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Why Do Onions Make Us Cry?

Onions are one of the most common staple foods around the globe. Ironically, for a vegetable so delicious, they can often be tear-jerkers.

Read on to learn why onions cause your eyes to tear and sting, and what you can do to minimize discomfort.

Why Does Cutting Onions Cause Tearing?

Onions produce a sulfur compound called propyl sulfoxide that is stored in the cells of the onion bulb (the part of the onion we eat). Onions grow underground, where they can be eaten by all types of creatures. This odorous sulfuric compound acts as a deterrent to small animals with big appetites.

When one slices into an onion and breaks open its cells, the sulfur compound is released and mixes with the moisture in the air — turning it into smelly and irritating sulfuric acid. When this chemical rises up and comes in contact with your eyes, it stings!

To keep your eyes from potentially being damaged from this chemical exposure, your brain triggers your eyes to tear and flush out the irritating gas particles. Once enough tears have flushed out the sulfuric acids particles from the eye, clear vision and comfort is usually restored. Although your eyes may sting and feel unpleasant, symptoms are temporary and the sulfuric acid won’t damage your eyes.

How Can I Reduce Eye Discomfort When Chopping Onions?

Most experienced chefs will tell you that chilling your onions in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before slicing them will reduce the amount of tearing they cause. Propyl sulfoxide escapes slower in cooler temperatures, reducing the amount of sulfuric acid in the air.

You can also try cutting the onions at arm’s length, or direct the odorous air away with a small fan. Some say that chopping onions immersed in water also helps. Another option is to wear kitchen goggles to protect your eyes.

Furthermore, try to use fresh onions whenever possible. The longer an onion has been stored, the more likely it will induce tearing and discomfort. Try to avoid slicing near the root end of the bulb, as that area has the highest concentration of sulfuric compounds.

Still Having Eye Problems Out of the Kitchen?

If you frequently suffer from eye irritation — and not just while cutting onions — we can help. At Kemp Eyecare, we treat a wide range of eye conditions and can provide you with the treatment and relief you seek.

For further questions or to schedule an eye exam, call us today.

At Kemp Eyecare, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 860-200-7075 or book an appointment online to see one of our West Hartford eye doctors.

Want to Learn More? Read on!

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REFERENCES

https://www.britannica.com/story/why-do-onions-make-you-cry

https://theconversation.com/why-do-onions-make-you-cry-129519

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 Kemp Eyecare, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 860-200-7075 or book an appointment online to see one of our West Hartford eye doctors.

Want to Learn More? Read on!

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Trouble Seeing at Night? All About Night Blindness

At this time of year when the sun sets earlier, many people are affected by night blindness. Night blindness or nyctalopia refers to difficulty seeing at night or in poor or dim lighting situations. It can be caused by a number of underlying conditions, sometimes completely benign and sometimes as a symptom of a more serious eye disease. So, if you are experiencing trouble seeing in low light, especially if it is a sudden onset of the condition, it is worth having it checked out by your eye doctor.

Signs of Night Blindness

The main indication of night blindness is difficulty seeing well in dark or dim lighting, especially when transitioning from a brighter to a lower light environment, like walking from outside into a dimly lit room. Many experience difficulty driving at night, particularly with the glare of streetlights or the headlights from oncoming traffic.

Causes of Night Blindness

Night blindness is a condition that can be present from birth, or caused by a disease, injury or even a vitamin deficiency. In order to treat the condition, your eye doctor will need to determine the cause. Here are some of the common causes:

  • Nearsightedness (myopia) – many people with nearsightedness (or difficulty seeing objects in the distance) experience some degree of night blindness, especially when driving.
  • Retinitis Pigmentosa – a genetic condition in which the pigmented cells in the retina break down causing a loss of peripheral vision and night blindness.
  • Cataracts – a clouding of the natural lens of the eye causing vision loss.
  • Glaucoma – a group of diseases that involve damage to the optic nerve and subsequent vision loss.
  • Vitamin A Deficiency – vitamin A or retinol is found in greens (kale, spinach, collards, broccoli etc.), eggs, liver, orange vegetables (carrots, sweet potatoes, mango etc.), eggs and butter. Your doctor may also prescribe Vitamin A supplements if you have a serious deficiency.
  • Eye Surgery – refractive surgery such as LASIK sometimes results in reduced night vision as either a temporary or sometimes permanent side effects.
  • Injury – an injury to the eye or the part of the brain that processes vision can result in reduced night vision.
  • Uncorrected Visual Error – many people experience better daytime vision as the pupils are smaller and provide greater depth of field to compensate for any vision problems. At night, the pupils dilate, so blur is increased from uncorrected nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism or distortions/aberrations on the cornea from refractive surgery. Even a slight prescription for someone who may not need glasses during the day can make a significant improvement in night vision.
  • Eyewear Problems – even if your vision correction is accurate, badly scratched glasses or poor/defective lens coatings can also cause trouble seeing at night. Special lens coatings are now available on glasses for night time and foggy conditions.

