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Year: 2020

Back To School: Virtual Classrooms and Your Child’s Vision

Vision Care & Optical Store - James Tracey Eye Care

Vision Care & Optical Store – James Tracey Eye Care

For many children and their parents, “back to school” is taking on a whole new meaning this year. Instead of purchasing new backpacks for their children, parents may be shopping for computers or a new set of headphones to help their children learn their lessons online. As more schools switch over to virtual classrooms, children will be spending even more time in front of screens as a part of their curriculum.

A comprehensive eye exam with Dr. James Sinoway can help ensure that your child’s eyes and vision are ready for the new scholastic year.

Why Schedule an Eye Exam Before the New School Year?

Keep Up With Your Child’s Eye Development

From ages 6 to 18, a child’s vision can change frequently and unexpectedly. The American Optometric Association recommends that children between the ages of 6 and 17 have annual eye exams, or as recommended by their optometrists, to ensure that their vision is developing normally.

If your child already wears glasses to correct nearsightedness or farsightedness, an eye exam can determine whether their current prescription is offering them the clearest vision, or if their prescription has changed.

Eye exams are also important for children who complain of occasional or persistent headaches, because vision problems are often the source. Additionally, many children experience eye strain when performing visual tasks, a problem that can be solved with prescription glasses

Prepare Your Child for Optimal Learning

A whopping 80% of learning is vision-based. Reading, writing, computer research, and extracurricular activities all require excellent visual processing skills. Even slight, undetected vision problems can negatively impact academic achievement and make schoolwork difficult. Only an eye doctor can detect and diagnose these visual and eye health issues and offer the best solutions. Bring your child in for an eye exam to make sure that their vision won’t be holding them back from success.

Safeguard Your Child’s Eye Health

As our children spend more and more time on computers, tablets and cell phones, it’s important to educate ourselves and our children on how to maintain eye health with increased screen time. Digital eye strain, a group of symptoms that accompanies excessive screen use, can be minimized or avoided by following certain guidelines. Dr. James Sinoway can advise you on how to care for your child’s eyes and prevent uncomfortable visual symptoms such as eye strain and headaches.

Contact Us To Schedule Your Child’s Eye Exam

In this era of virtual classrooms, eye care couldn’t be more relevant. Dr. James Sinoway and the caring staff at James Tracey Eye Care will help your child kick-off the new school year with a comprehensive eye exam.

If glasses are called for, we offer a wide range of frames in a variety of styles and colors to give your child the confidence-boost they’ll want to start off the school year.

James Tracey Eye Care provides optical services to young patients from all over the New York area, so book an appointment today!

Can Lasik Correct Astigmatism?

The “perfect” eyeball would be a smooth sphere with optical lenses that function at their best. But in the real world, this rarely happens. Usually, eyes are not shaped perfectly and visual acuity is therefore compromised. When you have astigmatism, the eye is elliptical – similar to a football shape. As a result of this asymmetry, light rays traveling through it scatter, and vision is blurred.

Astigmatism is a common vision condition. By definition, it is simply a refractive error like nearsightedness and farsightedness. Just like those vision conditions, astigmatism can be corrected with prescription eyeglasses, contact lenses and LASIK. At our eye care clinic, we perform comprehensive eye exams to determine your candidacy for laser surgery. Book a consultation with our optometrist about LASIK.

How can LASIK help?

If you have only a mild astigmatism, laser correction surgery may not be required. But if astigmatism is disturbing your vision, LASIK can be an option.

During this procedure, your eye surgeon will use a laser to reshape your cornea so it is more spherical and can focus light properly. LASIK thereby improves vision across your entire visual field, and not just the part of your view affected by prescription eyewear.

How successful is LASIK for correcting astigmatism?

LASIK for astigmatism can be an excellent solution when compared to alternatives, such as glasses or contact lenses. That’s because eyeglasses and contacts work by cancelling out the visual distortion, whereas LASIK totally changes and corrects the irregularity in your cornea. For many people, the procedure is transformative to their lives.

