Eyelid Surgery Amarillo TX

How to Reduce Your Risk of Complications After Eyelid Surgery

Eyelid Surgery Amarillo TXBlepharoplasty has become one of the leading cosmetic procedures to be performed annually. Patients who have elected to have this surgery as opposed to a full facelift have reported that their satisfaction with the overall appearance of their face improved significantly after their eyes regained a bit of youthfulness. Statements such as that are a testament to the benefits of a well-performed blepharoplasty. Still, patients are often concerned about the risk of post-surgical complications.

Instances of complications after blepharoplasty are low compared to the high success rates reported by patients. However, this is an important matter to consider and to discuss with your surgeon. As an oculoplastic surgeon, Dr. Murrell is acquainted with techniques that carefully consider the delicate nature of structures around the eye. Surgeries are performed in a manner that reflects extensive training and experience in eyelid procedures.

In addition to surgical performance, there are strategies that patients may implement from the onset of their cosmetic surgery experience all the way through recovery.

Select an experienced surgeon.

No plastic surgeries should be sought out of the country. Medical tourism may be popular, but that does not mean its safe. Consider what recourse you may (or may not) have if your out-of-country surgery did not go as planned. The risks of complications can be further reduced when you choose an oculoplastic surgeon versus a general, cosmetic surgeon for your eyelid procedure. Dr. Murrell established his private practice more than 30 years ago and has since founded Panhandle Eye Group Subspecialists. He has performed thousands of eye procedures during his career.

Take “Me Time” after surgery.

We are so accustomed to the pressure of a busy lifestyle that post-surgical recovery may very well be something we try to rush. Don’t do this. For the first week after eyelid surgery, your primary job is to rest. That’s it. Sleep and an abundance of restful activity encourage the natural self-healing capabilities of the body.

Exercise is a word to take out of your vocabulary for the first few weeks after eye surgery. During this time of healing, the last thing the surgical site needs is an exertion of pressure. That means no lifting, jumping, bouncing, or bending.

If you are ready to see a younger version of yourself in the mirror, now may be a great time to learn more about blepharoplasty and how to minimize the risk of complications. Call our Amarillo office at (806) 351-1177 for assistance.

Eye care services Amarillo TX

How Alcohol Can Affect Eye Surgery

Eye care services Amarillo TXMen and women sometimes have eye surgery to improve vision, and sometimes to improve the appearance of their eyes. In either situation, eye surgery usually brings up a lot of questions, such as how to best prepare for surgery and how to maximize the recovery process. We usually think of aspects of surgery like how to manage pain. Here, we want to discuss something that isn’t usually brought up but may be in question – and may have an effect on the surgical experience: alcohol consumption. We’re not talking about excessive alcohol consumption, but a drink or two before and following eye surgery.

Pre-Surgery Alcohol Consumption

Most surgical pre-op instructions do not set clear guidelines for alcohol consumption, right up until the day before surgery. When we’re focusing on improving something about the eyes, though, we may need to be more thoughtful. Alcohol has a dehydrating effect on the body, which means the eyes could become drier than usual. This may present a challenge for medicated eye drops to work at their highest efficiency.

One of the reasons that many people enjoy a nightcap is because it enables them to relax after a long day. A glass of wine or other mild alcoholic beverage may be thought advantageous during the time before surgery in which nerves may threaten to keep you up at night. If you are feeling nervous about an upcoming eye surgery, bring up your concerns to our staff. We are happy to speak with you and offer suggestions for managing surgery-related stress. Your peace of mind is important to us.

Post-Surgery Alcohol Consumption

Once eye surgery is finally over and done, a nice, rich glass of wine or another favorite cocktail can sound oh so nice. However, we have to go back to the matter of dehydration. The main focus of surgery is allowing the eyes to heal in the most comfortable manner possible. Many eye surgeons advise patients to avoid alcohol for the first week after eye surgery to ensure the eyes can maintain adequate lubrication.

