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Why Do Onions Make Us Cry?

Onions are one of the most common staple foods around the globe. Ironically, for a vegetable so delicious, they can often be tear-jerkers.

Read on to learn why onions cause your eyes to tear and sting, and what you can do to minimize discomfort.

Why Does Cutting Onions Cause Tearing?

Onions produce a sulfur compound called propyl sulfoxide that is stored in the cells of the onion bulb (the part of the onion we eat). Onions grow underground, where they can be eaten by all types of creatures. This odorous sulfuric compound acts as a deterrent to small animals with big appetites.

When one slices into an onion and breaks open its cells, the sulfur compound is released and mixes with the moisture in the air — turning it into smelly and irritating sulfuric acid. When this chemical rises up and comes in contact with your eyes, it stings!

To keep your eyes from potentially being damaged from this chemical exposure, your brain triggers your eyes to tear and flush out the irritating gas particles. Once enough tears have flushed out the sulfuric acids particles from the eye, clear vision and comfort is usually restored. Although your eyes may sting and feel unpleasant, symptoms are temporary and the sulfuric acid won’t damage your eyes.

How Can I Reduce Eye Discomfort When Chopping Onions?

Most experienced chefs will tell you that chilling your onions in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before slicing them will reduce the amount of tearing they cause. Propyl sulfoxide escapes slower in cooler temperatures, reducing the amount of sulfuric acid in the air.

You can also try cutting the onions at arm’s length, or direct the odorous air away with a small fan. Some say that chopping onions immersed in water also helps. Another option is to wear kitchen goggles to protect your eyes.

Furthermore, try to use fresh onions whenever possible. The longer an onion has been stored, the more likely it will induce tearing and discomfort. Try to avoid slicing near the root end of the bulb, as that area has the highest concentration of sulfuric compounds.

Still Having Eye Problems Out of the Kitchen?

If you frequently suffer from eye irritation — and not just while cutting onions — we can help. At Optix Family Eyecare, we treat a wide range of eye conditions and can provide you with the treatment and relief you seek.

For further questions or to schedule an eye exam, call us today.

At Optix Family Eyecare, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 516-252-0725 or book an appointment online to see one of our Plainview eye doctors.

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15 Things You Do That Can Harm Your Eyes

Eye health isn’t just about going for that yearly eye exam. Certain actions you take (or don’t take) in your daily routine can also have drastic effects on the health of your eyes and vision. Here’s our list of 15 things you may be doing that could pose damaging risks to your eyes.

It’s important to note that before changing any of your habits, consult with a medical professional to make sure they are right for you and your overall health.

1. Smoking

We all know that smoking can cause heart disease and cancer, but its effects on the eyes are far less known to many. The truth is that smoking can actually lead to irreversible vision loss by significantly increasing the risk of developing macular degeneration, cataracts, glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy. It can also cause dry eye syndrome. If you are a smoker, do your eyes (and body) a favor and try to kick or reduce the habit.

2. Not Wearing Sunglasses

Exposing your eyes to the sun’s harmful UV radiation can damage the eye’s cornea and lens. Overexposure to UV rays can also lead to cataracts and even eye cancer. That’s why it’s important to always wear 100% UV-blocking sunglasses while outdoors, all four seasons of the year. Always check the sunglasses have FDA approval.

3. Sleeping with Makeup On

When you sleep with eyeliner or mascara, you run the risk of the makeup entering the eye and irritating the cornea. Sleeping with mascara on can introduce harmful bacteria to the eye and cause an infection. Abrasive glitters and shimmery eyeshadow can scratch the cornea as well. Be careful to remove all makeup with an eye-safe makeup remover before going to bed.

4. Buying Decorative Contact Lenses Without a Prescription

Although ordering decorative lenses without first visiting your optometrist may sound more convenient, purchasing them without a prescription isn’t worth the long term risks. Decorative contact lenses are sometimes made by unlicensed manufacturers who tend to use poor-quality or toxic materials that can get absorbed through the eyes into the bloodstream. They also may contain high levels of microorganisms from unsanitary packaging and storage conditions.

