Summer Weather and Sun Exposure Worsen These Eye Diseases and Conditions

Cataracts Brookline

Summertime means long hours in the sun on the beach, by the pool, or enjoying outdoor activities. While we often remember sunscreen, protecting your eyes may be forgotten in the rush to have fun. Babies, kids, and adults must shield their eyes from UV (ultraviolet) exposure year-round. July is UV Safety Awareness Month, and our eye doctors at Boston Eye Physicians and Surgeons want you to understand the risks associated with sun exposure and eye health. 

UV radiation from natural sunlight or artificial lights indoors can damage the surface tissues of your eyes, and many people are unaware of how sunlight can increase the risk of eye diseases and conditions or worsen existing eye concerns. The best way to lower your risk of potentially blinding eye diseases and tumors is to wear wrap-around, UV-blocking sunglasses whenever you’re outdoors. 


While cataracts are “curable” with cataract surgery, they can cause significant vision impairment and blindness when left untreated. Cataracts can form earlier due to excessive sun exposure throughout your life, which is why even babies and children should wear UV-protective sunglasses and hats. 

Macular Degeneration

Cataracts and macular degeneration are the most common eye diseases linked to sun exposure. Macular degeneration affects the macula (located in the center of the retina, at the back of the eye) and causes central vision loss. There is no cure for macular degeneration; treatments may only slow the progression. Once vision is lost with this eye disease, there’s no getting it back. 

Skin Cancer of the Eyelids

The thin skin tissue around the eye is susceptible to skin cancer, which may show up as bumps that bleed, discoloration on the eyelids, chronic inflammation, and loss of eyelashes. Melanoma is a type of skin cancer that may develop on the eyelids and cause blurry vision.

Pinguecula and Pterygium

People who spend most of their time in the midday sun around reflective surfaces, such as snow, water, sand, or ice, can develop growths on their eyes. The sun reflects off these surfaces and amplifies UV rays. Pinguecula is a type of growth that forms inside the eyelid on the conjunctiva (the clear coating over the white section of the eye) and causes dry eyes, redness, and inflammation. Pterygium is a raised bump on the conjunctiva that may extend onto and cover the cornea, affecting vision. It is nicknamed surfer’s eye because it tends to affect surfers, but it also commonly affects farmers and other people whose professions involve excessive sun exposure. 

Snow Blindness

Snow blindness is a type of photokeratitis that is like a sunburn on the eye. It develops quickly after UV light is reflected off a surface and often sends people to the emergency room. Snow blindness may cause severe eye pain, blurred vision, headache, a feeling of something in the eye, and temporary loss of sight. Photokeratitis typically resolves itself and doesn’t cause permanent blindness. 

Our eye doctors hope you enjoy summer and remember to protect your vision with sunglasses all year long. Schedule an eye exam at Boston Eye Physicians and Surgeons in Brookline, Massachusetts, today at (617) 232-9600 or by clicking Book Online. 

How Does LASIK Surgery Affect Seasonal Eye Allergies?

LASIK Brookline

Eye allergies, or allergic conjunctivitis, spring up this time of year. These symptoms can be especially bothersome for contact lens wearers because pollen, pet dander, and other allergen particles can stick to the lenses and cause more irritation. Many patients with refractive errors and eye allergies are interested in LASIK. LASIK eye surgery can reduce your dependence on contact lenses and may improve your quality of life with eye allergies. Our ophthalmologists at Boston Eye Physicians and Surgeons can determine if LASIK is right for you with an eye exam and consultation.

What Are Eye Allergies?

Also called ocular allergies, eye allergies happen when something that is ordinarily harmless irritates the eyes. Mast cells, which secrete histamine in the connective tissues to fight off the allergen, affect the eyelids and conjunctiva (the transparent coating over the white portion of the eye). The eyes become itchy, swollen, and red, and you may have tearing and a burning sensation. Ocular allergies are sometimes confused with dry eye disease and may come with light sensitivity. 

The most common ocular allergens include pet dander, dust, pollen, mold, smoke, and perfumes. Some foods may also cause a reaction. You’re more likely to develop eye allergies if you have a parent with them. Most people with eye allergies also experience nasal symptoms, such as sneezing and an itchy or stuffy nose. Eye allergies can be seasonal or chronic. 

Can I Have LASIK If I Have Eye Allergies?

Patients with seasonal eye allergies can still qualify for LASIK, but chronic reactions are typically not suitable for laser vision correction. Our ophthalmologists may recommend LASIK for patients struggling with seasonal eye allergies and contact lenses. However, scheduling the procedure outside your allergy “season” is best so your eyes aren’t prone to inflammation and irritation during LASIK recovery. You must also meet the other criteria for LASIK candidacy, including a stable prescription for one to two years, sufficient corneal thickness, good eye health outside of allergies, and refractive errors within the laser’s parameters. 

