Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Light rays enter the eye through the cornea, pupil and lens. These light rays are focused on the retina, the light-sensitive tissue lining the back of the eye. The retina sends signals through the optic nerve to the brain where these signals become the images we see.

The retina has two areas: the peripheral retina which gives us our side or wide-angle vision and the macula the small area at the center of the retina. The macula gives us our pinpoint vision allowing us to see clearly.

Macular Degeneration is the leading cause of severe vision loss in people over the age of 60. It occurs when the small central portion of the retina, known as the macula, deteriorates. The retina is the light- sensing nerve tissue at the back of the eye. Because the disease develops as a person ages, it is often referred to as age-related macular degeneration. Although macular degeneration is almost never a totally blinding condition, it can be a source of significant visual disability.

Wet and Dry Macular Degeneration 

The dry form of macular degeneration occurs when the light-sensitive cells in the macula gradually break down, resulting in distortion of sharp, central vision.

When this form becomes advanced, it can result in the wet form of the disease. Blood vessels in the eye begin to leak blood and fluid. Loss of vision can happen very quickly.

Symptoms can include wavy or distorted vision, “blind spots” in vision… dark, blurry areas in the center of vision and diminished or changed color perception. Any of these changes warrant a prompt visit to your physician.

When AMD is diagnosed and treated in its early and intermediate stages, vision loss can often be slowed and the risk of its progression to the wet form reduced. While there are numerous medications and treatments available, treatment has to be aimed at the patient’s specific manifestation of the disease. Seven different forms of the disease exist and no one treatment is effective for every patient.

Years ago, AMD often resulted in legal blindness. However, new treatments have produced much better outcomes. Healthy choices can also help the prevention of developing this disease.

PSA From Deidre Hall About Age Related Macular Degeneration, Shared By The American Academy Of Ophthalmology

Read More About Retina

There is a lot of information on the internet about eye health. The best information will come directly from a board-certified eye doctor. Call (941) 625-1325 to book a consult with one of Community Eye Center’s ophthalmologists, optometrists or opticians today.

Torn Retina Informational Video

The inner eye is filled with a clear jelly-like substance called vitreous. As we age, the vitreous becomes less like jelly and more like liquid. Usually, the vitreous is only loosely attached to the retina so as the eye moves the vitreous moves away from the retina without causing problems. Sometimes though, the vitreous pulls hard enough to tear the retina. Flashes of light or floaters can appear in the field of vision.

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Torn Retina & Cryopexy

To repair a retinal tear with Cryopexy, your eye surgeon uses a special probe that applies intense cold energy to freeze the retina around the tear. This creates swelling that eventually becomes scar tissue. It is this scar tissue that seals the retina to the wall of the eye- helping to prevent the retina from detaching completely.

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Retinal Detachment and Tears

The retina is the light-sensitive area lining the back of the eye that sends signals through the optic nerve to the brain where these signals become the images that we see. The inner eye is filled with a clear jelly-like substance called vitreous. As we age, the vitreous becomes less like jelly and more like liquid. Usually the vitreous is only loosely attached to the retina. So as the eye moves, the vitreous moves away from the retina without causing problems.

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Macular Holes

The inner eye is filled with a clear jelly-like substance called the vitreous. As we age the vitreous becomes less like jelly and more like liquid. Usually the vitreous is only loosely attached to the retina so as the eye moves, the vitreous moves away from the macula without causing problems. In some cases, however, the vitreous sticks to the macula and is unable to pull away. As a result, the macula tissue stretches and a hole may form.

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Flashes and Floaters

Vision changes can indicate a serious problem with the tissue that lines the back of the eyeball (retina) optic nerve or blood vessels in the eye. Evaluation by an eye doctors is needed for sudden vision changes, such as:

Flashes of light (photopsia). Photopsia is brief but recurrent streaks, sparks, or flickers of light, particularly when you move your eyes or head. The flashes of light may be easier to see when you look at a dark background. The brief flashes may occur with retinal detachment.

