Why Do I Have Pain Behind My Eyes?

If you’ve recently become aware of pain behind one or both of your eyes, you should book an eye exam with your eye doctor in North Syracuse, NY. Pain behind the eyes is not normal and is often a symptom of a serious condition. Of course, pain behind the eyes doesn’t mean you have to worry about losing vision, but it is certainly something that warrants the attention of an eye professional. Following are some possible causes to be aware of.

Sinus Infection

Pain behind the eyes could be something as benign as a sinus infection. The sinus cavity is located very close to the eyes. Inflammation in this area will almost always lead to discomfort and possibly pain behind the eyes. If you also have symptoms like runny discharge or headache, this may be the reason.

Eye Strain

When you strain your eyes, the muscles of your eye contract. Chronic eye strain can lead to pain behind the eyes. Try minimizing the amount of strain you put on your eyes. Be sure to read insufficient light, use a blue light filter on your devices and make sure that your contacts or eyeglasses prescription is up-to-date. Your North Syracuse, NY eye doctor may have other ideas for reducing eye strain, too.


Glaucoma is a condition where pressure builds up inside the eye. This pressure will eventually cut off brain signals from the optic nerve, inducing blindness. Be sure to see your eye doctor immediately to report your eye pain and to get a glaucoma test.

Dry Eyes

If you have the condition known as dry eyes, then your eyes do not produce sufficient tears to keep eyes adequately moist. Dry eyes often present with pain behind the eyes. Treatment is available from your eye doctor.

When it comes to your vision, you should never assume that everything is okay. You should never put up with pain behind the eyes or expect that it will just go away on its own. Even something as benign as a sinus infection can escalate into something more serious. See your eye doctor right away if you have pain or any kind of discomfort behind one or both eyes.

Are Costume Contacts Safe?

Although changing the way your eyes look can be a lot of fun, wearing costume contact lenses (aka decorative or cosmetic contact lenses) can be detrimental to your eye health. Even wearing these lenses for just a few hours can damage the eye.

What Makes Costume Contacts Dangerous?

For contacts to fit correctly, they must be customized for a specific individual. Wearing contacts of the wrong size and shape can result in painful, potentially blinding corneal ulcers and abrasions.

Costume contact lenses may reduce the amount of oxygen the eye gets. This lack of oxygen results from the pigments and paints used while creating cheap, non-prescription decorative contact lenses.

Cheap, ill-fitting contact lenses can scratch, cut and permanently damage the eyes. Damaging the eye in this way leads to unpleasant, very uncomfortable symptoms, with the worst-case scenario being blindness.

A one-size-fits-all contact lens can scratch and cut the eye, making it susceptible to bacteria. When bacteria enter into the eye, an eye infection is likely.

It Only Takes a Few Days for Keratitis to Destroy an Individual’s Vision

Once bacteria enter the eye, a serious bacterial eye infection (e.g., keratitis) may result. The type of keratitis infection varies, with some having the ability to destroy an individual’s vision within just a few days.

What Are the Risks Associated with Wearing Costume Contact Lenses?

Wearing any type of contact lenses can lead to eye damage; however, costume contact lenses make an injury more likely because they are not tailored to fit the wearer’s eyes. Nonetheless, individuals interested in wearing costume lenses in North Syracuse, New York, may be able to get the contact lens design they want through Dr. Rebecca McPherson.

Potential risks include:

  • An allergic reaction resulting in watery eyes that are red and itchy.
  • A corneal abrasion.
  • Infection.
  • A decrease in vision.
  • Blindness.

What Are the Signs of An Eye Infection?

Whether wearing prescription contacts or some type of decorative contact, knowing the signs that indicate the possibility of an eye infection could save your sight.

Signs of an eye infection include:

  • Persistent eye pain.
  • Redness.
  • Decreased vision.

When any of these signs are present, you need to make an appointment with a licensed eye doctor right away. Left untreated, an eye infection could lead to a loss of sight.

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms above, or you would like to learn more about the colored prescription contact lenses available at McPherson Optometry in North Syracuse, New York, please call 315-458-1000. McPherson Optometry, 105 North Main Street, North Syracuse, New York.

Most Common Signs of Computer Vision Syndrome

As digital screens become ever more prevalent, more and more people are developing computer vision syndrome. Also known as digital eye strain, this condition starts causing symptoms after just two hours in front of a computer, tablet, or smartphone screen. Fortunately, you can reduce the strain on your eyes by wearing blue light glasses from your North Syracuse optometrist. To see if you might need these glasses, watch for the following symptoms while using digital screens.

