Nvision Blog

Reopening: LASIK Promotions for First Responders

Posted on May 8, 2020

 

Our NVISION community would like to extend a great thank you to all of our patients who have accommodated changes in appointment scheduling during the COVID-19 pandemic. Thank you for your patience!

As we return to regular LASIK scheduling, we would also like to announce a special promotion to say thank you to all those first responders who have been amazing during this pandemic. Without you, our society would not have been able to weather this storm. For all those first responders, we are now offering $1100 off any LASIK procedure now through June 30th, 2021. Beyond first responders, all others will also be eligible for up to $1000 off.

Patient safety remains our top priority. We have implemented strict safety protocols at every facility and are now offering tele-consultations. These tele-consultations are a way for you to take your first step in your LASIK evaluation at home. It provides a chance for you to ask questions and helps us to verify that you are a LASIK candidate.

Reach out to us with any questions or to schedule a consultation at 1-866-257-2851.

Thanks to all of you for your patience and we hope to see you soon!

Which Is Better for Patients With Dry Eye: LASIK or SMILE?

Posted on February 16, 2020

Tears do more than help you express sadness. This precious liquid whisks away irritants before they attack the eye's delicate surface. Each tear also contains substances crucial for healthy eye tissue.

When you are recovering from surgery, your eyes need more tears than ever. But some operations can enhance dry eye symptoms. And if you have severe dry eye, you might not be a candidate for the procedure you want.

woman with dry eyes

How Does Surgery Cause Dry Eye?

LASIK and SMILE surgeries reshape your eye, so light and images focus on the retina in the back of your eye. The incisions necessary for that reshaping could interfere with your body's ability to produce tears.

During LASIK, your doctor:

  • Numbs your eye.
  • Uses a laser or scalpel to cut a small flap in the cornea.
  • Folds up that bit of tissue.
  • Uses a laser to reshape the tissue below.
  • Unfolds the flap and settles it in place.

During SMILE, your doctor:

  • Numbs your eye.
  • Uses a laser to reshape layers of tissue within the cornea.
  • Removes excess cells with suction.

SMILE surgery involves no flap. That means, experts say, that fewer nerves within your eye get cut. That is crucial, as those nerves both tell your eye when it's dry and trigger ducts to pump out fluids. If they are intact after surgery they could, in theory, produce fewer episodes of post-op dry eye.

patient receiving cataract surgery

Which Surgery Works Best?

Each eye is different, and a surgery that works best for your eyes might be terrible for your friend or neighbor. That said, doctors have dug into the data about LASIK and SMILE, and a winner is beginning to emerge.

Dry eye after both LASIK and SMILE is transient, researchers say. Anyone who has surgery will have eye discomfort, including cells that may feel:

  • Gritty
  • Blurred
  • Swollen
  • Painful
  • Irritated

These symptoms are usually mild, and they should fade quickly. But studies suggest they sometimes go away faster after SMILE. In one study, researchers found that LASIK came with more dry-eye complaints than SMILE at six months. But both groups had similar experiences at the 12-month mark.

In a second study, researchers found that 80 percent of SMILE patients didn't use artificial tears six months after surgery. Among LASIK patients, 57 percent didn't need these eye drops.

If you have dry eyes now, some surgeries could make your symptoms worse. Your doctor might recommend SMILE as your surgical choice to further reduce your risk of discomfort after the procedure is through.

But this surgery is only recommended for people with nearsightedness. If you have another form of vision loss, you will need LASIK. That is true even if you have dry eye.

Treating Dry Eye Before Surgery

The healthier your eyes are before the surgery begins, the quicker your recovery will be. If your doctor identifies dry eye during your presurgical screening exam, there are plenty of treatment options you can try together.

Experts say doctors can treat dry eyes with:

  • Prescription eye drops. These solutions encourage your glands to make more tears. Your doctor can also use drops to reduce eyelid or cornea swelling.
  • Tear duct plugs. A tiny silicone stopper can keep your tears from leaving your eyes.
  • Warm compresses. Blocked glands in your eyes keep tears from flowing. Heat combined with massage can open them again.
  • Light therapy. Your doctor can use tiny pulses of light to open up blocked ducts yet more.

Doctors say pre-surgery dry eye treatment is crucial. That is true whether you need LASIK or SMILE. Your eyes will be healthier, and they will heal faster.

And the treatments work. In the past, people with serious dry eye problems couldn't get surgery. Now, with these treatment options, they can.

