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Think Again Next Time You Rub Your Eyes

We have all been there… An irritation or itch in the eye and we rub our fists to feel relief.

The action of rubbing eyes stimulates tears, lubricating dry eyes and removing dust and other irritants.

It can also be therapeutic, as pressing down on the eyeball stimulates the vagus nerve and slows down the heart rate, relieving stress.

While rubbing your eyes may seem harmless, if you rub your eyes too often or too hard you can actually damage your eye.

Here are a few reasons you should reconsider rubbing your eyes:

  • It can cause an unsightly appearance. It causes tiny blood vessels to break, resulting in bloodshot eyes and dark circles.
  • Germs can enter through the eye socket. Your hands carry more germs than any other body part and can easily transmit germs leading to infections like conjunctivitis.
  • You can damage your eye’s nerves. Rubbing to remove a foreign object stuck in your eye can scratch the cornea.
  • Rubbing is dangerous for people with pre-existing eye conditions. Those with progressive myopia can worsen their eyesight through rubbing, and people with glaucoma can cause a spike in eye pressure that disrupts blood flow to the back of the eye.
  • It can thin your cornea. Damage to the cornea through rubbing causes it to be weakened and conical, potentially leading to distorted vision.

Next time you get an itch or irritant to the eye, try flushing it out with sterile saline or artificial tears. Eye drops also help prevent dry, itchy eyes.

If you feel that your eye irritation is a chronic condition, schedule a comprehensive eye exam with your ophthalmologist.

Dr. Stephen H. Uretsky is a board-certified ophthalmologist with 35 years of practice experience who specializes in comprehensive eye care. Dr. Michael G. Miller is a dedicated optometrist with a passion for helping correct vision loss in patients. Coastal Jersey Eye Center features an optical center, Classic Eyewear, which provides eyeglass frames and lenses to suit every style and budget.

For more information on eye exams or to schedule an appointment, call the Linwood office at 609-927-3373 or the Cape May Court House office at 609-465-7926. Visit us online at CoastalJerseyEye.com.

Smoking and Eye Health… Not A Good MIx

Most people are aware that smoking poses a variety of health risks, ranging from cancer to heart disease, diabetes to lung diseases and more. However, many folks are unaware of the danger smoking causes to eye health.

Smoking harms nearly every organ in your body — including your eyes. Studies show smoking increases the risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), cataracts, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy and dry eye syndrome.

One of the most vulnerable parts of the eye to cigarette smoke is the choroid, which is a dense network of blood vessels at the back of the eye. It’s responsible for supplying the retina with oxygen and nutrition and maintains the temperature and volume of the eye.

Studies have shown that smokers and people exposed to smoke have a thinner choroid. Choroidal thinning is linked to the development of vision-threatening AMD, among other conditions.

Eye diseases caused by smoking include:

Cataracts cloud your eye’s natural lens. The only way it can be corrected is through surgery to replace the lens with an artificial intraocular lens.

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the deterioration of the macula, the essential part of the retina that provides sharp vision. Living with AMD can make it difficult or impossible to read, recognize faces and colors.

For those with diabetes, smoking increases the risk of diabetic retinopathy —irreversible vision damage done to the retina.

To decrease the risk of developing serious health problems, the American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends that smokers quit smoking and everyone should avoid smoking to preserve your long-term eye health.

If you continue to smoke, schedule comprehensive eye exams regularly with your ophthalmologist.

Dr. Stephen H. Uretsky is a board-certified ophthalmologist with 35 years of practice experience who specializes in comprehensive eye care. Dr. Michael G. Miller is a dedicated optometrist with a passion for helping correct vision loss in patients. Coastal Jersey Eye Center features an optical center, Classic Eyewear, which provides eyeglass frames and lenses to suit every style and budget.

For more information on eye exams or to schedule an appointment, call the Linwood office at 609-927-3373 or the Cape May Court House office at 609-465-7926. Visit us online at CoastalJerseyEye.com.

Coastal Jersey Eye Center Offering Telehealth Services During Pandemic

Telehealth has been around for years. Many medical professions have embraced the technology but patients have been slow to adopt these new services.

With the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) keeping people home under stay-at-home orders, Telehealth services are proving to be an easy and convenient path to high-quality and timely health care where a physical visit is not necessary. Coastal Jersey Eye Center is pleased to offer Telehealth appointments to provide care in a safe, no-contact way.

With Telehealth appointments, patients video chat with one of our medical professionals by phone, tablet or computer. Through Telehealth, we can address non-emergency eye issues like:

  • Issuing new prescriptions for eye medication or renew existing ones.
  • Treating allergies that cause itchy, red, irritated eyes.
  • Identifying and treating conjunctivitis.
  • Providing treatments to address the pain and discomfort of a corneal abrasion.
  • Get help soothing your eye and reducing inflammation from Stys.
  • And much more!

Having a virtual visit from the comfort of your home is the best way for us to provide treatment and keep you safe. For more information or to schedule a Telehealth appointment, visit CoastalJerseyEye.com or call 609-927-3373.

Dr. Stephen H. Uretsky is a board-certified ophthalmologist with 35 years of practice experience who specializes in comprehensive eye care. Dr. Michael G. Miller is a dedicated optometrist with a passion for helping correct vision loss in patients. Coastal Jersey Eye Center features an optical center, Classic Eyewear, which provides eyeglass frames and lenses to suit every style and budget.

For more information on eye exams or to schedule an appointment, call the Linwood office at 609-927-3373 or the Cape May Court House office at 609-465-7926. Visit us online at CoastalJerseyEye.com.