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What Are Eye Allergies?

Eye Exams and Vision Care at Kosnoski Eye Care

Eye Exams and Vision Care at Kosnoski Eye Care

Eye allergies, also known as allergic conjunctivitis, are caused by environmental allergens and irritants. While their symptoms range in severity from uncomfortable to incapacitating, it’s often possible to attain relief.

What Causes Eye Allergies?

Allergies occur when the immune system becomes hypersensitive to certain allergens, such as dust mites or pollen. Histamines are released into the bloodstream when allergens are introduced to the body, causing swelling and inflammation.

Some airborne allergens that can cause eye allergies to include:

  • Dust mites
  • Pet dander
  • Mold
  • Trees
  • Pollen
  • Weeds

Non-airborne allergens include:

  • Cleaning chemicals
  • Preservatives in multi-use eye drops
  • Contact lens solutions
  • Perfume
  • Makeup
  • Skin-care products

What Are Common Symptoms of Eye Allergies?

When your eyes come in contact with an allergen you may start to have symptoms almost immediately, or hours or days later. Eye allergy symptoms include:

  • Burning or painful eyes
  • Watery eyes
  • Red eyes
  • Irritated or itchy eyes
  • Nasal congestion
  • Runny nose
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Sneezing
  • Swollen eyelids

How To Treat Eye Allergies

Once your eye doctor has thoroughly examined your eyes and ruled out other causes of your symptoms, they can advise you on how best to treat your symptoms.

Decongestants or Antihistamines

Decongestants can help you breathe easier by shrinking swollen nasal pathways that might become inflamed due to allergies. Decongestants can also shrink the blood vessels in the whites of the eyes, relieving red eyes.

Antihistamines work by blocking the attachment of the histamine to the body’s cells that produce an allergic reaction, reducing or eliminating symptoms.

Limit Allergen Exposure

A good way to reduce allergy flare-ups is to avoid allergens or at least reduce exposure to them. If pollen causes your eyes to become itchy and red, try limiting your time outdoors and driving with the windows closed. In addition, wearing wrap-around glasses can protect your eyes from allergens and irritants.

Temporarily Remove Your Contact Lenses

Allergens can accumulate on the surface of contact lenses, which makes it difficult to get rid of symptoms while wearing them. If you suffer from eye allergies, try temporarily switching to glasses and see if your symptoms continue. For many people, the best contact lenses for those with eye allergies are daily disposables, which are discarded at the end of each day.

Try Eye Drops

Over-the-counter antihistamine and lubricating eye drops can help soothe itchy, irritated, and red eyes. There are many brands and types of drops that will offer the best relief. Your eye doctor may even prescribe a more powerful eye drop than the ones available at your local drugstore.

Aside from soothing irritated eyes, artificial tears and lubricating eye drops can help remove any foreign substances and flush the eye of allergens.

Scheduling an eye exam at Kosnoski Eye Care in Federal Way is the best way to rule out other possible eye conditions and determine the cause of your symptoms. If you suffer from any of the symptoms mentioned above, contact us today.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Are eye allergies dangerous?

  • A: Most eye allergies are more irritating than dangerous. They can, however, cause scarring of the cornea due to all the eye rubbing.

Q: How can I tell whether it’s an eye allergy or eye infection?

  • A: If you experience eye pain and ocular discharge (excluding tears), there’s a strong chance you might have an infection. Viral eye infections usually clear up on their own, but bacterial eye infections can only be treated with medication. If you suspect you have an eye infection, make sure to visit your eye doctor as soon as possible.

Quality Frames For Prescription Eyeglasses & Computer Glasses. Visit Kosnoski Eye Care for an eye exam and eyeglasses that match your style.


Can Your Eye Doctor See Floaters?

Eye floaters look like little specks or shapes that glide Eye Care Clinic across your visual field. They can resemble dark specks, outlined strings, or fragments of cobwebs – all of which are actually little pieces of debris or clumps of cells floating in your vitreous gel. When they cast shadows on your retina, you see them. Can your eye doctor also see them?

