Ophthalmology & Optometry/Dry eye?


Lately My eyes have been bothering me more so then normal. About 2 years ago I was seen and got new glasses. Actually, I had the same glasses for like 3 years prior to that visit and apparently my eyes hadn't gotten any worse, even though I cannot see well. The doctor figured it was just my astigmatism and said I had to just deal with it. I got daily disposable contacts as well because in the past I often gave myself eye infections. At the time, I hadn't worn contacts regularly for about 1-2 years. After trying the new contacts I noticed that after a few hours of wearing contacts they became near impossible due to comfort and blurry vision. I sorta gave up on them.

For the past year or so I've noticed that my eyes are often red and uncomfortable. My vision is blurry, especially in the mornings. I rub my eyes a bunch then I apply drops they feel better and I can see a bit better.

I've also noticed in the past year or so that my vision overall has gotten worse. I can see well in open spaces (like at walmart I cannot read the signs well)

A few days ago they started to hurt when I looked to the side or opened my eyes wide.

I got some schirmer tear test and tested my eyes at home without an anesthetic. They read less than 8. I know it's not the best test but I figured they were a bit low.

I read that birth control pills can cause difficulties wearing contacts due to dry eye. But, been taking birth control since I was 14 years old (I'm 24 now) So I'm not sure if it would be necessary trying stopping the pill and dealing with not being on them. I just wonder if after being on them for so long, why would they would cause a problem now.

I plan to go to the ophthalmologist soon.

One more question, my mother has MS. It turned up when her optic near started to deteriorate. Would It be worth the effort asking them to check mine or is that something I shouldn't worry about?

It sounds like you have developed some very typical problems with the ocular surface.  The red, blur, etc, is not unusual, especially for someone who has been on birth control for many years.  The good news is that your eye doctor should be able to help you through this very easily.  Any 'family' eye doctor would be fine - be it optometrist or ophthalmologist.  The main difference is surgical training - if you need surgery, an ophthalmologist is the one who would be doing the procedures.
When you make your appointment, make sure you get or schedule a comprehensive exam, including dilation, fundus photos, etc, so they can document health and investigate for more serious things (family hx of MS).  That being said, this doesn't sound anything like MS.
Good Luck!

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John M. Dovie, OD, FAAO


As a residency-trained Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry I am able to answer most questions regarding eye and vision health. Anything is welcome, ranging from dry or allergy eyes, bifocal contact lenses, or thoughts on LASIK surgery. As I am not a surgeon, detail-oriented surgical-related questions may be better answered by an ophthalmologist.


Selected to participate in the PCO residency program in Philadelphia at The Eye Institute, where I worked OD and MD specialists gaining invaluable experience in various clinics including glaucoma, cornea and cataract, oculo-plastics, retinal disease, neuro-ophthalmic disease, primary care, emergency medicine, and special populations. Have practiced and trained in numerous settings including hospital, academic, retail and private practice. I earned my Fellowship in the American Academy of Optometry (FAAO). There are currently only about 3000 active fellows worldwide, and there are only about 70 Fellows in the state of Virginia. I currently own and operate my own optometric practice/clinic.

American Academy of Optometry, American Optometric Association (Contact Lens/Cornea Section member since 2001), Southwest Virginia Optometric Association, Virginia Tech Alumni Association

“Nyctalopia as the Presenting Sign of Vitamin A Deficiency: A Late Complication of Gastric Bypass Surgery.” Clinical Case Study Poster presented at The American Academy of Optometry Denver, Colorado, December 2006, co-authored with Bradley Lane, OD.
“The Importance of Considering Paranasal Sinus Mucocele as a Differential Diagnosis in Diplopia.” Clinical Case Study Poster presented at The American Academy of Optometry San Diego, California, December 2005, co-authored with Kelly Malloy, OD, FAAO and Cherie Farkash, OD.
“Acute Onset of Halos and Glare: Bilateral Keratitis—An Atypical Presentation of Amiodarone Keratopathy.” Clinical Case Study Poster presented at The American Academy of Optometry Tampa, Florida December 2004. Also Presented to New Jersey Academy of Optometry, Neptune, New Jersey March 2005.
“The Opportunity for an Optometrist to Save a Life.” Clinical Case Study and Grand Rounds Presentation presented at The Pennsylvania College of Optometry, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, September 2004.
“Corneal whorls cause wonder.” Clinical Challenges Quiz, co-authored with Andrew Gurwood, OD, FAAO, Review of Optometry. Published 10/15/2006.
“Acute onset of halos and glare: bilateral corneal epithelial edema with cystic eruptions--atypical presentation of amiodarone keratopathy.” Co-authored with Andrew Gurwood, OD, FAAO. Published February, 2006, Optometry.
“Pondering the posterior polka-dots.” Clinical Challenges Quiz, co-authored with Andrew Gurwood, OD, FAAO, Review of Optometry. Published 5/15/2005.
Professional Involvement:
“AION: Amiodarone-Induced or Anterior Ischemic Optic Neuropathy?” Participated as a peer-review referee for Expert Review of Ophthalmology (London, UK); refereed 10/2006.

Bachelor of Science, Cum Laude, Virginia Tech. Bachelor of Science, Pennsylvania College of Optometry. Doctorate (OD), Pennsylvania College of Optometry Residency, Pennsylvania College of Optometry Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry

Awards and Honors
Winner, First Place, "Best Beside Manner" by Our Health Magazine: 2012, 2013, 2014 Winner, First Place, "Best Eye Doctor" by The Roanoke Times: 2013, 2014 Recognized as a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry, December, 2006 Recipient of the Onofrey G. Rybachok Memorial Scholarship, 2000-2001 Member: The Golden Key International Honor Society Member: The National Biological Honor Society Member: The National Honor Society Eagle Scout awarded 1994

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