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What Role Does Family History Play In Eye Disease?

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Your Family Eye Doctor Cares About Your Health

Each of us inherits a wealth of traits from our parents, grandparents and previous generations. But sometimes, there are some less desirable characteristics in one’s genetic code and family history that we inherit along with the good.

Genetics play a vital role in eye health, so knowing what conditions and diseases are found in your family tree can clue in your eye doctor to your personal risk factors and overall health.

Genetics and Eye Disease

Most eye diseases have multiple causes, but more than 350 eye diseases and conditions have a clear genetic component. Below, we outline the most common eye conditions that can develop primarily, or in part, due to your genes.

Glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness around the world and results from both genetic and environmental factors. Glaucoma causes permanent damage to your optic nerve, impacting the visual signals sent from the eye to the brain, resulting in ‘Tunnel Vision.’ Having a family member who’s been diagnosed with glaucoma increases your chances of developing the disease by 4 to 9 times. Family history is also valuable in predicting one’s chances of becoming blind from glaucoma and the rate of its progression.

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is another sight-threatening eye disease that tends to run in families. AMD causes significant loss of vision due to damage to your central vision. In fact, about 1 in 5 patients with AMD will also have an affected sibling or parent. Having a close relative with AMD also makes a person about 4 times more likely to develop the late, more serious stage of the condition.

Genetics are also partially responsible for the development of cataracts, the clouding of your natural lens, inside the eye. Research published in IOVS (July 2001) found that up to 58% of age-related cataracts are due to genetics, while the rest of the cases are due to environmental factors and eye injuries.

Diabetic retinopathy, a condition that affects the retinal health of diabetics, is another example of an eye disease that one can inherit. A study published in Current Genomics estimates that a person’s genes account for 20-25% of their risk of developing diabetic retinopathy, as well as how quickly it progresses.

Less common eye conditions are also linked to genetics. About 4 out of 10 people with strabismus (crossed eyes) have a relative with the same condition. Amblyopia (lazy eye), myopia (nearsightedness), astigmatism and hyperopia (farsightedness) also tend to run in families.

Regular Eye Exams are Crucial For Eye Health

The good news is that even if you have a family history of eye disease, it doesn’t guarantee you’ll have the same diagnosis. As a matter of fact, lifestyle can play a massive role in maintaining your visual health.

Consuming an eye-healthy diet, exercising regularly, maintaining healthy body weight, refraining from smoking and getting enough sleep have all been shown to mitigate the risk of certain eye diseases. But the best thing you can do for your eyes is to schedule yearly eye exams with your optometrist to help catch eye disease early in its tracks before significant vision loss develops. This is especially relevant for those having family members with any sort of eye disease or condition.

At Vision MD Eye Doctors, we work together with our patients to preserve and protect their eyesight and eye health for a lifetime.

To schedule your comprehensive eye exam, call Vision MD Eye Doctors in Glenn Dale today!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Do I need to have my eyes checked if I don’t have any visual problems or a family history of eye disease?

  • A: Yes. Many serious eye diseases like glaucoma and AMD typically begin without any warning signs or symptoms. The only way to detect the onset of such diseases is by having a thorough and comprehensive eye evaluation. Many eye conditions can start at any age, making yearly eye exams important for all.

Q: Which lifestyle factors contribute to the onset and progression of eye diseases and conditions?

  • A: Each disease has its own set of environmental risk factors, but there are a few common denominators. Smoking, obesity, high blood pressure and severe nutrient deficiencies can all harm eye health. Risk factors for nearsightedness include excessive near work (reading, looking at a digital screen) and not enough time spent outdoors. Speak with your optometrist about how your lifestyle may be impacting your eyes.

Quality Frames For Prescription Eyeglasses & Computer Glasses. Visit Vision MD Eye Doctors for an eye exam and eyeglasses that match your style.


What Happens If You Don’t Treat Dry Eye Syndrome?

girl sitting in the pool 640×350Dry eye syndrome (DES) is a condition where your eyes either produce low-quality tears or don’t produce enough tears to keep your eyes hydrated. Sometimes the meibomian glands inside your eyelids, which produce the oily layer of your tears, don’t function properly or are blocked, causing your tears to dry out. Environmental factors, certain medical conditions and several medications can also cause DES.