Treatment for Night Blindness

Some causes of night blindness are treatable, while others are not, so the first step is a comprehensive eye exam to determine what the root of the problem is. Treatments range from simply purchasing a special pair of glasses, lens coatings or contact lenses to wear at night (for optical issues such as myopia) to surgery (to correct the underlying problem such as cataracts), to medication (for diseases like glaucoma). In some cases, your doctor may recommend that you avoid driving at night. During the day, it may help to wear sunglasses or a brimmed hat to ease the transition indoors.

As with any change in vision, it is critical to get your eyes checked as soon as you begin to experience symptoms, and on a routine basis even if you’re symptom-free. Not only will this improve your chances of detecting and treating a vision-threatening disease if you have one brewing, but treatment will also keep you more comfortable seeing in low-light, and keep you and your loved ones safe at night or in poor light conditions.

At Kemp Eyecare, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 860-200-7075 or book an appointment online to see one of our West Hartford eye doctors.

Want to Learn More? Read on!

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Diabetes Awareness Month – Learn about Diabetic Eye Health in West Hartford

November is Diabetes Awareness Month, a time to learn more about diabetes of all types – type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes.

Everyone knows the word “diabetes,” but can you define the condition? Diabetes is a disease characterized by higher than normal glucose levels in your blood. Blood glucose is what fuels your body, and it comes from the food you eat. When blood sugar flows through your bloodstream, insulin is needed to help it enter your body cells so it can be used for energy. However, if you have diabetes, your body may make insufficient insulin or not be able to use the insulin properly. As a result, all that sugar stays circulation in your blood – unable to be converted into energy.

Diabetes can be managed very well through diet, exercise, and taking medication. Without controlling diabetes by keeping blood sugar levels within the parameters recommended by your doctor, the high blood sugar can damage many organs – including your eyes. Staying healthy by following your personalized diabetes management plan and making sure to visit your eye doctor for regular eye exams, you can pave your path to good vision and eye health!

Diabetic eye health & diabetic eye disease

To state the facts – diabetes-related eye disease can lead to vision loss, but if you have diabetes, you can minimize your risk of developing diabetic eye disease. Taking charge of your health and visiting our West Hartford eye doctor for regular eye exams can help prevent these diseases from developing.

Diabetic eye disease comprises several ocular conditions:

  • Diabetic retinopathy – occurs when the small blood vessels in your retina bleed and leak
  • Macular edema – swelling that occurs along with retinopathy; it happens when the retinal blood vessels in the macula (central region of the retina) leak and lead to inflammation
  • Cataracts – a clouding of the lens in the eye, which can cause blurry vision
  • Glaucoma – increased intraocular pressure, which damages the optic nerve and can cause loss of peripheral vision

Diabetes eye exams

With regular check-ups by our West Hartford eye doctor, you can help prevent eye problems or keep the problems minor. One mistake that many people with diabetes make is to assume that a diabetes eye exam is only necessary if they notice any symptoms. This couldn’t be further from the truth! A comprehensive eye exam is the only reliable way to detect several eye conditions that can cause vision loss, such as diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, and cataracts. Early detection of these problems can make the difference between effective, successful treatment and damage to your vision. During your dilated eye exam, the eye doctor will use high-powered magnification to inspect the inner tissues of your eye thoroughly, checking the retina for signs of diabetic retinopathy and checking the optic nerve for any damage.

According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA) guidelines:

  • People with type 1 diabetes should have their first diabetic eye exam within the first five years
  • People with type 2 diabetes should visit their eye doctor for the first diabetic eye exam immediately after diagnosis. Type 2 diabetes can remain undetected for years, and vision damage can occur during this time.
  • Women with gestational diabetes should have an eye exam during the first trimester of pregnancy

After the first diabetic eye exam at West Hartford, our eye doctor advises all adults with diabetes to visit yearly for a comprehensive dilated eye exam.

At Kemp Eyecare, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 860-200-7075 or book an appointment online to see one of our West Hartford eye doctors.

Want to Learn More? Read on!

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How do I choose my family Optometrist ?

family by ocean

Kemp Eyecare provides much more for your eyes than eyeglasses and contact lenses!

Our optometrist Dr. Kemp, in West Hartford will examine, monitor, treat, and manage your ocular condition – so you reap all the lifelong benefits of lasting, quality vision. When it comes to choosing the best eye clinic for your family, you need to make sure that all your vision and eye health requirements are satisfied. To make it easy for you, here are the top 5 things to consider when choosing a first-rate eye care practice:

What are your eye and vision care needs?

