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Botox and Blurry Vision

Cosmetic procedures have been prominent for both women and men for years. While the popularity of certain procedures tends to decrease and incline in waves, temporary facial “improvements” like Botox injections have become and remain one of the most popular cosmetic procedures. The popularity is thanks to its noninvasiveness, and less important influences like social media app filters that give you a visual perception of how different you can look by “just getting a little work done…”

Botox is also used at times to maintain eye alignment and treat uncontrolled eyelid twitching.

The decision is ultimately yours. While we do not oppose personal decisions within this realm, our team is here to help answer questions about anything that can pertain to the health of your eyes.

So, let’s talk about it.

The Decision-Making Process

To start, you may be wondering why we are focusing more on Botox than dermal fillers. Dermal fillers are different substances and most often used to increase volume in areas farther away from the eyes, like the lips. Botox is most often used to hinder wrinkles in the forehead and around the eyes.

While Botox injections for cosmetic reasons are often self-decided most prevalently among women older than 30, both men and women in their 20’s have started to take this facial aging preventative measure into consideration too.

As the Botox user rate increases along with other possible threats to eye health and the common problems that increase by age, one of the most proper precautions to protect your eyes is to schedule a check-up with your Optometrist first.

This precautionary action is especially important if your plan is to receive injections between the eyebrows and above the nose. This area, referred to as the glabella, is one of the riskiest areas where injections can result in vascular blindness.

The Certified Practitioner Pursuit

Taking a risk is always based on looking for a reward. Don’t take two risks in the pursuit of one reward!

The doctor or practitioner of your choice must be able to:

  1. Recognize any complications immediately
  2. Have the ability to treat them appropriately

Here are a few things to take into consideration when making the practitioner decision:

  1. Do you feel comfortable in the facility?
  2. Have the procedure risks been mentioned and fully discussed prior to your consent?
  3. Have you seen before and after photos or been able to reach out to a current patient to discuss their experience?

The Possible Perils

Cosmetician hands with botox and female patient

Botox injected by an untrained hand can permeate the wrong muscles causing a droop of the eyelid, which will ultimately settle but can be very bothersome.

The first visual disturbance case from a cosmetic facial filler was listed in 1988. The report showcased a reaction of retinal artery occlusion.

After speaking with a few users of the botulinum toxin, we received a story of one experience worth notating from a consumer in her late 20’s:

“I had Botox under my eyes once! It basically relaxed my eye muscles so much that my eyes wouldn’t shut all the way when I slept at night. It was a frustrating 3 months. It was supposed to help with the bags under my eyes but the result wasn’t as I expected. I also was extremely sensitive to light during that period of time. Other than that … my “vision” was fine.” – Julie

As facial fillers with high negative results have surely declined over the years, droopy eyelids are one of the most reported side effects that can last up to 6 months.

Other possible perils include:

  • Allergic reactions as a rejection from the body which can be detrimental to vision and eye health
  • Irritations noticeable by bloodshot eyes and temporarily blurred vision
  • Vascular occlusion, otherwise referred to as a decline of blood flow

One tip: do not rub the area of injection! Rubbing a sore area is one of the most common reactions to reduce discomfort. But, after an injection, rubbing can cause Botox to spread into other areas and lead to unwanted effects.

An immediate, emergency visit to your trusted Optometrist is suggested for reactions such as loss of vision and reactions that are highly painful or prolonged.

More Questions?

Give us a call 405-751-5638! Need to schedule an appointment? You can easily schedule an appointment here.

Sensitive Eyes & Cosmetics Guide

Putting makeup on is fun! It can also be considered one of the most relaxing and satisfying parts of getting ready… If it is being done on time, and not in a rush, which we can admit is pretty rare.

Of all the little mishaps that can take place during the getting ready process like, nicking your leg with a razor, or burning your arm with a curling iron, harming your eyes with cosmetics is a common mishap, too.

You might be surprised to read that everything from mascara to foundation and powder can have an effect on your eyes.