Tears are essential for maintaining eye health and comfort. They moisten your eyes and remove debris. In severe cases, untreated dry eye syndrome can actually damage your cornea and cause vision loss.

The amount of dryness varies in severity from person to person. If you have a minor case of dry eye, you may be able to manage it with over-the-counter eye drops. However, if the problem persists or appears to be getting worse, it’s time to visit your eye doctor, who will assess your eyes, find the underlying problem and offer treatment for lasting relief.

Below is a list of complications that may occur if chronic dry eye syndrome isn’t treated:

Conjunctivitis

Conjunctivitis refers to infected or inflamed conjunctiva — the clear layer of cells that covers the white part of your eyeball and the inner surface of your eyelids. Symptoms include grittiness, redness and sensitivity to light.

Keratitis

Keratitis refers to an inflammation of the cornea. It can be caused by different types of infections, abnormalities of the eyelids, injury and dry eye. If the deeper layers of the cornea are involved, scarring or a corneal ulcer may result, particularly if left untreated.

Corneal Ulcer

A corneal ulcer is an open sore that develops on the cornea—the clear, protective outer layer of your eyes.

While corneal ulcers typically develop following an injury, they can also be caused by severe dry eye.

On a daily basis, debris, like dirt and sand particles, enter your eyes and scratch the surface of the cornea. When your tear glands don’t produce enough tears to wash away the particles, bacteria can infect the scratch and cause an ulcer.

Luckily, corneal ulcers are easily treated with antibiotic eye drops. Left untreated, however, these ulcers can spread and scar the eyeball, causing partial or even complete blindness.

Inability to wear contact lenses

Unless your eyes produce enough good-quality tears, your contact lenses can become overly dry, leading to a gritty sensation, irritation and redness. Without sufficient moisture, your contacts may stick to your eyeball, making it difficult to remove them.

Though chronic dry eye syndrome may prevent you from wearing standard contact lenses, certain specialized contact lenses can improve ocular hydration and comfort.

Difficulty keeping your eyes open

Depending on the severity of dry eye, it may be difficult to keep your eyes open. This may occur if dry eye syndrome causes extreme light sensitivity or a chronic sensation that something is stuck in your eye.

While artificial tears may provide enough moisture to partially open your eyes, you may still feel the urge to squint, especially when exposed to a computer screen or sunlight.

Difficulty reading or driving

While blurred vision often signals that you need a stronger prescription, it’s also a common symptom of chronic dry eye syndrome.

Left untreated, the blurriness may worsen and even lead to double vision. Naturally, this makes driving and reading a real struggle.

Headaches

While there’s room for more research, studies have shown that there may be a connection between headaches and dry eye. A population-based case study of more than 72,000 patients published by JAMA Ophthalmology (2019) found that people who suffer from migraine headaches are more likely to have dry eyes compared to the general population.

It’s not clear why. According to the paper, being female and of advanced age play an important role in determining the strength of this association.

Depression

A 2015 study, published in the journal Cornea evaluated the connection between dry eye disease and depressive symptoms in more than 6,000 women. Researchers found that women diagnosed with dry eye had a higher likelihood of developing depressive moods, anxiety, and psychological stress.

While the connection isn’t fully understood, researchers noted that some medications for treating depression have a drying effect on the eyes, and that dry eye syndrome may limit a person’s participation in activities, to the point where they may become anxious, withdrawn and even depressed.

If you have dry eye, we encourage you to schedule an appointment with Vision MD Eye Doctors in order to find the best treatment options and thus increase the quality of your tears and life.

Vision MD Eye Doctors serves patients from College Park, Glenn Dale, Washington, D.C, and Bowie, MD and surrounding communities.

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Saya Nagori

Q: How do I know if I have dry eye syndrome?

  • A: If you experience itchiness, light sensitivity, tearing and tired eyes, it could indicate that you have dry eye syndrome. Get your eyes checked by an eye doctor, who will thoroughly diagnose your symptoms and offer lasting treatment.

Q: What causes dry eye?

  • A: Various things can cause dry, itchy eyes. Some of the most common causes include blocked glands, environmental factors (wind, air pollution), infrequent blinking, certain medications, standard contact lenses and Demodex mites.