Blurry Vision

While using digital screens, your eyes have to continually shift focus while dealing with oft-poor contrast and plenty of glare. After just a couple of hours, your eyes get tired and fail to focus properly, leaving you with blurry vision. You can help the blurriness go away by taking regular five-minute breaks each hour, but it’s not a lasting solution on its own.

Eye Irritation

Most people blink much less often than normal while looking at a digital screen, which can cause your eyes to dry out. To counteract that, your eyes may start to water, making your already blurry vision much worse. Worse yet, by the end of the day, your eyes may look red and feel rather irritated. They may even feel like they’re burning and itching even while trying to rest.

Head, Neck, and Shoulder Pain

As your eyes start feeling strained, you may change your posture to help improve your ability to focus on the screen ahead. This can quickly result in head, neck, and shoulder pain, especially if you start slouching to see the screen better. The pain may last well into the evening hours and even impact your sleep. Over time, this can make the problem much worse as your body fails to repair the damage, which normally occurs while you sleep.

At McPherson Optometry, we diagnose and treat many North Syracuse common eye conditions, including computer vision syndrome. If you’re experiencing any level of eye strain or other symptoms, feel free to give us a call at 315-458-1000 to schedule a visit. During your appointment, we can perform a full eye exam and provide the comprehensive eyecare services you need to enjoy excellent vision.

A Look at the Common Types of Eye Injuries

Injuries to the eye can be detrimental to your overall visual capabilities. These eye conditions in North Syracuse can require a visit to the eye doctor as quickly as possible. Take a look at some of the most common types of eye injuries and why they can pose a substantial threat.

Chemical or Substance Burns

Chemicals or substances that splash into the eyes can cause burns to the cornea and can cause problems even deeper in some cases. If anything is splashed into the eye, it is imperative that you use cleaned hands and lukewarm water or an approved eye wash to remove the substance from your eye as quickly as possible. Flush your eye up to 20 minutes, and be sure to remove contact lenses. Contact an eye doctor immediately for advice.

Foreign Objects in the Eye

Finding a foreign object in your eye can be alarming, and if you don’t take the proper steps, the situation can cause vision health issues. If you find something in your eye or something lands in your eye:

  • Avoid rubbing your eyelids
  • Have someone look to see if the item is floating or embedded
  • Get in touch with an eye doctor if the item in your eye appears to be stuck or is causing you pain

Make sure you never try to remove an object that is lodged in the eye or seems to have penetrated the eye. Do what you can to keep the object stable and seek emergency care immediately.

Corneal Abrasions (Scratches)

Just like your skin, the cornea can sustain scratches and abrasions. Perhaps you were hit in the eye with a flying object, were scratched by a fingernail, or ran into something and it scratched your eye. A corneal scratch can show up as a severely bloodshot area, and you may even see blood pooling in your eye. Be sure to avoid rubbing the eye and reach out for professional advice from an eye doctor as soon as possible.

Got an Eye Injury? Get Help from a North Syracuse Eye Doctor

Any eye injury should be treated as an emergency. Prolonging treatment could be detrimental to your visual health and capabilities going forward. If you have sustained an eye injury, please reach out to an eye doctor in North Syracuse like us at McPherson Optometry P.C to schedule an appointment.


Why You Need a New Eyeglass Prescription Every Year

If you wear eyeglasses, you may have had an experience where you visit a doctor from year to year and receive the same prescription. If you keep getting the same bill of health, you might reasonably wonder why the doctor needs to keep writing out the same results. We’ll look at why you really do need this service once a year, so you don’t ‘forget’ to make your yearly appointment.

Your Vision Changes

Your vision can change subtly over time, and any discrepancies from year to year are good for your eye doctor to know about. Usually, your eyes are liable to get worse from year to year, but there are times when your vision can actually improve if you’ve been taking care of your eyes over the year (e.g., better diet, rinsing out contact lenses, etc.).

So even if you don’t need a new prescription, you might get some insight into how these subtle differences can affect you in the future. And if you do happen to need a new prescription, even if you’re only adjusting it slightly, having the right glasses or contact lenses can do wonders for your eyes. When you use your eyes every day for that many hours, any eye strain or magnification can eventually start to cause problems.

Disease and Disorder Prevention

Around the world, many visual impairments can be largely avoided with yearly eye exams. Yet, there are millions who won’t discover serious problems until they need more serious treatments (e.g., surgery, etc.). This is compounded with the number of hours we spend staring at screens, causing eye strain that will only worsen with time. Seeing your eye doctor gives them a way to assess everything from your cornea to your optic nerves to the resilience of your eye. When you consider many disorders start with no symptoms, this is more necessary than you might think.