Allow us to guide you in what to look out for when buying and what to make sure of when using certain types of cosmetics.

Before You Buy:

List Out: Go ahead and take notes from influencer led social media videos, the newest products of your favorite brands and cosmetics that your friends and family members love.

Read Up: Don’t simply let the influencers, family, and friends easily influence your purchase decisions. There are still two steps to take. The next one? Read up on the list of product ingredients as some can lead to negative reactions to the delicate skin that helps safeguard your eyes.

Avoid These Ingredients

makeup palette

A few things to check for and avoid are parabens, phthalates, and fragrances. Otherwise known as “man-made” chemicals used to help preserve products, prolong their scents and the plastics they are packaged in. Keep in mind that these chemicals often are not simply listed as “parabens”, “phthalates”, and “fragrance”. These ingredients typically have more specific names in the ingredients list.

One of the easiest suggestions? Look out for products listed as paraben-free and fragrance-free, meaning they do not have any of those manufactured chemicals in the product recipe.

Try Before You Buy

We’re sure you’ve heard the term Try Before You Buy before. We agree, it is one worth following. Brands and stores will often provide samplers for certain products. Or you can always start your search for your personally best options by buying gift sets that house several different types of one cosmetic necessity like eyeliners or mascaras.

Give these picks a try and keep track of how your eyes and the skin around your eyes react before you transfer from testing out the snack-size product to investing in the king-size one.

While You Use:

Preparation

Wash. Your. Hands: We know you know how important this step is and that it shouldn’t only apply after your toilet has been flushed. Anything that is left on your hands like facial serums or moisturizers can transfer onto other surfaces… This brings us to step number two…

Contacts: Put your contacts in! But make sure your hands are 100% dry before application as some tap water might contain dangers to the eye. Inserting contacts before embellishing with makeup is important because it prevents your lenses from getting dirty and damaged and trapping makeup between your eye and the lens.

Clean: Also keep track of the last time you’ve washed your brushes and sponges. These very important tools can harbor and grow types of mold and bacteria dangerous to the health of your eyes.

Application

Check Expiration Date: If you’re looking to use a product you haven’t used “in a minute”, see if you can find the expiration date. Cosmetics do expire! When a product expires, your skin expires to it. If you can’t find the date, keep this in mind: properly stored and/or unopened makeup lasts for an average of 2 years.

Eyeliner: When it comes to eyeliner, we have two pieces of advice for you: always sharpen your pencil and avoid the inside of your lash line. An unsharpened pencil makes it harder to precisely apply and can scratch your eyelids and lash lines. Even if you use a liquid liner or an eyeliner pen, applying it to the inside of your lash line can block important glands and lead to painful styes.

Removal

Wash Your Face: Do not, we repeat, do not go to bed without washing your face and removing all your makeup! One of the most common issues that results from sleeping before cleansing — especially if the makeup you used is borrowed or expired—is an eye infection called conjunctivitis, better known as pink eye.

Makeup Remover: Looking to try something organic to remove your eye makeup? Try a simple concoction of witch hazel and water which often also helps reduce eye inflammation.

Replace: If you ever experience an infection of any sort, removal of the brushes and products used in that area of the face are the best next step! Quickly remove and replace to avoid spreading the bacteria that caused the infection any further.

Questions? Infections?

Give us a call at 405-751-5638! Our team at The Eye Care Center is here to help.

This or That: Maintaining Your Eyesight

365 days can manifest a great deal that you might not be able to set your sights on quite yet. Don’t wait until you can’t see it to believe it.

Quiz yourself in a quick “This or That!” and see where you stand when it comes to maintaining your eyesight and what’s worth *looking* into for your eye health before 2022.

A Visit to the Emergency Room or Your Optometrist?

Eye Care Emergencies To Take Directly to the Optometry Office ASAP

When a health crisis occurs, it is common to consider a visit to the nearest hospital emergency room for care. However, when the emergency is related to your eyes, consider a trip to your optometrist’s office as the first stop.

