Seasonal Allergies Make Dry Eye Symptoms Worse

Berks Eye Physicians & Surgeons, Ltd.
Dry Eye relief in Wyomissing

If you find yourself dreading the arrival of spring or fall due to the onset of seasonal allergies, you are in good company. Sneezing, congestion, and itchy eyes can be a significant inconvenience. Seasonal allergies can also exacerbate dry eye symptoms, making your eyes feel even more uncomfortable. At Berks Eye, we understand the negative impact that seasonal allergies can have on your eye health, and our dedicated team of specialists is committed to helping you combat dry eye symptoms so that your eyes stay comfortable.

The Link Between Seasonal Allergies and Dry Eye Symptoms

When your body comes into contact with allergens, it triggers an inflammatory response. This response can affect the delicate tear film that covers the surface of your eyes, leading to increased evaporation of tears and exacerbating dry eye symptoms.

Understanding Dry Eye Syndrome

Dry eye syndrome occurs when your eyes are unable to produce an adequate quantity or quality of tears to keep the eyes properly lubricated. This can result in symptoms such as:

  • Persistent dryness
  • Grittiness or a feeling of foreign body in the eye
  • Burning or stinging sensation
  • Blurred vision
  • Sensitivity to light

Addressing Your Dry Eye Symptoms at Berks Eye

At Berks Eye, our experienced team of doctors is dedicated to helping you find relief from dry eye symptoms, especially when exacerbated by seasonal allergies. We offer comprehensive evaluations to assess the underlying causes of your dry eye and develop personalized treatment plans to address your needs.

Our range of treatment options may include artificial tears, ointment, prescription eye drops, and eyelid scrubs — all of which help nourish and moisturize the eye. You may also be recommended nutritional supplements. In addition, our practice offers punctal occlusion as well as meibomian gland expression treatments to help with the flow of tears. LipiFlow® is also available at our practice, which is an automated, in-office dry eye treatment that combines warmth and pulsated pressure to open and express clogged meibomian glands, providing relief to dry eye syndrome.

Certain lifestyle changes, such as limiting your exposure to allergies, reducing screentime throughout the day, and taking frequent breaks to rest the eyes, can all improve dry eye symptoms.

Improve Dry Eye Symptoms in Wyomissing

At Berks Eye, we understand the impact that seasonal allergies can have on your eye health, especially when compounded by dry eye symptoms. Our team is committed to providing you with personalized care and effective solutions to alleviate your discomfort. Do not let seasonal allergies exacerbate your dry eye symptoms any longer — contact us today to schedule an appointment and take the first step towards enjoying greater eye comfort and clarity.

Warning Signs You Need An Eye Doctor After Corneal Injury

Berks Eye Physicians & Surgeons, Ltd.
Corneal Injury Wyomissing

The cornea, which is the transparent, dome-shaped surface located at the front of the eye, plays a crucial role in vision. However, it is also susceptible to injury from a wide range of causes, including foreign objects, chemical exposure, and trauma. When the cornea is damaged, it can lead to significant discomfort and potential vision impairment. Understanding the warning signs of a corneal injury is essential for seeking timely medical attention to preserve your vision. At Berks Eye, our team of dedicated eye care professionals understands the importance of prompt and effective treatment following a corneal injury. We are committed to providing comprehensive eye care to help preserve your vision.

How Does Corneal Injury Occur?

Corneal scratches can occur when foreign objects come into contact with your eye, particularly in work environments involving equipment or tools. Common culprits for corneal scratches include:

  • Dust, dirt, sand, or other environmental debris
  • Small fragments of wood or metal
  • Cosmetic brushes or applicators
  • Accidental contact with fingernails

Corneal abrasions can also result from improper use of contact lenses, such as. Wearing lenses when your eyes are dry, using ill-fitting contact lenses, or applying excessive force during the insertion or removal of your contacts can all cause injury.