Your doctor must watch your progress carefully and advise you on surgery options. If you do not make enough progress, you may need to postpone or even halt your surgery plans.  

References

Lenticule May Beat LASIK in the Dry Eye Arena. (February 2012). EyeWorld.

Dry Eye After Small Incision Lenticule Extraction (SMILE) Versus Femtosecond Laser-Assisted in Situ Keratomileusis (FS-LASIK) for Myopia: A Meta-Analysis. (November 2016). PLoS One.

Dry Eye Disease Following Refractive Surgery: A 12-Month Follow-Up of SMILE Versus FS-LASIK in High Myopia. (2015). Journal of Ophthalmology.

SMILE May Induce Less Dry Eye Than LASIK. (June 2015). American Academy of Ophthalmology.

Point-Counterpoint: SMILE vs. LASIK. (February 2019). Review of Ophthalmology.

Dry Eyes. (March 2019). Mayo Clinic.

How to Completely Get Rid of a Black Eye (Fast)

Posted on August 29, 2019

woman wearing eyepatch

 

A black eye can surround your whole eye, or it can just affect the area below your eye. It occurs as a result of blood collecting in the area.

A black eye itself is usually not serious, but it is possible that accompanying injuries could be problematic. If symptoms like persistent headache or vomiting occur, it is important to get medical attention promptly.

Treatment for a black eye usually involves ice, over-the-counter pain relievers, and elevating your head. If you care for a black eye properly, you can promote the healing process, but there isn’t a quick fix to make it immediately go away. The bruising has to subside on its own.

Tell your doctor about any treatments you are using to ensure their safety.

black eye upclose

What Is a Black Eye?

A black eye describes bruising in the eye area. Blood collects in the tissues, causing a purple, blue, or black appearance of the area around your eye. There is usually not an injury affecting your actual eye, just the area that surrounds it.

In addition to the darkened skin, you may also experience:

  • Pain in the area.
  • Blurry vision.
  • Swelling in the affected area.

Some symptoms can indicate that a black eye may be accompanied by a potentially serious head injury. These symptoms include:

  • Double vision.
  • Blood on the eye’s surface.
  • Loss of consciousness or fainting.
  • Loss of vision.
  • Not being able to move your eye.
  • Ongoing or severe headache.
  • Fluid or blood coming from your nose or ears.

Any of these symptoms warrants a trip to the emergency room. A serious head injury can result in brain damage or death.

How Serious Can a Black Eye Be?

Most black eyes will heal in a few days without medical intervention. They usually occur when something hits your nose or eye. It is possible for both eyes to be blackened at the same time, depending on your injury.

Any trauma to the face may cause serious injuries, such as a skull fracture or bleeding in the brain.

Other potentially serious injuries that may accompany a black eye include:

  • Hyphema. This issue is characterized by bleeding in your eye. Hyphema may negatively affect your vision and cornea.
  • Ocular hypertension. This may occur along with eye or facial trauma. It is characterized by increased pressure inside your eye. Eyesight damage is possible if this is left untreated.

Black Eye Treatments

ice bag

When you experience a black eye, it is best to be evaluated by a doctor. They can determine the extent of your injury and determine if something more serious is present, such as facial trauma or hyphema.

When a black eye is minor, home treatment is usually sufficient. Icing the eye can reduce swelling, lessen pain, and help to alleviate bruising.

When you apply ice to your eye, use a washcloth or similar barrier between the ice and your skin to prevent a cold injury.

Never ice the affected eye for more than 20 minutes at a time. Leaving the ice on for longer puts you at risk for frostbite in the area.

The cold helps because it constricts the blood vessels in the area. You can apply ice several times per day, as long as you use the proper technique.

Doctors may recommend over-the-counter pain medicine to alleviate any discomfort you experience. It is best to stick with acetaminophen. Both aspirin and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs may thin your blood and worsen the appearance of your black eye.

There are other methods that may help to reduce the appearance of a black eye.

  • After about two days of icing the affected eye, you can start applying warm compresses to the area. This helps to promote healing by increasing blood flow.
    Be careful to avoid hot compresses that could burn your skin. As with cold compresses or ice, you can apply the heat for up to 20 minutes at a time.
  • Massage the area surrounding the blackened area. Do not massage the bruise.
    You can start this about 24 hours after you experience the black eye. This may speed up the healing process by activating the lymphatic system in the area.
  • When you are sleeping, keep your head elevated above the rest of your body. This encourages drainage, which may help to reduce the amount of discoloration and swelling you are experiencing.