Recent research has shown that treating eye emergencies at eye doctors’ offices can potentially divert more than 1 million patients away from ERs each year. While doing so eases the burden on hospitals and their staff and helps them conserve resources, it also ensures that you get the most prompt treatment and care.

New or existing patient? We are here to help! Here are some of the several circumstances where you can keep eye emergencies out of hospital emergency rooms.

Foreign Body Removal

With fallen leaves blowing in the wind and chopped wood burning in backyard bonfire pits, autumn carries with it several instances that a foreign body can end up embedded in an eye.

The sharp pain, watery eyes and frightening blurred vision from a foreign body can coax a run to the bathroom for a quick self-removal attempt or an anxious run to the nearest emergency room. Try and keep this in mind: the eye is a fragile organ. Any self-pursuits of removal or a long wait in an ER can lead to an unfavorable outcome.

Take a deep breath, give us a quick call, and let our team know you are on your way so we can prepare to address your needs right upon your arrival!

Lost/Broken Contacts

After wearing contacts for years, they no longer feel like foreign objects until… they tear or get lost in the eyelid. Chances are you did not realize the contact was torn until it was in your eye. Torn lenses are less likely to stay centered and the jagged edge can scratch the front surface of your eye.

During allergy seasons, your eyes can get extremely itchy. Rubbing your eye can cause contacts to fold, dislodge from the cornea and get stuck under your upper eyelid.

Don’t panic! You can remove ripped contact lenses following your usual process. Even lost, folded lenses can often be found by adding contact lens solution to your eye, closing your eye, and massaging your eyelid until the lens repositions itself.

If these attempts fail or are successful but followed by discomfort, call or visit your eye doctor for assistance.

Chemical Flushing

Some chemicals are more toxic than others, but all chemicals should be considered dangerous if they encounter your eye. Certain chemicals can cause damage to the cornea and lead to vision loss.

Cleaning your bathroom mirrors, providing maintenance to your vehicle, or starting a manicure with nail polish remover? These are common situations where an acid can accidentally make its way into your eye, causing them to sting and burn.

If you are wearing contacts, remove them immediately. Preferably flush your eyes with saline if you have it on hand or with room temperature water. Seek urgent medical care from your trusted O.D.

Red & Burning Eyes

While chemical exposure can lead to red and burning eyes, this eye experience can be linked to several other serious issues. Bacteria, mites, allergens, skin diseases and autoimmune diseases can lead to similar reactions. You may not know you have any of these until you are examined by an optometrist.

Don’t try to give red and burning eyes time to fall by the wayside. Proper diagnosis by your O.D. is essential to determine the best treatment.

Discharge From the Eye

Pink eye is a misguided diagnosis. It is often confused with other conjunctivitis conditions. If taken directly to an emergency room, patients are usually prescribed a simple antibiotic to cure what is easily assumed based on the symptoms.

Correct diagnosis of red eyes accompanied by discharge are best evaluated by an eye doctor as quickly as possible since some of the causes can be sight-threatening.

Flashes and Floaters

You may consider floating spots and flashing lights a symptom of constantly staring at a computer screen or having a painful migraine. While these reasons can be valid, flashes and floaters must be addressed quickly as they could be an indication of a retinal defect such as retinal detachment, or a stroke. These can cause permanent vision loss if left untreated.

Step away from the computer screen, give us a call and explain what is obstructing your vision. This will help us determine if an immediate evaluation by one of our trusted vision-care specialists should be the next move on your to-do list.

Sudden Vision Changes

Sitting in the car and notice you can’t see out of one eye? Or does your vision seem much worse than it was yesterday while you’re reading your newest novel? These sudden vision changes can be ominous signs. The most likely reasons are macular degeneration, elevated eye pressure, or optic nerve disease.

These are just some examples of situations that are best treated by your trusted O.D. rather than an ER physician. Take anything involving your eye health into consideration and do not hesitate to contact us for prompt and precise eye care.