Request A Dry Eye Appointment
Do You Think You Have Dry Eye? Call 301-235-8344

Recognizing Ocular Migraines

Have you ever noticed a sliver of shimmering light or zigzagging lines that widened until they completely filled your field of vision?

If so, you may have suffered from an ocular migraine — a migraine that involves visual disturbance. Ocular migraines are usually nothing to be concerned about, but for someone who hasn’t had one before, they can be unsettling. Since ocular migraines aren’t necessarily associated with unpleasant headaches, the term ‘migraine’ can be misleading.

Types of Ocular Migraines

Most ocular migraines come on quickly and disappear quickly. However, they can sometimes be disabling, affecting your lifestyle and, depending on the type, can signal more serious health issues.

Migraine With Aura

Ocular migraines may occur in 1 out of every 5 people who suffer from standard migraine headaches, and appear as a warning sign that a full migraine is about to occur. Any visual distortions you may experience before a headache should be described to your doctor. Some people find that avoiding migraine triggers such as stress, bright light and particular foods reduces the frequency of their migraines.

Painless Ocular Migraine

This strange visual phenomenon occurs without the usual headache, and it can manifest differently in various people. Some individuals may see flashing or shimmering lights, while others may perceive psychedelic images or zigzagging lines or stars. Regardless of how it appears, it usually starts as a minor visual distortion that quickly spreads across your visual field until it entirely obscures your vision before eventually dissipating.

While painless ocular migraines don’t cause headaches, they sometimes cause other symptoms, like a momentary loss of speech or motor function. They may not signal a major medical problem, but they can make it difficult to do things like drive, read or write.

Retinal Migraine

The third and most uncommon type of ocular migraine is the most dangerous. Retinal migraines may cause brief attacks of blindness or visual problems like flashing lights in one eye. Retinal migraines are different from other types of migraines in that they only affect one eye (though they can still precede a full migraine headache). Retinal migraines occur when the arteries in the retina (the nerve layer at the back of the eye) contract, reducing blood supply to the eye. An insufficient supply of blood to the eye can cause vision loss.

Retinal migraines may occur only once every few months. However, they represent a serious eye condition, so be sure to tell your eye doctor about your symptoms to determine whether they are caused by a serious health problem.

If you think you’ve experienced a form of ocular migraine, schedule an appointment with Vision MD Eye Doctors in Glenn Dale. We’re here to answer your questions about ocular migraines and all areas related to vision and eye health.

At Vision MD Eye Doctors, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 301-779-0844 or book an appointment online to see one of our Glenn Dale eye doctors.

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Q&A

How long does an ocular migraine last?

An ocular migraine typically lasts less than 60 minutes.

How are ocular migraines treated?

Migraine medications work best when given at the first sign of an impending migraine, or as soon as the signs and symptoms of ocular migraines appear. Treatment will depend on the type of ocular migraine and its severity.

4 Risks of Wearing Decorative Contact Lenses This Halloween

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Wish your eyes were a different color or that you could change their ‘look’? That’s exactly why some people find decorative contact lenses appealing. Cosmetic, theatrical, circular, decorative, costume, colored and Halloween contact lenses are some of the names used to describe the lenses that give you eyes a new appearance.

To prevent complications, infection and potential vision loss, all contact lenses should be purchased using a prescription from your eye doctor. Otherwise, your risk the following:

  1. Scratches to the eye – If your contacts aren’t fitted properly or are of inferior quality, they can harm your cornea. A corneal abrasion is a painful condition that can result in lasting damage and even vision loss.
  2. Inflammation of the cornea – According to studies, wearing non-prescription contacts raises the incidence of keratitis (inflammation of the cornea)16-fold. In the best of cases, early treatment with antibiotics or steroid drops may help to maintain vision, and in the worst of cases—surgery may be required.
  3. Pink eye – Many people think it’s not a problem to wear someone else’s cosmetic lenses. In reality, sharing contacts can transfer germs and lead to infections like pink eye. To treat pink eye, your eye doctor will need to understand the root of the issue, but usually antibiotic eye drops suffice.
  4. Vision loss – Wearing non-prescription contacts may cause vision loss—and in extreme cases even blindness—as a result of corneal damage or infection.