5. Not Washing Your Hands Thoroughly

Frequently washing your hands helps to reduce the possibility of bacteria and viruses entering the eye. Pink eye (conjunctivitis) and corneal ulcers are common eye conditions that can be caused by bacteria, viruses, fungi, or parasites. When washing your hands, be sure to use warm water, soap, and thoroughly wash in between each finger and over the entire palm area. If you plan to insert or remove your contact lenses, wash and then dry your hands completely with a lint-free cloth or paper towel.

6. Overwearing Contact Lenses

Wearing contact lenses for longer periods of time than intended can lead to inflammation of the cornea (keratitis), conjunctivitis, eyelid swelling, and contact lens intolerance. Always follow the recommended wear time as instructed by your optometrist.

7. Being Nutrient Deficient

Poor nutrition can cause permanent damage to the visual system. Try to include lots of nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables in your diet, along with adequate amounts of Omega-3. Some of the best vitamins and nutrients for eye health include Vitamins A, C, E, lutein, zeaxanthin, and zinc.

8. Using Non-FDA Approved Products

Whether it’s eyebrow enhancers, eye makeup, or eyelash growth serums, always choose products that have been FDA approved and/or meet government safety regulations. Non-approved products have been known to cause infections or allergic reactions in or around the eye area.

9. Not Cleaning Your Contacts Properly

If you are wearing contact lenses that need to be replaced once every two weeks or once a month, maintaining the highest level of contact lens hygiene is essential. Optometrists will tell you that a common reason patients come in to see them is due to an eye infection from contact lenses that haven’t been properly cleaned or stored. Some patients use their contact lens cases for too long, which can also cause eye irritation. To avoid eye infections, carefully follow your eye doctor’s instructions on how to clean, store, and handle your contact lenses.

10. Showering or Swimming with Contact Lenses

There is a significant amount of bacteria that can be carried in tap water and swimming pools. For this reason, it’s important to make sure that water and contact lenses don’t mix. If you need vision correction while swimming, it may be worth investing in a pair of prescription swimming goggles.

11. Not Following Medication Instructions

When it comes to eye disease, following the medication instructions is crucial. Forgetting to insert eye drops, or administering the incorrect dosage could dramatically reduce the effectiveness of treatment, or even do harm. Speak with your eye doctor if you’re not sure about when or how to take your medication.

12. Not Taking a Holistic Approach

Your eyes are just one part of the whole system — your body. Ignoring health conditions you may have, like high blood pressure or elevated blood sugar, can pose serious risks to your eyes.

13. Not Wearing Protective Eyewear

Shielding your eyes with protective glasses or goggles while working with potentially sharp or fast-moving objects, fragments or particles (wood working, cutting glass, welding, doing repairs with nails, certain sports) is the best defense against eye injury. In fact, 90% of all eye injuries could have been prevented by wearing protective eyewear.

14. Using Unsafe Home Remedies

Some might think that because something is “natural” that it is safe for use around the delicate eye area. Home remedies, like using breastmilk to cure pink eye, could introduce harmful bacteria to the eye and cause infection. If your eyes are giving you trouble, make an appointment to see your local optometrist.

15. Skipping Your Recommended Eye Exam

Your eye doctor will advise you how often you need to come for an eye examination. Adults should visit their eye doctor at least every year for a comprehensive eye exam to determine whether their optical prescription is up-to-date, and to check for the beginning stages of eye disease. Catching eye diseases in their early stages offers the best chance of successful treatment and preserving healthy vision for life.

At Optix Family Eyecare, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 516-252-0725 or book an appointment online to see one of our Plainview eye doctors.

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Ask Our Eye Doctor About Scleral Lenses

Have you been living with disappointment after being told you can’t wear contact lenses? Cheer up! Scleral lenses may be the solution you’re looking for.

A scleral lens is a contact lens that’s a bit bigger than a soft contact lens, and it’s—surprisingly—more comfortable. Instead of resting on your cornea, it vaults over your cornea and rests on the whites (the sclera) of your eye. They are more rigid than soft lenses, which helps provide crisp vision. While scleral lenses were only used in the past for people with corneal disorders, they are now prescribed for people with a range of other vision conditions, such as high astigmatism and dry eye syndrome. Interested in learning more? Book a consultation and contact lens exam in Plainview to ask about scleral lenses.

