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What’s the Link Between Dry Eye and Menopause?

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What’s the Link Between Dry Eye and Menopause?

Dry Eye and Menopause 640Around 61% of perimenopausal and menopausal women are affected by dry eye syndrome.

During menopause, the body produces less estrogen, progesterone, and androgen, causing a variety of uncomfortable symptoms such as sweating, insomnia, and hot flashes.

Among these physical symptoms is dry eyes, characterized by dry, itchy and burning eyes.

If you’re experiencing dry eyes, contact The Dry Eye Center at Eyesymmetry Vision Center today for effective and lasting dry eye treatment.

Biological Changes That Affect Your Eyes

During menopause, the androgen hormone decreases, affecting the meibomian and lacrimal glands in the eyelids. The meibomian glands produce the essential oils for the tears, so the reduction in oil results in increased tear evaporation and drier eyes.

When these fluid and oil-producing glands are affected, the eyelids can become inflamed, reducing tear quality and production, resulting in dry eye syndrome.

Some researchers believe that dry eye is connected to changes in estrogen levels. This explains why many women experience dry eye symptoms during certain times of a woman’s monthly cycle, or while taking birth control pills.

Symptoms of dry eye syndrome

  • Red eyes
  • Burning in the eyes
  • Itchy eyes
  • Blurred vision
  • Gritty feeling in the eyes
  • The feeling something is caught in your eye. Excessive tearing

How Is Hormone-Related Dry Eye Treated?

Because reduced hormones during and after menopause can cause meibomian gland dysfunction, treatment should be focused on reducing dry eye symptoms.

Dry eye treatments can include:

  • Artificial tears
  • Lubricating eye drops
  • Eyelid hygiene
  • Oral antibiotics
  • Corticosteroid eye drops
  • Medications that reduce eyelid inflammation
  • Punctal plugs – to reduce tear flow away from the eyes

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Moshe Schwartz

Q: Are there home remedies to treat dry eye syndrome?

  • A: Yes. Here are a few things you can do at home to reduce dry eye symptoms.

    Limit your screen time. People who work at a computer all day blink less, which harms the tear film. Remember to take frequent breaks and to blink.
    Protect your eyes. Sunglasses that wrap around your face can block dry air and wind.
    Avoid triggers. Irritants like pollen and smoke can make your symptoms more severe.
    Try a humidifier. Keeping the air around you moist may help.
    Eat right. A diet rich in vitamin A and omega-3 fatty acids can encourage healthy tear production.
    Warm Compress. A warm compress will improve oil flow through your eyelid glands and clean your eyelids.

Q:Can dry eye syndrome damage your eyes?

  • A: Yes. Without sufficient tears, your eyes are not protected from the outside world, leading to an increased risk of eye infections. Severe dry eye syndrome can lead to abrasions or inflammation on the cornea, the front surface of the eye. This can cause pain, a corneal ulcer, and long-lasting vision problems.

    Menopause causes many changes throughout your body. If you’re experiencing dry eye symptoms due to hormonal changes, contact The Dry Eye Center at Eyesymmetry Vision Center to find out what dry eye treatments are available to give your eyes relief.

The Dry Eye Center at Eyesymmetry Vision Center serves patients from Owings Mills, Baltimore, Ellicott City, and Randallstown, all throughout Maryland.

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4 Common Myopia Myths Debunked

4 Common Myopia Myths Debunked 640Myopia (nearsightedness) occurs when the eye elongates and rays of light entering the eye are focused in front of the light-sensitive retina rather than directly on it.

It’s by far the most common refractive error among children and young adults.

To help understand and learn more about what myopia means for your child’s vision, we’ve debunked 4 common myopia myths.

Myth: Myopia only develops in childhood

Fact: While it’s true that in most cases nearsightedness develops in childhood, it can also develop during one’s young adult years.

Myth: Wearing eyeglasses or contact lenses cause myopia to worsen

Fact: Prescription eyeglasses and contact lenses in no way exacerbate myopia. Optical corrections help you see comfortably and clearly. Another common misconception is that it’s better to use a weaker lens power than the one prescribed by your eye doctor. This is simply not true. By wearing a weaker lens you are contradicting the purpose of using corrective eyewear, which is to comfortably correct your vision.

Myth: Taking vitamins can cure myopia

Fact: Vitamins have been proven to slow the progression of or prevent some eye conditions, such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD) or cataracts. However, no vitamin has been shown to prevent or cure myopia. All vitamins and supplements should only be taken under the advice of your healthcare professional.

Myth: There is no way to slow the progression of myopia.

Fact: There are a few ways to slow down the progression of myopia:

Get more sunlight. Studies have shown that children who spend more time playing outdoors in the sunlight have slower myopia progression than children who are homebodies.