Fall Allergies: Cause, Effect, and Solution

Seasons changing are often something to look forward to. Especially when the chill of winter is conquered by the warmth of spring, and the swelter of summer is subdued by the cool crisp of autumn. One of the downsides of changing seasons, however, is the allergens that come along with them. So, let’s talk the causes, effects, and solutions of seasonal allergies and how they can upset your eyes. The focus of this talk? Fall.

Causes:

Let’s kick this conversation off with a quick background of your eyes and why they can get the brunt of allergy effects. An article from WebMD gives a good explanation, stating that the layer of skin covering the front of your eyes is “…the same type of skin that lines the inside of your nose. Because these two areas are so similar, the same things can trigger allergic reactions in both places.” Typical eye allergies that affect your eyelids, the layers of skin that cover the front and the inside of eyes, are referred to as allergic conjunctivitis by your Doctor of Optometry (OD).

One of the most common allergy triggers that can bother both your nose and your eyes is ragweed pollen. Ragweed grows across the US and its pollen releases during the fall months, with its highest pollen counts in mid-September. While ragweed does not grow in every single state, it can travel in the wind for hundreds of miles!

Two other common triggers in autumn are mold and dust mites. The leaves that pile up outside your home as they fall gracefully from the trees provide a nice, damp breeding environment for mold. Dust mites are invited to frolic around in homes, schools, and other commonplace indoor locations once heat gets turned on in the fall.

You’d probably never guess how much two things that are vastly loved can play a big hand in eye allergies – body fragrances and bonfires. Have you ever noticed that being around a friend or coworker in the spring and summer is perfectly fine but come fall, you’re constantly sneezing and rubbing your eyes around them? This could be because the perfume or cologne they brand themselves with during the cooler months contains an allergen that irritates your eyes. While bonfires are a fun way to gather under the stars around the warmth of an outdoor fire, wildfire smoke can irritate your sinuses and trigger your eye allergies as well.

Effects:

The American Optometric Association shares that, “ocular allergies are the abnormal response of sensitive eyes to contact with allergens and other irritating substances,” and notes that eye allergies are, “one of the most common ocular surface diseases in primary eye care.”

When allergens come into contact with eyes’ mast cells, an important part of all immune systems, release histamines and other chemicals that can cause your eyes to become inflamed, red, swollen, itchy and watery in an attempt to fight off the allergen. These responses can also cause your eyes to become sensitive to light.

While we should thank the attempt, the response can be extremely frustrating! So, let’s move on to solutions.

Solutions:

Some solutions are very simple but can still be quite hard to do: for example, taking a hands-off approach. It’s difficult not to touch your eyes throughout the day, especially when they’re itchy, but rubbing your eyes can only make things worse.

A few other short term simple solutions include avoiding eye makeup, applying a cold compress to your eyes, and wearing sunglasses while outdoors to act as a shield against allergens.

You might also want to consider purchasing a dehumidifier and an air filter, switching your bedding from cotton to naturally hypoallergenic silk which also serves as an inhospitable environment for dust mites, and swapping your contacts with glasses when your eyes are suffering.

While over the counter eyedrops can also be very helpful and soothing, consider scheduling an appointment with an optometrist at The Eye Care Center for a comprehensive eye exam to confirm there are no other causes for the symptoms you are experiencing and to construct a customized plan for you during the allergy seasons!

A Close Up of Presbyopia

Through each stage of life, from infancy through adulthood, your eyes and visual needs will change. One of those changes, and arguably the largest and most frustrating, will come in your early 40’s. Yes, we are referring to the need for reading glasses which is technically referred to as presbyopia.

Presbyopia is the gradual loss of your eyes’ ability to focus on near objects or tasks. The lens inside the eye loses its ability to change shape over time, which is necessary to focus at near. This is, unfortunately, a natural part of the aging process. Symptoms will include blurred vision up close, a tendency to hold reading material further away, or eyestrain after reading or computer work.

There are several ways to combat presbyopia, and the good news is, your optometrist can help!