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Diabetic Retinopathy

More than 24 million people – eight percent of the population – have diabetes. Diabetes is a form of vascular disease. Elevated levels of blood sugar over a long period of time can result in damage to the eyes blood vessels and retina, impairing vision. If left untreated, the eye’s macula can be damaged.

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Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Age-Related Macular Degeneration is a condition which affects the retina.

Light rays enter the eye through the cornea, pupil and lens. These light rays are focused on the retina, the light-sensitive tissue lining the back of the eye. The retina sends signals through the optic nerve to the brain where these signals become the images we see.

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Blocked Tear Ducts and Dacryocystorhinostomy (DCR) Surgery

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What is a blocked tear duct and how is it treated?

When you blink, a tear film spreads over the eye making the surface smooth and clear. The tear film is made up of three distinct layers. An oily layer, a watery layer and a mucous layer. Each layer is needed for the tear film to keep our eyes moist.

Tears protect the eyes and keep them moist and healthy. Tears come from the conjunctiva which is the clear tissue over the white of the eye, and from the lacrimal glands. These glands are located above each eye. The tears flow across the surface of your eye and drain through tiny holes called puncta. Puncta are in the corners of your upper and lower eyelids near the nose. The tears then travel through tiny passages in the eyelids. They eventually go into the nasal lacrimal duct before emptying into your nose; this is why your nose runs when you cry. When the tear drainage system is either partly or completely blocked, tears cannot drain normally. The eye becomes watery and irritated it can also be constantly infected.

A blocked tear duct can be due to:
  • Age
  • Injury
  • Infection
There are many treatment options for blocked tear ducts including:
  • Antibiotics
  • Massage
  • Tear Duct Probing and Flushing
  • Balloon Catheter Dilation
  • Stenting and Intubation
  • External and Endoscopic DCR

DCR Options for Blocked Tear Ducts

Commonly performed to treat blocked tear ducts, Community Eye Center offers dacryocystorhinostomy (DCR)  surgery options. DCR is a procedure which opens the passageway for tears to drain properly out of the nose again. Patients are provided with general anesthesia or local anesthesia if the procedure is performed in an outpatient setting.

External Dacryocystorhinostomy (DCR)

External DCR is surgery that creates a new pathway for tears to drain from the eye when the tear duct is blocked. The surgeon will make a small incision near the inside corner of the eye. He or she will then create a new opening directly from the eye’s lacrimal sack into the nasal cavity to allow tears to drain. A surgical adhesive or stitches are used to close the incision and a tubelike stent may be used temporarily to keep the new drain from closing up while healing. The tube can be removed later in the physician’s office or outpatient surgery center.

Endoscopic Dacryocystorhinostomy (DCR)

Endoscopic DCR surgically creates a new pathway for tears to drain from the eye when the tear duct is blocked. The surgeon will insert a slender tube called an endoscope into your nasal cavity. He or she will then create a new opening directly from the eyes lacrimal sack into the nasal cavity to allow tears to drain. A flexible tube called a stent may be put in place temporarily to keep the new drain from closing up while healing. The tube can be removed later in the physician’s office or outpatient surgery center.

Community Eye Center offers treatment options for blocked tear ducts, including External and Endoscopic Dacryocystorhinostomy (DCR).

Community Eye Center Oculoplastic Surgeon, Dr. Mishra

A talented and sought-after licensed Cosmetic and Oculoplastic Surgeon with board certification in Anti-aging Medicine. Dr. Mishra offers a comprehensive array of treatments, including cosmetic and functional eyelid surgery, BOTOX, cosmetic and other options at Community Eye Center.

Read More About Oculoplastics & Cosmetics

There is a lot of information on the internet about eye health. The best information will come directly from a board-certified eye doctor. Call (941) 625-1325 to book a consult with one of Community Eye Center’s ophthalmologists, optometrists or opticians today.

