Monthly Archives: April 2012

Can I use any contact solution? No, and here’s why…

We have discovered the importance of using specific contact solutions with specific lenses. Back in the day, people would use whatever solution was on sale and few patients had any particular loyalty to a specific solution. Those days are gone.

Now, it’s very important to use the right solution for your lenses. Studies have shown that certain combinations of contacts and solutions have potentially harmful reactions that can affect the health, comfort and clarity of your eyes. On top of that, generic solutions often contain disinfectants and preservatives that may be harmful to the surface of your eyes. I’ve seen many patients who thought their contacts were bad or their vision was worsening when in fact they were reacting to using the wrong solution! Imagine using the wrong detergent for your laundry or washing your hair with Comet dish cleaner.

So, be sure to ask your Optometrist about which solution is best for your lens. You can also avoid these problems altogether by switching to daily disposable contacts.

-Dr. Dennis Cheng
dc optics
Learning is seeing.

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Eye boogers, crusties, eye gunk…what is it?!

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We’ve all had them…beautiful crystallized crud on our eyelashes when we wake up or stringy eye gunk that we keep wiping away. There’s several reasons for why we get them and some are cause for more concern than others.

Dryness – Our tears are made up of three main components: water, oil and mucus. When we sleep, the water part is produced less and evaporates, leaving the oil and mucus. By the time you wake up, you just have dried oil and mucus on your lashes. Very common and no need to worry. Hakuna matata! Drink more water, eat more olive oil, try a nighttime artificial tear gel and maybe a humidifier.

Allergies – Just like how your nose and throat make mucus to expel pollen and dust, so do your eyes. You’ll get red, watery, itchy eyes and a stringy discharge that comes back even after you wipe them away. You can try rinsing the eyes out with cold saline solution, over the counter allergy drops or prescription drops. Definitely have an exam done to ensure the proper diagnosis.

Infection -Double trouble here. It usually starts in one eye and you’ll wake up with greenish colored crusts that almost seal your eye shut! And then, throughout the day, more greenish discharge (bacterial pus) that you keep wiping away. Definitely definitely definitely see an Optometrist for the proper diagnosis and antibiotic treatment. It’s very contagious, so don’t wipe one eye and then the other.

Dr. Dennis Cheng
dc optics
Learning is seeing.

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An eye exam is just the glasses prescription, right? Wrong.

An eye exam is just the glasses prescription, right? Wrong..

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An eye exam is just the glasses prescription, right? Wrong.

I’ve lost track of how many patients feel an eye exam is ‘just checking the prescription’.  There is so much more to it than the prescription.  We check for signs of early systemic and ocular disease, track current ocular conditions and ailments, treat acute problems like bacterial infections and corneal abrasions, ensure proper development of a child’s eye, and help the aging eyes continue to see clearly and comfortably.

The next time you get an eye exam, think about this: Does a dental exam only involve a cleaning? Does your yearly physical only involve weight and height measurements?  As health care professionals, we are want people to understand the importance of preventative care.  If your last exam lasted 5 minutes, perhaps consider finding a place that will conduct a more thorough exam and be more open about your personal and family medical history and social history.  That exam may cost a few more bucks, but isn’t your health worth it?  I hope so.

Dr. Dennis Cheng

dc optics, 390 Myrtle Ave, Brooklyn.

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Today’s Eye Tip: Allergy Eye Drops

Apparently, this will be a pretty bad Spring for allergy sufferers.  If you take eye drop medication, whether it be prescription (Pataday, Alocril) or over-the-counter (Alaway, Zaditor), there’s a way to make sure you get better results.

1-Refrigerate the drop.  Keeping it cold will feel nice on the eyes and reduce the redness and swelling better, like a cold compress.

2-CLOSE your eyes GENTLY for about 1-2 mins or more if possible.  Lots of folks just drop it in and run off.  You’re not giving the medication a chance to spread around and absorb into the tissues.  It’s like spitting a pill out after you take it.

3-Start taking the drops before symptoms start, if possible.  And be consistent with taking the meds.  Use your phone as a reminder.

These tips can help with other drops as well, such as artificial tears.

-Dr. Dennis Cheng.

dc optics

Learn to see. See to learn.

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