Warning Signs of a Corneal Injury

If you experience any of the following symptoms after an incident that may have affected your eye, it is time to seek medical attention:

Eye pain or discomfort: Persistent or severe eye pain, a gritty sensation, or the feeling of having something in your eye could indicate a corneal injury.

Redness and tearing: Excessive redness of the eye, accompanied by tearing or discharge, may also be a sign of an issue with your cornea.

Sensitivity to light: Increased sensitivity to light, known as photophobia, can be indicative of corneal damage.

Blurred or reduced vision: Any sudden change in vision, such as blurriness or decreased clarity, requires immediate attention from an eye care professional, such as the doctors at Berks Eye.

Foreign body sensation: This is a persistent feeling of having a foreign body in the eye, even after rinsing the eye.

It is important to note that even if the symptoms seem mild, it is best to err on the side of caution and seek treatment. If there is an injury, delayed treatment can lead to complications and prolonged discomfort.

Maintain Your Optical Health at Berks Eye

Facing the possibility of a corneal injury can be distressing, but the dedicated team at Berks Eye will guide you through each step of the process, from diagnosis to treatment. Our doctors are committed to providing compassionate and expert care for corneal injuries and various eye conditions. If you suspect you have experienced a corneal injury or notice any of the warning signs associated with it, we encourage you to contact our practice to schedule an appointment for a comprehensive eye evaluation.

3 Reasons To Order Glasses From An Optical Shop And Not Online

Berks Eye Physicians & Surgeons, Ltd.
Eyewear Wyomissing

In today’s digital age, the convenience of online shopping has transformed the way we buy goods, including eyeglasses. However, when it comes to something as crucial as your vision, there are compelling reasons to consider ordering your glasses from a reputable optical shop rather than online. At Berks Eye, we understand the significance of clear, accurate vision in every aspect of your life. Our skilled doctors are dedicated to providing personalized care and helping patients resolve their eye issues to achieve optimal eye health.

Precision in Prescription

When you visit an optical shop, you have the advantage of a trained optician taking precise measurements of your eyes. This ensures that your glasses are tailored to your unique needs, providing you with the clearest vision possible. On the contrary, online retailers often rely on the prescription provided by the customer, often without the expertise of a professional to verify its accuracy. At Berks Eye, our experienced team works closely with you to ensure that your prescription is meticulously assessed and that your glasses are custom-made to enhance your vision with accuracy and comfort.

Personalized Fitting and Adjustments

Poorly fitted glasses can cause significant discomfort when working all day. In addition, eyewear that is too loose can slide off of your face at inopportune times, compromising your vision and safety in the process. One of the most crucial aspects of purchasing glasses is ensuring that they fit comfortably and securely, and you simply cannot know exactly how a pair of eyeglasses ordered online will fit you until after they have arrived. When you choose an optical shop, you benefit from the expertise of professionals who can make adjustments to your frames right away, ensuring that they sit properly on your face.

Access to Professional Advice

Optical shops offer the invaluable advantage of in-person professional advice and guidance. When you visit a reputable optical shop, you have the opportunity to consult with experienced opticians who can offer recommendations based on your specific vision needs, lifestyle, and aesthetic preferences. This level of care is unparalleled in online transactions, where the absence of face-to-face interaction can limit the support and advice available to you.

Explore Our Eyewear Offerings Today

While online shopping offers convenience, the decision to order glasses from an optical shop provides unique benefits for your vision and overall eye health. We encourage you to contact Berks Eye for a consultation, where our experienced team can assist you in selecting the perfect eyewear to complement your style and enhance your vision.

How Regular Eye Exams Prevent Unnecessary Vision Loss From Eye Disease

Berks Eye Physicians & Surgeons, Ltd.
Eye exams and vision loss in Wyomissing

Diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, and macular degeneration are eye diseases that can damage your internal eye structures before you experience any symptoms. Unfortunately, these conditions often cause permanent vision loss before they are diagnosed. Regular eye exams are crucial to maintaining good ocular health and avoiding vision loss. At Berks Eye Physicians & Surgeons, our eye doctors can often detect early signs of eye disease at these appointments to prevent vision loss with timely diagnosis and treatment. 

