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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

Neurolens Can Help Fight the Effects of Digital Eye Strain

We mentioned in our last blog that we are going to start offering Neurolens in both of our new locations. We wanted to take a deeper dive into this new technology to give you all the details of how this can help you.

What is it?

According to “Neurolens is the first prescription lens that uses a contoured prism to realign the eyes and relieve pressure on the trigeminal nerve.” This type of contoured prism lens can help fight the effects of digital eye strain. We have talked about blue light and digital eye strain here before, and this lens could be an alternative to blue-light-blocking lenses.

A significant amount of people suffer more and more from digital eye strain since most of us work with computers all day and use our smartphones and tablets while not at work. With the rise of children-friendly tablets, people are getting exposed to blue light earlier and earlier. Digital eye strain can cause not only eye strain but also neck pain, shoulder pain, and headaches.

The root cause of these symptoms is the digital eye strain. Neurolens can help to correct the damage caused by digital eye strain resulting in fewer headaches and neck and shoulder pain.

The Science Behind It

The Trigeminal nerve is the biggest nerve that is connected to your brain. Research has proven that there is a connection between this nerve and the eyes. If your eyes are misaligned due to eye strain, it puts pressure on that nerve which in turn causes the symptoms we detailed above.

In order to prescribe a Neurolens, we will use a measurement device that can detect a possible misalignment and then determine the prescriptions needed.

Who could benefit?

This type of lens could benefit anyone who spends a lot of time on a computer as well as anyone who does a lot of detailed work or reading. It can also be helpful for someone who has suffered from the symptoms of digital eye strain but have not see any relief from their symptoms using other treatments.

Come See Us!

If you fit the description above, call us to make an appointment. We love being able to help improve the lives of our customers by offering the latest breakthrough technologies. We would love to see if Nurolens could help you!

We are Moving

Here at TriCounty Eye Associates, we have some very exciting changes happening. Since our client base has grown so much thanks to all our amazing customers, we have decided to upgrade our current locations to accommodate YOU better. We are Moving!

Moncks Corner

We aren’t moving far, but we will now be at:
119 Foxbank Plantation Blvd
Moncks Corner, SC 29461

This is the same parking lot as before, but we are now in a bigger unit! We are also adding a new doctor to this location. Joel Schultz, OD. Dr Schultz used to practice at Flowertown Family Vision in Summerville, We are so excited to welcome him to our practice!

North Charleston

We are moving to:
8983 University Blvd
North Charleston, SC 29406

Our doctor at this location is still Dr Shaye Hurd, who can medically treat Ocular Disease as well as take care of your routine exams.

We are really excited to be able to serve our customers better with the extra space our new locations are going to provide. We will be settled into our new locations by July of this year so mark your calendars!


We are also introducing a new prescription lens called Neurolens which actually helps to correct eye issues related to pressure on the trigeminal nerve. Keep an eye out for a separate blog about this new offering. We are always thinking of new ways to better serve our loyal customers. Whether it’s researching and offering new products and technology, or moving to larger office spaces to better accommodate our customer’s needs.

With all of the new things going on, feel free to call us with any questions about our new locations and our new Neurolens option.

We look forward to seeing you soon!

Allergy Eyes

Springtime can bring so many good memories to mind. Warmer weather, fresh wildflowers blooming, bright colors, and outdoor activities. In the Lowcountry, it means the Flowertown Festival is around the corner. The bright pinks of the Azalea bushes will be coloring every corner of town.

These are all telltale signs of spring has sprung can be an incredibly unpleasant time of year for allergy sufferers. One of the most affected parts of the body by allergies are the eyes.  Here are a few ways to cope during this time of year.

Helpful Tips

  1. Avoid Allergens – some ways you can avoid allergens could be to change your HVAC filter more often, or even get a filter specifically made to filter out allergens. You can check the pollen levels outside using your weather app on your phone, if the pollen level is high keep the windows of your home closed. Cleaning your home more frequently can help because pollen travels fast. A shower before bed will make sure you don’t track any pollen into your bed with you. It is also a good idea to wipe down pets when they come in from the outdoors and wash them more often during the pollen season.
  2. Don’t wear contacts – contacts can get irritated more easily by allergens so switching to glasses just for the season can help to alleviate some symptoms.
  3. Wash your hands and face – this is similar to cleaning your home and showering before bed. If you are washing your hands and face more often, you will be getting rid of the pollen you have tracked in.
  4. Wear sunglasses – while we have discussed many reasons why sunglasses are a good idea, in this instance, sunglasses can keep pollen from getting directly in your eyes while you are outside.

