Lasting Dry Eye Relief is a Reality with Intense Pulsed Light Therapy

Dry Eye Relief in Brookline

Dry, uncomfortable eyes can significantly impact your quality of life. If you are in search of lasting relief from your dry eye, consider intense pulsed light therapy. At Boston Eye & Physicians, IPL therapy is used to treat the cause of dry eye in patients. Explore the benefits of this procedure below.

The Cause of Dry Eye

The tears are responsible for nourishing the eyes and keeping them healthy and comfortable. The tears are composed of three parts: the water layer, the oil layer, and the mucus layer. Each one plays a key role in the quality of the tears. In the same vein, issues that arise within any of the three layers can lead to eye issues.

The oil layer is related to the meibomian glands, which are located near the lash line on the eyelids. They secrete a substance known as meibum which prevents rapid tear evaporation. Meibomian gland dysfunction occurs when there is a blockage preventing the glands from secreting the meibum, which changes the composition of the tear film. In return, the tears evaporate much too quickly to properly moisturize the eye, leaving patients with eye dryness, redness, and discomfort.

How Does Intense Pulsed Light Therapy Work?

Intense pulsed light, or IPL, therapy works by helping the meibomian glands secrete more oil. During treatment, a device is held over the eyelids, delivering short pulses of light energy that effectively melt the blockages in the oil glands. The meibomian glands can then freely produce and secrete eye-nourishing oils, improving dry eye symptoms in the process.

IPL vs Other Dry Eye Treatments

Many patients can enjoy improved dry eye symptoms after only one or two IPL treatments with lasting results. This is often the more appealing option when compared to other dry eye treatments, such as eye drops. While they may provide temporary relief, eye drops and eye ointments do not address the cause of dry eye symptoms and must be used regularly for eye comfort at all times. In the event that a person forgets to bring their eyedrops with them before leaving the house, they may experience a day of eye dryness. In addition, some individuals find that their eye drops are no longer as effective at providing dry eye relief, and struggle with finding a brand that consistently works for them.

Book Your IPL Consultation

IPL can provide the long-sought-after relief from dry eye symptoms that you desire. Learn more about this treatment by scheduling an eye exam at Boston Eye Physicians and Surgeons in Brookline, Massachusetts, today, by visiting and clicking “Book Online” or calling (617) 232-9600.  

March Forward Towards Healthy Eyes During Save Your Vision Month: Highlighting the Importance of Regular Eye Exams

Eye Exams in Brookline

Save Your Vision Month is recognized every March to boost awareness of the importance of eye care. This wellness observance is intended to encourage individuals to schedule routine eye examinations. The Boston Eye & Physicians team wants all patients to understand the role that regular eye examinations have in prolonging your eye health and vision. Continue ahead to learn more.

The Purpose of Regular Eye Examinations

Regular exams are a key component of preventative eye care. There are several eye conditions that do not have any warning signs until your eye health has been negatively impacted, such as glaucoma. Eye exams, when performed on a regular basis, can help detect issues with your eyes and are the first step to early treatment, which can help prevent vision loss.

What Can I Expect During an Exam?

During your eye examination, a series of tests can be performed based on your medical history, any symptoms you are experiencing, and the judgment of our highly skilled optometrists. The examination may include:

Visual acuity test: A visual acuity test is used to check your vision. During the test, patients are asked to stand in from of a Snellen chart, which is a chart containing rows of letters, where each row is smaller than the one above it. Patients will need to read from the smallest possible row they can, first, with both eyes, then covering one eye at a time.

Corneal Topography: Tests may be performed to measure the curvature of the cornea, which is the transparent front surface of the eye. These measurements are used to determine the best fit for contact lenses.

Refraction: A refraction test determines the best prescription each eye needs. Patients look at a chart through a device containing a variety of lens strengths that can be quickly moved into the patient’s line of vision. Our technicians and doctors will work with the patient to choose the lens that offers the best clarity.

Additional testing: Additional testing is performed in some cases to confirm previous eye test results, rule out certain conditions, and further evaluate the eyes.

