There is an eye condition called “Surfer’s Eye”. Can you guess how it got its name?
It’s not about the water…but If you thought it had to do with too much sun exposure, you would be right!
Long-term exposure to UV rays from the sun, as well as wind and dust, may result in growths on the surface of the eye. Surfers are particularly vulnerable, since they spend their time in the sun without sunglasses or other eye protection.
The technical term for growths on the eye caused by sun exposure are called Pinguecula and Pterygium. The condition appears on the eye’s conjuctiva (the clear covering over the white part of the eye.
Pinguecula is a yellowish, raised growth on the conjunctiva. It’s usually on the side of the eye near your nose, but can happen on the other side too. A pinguecula is an abnormality formed by protein deposits, calcium or fat. It’s like a callus on your finger or toe.
Pterygium (Surfer’s Eye) is a growth of fleshy tissue (has blood vessels). It usually has a triangular shape. It can remain small or grow large enough to cover part of the cornea. When it grows into the cornea, it can interfere with your vision.
The symptoms of pinguecula and pterygium can range from mild to severe. They include:
redness and swelling of the conjunctiva
a yellow spot or bump that builds on the white of your eye
dryness, itching and burning in the eye.
sensation of something in the eye
The best treatment is prevention…keep your eyes lubricated with artificial tears and wear sunglasses with UV protection.
If you have the condition, lubricating eye drops will help to reduce discomfort.
Your doctor can prescribe steroid eye drops which may reduce inflammation, redness and swelling in the eye.
Surgical Removal: If eye drops alone don’t alleviate the symptoms, or if the growth is large enough to interfere with your vision, the growth can be removed surgically.
Protect your eyes, protect your vision. If you have any questions about caring for your sight, email, call or text our office. We are here to help!
If you suffer from dry, irritated eyes all year round, chances are they will be worse in the winter. When the heat is on in the house, office and car, your eyes become more dry.
Artificial tears, also called Lubricating Eye Drops – are your first line of defense. Whether they are your own natural tears, or artificial tears from a bottle, tears keep your eyes healthy and help you to see better in 4 unique ways.
The 4 Benefits of Tears:
Protect the eyes & keeps them lubricated
Wash away irritants & foreign objects
Reduce the risk of infection in the eyes
Maintain a smooth, clear surface on the eye to help you see clearly.
If your eyes are dry, you are missing out on the benefits that tears provide. Don’t suffer, there are different strategies to treat dry eyes. To find out the best treatment for you, make an appointment. Dr. Moran will discuss the best way to improve your comfort and vision. In the meantime, start using over the counter artificial tears for immediate relief.
How do we treat the lack of tears?
There are three main methods of treatment: Supplement, Stimulate, or Retain your tears.
SUPPLEMENT: The simple solution is to need to supplement your tear film. Using over-the-counter artificial tears can bring you immediate relief. Keep some on hand. We have them available for purchase in the office.
STIMULATE: There are drop medications that help you produce more tears and better quality tears on your own. Restasis and Xiidra are available by prescription. These prescriptions do not take effect instantly. They begin to improve your tear film over time.
RETAIN: There are two ways to help you retain your tears, heat therapy and punctal plugs. Using heat therapy, we can improve the flow of the outer, lipid layer of tear film. This oily outer layer seals in your tears, and keeps your tears from evaporating too quickly. Heat therapy is an in-office, relaxing, 15-minute treatment of continuous warmth that you enjoy while sitting in a comfortable recliner! Punctal plugs work to keep your tears from draining from your eyes too quickly. These tiny silicone plugs are easily inserted in the opening on the inner corner of your eyelids. Closing this “drain” conserves your tears, retaining them in your eyes for increased comfort and better vision.
Dr. Tang recently saw a 47-year-old woman who suffered from severe, chronic dry eyes. She had a great deal of discomfort, gritty sensation, and blurred vision for 6 months. She had a long history of dry eye due to an autoimmune disease and chronic allergies.
The patient continued to have dry eyes despite multiple treatments: artificial tears every hour during the day and several times during the night; thermal therapy; punctal plugs; and several different prescription drops. The dryness caused irregularities on the surface of her cornea that were contributing to her blurry vision.
When all of the traditional treatments failed, we discussed Autologous Serum Eye Drops (ASED) and Prokera. The patient decided to try the serum tears first.
The Initial Results…relief from dry eye!