Tips to Soothe Your Eyes

  1. Eye drops – since allergens can cause your eyes to dry out, they can get in your eye. Eye drops can help to keep your eye lubricated as well as help to flush out any allergens stuck in there.
  2. Cold Therapy – using a cold compress to help with the symptoms. You can just wet a clean, soft cloth and leave it in the fridge for about 15 minutes. Then gently apply to your eyes for some much-needed relief of redness and puffiness.

Of course, if your allergies are still not under control while following these steps, give us a call. We will be able to determine if medication is needed to keep your allergies at bay.

We hope everyone stays comfortable during this pollen season!

The Future of Glasses

Glasses were invented back in the 13th century in Italy. Since then, people wear them to help see better. Some people need them from birth, others develop vision impairment later in life. Some people just need reading glasses as they age to help them continue to work or enjoy a good book.

There is some new research we wanted to tell you about that the AAO released in January of this year. They are experimenting with eye drops as a way to improve eyesight so that you do not need to wear reading glasses. These topical eye drops could ease the burden of having to remember where you left your reading glasses.

The Details

The technical term for needing reading glasses is presbyopia, which is a gradual loss if near vision with age. There are two kind of eye drops they have developed to combat presbyopia.

  1. Miotic Drops – these types of drops will change the size of the pupil which will maximize near and far focus in the eye. This is the first type of drop that is actually FDA-approved.
  2. Lens-Softening Drops – these types of drops combat the stiffening of the clear lens in the eye. It softens the eye’s lens, this flexibility allows the eye to better focus on near objects. This drop would be ideal for someone without cataracts who are at the beginning stages of presbyopia.

How Do They Work?

The miotic drops have been proven to start working thirty minutes after use, and they can last from four to seven hours until the effects start to wear off. The early studies of the lens softening drops suggest they can last years.

Side effects

This is a new development in the eye world. While the Miotic Drops have been FDA approved, the lens softening drops have not been approved yet. The main side effects people reported were headaches, limited vision at night, and depth perception issues.


It is doubtful these eye drops will be covered by insurance, but they are likley to still be less than a pair of glasses.

This is an exciting development for anyone who wears reading glasses. While each person has a different eye health journey it is hopeful that these eye drops can help to improve the quality of life for people who suffer from presbyopia.

Whether you are itching to be on the frontline of technology or comfortable with your glasses, we at TriCounty Eyes are here to serve you!

Glaucoma Awareness Month

We love to educate our patients on the different types of eye conditions so they can be aware and conscious of the early signs. The more you know about your eyes, the earlier you can diagnose an issue. This month we want to shed some light on Glaucoma. January was Glaucoma Awareness month, so what better time to brush up on what this eye condition is and the warning signs to look out for.

What is it?

Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness. It is a disease where damage to the optic nerve leads to progressive, irreversible vision loss.

There are two main types of Glaucoma:
1. Open Angle
This is the most common form of the disease and is caused by pressure that damages the optic nerve.
2. Angle Closure
This form of this disease makes the pressure inside your eye go up suddenly.

Getting your yearly eye exam is a fantastic way to catch this condition early before damage can begin. During an eye exam, an eye doctor can determine if there are risk factors for glaucoma before any proven damage to the optic nerve can happen. If this is the case, your eye doctor would tell you that you are a Glaucoma Suspect.

What to look out for

Unfortunately, it is completely possible to have Glaucoma and you do not realize it. Sometimes there are no symptoms, and it can only be by your eye doctor’s diagnosis. All the more reason to make sure to schedule your regular eye exams. This will help your doctor to catch these things early.


If you have Glaucoma, you and your doctor will come up with the right treatment for your situation. There currently is no cure for it, and if your vision is regressing it cannot be regained. It is, however, possible to stop progression and further damage once diagnosed. Depending on your situation your eye doctor will either prescribe medication and/or surgery in order to stop its progression.

Glaucoma is a risk that everyone faces. Regardless of your age, gender, and race, anyone can be diagnosed with Glaucoma. The best way to combat its effects of it is to catch it early. The best way to catch it early is to schedule regular eye exams throughout your life.

Call TriCounty Eye Associates today to schedule an appointment so we can help to preserve your eyesight!

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