The success rate of LASIK for astigmatism is associated strongly with the vision prescription of the patient and the unique shape of the eye. Official reports state that LASIK is most suitable for people with a prescription of up to four cylinders of astigmatism. Also, if you only have a tiny amount of astigmatism, such as 0.5 diopter, LASIK may not provide a significant benefit. Therefore, the success rate of LASIK for astigmatism varies, which is why you need an experienced eye doctor to assess your eyes and vision to determine your candidacy.

Our LASIK optometrists offer specialized consultations and eye exams.

Is LASIK affordable?

Even if you have an extreme vision prescription, LASIK is still regarded as an elective treatment by most insurance policies, so it isn’t covered by their basic plans. However, significant savings are frequently offered by various insurance plans. Our staff is knowledgeable about ways to make LASIK affordable, and we’re happy to share the info!

To discuss LASIK and other vision correction procedures, contact us for an appointment.

At James Tracey Eye Care, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 646-916-4588 or book an appointment online to see one of our Midtown eye doctors.

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How To Prevent “Mask Fog” on Your Glasses

If you wear glasses and a face mask, you’ve probably struggled with “mask fog.”  Your lenses get all misty, requiring you to wipe your eyewear throughout the day. Below are a few strategies to help you prevent your eyeglasses from fogging up when wearing a mask.

But First, Why Do Glasses Fog Up? 

Quite simply, condensation forms whenever moist warm air hits a cool surface. Your specs fog up when the mask directs your warm breath upward instead of in front of you — which is great for preventing virus transmission but bad for anyone with less-than-stellar eyesight.

Is Your Mask Well Fitted? 

The mask should fit securely over your nose. Ideally, you’ll want to wear a mask with a nose bridge or one that can be shaped or molded to your face. When the mask fits properly, hopefully most of your breath will go through it, not out the top or sides.

Use Your Glasses To Seal the Top of Your Mask

This method works best with large, thick eyewear frames. By pulling your mask up higher on your nose and placing the lower part of your eyeglasses on the mask, you can get a snug fit that blocks your warm breath from escaping upward toward your eyewear.

Tape Your Mask to Your Face

You can always use tape to secure your mask across the bridge of your nose and the top of your cheeks. Use easy-to-remove tape, including adhesive, medical, or athletic. Just be  sure to stay away from duct tape. 

Soap and Water Help Prevent Fogging

This trick is one that healthcare professionals regularly turn to. All you need for this hack is soapy water (dish soap works best) and a microfiber cloth. Stay away from soaps with lotions in them as they can leave a thick residue, making it even harder to see.

Simply rub both sides of your lenses with a drop of soap, then buff the lenses with a soft microfiber cloth. This effective trick helps prevent your lenses from fogging up as a transparent, thin film of soap acts as a barrier. 

Anti-Fog Wipes and Sprays 

Another option is to purchase wipes and sprays designed to tackle foggy lenses. Read the fine print, as certain anti-fog solutions may not work as well, or may even damage lenses with  coatings that minimize glare and fingerprint smudges, for example. 

 

To learn more about ways to keep your glasses from fogging while wearing a mask, contact James Tracey Eye Care in Midtown today.

 

Should I Get Eyeglasses If Only One Eye Has Blurred Vision?

Optometrist Near You | James Tracey Eye Care

Optometrist Near You | James Tracey Eye Care

Blurred vision in one eye is fairly common. It usually signals a refractive error in one eye, such as astigmatism, hyperopia, myopia, or presbyopia. However, blurry vision can also indicate the presence of potentially sight-threatening eye disease or neurological disorder.

If you are experiencing blurred vision in one eye, contact Dr. James Sinoway to receive a comprehensive eye exam to determine whether you have a refractive error like myopia (nearsightedness) or hyperopia (farsightedness), or something more serious.

If it’s a refractive error, Dr. James Sinoway will prescribe prescription lenses suitable for each of your eyes. However, if the poor vision in one eye is due to eye disease, you’ll need to undergo specific treatment.

Common Causes of Blurred Vision in One or Both Eyes

Myopia

Myopia (nearsightedness) is the most common refractive error, characterized by squinting, eye strain, headaches, and blurred vision when attempting to see distant objects.