Yes, your eye doctor can see eye floaters during an eye exam. While most of the time floaters are harmless, sometimes they can indicate a serious, sight-threatening eye problem – such as retinal detachment. Your eye doctor will perform a dilated eye exam to inspect your eye health closely, looking out for signs of a problem.

If you only experience mild floaters without any retinal problem, there’s usually no need to treat eye floaters. However, if they’re severe and interfere with vision (and don’t go away on their own after several months), you may need laser treatment. But this is rare.

If eye floaters appear suddenly and in a large quantity, call your eye doctor immediately for an emergency eye exam. They could signal the start of retinal detachment, which can cause blindness when left untreated.

In the vast majority of cases, eye floaters are nothing more than bothersome, and people can usually ignore them more easily as time passes.

At Kosnoski Eye Care, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 253-263-1490 or book an appointment online to see one of our Federal Way eye doctors.

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Why Does Your Eye Doctor Dilate Your Pupils for an Eye Exam?

If you’ve been following the guideline to have regular eye exams, then you’re probably familiar with having your pupils dilated. Why does your eye doctor do this?

By dilating your pupils, the eye doctor can get a better view of your inner eye structures – so the eye exam is more comprehensive and more detailed. While the back of your eye can be seen through an undilated pupil, it cannot be examined as fully.

A full evaluation of your macula, retina and optic nerve is possible through dilated pupils. In many common eye diseases, such as macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma, these are the parts of the eye that exhibit signs of a problem. Also, health conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes can often be detected on these parts of the eye.

What happens when the eye doctor dilates your pupils?

Your eye doctor or a technician will insert eye drops into your eyes; it takes 20 – 30 minutes for them to take full effect. Then, your eye doctor will use a lighted microscope to inspect your eyes.

Initially, you may feel a slight stinging when the drops are first inserted, but the discomfort is typically minor and short-lived. For a few hours afterwards, your eyes will be extra-sensitive to light and vision may be slightly blurred. Wearing sunglasses can help manage this sensitivity. Dilation usually wears off within four to six hours.

Even though getting your pupils dilated for an eye exam may feel like a nuisance, it enables your eye doctor to check your ocular health and overall body health with much more accuracy. So the benefits are clear! Contact an expert eye doctor near you to schedule an eye exam.

At Kosnoski Eye Care, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 253-263-1490 or book an appointment online to see one of our Federal Way eye doctors.

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Can Lasik Correct Astigmatism?

The “perfect” eyeball would be a smooth sphere with optical lenses that function at their best. But in the real world, this rarely happens. Usually, eyes are not shaped perfectly and visual acuity is therefore compromised. When you have astigmatism, the eye is elliptical – similar to a football shape. As a result of this asymmetry, light rays traveling through it scatter, and vision is blurred.

Astigmatism is a common vision condition. By definition, it is simply a refractive error like nearsightedness and farsightedness. Just like those vision conditions, astigmatism can be corrected with prescription eyeglasses, contact lenses and LASIK. At our eye care clinic, we perform comprehensive eye exams to determine your candidacy for laser surgery. Book a consultation with our optometrist about LASIK.

How can LASIK help?

If you have only a mild astigmatism, laser correction surgery may not be required. But if astigmatism is disturbing your vision, LASIK can be an option.

During this procedure, your eye surgeon will use a laser to reshape your cornea so it is more spherical and can focus light properly. LASIK thereby improves vision across your entire visual field, and not just the part of your view affected by prescription eyewear.

How successful is LASIK for correcting astigmatism?

LASIK for astigmatism can be an excellent solution when compared to alternatives, such as glasses or contact lenses. That’s because eyeglasses and contacts work by cancelling out the visual distortion, whereas LASIK totally changes and corrects the irregularity in your cornea. For many people, the procedure is transformative to their lives.

The success rate of LASIK for astigmatism is associated strongly with the vision prescription of the patient and the unique shape of the eye. Official reports state that LASIK is most suitable for people with a prescription of up to four cylinders of astigmatism. Also, if you only have a tiny amount of astigmatism, such as 0.5 diopter, LASIK may not provide a significant benefit. Therefore, the success rate of LASIK for astigmatism varies, which is why you need an experienced eye doctor to assess your eyes and vision to determine your candidacy.