A Photo Of Woman Wearing Glasses With Blue Frames

Financing For Cosmetic, Oculoplastics and Eyelid Surgery

Many private health insurance plans will cover the cost of functional eyelid surgery; this procedure may also be covered under Medicare. But, in the case that a procedure is not covered, or if you choose an elective procedure, Community Eye Center (CEC) partners with organizations that offer financial assistance.

Read More »
Person On Operating Table At Community Eye Center's St. Lucy Eye Surgery Center, Smiling With Nurses Standing Nearby To Review

Entropion & Ectropion Repair

Community Eye Center offers Southwest Florida with the best oculoplastic, cosmetic and plastic surgery, including treatment of common eyelid malposition, entropion and ectropion repair.

Read More »
Photo Of A Woman With Blonde Eye Brows Holding Her Fingers To Her Eyes To Simulate An Eye Lift Procedure

Cosmetic Treatments, Oculofacial Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery

Community Eye Center offers oculofacial plastic and reconstructive surgery options for patients with cosmetic, functional or reconstructive surgery needs. Our board-certified cosmetic and oculoplastic surgeon, Dr. Mishra, has extensive training and years of experience focused on plastic and reconstructive eye surgery. Dr. Mishra will customize and tailor your treatment plan. With attentive care, he strives to meet your goals with results that look not only beautiful but also natural.

Read More »
A Doctor Holding A Woman's Eyelid Up While Tracing The Area For Eyelift Surgery Incision

Eyelid Lift Surgery (Blepharoplasty)

Eyelift surgery, also known as eyelid surgery or blepharoplasty, is a surgical procedure that is performed to remove excess skin from the upper eyelids and/or reduce bagginess from lower eyelids.

This procedure is done for both cosmetic and functional reasons. While it can improve appearances, it is also done to improve sight for those whose eyelids sag and get in the way of their vision.

Read More »

Entropion & Ectropion Repair

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Entropion Repair

 

What is entropion and how is it repaired? 

With entropion, the eyelashes and skin of the eyelid turn into the eye; they rub against the cornea causing pain and irritation.

To repair an eyelid with entropion the eye surgeon will make an incision at the outer corner of the eyelid and along the eyelashes; sometimes the incision is made on the inside of the eyelid. Then, the surgeon will tighten the tendons that hold the eyelid in the correct position.

If entropion is caused by caused by scars or prior surgery, the eye surgeon may graft or surgically place a small amount of tissue from another area of the body; this helps lessen the pull on the eyelid caused by the scar and repositions the eyelid. This should help the skin and eyelashes from irritating the cornea.

Ectropion Repair

 

What is ectropion and how is it repaired? 

With ectropion, the lining of the inner eyelid is exposed. Tears do not drain properly from the eye leading to tearing and discomfort.

To repair ectropion the eye surgeon may tighten the tendons that normally hold the eyelid in the correct position. He or she may also remove a tiny piece of eyelid tissue to bring the lid back toward the eyeball.

If ectropion is caused by scars or prior surgery, a skin graft or place tissue from another part of the body may be used to relieve the tension caused by the scar and help reposition the eyelid. After surgery, the incisions made in the eyelid are closed with stitches or surgical adhesive.

Community Eye Center's Oculoplastic Surgeon

A talented and sought-after licensed Cosmetic and Oculoplastic Surgeon with board certification in Anti-aging Medicine. Dr. Mishra offers a comprehensive array of treatments, including cosmetic and functional eyelid surgery, BOTOX, cosmetic and other options at Community Eye Center.

Read More About Oculoplastics & Cosmetics

There is a lot of information on the internet about eye health. The best information will come directly from a board-certified eye doctor. Call (941) 625-1325 to book a consult with one of Community Eye Center’s ophthalmologists, optometrists or opticians today.

A Photo Of Woman Wearing Glasses With Blue Frames

Financing For Cosmetic, Oculoplastics and Eyelid Surgery

Many private health insurance plans will cover the cost of functional eyelid surgery; this procedure may also be covered under Medicare. But, in the case that a procedure is not covered, or if you choose an elective procedure, Community Eye Center (CEC) partners with organizations that offer financial assistance.

