What are the Symptoms and Causes of Pink Eye (Conjunctivitis)?

Conjunctivitis (pink eye) is an infection or inflammation of the conjunctiva (transparent membrane) that covers the whites of your eyes and lines your eyelids. When small conjunctiva blood vessels become inflamed, they are more noticeable. This is what makes the whites of your eyeballs look pink or reddish.

Pink eye is often caused by a viral or bacterial infection, an incompletely opened tear duct in babies or an allergic reaction. While it can be aggravating, it doesn’t usually affect your vision. Medical treatments can help alleviate pink eye’s discomfort. Since it could be contagious, you can limit its spread through early diagnosis and treatment.

Symptoms of Pink Eye (Conjunctivitis)

Individuals with conjunctivitis might experience symptoms such as:

  • Excessive tearing
  • Burning or itching sensation in one or both eyes
  • Swollen eyelids
  • A gritty sensation in one or both eyes
  • Discharge from an eye or both
  • Increased sensitivity to light
  • Pink or reddish discoloration to the whites of an eye or both

Causes of Pink Eye (Conjunctivitis)

The main types of pink eye, based on cause, include:

  • Viral conjunctivitis: This is caused by a virus, such as the common cold. It’s a very contagious type of pink eye, but typically clears up by itself within a few days without treatment.
  • Bacterial conjunctivitis: Bacteria causes this type of pink eye and it can cause serious damage if you leave the eye untreated.
  • Allergic conjunctivitis: Eye irritants like dust, animal dander and pollen cause this type of pink eye among susceptible people. It can flare up year-round (pet dander, dust) or it can be seasonal (pollen).

Pink eye treatment will depend on the type you have. If you wear contact lenses, as soon as symptoms of pink eye start, you must stop wearing them.

If your symptoms don’t become better within 24 hours, you have moderate to severe pain, or you have extreme redness, you’ll want to schedule an appointment with us here at Powers Eye Center to receive treatment and to ensure you don’t have a more severe eye problem. Call 719-598-5068 to set up an appointment or complete our online form.

5 Tips to Protect Your Vision

You use your eyesight every day to work, play and enjoy your life. Too often, people take their vision for granted until the day when something goes wrong. With just a little attention to your vision, you can protect your eyesight so it serves you for the rest of your life.

1. Get Regular Checkups

Your eye doctor is the best person to ensure your vision is as good as it can be for your age and condition. With regular eye exams, you can be screened for many preventable conditions that can cause serious threats to your vision such as glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy. Consult with your eye doctor for an exam schedule that’s suited for your needs.

2. Be Discerning About Eye Makeup

Eye makeup is absolutely fine to wear, but bad habits can threaten healthy vision. Wear quality eye makeup that won’t flake off into your eyes during the day. Wash off eye makeup before bed to minimize bacteria around the eyes. Be careful when wearing faux lashes and only use adhesives that are recommended for use near the eye.

3. Practice Good Contact Lens Hygiene

Contact lenses should always be worn and cleaned according to the manufacturer’s directions. Avoid wearing daily lenses longer than their recommended usage. Clean your contact lens case regularly and always wash hands before handling your contact lenses.

4. Wear UV-rated Sunglasses

UV rays can be harmful to your eyes over time. When out in bright or glaring sunlight, wear UV-rated sunglasses instead of inexpensive sunglasses that don’t offer UV protection. Get prescription sunglasses if necessary or invest in a pair of clip-ons that fit over your regular eyeglasses.

5. Get Infections Professionally Treated

If you happen to get a cold with an eye infection or have any kind of unusual infection symptoms, get it treated right away. Certain kinds of eye infections only respond to medications. Never trust that an eye infection will go away on its own.

These five tips to protect your vision are recommended for adults of all ages Remember, your eye doctor is always the source of the best information about your eye health. If you have any questions, consult with your professional eye care provider.


What are the Types of Glaucoma?

The Glaucoma Research Foundation tells us that more than three million Americans have glaucoma, but only half are aware they have it. Of the people who have glaucoma, at least 90% have open-angle glaucoma, the most common type of glaucoma. However, there are other forms of the disease.

Open-Angle Glaucoma

When you have open-angle glaucoma, the angle where your cornea meets your iris is wide and open. However, you experience elevated intraocular pressure, or IOP, which damages the optic nerve over time. It’s typically a lifelong condition and progresses slowly. Because you may not notice any symptoms until you have considerable vision loss, this form of glaucoma is often referred to as the “silent thief of sight”.