Take a break. Doing close work, such as spending an excessive amount of time looking at a digital screen, reading, and doing homework has been linked to myopia. Encouraging your child to take frequent breaks to focus on objects farther away can help. One well-known eye exercise is the 20-20-20 rule, where you take a 20-second break to view something 20 feet away every 20 minutes.

Other options to slow myopia progression include:

  • Orthokeratology/Ortho-k. These are specialized custom-fit contact lenses shown to decrease the rate of myopia progression through the gentle reshaping of the cornea when worn overnight.
  • Multifocal lenses offer clear vision at various focal distances. Studies show that wearing multifocal soft contact lenses or multifocal eyeglasses during the day can limit the progression of myopia compared to conventional single vision glasses or contact lenses.
  • Atropine drops. 1.0% atropine eye drops applied daily in one eye over a period of 2 years has shown to significantly reduce the progression of myopia

Prevent or slow the progression of your child’s myopia with myopia management. Contact The Myopia Management Center at Eyesymmetry Vision Center to book your child’s consultation today!

The Myopia Management Center at Eyesymmetry Vision Center serves patients from Owings Mills, Baltimore, Ellicott City, and Randallstown, all throughout Maryland.

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Moshe Schwartz

Q: Can myopia be cured?

  • A: Currently, there is no cure for myopia. However, various myopia management methods can slow its progression.

Q: How much time should my child spend outdoors to reduce the risk of myopia?

  • A: Make sure your child spends at least 90 minutes a day outdoors.

The Myopia Management Center at Eyesymmetry Vision Center serves patients from Owings Mills, Baltimore, Ellicott City, and Randallstown, all throughout Maryland.


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Call Us 410-587-0099

Tips For Wearing Scleral Lenses

Pretty Cheerful Woman Gesturing With Two Fingers Near Eyes. Youn

Scleral lenses are ideal for patients with corneal irregularities, dry eyes, and hard-to-fit eyes. Their uniquely large circumference offers the best in visual comfort and clarity. But wearing and caring for your scleral lenses can take some getting used to.

Below are our top 5 tips for anyone who wears scleral lenses. If you have questions about scleral lenses or any other optometric matter, The Scleral Lens & Keratoconus Center at Eyesymmetry Vision Center in Owings Mills is here for you.

1. Lens Hygiene is Top Priority

Keeping your scleral lenses hygienic and free of buildup is key in ensuring the clearest possible vision. When you remove them from your eyes, rub them for several seconds with lens cleaner to remove surface debris and bacteria. Then, rinse them on both sides with saline solution before storing them.

Another hygiene tip: Before handling your lenses, be sure to wash your hands with soap and water, and to rinse and dry them with a lint-free cloth or paper towel. Good hygiene will significantly minimize possible complications and keep your eyes feeling fresh.

2. Manage Your Dry Eye

Many patients with dry eye syndrome (DES) choose to wear scleral lenses for their hydrating and soothing properties. While sclerals can offer substantial relief from their dry eye symptoms, patients shouldn’t forget to seek treatment for their DES.

That’s because scleral lenses help manage dry eye, but don’t actually treat it. So, it’s best to follow up with your eye doctor about any eye drops, medications, or at-home remedies to support healthy tears.

3. Use a Cotton Swab For Cleaning

Patients with long fingernails can find it challenging to thoroughly clean their scleral lenses. Rubbing the inside bowl of the lens with a cotton swab and cleaning solution can effectively remove the buildup from the lens. Then, rinse off the cleaning solution with saline to remove the cleaning solution and any lint from the cotton swab.

4. Try Different Insertion Tools

Is your current insertion method not working as smoothly as you’d like? No worries! Ask your eye doctor about different tools you can use, such as the O-ring or applicator ring.

But please only insert your lens with tools that your eye doctor recommends!

5. Follow Up With Your Eye Doctor

Because scleral lenses are customized, they often require a few visits with your optometrist to optimize their fit. Even after the fitting process is complete, follow-ups will help ensure that your lenses are still in good condition.

If your scleral lenses are giving you any trouble at all, we can help. To schedule your scleral lens consultation, call us today!

The Scleral Lens & Keratoconus Center at Eyesymmetry Vision Center serves patients in Owings Mills, Baltimore, Ellicott City, Randallstown, and throughout Owings Mills.

Frequently Asked Questions with Our Scleral Lenses Expert in Owings Mills, Maryland:

Q: How do scleral lenses work?

  • A: Scleral lenses rest and vault over the entire sclera (white of the eye), encasing a hydrating reservoir in between the lens and the cornea (front surface of the eye). This allows people with irregular corneas to wear contact lenses, since the lens isn’t in direct contact with the cornea itself.

Q: How long do scleral lenses last?

  • A: Scleral lenses generally last 1-2 years, depending on how well you care for them and how your tear film reacts with them. Even so, check-ups every 6 months are recommended to ensure they still fit well and provide clear vision.