Eye surgery can significantly improve how you feel about your appearance and how you engage in life. Having a better vision and higher confidence means doing more of the things you love. Learn more about the cataract removal process or cosmetic eye surgery procedure from your Amarillo ophthalmologist. Call 806-351-1177.

Dry Eye Amarillo TX

Have You Tried These Strategies to Treat Dry Eyes?

Dry Eye Amarillo TXIf you don’t struggle with chronic dry eye syndrome, you may notice the slight burning or watery sensation as the weather changes during the winter season. If your eyes feel like this more often than not, and as if they’ve got true grit, and not in a good way, we should talk about strategies for managing moisture.

Dry eye can be a temporary condition, or it may be chronic. The greater the frequency or persistence of discomfort, the more reason there is to talk with your eye doctor. Here, we discuss a few ways that you may reduce symptoms caused by lack of adequate lubrication on the surface of your eyes.

  1. Add moisture. The first thing that you may do if you notice seasonal dryness (or even dryness caused by digital eye strain) is added lubrication in the form of artificial tears. Keep in mind that, if you wear contact lenses, you may need to remove them for longer periods of time so the eyes can better absorb and respond to artificial tears. You may also use a specific type of artificial tear that is appropriate for use with contact lenses.
  2. Add nutrients. Certain dietary supplements have been shown to improve the natural lubrication of the eyes. In particular, healthy omega-3 fats are good for eye health. Good sources of this fat include tuna and salmon, walnuts, and flaxseed.
  3. Add to your environment. The cold months send us running for the cover of heated air. Where the air is heated, it is also dry. Therefore, adding some moisture to your home or office environment may be a necessary strategy for improved comfort. Consider a small humidifier for your personal space. When driving, adjust the vents, so air does not blow your eyes.
  4. Add power. Not all artificial tear products are over-the-counter. You may need to talk with your eye doctor about something more powerful. Prescription eye drops may improve comfort by increasing tear production or reducing inflammation on the eyelid.
  5. Add innovation. Ophthalmic treatments have been developed over the years to address the underlying symptoms of dry eye syndrome. If uncomfortable sensations occur frequently, talk with your doctor about specific treatment. In our Amarillo office, patients can find lasting relief from true dry eye syndrome through LipiFlow or EyeXpress, treatments that focus on the oil glands that facilitate lubrication.

Get results from dry eye treatment. Call 806-351-1177.

Eye Care Serivces Amarillo TX

Exercise for Eye Health

Eye Care Serivces Amarillo TXWhen we think of physical exercise, we may consider how the activities in which we engage may help us manage our weight. Our medical doctors encourage us to exercise for certain health benefits, such as lowering our risk of high blood pressure and diabetes and keeping our muscles and joints in good working order. Did you know that your eye doctor in Amarillo may have a little something to add to this?

According to research, we know that exercise can ultimately support long-term eye health in addition to general wellness. Studies indicate that exercise may reduce a person’s risk for glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration, and cataracts. This may be because a healthy body is less likely to suffer from conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure, both of which affect eye health and vision.

How to Protect Long-Term Vision

There are several easy steps that may be taken to promote eye health as we age. These include:

  • Prioritize exercise. The research that has mounted in just the past decade suggests extensive benefits from regular exercise.
  • Eat well. Healthy eating goes hand in hand with exercise to reduce the risk of health conditions that could ultimately degrade eye health.
  • Visit the eye doctor every year. Annual eye exams do more than observing how well you can read letters on board. These exams also observe the structures throughout the eye, including the lens, the retina, and more. This observation and record-keeping enables your eye doctor to notice changes quickly, and prescribe necessary treatment.

What the Research Says

Two separate studies, one published in 2013 and one in 2016, have pointed out the correlation between cataracts and exercise. The first study found that regular exercise could decrease the risk of cataracts. The second suggested that cataract formation may increase in individuals who do not exercise regularly.

A long-term study of approximately 4,000 older adults discovered fewer instances of age-related wet macular degeneration among those who exercised regularly.

The Glaucoma Research Foundation encourages adults of all ages to exercise regularly as a way to reduce intraocular pressure. In one study of younger adults, researchers discovered that moderate, low-impact exercise significantly lowered pressure within the eye.