Comprehensive eye exams include various tests, including your visual acuity, to diagnose refractive errors. Our eye doctors examine your visual field by moving a finger from side to side and use a series of color images to test for color blindness. Computer testing maps your cornea to diagnose astigmatism, and dilated eye drops allow our eye doctors to visualize and examine the internal structures, such as your retina, lens, optic nerve, and blood vessels. A slit lamp magnifies your eye structures, and a tonometry test measures internal eye pressure. These measures ensure long-term eye health with early diagnosis of eye diseases and other concerns. 

Early Detection of Eye Disease Can Prevent Vision Loss 

Vision impairment affects every area of your life, but vision loss is often avoidable with early detection of eye diseases during routine eye exams. Like all health concerns, it’s best to diagnose eye problems early, when they’re most treatable, and before they impact your quality of life. Some changes in the eye can signal a larger health concern, such as undiagnosed diabetes, high cholesterol, or high blood pressure. These eye exams ensure you maintain your eyesight for longer and may help improve your overall health. 

If you experience vision changes, schedule an eye exam immediately to avoid further vision loss. It’s easy to take good vision for granted, and some eye diseases are unforgiving. Don’t neglect your eye health; schedule eye exams as often as recommended to maintain clear, crisp vision. 

How Often Should You Have an Eye Exam? 

People with refractive errors should have annual eye exams to update their vision prescription for glasses or contact lenses. However, even people who don’t require corrective eyewear should have regular eye exams to evaluate their eye health, especially if they have risk factors for eye disease. A high-risk person may need an annual eye exam or more frequent visits, while low-risk people should schedule an appointment every two years.

Risk factors for eye diseases include: 

  • Family history of eye diseases
  • Persons over 60
  • People of African or Latino descent 
  • Previous eye injury or surgery
  • Chronic health conditions (diabetes, heart disease, obesity, etc.) 

Schedule Your Eye Exam Today 

Don’t put off your next eye exam. These appointments are crucial to maintaining a healthy eye and good vision. Schedule a comprehensive eye exam at Berks Eye Physicians & Surgeons in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania. Request an appointment online or call (610) 372-0712.

What Is It Like To Live With Vision Loss From Glaucoma?

Berks Eye Physicians & Surgeons, Ltd.
Glaucoma in Wyomissing

Human beings can adapt to many challenges in life, but losing their eyesight can cause feelings of grief and anxiety. People living with vision loss from glaucoma or other eye disease must make accommodations in their everyday life to move around safely, work, and enjoy time with friends and family. Our eye doctors at Berks Eye Physicians & Surgeons can help you live a full and happy life with a treatment plan and tips for adjusting to low vision caused by glaucoma

Glaucoma Often Causes Slow Vision Loss

Vision impairment caused by glaucoma is often described as “tunnel vision,” but your entire visual field may be affected by increasing blur, lower contrast, and glare around lights. People with early glaucoma may require more light in low-lit conditions, such as restaurants, and have blurry vision on one or both sides. They may have lower image quality that appears foggy. 

As the disease progresses, glaucoma significantly decreases contrast sensitivity and blind spots, or areas that are darker or missing in the visual field. Ultimately, glaucoma may cause blindness, but modern treatments prevent blindness in most cases. Glaucoma treatments can’t restore lost vision but are effective ways to stop or stall its advancement. 

Increase the Lighting in Your Home 

Increase the wattage of your light bulbs and add more lamps in darker areas of your home and office. Direct lighting behind you can reduce glare and help you see the task in front of you more clearly. Dark yellow or amber-colored glasses can also reduce glare. If you’re spending time outdoors, bring a strong flashlight with you.