Checklist for Decorative Contact Lens Wearers

  • Make sure you get a comprehensive eye exam from an eye doctor, who will properly measure your eyes to fit your contacts.
  • Obtain a prescription from your eye doctor that contains all pertinent information, such as the
    specifications of the contacts, the expiration date, and the brand name.
  • Check that the contact lenses you ordered are identical to the prescription.
  • Decorative contact lenses should always be purchased from a reputable source. Note that only reliable retailers demand a prescription.
  • Follow your eye doctor hygiene guidelines for cleaning, inserting, removing, and storing contact lenses.
  • Make an appointment for a follow-up eye exam as recommended by your eye doctor.
  • Never let anyone else use your contact lenses.

Enjoy your Halloween without the stress or agony of an eye infection or a damaged cornea by following these contact lens safety instructions. Schedule a comprehensive eye exam at Vision MD Eye Doctors in Glenn Dale today.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Are decorative contact lenses safe?

  • A: Yes, if they are prescribed by an optometrist. Most people are able to wear tinted contact lenses safely if they are used as instructed. Following your optometrist’s instructions is essential for successful contact lens wear.

Q: Do I need a prescription? What if I don’t require vision correction?

  • A: Yes. Even if you don’t need vision correction, contact lenses are medical equipment that should be prescribed and fitted by an eye care professional.

Quality Frames For Prescription Eyeglasses & Computer Glasses. Visit Vision MD Eye Doctors for an eye exam and eyeglasses that match your style.


Eye Makeup Tips For Those With Dry Eyes

Eye Care & Dry Eye Treatments

Eye Care & Dry Eye Treatments

Most eye makeup is formulated specifically for the sensitive eye area and is considered safe to use. But does this apply to those prone to dry eye syndrome?

Do you experience discomfort while wearing eye makeup? Find out whether the problem might be dry eye syndrome and learn what you can do to prevent future irritation.

What is Dry Eye Syndrome?

Dry eye syndrome (DES) is a chronic lack of hydration on the eye’s surface. It occurs when your tear quality or quantity are off-balance, and can lead to symptoms like eye dryness, redness, irritation, watery eyes, light sensitivity and blurred vision.

How Can Eye Makeup Lead to DES?

The surface of your eye is covered by a nourishing layer of tears composed of mucus, oil and water. The production and turnover of the tear film helps keep our eyes feel comfortable and see clearly.

When you wear eye makeup, especially powder or glitters, the loose particles can cause the tear film to break down and evaporate too quickly, leaving your eyes feeling dry and irritated. This usually occurs within 30 minutes of applying your makeup.

Eye makeup can exacerbate symptoms in people who already have DES, or can trigger it in people who don’t. That’s why it’s important to apply your eye makeup in a way that will lessen your symptoms and support a healthy tear film.

Eye Makeup Tips For Those With DES

  1. Apply lubricating eye drops to each eye about 30 minutes prior to doing your makeup.
  2. Disinfect your applicators before each use to avoid contamination.
  3. Apply makeup products to the outside of your eyelashes. Avoid lining the inner rim of your lashes, as this area is very close to the tear film.
  4. Use a minimal amount of mascara, or simply curl your lashes without mascara for a lifted effect.
  5. Mascara has the shortest shelf life of all makeup products and should be tossed out 2-3 months after opening to avoid eye infection or clogging the meibomian glands in your eyelids.
  6. When possible, choose cream-based products and avoid anything containing glitter, even glitter promoted as ‘eye-safe.’
  7. Never share your eye makeup with anyone.
  8. Be diligent about thoroughly removing your makeup at the end of the day.
  9. Never apply eye makeup when your eyes are irritated or red.

With the right care, wearing eye makeup with dry eye syndrome is possible. If your eyes have been giving you any trouble, we can help.

Please don’t hesitate to contact Vision MD Eye Doctors in Glenn Dale for all your eye care needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What’s the best way to remove eye makeup?

  • A: Start off by removing the bulk of your eye makeup with a cotton pad or washcloth and oil-free eye makeup remover. Then, use your face cleanser to wash off the rest of your makeup. Once your face and eyes are basically clean, use an eyelid cleansing wipe to remove any leftover makeup particles from your upper and lower lids.