One of the most common side effects of LASIK is dry eye, which is usually temporary, but patients with chronic dry eyes caused by allergies may have a higher incidence of dry eye after LASIK. Patients with eye allergies may need additional pre-op and post-op management for LASIK.

Most patients with seasonal eye allergies can benefit from LASIK. The only way to know if LASIK is right for you is to schedule a consultation at our Brookline, Massachusetts, office. 

Contact Boston Eye Physicians and Surgeons at (617) 232-9600 or by clicking Book Online to schedule your appointment today.

Why Your Dry Eye Symptoms May Get Worse with Seasonal Changes

Seasonal Dry Eye Treatment Boston

Fall is upon us in Boston, with autumn colors dancing across our trees. Soon the leaves will fall, and people with dry eye syndrome may experience changing symptoms with the seasons. At Boston Eye Physicians and Surgeons, we offer various dry eye treatments to reduce symptoms, including intense pulsed light therapy. 

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Light Adjustable Lens: The First and Only Implant That Can Be Customized AFTER Cataract Surgery

Light Adjustable Lens Boston

Cataracts are part of the natural aging process that affects the clear natural lens inside the eye. Proteins weaken and clump together, forming a cloudy appearance and vision changes. Most Americans will develop cataracts in their later years, and this eye problem can take many years to cause significant vision loss. In extreme cases, cataracts can cause blindness. 

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Are LASIK Results Permanent?

LASIK Eye Surgeons Boston, MA

LASIK eye surgery permanently alters the shape of the cornea to improve vision, addressing farsightedness (hyperopia), nearsightedness (myopia) and/or astigmatism. These changes and improvements are permanent. However, the eyes change as we age, just like the rest of our bodies. Our eye doctors at Boston Eye Physicians & Surgeons offer LASIK and other vision correction procedures. 

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How Keratoconus Affects Your Vision and What to Do for Treatment

Keratoconus Treatment Boston, MA

Keratoconus is an eye condition that causes the clear dome at the front of your eye (cornea) to thin and bulge outward, turning the round eye shape into a cone. These corneal changes cause worsening vision for many years, distorting your eyesight with blurriness, light sensitivity and other alterations. Our eye surgeons at Boston Eye Physicians and Surgeons offer keratoconus treatment, including an innovative new option that can halt disease progression called corneal cross-linking.

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Why Choose an Ophthalmologist for Your Botox Treatment

Botox Injections Boston, MA

Botox is renowned for its cosmetic benefits, smoothing wrinkles in the forehead, brows and outer corners of the eyes. Most people don’t realize this neurotoxin was first approved for treating crossed eyes (strabismus). Botox was FDA-approved for misaligned eyes and eyelid spasms (blepharospasm) in 1989 and continues to be an effective treatment for these conditions and other medical conditions along with anti-aging benefits.

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Blind Spots in the Middle of Your Sight May Mean Permanent Vision Loss

Macular Degeneration Boston, MA

A blind spot, or scotoma, can be caused by various eye diseases as well as optic nerve, brain and even psychological conditions. Some health problems such as migraine disease may cause temporary blind spots, but a scotoma caused by eye disease is typically located in one section of the eye. Macular degeneration is a progressive eye disease that causes a blind spot in the center of your visual field. 

Our eye doctors at Boston Eye Physicians and Surgeons can determine the cause of your vision changes during a comprehensive eye exam. 

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Are Your Headaches Related to Your Vision?

Eye Physician Boston, MA

There are hundreds of types of headaches and even more possible causes of head pain. Many headache disorders, including migraine disease, tension-type headaches and cluster headaches, produce eye symptoms. Sometimes your headache isn’t the culprit behind vision concerns. Instead, an issue with your eyes could be the cause of your headaches. In a prospective study in the 1990s, 10 percent of headaches were attributed to an ocular basis.

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3 Reasons to Have Cataract Surgery Before Vision Loss

Cataract Surgery Boston, MA

Most people will develop a cataract by their mid-70s, but the average age of cataract patients shows that more and more middle-aged adults choose to have cataract surgery earlier. There could be several reasons for this shift, but the high success rate of this eye surgery coupled with the ability to fix other vision problems with intraocular lens implants could be why.

Our eye doctors at Boston Eye Physicians and Surgeons can diagnose cataracts during regular eye exams and help you determine the best time for cataract surgery.

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