1. Glasses

There are multiple glasses options available for our presbyopic patients. First, a simple pair of prescription reading glasses may help. With reading glasses in place, close objects will appear more in focus. However, since the distance prescription is now different than the near prescription, these glasses that were specifically designed to help with near, will unfortunately make vision in the distance significantly more blurry. This will result in a constant on and off with the glasses depending on the task at hand. Or, if there is also a need for distance correction, constant switching between distance and near glasses. For those who find this highly frustrating – enter multifocal glasses.

Multifocal glasses simply mean that both distance and near can be seen through the lenses; the top part is designated for distance, and the bottom for near. Even these come in two styles: blended or non-blended. The blended style is the most common and referred to as a progressive lens. The progressive lens gives clear vision at all ranges (far, intermediate, and close) and is more ideal for those who spend several hours on the computer throughout the day. The non-blended style is referred to as a bifocal. This style still gives distance in the top but has a small box in the bottom nasal corner of the lenses for reading. There is no intermediate/computer area in these lenses.

2. Contact Lenses

Several contact lens options exist for presbyopic patients as well! There are multifocal contact lens options which incorporate distance prescription as well as near prescription into the lenses. There is also an option referred to as monovision, where the dominant eye is set to see far and the nondominant eye is set to see close. Both multifocal and monovision contact lenses can take some getting used to, but after adapting, most patients do well with one of these options.

3. Surgery

Although traditional LASIK does not correct for presbyopia, LASIK can be performed in the monovision format – where one eye is corrected for far and the other eye is corrected for near. Since not all patients adapt well to monovision, it is wise to test this out for several months in contact lenses before opting for surgery. Furthermore, when it is time for cataract surgery, there are multifocal implant options now available.

4. Other Options

Hold tight for other presbyopic treatments in the pipeline! Vision focused pharmaceutical companies are working on clinical trials for the development of eyedrops to treat presbyopia. When this option is ready and available, we’ll make sure our patients are of the first to know!

Sunglasses: Protect Your Peepers

June brings with it, not only the first day of summer, but also National Sunglasses Day (6/27). In keeping with these two annual milestones, let’s chat about the importance of wearing sunglasses! Many people simply think of sunglasses as a summertime fashion accessory but don’t stop to consider the benefits of wearing the proper sunglasses or the dangers associated with leaving your eyes unprotected.

As you look for the perfect pair of shades, it’s important to remember that all sunglasses are not created with the same technology or ultraviolet protection. The sun’s rays, when unfiltered, can be quite harmful to the human eye. Thus, it is important to consider the percentage of damaging radiation that the sunglasses block. Ideally, you’re looking for a lens that will block 100 percent of both UV-A and UV-B radiation. This goes hand in hand with the next point to consider: coverage.

You want to be sure you are selecting sunglasses that offer plenty of eye and facial coverage, fitting your face shape or specific activity for which they will be used. This will ensure that minimal amounts of harmful radiation reach your eye, and that the tender skin around your eyes is protected. Proper coverage, along with a UV-filtering lens, can reduce the chances of skin cancer developing here. Those with light-colored eyes are even more susceptible. So, whether you’re planning on wearing the sunglasses every day or for a specific activity like running, hopping on the bike, or working in the garden, coverage is important!

We’ve all seen them: impulse-buy-sunglasses at the checkout counter, likely at your local convenience store or gas station. While these may seem like a quick solution to protect your eyes in a pinch, they could actually be doing you more harm than good. These sunglasses likely do not have proper UV-filtration technology, are often not polarized*, and are certainly not fitted to you by an optical professional to determine coverage. These sunglasses tend to simply shade the eye, still letting in that harmful radiation and glare.

<em>*Polarization: the process by which a lens filters horizontal glare before it reaches the eye. This could come from the surface of water, a wet road, or a dew-covered golf course in the morning!</em>

Summer is here, and we at The Eye Care Center want to make sure you have the proper eyewear to keep your eyes safe while you have fun in the sun — and look great doing it! Schedule an appointment with us today at our Edmond office, and we look forward to seeing you soon!