Read More »
Person On Operating Table At Community Eye Center's St. Lucy Eye Surgery Center, Smiling With Nurses Standing Nearby To Review

Entropion & Ectropion Repair

Community Eye Center offers Southwest Florida with the best oculoplastic, cosmetic and plastic surgery, including treatment of common eyelid malposition, entropion and ectropion repair.

Read More »
Photo Of A Woman With Blonde Eye Brows Holding Her Fingers To Her Eyes To Simulate An Eye Lift Procedure

Cosmetic Treatments, Oculofacial Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery

Community Eye Center offers oculofacial plastic and reconstructive surgery options for patients with cosmetic, functional or reconstructive surgery needs. Our board-certified cosmetic and oculoplastic surgeon, Dr. Mishra, has extensive training and years of experience focused on plastic and reconstructive eye surgery. Dr. Mishra will customize and tailor your treatment plan. With attentive care, he strives to meet your goals with results that look not only beautiful but also natural.

Read More »
A Doctor Holding A Woman's Eyelid Up While Tracing The Area For Eyelift Surgery Incision

Eyelid Lift Surgery (Blepharoplasty)

Eyelift surgery, also known as eyelid surgery or blepharoplasty, is a surgical procedure that is performed to remove excess skin from the upper eyelids and/or reduce bagginess from lower eyelids.

This procedure is done for both cosmetic and functional reasons. While it can improve appearances, it is also done to improve sight for those whose eyelids sag and get in the way of their vision.

Read More »

Cosmetic Treatments, Oculofacial Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery

Play Video

Community Eye Center offers oculofacial plastic and reconstructive surgery options for patients with cosmetic, functional or reconstructive surgery needs. Our board-certified cosmetic and oculoplastic surgeon, Dr. Mishra, has extensive training and years of experience focused on plastic and reconstructive eye surgery. Dr. Mishra will customize and tailor your treatment plan. With attentive care, he strives to meet your goals with results that look not only beautiful but also natural.

Dr. Mishra focuses his practice on both cosmetic and reconstructive procedures of the eyelids. He treats a common eyelid malposition, including drooping of the upper eyelids, eyelids that are turned in (entropion) or turned out (ectropion).

Oculoplastic Surgery Procedures Include:
  • Eyelift Surgery (Blepharoplasty of the upper Eyelids for Droopy and Sagging Skin)
  • Eyelift Surgery (Blepharoplasty of the Lower Eyelids)
  • Direct Brow Lift Surgery
  • Ectropion Repair
  • Entropion Repair
  • Eyelash Transplants
  • Endoscopic DCR
For a minimally invasive answer to cosmetic concerns, Community Eye Center also offers:
  • Injections (Botox) for Wrinkles and Fine Lines
  • Dermal Fillers to Restore Facial Volume, Including:
    • Restylane
    • Juvederm
    • Radiesse
    • Perlane
  • Facial Skin Care Treatments (including rejuvenation with The Lumenis TotalFX)
  • Hand Rejuvenation
  • Age Spot Treatment
  • Acne & Keloid Scar Treatment
  • Rosacea Treatment
  • Earlobe Rejuvenation

Community Eye Center Oculoplastic Surgeon, Dr. Mishra

A talented and sought-after licensed Cosmetic and Oculoplastic Surgeon with board certification in Anti-aging Medicine. Dr. Mishra offers a comprehensive array of treatments, including cosmetic and functional eyelid surgery, BOTOX, cosmetic and other options at Community Eye Center.

Read More About Oculoplastics & Cosmetics

There is a lot of information on the internet about eye health. The best information will come directly from a board-certified eye doctor. Call (941) 625-1325 to book a consult with one of Community Eye Center’s ophthalmologists, optometrists or opticians today.

A Photo Of Woman Wearing Glasses With Blue Frames

Financing For Cosmetic, Oculoplastics and Eyelid Surgery

Many private health insurance plans will cover the cost of functional eyelid surgery; this procedure may also be covered under Medicare. But, in the case that a procedure is not covered, or if you choose an elective procedure, Community Eye Center (CEC) partners with organizations that offer financial assistance.