Schedule your visit to our Amarillo office by calling (806) 351-1177.

Cataract Surgery Amarillo TX

Need More Reasons to have Cataract Removal?

Cataract Surgery Amarillo TXCataract removal surgery is a very common, and very personal, vision-improving procedure. Because cataracts can greatly diminish vision, experts recommend removal at some point. Just where that point depends on the individual whose vision has been affected by the clouding of the natural lens. If you have cataracts, you have the final say in when, or if, you obtain treatment to replace the clouded lens with one that is clearer.

Here’s why you may want to consider cataract removal sooner rather than later . . .

  1. Quality of life matters. At the very heart of wellness is the quality of life. We all want to feel well, to move well, to see well to live our best life. Cataracts can substantially reduce the ability to do the things we love, but this need not be the case. Remember, you get to choose when to have cataracts removed. If you find that you are engaging less and less in the things that bring you joy, such as reading or walking in nature or jogging with your dog, it’s time to think about how much cataracts are impacting the quality of life.
  2. Safety is important. We don’t often think about how much our vision affects the way we move in physical space. Research reminds us that falling is a real possibility, especially as we age. Elderly individuals who have undergone cataract removal have been found to have a 23% lower risk of falling than same age-range folks with Having cloudy vision increases the risk of falling, and also of automobile accidents, so should be managed with great care to best decide when the time has come for surgery.
  3. Longevity is affected. Researchers have come to some pretty interesting conclusions about cataracts and how they can affect various aspects of life. In one long-term study, researchers found that cataract removal could lower mortality risk by approximately 40%.

Dr. Murrell and the team in our Amarillo practice offer friendly assistance for cataract care. Contact us at (806) 351-1177 for more information on our services.

Hygiene for your Eyes | W. John Murrell, M.D. | Amarillo, TX

Hygiene for your Eyes

Hygiene for your Eyes | W. John Murrell, M.D. | Amarillo, TXGood hygiene is something that we were taught as children. We learned to wash our hands before eating and to brush our teeth after meals and before bed. We know that we should shower often and also wash our clothing and bedding to minimize health risks associated with germs, bacteria, and viruses. All of the hygienic practices that we do keep may lead us to believe that we are doing enough. We may not be. Eyelid hygiene is something that needs to be remembered if we want to avoid uncomfortable consequences.

Inflammation and infection in and around the eye can be highly uncomfortable. Fortunately, not everyone will face such issues, but why leave this to luck? Why not learn how redness, itching, burning, stinging, and crustiness occurs, and, better yet, how to avoid it.

Eyelids are Complex

There is a degree of delicacy to the eyelids. These parts of the eyes are not just folds of skin covering the eyeballs. Across the eyelids, we have not one but two different types of skin, hair follicles, and also glands that nourish the eyes and keep them clear of debris (including germs). For the ocular surface to stay optimally healthy and comfortable, the eyelids need to be clean, and that means hygiene is needed.

Where infection and inflammation may come from is the lid-margin, the area where the lid meets the ocular surface. Here, bacteria may accumulate amidst the oil that is secreted from the glands of the eyelid, and the dead skin cells that hang around after loosening from the epidermis. Inflammation may originate at the base of the eyelashes, giving very few warning signs of potential infection to follow. The first indication of a problem may be the persistent sensation of dry eyes. You know, the gritty, painful feeling of having sand in the eye.

Maintaining the Eyes for Comfort and Health

Eyelid hygiene is a preventive measure against the dry eye, blepharitis, and unpleasant eye infections. But we don’t care for the eyes with soap and water the same way we do the face and body. Sometimes, more is necessary. One way to cleanse the eyes is to periodically apply a warm, moist cloth over them. Let this sit for a few minutes, and then gently, gently, rub the cloth across the eyelids. Cleansers formulated specifically for eyelid hygiene are also available. Patients may obtain Avenova eyelid cleanser over-the-counter in our Amarillo office.