Our LASIK optometrists offer specialized consultations and eye exams.

Is LASIK affordable?

Even if you have an extreme vision prescription, LASIK is still regarded as an elective treatment by most insurance policies, so it isn’t covered by their basic plans. However, significant savings are frequently offered by various insurance plans. Our staff is knowledgeable about ways to make LASIK affordable, and we’re happy to share the info!

To discuss LASIK and other vision correction procedures, contact us for an appointment.

At Kosnoski Eye Care, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 253-263-1490 or book an appointment online to see one of our Federal Way eye doctors.

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Pink Eye? It Could Be Coronavirus

How to prevent conjunctivitis and protect your eyes

When you have a virus, especially one that causes a hacking cough, runny nose, and other symptoms of a common cold or flu, it’s typical for your eyes to also get puffy and red. You may be suffering from viral conjunctivitis, also known as pink eye.

How do viruses get into your eyes?

It’s rather simple. When you’re sick, you can easily transfer viruses to your eyes by sneezing, coughing into your hands, or blowing your nose – and then touching the area around your eye.

The coronavirus – pink eye connection

According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), doctors have discovered that COVID-19 can cause conjunctivitis. If you’re standing within six feet of an infected person, and they cough or sneeze, the virus can enter your eye. Alternatively, if someone sneezes and virus particles land on the shopping cart that you take and push around a store, and then you touch your eyes without washing your hands first – you’re giving the virus direct access.

However, despite the apparent ease with which coronavirus can infect eyes, the AAO reports that only about 1 – 3% of all patients with the virus contract pink eye.

Preventing pink eye

Like always, prevention is the most effective medicine! Eye care professionals recommend following these tips to help prevent getting viral conjunctivitis:

  • Wash your hands correctly

The CDC instructs people to wash their hands in accordance with these steps: wet your hands, turn off the tap, apply soap, lather and scrub for 20 seconds, turn on tap and rinse. Air dry your hands, use a disposable paper towel and discard it immediately, or use a clean (not shared) towel.

  • Keep your fingers away from your face

No rubbing or wiping your eyes! Even if you don’t feel any symptoms of coronavirus, it’s essential not to touch any part of your face. To wipe away tears or remove makeup, use a clean tissue.

  • Don’t share your personal things

As generous as you may feel about letting others use your personal items, now’s the time to keep things to yourself. For example, the CDC recommends not sharing eye drops, makeup, makeup brushes, contact lenses cases, pillowcases, or towels. Pink eye is highly contagious.

  • Consider wearing glasses instead of contacts

While there’s currently no evidence to prove that wearing contacts raises your risks of contracting the novel coronavirus, there’s some evidence that shows you can get Covid-19 by touching a contaminated surface and then touching your eyes. In general, contact lenses wearers touch their eyes more often than people who wear eyeglasses, so it may be smart to make a temporary switch from contact lenses to glasses. However, this is only a friendly recommendation and not a hard-and-fast rule. If you prefer to stick with wearing contacts, washing your hands thoroughly can help keep you and your eyes safe.

Treatment for conjunctivitis

Regardless of whether your pink eye is caused by coronavirus or a different virus, there is no treatment for viral conjunctivitis. Usually, it goes away on its own within one to two weeks.

To alleviate your painful symptoms, eye doctors recommend:

  • Taking an over-the-counter pain medication, such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen or any anti-inflammatory drug
  • Applying a warm compress on your eye for a few minutes; take care to use a clean wash cloth each time and for each eye
  • Use artificial tears (lubricating eye drops) to soothe your eye irritation; don’t touch the bottle tip to your eye

Are you sick and have pink eye symptoms?

Now is not the time to make a DIY diagnosis. Eye redness, even if you have a virus, doesn’t necessarily indicate that you have conjunctivitis. A wide range of other conditions can lead to the same symptoms. Contact an eye doctor near you for help to figure out what’s causing your eye pain. Don’t visit your eye care practice without calling for guidance first, because extra precautions must be taken with patients who may have COVID-19.