Read More »
Person On Operating Table At Community Eye Center's St. Lucy Eye Surgery Center, Smiling With Nurses Standing Nearby To Review

Entropion & Ectropion Repair

Community Eye Center offers Southwest Florida with the best oculoplastic, cosmetic and plastic surgery, including treatment of common eyelid malposition, entropion and ectropion repair.

Read More »
Photo Of A Woman With Blonde Eye Brows Holding Her Fingers To Her Eyes To Simulate An Eye Lift Procedure

Cosmetic Treatments, Oculofacial Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery

Community Eye Center offers oculofacial plastic and reconstructive surgery options for patients with cosmetic, functional or reconstructive surgery needs. Our board-certified cosmetic and oculoplastic surgeon, Dr. Mishra, has extensive training and years of experience focused on plastic and reconstructive eye surgery. Dr. Mishra will customize and tailor your treatment plan. With attentive care, he strives to meet your goals with results that look not only beautiful but also natural.

Read More »
A Doctor Holding A Woman's Eyelid Up While Tracing The Area For Eyelift Surgery Incision

Eyelid Lift Surgery (Blepharoplasty)

Eyelift surgery, also known as eyelid surgery or blepharoplasty, is a surgical procedure that is performed to remove excess skin from the upper eyelids and/or reduce bagginess from lower eyelids.

This procedure is done for both cosmetic and functional reasons. While it can improve appearances, it is also done to improve sight for those whose eyelids sag and get in the way of their vision.

Read More »

Which Eye Care Professional To Choose: Ophthalmologist, Optometrist or Optician?

Which Eye Care Professional To Choose: Ophthalmologist, Optometrist or Optician?

There is a question about eye care professionals that our staff receives frequently. It is a question that is hugely significant when scheduling an eye appointment at Community Eye Center.

“What’re the differences between ophthalmologists, optometrists and opticians?”

We are always happy to address this concern for patients because it streamlines their visit by providing them with eye care that suits their individual eye needs. Whether a patient requires a comprehensive eye exam, eyeglasses, or is seeking treatment for a more complex eye condition, Community Eye Center’s goal is to offer expedient care and direct patients to the best eye care provider for their needs.

While there is some overlap in the services provided, the levels of training and expertise are unique to each type of provider. To alleviate confusion, here is a glimpse at the different care that each of these providers offers:

Ophthalmologist

Often, the term “eye doctor” is used as a universal term to describe ophthalmologists and optometrists. The use of this name is accurate because they are both doctors who concentrated in eye care. However, there are differences in the level of training and what ophthalmologists or optometrists can diagnose and treat.

The critical distinction between an ophthalmologist and an optometrist is that an ophthalmologist is a medical or osteopathic doctor (MD or DO) who specializes in eye and vision care.

As a doctor of medicine, who has completed school and a minimum of eight years of medical training, ophthalmologists can diagnose and treat any eye condition or disease, perform eye surgery and prescribe eyeglasses and contact lenses for vision correction. Ophthalmologists are qualified to care for all eye conditions and diseases.

Ophthalmologists are often also involved in scientific research about the causes and cures for eye diseases and vision disorders. Some ophthalmologists may also choose to specialize in a specific area of their medical training or surgical eye care. These subspecialties require additional fellowship training. Subspecialties of ophthalmology may include glaucoma, retina, cornea, pediatrics, and plastic surgery. This extensive training is to prepare ophthalmologists to care for more complex cases in specific areas of the eye.

Optometrist

Optometrists are licensed to practice optometry, but are not medical doctors and do not perform eye surgery. Optometrists hold a doctor of optometry (OD) degree after completing four years of optometry school, preceded by three years or more years of college.

Optometrists are doctors who provide care ranging from comprehensive eye examinations and vision correction with the fitting of glasses and contact lenses to diagnosis and management of ocular diseases such as glaucoma, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration, pre and post-operative care for surgical patients, and dry eye evaluations.

