Year: 2022 (Page 1 of 2)


We wanted to shed some light on a very common eye issue that we are sure you have heard of. Astigmatism is a widespread issue that can be easily fixed with a quick visit to your eye doctor. Since it affects so many people, we wanted to take a deeper dive into it.

What is it?

Astigmatism is a very common eye problem that can make your vision blurry or distorted. It is caused by either your cornea or your lens having a different shape than normal.

The most common symptoms are:

  • Squinting to see clearly
  • Headaches
  • Eye strain
  • Issues seeing at night
  • Blurry vision

The odd shape of the cornea or the lens makes light bend differently as it enters your eye, this in turn causes a refractive error.

It is not possible to prevent astigmatism, some people are born with it and others develop it. It can develop in children, young adults or someone who has had an injury or surgery on their eye.

How to catch it?

A visit to your eye doctor of course! This is another fantastic reason to get regular eye exams for yourself and your children. If your eye doctor is seeing your eyes regularly enough it is easier to spot irregularities. In some cases, you may not have any symptoms at all, but your eye doctor can help you to ward off any symptoms in the future by catching it before you develop any and treating them.

What will help?

The most common treatment for astigmatism is eyeglasses or contacts that help correct the way your eye takes in light. Your eye doctor will be able to tell you what prescription is needed to help alleviate any symptoms.

In more rare cases, there is also a surgery that can be used if the astigmatism is too bad to be treated with glasses. This would be something your eye doctor will discuss with you if necessary.

Call us for your next appointment!

If this is something you are concerned about for yourself or for your child, please make sure to bring it up at your next appointment with us! We are always here to help take care of you and your family’s eye care needs. We want to be a part of your eye health journey.

Orbital and Periorbital Cellulitis

There are many kinds of infections that can happen in your eye. Some we have already discussed here like, Pink Eye or infections due to contact lens scratches. One we want to bring up today could be something you encounter yourself. Orbital and Periorbital Cellulitis has had some connection with Covid-19 and we want to be sure to set the record straight.

What is Cellulitis?

These two types of cellulitis are referring to infection and inflammation of the skin around your eye.
Orbital – Involves the eye, and eye structures within the bony cavity of the face
Periorbital—Involves the area from the skin of the eyelid to the eyebrow.

In both cases, the condition is serious and if you notice this type of inflammation, you should seek medical care immediately. While the swelling will happen around the eye, the actual eyeball is usually not affected.


  • Pain
  • Fever
  • Swelling
  • Redness
  • Discomfort


Both types of cellulitis are caused by a bacterial infection. The bacteria can either find its way to the eye area from a direct scrape or from an infection that started in the sinuses. These types of infections are more common in children.

This is where cellulitis has come into the spotlight recently. There have been some cases of children getting after they contracted COVID-19. While cellulitis can be caused by an infection somewhere else in the body, there is no direct research linking COVID-19 to cellulitis.

What should you do?

If your child has any of the symptoms listed above, we recommend seeking medical help from a doctor. A doctor may need to run blood tests and do a physical exam to determine what type of infection is causing the discomfort.

Once diagnosed, your doctor will most likely prescribe antibiotics to kill the infection.

These infections can cause other more serious problems if left untreated. In some cases, cellulitis can cause loss of vision or meningitis. Its best to seek medical care as soon as possible.

Color Blindness

Are you one of the unlucky few who are unable to see the full spectrum of color? Those of us who are not color blind will never understand how frustrating it could be to not get to see the vibrant colors earth has to offer. We wanted to offer a little insight to our patients about color blindness.

What is Color Blindness?

Color blindness is when you see colors differently than the vast majority of people.

Telling the difference between red and green is the most common type of color blindness, which can make learning to drive a little bit trickier. Another type will make it hard to tell the difference between blue and yellow. There is a variation where you cannot see color at all but that is rare.

How do I know if I am?

It is completely possible for someone to not realize they have color blindness in some cases because the symptoms are so mild. Some symptoms include:

  • Trouble seeing the difference between colors
  • Trouble seeing how bright colors are
  • Trouble seeing different shades of colors

What Causes Color Blindness?

Color blindness is most commonly a genetic trait that is passed down in families. Other causes could be some kind of damage to your eye or brain. Also, just like your eyesight, your color vision could start to get worse as you age.

You are more likely to be color blind if you:

  • Have a family history of it
  • Have glaucoma
  • Have age-related macular degeneration
  • Take certain medicines


The fastest way to find out for sure if you are color blind is to ask your eye doctor at your yearly visit. Your doctor will be able to run a test that will tell you if you are able to see color normally or not.