Black Eye Prevention

Since most people experience a black eye as the result of trauma, reduce your risk of experiencing a trauma. Wearing a seatbelt is important since facial injuries are common during motor vehicle accidents.

There are other ways to reduce your risk of falls.

  • When you are doing any activity where facial trauma is possible, always wear protective eye gear, such as goggles. These will reduce the risk of taking a direct blow to the eye. They also help to decrease the risk of foreign objects getting into your eye.
  • Evaluate your home for hazards that could cause you to trip and fall, such as clutter on your floors, loose carpeting and rugs, and similar hazards.
  • Use assistive devices if you are a fall risk.

If you experience a black eye, get a doctor’s evaluation. They can determine the extent of the injury and recommend treatment options. It’s important to rule out brain injury.

While the above treatment methods won’t get rid of the black eye immediately, they will promote the healing process and could potentially shorten the overall healing timeline.

References

Black Eye Symptoms. (May 2019). American Academy of Ophthalmology.

Ocular Hypertension. American Optometric Association.

What Is a Black Eye? (May 2019). American Academy of Ophthalmology.

How to Properly Ice an Injury. (July 2019). Verywell Health.

What Is a Black Eye and What Can I Do About It? (September 2018). Medical News Today.

Does Eye Color Ever Change? (How & Why)

Posted on August 19, 2019

A baby’s eye color may change after they are born. The most significant eye color changes happen up until 9 months old; however, the eyes may continue to darken in color until a child is about 3 years old. After this point, eye color will not typically change.

What Is Eye Color?

What we refer to as eye color is actually the presence of melanin, a pigment (the natural coloring agent in organic tissue) in the iris (the colored part of the eyes). The more pigment in the eyes, the darker the color. Green, blue, and gray eyes are the lightest-colored eyes because the iris has the least amount of melanin.

Brown is the most common eye color in the world. Green is the rarest.

The eye color a person is born with depends on the genetic material each parent contributes. Parents’ genes can combine in unexpected ways, and there is no way to predict what eye color a child will have. It is possible for children to have completely different eye colors than those of their parents. But if both parents have brown eyes, it is probable that the child will also have brown eyes.

The color of human eyes starts with three genes, two of which account for the most common of eye colors. The rarer eye colors are the result of the third gene. Darker eye colors tend to dominate, so the genes carrying brown eyes will win out over the genes carrying green eyes, and so on.

Most white people (n...

Most white people (non-Hispanic Caucasians) are born with blue eyes, which get gradually darker in the first three years after birth.

Can the Eyes Change Color?

In the eye, the iris muscle expands and contracts to control the size of the pupil. It does this to allow more light into the eye in poor lighting conditions. It grows smaller in bright light to avoid damage to the photoreceptors in the eye. When you focus your vision on a near object, the pupil similarly shrinks (much like a lens in a camera).

As the pupil changes its size, the pigments in the iris can spread or come together, which causes changes in eye color.

You might have heard it said that eye colors change with mood, but the truth behind that is the iris is responding to emotional and hormonal changes. This can cause eyes to seem lighter or darker in color as a response to an emotional situation, but this would not be a full change in the color of the eyes.

In as much as 15 percent of the white population (or people who tend to have lighter eye colors), eye color changes with age. People who had deep brown eyes during their youth and adulthood may experience a lightening of their eye pigment as they enter middle age, giving them hazel eyes. Conversely, someone born with hazel eyes might see their irises get darker as they grow older.

Eye colors do slightly change with age, but this should be a gradual transition. If your eye color changes dramatically, even if there is no corresponding difference in vision, you could consult an eye doctor to ensure that there are no medical conditions behind the unexpected change. Fuch’s heterochromic iridiocyclisits, pigmentary glaucoma, or Horner’s syndrome are some issues that can signal their development by a sudden change in eye color.

macro human eye

Can Sun Exposure Affect Eye Color?

Sun exposure can cause your eyes to produce more melanin, resulting in slighter darker eye color. However, the sun cannot dramatically change the color of your eyes.

This melanin production appears as small brown spots on the iris. They are sometimes referred to as eye freckles. People who have high levels of sun exposure throughout their lifetime are more likely to have these dark spots on their irises.

Heterochromia & Eye Color Changes

Heterochromia is a rare condition in which a person has two different colored irises, or multiple colors within one iris. There are different kinds of heterochromia.

  • Central heterochromia: The outermost ring of the iris is a different color than the rest of the iris.
  • Complete heterochromia: One iris is a different color than the other iris.
  • Segmental heterochromia: One iris contains multiple colors.