Q: Which lubricating eye drops work best for dry eyes?

  • A: From soothing to lubricating to anti-redness drops, the pharmacy is full of different types of eye drops. Your optometrist will help you determine which brand and type will work best for your condition and lifestyle.

Quality Frames For Prescription Eyeglasses & Computer Glasses. Visit Vision MD Eye Doctors for an eye exam and eyeglasses that match your style.


3 Reasons to Buy Eyeglasses from an Optical Store vs Online

Quality Eye Care in Glenn Dale

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, online shopping has grown in popularity. But when it comes to your eye health, nothing beats an in-person eye exam and fitting. While searching for specs online is a fantastic way to discover the current trends in eyewear, there are some key reasons you should buy your glasses from your local eye care shop.

Quality Eye Care in Glenn Dale

Accuracy

According to the American Optometric Association, 29% of glasses ordered online from the top 10 online retailers arrived with incorrect prescription lenses. Incorrect lenses make it impossible to see clearly and can induce headaches and eye strain. When you buy glasses at an optical store, you can be sure you’ll get the perfect prescription and fit, assuring clear vision and maximum comfort.

High Quality

Poor-quality frames may end up costing you more in the long run. While searching the web, frames may appear to be high-end but actually composed of low-grade materials. Frame materials that aren’t up to grade can limit their durability and irritate your skin. Furthermore, after a few months of use, the sun’s intense rays may even bleach the frames.

Personal Service and Continuity

Why do so many individuals return year after year to their neighborhood optical store? Because they receive excellent service from someone they can rely on. Doing so ensures continuity of treatment and the certainty that your doctor will examine your eyes to assess both your visual acuity and eye health.

Finally, by shopping locally, you are contributing to the strength of your community.

When considering where to buy your next pair of glasses, keep all of these criteria in mind. While the initial price difference between an online and in-person purchase may be enticing, it comes at a cost. Looking for a new pair of glasses? Contact Vision MD Eye Doctors in Glenn Dale to receive the highest level of care and quality.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How can I make sure my glasses are adjusted to fit properly?

  • A: Most online stores will adjust them based on a standard fit, while brick-and-mortar eyewear retailers will adjust your glasses to fit your personal needs.

Q: How frequently should I replace my glasses?

  • A: If your prescription has changed, you should get a new pair. See your optometrist every year or two to maintain clear vision.

Quality Frames For Prescription Eyeglasses & Computer Glasses. Visit Vision MD Eye Doctors for an eye exam and eyeglasses that match your style.


5 Ways That Vision Problems Can Affect Your Overall Health

Eye Doctor in Glenn Dale

Eye Doctor in Glenn Dale

Healthy vision can often be taken for granted. But eyesight problems, like uncorrected refractive errors and vision loss, can affect your overall health in ways that may seem unexpected.

Here are 5 ways that vision problems can impact your life, above and beyond how well you see.

1. Increased Risk of Depression

Vision loss can be isolating and has been linked to depression. A survey of more than 10,000 adults with vision loss published in JAMA Ophthalmology found a significant association between functional vision loss and depression.

2. Increased Risk of Anxiety

When you don’t see well, your brain has much less sensory intake, which may make you feel less sure about your surroundings and capabilities. Researchers put this theory to the test and examined the anxiety levels of older adults with low vision.

The results, which were published in the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, found a significant correlation between vision loss and anxiety.

3. More Likely To Fall

Falls are a leading cause of injury and death in older adults. Vision loss not only increases your risk of falling, but can also heighten your fear of falling, research suggests.

4. Greater Incidence of Car Accidents

People with glaucoma often have limited peripheral vision, which makes it difficult to safely navigate busy roads. In fact, a study conducted by the American Academy of Ophthalmology found that senior citizens with glaucoma were 65% more likely to be involved in a car collision than those without the eye disease.

5. Vision Loss Is Associated With Increased Mortality

A recent study published in The Lancet found that vision loss is associated with a higher overall risk of death, compared to people with normal vision. Results indicated that the higher the level of vision impairment or loss, the higher the risks of mortality.

How to Preserve Vision And Overall Eye Health

Here’s the good news: approximately 4 out of 5 cases of vision impairment can be prevented or corrected.