Adjust Your Home and Workspace to Reduce Fall and Trip Hazards 

People with low vision are more likely to trip, slip, or fall. You may misjudge distances or fail to see the corner of a table or rug on the floor. Organize your home and workspace to leave more room between furniture and remove rugs or secure them to the floor. Paint or tape your handrails with a contrasting color and use marking treads on the stairs to lower your fall risk. 

Make sure you close cabinets right after opening them, and organize medications, keys, and money to make it easy to grab the right item when you need it.  

Enlarge Text 

Enlarge the text on your smart devices and computer and read books with large print. Use large, bold print to mark important areas or appliances in your kitchen, such as the stove, oven, microwave, and spices. 

Develop a Support System 

People with glaucoma may feel like they are alone in dealing with the struggles of vision loss, but glaucoma affects nearly 3 million people in the United States. Online support groups and non-profit organizations can validate your experience and help you find unique ways to lead a full life with glaucoma. These outlets are beneficial for family members in helping them understand what it’s like to live with glaucoma. 

If you’re experiencing vision changes or have been diagnosed with glaucoma, contact our eye doctors in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania. Schedule an eye exam at Berks Eye Physicians & Surgeons by calling (610) 372-0712 or request an appointment online.

3 Reasons People Delay Cataract Surgery & Why You Shouldn’t Wait

Berks Eye Physicians & Surgeons, Ltd.
Cataract surgery in Wyomissing

Cataracts are a leading cause of blindness, but they mature slowly. You may first experience minor interruptions in your vision, such as faded colors or glare around lights. As the cloudy lens grows denser, the maturing cataract causes double vision, blurry vision, and difficulty seeing at night. Many patients put off or delay cataract surgery, but early cataract surgery offers many benefits, such as an easier procedure, faster recovery, and better quality of life. Don’t wait until cataracts steal your vision. Contact Berks Eye Physicians and Surgeons. 

1.  Busy Schedules

One reason patients put off cataract surgery in the early stages of the eye disease is their busy work schedule or lifestyle. You may be concerned about taking too much time off or missing an upcoming event, but cataract surgery doesn’t require a lengthy recovery. While your eye may take up to six weeks to heal completely, most patients have clear vision about one to three days after cataract surgery. Patients are typically advised to take it easy for a few days before resuming their everyday activities, but they may only need to take one or two days away from work. 

Waiting too long to have cataract surgery can cause the cataract to become hypermature. A hypermature cataract causes significant vision impairment, and removing the dense lens is more challenging and increases some risks, such as damage to the corneal endothelium. 

2. Fear of Eye Surgery

Some patients may be apprehensive about having cataract surgery because they are afraid of having a procedure on their eyes. However, cataract surgery is one of the most successful procedures in modern medicine, with a high satisfaction rate. You will experience virtually no pain due to local anesthesia that numbs the eye, and our eye surgeons work to make you as comfortable as possible. The procedure takes just 10 to 20 minutes. 

Immature or early cataracts are easier to remove because the lens breaks apart more efficiently and is less likely to damage other eye structures or tissues. Cataract surgery in the early stages, where you experience mildly blurry vision or difficulty seeing in low lighting, lowers some risks and may lead to a faster procedure and recovery. 

3. Vision Impairment Is Still Minor

Early cataracts may be more of a nuisance than a concern, but as the cloudy lens grows increasingly dense, you will have unpleasant side effects that impact your ability to work and enjoy time with your loved ones or do hobbies. Mature cataracts increase your risk of getting into an auto accident or being injured in a fall. Patients who wait more than six months for cataract surgery experience more vision loss and a lower quality of life. 

Don’t put off cataract surgery any longer. Restore clear vision and enjoy better eyesight with Premium lens implants for refractive errors. Contact our eye surgeons in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania, to schedule your eye exam. Call Berks Eye Physicians & Surgeons at (610) 372-0712

Benefits Of Cornea Transplant In Wyomissing

Berks Eye Physicians & Surgeons, Ltd.
cornea transplant treatment Wyomissing

The cornea is the transparent window located at the front of the eye. It is comprised of layers of cells that work in tandem to focus light into the eye so that you have clear vision. The cornea must remain strong, clear, smooth, and undamaged in order to function properly, but many factors can lead to corneal issues. If the cornea becomes damaged or compromised to such an extent that it cannot be repaired, a corneal transplant may be recommended. Considering a cornea transplant can be daunting, but the Berks Eye team of experts are committed to providing outstanding patient care and education so that you are aware of your vision-saving options. Read more about the many benefits of having a cornea transplant.