  1. Do you need primary care, such as vision testing, eyeglasses, and contact lenses?
    Or do you need more advanced eye care for ocular disease treatment? You should know the basic eye care services that you require, before selecting a specific optometry practice. (Be aware that every state has different regulations about the services that an optometrist is authorized to provide.)
    In addition, a range of high-tech optometric equipment exists, and it’s important to verify that the optometry office is equipped with the best technology for your needs.
  2. What credentials and/or specialized training does the eye doctor have?
    Diplomas, training credentials, and/or licenses should be hung prominently in the office or waiting room of every eye care clinic. If you have a challenging vision prescription or unique eye health needs, it’s important to verify that your eye specialist is qualified and experienced in your condition.
  3. How much professional experience does the optometrist and office staff have?
    You want an optometrist who is knowledgeable and experienced, as well as an office and optical staff who knows how to provide ultimate eye care!
    A top-notch office staff will be able to schedule you with the right appointments and help you understand your medical health insurance or vision insurance policy. Experienced opticians will make the best recommendations for eyeglasses that match your face and vision prescription.
  4. How accessible is the eye doctor?
    Don’t compromise on quality or convenience! Your optometrist must be available for all of your patient needs, from performing vision testing and eye exams to providing management of ocular disease. Check the hours of the eye care clinic, and ask about how to get in touch in case of an eye emergency.
  5. Is the eyewear collection large and high-quality?
    Your eyeglasses and contact lenses need to be durable, fashionable, and provide a good fit for your individual needs. Nowadays, there is a wide range of eyeglasses and contacts available. Many optional lens coatings and treatments are also possible, and contacts come in a variety of specialty types for hard-to-fit patients.

Why limit your selection to only a few types, styles or brands? Check to make sure that the optical collection offers a full inventory of quality frames and premium contact lenses for your whole family!

Call Kemp Eyecare on (860) 200-7075 in West Hartford, Connecticut to schedule an eye exam with our optometrist, Dr. Kemp.

FOLLOW US

Alternatively book an appointment online here CLICK FOR AN APPOINTMENT

How do I choose my family Optometrist ?

Kemp Eyecare provides much more for your eyes than eyeglasses and contact lenses!

Our optometrist Dr. Kemp, in West Hartford will examine, monitor, treat, and manage your ocular condition – so you reap all the lifelong benefits of lasting, quality vision. When it comes to choosing the best eye clinic for your family, you need to make sure that all your vision and eye health requirements are satisfied. To make it easy for you, here are the top 5 things to consider when choosing a first-rate eye care practice:

What are your eye and vision care needs?

  1. Do you need primary care, such as vision testing, eyeglasses, and contact lenses?
    Or do you need more advanced eye care for ocular disease treatment? You should know the basic eye care services that you require, before selecting a specific optometry practice. (Be aware that every state has different regulations about the services that an optometrist is authorized to provide.)
    In addition, a range of high-tech optometric equipment exists, and it’s important to verify that the optometry office is equipped with the best technology for your needs.
  2. What credentials and/or specialized training does the eye doctor have?
    Diplomas, training credentials, and/or licenses should be hung prominently in the office or waiting room of every eye care clinic. If you have a challenging vision prescription or unique eye health needs, it’s important to verify that your eye specialist is qualified and experienced in your condition.
  3. How much professional experience does the optometrist and office staff have?
    You want an optometrist who is knowledgeable and experienced, as well as an office and optical staff who knows how to provide ultimate eye care!
    A top-notch office staff will be able to schedule you with the right appointments and help you understand your medical health insurance or vision insurance policy. Experienced opticians will make the best recommendations for eyeglasses that match your face and vision prescription.
  4. How accessible is the eye doctor?
    Don’t compromise on quality or convenience! Your optometrist must be available for all of your patient needs, from performing vision testing and eye exams to providing management of ocular disease. Check the hours of the eye care clinic, and ask about how to get in touch in case of an eye emergency.
  5. Is the eyewear collection large and high-quality?
    Your eyeglasses and contact lenses need to be durable, fashionable, and provide a good fit for your individual needs. Nowadays, there is a wide range of eyeglasses and contacts available. Many optional lens coatings and treatments are also possible, and contacts come in a variety of specialty types for hard-to-fit patients.

Why limit your selection to only a few types, styles or brands? Check to make sure that the optical collection offers a full inventory of quality frames and premium contact lenses for your whole family!

Call Kemp Eyecare on (860) 200-7075 in West Hartford, Connecticut to schedule an eye exam with our optometrist, Dr. Kemp.

Alternatively book an appointment online here CLICK FOR AN APPOINTMENT