To help you out, here’s a discussion of the basic issues to address when exploring if sclerals are a suitable contact lens for you.

What are the advantages of a scleral contact lens?

This type of specialty contact lens is safe for all types of corneal conditions. It provides sharp vision with a level of comfort that’s superior to other standard lenses.

What eye conditions can reap the benefits of scleral lenses?

  • Keratoconus
  • High astigmatism
  • Severe dry eye syndrome
  • Corneal ectasia
  • Post-LASIK patients
  • Corneal trauma patients
  • Post radial keratology or R-K surgery

How do scleral lenses help with dry eyes?

Before you insert a scleral contact lens into your eye, you’ll fill the lens with a preservative-free artificial tear solution. This moisturizing liquid remains in the bowl of the contact lens while you wear it. Consequently, the whole time you’re wearing contacts, your eye sits in a soothing bath of lubricating tears. In many ways, it’s a perfect treatment for dry eyes – allowing you to see comfortably and clearly with contact lenses.

Are scleral lenses fit with a normal contact lens exam?

Our eye doctor in Plainview will perform a specialized contact lens exam to fit scleral lenses. The specialty contacts are custom-made to fit your cornea precisely. During the eye exam, we’ll map the surface of your cornea using corneal topography equipment. The results are used to create the ideal contact lens for your eye – no matter what vision prescription is needed (even bifocals!). An OCT scan will also be done to map the alignment across your eye, so the fit is fine-tuned.

Once your scleral contact lenses are ready, our eye care team will teach you how to insert and remove them properly. To get started, book a contact lens exam at our eye care center in Plainview.

At Optix Family Eyecare, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 516-252-0725 to see one of our Plainview eye doctors.

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The Surge In Cosmetic Procedures During COVID Raises Eye Health Concerns

COVID-19 has indirectly impacted eye health in ways that few would have anticipated. With many classrooms, business meetings, and hang-outs being relocated to virtual settings like Zoom and FaceTime, people are spending more time scrutinizing other people’s faces — and their own.

For some people, the more time they spend watching themselves in the thumbnail, the more time they focus on real or imagined imperfections and features that make them feel insecure.

In fact, plastic surgeons and cosmetic doctors all over the world are reporting something called the ‘Zoom Boom’ — the recent surge in cosmetic procedures to perfect ‘Lockdown Face.’ Yep, it’s a thing.

What many don’t realize is that cosmetic facial procedures can pose serious risks to eye health and vision, and in some cases result in serious eye damage or vision loss.

While opting to undergo a cosmetic procedure is a personal choice that each individual should make for themselves, a fully informed decision requires a visit to your eye doctor. Also, those interested in having a cosmetic eyelid lift should consult with a reputable oculo-plastic surgeon who has experience in this particular procedure.

How Can Cosmetic Procedures Impact Your Eyes?

Before undergoing a cosmetic facial procedure, it’s important to know which procedures pose potential risks to your eyes and vision.

Eyelash Extensions

The adhesive used for eyelash extensions has been known to cause allergic lid reactions, infections, styes, and dry eye. Eye doctors unanimously agree that eyelash extensions should be the last resort for those who want fuller, thicker lashes.

Additionally, the addictive nature of eyelash extensions make them particularly risky. A side effect of lash extensions can be reduced eyelashes, which often drives the individual to have this procedure done repeatedly.

A safe alternative to getting eyelash extensions is using a medication called Latisse. This eyelash enhancing product can be prescribed by your eye doctor and may reduce the need for false eyelashes or extensions.

Laser Procedures

Lasers are used for various cosmetic procedures due to their high efficiency and accuracy. However, exposing the naked eye to a laser beam can be dangerous.

All laser procedures should be performed while the patient wears specialized goggles or corneal shields for protection. If the procedure is performed by an unlicensed individual, there is a much greater chance that effective eye protection won’t be used.

A study published in The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology found that ocular injuries can occur even when protective shields are utilized correctly.

Episcleral Tattoos

This procedure is the tattooing of the whites of the eye. Dye is injected beneath the conjunctiva and into the sclera (the white of the eye) to make it appear the desired color.

Episcleral tattoos can cause headaches and severe light-sensitivity, and increase the risk of eye infections, conjunctival hemorrhaging, and permanent vision loss.