Protect Your Vision at All Times

To keep your eyes healthy, consider the following tips:

Reduce digital eye strain: Limiting your screen time may not always be a possibility, but you can still protect your eye health by blinking often, keeping screens at a distance, and decreasing the glare of the screen.

Prevent sun damage: When spending time outdoors, ensure that you are wearing UV-blocking sunglasses.

Use protective eyewear: Even simple tasks like performing chores around the house can result in eye damage if you’re not careful. Consider wearing the right eyewear when using harsh chemicals, doing yard work, or working in dusty areas to keep your eyes safe and comfortable.

Contact Us Now to Schedule Your Eye Exam

Prioritize the health of your eyes with periodic eye examinations. Schedule your next eye exam at Boston Eye Physicians and Surgeons in Brookline, Massachusetts, today, by visiting and clicking “Book Online” or calling (617) 232-9600.  

The ICL Advantage: Discover the Game-Changing Benefits of This Convenient Eye Procedure

ICL in Brookline

Relying on glasses and contact lenses to see clearly does not work for everyone or every situation, especially high prescription thick glasses. Some individuals would prefer the convenience of great vision without the hassle that accompanies eyewear, such as replacements and keeping up with contact lens accessories. EVO ICL is an Implantable Collamer™ Lens, also known as Implantable Contact Lens, that is an excellent option for correcting this common vision problem. The experts at Boston Eye & Physicians want patients to discover the range of benefits that await after ICL.

Convenient Procedure

ICL patients are often delighted to learn that this vision-correcting procedure can easily fit into their busy lives. In a matter of 20 to 30 minutes, the ICL procedure can be safely completed for both eyes in one sitting. After the eyes are numbed to ensure your comfort, the ICL is carefully placed between the iris and the eye’s natural lens. Recovery from the ICL procedure is quick, and most notice a dramatic improvement in their vision as they sit up from the procedure bed. In addition, patients can resume their normal activities the day after the procedure.

No Corneal Tissue Removed

The ICL procedure does not require the removal of any corneal tissue. This is especially beneficial to patients who may have thinner corneas or with corneal disease.

Lasting Results

Patients can expect long-lasting results after their ICL procedure. If you experience natural, age-related changes within the eye, such as cataracts or presbyopia, your ICL can be exchanged or removed so that your clear vision remains.

Pack Lighter During Vacation

Prescription eyewear can take up precious real estate in your luggage when you account for extra space needed to ensure your eyeglasses do not get damaged by other items. As well, packing contact lens solution, cases, and eyedrops can become burdensome. ICL gives individuals the freedom to enjoy traveling with clear vision at any time.

Stay Safe During Sports

Athletes understand that sharp vision and safety are key parts of optimal sports performance. However, athletic individuals who wear eyeglasses run the risk of having their glasses slide off of their faces or fog up during critical moments when clear vision is most important. Likewise, contact lenses can become blurry when coming into contact with sweat, leaving your eyes uncomfortable. Without the need for eyeglasses and contact lenses, you can swim, hike, sweat, and fully participate in your sports activities with great vision.

Schedule Your Consultation

Dr. Daniel Schwartz at Boston Eye & Physicians is ready to help you experience the clear vision you desire. Schedule a refractive eye exam at Boston Eye Physicians and Surgeons in Brookline, Massachusetts, today, by visiting and clicking “Book Online” or calling (617) 232-9600 and asking for Dr. Daniel Schwartz.  

Save Your Vision Month: Understanding the Top Eye Diseases That Cause Blindness

March is Save Your Vision Month. Organized by the American Optometric Association, this annual campaign focuses on public education regarding vision loss and the importance of regular eye examinations. The AOA started Save Your Vision Month back in 1927, and over the past century millions of people — and their eyesight — have benefited. Our eye doctors at Boston Eye Physicians & Surgeons discuss the symptoms of top eye diseases causing blindness and why early detection is so crucial.  

Top Eye Diseases Causing Vision Loss

As per the CDC, the top eye diseases causing vision loss in the United States are primarily age-related. These include:

1. Age-Related Macular Degeneration (ARMD) – This disease affects the macula, the part of the eye responsible for central detailed vision processing. There are two forms of ARMD: dry and wet. The first is far more common, accounting for as many as 90 percent of ARMD cases. Dry ARMD progresses slowly, gradually causing the loss of central vision. Wet ARMD occurs when irregular blood vessels behind the retina grow beneath the macula, leading to bleeding and leaking fluid. With wet ARMD, the loss of central vision happens quickly.