At Kosnoski Eye Care, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 253-263-1490 or book an appointment online to see one of our Federal Way eye doctors.

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Want Frames that Fit Right? Don’t Buy Eyeglasses Online!

Benefits of buying glasses from an optical store near you

We get it, online shopping has become a staple in our lives. Even if you’re still lounging in your pj’s, you can browse items on the screen, make a selection and choose to pay now. All that’s left to do is wait for your delivery to arrive. However, this process doesn’t work smoothly for all purchases! Eyeglasses in particular are one item that’s better to buy from an optical store near you.

Before you raise your eyebrows in skepticism over this fact, let’s review the risks involved in buying designer frames from a website – instead of from a helpful, qualified optician.

All glasses don’t fit all people

When you choose frames from an online vendor, you’re probably given the option of uploading an image of yourself for “trying on” the glasses. But this process has limitations – namely, you’ll be able to see how the glasses look on your face, but you won’t be able to feel how they fit. Do they rest snugly on your nose, or do they slip down? Are the temples comfortable behind your ears, or do they pinch?

The only way to assess the fit of your glasses is to put them on your face. At our eye care center, our friendly optician will check if the glasses rest properly on your face and provide clear vision. Remember, ill-fitting glasses can do more than hurt your head, they can also blur your eyesight!

Quality you can depend on

As your trusted neighborhood optical store, we invest time and energy into stocking only quality frames that you can rely upon. Our glasses are handpicked from the designer brands you know and love, featuring top construction, trending style, and long-lasting use. When you shop online, you’ll never find this attention to detail and quality. Also, we use premium optics and precise engineering to ensure that your lenses fit your frames perfectly, giving the sharpest vision possible. What good are glasses that don’t hold up to daily wear, or worse, don’t provide crisp sight?

Eye exams are an essential part of buying glasses

When choosing the shape of your frames, your vision prescription must be considered. If you need bifocals or multifocal lenses, a minimum size is typically needed to make sure the lenses line up correctly with your PD (pupil distance). If your PD is wrong, the optics won’t work. The only way to confirm that your eyeglasses provide clear vision is by having our optician perform a thorough vision test.

Your optician will explain your lens options

Even after you’ve chosen the designer frames of your dreams, do you know which lens options you need? Your daily activities, occupation, and hobbies are important factors. Depending on what you do each day, our optical staff will recommend various lens treatments and coatings. For example, computer users can benefit from blue light protection, photochromic lenses can be ideal for people who move between indoors and outdoors constantly, and impact-resistant plastics are a good match if you’re physically active. When you order lenses from an optical center near you, you eliminate the guesswork of figuring out which features to add.

We care about you! Online vendors care about making sales

When you enter a website to buy cheap knock-offs or costly designer frames, there’s no personalized hands-on assistance. In contrast, our friendly optician will help you from the moment you enter our optical store! If any problems arise, we stand by our products. We’re available to help or make adjustments to your frames, as needed.

At Kosnoski Eye Care, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 253-263-1490 or book an appointment online to see one of our Federal Way eye doctors.

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Do Your Eyeglasses Fit Right?

Get an eye exam to check the fit of your glasses

Tips and guidelines are all over the internet about how to choose the perfect eyeglasses for your face. Which advice should you listen to? Do any of these helpful hints have any real value?

Truthfully, there are many myths about what’s important when it comes to selecting frames that fit right. We’ve prepared the following helpful facts and instructions to guide your decision. Once you’ve narrowed down your eyeglasses choices to a few favorites, the best thing to do is ask our optical staff! We’re trained to check the precise fit of eyeglasses and to make adjustments, as necessary. If your vision isn’t up to par with your new glasses, we can also perform a detailed eye exam to ensure that an inaccurate prescription isn’t the problem.

The Basics Behind Well-Fitting Eyeglasses

Face shape isn’t most important: One of the most widespread myths is that you need to first identify your face shape to pick eyeglasses that complement your features. However, if you’ve ever looked at pictures of different shaped faces – round, square, triangular, heart-shaped, etc…, you probably got stuck. That’s because most people don’t neatly match up to one shape. It’s more probable that your face combines the elements of a few different shapes, and you don’t need to pinpoint them to find the best-looking glasses.