Botox Injections

Botox injections are one of the most popular cosmetic procedures offered today, but they can harm eye health and vision when injected around the eye area.

Some common complications include allergic reactions, blurred vision, and droopy eyelids. Most of these reactions are temporary, but if symptoms persist and if blurred vision is prolonged, see an eye doctor immediately.

Always choose a qualified and licensed doctor to perform the procedure.

When to Visit Your Optometrist

If you are considering having any facial or eye procedures done, speak with your optometrist about how to keep your eyes safe during the process.

An eye exam with Dr. Schiffer will determine the state of your eye health and what risks would be involved with the procedure you want.

If you’ve already undergone a cosmetic procedure or surgery and are experiencing any eye health or visual symptoms, call Optix Family Eyecare in for a prompt eye exam.

We want you to feel confident in the way you look, while keeping your eyes healthy and safe. Call Optix Family Eyecare to schedule your eye exam today.

At Optix Family Eyecare, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 516-252-0725 or book an appointment online to see one of our Plainview eye doctors.

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Do Your Contact Lenses Get Stuck in Your Eyes?

Although rare, a stuck contact lens can be very uncomfortable, if not downright painful. Getting it out of your eye can also be a tricky task, leading to additional eye irritation. Why do contacts get stuck, and what’s the best way to remove them? Our Plainview eye doctor explains.

Why is my contact lens stuck?

A common reason for this problem is sleeping in your contacts, which makes them prone to drying out and sticking to your eyeball. If you do fall asleep with your lenses in, don’t try to remove them immediately upon waking. Instead, use a moisturising eye drop and rehydrate yourself with a drink of water. Once your eye gains some lubrication, the contact lens will usually loosen easily.

Dry eye syndrome is another typical reason that contacts get stuck repeatedly. Our eye doctor can diagnose this condition with a specialised eye exam. If you have dry eyes, we may recommend a different type of contact.

Is it dangerous for my contact lens to get stuck?

If you’re worried that your lens will one day get stuck behind your eyeball, have no fear. It’s not physically possible for a contact lens to slip behind the eye. Sometimes, you may not see the contact lens and conclude it’s gotten lost in your eye. When this happens, it’s likely hiding out under your upper eyelid. Pull your eyelid back slightly and use sterile saline solution to rinse it out.

Once you manage to remove your contact lens, you may still feel some residual discomfort. If the pain doesn’t go away quickly, book an emergency eye exam at our Plainview eye care centre. You could have a corneal scratch or other irritation that may require medical treatment.

How should I remove a stuck lens from my eye?

Don’t panic and try to pry out the lens. Doing that will likely cause even more discomfort. Instead, take a deep breath, wash your hands, and apply sterile saline or contact lens rewetting drops. Then close your eye and gently massage the eyelid. Shortly, you should feel the lens dislodge.

The above guidelines apply to soft contact lenses. If you wear rigid gas permeable contact lenses, avoid massaging your eyelid because it could scratch your eye surface! Instead, use a suction cup to gently pull the lens off your eye.

If you are having trouble removing your soft monthlies, dailies, or rigid gas permeable (RGP / hard) contacts with these tips, the safest thing to do is visit our Plainview optometrist for assistance.

At Optix Family Eyecare, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 516-252-0725 or book an appointment online to see one of our Plainview eye doctors.

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Over 40? Time for a Close Look at Reading Glasses

No matter what age group you look at, eyeglasses are the most common type of vision correction. While there are different types of lenses that can be fit into eyeglasses frames, lenses for distance and lenses for reading are the two most common kinds. Who wears them? People with nearsightedness wear glasses for distance, and people with farsightedness or presbyopia wear reading glasses.

Presbyopia is an age-related vision condition that occurs when the eye’s lens loses flexibility. As a result, presbyopes trouble focusing on objects up close, such as reading the text on a smartphone, book or computer screen.

If you’re inching past 40 and find it increasingly harder to make out the fine print or see images that are near your face, book an eye exam in Plainview or Long Island. Our eye doctor will evaluate your visual acuity and prescribe the right lenses to sharpen your eyesight.

Which reading glasses should you buy?