2. Cataracts – Worldwide, cataracts are the leading cause of blindness. While older people are more affected, cataracts, a clouding of the lens, can develop at any age. The good news is that cataract surgery to remove the lens and replace it with an artificial lens is one of the most common surgeries performed, with an extremely high success rate. While untreated cataract can gradually cause blindness, cataract surgery is the most successful surgery in the US to treat cataracts.

3. Diabetic retinopathy – Diabetes harms blood vessels in all parts of the body, and the eyes are among the most vulnerable areas. In the U.S., diabetic retinopathy, a complication of diabetes, is the leading cause of blindness in adults between the ages of 20 and 74. Diabetic retinopathy damages the blood vessels in the retina, the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eyeball. Diabetic patients who do not receive regular eye exams are most at risk, as early diagnosis can reduce vision loss. Regular eye exam can detect diabetes before the symptoms occur.

4. Glaucoma – This group of diseases causes damage to the optic nerve from elevated pressure within the eye. There are two major types of glaucoma. The most common, open-angle, progresses slowly. The patient may not notice their loss of vision until glaucoma has progressed significantly. Closed-angle glaucoma comes on suddenly, accompanied by pain and vision loss requiring immediate laser surgery.

Eye Disease Symptoms

Serious eye diseases have specific symptoms. Contact your eye doctor immediately if experiencing any of the following:

  • Blurred vision
  • Dark spot in the visual center field
  • Double vision
  • Eye pain
  • Floaters or flashes of light
  • Halos or glare
  • Light sensitivity
  • Peripheral vision loss
  • Straight lines appear wavy

Schedule Your Consultation in Boston

If you are experiencing any eye disease symptoms, or if you are due for an eye examination, schedule a consultation at Boston Eye Physicians & Surgeons today by calling (617) 232-9600 or filling out our online form.

What Glaucoma Patients Want Others To Understand About the Disease

Worldwide, glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness, as per the CDC. A glaucoma diagnosis is often devastating, changing the way patients live their daily lives. Our eye doctors at Boston Eye Physicians & Surgeons offer insight into what glaucoma patients want others to understand about their disease.

What Is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma damages the optic nerve. Open-angle glaucoma, the most common type, occurs when eye fluid does not drain properly from the eye through a structure called the drainage angle. This fluid build-up results in higher intraocular pressure pressing on the optic nerve over time causing damage.

Closed-angle glaucoma generally happens in those whose iris is close to their eye’s drainage angle. When a blockage occurs, eye pressure ratchets up fast. Closed-angle glaucoma comes on quickly and constitutes a true eyen emergency. Without prompt treatment, the patient might go blind.

Keep in mind that 50 percent of people with glaucoma are unaware they have it. Glaucoma usually has no early symptoms. Pay attention to what friends and family with glaucoma are going through, as you could join their ranks someday. If you are African American, have a family history of glaucoma or are diabetic, your glaucoma risk is elevated.

Dealing With Fears

Glaucoma patients deal with fears that those with good vision do not think about. While going blind is the greatest fear, that is not the only challenge facing those with glaucoma. They may also worry about whether vision loss means they can no longer continue working in their current field. Some patients may worry that they cannot pay for the drugs prescribed to treat glaucoma.

Every person with glaucoma has individual fears regarding how their diagnosis will affect their life. Other people must understand that these are legitimate concerns. Fortunately, prompt treatment and regular follow-up help patients keep their condition under control and preserves vision as much as possible.  

Glaucoma Treatment 

Once they’ve gotten over the initial shock of their diagnosis, glaucoma patients learn from their eye doctor that glaucoma is controllable. The key is lowering intraocular pressure, and treatments include:

  • Prescription eye drops
  • Oral medications
  • Laser therapy
  • Surgery

Schedule Your Consultation in Boston

If you have been diagnosed with glaucoma, or are experiencing symptoms of the disease, schedule a consultation at Boston Eye Physicians & Surgeons today by calling (617) 232-9600 or filling out our online form.