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The Journey from RGPs, to Scleral Lenses, and Finally, to EyePrintPRO

Many patients who suffer from corneal disease or from post-corneal transplant complications go through a series of contact lens fits by various eye doctors. There is a range of different types of contact lenses that differ in cost, comfort, and effectiveness.

Good: RGP

Optometrists often utilize rigid gas-permeable (RGP) contact lenses with patients who are first using specialty contact lenses. RGPs are effective in treating visual errors and will give a patient decent vision. This makes them far superior to soft contact lenses and eyeglasses, which can only effectively treat lower prescriptions and less problematic corneas. They are cheaper and longer-lasting than other specialty lenses. In addition, many insurances will cover almost the entire cost of the lenses. However, RGPs are considered to be the starting contact lens among specialty contact lens fits, and they can be uncomfortable depending on the shape of the cornea and severity of the eye disease.

Better: Scleral Lenses

Scleral lenses tend to be more comfortable and advanced than RGP lenses and are a better fit for severe cases of eye disease. They can last a couple of years, which is a relatively long amount of time. Scleral lenses are rigid, but they are wider and larger than regular lenses, allowing them to fit over the cornea and onto the sclera, the white part of the eye. Since there are fewer nerves there, the lenses are more comfortable and less likely to irritate the eye.

Best: EyePrintPro

The ideal solution for patients who need specialty lenses is EyePrintPRO. This type of lens is made from a custom mold and is in no way generic. Some patients will find that they have difficulty being fitted for scleral lenses, and they are best suited to EyePrintPRO lenses. These lenses are the most costly option, as they are typically not covered by your insurance provider. However, for those who want contact lenses that are most suited for their eyes, including those who have undergone multiple surgeries and are willing to invest in their best chance for effective and comfortable vision, EyePrintPRO can be the solution. Because so few practices utilize EyePrintPro, we serve patients throughout the state.

Make an appointment at Eyesymmetry Vision Center, and we can help you decide which contact lenses will best serve your vision.

Prevalence of keratoconus & likelihood of detection

Ever wonder how common is keratoconus? Do people simply develop keratoconus overtime? Is it genetic?

Keratoconus has been a very complex and elusive eye disease that continues to baffle the world of eye health. Although recent advanced surgical procedures and specialty contact lenses can help keratoconus patients achieve relatively normal vision, the costs are generally high. Plus, post surgery can leave a patient out of work for weeks or longer placing strain on the rest of the family.

Estimates suggest that 1 out of 2000 people suffer from keratoconus, although some optometrists who work with keratoconus patients speculate the ratio to be higher. Since the disease is somewhat rare, there aren’t many indications that pinpoint which person is more likely to develop keratoconus.

Keratoconus is most commonly diagnosed with:

  • African Americans
  • Males
  • Heredity

Keratoconus means that the cornea has developed an irregular shape, often leading to light sensitivity, blurry vision, and the inability to wear soft contact lenses.

However, most optometrists during an eye exam don’t necessarily perform digital imaging of the cornea to assess the health of the eye’s surface. Often, digital imaging checks inside the eye to review blood vessels, the retina, or macula to ensure the critical aspects of the eyes structure is healthy. Therefore, patients with only mild signs of keratoconus can go undiagnosed or misdiagnosed for years.

In order to ensure the best care and earliest detection for keratoconus or any corneal irregularity, schedule your next eye exam with our keratoconus specialist in Owings Mills, Maryland today.

Wearing Scleral Contact Lenses after Corneal Transplant Surgery

Older Man Hand on Hat 1280x853Scleral Lenses for Comfort & Superior Vision.

“I’m finished with RGPs. I want a better solution.”

10 years I have been wearing are GP lenses as far as I can remember having vision problems. Everything began when I kept getting pain in my eye and glasses aren’t really providing enough Focus. Dizzy spells and struggling with bright lights or glare was common.

The first eye doctor that I went to said that I had an astigmatism, and he fitted me with gas permeable lenses. They weren’t very comfortable and they were annoying To put in each day but I didn’t. after about a year of that, my eyes changed and they were causing a lot of discomfort to the point that I couldn’t wear them. I decided to try a different optometrist and the second guy didn’t do a good job trying to have me jumping around different lenses like another gas permeable, even hybrid lenses. And then, I stumbled across Dr. Schwartz’s office. he was very thorough doing measurements on my eyes, show me the various options, and within one session, he fit me with scleral lenses. how many years short time dr. Schwartz has accomplished what other doctors took years and failed. I’m sure I’ll be sticking with Dr. Schwartz for all my eye care needs from now on. Over a year now, and I’m seeing 20/15 with no signs of discomfort.