Schedule a Consultation

To learn more about eyelid hygiene or to schedule a consultation at our office in Amarillo TX, please call 800-782-6393.

Eye Health is an Important Matter for Women | W. John Murrell, M.D. | Amarillo, TX

Eye Health is an Important Matter for Women

Eye Health is an Important Matter for Women | W. John Murrell, M.D. | Amarillo, TXWomen’s Health. When you hear this term, where does your mind go? Women are quite familiar with the medical exams they need throughout life to stay as healthy as possible. As women age, the care they obtain from their primary healthcare provider changes. As it does, there is the good reason for a woman to start thinking about her eyes, as well. Here’s why . . .

Research has indicated a prevalence of certain eye conditions among adult women. Some of the common diseases that need to be on the radar include:

  • Cataracts.
  • Glaucoma.
  • Vision disruption from refractive errors and other conditions.
  • Dry eye syndrome.
  • Age-related macular degeneration.
  • Vision loss.

Explaining Statistics

Why do statistics for eye disease lean toward the female side of the population? There are a few potential explanations. No singular theory is necessarily right; perhaps there are combined factors at play in many women. Aside from family history for eye disease and contributing factors to eye disease, women may also be more susceptible because hormone changes in the body affect their eyes. For example, reduction in sex hormones estrogen and testosterone can make a woman’s eyes persistently dry. Systemic inflammation associated with autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, also increases the risk of eye disease. Finally, research points out that women commonly live longer than men. A longer lifespan means more years in which eye disease, as well as general health conditions, may develop.

Taking a Stand

Women learn over time that they must take a stand for their health and wellness. To do so means to gain awareness about the conditions that may affect them. Fortunately, eye care does not require extensive research, nor complicated steps. Tips for healthy eyes through the ages include:

  • Avoiding tobacco. Smoking, in particular, directly affects the eyes due to the proximity of toxic chemicals.
  • Eating well, which means consuming fresh fruits and vegetables. The antioxidants and phytonutrients in fresh foods nourish the eyes for long-term health. Good dietary habits also decrease the risk of health conditions that have a secondary effect on the eyes.
  • Managing eye health on a daily basis by engaging in hygienic practices with cosmetics and contact lenses, if applicable.
  • Maintaining annual, comprehensive eye exams that include dilation.

Schedule a Consultation

To learn more about eye care or to schedule a consultation at our office in Amarillo TX, please call 800-782-6393.

Be In The Know About Cataracts | W. John Murrell, M.D. | Amarillo, TX

Be In the Know About Cataracts

Be In The Know About Cataracts | W. John Murrell, M.D. | Amarillo, TXTens of millions of people around the world live with cataracts. Because this condition has been pegged as a common cause of vision loss, there is value in learning its warning signs and risk factors. The good news about cataracts is that they can be removed in a straightforward surgical procedure performed by an ophthalmologist. The bad news is that there are misconceptions about this condition that may inhibit proper care. We want to bridge that gap by pointing out what those may be.

  1. Cataracts are an age-related problem. Statistics demonstrate that cataracts are most common among the 65 and older age group. However, this does not indicate that a younger person, even a child, is risk-free. Cataracts may develop secondary to another eye or health condition, such as diabetes. In some cases, this eye problem is congenital.
  2. A cataract is a growth on the eye’s surface. To refer to a cataract as growth is a simplification of the condition. To have a cataract means that cells on the lens of the eye have died but accumulated on the surface. This is why treatment for cataracts involves complete lens replacement.
  3. A cataract in one eye can then spread to the other. Cataracts are not “germ” problems; they are cellular. It is possible to have cataracts in only one eye, or in both. The presence of cataracts in both eyes only indicates the accumulation of cells on each lens.
  4. Laser treatment can remove cataracts. Cataract surgery is often referred to as cataract removal. We see how this can be misleading. The procedure of removal involves the entire lens. An appropriate artificial lens then replaces the natural lens.
  5. Eye strain can worsen cataracts. This eye condition is not related to how you use your eyes. The relation between cataracts and eye strain is only that, when performing up-close tasks, the presence of cataracts may be more noticeable.