Angle-Closure Glaucoma

This is a less common type of glaucoma whereby blocked fluid drainage canals result in a rapid rise in eye pressure. With this form, your angle between your cornea and iris is narrow or closed. Angle-closure glaucoma also referred to as narrow-angle glaucoma, requires immediate medical care in order to prevent vision loss.

Normal-Tension Glaucoma (NTG)

In normal-tension glaucoma, your optic nerve is damaged despite not having very high intraocular eye pressure. Researchers and medical experts still are not certain as to why an individual’s optic nerve becomes damaged even if they have eye pressure levels that are normal or very near normal.

Congenital Glaucoma

This glaucoma form occurs in babies when the development of their eye’s drainage canals during their prenatal years is either incomplete or incorrect. Congenital glaucoma is rare and can be inherited. This form is treated with medications, microsurgery or other surgical procedures.

There are other less common forms of glaucoma, which are variations of open-angle glaucoma and angle-closure glaucoma.

Get Screened for Glaucoma

Although glaucoma cannot be cured as of today, the good news is that with proper use of medication (usually in the form of eye drops) and/or surgery, many individuals can halt or slow down their vision loss. That’s why it’s important to see your eye care professional for a glaucoma screening to catch and control glaucoma. Remember, if you have glaucoma in its earliest stage, you might not have any symptoms, so contact us here at Powers Eye Center today for a glaucoma screening. Call 719-598-5068 to schedule an appointment or complete our online form.

Why is it so Important to Wear Sunglasses During the Summer?

Sunglasses can help you look cool even when you feel like you’re melting, but not everyone realizes that they’re far more than an accessory. The sun may be one of the better sources for Vitamin D, but it comes with the drawback of some very harmful UV rays. Before you skip the shades or opt for your regular eyeglasses, consider how the summer heat can be murder on your eyes and why sunglasses are a good way to stop the damage before it starts.


The cornea and retina function as a team: the retina allows you to see what’s in front of you and the cornea filters irritants to the retina that can distort or weaken your vision. But neither component is immune to the power of the summer sun. Your cornea can be sunburned, which will weaken its defenses and open your retina up to
additional damage.

Sun damage to your retina may cause macular degeneration. (This common problem is the leading cause of vision loss in people aged 50 or older.) When you wear the right sunglasses, you keep harmful UV rays from ever reaching the most sensitive parts of your eye.


Sunglasses can be the key to reducing your risk for a variety of other conditions and may help prevent blindness or even death. For example, your eyelids are so thin and exposed that they’re a potential target for skin cancer — especially if you spend a lot of time outside. Skin cancer is not a localized condition and can spread quickly if you’re not careful.

Cataracts are typically linked to genetics, insulin imbalances, and medication use, but there is evidence that shows the sun may also be a contributing factor. When you can’t put sunscreen on, the next best thing is to slip on a pair of sunglasses.

A pair of drug-store glasses will never have the same benefits as those that were carefully engineered to block out the sizzling summer sun. If you have questions about the best sunglasses in the show, Powers Eye Center may be able to give you a push in the right direction.

What are Cataracts and Their Treatment?

According to the National Eye Institute, about half of all Americans that are 80 years of age or older will develop cataracts or have been treated for them. Cataracts are a thin covering over the lens of the eye. This clouding can limit your vision, making it hard to see distinct shapes and colors. They are common as you get older, but for many people, there is treatment available for them.


Cataracts develop in the eye’s lens, which is the area of the eye that helps to focus the light on the retina. The retina is where that light becomes an image, and the information from the image is transferred to your brain through the optical nerve. In a healthy eye, this light passes through the lens with ease because the lens remains transparent. In those who develop cataracts, the lens isn’t clear, meaning the image isn’t able to be focused well enough. Instead, the image looks blurred.

Cataracts occur when protein develops and clumps on the lens. The lens itself is made up of proteins, but when they are no longer arranged properly, they can cloud the vision. Cataracts worsen over time as the clumps get larger. They are more likely to occur in people who have diabetes or who have been smokers, but they can also occur without any link to other health risks.


Once your eye doctor diagnosis cataracts, treatment options are then applied. In many people, the cataract can be removed through minimally invasive eye surgery. If your vision is still good enough to enjoy day to day activities, you may not need cataracts removed. However, when it is making it difficult to watch TV, drive, or do the things you love, it’s time to make an appointment for cataract removal surgery.


