Eye Care Honolulu, HI

How High Blood Pressure Can Affect Eye Health

High blood pressure, or hypertension, is a condition that we commonly associate with heart health. According to studies, high blood pressure often goes undetected for years due to a lack of consistent medical care. Annual physicals with your general health practitioner are as important to your eyes as they are to the rest of your body. Here, we discuss the way that high blood pressure can degrade eye health.

Hypertension in the Eye

High blood pressure means that there is an excessive amount of force being placed on the walls of blood vessels when the heart beats. This increase, over time, causes damage to the various vessels in the body. The blood vessels in the eyes are particularly small and delicate. Without showing symptoms such as pain, these tiny vessels can suffer damage, which we refer to as hypertensive retinopathy.

Ideally, the effects of high blood pressure on the eyes are discovered during a routine annual eye exam. During this assessment, the eye doctor observes the various structures of the eye using an ophthalmoscope, a lighted instrument that illuminates the back of the eye. Signs of hypertensive retinopathy may include visible narrowing of the blood vessels around the retina, macular edema (swelling in the center of the retina), swelling around the optic nerve, and tiny hemorrhages in the eye.

Obvious symptoms of hypertensive retinopathy do not typically occur until the latter stages of disease. By this time, it is possible that vision has been irreparably affected. Symptoms of retinal damage include double vision, cloudy vision, and a sudden loss of vision.

Treatment for Hypertensive Retinopathy

There is currently no treatment available for latter-stage hypertensive retinopathy. Eye doctors grade the stage of retinopathy based on the severity of symptoms and, once the optic nerve has been damaged by hypertension, lost vision may not be recovered. For this reason, it is vital that patients with high blood pressure obtain annual dilated eye exams and annual wellness checkups with their primary care provider.

The best way to treat hypertensive retinopathy is to reduce blood pressure by using lifestyle strategies and medical therapies as needed. In many cases, a reduction in blood pressure leads to an improvement in the condition of the blood vessels in the eye.

Get a detailed view of your eye and eye health. Call our Mililani office at 808.625.5577 to schedule a dilated eye exam with Dr. Omphroy.

Eye Conditions Mililani, HI

Swollen Eyes? Let’s Take a Look!

If you wake up to swollen eyes, you may assume you have not had a good night’s sleep. In fact, you probably know you haven’t slept well because you also feel groggy! This is a normal part of life that we all experience now and then. The swelling that occurs when we’ve missed out on sleep is temporary and only slightly frustrating. There are other instances in which the eyelids may hold on to excess fluid, though. In such cases, we may want to look more closely at what is behind this retention. Sometimes, treatment is necessary to resolve the underlying factor leading to swollen eyes.

Swelling of the tissue around the eyes may be caused by:

  • The swelling that occurs as a histamine response to an allergen is one of the easiest things to treat. What is needed is an anti-histamine to reduce the body’s reaction to the allergen. A cold compress may also improve comfort until the antihistamine has affected the immune system.
  • Pink Eye. No one likes to hear this term, used to describe the infection we know as conjunctivitis. Pink Eye is pretty contagious, so you want to see your doctor right away if you suspect this could be the cause of eyelid swelling. In addition to this symptom, this infection of the inner lining of the eye usually causes excess tearing and eye pain.
  • Like Pink Eye, a stye is also a type of infection that needs to be treated to resolve swelling and other symptoms. You may know you have a stye by the appearance of a bump along the lash line or in a tear duct.
  • One heck of a word for one uncommon bump on the eye. This cause of swelling isn’t one that we hear of much. It isn’t much different than a stye regarding appearance. However, the reason for this type of bump is a blockage in a tear duct, not the infection.
  • There is a good chance that you will know if your eye is swollen because of an injury. However, there are cases of minor scratches that cause swelling without there being an obvious event that caused the injury. Because eye injuries could affect long-term eye health and even vision, it is beneficial to have your ophthalmologist take a look.

It is better to understand the cause of eye swelling and not need treatment than to try to self-treat and miss a larger problem. To schedule a visit to our Mililani office, call 808-625-5577.

Eye Conditions Mililani HI

Women’s Health Also Involves the Eyes

Women’s health is an important aspect of aging optimally. We are living longer, and that means there is naturally a greater opportunity for unexpected health problems to arise. In fact, research does indicate the that longer lives that women seem to lead compared to men may come with a few surprises. When those surprises affect vision, we see a problem with that. Here, we want to discuss the factors that may increase a woman’s risk for eye disease, and what can be done to protect long-term vision.

Natural Risk Factors

Eye diseases such as glaucoma and cataracts do not get enough attention during the years that lead up to their obvious symptoms. These are two of several potentially serious eye conditions that statistics tell us are more prevalent among women. Along with them, we also see increased cases of:

  • Dry eye syndrome.
  • Age-related macular degeneration.
  • Refractive errors.
  • Blindness.