Optician

Opticians are technicians who receive training to design and fit eyeglass lenses, frames and contacts as well as other vision correcting devices. They may use prescriptions which are provided by ophthalmologists or optometrists but cannot test vision or write prescriptions for vision correction. Opticians cannot diagnose or treat eye conditions or diseases.

If you would like more information about the eye care providers at Community Eye Center, Schedule an appointment with one of Community Eye Center. You may also call Community Eye Center at +1-941-625-1325 for information or to schedule an appointment.


For over 30 years, Community Eye Center (CEC) and its eye doctors have provided excellence in eye care from multiple south-west Florida locations, eye only surgery center, and optical services. CEC offers total eye care including cataract surgery, dry eye treatment, treatment of macular degeneration and all other retinal diseases, glaucoma treatment, diabetic eye exams, eyelid & cosmetic surgery, comprehensive eye exams, contact lenses & glasses, and 24/7 emergency eye care. Selecting only the most qualified and dedicated eye health professionals (board-certified ophthalmologists, optometrists, opticians, eye surgeons, oculoplastic specialists, cataract specialists, and more), CEC offers comprehensive and expedient care.

West Nile And The Eyes

West Nile And The Eyes

 

VENICE/NORTH PORT/PORT CHARLOTTE, FL— SEP 14, 2018

Did you know that West Nile Virus can result in lesions to the part of the eye which gives us our sharp, central vision? With the recently issued mosquito-borne illness advisory, Community Eye Center (CEC) seeks to inform about eye manifestations of the West Nile Virus.

Late last week, health the Florida Department of Health Charlotte County issued a mosquito-borne illness advisory. The advisory arose after a recently confirmed human case of West Nile Virus.

Often, patients will present no symptoms of the West Nile Virus. But, in about 20% of cases, those infected may develop a fever and other symptoms including headaches, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea or rash. In rare cases, West Nile can develop into a potentially life-threatening disease that affects the central nervous system.

Those infected with West Nile Virus may also experience eye manifestations including anterior uveitis, retinal vasculitis, optic neuritis, subconjunctival hemorrhage, sixth nerve palsy, nystagmus, and congenital chorioretinal scarring. The most common eye manifestation related to the illness is asymptomatic multifocal chorioretinitis (lesions to the macula).

Multifocal chorioretinitis consists of small, multifocal, retinal lesions together with intraocular inflammatory. Symptoms include blind spots, floaters, eye discomfort and perceived flashes of light. Commonly treated with steroids, chorioretinitis can also happen to those who have never had the West Nile Virus. Chorioretinitis is considered a chronic eye condition. Symptoms can return or worsen even after successful treatment.

With asymptomatic multifocal chorioretinitis resulting from West Nile Virus,  patients may experience vision loss. Vision typically returns after the West Nile infection subsides. Still, in severe cases of chorioretinitis associated with West Nile, permanent vision loss has been reported.

Often happening gradually in adults, vision changes can go unnoticed. A routine comprehensive exam is the best way to ensure that vision stays sharp. Comprehensive medical eye exams become even more critical as a person ages because conditions such as cataracts, glaucoma and retinal conditions become more common. Early diagnosis and intervention of these diseases can often prevent vision loss or blindness.

Whether in need of a routine exam or facing something more complex, Community Eye Center’s eye care providers are prepared to help. For over 30 years, CEC has provided excellence in eye care from multiple south-west Florida locations, eye only surgery center, and optical services.

Community Eye Center offers total eye care including cataract surgery, dry eye treatment, treatment of macular degeneration and all other retinal diseases, glaucoma treatment, diabetic eye exams, eyelid & cosmetic surgery, comprehensive eye exams, contact lenses & glasses, and 24/7 emergency eye care. Selecting only the most qualified and dedicated eye health professionals (board-certified ophthalmologists, optometrists, opticians, oculoplastic specialists, cataract specialists, and more), CEC offers comprehensive and expedient care.