You’ll know when you need reading glasses because you’ll find that moving small font further from your face helps to bring it into focus. But it can be tricky to know exactly which lenses and frames are best to buy.

All reading glasses are made from convex lenses, and you can buy non-prescription frames at the drugstore with generic strengths. Then, it’s down to trial and error to find your optional lenses. However, the healthier, efficient and more precise way to select frames and lenses is by getting your vision checked with an eye exam.

Can you buy reading glasses that won’t make you look like grandma did?

No worries! At our optical shops in Plainview and Long Island, we feature a trending range of frames, and each pair can be fit with the lenses that our eye doctor prescribes for you personally, including no-line progressives so nobody will know you’re wearing bifocals. We’re proud to offer an amazing array of up-to-date styles, and our staff can help you choose the most flattering pair for you.

At Optix Family Eyecare, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 516-252-0725 or book an appointment online to see one of our Plainview eye doctors.

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Beware of Blue Light and Eye Disease – Part 1

What is blue light and why is it a problem all of a sudden? More and more information is surfacing in the news about what I will call the “Blue Light Phenomenon”. For years, doctors have been warning patients about the long-term effects of ultraviolet (UV) light on the skin and on the eyes. Smart consumers have been protecting their skin with suntan lotions or by wearing long sleeves, hats, and sunglasses. It is proven that those that did not protect themselves are more likely to develop skin cancer and cataracts at earlier ages. And now we have the Blue Light Phenomenon?

Scientists have studied the long term effects of all forms of light, both visible and invisible, on the skin and eyes for many years. Current studies are proving that certain wavelengths of visible blue light are dangerous to the eyes and are a major cause of adult-onset macular degeneration. Adult-onset macular degeneration, or AMD, causes a reduction or loss of central vision, rarely affects the peripheral vision, and can be devastating to a person’s independence. People can no longer drive a car, read standard print books or newspapers, see the beautiful faces of their grandchildren, and in many cases have difficulty walking or navigating their way without help.

Visible light is composed of an infinite number of colors. For simplification, try to get a mental picture of a rainbow. Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet are the main colors. But if you really look at this rainbow, you will see that each color is actually a blend of colors. The red is not just one red but a blend of different hues of red. The other colors follow along in the same way. The blue light however is the one of major concerns to humans. Certain hues of blue light are damaging to the eyes and can cause AMD with exposure over a lifetime. What is a lifetime? For some, eye doctors can see the signs of AMD in a patient’s early thirties and for others, it shows up in the early to mid-sixties.

As we all know, harmful UV rays come from the sun. And so does harmful blue light. Pre-1975, the sun was about the only place we were exposed to harmful blue light. Today, we are exposed indoors as well. Cell phones, tablets, LED lighting, compact fluorescent bulbs, LED and LCD TV’s all emit harmful blue light rays. We have almost constant exposure and it is not healthy.

The good news is that eye care professionals now have access to eyeglass lens materials and oral supplements that can help protect the retina from developing AMD. Understand that the Blue Light Phenomenon is not the only thing that has been shown to contribute to AMD. Family history, smoking, diabetes, high cholesterol and other health issues are also implicated in leading to AMD. As eye care providers, it is our job to both educate our patients about health issues and provide guidance to minimize the possibilities of AMD development.

In our practice and in forward-thinking eye care practices across the country, we have embraced the use of BluTech lenses. These lenses are the only available lenses that filter out the most harmful wavelengths of blue light and UV light, thereby offering the ultimate in eye protection. Patients anecdotally have told my staff that their eyes feel so much more comfortable with these lenses. Burning sensations have disappeared. Computer use is more comfortable and patients are less fatigued at the days’ end. There are both indoor and outdoor BluTech lenses.

In my next blog I will talk more about “What is AMD” and the supplements that are available to offer protection to our most valuable sense…..our sight.

See Well,

Dr. Joel Kestenbaum

Optix Family Eyecare Center

How Can My Child’s Myopia Be Corrected?

At Optix Family Eyecare, we help children like yours achieve clear and comfortable vision, so they can succeed at the important things in life.

Methods of Myopia Correction

Contact Lenses

Contacts can be a great choice, especially for physically active children or teens who don’t want to worry about breaking or misplacing their eyeglasses. In some cases of very high myopia, contact lenses can offer clearer vision than glasses.