Treat Several Cornea-Related Conditions

If you suffer from any of the following eye conditions, your Berks Eye doctor may recommend a cornea transplant to treat your condition:

Fuchs Dystrophy: Fuch’s dystrophy affects the endothelium cells of the cornea — which is the innermost layer. The cells within this layer begin to slowly die, causing a decline in the function of the endothelium. This results in corneal swelling which can lead to loss of vision, and even pain and irritated eyes. It often affects both eyes and the disease usually become noticeable after age 50.

Keratoconus: When the structure of the cornea is too weak to hold its normally round shape, it can begin to bulge outward, giving off a cone-like appearance. This is called keratoconus and can be detected in young children, teenagers, and adults in their 20s.

Save Your Vision

Most patients that receive a cornea transplant are able to enjoy clear, restored vision. The surgery is a safe and effective way to improve the health of your eyes by eliminating damage to the cornea.

Reduce Pain in Some Cases

For some patients, a corneal transplant is performed to improve serious vision-threatening and painful conditions, such as ulcers on the cornea. Corneal ulcers are considered a medical emergency. They are open sores on the surface of the cornea, often caused by infection. Symptoms include:

  • Eye redness
  • Tearing
  • Severe eye pain or eye ache
  • Pus
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Swollen, uncomfortable eyelids

 This condition can jeopardize your vision if not treated. Though some ulcers are too small to see, they may present as a milky white or grey spot in the cornea. A cornea transplant can effectively treat this condition, leaving you with clear vision and improved eye health.

Corneal Health in Wyomissing

If you have a damaged cornea, you have options for clear vision. Your Berks Eye doctor will discuss your options with you and create a plan to restore your eye health and vision. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

Ocular Hypertension: 4 Facts You Need To Know

Berks Eye Physicians & Surgeons, Ltd.
Ocular hypertension treatment Wyomissing

Ocular hypertension occurs when pressure inside the eye reaches a level above that which is considered normal, but no optic nerve damage has occurred. The term distinguishes those with high eye pressure from those with glaucoma, which is a group of eye diseases that damage the optic nerve and lead to vision loss.

Often, ocular hypertension is hard for patients to identify, which is why regular eye exams are necessary to maintain the health of your eyes and detect and treat issues early.

Below the team of doctors at Berks Eye shares four facts you should know about ocular hypertension.

Ocular Hypertension is Not the Same as Glaucoma

Ocular hypertension is not the same condition as glaucoma; however, it can cause glaucoma.

Glaucoma occurs when the pressure in the eye becomes elevated to such as extent that the optic nerve gets damaged. It has no symptoms in the early stages, but damage can still occur, resulting in blindness if the condition is left untreated.

With ocular hypertension, the optic nerve still appears and functions as normal; no discernible damage exists; and vision remains unchanged.

Several Risk Factors are Associated with Ocular Hypertension

Many of the risk factors for ocular hypertension stem from other conditions, while others are inherent. If the following sounds familiar, you may be at increased risk for ocular hypertension:

  • High blood pressure
  • Low blood pressure
  • A thin central cornea
  • Optic nerve bleeding
  • Diabetes
  • Pigment dispersion syndrome
  • Age 40 or over
  • Glaucoma runs in your family
  • Trauma or injury to the eye

The Condition Does Not Typically Have Symptoms

Unlike some other eye conditions, ocular hypertension does not typically come with symptoms, which makes it difficult for patients to recognize the condition and seek help before it develops into something more serious.