Annual eye exams and ongoing consultations with your optometrist will significantly increase your chances of avoiding vision loss and eye disease, and living the healthy life you desire.

Speak with your eye doctor about your medical history, genetic and lifestyle risk factors, and Dr. Saya Nagori will provide guidance to help preserve your vision for an optimal quality of life.

To schedule your eye exam, call Vision MD Eye Doctors in Glenn Dale today!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How often should I have an eye exam?

  • A: The American Optometric Association recommends that healthy, low-risk adults between the ages of 18-64 should have a comprehensive eye exam at least once every 2 years, or as directed by their eye doctor. High-risk individuals and adults aged 65 years and older should visit their optometrist annually for a comprehensive eye exam.

Q: What are the leading causes of blindness and vision impairment?

  • A: Globally, the leading causes of vision loss include: age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, uncorrected refractive errors, eye infections and traumatic eye injuries.

Quality Frames For Prescription Eyeglasses & Computer Glasses. Visit Vision MD Eye Doctors for an eye exam and eyeglasses that match your style.


5 Tips To Encourage Your Child To Keep Their Glasses On

Eye Doctor in Glenn Dale

Eye Doctor in Glenn Dale

If your child wears glasses, then you may be familiar with the struggle of trying to keep their glasses on. Whether their specs are constantly falling off, or they refuse to wear them in the first place, here are a few tips to help ensure that your child’s glasses remain where they belong: on their face!

1. Highlight Other Family Members Who Wear Glasses

Kids are sometimes apprehensive to try new things, especially things that seem foreign to them. That’s why it may be helpful to show them how common glasses are by pointing out other family members and friends who wear glasses. Once they view glasses as commonplace, they may be more accepting of wearing them.

2. Involve Them In Choosing Their Frames

Inviting your child to pick out their new frames will give them a sense of control and ownership. This will, in turn, lead them to want to wear their glasses. So next time you buy them glasses, select a few options and have them choose the pair they like most.

3. Compliment Their New Look

If your child chooses a frame style that isn’t your first choice, avoid showing any disappointment. A parent’s positive and encouraging attitude is crucial for kids who are resistant to wearing glasses.

Aside from discussing how glasses help people see, play up the style aspect of glasses to help your child love their new look.

4. Fix The Fit

If your child’s glasses are frequently sliding down their face, consider this:

A child’s nose bridge isn’t as developed as an adult’s, which means that glasses have a harder time staying in place on their small faces. Many types of children’s frames take this into account and have adjustable nose pads.

If you find that the fit still isn’t secure and comfortable, bring your child to Vision MD Eye Doctors, where we’ll be happy to adjust the glasses to perfectly fit their face.

5. Consider Using a Band or Other Anti-Slip Product

Slipping glasses is all too common with children, which is why companies have created products to secure children’s glasses. Ask your local optician about bands that attach to the temples, or anti-slip nose grips.

Adjusting to new glasses can take time, and that’s okay. With a positive attitude and a healthy dose of patience, parents can use these tips to help ease their child’s transition to wearing glasses.

If your child is having trouble with their glasses or experiencing any other vision-related issue, we can help. To schedule an appointment and learn about what we offer, contact Vision MD Eye Doctors in Glenn Dale today!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How often do children need to have their eyes examined?

  • A: Typically, a child’s first eye exam should be around 6 months of age. The next comprehensive eye exam should be between ages 3-5, and before first grade, and then annually thereafter. A child’s vision can change quickly, so don’t skip your child’s next eye exam!

Q: How can I tell if my child needs new glasses?

  • A: Signs that your child needs new specs may include: blurred vision, eye fatigue, headaches or squinting. It’s also advisable to get your child a second pair of glasses as a backup. The best way to know whether your child needs new glasses is through a comprehensive eye exam.

Quality Frames For Prescription Eyeglasses & Computer Glasses. Visit Vision MD Eye Doctors for an eye exam and eyeglasses that match your style.


What’s a Chalazion?

What is a Chalazion 640Finding a lump on your eyelid can be scary, but it doesn’t have to be. Luckily, a chalazion isn’t a serious condition and is rather simple to resolve.

In most cases, a chalazion can easily be treated and will completely disappear following treatment. However, if non-invasive treatments don’t work, your eye doctor may need to remove it through an in-office surgical procedure.