We could explain the commonness of these diseases in women with the longevity statistic, but there are other mitigating factors that should also be pointed out. Studies suggest that a woman’s changing hormones after mid-life have a direct impact on the moisture that remains present in the eyes at all times. The chronic dryness, or dry eye syndrome, that may develop persistent causes discomfort, and may also increase the risk of other eye diseases. Statistics demonstrate that more women than men are affected by autoimmune disorders. Diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis affect the entire body due to widespread inflammation, and that inflammation can increase intraocular pressure and affect the eyes adversely.

Balanced Living for Balanced Health

We do not share these statistics to frighten women about potential eye diseases that could threaten long-term visual clarity. We share them along with suggestions for eye care. To promote healthy eyes through every stage of life, a woman is encouraged to:

  • See her eye doctor every year for a comprehensive eye exam. This means dilation. It means having the pressure within the eye measured and the structures throughout the eye observed by an experienced professional.
  • Consume foods that are high in antioxidants and phytonutrients. This means fresh vegetables and low-sugar fruits. If necessary or more convenient, supplements may be considered as a compliment to healthy dietary choices.
  • Avoid cigarettes. Smoking presents direct contact between the eyes and caustic chemicals that can dry the ocular surface and deplete nutrients from the eyes.

Receive friendly care in our Mililani office. Call 808-625-5577.

Pterygium Mililani HI

Are you Affected by Surfer’s Eye?

Pterygium Mililani HI The term Surfer’s Eye is often used to describe pterygium, a benign growth that may develop over the slcera, or white of the eye. Surfer’s Eye has an affinity to those who take to the water, but that doesn’t mean land-babies are completely risk-free. Here, we want to offer a bit of information about this condition to help you recognize its symptoms.

What is pterygium, and how can you recognize it?

This growth that covers the sclera originates from the lining of the eyelid, the conjunctiva. From its starting point, the pterygium can expand to cover the cornea. The reason that pterygium is often referred to as Surfer’s Eye is that this growth is associated with exposure to UV light or sunlight. UV rays that bounce off the water are magnified and may cause noticeable damage to the eyes. Another factor that may instigate the growth of tissue over the eye is a dry or dusty or windy environment. Finally, people with chronic dry eye syndrome may develop pterygium.

There is a perception that pterygium is a white or clear growth. This isn’t consistent across the board. Some growths appear yellow, red, pink, even gray. More than one growth may develop, and it is also possible that vision may be affected should pterygium grow quite large.

The presence of a pterygium growth is an obvious indication of a slight problem. Additional symptoms of pterygium that may indicate the need for treatment include:

  • Eye irritation or redness.
  • The feeling of a foreign body in the eye.
  • Blurred vision.

What to Do About Pterygium

To know how to treat a benign growth on the surface of the eye, it is important to obtain a thorough ophthalmic exam. If the pterygium is not causing irritating symptoms, it is possible that your eye doctor will recommend eye drops to soothe any foreign body sensation. Individuals with this condition are also encouraged to undergo specific testing on an annual basis, such as slit lamp measurements, to assess the status of the growth. If pterygium causes cosmetic concerns, chronic irritation, or vision problems, surgical removal may be advisable.

Learn more about diagnosis and treatment for pterygium. Call our Mililani office at 808-625-5577.

Ete Care Mililani HI

What’s Going on Here?

eye conditions Mililani HI Adults who need corrective lenses of some sort are often not surprised. There is a widespread ideology that age will naturally diminish the crispness of our eyesight. But children? Their eyesight is something that shouldn’t be a struggle; it’s precious, and it is their right to have it be as clear as possible. Following statistics over the past several years, though, we see that children are facing bigger threats to their eyesight today than ever before. What’s going on here?

According to research, more than 10 million children in our country are already myopic. Myopia is the term given to nearsightedness. When a person is nearsighted, objects that are some distance away are blurred; only what is up close can be visualized with clarity. The reason that nearsightedness occurs is that the eye is growing out of proportion. It is longer than it should be, and thus vision gets distorted.

Myopia is a condition that begins in childhood. The primary risk factor for this condition has historically been one’s genetic code passed down from Mom and Dad. Historically. When we look at the sharp increase in the number of children affected by myopia, though, we have to wonder what has changed. You may already know . . .

What scientists believe now is that our widespread (and sometimes chronic) use of electronic devices is putting children at risk for nearsightedness as well as other problematic eye conditions such as dry eye syndrome. It seems that our ancestors who warned their children that too much TV would ruin their eyes were right after all! For the eyes to develop properly during childhood, it is necessary that they focus on objects at various distances. When children play outdoors, this happens. The more time children are indoors reading, watching television, or using an electronic device, the less of a balanced workout their eyes get.

Does this matter?

Knowing that myopia is becoming more prevalent among children is an important discovery. This condition has been linked to an increased risk for glaucoma and retinal conditions later in life. Because diseases such as these can permanently diminish eyesight, we prefer to do everything possible to prevent them.

The summer months are an excellent time to encourage outdoor play, and also to schedule a visit with the eye doctor. Call our office near Honolulu at 808-625-5577.