Hyperopia

Hyperopia (farsightedness) causes near objects like mobile phones, computers, and books to appear blurred, causing eye strain and fatigue.

Astigmatism

Astigmatism causes blurred vision at all distances.

Presbyopia

Presbyopia is age-related farsightedness that affects those over the age of 40 and causes blurred near vision and eye strain when reading.

Other Causes of Blurred Vision

Dry eyes

One of the symptoms of dry eye syndrome is blurred vision. If you also have dry and itchy eye(s), visit Dr. James Sinoway to get to the root of the problem and get treatment.

Pregnancy

Pregnancy can lead to vision changes, such as dry eye, headache migraines, light sensitivity and blurred vision. Blurred vision is caused by hormonal changes that at times alter and shape the thickness of your cornea. If you’re pregnant and experiencing blurred vision, visit Dr. James Sinoway for a proper evaluation, as it can also be correlated to gestational diabetes or high blood pressure.

Migraines

Whether it’s ocular migraine or another type of migraine headache, those with migraines tend to experience blurred vision, halos, and flickering light.

Eye floaters

Floaters drifting in your visual field can cause blurred vision. In the event that you notice a sudden onset of floaters, contact Dr. James Sinoway immediately as it could indicate a torn or detached retina.

LASIK surgery

Many people experience blurred or hazy vision following refractive surgery, though vision should stabilize within a few days.

Blurred Vision Can Indicate Severe Eye Disease

If you are over 60 years of age and experience a sudden onset of blurred vision, you may have a macular hole in the center of your retina. Blurred vision can also indicate the presence of ocular herpes, optic neuritis (optic nerve inflammation), cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration, and glaucoma.

Severe eye conditions can lead to permanent vision loss if left untreated. It’s therefore critical to visit Dr. James Sinoway at James Tracey Eye Care in Midtown for a diagnosis and treatment as soon as you experience a sudden onset of blurred vision.

If, however, you experience mild blurred vision that comes in waves, this could indicate tiredness, eye strain, or overexposure to the sun.

What Type of Glasses Does One Wear When One Eye Has Poor Vision?

If you need glasses for only one eye, don’t worry — you won’t be prescribed a monocle. Eye doctors commonly prescribe specs with differing prescription lenses. The glasses you will get will depend entirely on the type of problem you’re facing. So if you have a refractive error in one eye, one lens will correct the affected eye while the other lens will be suited to the second eye.

Visit James Tracey Eye Care in Midtown today for an eye evaluation and, if needed, a customized pair of glasses with differing prescriptions for an enhanced quality of life.

 

When Should You See An Eye Doctor?

Optometrist Near You | James Tracey Eye Care

Optometrist Near You | James Tracey Eye Care

Any changes in the eyes’ appearance, visual status or function warrant a visit to the eye doctor. It’s helpful to have a baseline eye exam on record so that if and when a problem occurs, Dr. James Sinoway can immediately compare your new test results to previous ones and determine whether a change has indeed taken place.

Eye problems often manifest as blurred, distorted or double vision, blind spots, light sensitivity, flashes of light, or the sudden appearance of new floaters, among others. Sometimes people ignore serious eye problems if they are not in pain, or are managing to function using just one eye.

If you experience vision changes, particularly if the onset is sudden, promptly visit James Tracey Eye Care in Midtown for an immediate assessment and treatment. The earlier your eyes are treated, the better your chance of preventing complications.

Get An Eye Exam If You Experience Any of the Following:

Head, face, or eye injuries. These should be evaluated to ensure that vision and visual function haven’t been affected. For example, loss of peripheral vision or distorted central vision may be ominous and require evaluation.

Diabetes. Patients recently diagnosed with diabetes should also be regularly examined, as diabetes can lead to poor vision or even blindness. Ocular diseases related to this condition include diabetic retinopathy, diabetic macular edema, cataracts, and glaucoma.