Babies are sometimes born with this condition, and it’s referred to as congenital heterochromia. If it occurs later in life, it is called acquired heterochromia.

Most often, it doesn’t cause any issues, but it’s wise to see an ophthalmologist to rule out any diseases or other medical conditions.

Can I Change My Eye Color?

There are many people who are unhappy with the color of their eyes, whether for cosmetic reasons or due to concerns of body image and self-esteem. Colored contact lenses are a safe way of changing your eye color, but this comes with some caveats.

First and foremost, colored contact lenses require a prescription, and the prescription must be obtained by a licensed doctor after conducting a standard eye exam. This is true even if there is no need for actual corrective vision devices and even if the contacts are only desired for cosmetic purposes. Simply put, if you want colored contact lenses that are safe, you have to go through the process of getting a prescription.

There are three types of colored contact lenses available to consumers, each one based on how much of a change in eye color is desired.

  • Visibility lenses have a minimal tint. They will not show the new color differently if the person’s eye color was light to begin with.
  • Enhancement lenses are semi-opaque. They do not fully change the color of the eye, but (again, depending on the original coloring) can intensify it, making it more distinct.
  • Opaque lenses are fully colored, allowing for a complete change in eye color.

Cosmetic contact lenses should not be used carelessly. If they are not properly maintained (with the same cleaning and care as regular corrective lenses), they can damage the surface of the eye and even lead to blindness. Even if you buy contact lenses solely for decorative purposes, treat them as you would regular contact lenses.

Since some people can experience problems with corrective contact lenses — such as redness, pain, and loss of vision — the same issues can happen with cosmetic lenses. Contact your eye doctor if this happens to you.

Importance of Getting Good Contacts

colored contact

It might be possible to get colored contact lenses without a prescription, but wearing lenses without a prescription, and getting them from an unlicensed and potentially unsafe source, raises a number of risks. These include but are not limited to:

  • Scratched cornea.
  • Vision problems.
  • Itchy eyes.

Whatever the reason for getting decorative contact lenses, make sure they require a prescription and are approved by the Food and Drug Administration. This will reduce the likelihood that you will not experience any problems when you use them.

Iris Implant Surgery

Iris implant surgery can permanently alter the color of the eyes. This is not a legitimate medical practice in the United States because there is a high degree of risk for irreversible vision loss.

The surgery was initially developed to repair the iris (or outright replace it) in the event of trauma or illnesses that affect the eye, like cataracts or glaucoma. A side effect of this kind of treatment is a permanent change in eye color, which led to a demand for the procedure for cosmetic reasons.

There are many risks associated with iris implant surgery. The American Academy of Ophthalmology warns that people trying to change their eye color in this way might suffer permanent damage to their eyes, such as inflammation of the eye and swelling of the cornea.

How to Safely Change Your Eye Color

Some urban legends hold that honey and tepid water can change a person’s eye color, but there is no scientific evidence to suggest this is even remotely possible. Despite what some websites say, both honey and tap water are not sterile, and applying them to the eyes could cause an infection.

If you want to change your eye color, decorative contact lenses are the way to go, and the way to get them is via a prescription from a licensed optician. Take care of the lenses, clean them regularly, and get yearly checks for your vision, and you can safely enjoy your new eye color.

References

When Will Your Baby's Eyes Change Color? (June 2021). What to Expect.

What Color of Clothing Makes Eyes Look More Enhanced? (December 2018). Our Everyday Life.

Why Are Brown Eyes Most Common? (April 2017). American Academy of Ophthalmology.

How the Human Eye Works. (May 2016). Live Science.

How Can Eye Color Change With Mood? (July 2017). Heathfully.

The Claim: Eye Color Can Change as We Age. (October 2005). The New York Times.

Newborn Eye Color. Healthy Children.

Are Colored Contact Lenses for Halloween Safe? (September 2018). American Academy of Ophthalmology.

Devastating Complication of Cosmetic Iris Implants. (August 2017.) Indian Journal of Ophthalmology.

Age-Related Eye Diseases. National Eye Institute.

Cosmetic Iris Implants Carry Risk of Permanent Eye Damage, Vision Loss. (October 2014). American Academy of Ophthalmology.

Eye Freckles? Dark Spots on Iris May Be Caused by Sun Exposure. (July 2017). Science Daily.

Heterochromia. (April 2021). American Academy of Ophthalmology.

Heterochromia Iridis: More Than Beautiful Eyes. (March 2020). BMJ Journal.