If you think you might be color blind but have not been diagnosed, mention at your next appointment with us! We would be glad to check for you.

Is Sunshine the New Cure-All?

Over here at Tri-County Eyes we are big fans of the sunshine, and we are lucky to get to spend so much time in it living here in South Carolina. Sunshine has been proven to be necessary for overall health but there is some new research that points to the sun helping kids possibly prevent nearsightedness.

We wrote a blog about nearsightedness (Myopia) a few weeks ago if you want to check it out for background on this topic.

Myopia is on the rise in children. According to the American Association of Ophthalmology, 40% of children ages 6 to 19 are nearsighted. This high percentage is thought to point to the change in human habits. Since the invention of technology, more and more children are increasing screen time and decreasing their time outdoors. This is a factor that could cause children to develop nearsightedness.

Now, I know this doesn’t sound like new information, we all have heard the old saying not to sit too close to the TV. Now there is some evidence to suggest that spending more time outdoors can help ward off nearsightedness.

It is still a new theory, but considers sunlight can increase the dopamine levels in the eye which in turn helps the growth of the eye. Experts suggest to start as early as possible by monitoring screen time and encouraging more time outside in the sunshine.

We find it especially important to teach good habits involving screen time starting as young as possible. While kids’ eyes are still developing, teach them about the 20/20/20 rule:

For every 20 minutes of screen time, take a break and focus on something 20 feet away for 20 seconds.

Use device settings to set screen time reminders and actively monitor how long they are using their device. Now with this new information, it is strongly suggested to deliberately schedule some outside time. It could just help ward off eye issues in the future.

While sunshine still can’t be considered a cure-all, this is another bonus to spending time outdoors. Of course, we always want to prioritize safety so don’t forget your sunscreen and sunglasses!

If you have any concerns about your child’s eyesight, make your appointment with TriCounty eyes so we can help!

Costume Contact Lenses

With Halloween fast approaching, we wanted to take some time to give you some insight into costume contact lenses, just in case you were thinking of adding them to finish off the perfect Halloween costume!

What are Costume Lenses?

Let’s start with the basics. Costume lenses are contact lenses that are only used for superficial reasons. There is no medical reason to have these contact lenses. The typical use is to change the color of your eyes, but they also make specific ones that go with a certain character you may dress up as for Halloween or for another reason.

Examples of costume lenes include:

  • Black out contacts
  • Cat eyes
  • Zombie eyes

How to know if costume lenses are safe:

There are many retailers who sell costume lenses that do not require a prescription, but we want to make sure you understand the risk that comes with using those lenses. It may seem easy to just pick them up where you buy your costume, but you could suffer the consequences later. The FDA warns against buying costume lenses from:

  • Halloween stores
  • The internet if no prescription is required
  • Beauty supply stores
  • Street vendors
  • Beach shops
  • Convenience stores
  • Boutiques
  • Beach Shops

If you do acquire these lenses without a prescription, there are a couple of risks. Without getting an eye exam, the generic lenses you buy could fit poorly and cause cuts and scratches on your eye that could get infected. Another downside of poor-fitting lenses is that it can restrict oxygen to the eye which doesn’t let your eye breathe. This in turn can cause abrasions, ulcers and bacterial infections on your eye.

What should you do?

The best way to get costume lenses would be to make an eye exam appointment and get fitted for them. An eye doctor will be able to make sure  you get lenses that fit properly. Once you have an exam an eye doctor will give you a prescription for the exact right size lenses you need.

If you think costume lenses might be something you want to add to your costume this year, give us a call so we can make sure to get you in the right ones!

Everyone have a safe and happy Halloween!

Vision and Headaches

Headaches are a very common occurrence for a lot of people. There are so many causes of headaches it can be hard to tell what is causing yours. Sometimes you can just treat a headache with some over-the-counter pain medication but if your headaches are occurring frequently, it could be a good idea to try to find out the root cause. In some cases, headaches can be linked to your eyesight. If you are someone who doesn’t get a regular eye exam yearly, there could be small changes in your vision that are straining your eyes, and consequently your head.

Main Causes

While an exact cause of Headaches and Migraines related to eye problems has not been found. There are a number of factors that could cause headaches.

  • Eye Strain
  • Near and Farsightedness
  • Presbyopia
  • Dry Eye

How do you know?