“I felt an immediate change in my eyes after the first day of serum tears use. This is the first time in as long as I can remember that my eyelids actually glide over my eye without discomfort!
Dr. Tang has gone above and beyond to help me find the right treatment for my dry eyes. I would absolutely recommend her.” Lori
How it Works
ASED treatment is effective because the drops contain antibodies and growth factor that come from the patient’s own blood. These drops repair the surface of the cornea, helping the patient to see better, feel better, and enjoy an improved quality of life. In a recent study, the visual acuity improved in 100% of patients*.
Made in a Specialized Pharmacy
The Serum eye drops are created in the lab from the patient’s blood, so they are uniquely customized to treat the patient’s condition. The drops are made by a specialized compounding pharmacy.
To make the serum eye drops, the patient has blood drawn, then the blood is spun through a centrifuge to extract the clear serum. The serum in placed in a dropper bottle and mixed with a sterile saline solution.
A three-month supply of drops is made from each blood draw. These drops can be used with the same frequency as artificial tears. Patients may continue to use the serum drops as long as needed.
Find our if serum tears are right for you
If you would like to explore this treatment to help alleviate dry eye, call us to make an appointment today. For more information on ASED treatment, click on the articles below.
When you see the trees and flowers start to bloom, do you think “YAY, Spring!” or “OH, NO, Allergies!”?
Do your eyes feel itchy and irritated with seasonal allergies? Don’t suffer, come in for relief from the symptoms of allergy eyes. Dr. Moran and Dr. Tang can evaluate the best treatment for your allergy eyes that will help you enjoy the beauty of Spring.
SYMPTOMS OF ALLERGIC CONJUNCTIVITIS: Itching, redness, tearing and eyelid swelling. This condition is often accompanied by other signs of allergies, like a stuffy, itchy and runny nose. It’s not contagious since it is caused by dust or allergens. Artificial tears, antihistamine eye drops, and medication can help relieve the symptoms.
If you use an over-the-counter (OTC) allergy medicine like to treat a runny or congested nose, while this medicine dries out our sinuses, it causes dryness in your mouth and eyes too! Use lubricating eye drops (artificial tears) when you take allergy medicines, and you give your eyes the moisture that they need to feel better and see clearly.
There are also specific OTC allergy eye drops that are can be used to treat irritated allergy eyes, but these drops aren’t suitable for long-term use. We don’t recommend drops that “get the red out”. These drops may offer a quick fix for red eyes, but they don’t give you any long-term benefits. In fact, you may become dependent on them, since they don’t solve your dry eye issues.
Our doctors can diagnose if there are other underlying causes for the eye irritation…it might not be just allergies. If you have a crusty, yellowish discharge you may have an infection that needs to be treated with antibiotics.
We are here to help you maintain good eye health and excellent vision no matter the season. Call us, text us, or fill out the form on this page to make an appointment with Dr. Moran or Dr. Tang.
Moran Eye Associates’ Dr. Bianca Tang recently used an innovative treatment to help a patient’s cornea heal faster and more effectively. This treatment promotes healing using amniotic membranes suspended in a ring that sits on the eye like a contact lens.
Prokera Corneal Treatment
The patient had been using prescription drop therapy over a period of months to help with a painful area of corneal thinning, but her eye wasn’t getting better. She was in pain, and and she was having cloudy vision. She was over 80 years old, and had other health issues that caused slower healing.
What did the patient think of the process?
“Dr. Tang recommended a new procedure that cured my cornea erosion issue. It was a stem cell lens that aided healing of the cornea. I now have my sight back in both eyes with no pain. Thank you so much for using this new procedure. It worked like a charm.”
The treatment Dr. Tang recommended was Prokera. The amniotic membranes in Prokera are safe, promote new cell growth, and prevent the development of scar tissue. The membrane itself dissolves after one week, and the doctor removes the ring following treatment.
Dr. Tang’s response to the results.
“The outcome was even better than I could have imagined. The area of epithelial defect that covered almost a quarter of her cornea was completely resolved. The most rewarding part of this treatment is knowing that the patient was no longer in pain, and that her vision was much improved.”
Studies show that using amniotic membranes:
Reduces Scar Formation
Introduces essential factors for new cell growth
Whether managing disease, trauma, or post-operative care, healing of the ocular surface is essential to patients’ comfort and vision.
At Moran Eye Associates, our doctors offer excellent care that is personalized, innovative and effective. You can depend on us for all of your eye care needs for your entire family.