At Vision MD Eye Doctors we can diagnose and help treat your chalazion so that you can see comfortably.

What is a Chalazion?

A chalazion, also known as a meibomian cyst, is a small fluid-filled cyst.

Eyelids contain meibomian glands, which produce oil to lubricate the surface of the eye. When one of these glands becomes blocked, it may cause swelling and lead to a small painless lump called a chalazion.

What Causes a Chalazion?

A chalazion occurs when the gland in the eyelid is clogged. Exactly why the gland becomes clogged isn’t known, but some individuals appear to be more susceptible to developing a chalazion than others.

A chalazion may be associated with dry eye syndrome, which is often caused by meibomian gland dysfunction.

People exhibiting certain risk factors are more likely to develop a chalazion. This includes people who have:

  • Blepharitis, an inflammation of the eyelids
  • Conjunctivitis, also known as pink eye
  • Thicker oil or meibum than normal consistency
  • Ocular rosacea, a skin condition adjacent to the eyes
  • Seborrhea, or dandruff, of the eyelashes
  • Styes or a history of styes

What Are the Symptoms of a Chalazion?

Common symptoms of a chalazion include:

  • A bump on the eyelid that sometimes becomes swollen and red
  • An entirely swollen eyelid, although very rare
  • Vision issues (such as blurred vision) if the chalazion becomes large enough to press on the eyeball

While a chalazion is not an infection, it may become infected. In the rare event that this occurs, it may become red, more severely swollen, and painful.

Chalazia are often mistaken for styes since they have a similar appearance.

What’s the Difference Between a Chalazion and a Stye?

It can be difficult to differentiate a chalazion from a stye.

Styes develop along the edge of your eyelid and can at times be seen at the base of an eyelash. In contrast, chalazia usually occur closer to the middle of the eyelid. A stye is more likely to be painful and tends to have a yellowish spot at the center that may burst after a few days.

Basically, the most noticeable difference between a chalazion and a stye is that a chalazion tends to be painless while a stye is usually painful and may cause the eye to feel sore, itchy or scratchy.

How to Treat a Chalazion

Most chalazia require minimal medical treatment and some may even clear up on their own in a few weeks to a month. When a chalazion first appears, you can try doing the following for 1-2 days:

  • Apply a warm compress to the eyelid for 10 to 15 minutes, 4 to 6 times a day. The warm compress helps soften the hardened oil that blocks the ducts, allowing drainage and healing.
  • Gently massage the external eyelids for several minutes each day to help promote drainage.

If the chalazion does not drain and heal within a few days, contact your eye doctor. Don’t attempt to squeeze or pop the chalazion, as it may inadvertently cause more damage.

To learn more about chalazion treatment and the other eye care services we offer, call Vision MD Eye Doctors to schedule an appointment.

Vision MD Eye Doctors serves patients from College Park, Glenn Dale, Washington, D.C, and Bowie, MD and surrounding communities.

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Saya Nagori

Q: Can a chalazion spread from one person to another?

  • A: Since a chalazion is not an infection, it cannot spread from one person to another or even to the other eye of the affected person.

Q: Can a chalazion affect my eyesight?

  • A: A chalazion doesn’t affect vision. In rare cases, if the lump is large enough to distort the ocular surface it can cause temporary astigmatism, blurring vision. However, vision will return to normal once a medical professional removes the chalazion or once it diminishes in size.


Request A Dry Eye Appointment
Do You Think You Have Dry Eye? Call 301-235-8344

How Poor Nutrition and Lifestyle Can Lead to Cataracts

Optometrists in Glenn Dale

Optometrists in Glenn Dale

Cataracts are a natural part of the aging process. They obstruct vision by clouding the lens of the eye, making it opaque and difficult to see clearly. Cataracts are a leading cause of vision loss and blindness worldwide. While there is no non-surgical cure for cataracts, research has shown that some foods and dietary supplements appear to delay the progression of this sight-threatening eye condition in certain people.

According to a study published by Nutrients (2019), oxidative stress causes damage to proteins and enzymes in the lens, which leads to cataract formation. An imbalance between free radicals (atoms that destroy cells in your body) and antioxidants (which diminish them) causes oxidative stress. Oxidative stress occurs when you don’t have enough antioxidants to neutralize the free radicals in your body.