It is really hard for you to be able to tell if your headaches are connected to vision issues. Since there are many reasons aside from vision problems that can cause headaches, you can try ruling out some of the other reasons. Make sure you have had enough water, eaten enough and if you have been out in excessive heat find a cool place to bring your body temperature down.

A severe cause of headache due to vision problems is called a Retinal Migraine and can also be referred to as an Ocular Migraine. Some theories as to how this happens are that possibly the arteries or veins in the eye become narrow, or it could be genetics. A “Retinal Migraine” can be identified by some telltale signs:

  • Flashing, sparkling or twinkling lights
  • Temporary blindness
  • Blind spot
  • Pulsing or throbbing pain
  • Nausea and Vomiting

What can you do?

The first line of defense against eye-related headaches is to get a regular eye exam. This will catch any changes in your eyesight early so that you can properly address them with glasses or contacts.

Your eye doctor will assess the following to see if you fit the criteria for this type of headache:

  • Does the headache cause blindness in one eye?
  • Does the headache spread gradually for 5 or more minutes?
  • How long do the symptoms last?

If diagnosed, your doctor will discuss the treatment options available. It will differ from person to person so we highly recommend making an exam appointment to determine the best solution for you.


Interesting Facts About Your Eyes

In case you couldn’t tell, TriCounty Eye Associates loves eyes. That is probably the understatement of the year. We wanted to compile a list of some interesting facts about your Eyes we thought you might want to know.

1. Your eyes can distinguish approximately 10 million different colors

The human eye has photoreceptors that determine what colors you can see and how you see them. You absorb light through your eyes and the wavelengths dictate what color the cones in our eyes see. Then our eyes send signals to your brain and our brain puts together the images.

2. The only Organ more complex than the eye is your brain

This one is really crazy to think about, especially when you think about the size of your eyeballs versus the size of your brain. These organs work together to help you see. Anyone else who thought the second most complex organ was the heart raises your hand!

3. Your iris has 256 unique characteristics, in contrast, your fingerprint has only 40

Does your cell phone have face identification on it? The technology used to unlock smartphones is a great example of how unique your eyes are. Everyone has so many different characteristics in their eye, good luck trying to open someone else’s phone!

4. Only 1/6 of your eyeball is visible

Let’s look back at number 2, while your eyes are incredibly complex organs, they are also much bigger than the part we can see from the outside. There is a lot of your eye that cannot be seen which is one of the many reasons going to the eye doctor is so important. There are things your optometrist will catch with your eye exam that can indicate current or future issues because they can use technology to see the back of your eye.

5. Your eyes can focus on 50 different objects every second

Not only is your eye bigger than you think and more complex in its makeup, but its also way smarter than you realize. It is possible for your eyes to focus on 50 different objects every second. That is pretty amazing if you ask me, especially considering my brain seems to only be able to focus on one thing at a time!

These are only a few interesting and important facts about your eyes that we wanted to share with you. In order to keep your eyes working in tip top condition and to catch any eye problems as early as possible make sure to make your yearly eye appointment with us at TriCounty Eye Associates.

We look forward to serving you and your eyes!

Pink Eye

Pink Eye is a condition that most of us have had at some point in our lives. It is especially prevalent in schools affecting mostly kiddos. The last few years of  at home learning may have curbed the number of cases. With most things getting back to normal after the Pandemic, we thought it would be a good idea to re-visit this topic.

What is it?

The proper name for Pink Eye is Conjunctivitis and it will cause the eye to become pink and irritated. It causes inflammation of the membrane that covers the eye and lines the insides of the eyelid which is technically called the Conjunctiva. The different types of causes of pink eye are:

  • Viruses
  • Allergens
  • Bacteria

This is an eye issue that can resolve itself after some time. It will clear up when the infection is gone, or the allergic reaction has stopped. Unless it lasts an unusual amount of time you can probably treat it at home.


Some at home treatments that can help are:

  • A cool compress – this option can help to soothe the irritation caused by pink eye. You can use a clean damp cloth that you have refrigerated as a cool compress. Make sure not to reuse the same cloth without washing it.
  • Eye Drops – over-the-counter options like artificial tears can help to soothe the discomfort as well as to clear out any allergens that could be causing the irritation.
  • Pain relievers – sometimes over-the-counter ibuprofen can help to relieve the pain.
  • Avoid touching – this might be the most important and the hardest to stick to. Pink eye can be highly contagious so if you touch your eye and then touch other things in your home the virus can spread to others. Make sure to wash your hands regularly and avoid touching your eye at all costs.