Glasses must feel comfortable: Many people simply settle, getting used to eyeglasses that pinch slightly behind their ears or press on the sides of their noses. Uncomfortable glasses are not something anyone should live with! When frames fit right, they feel good – they don’t slip, pinch, lead to headaches, or brush up against your eyelashes.

One size doesn’t fit all

Although many glasses can work for different size heads, the rule of thumb is that smaller, more delicate frames fit smaller heads best, and larger frames complement larger heads. Balance and proportion is key – large frame designs can overwhelm small heads, and tiny frames can make big heads look even larger.

Measurements that Matter

If our optical staff had to sum up the main criteria for fitting eyeglasses (not taking personal style into account), we’d break it down to matching you with the right frame width, arm length, and bridge width.

Frame width

The width of your eyeglasses is important for reasons beyond giving you an attractive appearance. It’s also linked to the placement of your pupils within each lens, which is inextricably connected to the quality of your vision. Frame width should extend slightly past your cheekbones, far enough so the arm of the frames doesn’t touch your temple – and close enough that you can’t fit more than one finger in that same area. This is particularly important for people who wear bifocals or progressives, so you see through the correct portion of each lens.

Arm (temple) length

The arms of your eyeglasses should go straight back towards your ears and only contact the side of your head just in front of your ears. If temples curve too early, they’ll push the glasses down your nose and apply too much pressure on the bridge, leading to headaches.

Bridge size

The bridge is the part of your eyeglasses that goes over your nose. It needs to fit snugly, not pinching or sliding around loosely. Often, metal frames have adjustable nose pads to help customize the fit – but acetate glasses usually don’t have this feature. If the bridge is too tight, you’ll feel uncomfortable and your vision will likely suffer because the lenses sit too high on your face. If the bridge is too loose, your eyeglasses will constantly slide down your nose.

What can you do when your fit isn’t right?

Ill-fitting eyeglasses can make your appearance look a bit off, as well as negatively affect your vision. Whatever the problem, your best bet is to visit our optical store for assistance. If poor vision is your complaint, we’ll first perform an eye exam to confirm that your prescription is accurate and that the lenses were crafted correctly. If the problem lies in the size and shape of your frames, there’s a variety of ways we can fix the situation. Arm temples, nose pads, and bridges can be adjusted and customized for your face. Instead of suffering uncomfortable vision, talk to your eye doctor!

At Kosnoski Eye Care, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 253-263-1490 or book an appointment online to see one of our Federal Way eye doctors.

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Reading glasses: How will I know if I’m ready?

When you pick up a book or your smartphone, do you need to stretch your arm and hold it further away from your eyes to see the words? When you go grocery shopping, do you need to take a step back from the shelves to read the ingredient lists? These are all signs of presbyopia – a common and normal age-related vision condition – which means it’s probably time to get reading glasses.

Blurry close vision is a clear sign to visit our friendly Federal Way, Washington , eye doctor, at Kosnoski Eye Care for an eye exam. We’ll check your sight for near and distance to prescribe the best eyeglasses to give you 20/20 vision.

Signs that you need reading glasses

  1. Over age 40 – while everyone’s eyes change at a different pace, most people develop presbyopia (a normal part of aging) in their forties. This common vision condition makes it hard for your eyes to focus on nearby objects.
  2. Computer work tires your eyes – do you experience fatigue and heavy eyelids when working at your computer or any type of detailed work? Untreated presbyopia can strain your eyes. In addition to blinking more and taking breaks to let your eyes rest, the right pair of bifocal/multifocal eyeglasses or reading glasses can boost your eye energy.
  3. Halos appear around lights – when your lens can’t focus light properly onto your retina, it can cause fuzzy vision, especially when looking at lightbulbs or headlights.
  4. You need brighter light to read – if you always feel that the room is too dim, it can also be a sign that you need reading glasses. Older people tend to need more light to achieve 20/20 vision.
  5. Headaches – straining your eyes can lead to headaches, especially the type of pain that you feel right behind your eyes. Painful vision is a sign that you need to visit our Federal Way, Washington , eye care center for an eye exam.