Eye health is strongly linked with your overall health. Different bodily conditions may cause vision problems, which can easily be the first thing you (or your doctor) notices. If nothing else, going to the eye doctor every year can give you a little peace of mind about how your eyes are progressing over time.

How to Protect Your Eyes From Blue Light

Blue light is all around us today. Prior to cell phones, blue light was only prevalent in televisions, for the majority of people. But today blue light is all around us. In the natural world, our eyes are exposed to all the different waves of light, and our bodies and eyes are designed to live in that world.

Our bodies are designed to respond to light in different ways. Sunlight triggers Vitamin D production increases serotonin levels and triggers the mitochondria in our cells to start energy production. But when we stare at blue light, such as looking at screens all day, a very small wavelength ends up monopolizing the cells that respond to light to act in unhealthy ways, such as lowering melatonin production at night. There is even a link between blue light exposure and lowered Vitamin B12 levels. Following are some of the best ways to protect your eye from blue light.

Use Blue Light Blocking Software

Some of the best blue light blocking software includes Flux, Nightshift, and Iris. Flux and Nightshift are free software, while Iris is paid software with a trial version. Flux is the best free choice because you can specify the level of warm or red light you want. Under the settings in iPhones, you also have the option to turn on night mode, which blocks blue light.

Use Dark Mode on Your Computer and Phone

Set the theme and background of your computer and phone to dark mode. The more white light and bright colors being emitted from your screen, the more blue light comes from it. Most computers and devices have an option for dark mode.

Wear Blue Light Blocking Lenses

There are now blue light blocking eyeglasses that you can ask your eye doctor about. These are very comfortable and do a lot to keep eyes shielded from blue light while you’re working on your computer at home or at work.

Blue light is a prominent danger to your eye health today. Making a little effort to block blue light from your devices as much as possible will help protect your eyes. With these steps in mind blue light won’t be completely gone, but it will be at a level that is less threatening.

Got a Stye On Your Eye? Home Remedies, When to Call the Eye Doctor, and More

Styes are a small, localized infection affecting hair follicles or oil glands in the eyelid. The problem is relatively common among children, who are more likely to rub their eyes. However, styes can affect anyone and can stem from not properly cleaning contact lenses, wearing certain types of makeup, and a number of other everyday actions. If you have a stye, you may find some relief with home treatment, but you should also know when to see the eye doctor for help.

Home Remedies for Mild Styes

Mild styes can usually be treated at home and will subside in a few days. In general, you will need to keep your eyelid really clean and help encourage the oils trapped in the area to drain. Try to:

  • Avoid wearing eye makeup on your eyelids for a few days
  • Take the time to clean your eyelid with baby shampoo or mild soap and water a few times daily
  • Use a warm compress made of a wet tea bag to apply gentle pressure to the area
  • Massage the area with a clean finger gently

Avoid trying to scratch, pop, or poke at the stye. This may look like a pimple, but trying to squeeze the stye can actually make the problem worse.

When to Call an Eye Doctor for Help

Even though a stye will most often go away relatively quickly, occasionally, the small issue can become a more worrisome problem. You should reach out to the eye doctor for advice if:

  • The stye appears to be growing instead of getting smaller
  • The stye seems to be interfering with your ability to see because of its size or placement
  • The stye is not going away or you have repetitive problems

Common Treatments for Eye Styes

Eye styes that are not going away on their own may require further treatment from your eye doctor. The medical professional may prescribe topical antibiotics, oral antibiotics, or other forms of medicinal treatment. In extremely rare cases, a stye will need to be surgically lanced or removed.

Call a North Syracuse Eye Doctor for Help

While styes usually go away on their own, you may occasionally need to visit your eye doctor in North Syracuse for help. If you have issues with styes or other eye health concerns, reach out to us at Mcpherson Optometry to schedule an appointment.


Is My Child Too Young for Glasses?

Young children can have eye problems, too. Even children as young as 12 months may need corrected vision. If you think your child may have vision issues, regardless of age, make an appointment with your local vision center today.

Symptoms of Poor Vision in Young Children

Poor vision often manifests in children between the ages of 18 months and 4 years old. Sometimes, the problem is easy to recognize as a wandering or “lazy” eye. Crossed eyes is another symptom of vision issues in young children. If your child suffers from either of these conditions, you and your pediatrician will likely both notice.

Sometimes, young children have vision problems that are less noticeable, such as uneven focus. Because they’ve had the condition since birth and have never seen the world differently, they won’t notice there’s a problem. This is when your child’s routine vision screenings become vital.