Signs and Symptoms of Possible Vision Problems

  • Loss of peripheral vision
  • Changes in the color of the iris
  • Presence of blood
  • Red or itchy eyes
  • Pain in or around the eye
  • Any sudden change in vision
  • Discharge
  • Droopy eyelids
  • Soreness
  • Sudden loss or changes in vision
  • Double vision
  • Seeing a “curtain coming down” over one eye
  • Cloudy or transparent looking pupil
  • Sudden onset of flashes of light or floaters
  • Light sensitivity

Any changes in your vision or your eyes’ appearance should not be ignored, as symptoms may indicate a serious problem that can grow in severity if not attended to early on. If your eyes experience any of the symptoms listed above, make sure to schedule an appointment with Dr. James Sinoway.

    Why You Regularly Need to Replace Your Sunglasses

    Did you know that sunglasses, or at least sunglass lenses, regularly need to be replaced? 

    According to a study conducted at the University of São Paulo, the UV protection that sunglasses provide deteriorates over time. You may adore your current ones, but if you’ve been rocking those shades for two or more years, it might be time to get a new pair. 

    In addition to the UV-blocking properties, anti-reflective and anti-scratch coatings wear down, and the frame material may become brittle over the years, too. Even if you have the most durable sunglasses available, regular lens-replacement is the best way to ensure that your vision is maximally protected from the harmful effects of ultraviolet light. 

    UV Light and Sunglasses

    The protective efficacy of your sunglasses comes in large part from the lens coating of dyes and pigments that reflect and absorb ultraviolet radiation. They create a barrier that prevents UV radiation from penetrating your eyes.

    However, this protective coating can, and often does, break down over time. Wear and tear can cause an invisible web of tiny abrasions, compromising its UV-blocking power. Furthermore, the protective dyes and pigments aren’t able to absorb UV rays indefinitely; the more sunlight they’re exposed to, the more rapidly they’ll become ineffective. 

    A pair of shades worn on occasion and in mild conditions is likely to remain effective longer than a pair that is heavily used in a more intensely sunny environment. For example, if you spend long days on the water paddling, kayaking, or canoeing, the protective coating on your lenses will deteriorate more quickly than it would if you only wear your shades to go grocery shopping or sit in a cafe. 

    Why It’s Important to Protect Your Eyes From UV

    Protecting your eyes from the sun is critical no matter where in the world you are, as UV exposure places you at risk for developing eye diseases like eye cancer, pterygium, and pinguecula — which can result in disfigurement and discomfort — as well as cataracts and macular degeneration — which cause vision loss and, in severe cases, blindness.

    Even short-term overexposure can result in photokeratitis, a corneal sunburn. Symptoms include eye pain, swelling, light sensitivity, and temporary vision loss. Some people experience it when spending too much time boating or skiing without wearing eye protection. Snow and water can increase solar exposure because they reflect sunlight toward your face.  

    What to Look for When Getting New Sunglasses

    When choosing new sunglasses, make sure they’re labeled 100% UV protection or UV400. Although most pairs sold in the United States and Canada offer this degree of protection, it’s still worth confirming before making the purchase. Keep in mind that factors like cost, polarization, lens color, or darkness don’t have much to do with the level of UV protection. Even clear prescription lenses can be UV protective. 

    It’s important to note that there is a lot of counterfeit sunwear in the marketplace. This is dangerous since counterfeit eyewear may not provide much-needed ultraviolet protection. So if the price of a renowned brand is too good to be true, it’s probably a fake. 

    The size and fit of the sunglasses is important. Bigger is definitely better if you spend a lot of time outdoors. Larger wrap-around eyewear is best if you regularly ski or spend many hours in the water, as this style blocks light from all directions. 

    To find out whether it’s still safe to wear your favorite shades, visit a Midtown eye doctor to determine whether your lenses still offer the right level of UV protection. It’s also a good opportunity to discuss prescription sunwear. 

    For more information about UV safety, or to get the perfect sunglasses tailored to your vision needs and lifestyle, contact James Tracey Eye Care in Midtown today!  

