid.  This is often treated with heat and either eye drops or ointment.

Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye)

Conjunctivitis may cause irritation, redness and discharge in either one or both eyes.  This may be either bacterial or viral.  An eye examination can determine what treatment is required.

Iritis

Iritis is when you have inflammation inside the eye.  You will often feel a sore type pain and feel light sensitive.  Iritis can be difficult to diagnose unless your doctor performs a slit lamp examination.  It is treated with steroid eye drops that need to be tapered once you are feeling better.  Iritis can sometimes be associated with other conditions inside your body so we may decide to order more tests such as blood work and a chest x ray.

If you are suffering from eye pain, call us at the Eye Surgery Institute for an urgent appointment.  We offer same day appointments for any urgent eye conditions.

Alaina Kronenberg, M.D.
Cataract Specialist
Comprehensive Ophthalmologist
Dearborn, Michigan 48126


Diagnosis and Treatment of Dry Eye

Diagnosis of Dry Eye

The diagnosis of dry eye is usually a clinical diagnosis.  This means it is diagnosed often by the symptoms you report.  At the Eye Surgery Institute, Dr. Stanley Grandon, Dr. Cindy Wang and I will take a complete history of your symptoms.

If you have dry eye you may often complain of burning, irritation, a foreign body sensation and /or fluctuating vision.  The vision may blur up when you are reading, using your cell phone or on the computer for a long time.

I will perform a comprehensive eye examination including using various dyes to assess the surface of the eye.  There are various other tests that can also be used to evaluate the quality of the tears in your eyes.

Treatment of Dry EyeDry Eye diagnosis and treatment | Eye Surgery Institute| Dearborn MI | Alaina Kronenberg MD

If your dry eye signs and symptoms are mild, I may recommend over the counter artificial tears to start.  The artificial tears in a bottle (with preservative) can be used up to four times a day.

If necessary, I may recommend preservative free artificial tears that can be used more often.  Preservative free tears may also be better if you are also on other drops for glaucoma.

For more moderate signs and symptoms of dry eye, I may also add a gel or night time eye ointment.  I may also recommend a prescription dry eye medication called Restasis.  Restasis can take several months to assess if it is helping you.

Other remedies for dry eye can include punctal plugs.  This is when the opening of the tear duct (called the punctum) is partially blocked with a tiny insert.  This will allow your natural tears or artificial tears to stay on the surface of your eye longer.

Blepharitis, Dry Eye and Ocular Allergies

If you have dry eye you may also have other associated problems that are contributing to your discomfort.  I will examine your eye for inflammation of the eyelid margin which is called blepharitis.  I will also assess for ocular allergies.  These conditions need to be successfully treated to achieve ocular comfort.

Goal

When I treat you dry eyes, it is necessary to be patient.  I usually tell my patients that “the problem did not happen overnight and it will not be better by tomorrow morning.”  Also, it is important to remember that the is no cure for dry eyes.  My goals are to treat you so that your feel at least 80% better over time.  If you are suffering from burning, irritation, foreign body sensation and /or fluctuating vision give us a call for an appointment as other ocular problems can also cause similar symptoms at  313-582-8856.
Alaina Kronenberg, M.D.
Cataract Specialist
Comprehensive Ophthalmologist
Dearborn, Michigan 48126


Cataract Evaluation

Cataract Evaluation

If you have been previously diagnosed with a cataract or if you feel you are experiencing blurry vision, a comprehensive eye examination is important.  The examination can determine if the cataract is the source of your visual complaints.  If the cataract is the source of your complaints, we can complete a cataract evaluation and discuss with you the option of cataract surgery.

Most people develop a cataract as they get older.  Cataract surgery is recommended when the cataract is interfering with your day to day activities.  Patients may experience difficulty driving especially at night or in the rain and bright sunlight.

Examination

A comprehensive eye examination involves checking your visual acuity, refracting to see if new eyeglasses can improve your vision, a slit lamp examination and a dilated examination.  Dr. Stanley Grandon and I will also take a comprehensive medical history.  This is done to assess for any conditions that would increase the risk of a problem during cataract surgery.

If  the cataract if the cause of your visual complaints, Dr. Stanley Grandon and I will discuss with you the risks and benefits of cataract surgery as part of the cataract evaluation.  We will take the time to discuss implant options with you.  For example, if you have astigmatism you may be a candidate for a toric implant to correct the astigmatism.  If you have a desire to be less dependent on glasses for near activities, you may be a candidate for a presbyopic implant that allows some vision for near and intermediate activities.

Scheduling Cataract Surgery

If you decide to schedule the cataract operation, we will take measurements to determine the implant type and power to use.  The entire cataract evaluation can take approximately 2 hours time.  You will read and sign informed consent paperwork.  Our surgical schedulers will provide prescriptions for drops to be used before and after cataract surgery.  They will go over all of the details of what to expect the day of your operation.  You will need to have a driver bring you to the Dearborn Surgical Center on the day of your surgery.

Alaina Kronenberg, M.D.
Cataract Specialist
Comprehensive Ophthalmologist
Dearborn, Michigan 48126


What is a Comprehensive Eye Exam?

What is a Comprehensive Eye Examination?

You may wonder what is the difference between a comprehensive eye exam and an exam for prescription eyeglasses?  When I go to get a prescription for new eyeglasses did I have a comprehensive eye examination?

A full eye examination starts with the doctor checking your vision.  Then, the doctor will perform a refraction.  This is when the eye doctor tries to see how good you can see with eyeglasses.  The eye doctor wants to know how good you can see with a pair of eyeglasses.  An eyeglasses examination may often end now.

Comprehensive Eye Examcomprehensive eye examination

A comprehensive eye examination includes many other aspects to check the health of your eyes.  Diseases of the eye such as glaucoma, cataracts and macular degeneration (ARMD) will not be detected on a glasses examination.

A comprehensive eye examination includes a eye pressure check to assess for glaucoma, a slit lamp examination as well as dilation of the pupils.  Dilating the  pupils allows the doctor to again check for glaucoma, to check for cataracts, macular degeneration (ARMD) as well as many other diseases of the eye.  Many cases of glaucoma can be missed if the pupils are not dilated.  An eye examination can take an hour or more.

It is especially important to have a dilated eye examination if you have diabetes or a family history of eye diseases.  Many causes of preventable blindness have no symptoms, especially at the early stages.  Depending on your age, recommendations for complete eye examinations vary, but many of our patients are seen on an annual basis.  We all want to see for the rest of our life!

Board Certified Ophthalmologist

A board certified ophthalmologist will typically perform a comprehensive eye examination to make sure your eyes are healthy.  If any diseases of the eye are suspected, they may decide that further in depth testing is indicated.  This testing can help the doctor determine the severity of the disease and if any treatments are indicated.  The doctor will let you know how often follow up evaluations are indicated.

Alaina Kronenberg, M.D.
Cataract Specialist
Comprehensive Ophthalmologist
Dearborn, Michigan 48126