Common Eye Problems

Eye Allergies

Allergy eyes (AKA: allergic conjunctivitis) typically manifest with watering eyes, severe itching, swelling, redness, and nasal drainage. Sometimes it can occur seasonally or due to exposure to specific substances that trigger an allergic reaction (e.g. dust mites, cats). If you suffer from allergy eyes, consult your ophthalmologist as well as an allergist. Many different types of medical treatments for eye allergies are available over-the-counter and by prescription. Be sure to see an ophthalmologist for prescription information if you experience unusual or uncontrolled eye pain, tearing, itching or swelling.

Chalazion

A chalazion is a painless lump that appears under the eyelid. It begins when an oil-gland inside the eyelid becomes clogged. When this happens, the oil gets trapped and builds-up inside the eyelid. Sometimes it can then get infected and leads to inflammation. It can be tender to touch but the skin usually looks normal (Unlike a stye which looks like a pimple. More on this below). But when the inflammation subsides, it turns into a painless nodule filled with oil and inflammatory tissue. Chalazia can affect both the upper or lower lids. We have roughly 25 oil glands on each eyelid. That's a total of 100 oil glands! So the chances of an oil-gland getting clogged are high, especially if it's already happened once before. It can cause the eyelid to swell and can grow as large as the size of a small marble.

Use warm compresses 10-15 minutes, 2-4 times a day to help reduce swelling. If after 3-4 days, the swelling hasn’t subsided, contact us. You should contact Professional Eye Associates immediately if you experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Headache
  • Fever
  • Blurred or decreased vision
  • Drainage
  • Extensive swelling and/or redness
  • If both eyes and/or eyelids are swollen

Pterygium

A pterygium is a mass of fleshy tissue that grows over the cornea. It may remain small or may grow large enough to interfere with vision, cause pain or chronic irritation. Why some people develop pterygia and others don't is not entirely understood, but statistics have shown that they tend to occur more frequently in people who spend a lot of time outdoors and experience significant sun and wind exposure. Thus, protecting the eyes from excessive ultraviolet light with proper sunglasses, avoiding dry, dusty conditions, and using artificial tears are all recommended in treating and preventing pterygia.

If a pterygium becomes red and irritated, eyedrops or ointments can be used to help reduce the inflammation. However, if the pain and discomfort persist despite treament or if it grows large enough to threaten sight, it will need to be surgically removed.  The eye surgeons at Professional Eye Associates are the most experienced in the region and perform the most advanced surgical techniques to remove pterygia. This results in minimal pain and minimal risk of  recurrence for our patients.

Please contact our office for more information.  We would love to help.

Stye

A stye is a tender, red bump on the eyelid caused by an acute infection leading to inflammation of the oil glands in the eyelid. If the gland is blocked, the oil produced by the gland can get trapped and cause an infection, not unlike a pimple on the skin. A stye can grow on the upper or lower eyelid and is usually swollen and tender to touch.

Most styes will go away on their own within a week. You can apply warm compresses 4-6 times a day, 15 minutes at a time to help the drainage. It is important to stop using eye makeup and lotions while the stye is present. You should seek treatment from your ophthalmologist if you experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Eyelid is swollen shut
  • Blurred or decreased vision
  • Swelling that lasts longer than three weeks
  • Eyelashes fall out
  • Styes on the bottom eyelid close to the nose
  • Fever
  • Excessive tearing
  • Stye is bleeding