     

    References 

    https://biomedical-engineering-online.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12938-016-0209-7

     

    Eye Exams Are Important Even With 20/20 Vision

    Local Optometrist | Eye Doctor Near You

    Local Optometrist | Eye Doctor Near You

    People typically visit their dentist or family doctor on a yearly basis, if not more. But when it comes to their eyes they tend to overlook the importance of getting that annual eye exam — particularly if they have perfect eyesight.

    To ensure healthy vision, adults should visit their eye doctor every 1-2 years for a routine comprehensive eye exam to determine whether their optical prescription is providing the clearest vision possible and to check for eye diseases and other health issues before they worsen or even manifest.

    Eye Exams Can Detect Eye Diseases Early On

    Many eye diseases go undetected for long periods of time because symptoms may become apparent only when the condition is at an advanced stage. Glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, and macular degeneration are prime examples. Unfortunately, by then it may be too late to prevent irreversible damage leading to potential vision loss and even blindness.

    By undergoing annual comprehensive eye exams you are proactively taking measures to protect your eye health. The earlier a vision problem is diagnosed, the better the outcome. Annual eye exams are all the more important if you have a family history of ocular problems.

    Older Adults Need More Frequent Monitoring

    As you age, your vision changes in subtle and not-so-subtle ways. With age comes the risk of developing vision-robbing diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, and macular degeneration. For this reason, older adults should visit the eye doctor more frequently for regular monitoring.

    Eye Exams Can Reveal Your Overall Health

    Your eyes are the windows to your overall health and reveal much more than eye problems. An eye doctor can often detect issues such as diabetes or hypertension by analyzing your eyes’ blood vessels; your inflamed retina may signal a potential autoimmune disorder; blurry vision may indicate fluctuating blood sugar levels, and the bulging of the eyes signals thyroid disease.

    Safeguard your ocular health and wellness by contacting James Tracey Eye Care in Midtown today. No matter how perfect your vision, Dr. James Sinoway can identify potential problems early on, preventing irreversible damage.

    6 Signs You May Need Glasses

    Many people don’t realize they have a vision problem. Perhaps they’ve gone years without glasses and haven’t noticed the gradual change in their vision. Or they’ve noticed a change, but put off a visit to an eye doctor. Regardless of whether you’re experiencing problems, make an appointment with Dr. James Sinoway to maintain your eye health. 

     

    There are many clues that your eyesight needs correcting, such as struggling to read up close, or having trouble seeing street signs, or barely deciphering faces while watching a film. If you’re still not sure you need glasses, consider these 6 questions. 

     

    Are You Frequently Squinting and/or Experiencing Headaches? 

     

    Unless it’s unusually bright, there’s no reason to be squinting if your vision is clear. Although squinting may briefly enhance your eyes’ ability to focus, if done for too long it can tax your  eyes and surrounding muscles, which can result in frequent headaches. 

     

    If you have to squint while working on your computer or using digital devices, you may be experiencing not only headaches but also digital eye strain or computer vision syndrome. The cure is often a pair of computer glasses, or blue light glasses, which are designed to block out or filter blue light. This can reduce headaches and squinting when using your digital devices. 

     

    Are You Struggling to See Up Close? 

     

    If the texts on your phone or restaurant menu look blurry, you may be farsighted. While reading glasses are a great option for near tasks, you’ll need to take them off for other activities.  Consider getting progressive lenses, which change gradually from point to point on the lens, providing the exact lens power needed for seeing objects clearly at any distance. Progressive lenses help you comfortably see near, far, and in-between all day long. 

     

    Do You Struggle to See Things at a Distance?  

     

    If you’re having difficulty seeing objects at a distance, you may be myopic (nearsighted).  Myopia is the most common cause of impaired vision in children and young adults. Consider a pair of glasses with high-index lenses, which are thinner and lighter than other lenses, along with anti-reflective coating. 

     

    Do You Have Blurred Vision at Night?  

     

    Are objects or signs more blurry at night? Do you experience halos or glare around lights while driving at night? These may be symptoms of a vision issue, such as myopia — though they can also be attributed to more serious ocular conditions, such as cataracts and glaucoma. To know the cause, get your eyes properly evaluated by Dr. James Sinoway. 