Why Choose an Ophthalmologist for Blepharoplasty To Improve Eyelid Appearance and Function?

Blepharoplasty, or eyelid surgery, is among the most popular cosmetic surgery options. The procedure takes years off the appearance of the face, making the patient look more youthful and rejuvenated. However, it makes more sense to choose an ophthalmic plastic surgeon — rather than a general plastic surgeon — to perform blepharoplasty, as nothing is more precious than your vision. You don’t want to take any risks, however slight, when it comes to eye surgery. In this post, our eye doctors at Boston Eye Physicians & Surgeons explain why ophthalmic plastic surgeons are the best choice for eyelid surgery.


With aging comes drooping and sagging all over the body. The eyes are just as vulnerable as any other area. Loose skin and excess fat make people look older. Saggy eyelids can also make people look angry or sad, even though they aren’t feeling those emotions. Because the eyelid skin is thinner than skin elsewhere on the body, it tends to stretch significantly over time. Saggy lids also decrease our peripheral visual fields and limit our visual functions.

Some adult patients may suffer from ptosis, a condition in which the upper eyelid’s levator muscle, responsible for eyelid elevation and retraction, separates itself from the eyelid. Blepharoplasty also corrects ptosis. 

By removing excess skin and fat on the upper eyelids, as well as eliminating bags under the lower lids, the patient’s appearance is greatly enhanced. They no longer look angry or sad. Instead, they look the way they did before the sagging set in.

Blepharoplasty is performed on an outpatient basis, with local anesthesia without intravenous sedation. Some patients may opt oral sedation.

Blepharoplasty and Visual Impairment

Blepharoplasty is usually thought of as a cosmetic procedure, but it can also correct visual impairment resulting from excess skin and fat. For patients whose peripheral vision is affected by sagging eyelids, upper eyelid surgery can improve their field of vision.

When performed as a purely cosmetic procedure, blepharoplasty is not covered by insurance. However, when it is medically necessary to improve the field of vision, , health insurance may cover part or all of the procedure.  

Oculoplastic Surgery

Many eye surgeons undergo additional oculoplastic surgery training to be an ophthalmic plastic surgeon. They specialize in medical and cosmetic procedures for the eyes and the facial areas surrounding the eyes.

Unlike a general plastic surgeon, who may perform procedures on body parts ranging from the forehead to the feet, ophthalmic plastic surgeons deal only with the eyes and surrounding anatomy. They are highly specialty trained on eye cosmetic surgeries.

Schedule Your Consultation in Boston

If you would like more information about blepharoplasty performed by a skilled ophthalmic plastic surgeon, schedule a consultation at Boston Eye Physicians & Surgeons today by calling (617) 232-9600 or filling out our online form.

Signs of Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetes impacts almost all the functions of the human body in some form or another. All organ systems that require blood sugar can be affected including the liver, kidneys, pancreas, heart, nerves, and of course, vision. Diabetic retinopathy is just one of the diabetes-related complications that can harm the eye and thus vision. 

Diabetes inhibits the body from properly using and storing sugar, leaving excessive amounts of sugar in the bloodstream. This can cause damage to blood vessels and various parts of the body mentioned above including eye structures and functions. 

What is Diabetic Retinopathy? 

Diabetic retinopathy can occur in someone who has either Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes. The longer a patient has diabetes and the less controlled the blood sugar is, the more likely one is to develop this eye complication.

Diabetic retinopathy occurs when long term diabetes or uncontrolled blood sugar results in progressive damage to the retina at the back of the eye. The retina is a light-sensitive tissue that is essential for vision. Left untreated, diabetic retinopathy will eventually cause blindness. 

Signs of Diabetic Retinopathy

While many diabetics may not experience any symptoms at the outset of this condition, some do notice spots or dark strings floating in the line of vision. These are called floaters and are common in many people with and without diabetes so it is not an accurate way to diagnose the disorder. 