Symptoms of poor vision in very young children include:

  • Sensitivity to light
  • Redness
  • Eye rubbing
  • Crust
  • Swelling or tearing
  • Bulging eyes
  • Drooping eyelids

If you notice these symptoms in your child, regardless of age, schedule a vision screening.

How Do Young Children Manage Glasses?

If your very young child needs glasses, don’t despair. The key is to purchase ones that are durable and resist breakage. You may also want to purchase extended protection plans for glasses meant for youngsters.

To help young children manage and care for glasses, first find out how often they need to wear them. It may also be helpful to let your child help pick out their glasses. When kids play a role in choosing, they’re often more invested in caring for them. Once you’re home with the new glasses, have a sit-down conversation with your youngster to discuss how important it is to take care of them. Outline rules to help, such as storing the glasses in their case when not in use and taking them off before engaging in active play.

Contact McPherson Optometry in Syracuse, NY

Call McPherson Optometry in the North Syracuse area today to schedule an appointment for children who exhibit signs of vision problems. Our friendly professionals are waiting to help.


When Eye Floaters Can Be a Sign to Call the Eye Doctor for Help

They look like strings to some, cobwebs to others, and sometimes take on the appearance of bugs, specks, or spots. Their colors can range from white to black and every shade in between. Eye floaters are a detached matter from the intricate parts of the eye that cast a shadow on the retinal nerve. Here are a few situations when eye floaters may be something you need to talk to your eye doctor about.

The floater is so large that it disrupts your vision.

Floaters can look vastly different depending on what is causing them, but they can also range in size rather dramatically. If you have a tiny floater, there is a better chance that the visual disruption will subside within a few days. However, if you have a floater so large it is making it hard to see out of the affected eye, it is definitely a sign that you need to seek a professional’s advice. Eye floaters of this size rarely go away on their own; surgical intervention may be necessary.

The floater does not go away on its own within a few days.

Floaters do not necessarily “go away.” What normally occurs is your eyes grow accustomed to seeing in spite of the floater as if it is no longer there. This explains why an eye floater can seem relatively significant at first but as time goes on, you have to really concentrate to see it. Nevertheless, some floating matter in the field of vision may not subside or may not be something your eyes can adjust to. In these instances, it is best to have an eye doctor take a look.

The floater is accompanied by other symptoms of eye health risks.

Floaters are relatively common, and they are usually not anything to be severely concerned about. However, if these visual disturbances are accompanied by other symptoms of eye health risks, it is critical that you seek the advice of your eye doctor right away. A few additional symptoms that should spur you to call for an appointment include:

  • You feel pain or pressure in the affected eye
  • You experience drastic changes in your visual abilities
  • Your vision seems cloudy or dark

Don’t Let Eye Floaters Scare You – Contact Your North Syracuse Eye Doctor

Something floating in your field of vision is never a welcome thing, and, yes, eye floaters can be rather alarming. If it has been a while since you’ve had your visual health assessed or you have floaters you are concerned about, reach out to us at McPherson Optometry in North Syracuse, NY for an appointment.

Warning Signs That Vision Problems Might Be Developing

If you are worried that you might be developing eye problems there are certain signs you can look out for to determine if you might have visual

problems in the future.


Temporary Blurriness when Refocusing

You might find you have blurriness when you refocus your eyes, or when you wake up there might be blurriness. Try avoiding screens and televisions for a period of time to see if this resolves the issue. Signs to watch out for is if episodes like this occur more frequently over the following weeks to months.


White Spots in Vision

If you notice white spots in your vision that aren’t stars caused by a rush of blood to the head then could be a warning sign of a coming vision problem. You may notice white spots in your vision that either stay when you look at them or go away. This is usually an atypical vision problem and is cause for concern, as it’s probably something that will need the attention of an optometrist. A serious warning sign is if it frequently occurs and doesn’t go away over days to weeks.


Haziness in Vision

If you notice a hazy fog or just haziness in your vision, it’s another warning sign. Your vision might look more generally white and blurred out. This could be caused by UV damage from staring at sources of UV

light like the sun, or visiting a tanning bed. If this is the case, wait 24 hours to see if the haziness goes away on its own. If it doesn’t, contact your eye doctor. If you haven’t been exposed to UV light as far as you know, and you still have haziness in vision, seek medical attention as you may be experiencing the beginning stages of a serious vision problem.


Itchy Eyes

If you feel like your eyeballs are itchy it’s probable that swelling is occurring in your eyes. This could be caused by UV damage. If the problem persists beyond a day or two, seek help from your eye doctor.


All sorts of eye problems can occur, but many of them are treatable if you catch them early enough. If you notice any of the above signs of vision problems, contact your eye doctor right away.