     

    If determined that it is indeed myopia, consider getting prescription glasses with anti-glare or anti-reflective (AR) coating, as they allow more light in and also cut down on glare. This can dramatically improve night vision and help you see more clearly when driving at night. 

     

    Are You Experiencing Double Vision?

     

    If you’ve been experiencing double vision, contact Dr. James Sinoway, who will get to the root of the problem and provide you with a diagnosis. Double vision may be due to crossed eyes (strabismus), or a corneal irregularity, such as keratoconus, or another medical condition.

     

    If you are diagnosed with any of these, you’ll likely need a pair of glasses with a prism correction that helps correct alignment issues. Special lenses prevent you from seeing double by combining two images into a single one.

     

    However, note that if you experience sudden double vision, it may be a medical emergency that should be checked by an eye doctor immediately.

     

    Are You Losing Your Place or Using Your Finger When Reading? 

     

    If you’re frequently losing your spot or skipping lines when reading, you may have a vision problem. This could be due to strabismus, lazy eye, or astigmatism. 

     

    The Importance of Regular Eye Exams

     

    If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, it is essential to have a highly qualified optometrist examine your eyes to assess your vision and check for any eye diseases — and to do so as soon as possible. This is the only way to determine whether you need glasses or if something else is causing the problem. 

     

    Even if you’re not experiencing any symptoms, it’s important to routinely get your eyes checked. Many eye diseases can be effectively treated before you notice major problems, so regular eye exams are important to maintain eye health. Contact James Tracey Eye Care in Midtown to make an appointment with Dr. James Sinoway. The sooner you get your vision checked, the faster you’ll be able to see clearly and enjoy a higher quality of life. 

    Is It Time for New Glasses?

    Optical Store & Vision Center Near You

    Optical Store & Vision Center Near You

    No matter how much you love your current pair of glasses, there comes a time when you need to say goodbye to your old pair of specs and replace them with a new pair. But how can you determine when it’s time to do the switch?

    Read the following questions and see which ones resonate with you. If you identify with any — or all of them — consider getting new glasses.

    Has Your Vision Deteriorated?

    Many people continue to wear an old prescription believing that it’s still serving its purpose. The problem is that when you wear glasses that no longer meet your needs, you’re actually causing great discomfort by seeing everything in a blur.

    If your vision has gotten worse, you may find yourself compensating by squinting or causing your eye muscles to work extra hard in order to better focus on objects. This often leads to headaches and eye strain. In fact, one of the signs that you need a new pair of glasses is when you experience frequent headaches and feel relieved after removing your glasses.

    If you’re seeing less clearly than you used to, or if you haven’t been to the eye doctor in over a year, make sure to contact James Tracey Eye Care and make an appointment. The sooner Dr. James Sinoway examines your eyes and prescribes new glasses or lenses as needed, the better you will see and feel.

    Are Your Lenses Scratched?

    Scratches on your glasses are a permanent sign of damage that cannot be fixed. While scratches may seem harmless, they can affect your vision, eventually causing eye strain and headaches. So if your lenses are scuffed, consider buying a new pair with scratch-resistant lenses for the clearest vision possible.

    Has Your Lens Coating Worn Off?

    If your lenses have scratch-resistant or anti-reflective coatings, these coatings sometimes become cloudy, making it feel like perpetually looking through a dirty window.

    If your coating is wearing off, consider getting a new pair of glasses with a new set of lens coatings.

    Are Your Glasses the Best Design for Your Needs?

    Technological innovations are constantly providing people who wear glasses even more comfortable, high-quality options.

    Thanks to advanced technology, your lenses can serve many purposes simultaneously. For example, progressive lenses offer those with multiple prescriptions the convenience of not having to constantly switch their glasses. If you spend a lot of time on the computer, you can further customize your lenses by adding a blue light coating to reduce digital eye strain and prevent your eyes from being exposed to potentially harmful blue light, typically emitted by digital screens.

    Furthermore, if you live in a sunny region, you may also benefit from having transition lenses that automatically adjust to lighting conditions: they become lighter indoors but darken when exposed to sunlight.