Unhealthy foods are one major source of free radicals. According to some optometrists, eating a high-antioxidant diet can help slow the progression of cataracts and even lower your risk of developing cataracts in the first place.

What Foods to Avoid For Good Vision

Leading a healthy lifestyle is one of the surest ways to maintain good vision. This includes exercising, eating enough fruits and vegetables and making informed health decisions. Soft drinks, processed foods, fried foods and sugary snacks should all be avoided, as they’ve been shown to increase the risk of developing cataracts earlier in life.

It’s also a good idea to cut down on your sodium intake, as a study published by the American Journal of Epidemiology (2000) found that a high salt intake makes people more likely to develop cataracts.

Because cataracts are a natural part of aging, most older people will develop them at some point in their lives. To postpone the advent of cataracts, try consuming these foods and supplements.

Which Foods to Include in Your Diet to Prevent Cataracts

Ideally, you should eat 2 servings of fish each week, 3 servings of whole grains daily, and 5 to 9 servings of vegetables and fruits per day to reduce your risk of cataracts. The following are some of the most beneficial food sources for lowering your risk of this common eye disease.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

When it comes to keeping your eyes healthy, omega-3 fatty acids are nothing short of a superfood. Omega-3 fatty acids reduce your risk of developing cataracts and keep your eyes hydrated by supplying essential oils for your tear layer.

Flax seeds are regarded as one of the greatest sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Other sources include grass-fed beef, tofu, and fatty fish such as cod, salmon, sardines and halibut.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C has long been known to help prevent colds, but it can also help lower your risk of cataracts. Guava and oranges are a good source of this vitamin. Vitamin C is also abundant in red and green chili peppers, bell peppers, dark leafy greens, kiwi, papaya and broccoli.

Nuts and Seeds

Vitamin E is an antioxidant that helps to protect the membranes of your eyes. Walnuts, for instance, are high in vitamin E, omega-3 fatty acids, and antioxidants.

Almonds, sunflower seeds, hazelnuts and peanuts are among the nuts and seeds that are excellent for your eyes.

Whole Grains

Not only do whole grains boost your eye health but they can reduce your risk of developing cataracts early on. Try adding quinoa, oatmeal, rye, wheat, brown rice, wheat and sorghum to your diet.

Fruits and Vegetables

Carotenoids are the pigments that give yellow, red, and orange fruits and vegetables their color. These items can be eaten raw, but for the best results, you should boil them first. Cantaloupes, sweet potatoes, carrots, and pumpkins contain carotenoids such as beta carotene and vitamin A, which help to prevent cataracts.

According to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2019), adding 10 mg of carotenoids to your diet lowers your risk of developing cataracts by roughly 26%. The maximum antioxidant content is found in vegetables and fruits. When shopping, look for fruits and vegetables with a variety of hues. Eat the skins whenever possible because they’re high in lutein, zeaxanthin, and vitamins A, C and E.

No one antioxidant can stop free radicals from causing oxidative stress, so it’s crucial to consume a wide range of antioxidant-rich foods.

Although this list isn’t complete, consuming these foods can help strengthen your eyes and may stave off cataracts for a time.

Routine Eye Exams

Even if you have perfect vision right now, seeing your eye doctor on a regular basis is one of the best ways to preserve it. Your eye care provider can check for signs of cataracts and other eye conditions during annual visits.

Early detection can help save your sight. Contact Vision MD Eye Doctors in Glenn Dale, to schedule an eye exam to ensure you have healthy vision for years to come.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What else can I do to prevent cataracts?

  • A: Besides ensuring you lead a healthy diet, make sure to protect your eyes from ultraviolet (UV) radiation. UV rays emitted by the sun are known to increase a person’s risk of cataracts. You can easily do this by wearing UV-blocking sunglasses along with a wide-brimmed hat.In addition, if you smoke, quit smoking, as it releases free radicals in the body, increasing your risk of cataracts.

Q: Can cataracts cause blindness?

  • A: Left untreated, cataracts cause gradual vision loss, eventually leading to legal blindness or even total blindness. Fortunately, there are various measures you can take to prevent this from occurring, such as undergoing cataract surgery.

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