The best way to minimize the risk of vision loss is to have routine eye exams. Come in for an appointment with Powers Eye Center if you think you may have cataracts or you are at risk for them. Call 719-598-5068 to schedule an exam.

How Diabetes Can Affect Your Eyes

If you have diabetes, you will need to work with your doctor to keep the condition under control – or the health of your eyes could decline. You have to keep your blood sugar stable and well-controlled to protect the sensitive tissues in your eyes from damage. Otherwise, you could start to experience vision loss that rapidly arises and may permanently remain. To better understand how this happens, explore how diabetes can affect your eyes.

Intermittent Blurry Vision

As your blood sugar levels rise and fall outside the normal range, you may experience blurry vision. The vision changes arise as the abnormal blood sugar levels alter the amount of fluid in your eyes. The resulting pressure changes change the size and shape of the lens, making it difficult to see clearly. When your blood sugar returns to normal levels, your blurry vision will likely resolve. Since the blurry vision can occur without warning, this problem can impede your normal daily activities, including driving.

Diabetic Retinopathy

As the tissues in your eyes swell in response to blood sugar fluctuations, blockage of the blood vessels occurs, resulting in diabetic retinopathy. This condition tends to silently develop over a period of time without causing any major symptoms. As scar tissue forms, it can damage the optic nerve or even cause the retina to fully detach from the eye. If blood sugar levels remain out of control, blindness may occur as the eye fails to receive adequate blood supply from the damaged vessels.

Preventing Eye Problems with Excellent Diabetes Management

When it comes to protecting your vision and the health of your eyes, diabetes management is key. With proper management, you can keep blood sugar fluctuations to a minimum and preserve the health of your eyes. You can work with your physician and eye doctor for help monitoring your health and making adjustments to your care plan.

You should also come in for regular checkups with your eye doctor to stay ahead of any vision changes that occur. To schedule a visit with your eye doctor at Powers Eye Center, give us a call at 719-598-5068 and let us know what time and date is convenient for you.

What are Dry Eyes?

As its name implies, dry eye is a condition in which the eyes fail to manufacture enough tears to prevent them from drying out. Occurring primarily in older adults, the condition results in a burning or itching feeling in the eyes, and vision may also be impaired. Left untreated, dry eye may cause significant damage to the exterior of the eye.


Dry eye has several different causes, including age, exposure to environmental conditions such as smoke, wind, and airborne allergens, and certain medical conditions such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and thyroid disease. Women who are experiencing menopause or using oral contraceptives are at an increased risk of developing dry eye as well as those using medications such as antihistamines, antidepressants, decongestants, and certain medicines prescribed for high blood pressure. Those who have worn contact lenses and patients who’ve recently undergone LASIK surgery are also at higher risk of experiencing dry eye.

Dry eye is diagnosed through a thorough examination by qualified ocular care professional. Testing includes an evaluation of the patient’s history and a comprehensive examination of the eyes that includes testing designed to determine the quantity of the tears as well as their quality. Following the examination, the doctor will advise a course of treatment specific to the individual needs of the patient.


Treatments for dry eye include over-the-counter and prescription artificial tear preparations. Prescription eye drops designed to promote increased tear production, and blocking the tear ducts with removable silicone plugs. Some patients find relief by taking supplements fortified with omega-3 fatty acids.

In some cases, the doctor may recommend a procedure that permanently closes the tear ducts.

Patients can also reduce the symptoms of dry eye by making sure their home and work environments have adequate humidity. Many of those suffering from dry eye as a result of working on computer screens, so they’re advised to remember to blink often and to consider using screens developed to reduce eyestrain. Wearing wraparound sunglasses helps decrease environmentally caused irritation to the eyes, and staying well-hydrated by drinking at least eight glasses of water per day is also recommended. Please don’t hesitate to contact us at your convenience for more information on keeping your eyes as healthy as possible.

What are Ocular Migraines

Ocular migraines are migraine headaches that are accompanied by visual disturbances, usually significantly reduced vision or even temporary blindness in one eye. Although many people use the term to describe a benign condition otherwise known as aura migraines in which sufferers may see shimmering or flashing lights, stars, erratic lines, or even psychedelic imagery, the two are not the same. Ocular migraines are sometimes also called ophthalmic, optical, and retinal migraines. However, ocular migraines and visual migraines are sometimes difficult to tell apart because the symptoms have significant similarities. As a general rule, visual abnormalities in ocular migraines occur in just one eye.