    So while you may not necessarily need a new pair of glasses to see better, you may want to get a new pair that incorporates the newest technology to significantly increase your clarity and comfort levels.

    Getting glasses is surprisingly easy. Simply book a consultation at James Tracey Eye Care in Midtown, where Dr. James Sinoway will provide you with a comprehensive vision exam and provide you with a prescription to purchase glasses. Our friendly and knowledgeable staff will help you find the perfect glasses for your unique face and lifestyle.

    Pink Eye? It Could Be Coronavirus

    How to prevent conjunctivitis and protect your eyes

    When you have a virus, especially one that causes a hacking cough, runny nose, and other symptoms of a common cold or flu, it’s typical for your eyes to also get puffy and red. You may be suffering from viral conjunctivitis, also known as pink eye.

    How do viruses get into your eyes?

    It’s rather simple. When you’re sick, you can easily transfer viruses to your eyes by sneezing, coughing into your hands, or blowing your nose – and then touching the area around your eye.

    The coronavirus – pink eye connection

    According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), doctors have discovered that COVID-19 can cause conjunctivitis. If you’re standing within six feet of an infected person, and they cough or sneeze, the virus can enter your eye. Alternatively, if someone sneezes and virus particles land on the shopping cart that you take and push around a store, and then you touch your eyes without washing your hands first – you’re giving the virus direct access.

    However, despite the apparent ease with which coronavirus can infect eyes, the AAO reports that only about 1 – 3% of all patients with the virus contract pink eye.

    Preventing pink eye

    Like always, prevention is the most effective medicine! Eye care professionals recommend following these tips to help prevent getting viral conjunctivitis:

    • Wash your hands correctly

    The CDC instructs people to wash their hands in accordance with these steps: wet your hands, turn off the tap, apply soap, lather and scrub for 20 seconds, turn on tap and rinse. Air dry your hands, use a disposable paper towel and discard it immediately, or use a clean (not shared) towel.

    • Keep your fingers away from your face

    No rubbing or wiping your eyes! Even if you don’t feel any symptoms of coronavirus, it’s essential not to touch any part of your face. To wipe away tears or remove makeup, use a clean tissue.

    • Don’t share your personal things

    As generous as you may feel about letting others use your personal items, now’s the time to keep things to yourself. For example, the CDC recommends not sharing eye drops, makeup, makeup brushes, contact lenses cases, pillowcases, or towels. Pink eye is highly contagious.

    • Consider wearing glasses instead of contacts

    While there’s currently no evidence to prove that wearing contacts raises your risks of contracting the novel coronavirus, there’s some evidence that shows you can get Covid-19 by touching a contaminated surface and then touching your eyes. In general, contact lenses wearers touch their eyes more often than people who wear eyeglasses, so it may be smart to make a temporary switch from contact lenses to glasses. However, this is only a friendly recommendation and not a hard-and-fast rule. If you prefer to stick with wearing contacts, washing your hands thoroughly can help keep you and your eyes safe.

    Treatment for conjunctivitis

    Regardless of whether your pink eye is caused by coronavirus or a different virus, there is no treatment for viral conjunctivitis. Usually, it goes away on its own within one to two weeks.

    To alleviate your painful symptoms, eye doctors recommend:

    • Taking an over-the-counter pain medication, such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen or any anti-inflammatory drug
    • Applying a warm compress on your eye for a few minutes; take care to use a clean wash cloth each time and for each eye
    • Use artificial tears (lubricating eye drops) to soothe your eye irritation; don’t touch the bottle tip to your eye

    Are you sick and have pink eye symptoms?

    Now is not the time to make a DIY diagnosis. Eye redness, even if you have a virus, doesn’t necessarily indicate that you have conjunctivitis. A wide range of other conditions can lead to the same symptoms. Contact an eye doctor near you for help to figure out what’s causing your eye pain. Don’t visit your eye care practice without calling for guidance first, because extra precautions must be taken with patients who may have COVID-19.

    At James Tracey Eye Care, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 646-916-4588 or book an appointment online to see one of our Midtown eye doctors.

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