Ocular Hypertension Is Caused By Issues with the Eye’s Drainage System

When the eye makes too much fluid which cannot be drained at the same rate it is created, the pressure in the eye can become elevated, leading to ocular hypertension. Additionally, if there is a blockage near the eyes’ drainage system, such as one caused by pigment dispersion syndrome, this can also lead to high eye pressure. Buildup can also be caused by:

  • Closed drainage angle
  • Eye cancer
  • Eye damage

Treat High Eye Pressure in Wyomissing

Ocular hypertension leads to glaucoma, which can permanently damage your eyes and vision. It is best to treat this condition as soon as possible. The first step is scheduling an eye appointment with one of our experts who is dedicated to your eye health. Contact us today by calling our Wyomissing location.

How Smoking Can Jeopardize Your Vision

Berks Eye Physicians & Surgeons, Ltd.
smoking eye health Wyomissing

The negative health effects associated with smoking are widely known. Cigarettes alone contain many toxic ingredients that can cause serious harm to the organs. Smoking also poses a unique risk to the health of the eyes. People who smoke are at an increased risk of developing vision-threatening eye diseases, including cataracts. The experts at Berks Eye recommend regular eye exams if you are a smoker or were one previously. Continue reading for more information about how smoking can jeopardize your vision.

Age-related Macular Degeneration

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a serious condition that can significantly affect central vision. If you smoke, the retinal blood vessels may constrict, which increases your blood pressure and puts you at a greater risk of experiencing permanent vision loss from AMD.


Cataracts are a leading cause of vision loss. A cataract occurs when the eye’s natural lens, which is usually clear, becomes clouded. This leads to obscured vision, sensitivity to light, and trouble seeing at night or in low-light environments. Smoking and the toxins associated with it can ultimately increase the amount of free radicals your eye is exposed to, which can negatively impact proteins in the eye and lead to deposits on the lens of the eye. Antioxidants are helpful at reducing the effects of free radicals, but if you smoke, even consuming an antioxidant-rich diet may be ineffective in removing the threat.

Retinal Detachment

When delicate blood vessels in the eye become swollen, they can sometimes rupture and leak fluid into the retina, causing detachment. Smoking significantly increases bodily inflammation, making swollen vessels more likely.

Dry Eye Syndrome

Dry eye is an eye condition that affects the tears that nourish and protect the cornea. Burning, itchiness, redness, and foreign object sensation are all symptoms of this condition. The harsh chemicals within smoke can irritate the eyes, leading to these bothersome symptoms. Smoking, as well as exposure to smoke secondhand, increases the risk of experiencing dry eye syndrome.

Optic Nerve Issues

The optic nerve links the eyes to the brain. When this connection is damaged, permanent vision loss can follow. Smokers are put at a greater risk for optic nerve issues.

Healthy Vision in Wyomissing

Healthy lifestyle choices can lead to healthy eyes. Smoking can cause a number of eye-related diseases. Even being exposed to secondhand smoke can lead to eye issues. Smokers who quit are taking the first step to the health of their vision, but the damage that smoking causes can endure until it is treated. Berks Eye provides ophthalmic, optometric, and optical services designed to help you maintain or improve your eye health and vision. Contact our office today to schedule an eye exam.

Are Artificial Tears Safe?

Berks Eye Physicians & Surgeons, Ltd.

By: Dr. Benjamin Nicholas, Berks Eye Physicians & Surgeons

Over the past few months, you may have heard some concerning stories about devastating side effects from artificial tears. These eyedrops are meant to supplement a deficient tear film and clear mucus away from the ocular surface to alleviate the symptoms of a dry eye. Dry eye itself is extremely common with an estimated prevalence of greater than 16 million patients back in 2017 (1), and these over-the-counter eye drops are almost universally recommended by eye doctors on account of their good safety profile and effectiveness. “You can never OD on an artificial tear,” said one of my mentors. So, what’s all the fuss?

Continue reading “Are artificial tears safe?”
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