However, if a patient is experiencing floaters and other symptoms, it may be time to take action. Other symptoms may include: blurred vision, fluctuating vision, impaired color vision, poor night vision, dark or empty areas in the line of vision, and/or difficulty reading or seeing close objects. 

Ignoring these symptoms can be a mistake. Untreated diabetic retinopathy can lead to a detached retina, further blood vessel damage, and/or blindness. 

When to See a Doctor

If you have diabetes, you should be consulting your primary care physician on a regular basis to monitor your blood sugar and to keep a watchful eye on potential complications including eye conditions. 

Your physician will most likely recommend an annual eye exam where the eyes will be dilated in order to take a look at the blood vessels on the retina. If you have been experiencing any of the symptoms, you should alert your eye doctor and schedule an exam. 

The good news is that many of the symptoms of diabetic retinopathy, particularly if they are caught in the early stages of vision loss, can be reversed with proper treatment and control of blood sugar levels. Talking to your eye doctor about the state of your vision will help halt the progression of this condition, especially if you notice the early symptoms listed above. 

Cataracts 101

Are you having trouble with your vision? Do images seem cloudy or not as sharp as they once were? Is driving at night difficult due to halos or glare around headlights? You may be one of the millions of people over the age of 40 in the U.S. who have developed cataracts.

Cataracts are actually a fairly common eye disorder that can be treated. This condition is characterized by the clouding of the eye’s lens – the transparent film that focuses the images as seen by the eye on the light-sensitive retina at the back of the eye. The symptoms usually increase as one ages and as proteins collect on the lens and form abnormal “clumps.” 

What is the Cause of Cataracts? 

The lens is naturally made up of proteins and water. As you age, the rate of protein breakdown in your body accelerates, causing these protein clumps that we see during an eye exam. The clumps are then seen as cloudy patches by the patient. Some of the contributing factors to the development of cataracts include smoking, eye trauma, chronic diabetes, radiation treatments, and corticosteroid medications. 

What Are the Symptoms of Cataracts? 

Many people who have cataracts don’t even know that they have developed them in one or both eyes. Since cataracts are painless and tend to worsen over time, it is common for someone to have a cataract for months (even years) before an eye exam identifies the problem. Most patients complain that their vision has seemed clouded or that night driving has become increasingly more difficult due to halos or glare. For others, colors may seem faded or they may experience double vision as the cataract increases in size. 

How Are Cataracts Treated? 

The good news is that cataracts can be treated through outpatient surgery. In the beginning stages of the disorder, your eye doctor may at first merely suggest stronger prescription glasses, magnifying lenses, or anti-glare glasses to improve your sight, especially at night. As cataracts grow in size, however, you may want to consider surgery to improve your vision dramatically. 

While the severity of your vision impairment will be a determining factor as to whether you should consider the surgery, many find that the actual laser procedure is fairly simple and is done daily in surgical centers around the country. 

This type of surgery is usually done as an outpatient procedure performed under local anesthesia. The cataract surgeons at Boston Eye Physicians & Surgeons are highly skilled, experienced ophthalmologists who have been trained in advanced techniques using modern technology. Using some of the finest intraocular lenses (IOLs) available, these Boston cataract surgery specialists extract clouded lenses and replace them with state-of-the-art IOLs, such as Crystalens, that can also correct problems with near and distance vision. In return, many patients experience better vision than before they developed cataracts. The procedure often takes no longer than 10 minutes once the patient is sedated. Then, you will recover for 30 minutes or so and be taken home with a pair of dark sunglasses to protect your eyes from bright light. 

Cataract surgery is a relatively safe, painless procedure that produces crystal-clear vision. Contact our office today to begin your journey toward restored eyesight.

Digital Eye Strain

How long do you spend looking at your computer screen every day? Or your smartphone? Or your tablet? Add in television and gaming system time and you or your family members may end up suffering from symptoms of Digital Eye Strain. 

Digital Eye Strain

According to research published on PC Magazine online, the average adult spends 5.9 hours per day with digital media, up from 3 hours a day since 2009. That means hour after hour of time that your eyes and the related muscles are becoming strained. Let’s take a closer look at this phenomenon and how you can reduce the impact on your and your family’s health. 