Corrective contact lenses are usually placed in the eyes upon waking and removed at night before bedtime. There are several types, including: soft contacts, daily disposables, extended wear, and rigid gas permeable (hard) lenses. Navigating through the differences between them can be daunting. Fortunately, if you’re located in Plainview our eye doctor will be happy to guide you. Speak with Dr. Schiffer to determine whether your child is ready for contact lenses.

Prescription Glasses

Glasses are a popular choice among our younger patients. Choosing from an array of styles makes the process fun and exciting! Allowing the children to be active participants in selecting their eyewear increases the likelihood that they’ll actually wear them. There are strong, flexible and resilient frames which look great and are comfortable too.

The optician can customize the lenses with additions and upgrades like impact-resistant or shatter-proof materials, scratch-resistant and anti-reflective coatings, UV filters, and transition lenses that darken in the sun. For those requiring vision correction for distance and near, we also offer bifocal or multifocal lens prescriptions.

We Can Help Correct Your Child’s Myopia

If you’re located near Plainview, New York, an eye exam with our optometrist can determine your child’s exact prescription, and give you the opportunity to receive answers to any questions you may have about your child’s eye health and vision. Progressive myopia, where a growing child’s prescription continues to worsen, is why it’s important for myopic children to undergo eye exams at least once a year.

At Optix Family Eyecare, our friendly and knowledgeable staff will be happy to recommend the most suitable method of correcting your child’s myopia to meet his or her individual needs. Thanks to the wide range options available, your child will walk away with eyewear that will not only enhance his or her style but will also be a boost of confidence.

Let us help your child see the world in a whole new light. To schedule your child’s annual eye exam or if you have any further questions, contact Optix Family Eyecare at 516-252-0725 today.

Top 8 LASIK Myths

In recent years, more and more people have chosen to undergo LASIK. However, as the popularity of this procedure rose – so did the number of myths circulating about it. We think it’s high time to set the record straight about LASIK!

LASIK is a relatively simple laser eye surgery done to correct refractive errors, including nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. LASIK works by reshaping the cornea of your eye in order to properly refract (bend) light that enters your eye, allowing images to focus clearly on your retina. Many of our eye care patients in Plainview and Long Island, New York, have enjoyed the results of LASIK.

Instead of leaving you to wonder what’s true and what’s false when people talk about LASIK, an eye doctor near you debunks some of the most common myths:

LASIK is painful

Before starting the procedure, your eye doctor will insert numbing eye drops into your eye. Once they take effect, you may sense mild pressure on the surface of your eye, but in general your eye will lose all sensation for the entire LASIK procedure. This numbness typically lasts for at least another 30 minutes after LASIK is completed. At that point, your eyes may feel dry, gritty and itchy, but resting your vision and/or taking aspirin or ibuprofen usually helps the discomfort to disappear. Most people can get back to their regular daily activities within 24 hours.

LASIK can burn your eyeball

The lasers used in LASIK are “cold” excimer lasers, which don’t burn the surface of your eye. Also, they are guided by a precise, high-tech tracking device that follows your eye – so the laser can’t miss its target.

LASIK is a leading cause of blindness

This statement couldn’t be further from the truth! In fact, the risk of a sight-threatening infection being caused by LASIK is even lower than the risk of eye infection caused by wearing contact lenses. Since the 1980s, LASIK has been performed safely on millions of people, and there have never been any confirmed cases of blindness as a result of LASIK.

Blades and cutting are always used for LASIK

Actually, there is more than one method of performing LASIK, and some newer types of the procedure don’t use any blades. Ask our eye doctor at Optix Family Eyecare about iLASIK and LASEK, both of which are bladeless.

LASIK is very expensive

Although the initial cost of LASIK may sound expensive, compare it to years of buying new prescription eyeglasses, contact lenses and related products. Then, you’ll realize that the price of LASIK comes out significantly less over the long term.

Everyone is a candidate for LASIK

Most people over age 18, in good health and with a refractive error in their eyes can have LASIK. However, like all surgical procedures – nothing is suitable for everyone. Certain corneal conditions are contraindicated for LASIK, as are people in poor health – such as someone with uncontrolled diabetes or particular autoimmune diseases. Consult with your eye doctor in Plainview and Long Island regarding your candidacy.

