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When the Whites of Your Eyes Just… Aren’t Quite White

White eyes have just about the same cosmetic priority as white teeth or unblemished skin. In fact, several surveys reveal that about 30% of people initially notice eyes when they first meet someone. While you can be a generally healthy human with stained teeth and imperfect skin, your eyes can reveal a lot about you… including your health.

First, allow us to introduce you to the sclera. The sclera is simply the medical term for “the white of the eye”. And it comes with high importance.

The sclera is four coats of protection that wrap around most of the eyeball, from the front of the beautiful colored part of the eye- the iris, to the back with sensitive optic nerves. This eye armor is no more than one millimeter thick, which amounts to the thickness of about 10 sheets of paper, layered on top of one another!

The layers of protective armor that give your eye its white color and the sclera its overall strength include randomly patterned collagen fibers and tissues called the episclera, the stroma, the lamina fusca, and the endothelium.

Typically, the entire sclera, not just one layer, changes color or accumulates spots.

Here are 4 hues to keep a lookout for along with a few reasons why:

  1. Yellow: A yellow tone brings along with it a couple of main suspicions, jaundice and “surfer’s eye”.A buildup of red blood cells that are normally filtered out by the liver can have several different causes but can trigger jaundice which often includes a yellowing of the eyes and skin. Surfer’s eye should really be given the nickname of “Outdoor A Lot Eye” as it is a sign of untreated UV damage from the sun combined with high winds or areas filled with dust.
  2. Blue: A tint of blue/gray might not be easy to detect by looking in a mirror, and often these tints are unavoidable because of long-term use of important medications.Tints of blue are still important to observe with help from your OD to consider or dismiss certain health conditions like genetic bone disease or iron deficiency.
  3. Red: Chances are we’ve all experienced eyes with a shade of red, whether it was thanks to allergies or exhaustion or any other typical culprit.
    However, it is still important to schedule an appointment as soon as possible since a red eye can also signal an infection or a broken blood vessel, especially if accompanied by discharge, pain, or blurred vision.
  4. Closeup of an eye of a black manBrown: Brown spots are on both ends of the spectrum. They range from completely harmless to life-threatening. High levels of melanin, the natural skin pigment which makes skin, hair, and the iris of your eyes a darker color can curate spots outside of the iris and within the sclera which are nothing to worry about.
    However, if a dark spot that resembles a freckle that changes over time develops during or after your 30’s, we suggest you make an appointment. These more serious brown spots are not at all melanin-related and can become cancerous if left untreated.

So, when the whites of your eyes just… aren’t quite white, give us a call at 615-889-0147! Keep note of what is accompanying your sclera color change and alert us about anything such as…

    • Blurred vision
    • Discharge
    • Pain
    • Light sensitivity
    • Swelling or bulging

…and our team at Donelson EyeCare will handle the process to lead your eyes—and your entire self—back to health.

Improve Presbyopia Without Glasses or Contacts

Can new eye drops reduce or eliminate the need for glasses and contacts lenses?

Yes! Beginning early next year some people who suffer from a condition known as presbyopia will be able to put the eyeglasses and/or contact lenses away for an extended period of time. Presbyopia is a condition that causes the gradual loss of your eyes’ ability to focus on nearby objects. It usually starts around the age of 40 and can continue to worsen over time. It is a very common condition; more than 128 million Americans have presbyopia. Most of us become aware of presbyopia when we find it necessary to hold books or other reading material at arm’s length in order to read. The condition can be improved.

When you look at something nearby, the muscle constricts, allowing the lens to curve which allows you to focus. The lens actually changes its shape when the muscle is functioning properly. The muscle relaxes when you look at objects at a distance. When this muscle can no longer perform properly, images will appear out of focus. Glasses or multi-focal contact lenses optically correct vision, making up for what the muscle can no longer do.

New Eye Drops

Now, new eye drops, which have undergone very successful Phase 3 clinical studies, with minimal side effects, have been shown to improve the performance of focusing muscles for people with presbyopia. For some patients, the new eye drops may delay the need for reading glasses or contacts! Allergan, one of the pharmaceutical companies who are making the eye drop, Vuity® has reported that the “drops have a rapid onset of action and sustain the visual gains for as long as six hours.” Further, “Patients who had the drug reported significant improvements in their ability to read at a close distance.”

After we examine your eyes, if we believe the new drops will be advantageous to you, and you are interested in trying them, we will write the necessary prescription for you. Talk to your Donelson Eye Care doctor to learn more about this exciting advance in presbyopia therapy. Some patients may be able to save money on the cost of corrective lenses in situations where they would otherwise be ready for progressive lenses. Naturally, this therapy would likely not apply to patients who have already had cataract surgery.

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.

Want Halloween Contact Lenses? Great! Let’s Protect Your Eyes

Halloween…trick or treating…costumes…and for some of you, cool Halloween themed contact lenses to add to the fun! To keep those contact lenses fun, please remember that the wrong lenses can turn an exciting night into a nightmare!

This time of year, I worry. It’s not the scary costumes. What I worry about are the scary complications that can happen when people buy and wear cosmetic contacts that haven’t been approved by the FDA. You can buy these worrisome contact lenses online, in convenience stores and other retailers, of course. But those who do that are taking very serious risks with their eyes.

Contact lenses are medical devices regulated by the FDA. There is a good reason for that. You probably know that contacts are placed over your cornea, a very thin clear window over the front of your eyes. Poorly fitted contact lenses can cause a “pothole” that may allow bacteria to take root. The bacteria can cause a corneal infection also known as a corneal ulcer. Trust me, this is something worth not having. While many corneal ulcers are treatable, the healing process can cause a scar which can damage your eyesight permanently! In the worst cases, it can result in blindness. And, please keep in mind that even a successful outcome involves serious eye pain, expensive medicine and anywhere from a few days to a few weeks of daily treatment.

At Donelson Eye Care, we always do everything we can to protect our patients. That’s why we offer properly fitted, FDA approved Halloween contact lenses. We have a full catalogue of exciting, reasonably priced options for you to choose from. They are comfortable and safe to wear and, we make certain that your contact lenses will fit your eye shape.

To ensure you get the perfect look you want, order from us. I am delighted to help you scare your friends and neighbors without scaring you…and me…about your eye health.

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Please call the office if no online appointments are available. Thank you! 615-889-0147