For more information about the effects of West Nile on eye health, please contact Community Eye Center at +1-941-625-1325.

Community Eye Center (CEC) was first founded in 1980 by Dr. Anthony Limoncelli to serve the area residents by providing a central resource for the eye health needs of the community. Over three decades, CEC has grown to include nine physicians at multiple Southwest Florida locations, an eye only surgery center and optical services. A part of CEC, St Lucy’s Eye Surgery Center is the only facility in Charlotte County dedicated exclusively to eye surgery.

Ready to schedule a consult?
Please call:

+1 (941) 625-1325

OR

Read more From Community Eye Center

Dr. Eric Liss A Top Cataract Surgeon In Port Charlotte, North Port And Venice Florida Poses For His Headshot At Community Eye Center, A Full-Service Eye Care Clinic
Cataract Surgeon Port Charlotte
Community Eye Center

Cataract Surgeon Port Charlotte Florida

Dr. Eric A. Liss, MD Click Image To Request An Appointment Board-Certified Ophthalmologist Google  5/5 A Board-Certified Ophthalmologist, Dr. Liss provides comprehensive ophthalmic care

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Events
Community Eye Center

Free Cataract Screenings & Seminar

Dr. Bradley O’Neill will hold a free cataract seminar and offer free cataract screenings.

Attendance is reserved for the first 25 to RSVP before January 7th, 2020. Please call (941) 625-1325 to RSVP for this event.

Read More »
A Woman Rubbing Her Eye In Pain From A Possible Detached Retina
News & Media
Community Eye Center

Community Eye Center Retina

Community Eye Center Retina Community Eye Center and St. Lucy’s Eye Surgery Center are both committed to excellence in the medical and surgical treatment of retina,

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Dr. Eric Liss On Red Tide And Eyes

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Red Tide And Eyes

Eye Symptoms That Should Never Go Unchecked


With the summer season of beaches and fun in the sun comes another, less welcoming aspect of life in Southwest Florida, red tide. While the focus is usually on the respiratory and ecological impacts of these blooms of harmful algae, it is important to keep in mind that red tide can also significantly impact the eye health of you and your loved ones.

For the past couple months, Southwest Florida has been impacted by Red Tide. These algal blooms, caused by a species of dinoflagellate, known as Alexandrium fundyense, can cause people to have throat irritation, congestion, sneezing, itching, coughing, wheezing and even chest tightness. But, Red Tide may also cause people eye irritation including itchy and burning eyes, symptoms that can indicate serious eye conditions.

“Many patients may be familiar with the typical seasonal allergy symptoms such as redness and itchy eyes but it is important to consider the possibility that red tide can also be a significant factor for some individuals,” said Dr. Eric Liss, ophthalmologist at Community Eye Center. “For some, these symptoms may be minor and not overly bothersome, however other people may have significant difficulties with eye comfort, appearance, and even vision.”  

People experiencing eye irritation from Red Tide may benefit from a comprehensive eye exam. Different from a typical optical visit, during a comprehensive eye exam, eye doctors check the eyes for signs of chronic and progressive eye conditions that can significantly impair a person’s vision, comfort and ability to function normally.

“Just as it is important to get a regular physical exam even if you don’t have active symptoms, it is similarly important to regularly assess eye health for potentially silent but visually damaging conditions such as glaucoma or macular degeneration,” said Liss. “An otherwise healthy adult should receive a comprehensive eye exam on an annual basis, with more frequent visits depending on the presence and severity of ocular disease.”

Comprehensive medical eye exams become even more critical as people age because conditions such as cataracts, glaucoma and macular degeneration become more common. Early diagnosis and intervention of these diseases can often prevent vision loss or blindness.

“There is a widespread misperception that just because you don’t have any complaints about your vision that means that your eyes are healthy.  I see patients on a daily basis who have normal vision but who nonetheless are affected by potentially blinding conditions,” said Liss. “A clinic visit to address a quality of life complaint such as eye irritation is the perfect opportunity to make sure your overall eye health and vision are as good as they can be.”  

 

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