Still not sure you need reading glasses? Schedule a comprehensive eye exam!

Dr. Kosnoski will check your vision and eye health thoroughly to issue your precise vision prescription for eyeglasses or reading glasses. We’ll also inspect the health of your eyes to make sure your symptoms aren’t due to another problem; such as eye disease. Remember, eyes and vision change with age, so regular follow-up eye exams are essential!

At Kosnoski Eye Care, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 253-263-1490 or book an appointment online to see one of our Federal Way eye doctors.

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Can Contact Lenses Give Me 20/20 Vision?

Before our eye doctor answers the question about whether or not contacts can help you achieve 20/20 vision, let’s discuss what those numbers mean. Everyone talks about 20/20 vision all the time, but what is it exactly? Our optometrist at your nearby eye care center in Federal Way can answer any questions you may have.

What’s the meaning of 20/20?

In general, “normal eyesight” is referred to as 20/20 vision. These numbers describe what you should see when standing 20 feet away from an eye chart. Accordingly, if you are diagnosed with 20/40 vision, it means that when you stand 20 feet away from the same eye chart, you can only see the details that a person with normal eyesight sees at 40 feet. That makes your vision weaker than average. In contrast, if you have 20/10 vision, it means that if you stand 20 feet away, you can see details that most people only see at 10 feet – which is better than the normal standards for vision.

How sharp will I be able to see with contact lenses?

At our Federal Way eye clinic, we aim to fit you with contact lenses that give 20/20 vision. Our experienced, skilled optometrist will check your visual acuity with the help of a basic Snellen testing chart and advanced diagnostics. We’ll figure out your precise vision prescription for contact lenses, giving you 20/20 vision or close to it. Our eye doctor is dedicated to making sure you enjoy the sharpest vision possible for your lifestyle needs!

Is it possible to see better than 20/20?

Yes, it is certainly possible. But the accepted gold standard is to correct human vision conditions with lens powers that bring your eyesight to the average norm of 20/20. On the other hand, if you are an eagle (and our eye doctor welcomes all eagles to visit us at Kosnoski Eye Care when flying through Federal Way), we can treat you with prescription contact lenses to restore the standard 20/5 vision that gives eagles a fine bird’s eye view of the world!)

Contact lenses vs. eyeglasses – do they give the same vision quality?

As far as vision quality goes, the primary advantage of contact lenses is that they offer more natural vision. Because they sit directly on your eye, they bend light in a way that’s closer to the requirements of your vision prescription. In addition:

  • Contacts also move along with your eyes, and no bulky frames block you from having clear peripheral vision – without needing to turn your head. (This is a big plus for people who play sports!)
  • Contact lenses don’t fog up when it’s cold outside or get wet when it’s rainy, so you have sharp vision in all weather conditions.
  • If you have astigmatism, our Federal Way eye doctor may recommend rigid gas permeable contact lenses, because they can give more acute vision than soft lenses and eyeglasses.

What’s better for me – contacts or glasses?

If your eyes are generally healthy, the choice between glasses and contact lenses is yours to make. Like everything, there are pros and cons to each type of vision correction. How should you make this decision? It mainly comes down to lifestyle and personal preferences. At our Federal Way eye care center, we’ll discuss your daily activities with you to help determine whether eyeglasses or contact lenses are most suitable.

Looking for 20/20 vision with contact lenses? Visit our Federal Way eye doctor near you!

To see the best that you can see, book an eye exam at Kosnoski Eye Care. Our optometrist will evaluate your vision and eye health to make sure you are a good candidate for contact lenses. If you’re interested in getting rid of your eyewear altogether, we also provide primary eye care and surgery co-management services.

At Kosnoski Eye Care, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 253-263-1490 or book an appointment online to see one of our Federal Way eye doctors.

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My Eyelid Hurts, Do I Have a Stye?