LASIK gets rid of glasses or contacts forever

While LASIK corrects refractive error, it’s not a miracle procedure that can stop time or roll back the years! Normally, as you age, vision changes. Once you’re over 40, it’s likely you’ll need to wear reading glasses to see small objects or fine print. After LASIK, visit our eye doctor for regular eye exams and we’ll monitor your vision for any changes that require treatment.

All eye doctors are equal for LASIK

Remember, this is your vision we’re discussing – the skill and experience of your eye doctor matters. When you choose where to have LASIK done, make sure to check references. Research the LASIK eye doctors near you, checking into how long they’ve been performing the procedure and their success record.

Interested in learning more about LASIK and how you could benefit? Book an appointment at our eye care center in Plainview or Long Island for a pre-LASIK consultation.

At Optix Family Eyecare, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 516-252-0725 or book an appointment online to see one of our Plainview eye doctors.

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Are Floaters and Flashes Dangerous?

You’ve likely experienced occasional visual “floaters” or flashes and may have wondered what they were and if they’re a cause for concern. They look like tiny lines, shapes, shadows, or specks that appear to be drifting in the visual field. More often than not, seeing floaters is a normal occurrence and does not indicate a problem with ocular or visual health. However, when floaters become more frequent and are accompanied by flashes of light, that can indicate a more serious problem.

Eye flashes resemble star-like specks or strands of light that either flash or flicker in one’s field of vision. They can either be a single burst in one visual zone, or can be several flashes throughout a wider area. Flashes can sometimes be missed as they most often appear in the side or peripheral vision.

Floaters & Flashes Eye Care in Plainview, New York

If you suddenly, or with increasing frequency, experience flashes or floaters, call Optix Family Eyecare and schedule an eye exam with Dr. Schiffer right away to rule out any serious eye conditions.

What Causes Floaters?

The vitreous in the eye is a clear gel that fills most of the eyeball and resembles raw egg-white. Within the vitreous are small lumps of protein that drift around and move with the motion of your eyes. When these tiny lumps of protein cast shadows on the retina — the light-sensitive lining at the back of the eye — the shadows appear as floaters.

As we age, the vitreous shrinks, creating more strands of protein. This is why the appearance of floaters may increase with time. Floaters tend to be more prevalent in nearsighted people and diabetics, and occur more frequently following cataract surgery or an eye injury.

If seeing floaters becomes bothersome, try moving your eyes up and down or side to side to gently relocate the floaters away from your visual field.

What Causes Flashes?

Flashes result from the retinal nerve cells being moved or tugged on. As the vitreous shrinks over time, it can tug at the retina, causing you to “see stars” or bursts of light. The process of the vitreous separating from the retina is called “posterior vitreous detachment” (PVD) and usually isn’t dangerous.

In about 16% of cases, PVD causes tiny tears in the retina that can lead to retinal detachment — a sight-threatening condition that causes irreversible blindness if left untreated.

Other possible causes of flashes are eye trauma or migraine headaches.

When To Call Your Optometrist About Floaters

If you experience any of the following symptoms, promptly make an appointment with an eye doctor near you for emergency eye care.

Symptoms You Shouldn’t Ignore

  • A sudden onset of floaters accompanied by flashes (which can be any shape or size)
  • An increase of floaters accompanied by a darkening of one side of the visual field
  • Shadows in the peripheral vision
  • Any time flashes are seen

In many cases, seeing floaters is no cause for concern; however the above symptoms could indicate retinal detachment—which, if left untreated, could cause a permanent loss of sight or even blindness.

If the receptionists pick up the phone and hear the main concern is floaters or flashes, they will try to squeeze in the appointment within 24 hours. Expect the pupils to be dilated during your eye exam, so the eye doctor can get a really good look at the peripheral retina to diagnose or rule out a retinal tear or other serious condition, as opposed to a non-vision-threatening condition such as uncomplicated posterior vitreous detachment (quite common) or ocular migraine.

Please contact Optix Family Eyecare in Plainview at 516-252-0725 with any further questions, or to schedule an eye doctor’s appointment.