While there are some passed down remedies that you may have heard of for Pink Eye, we want to clear the air on some at-home treatments that are a bad idea:

  • Breast Milk – this is an old wives tale, breast milk will not cure Pink Eye
  • Visine – in some cases eye drops can make Pink Eye worse. Artificial tears are the only kind we would recommend to flush out allergens
  • Urine – do we really need to mention this?

Call us!

As always, if symptoms persist longer than a week, make an appointment with us here at TriCounty Eye Associates and we will be able to help determine the cause and get you some relief.


The common name for Amblyopia is Lazy Eye. This is when vision in one or both eyes does not develop properly. This problem is common among babies and small children. The first few years of life are crucial for the development of eyesight. If vision does not develop as it should, it will create issues in every aspect of life.

If the development of vision is stunted it can cause issues with learning, socialization, athletics and self-esteem.

What causes it?

There are a few different vision problems that can cause lazy eye.

  1. Refractive Errors – these types of errors are common like, near or farsightedness or even astigmatism. If one of these is worse in one eye than the other, it can cause that eye to stop working and sunt the development.
  2. Droopy Eyelid – this can block vision while a child’s vision is developing and cause amblyopia.
  3. Strabismus – this is when a person’s eyes point in two different directions. When the eyes aren’t pointing in the same direction it can cause a child’s brain to ignore the image from one eye in order to avoid seeing double, which unfortunately can keep that eye from developing normally.
  4. Cloudiness in the eye – or cataract, where the lens of the eye is cloudy instead of clear. This can keep the vision in that eye from developing as it should.

How to diagnose it?

Amblyopia can be caught early on by scheduling regular eye exams for your kids. During an exam an eye doctor will check to make sure the vision in both eyes is developing at a normal speed. During routine exams, a doctor will be able to tell if there are any differences in vision between the two eyes.

It is recommended that all children have their vision checked before their 4th birthday. If there is a family history of eye issues, your doctor may recommend that they have their vision checked sooner than that.

Treatment for Amblyopia

Your eye doctor will discuss all the possible ways to treat it to try to prevent further damage. It is important to make the vision stronger in the weaker eye. This can be done with prescription glasses, eye patches or in extreme cases surgery.

You want to be sure your child’s eyes are developing properly to help them avoid issues in other areas of development as they grow. Call TriCounty Eye Associates today in order to schedule your child’s eye exam!


Linking Type 2 Diabetes with Eye Disease

Diagnosed cases of diabetes continue to rise in our society and alarmingly, they continue to rise in children. The CDC’s research has found that people with diabetes have a 25 times higher risk of developing blindness than people who do not. This is especially concerning for children who have diabetes.

One of the leading causes of blindness is diabetic retinopathy. In a study done by the AAO found that children with type 2 diabetes are almost twice as likely to develop diabetic retinopathy than children with type 1 diabetes. We think it is important to understand that if you or your child have this disease, it gives you even more reason to visit the eye doctor at least once a year!

In order to keep our patients informed, we want to give some background on what diabetes is and how it affects your eyes, so you know what to pay attention to.

What is Diabetes?

A disease that causes your body not to make enough insulin or keeps your body from using the insulin it has the way that it should. This in turn will cause there to be too much sugar that stays in your bloodstream. If left untreated it can cause serious health problems like kidney disease, heart disease, and vision loss.

There are two types of diabetes:

Type 1:  Autoimmune reaction is said to be the cause. Basically, your body is attacking itself mistakenly and it keeps your body from creating the insulin needed to regulate your blood sugar. This is the type is usually diagnosed in children and teens. Daily insulin injections are required for this type of diabetes and there is no known way to prevent it.

Type 2: When your body doesn’t use the insulin it has well. This is the more common type of diabetes and is usually diagnosed later in life but can also be diagnosed in children and teens.

What is Diabetic Retinopathy?

Diabetes can cause high blood pressure, which leads to Retinopathy eye disease. High blood sugar levels can cause damage to the blood vessels in the retina. The damage caused can swell, leak or close the blood vessels which will stop blood from passing through. If left untreated this can cause blindness.

What are the signs to look for?

In order to diagnose eye disease early in yourself or your children, the best course of action is to have yearly eye exams. A yearly eye exam is going to catch issues early so they are easier to treat.

If you or your child has diabetes, some things to look for in between eye exams:

  • Spots or dark strings floating in your vision
  • Blurry vision
  • Difficulty seeing at night
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