Emergency Eye Care Services Near You in Federal Way

First of all, don’t panic! Styes may cause pain, yet they are generally harmless and very rarely have any effects on your vision or eyeball. In addition, they’re pretty common. Most people experience at least one or two styes at some point during their life, and these irritating bumps tend to recur. If you have swelling, tenderness and red-hot pain near the edge of your eyelid, don’t wait for your annual eye exam to get it checked.

What is a Stye?

A stye is a small lump either on the inside or outside of your eyelid. Most of the time a stye is visible on the surface, yet sometimes they can occur deep inside the eyelid. What’s inside this lump? It is a pus-filled abscess, generally due to an eye infection by staphylococcus bacteria.

All Styes are Not the Same

When a stye is located on the outside of your eyelid, it begins as a small spot next to an eyelash. Over the next few days, it will develop into a red and painful swelling. Typically, the stye will then burst and heal. Fortunately, the whole experience begins and ends relatively fast.

An internal stye, which is located on the underside of your eyelid, also leads to a red and painful swelling. However, the hidden location prevents the stye from creating a whitehead. Instead, it will disappear slowly once the infection is past, or a small cyst filled with fluid may remain. If that happens, your Federal Way eye doctor may need to open and drain the cyst.

Cause of Styes

Many types of friendly bacteria live and breed on the surface of your skin, all of the time. Yet, when the conditions are right, some of these bacteria – such as the staphylococcal bacteria – feast on dead skin cells and other debris. As a result, a stye can develop. The process is similar to the way in which pimples appear.

In addition, a chronic facial condition called rosacea may be the root of your stye problem. Visit your eye doctor or dermatologist to diagnose rosacea and prescribe the best medical treatment.

Signs that You Need Emergency Eye Care

Extreme symptoms of inflammation and pain are typical reasons that patients call our Federal Way, eye doctor for urgent care. However, even if you experience only mild irritation and swelling of your eyelid, you need to consult with an eye doctor if it doesn’t go away within a few weeks.

We advise you to seek medical advice for the following:

  • Eyelid swelling that interferes with your vision
  • Inflammation that doesn’t disappear within a week or two
  • Pain in your eye
  • Recurrent styes; these can indicate a chronic skin problem

Treatment for Styes in Federal Way

Fortunately, most styes will improve and heal on their own within a few weeks. Never try to pop or squeeze a stye! It’s important to let them rupture and release the pus on their own. With regard to self-care, our eye doctor recommends that you apply warm compresses to your closed eyes for about 10 minutes, four times a day for a few days. The mild heat will relieve your pain and swelling as it also encourages the style to come to a head. As soon as you see the white head appear, continue applying warm compresses to promote bursting.

Sometimes, medical treatment is necessary and only a qualified eye doctor can evaluate your condition fully. If your style was caused by an infected eyelash follicle, we may need to remove the lash closest to the stye. Other times, the pus may need to be drained. After this procedure, the eyelid heals rapidly.

Is there a way to prevent styes?

If you find that your styes recur frequently, it’s a sign that you need to improve your eyelid hygiene. Start using lid scrubs to remove excess cellular debris and germs. Follow these steps:

  1. Add a few drops of mild baby shampoo into a cup filled with warm water. Stir well.
  2. Dip a cotton wool ball into the mixture and gently rub the soapy solution along the baseline of your eyelashes. Keep your eyelids closed while you do this.

We also recommend that you take care not to dry your face on dirty towels, rub your eyes with dirty hands, or use old and/or shared cosmetics.

Many of our Federal Way patients tell us that they felt pinpoint tenderness near a few eyelashes before the stye appeared. If you experience this, you may be able to prevent the stye from forming by applying warm compresses frequently. Being proactive in this way can help you avoid further blockage of the eyelid glands.

Remember, while styes can be very painful – they do not typically pose any hazard to your vision. If you have symptoms of a stye, our eye doctor will provide emergency eye care to help alleviate the pain and promote healing.

At Kosnoski Eye Care, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 253-263-1490 or book an appointment online to see one of our Federal Way eye doctors.

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Thankfully, we have resumed routine eye care. Please note our office protocol during this time.