Ocular migraines have the same causes as classic migraines, although there’s still an element of mystery involved because medical science doesn’t yet understand all aspects of how these conditions happen. We know, however, that inflammatory substances released deep within the brain play a significant role in the development of both types of migraines. It’s also widely believed in the medical community that genetics is a part of the picture. Common triggers have also been identified, including red wine, coffee, dark chocolate, aged cheeses, and cured and smoked meats. Some people also report developing ocular migraines as a result of exposure to strong perfumes, cigarette smoke, emotional stress, overly bright or flashing lights, and certain dietary ingredients such as artificial sweeteners and monosodium glutamate.


Fortunately, ocular migraines typically disappear within an hour of arriving on the scene without any special treatment. However, you should nonetheless be evaluated by a professional if you experience them. Preventive treatment might be available for you that will reduce the risks involved in suddenly experience visual disturbances, and your eye care professional will be able to rule out more potentially serious conditions.


Those suffering from ocular migraines are also advised to keep a journal of activities and dietary intake prior to occurrences for the purpose of identifying possible triggers.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you suspect that you’ve been experiencing ocular migraines.

Can Computer Glasses Help at Work?

The development of technology is resulting in significant changes to vision over time. More people are using computers, tablets, smartphones, or other digital devices in their office environment. The problem is that the continued use of digital devices results in eye strain, dry eyes, and other potential complications. Computer glasses are growing in popularity in an attempt to reduce the symptoms of extended computer usage, but some questions arise with new ideas and products.


Computer glasses are a type of glasses designed to help filter out the blue light that comes from computer screens and other digital devices. Depending on the glasses, they may also filter out glares and UV radiation.

The point of the glasses is to reduce the amount of blue light that goes into your eyes. The result of lower levels of blue light from computer devices is that you will experience less eye strain and symptoms associated with eye strain. While it is not yet clear if the glasses help with more complex eye conditions like cataracts, the protection from UV radiation may also help keep your eyes healthy.


The primary benefit of computer glasses is the impact on eye strain. While it is not yet clear if the glasses help with other eye conditions, it does have a positive impact on eye strain when sitting in front of a computer for an extended period. It helps reduce the amount of eye strain you experience and may offer some protection against problems associated with UV radiation.

Computer glasses are a useful way to limit the damage to your eyes when you work in an office environment. While you still want to take measures to keep your eyes healthy by looking away from your screen and getting up for regular breaks, the glasses may help with eye strain when you are not able to take breaks from a computer or digital device.

What to Expect During an Optomap Retinal Exam

Eye doctors can assess the health and condition of your retinas better than ever before with Optomap retinal imaging. Using high tech imaging equipment, eye doctors can view the entire inside of the eye without the need for dilation of your retinas. The accurate images allow for the prompt diagnosis of health conditions affecting the retina and continued monitoring of your eye health. Although the process is quick and easy, you can prepare for your Optomap retinal exam with this guide on what to expect.

Adjustment of the Scanning Equipment

Your eye doctor must adjust the scanning equipment to make sure it will properly read and record your retinal images. The adjustment process only takes a few seconds to complete in most cases. You will just need to follow your eye doctor’s instructions to assist in the completion of your scanning equipment adjustment process.

Quick Scan of Your Eye Structure

Once you are finished with the adjustment procedures, the scan will begin. Your eye doctor will likely instruct you to lean forward on the faceplate and keep your eyes open for the duration of the test. Once you are positioned in front of the imaging equipment, your eye doctor will press the button and start the scan. The scanning process usually only takes a few seconds per eye to complete.

Consultation with the Eye Doctor

After you complete the Optomap retinal exam process, you will have an opportunity to consult with your eye doctor. You will receive information on any findings from the retinal image scans and support in choosing the best treatment for your needs. Your eye doctor will provide you with the information and support you need to move forward in protecting the health of your eyes.

Talk with Your Doctor to Learn More About Optomap Retinal Exams

Optomap retinal exams allow your eye doctor to view your entire retina and record the images in your medical record. With this exam, you may not need to have your retinas dilated to receive a diagnosis and begin treatment as required. To learn more about keeping your eyes in great health, schedule your eye care appointment today with a call to 719-598-5068.