What is Digital Eye Strain and Its Symptoms? 

Digital eye strain is the temporary discomfort that follows after two or more hours spent using a digital device. The strain can occur from switching back and forth from one digital device to another. For example, many adults and children spend copious amounts of time working on projects on their laptops or desktops only to switch to recreational activities on their gaming system, smartphone, or television. The symptoms can include red, dry, or irritated eyes, blurred vision, eye fatigue, back, neck, and shoulder pain, and headaches. 

What is Digital Eye Strain and Its Symptoms?

What Causes the Eye Strain?

These symptoms are not really caused by one thing but rather many issues that are related to digital use. Digital devices often feature small print and pixelated images that can be difficult to read and cause our eyes to strain in order to focus. We may also be using the devices improperly by holding them at the wrong angle or too far away from our eyes.  Blue light, also referred to as high-energy visible (HEV) light, is another cause of computer eye strain.

Preventing Digital Eye Strain 

For many of us, avoiding too many hours of digital tech use is not in the cards, whether it is due to school or work or just a desire to maintain a certain lifestyle. In order to reduce or prevent eye strain, there are a few things you can do on your own. 

One of the best things you can do to prevent eye strain is to take frequent breaks, meaning get up and take a quick walk away from whatever device you are using. Pay attention to your body. Many people tend to lose track of time and suddenly realize their neck, back, or head is achy. Also, try to keep your devices at least an arm’s length away from you, although this may be difficult with small print or graphics that are hard to see. 

Preventing Digital Eye Strain

Another prevention technique that many people find helpful is to reduce screen glare by dimming the overhead lighting in the room. This may mean shutting off other lights in the surrounding area. Some users find that increasing the text size helps as well. 

As eye doctors, we would be remiss if we did not mention computer glasses as another option to alleviate digital eye strain. Talk to our doctors at Boston Eye Physicians and Surgeons if you are suffering from the symptoms of Digital Eye Strain. 

Solutions for Dry Eye

Are your eyes chronically dry? Do irritants in the wind, sun, or air cause your eyes to feel dry and sometimes painful? Then you may be on the hunt for ways, both medical and home remedies to help alleviate your dry eye problem. Keep reading to find out some of the best options for relieving your dry eye issues. 

Dry Eye Syndrome can sometimes be a chronic and progressive issue. While a cure is not always possible, and everyone’s eyes are different, there are some solutions that you may want to discuss with your eye doctor to see if they will work for you. 

Depending upon the cause and severity of your condition your eye doctor may recommend several options to help alleviate dry eye symptoms. 

Solutions for Dry Eye

Medical Eye Drops

There are several prescription eye drops that your doctor may recommend depending upon your medical history and the root cause of your dry eye. ‘Scripts such as Restasis include an agent that reduces inflammation associated with dry eye syndrome and helps your body produce more natural tears to keep your eyes moist, comfortable, and healthy. Other prescription drugs include Xiidra (also aimed at reducing inflammation) and Lacrisert (Bausch + Lomb), which is a solid insert composed of a preservative-free lubricating agent (hydroxypropyl cellulose) that slowly liquefies over time, providing an all-day moistening effect. Steroid eye drops and artificial tears are also an option and are generally for short-term use to quickly manage symptoms.

UnBlocking Glands

Again, depending upon your doctor’s diagnosis and the cause of your dry eye symptoms, you may find relief from a warm compress or a thermal pulsation device that can help unclog the oil glands. A warm compress can be done at home when symptoms are flaring up, but the pulse needs the care of a doctor. 

Dry Eye Treatment in Boston

Light Therapy

Some patients with a severe case of dry eye find that a treatment technique called intense-pulsed light therapy followed by a massage of the eyelids can prove helpful.

Closing Tear Ducts

While it may seem counterintuitive, closing tear ducts is one technique that doctors have used to help with dry eyes. According to the Mayo Clinic, tear ducts can be plugged with tiny silicone plugs ( plugs), which are removable. Or tear ducts can be plugged with a procedure that uses heat, which is a more permanent solution called thermal cautery.

Do you have dry eye issues? Talk to your eye doctor about what options are available for your situation.