Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Why the twitching?

Ever have one of your eyes start twitching for seemingly no reason? Twitching can be annoying, and most of the time twitching is associated with a high stress level. So this post is going to be about... STRESS REDUCTION! Yay!

I will share a bit of my personal experience over the weekend, and talk a bit about how running has changed my attitude and allowed me to lower my stress level. Over the weekend I ran the Grandfather Mountain Marathon in North Carolina. This was my first full marathon, and it happens to be one of the more difficult ones because of the many hills and the altitude. I trained in Florida, which is about as flat as it gets and not at all high altitude. So this made the race a bit challenging for me. However, the views during the race were splendid; I felt like I was in another country. The mountains, the trees, the fog... hard to explain. The beauty of nature definitely helped me get through the many miles of running.

Over the past few years, running has been a great stress reliever for me. There are many ways to relieve stress. If you are having eyelid twitching, try one or more of these potential stress relievers:

  • Art (painting, pottery, sculpture)

  • Music (ever play the drums? great way to get some anger out!)

  • Meditation (great way to clear your mind)

  • Yoga (and you get the added benefit of increased flexibility)

  • Martial arts (The Ninja Turtles had the right idea)

  • Gardening (for all those with a green thumb)

  • Have a spa day (you deserve it!)

Different things work for different people. One person's stress reliever might actually cause stress for another person. So try a few different things to see what works best for you. We all have stress in our lives, and it's up to you to find ways to control that stress. Stress not only affects your eyes, but can have all kinds of health consequences. Do yourself a favor and take some time to figure out what relieves your stress.

I'll leave you with a bit of inspiration from Lance Armstrong's book: You have the power and the responsibility to make this day the best day possible, and then string the days of your life together in a way that brings you happiness.

Have a wonderful Tuesday.

Monday, July 6, 2009

You got *WHAT* in your eye?

So this is a bit belated, but I said I would do an eye injury post for the 4th of July. I hope everyone had a fantastic 4th of July, and that you feel thankful to live in a country with many freedoms.

Speaking of freedoms, in America we have the freedom to do not-so-smart things to our eyes. So today we shall talk about... EYE INJURIES and what to do if you get something weird in your eye.

So let's talk first about what happens if you get metal in your eye. This is what you may think if you are grinding metal and an opossum stole your safety glasses and the metal got in your eye:

"Where did that crazy opossum come from," and "oh, it will come out by itself, I don't need to go to the eye doctor."

Don't listen to that inner voice, because metal that is stuck on the cornea can rust fairly quickly and pose danger to your ocular health. It also doesn't feel very good. When a patient comes in with metal in their eye, I check their vision and then look to see where the metal is located. If the metal is not very deeply embedded, I try to wash it out with saline first. If the metal is too deep, then we put drops in to numb the eye, and then remove the metal with some cool tools. If the metal has rusted, we may have to use a special drill to get the rust out. This is what metal embedded in the cornea looks like:

After the metal is removed, we send you home with antibiotic drops and see you back the next day to make sure you are healing properly. I've had a few patients who have had metal in their eye multiple times, but they still refuse to wear safety glasses when drilling. Please don't be that guy. Even our President wears safety glasses when needed, see?

So that's about it on the metal issue... I also wanted to talk about what to do if you get a weird liquid in your eye. Let's say you were busy cleaning your home, and you got some of the cleaner in your eye. (See, cleaning is dangerous. I hate cleaning.) What should you do? IRRIGATE! That means flush the eye out with water, and not just for 30 seconds. My hubby worked at the FL Poison Center, and they recommend the same treatment: Get in the shower and flush the eye out for 15 minutes. Yes, that's a long time. But we want to make sure all of the chemical gets out. After the eye is flushed, come over to your friendly eye doctor so we can make sure there are no chemical burns or abrasions. We can put this cool dye in your eye to look for those things. We may give you antibiotic drops if you are at risk for infection.

The moral of this post is that injuries are no fun, so try to avoid them if possible. Be aware of your surroundings, and be careful of any chemicals in the vicinity that could cause harm to your eye. PLEASE wear safety glasses if you are doing something dangerous, like grinding metal. Or playing raquetball. We like healthy eyes without injuries, so be careful! Have a safe and wonderful summer!!!