From Gas Permeables and a Corneal Transplant to Scleral Contact Lenses

Middle Aged Woman Winter 1280×853For a long time, I thought I had the worst eyes on the planet. when I was 19 I was diagnosed with keratoconus and the eye doctor said there was nothing she could do for me. From there, I went to an ophthalmologist who said there wasn’t much they could do either. Over time, my keratoconus got to the point where is the ophthalmologist recommended I go through a corneal transplant. I had suffered enough for the few years that I decided to go through with the procedure. The surgeon confirmed that cornea transplantation is very safe and a widespread surgery for the most part.

The outcome of the surgery was really not so bad. I was fitted with basic gas permeable lenses and could get around after my corneal transplant with clear vision. I had thought the worst was behind me, but I soon discovered that the gas permeable contacts that I wore caused my eyes to burn & turn red. While my cornea transplant helped a lot of the major problems, my cornea wasn’t going out without a fight. My vision was still a problem.

I was fitted with a pair of eyeglasses as the contacts weren’t usable. I tried my best at work, I struggled to recognize people at a distance, and driving was out of the question.

I decided to try my luck and make some calls with other eye doctors. Finally, a practice I met made the recommendation that I connect with Dr. Schwartz as he is a cornea and contact lens specialist. It was the first time I had heard that there some even a title for my condition! Dr. Schwartz spent a number of hours with me, and I could tell he understood everything that I had undergone. After a few months, he presented me with a pair of customized scleral lenses for my eyes. The scleral lenses turned my vision from awful to amazing. I only wish I had met Dr. Schwartz earlier and gotten the help from a true cornea specialist!

Learn More About Keratoconus & Scleral Lens

keratoconus night spring break

Recently diagnosed with Keratoconus?
Post-refractive surgery or corneal transplant?

Learn from our eye care expert, Dr. Modhe Schwartz, about modern techniques and approaches to handling cornea irregularities like Keratoconus.

In one night, discover how you can achieve comfortable, clear vision without surgery.

Build Knowledge, Confidence, and Trust from EyeSymmetry Vision Center

Dr. Moshe Schwartz O.D. FAAO is a Diplomate of the Section on Cornea, Contact Lenses and Refractive Technologies by American Association of Optometry.

DATE/TIME: Will be announced soon. Anyone who RSVPs will be notified directly.

RSVP With Our Staff by Phone: 410-587-0099

OR schedule your next eye exam & book online here.

Eye Make A Difference

eye make a difference posters 8×11

Eyesymmetry Vision Center proudly gives back to the less fortunate in providing free eye exams and glasses. If you want to join & show your support, donate an old pair of glasses. Help the world achieve a clear view, today.

For Keratoconus, is there an alternative to a Corneal Tranplant?

eyes american woman looking rightCorneal transplants provide a solution to recover loss of sight for those who have damaged corneas, when standard corrective eyewear is simply no longer an option. Although thousands of corneal transplant surgeries are performed annually by ophthalmologists, there are various considerations to take before stepping into eye surgery. While corneal transplants often restore vision, they are never a perfect replacement, and for some patients, even after a corneal transplant, prescription eyewear may be required and, in severe cases, another corneal transplant may be necessary.

Any corneal transplant is best left to be discussed between you and your eye doctor, and depending on your condition, you may have the opportunity to invest in alternatives. Patients with keratoconus are often listed as candidates for a corneal transplant, yet many researches & studies have found that scleral lenses and custom specialty contact lenses are a viable alternative treatment that can restore vision without the need for eye surgery. In addition, keratoconus is a disease that results in a thin & irregular cornea, so eye surgery becomes more complicated to perform.

eyetest equipmentContacts like scleral lenses not only help treat keratoconus but have the added benefits of reducing dryness and can achieve 20/15 eyesight, which is better than 20/20. Custom contact lenses can treat keratoconus safely, provide clear vision, and achieve results that outperform some surgeries.

For more information on specialty contact lenses and alternatives to corneal transplants, speak to Dr. Moshe Schwartz, O.D., F.A.A.O of EyeSymmetry Vision Center. Schedule a consultation today.

Latest Research: Scleral Lenses are the Ideal Keratoconus Treatment

The above video was from 2017’s EuCornea Medal Lecture by François Malecaze, MD, PhD. Although the development of keratoconus and progression are “mysterious” so that we are unable to pinpoint why the changes in the cornea occur, researchers know that keratoconus is an eye disease that affects many people worldwide.

Although many people view glasses and contact lenses as simply vision correction, eye doctors consider nearsightedness, farsightedness, irregular corneas, and practically any vision loss as a challenge to their profession. Discovering which treatment that stops any eye problem is an advancement in eye health & modern science. Aside from the unmet needs and future perspectives concerning pathophysiology, diagnosis, and treatment of keratoconus, Dr. Malecaze mentions that as far as keratoconus is concerned, scleral lenses and other specialty contact lenses are certainly treating the disease & allowing people to return to normal vision.

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