Schedule a Consultation

Cataract treatment can enable you to resume living the active lifestyle you would like. To learn more about the diagnosis and treatment of cataracts, call (806) 351-1177.

Blepharoplasty: Your Pre-Surgery Shopping List | W. John Murrell, M.D. | Amarillo, TX

Blepharoplasty: Your Pre-Surgery Shopping List

Blepharoplasty: Your Pre-Surgery Shopping List | W. John Murrell, M.D. | Amarillo, TXEyelid rejuvenation is a major step toward maintaining a youthful appearance. The common use of dermal fillers and neuromodulators like Botox have made it easier to manage age, but there are still instances in which the surgical removal and lift of the skin around the eyes is the best way to achieve the desired outcome. If you are in the process of planning your blepharoplasty surgery, we imagine you’ve got a lot on your mind. Here, we offer a short shopping list to ensure you have what you need for a comfortable recovery.

Stocking up on Essentials

One of the biggest tips that surgical patients give to those who come after them is to stock up the refrigerator. No one feels like whipping up a meal after having any surgery. Don’t just load the fridge, though, think of foods that will be easy to heat and also that will nourish the body. Remember, the better fed you are, the better you will recover.

Additional essentials you will be happy you have included:

  • Extra pillows. If you don’t like the idea of sleeping in a recliner or don’t have one, then you’ll want extra pillows to prop up on for the first few days after surgery. Elevation minimizes swelling and may lessen bruising, too. Also, since you’ll be reclining rather than flat, consider also getting a travel neck pillow that will keep your head stable so you can sleep better.
  • Frozen peas. Sometimes, ice packs just aren’t very malleable. If you cannot easily find freezable eye masks, consider purchasing a couple of bags of frozen peas to use when needed.
  • Eye drops. Using eye drops decreases the risk of post-op infection, and also keeps you more comfortable, as your eyes will tire more easily for the first few months after blepharoplasty.
  • Movie-star sunglasses. The bruising from blepharoplasty may extend downward on the upper cheek a bit. Big, dark sunglasses will enable you to feel comfortable as you make your return to the public scene.
  • Earplugs and earphones. One will let you rest better; the other will let you enjoy your entertainment without disturbing others.
  • Audiobooks! Here’s something that many people forget: the eyes will get tired pretty quickly as tissues recover from surgery. Audiobooks are a great alternative to movies and magazines to prevent boredom.

Schedule a Consultation

A lot can change when you feel better about your appearance. To learn more about eyelid rejuvenation in Amarillo, call (806) 351-1177.

Dry Eyes: Should You See the Doctor? | W. John Murrell, M.D. | Amarillo TX

Dry Eyes: Should You See the Doctor?

Dry Eyes: Should You See the Doctor? | W. John Murrell, M.D. | Amarillo TXIf you’ve ever had a bout of dry eyes, you know this is not a small problem. The irritation, foreign body sensation, and excess watering can be more than frustrating. These symptoms of dry eye can be so uncomfortable that they inhibit you from working or enjoying activities you would normally enjoy.

Dry eye syndrome doesn’t affect vision – at least not long term. For this reason, it may seem like a temporary condition that needs no special attention. Not so. Here, we want to discuss why dry eye may occur and when you may want to get help from your Amarillo ophthalmologist.

What May Cause Excessive Dryness

There are several reasons why a person may develop irritation from dryness, including:

  • Digital eye strain. This is a common cause of dry eyes. Taking a break from the computer, tablet, iphone, or other devices should help.
  • Dry eye may occur after certain medical or cosmetic eye procedures.
  • Contact lenses may affect the retention of fluid in the eyes.
  • Environmental factors such as air conditioning or heating, the wind, and cold temperatures.
  • Allergies and other health conditions such as Grave’s disease affect eye health.
  • Medications and personal care products including oral contraceptives or hormone therapy, antidepressants, and allergy medications could lead to dryness.

Meeting the Objective

The goal in treating dry eyes, whether through self-care or with medical care, is to support eye lubrication. There are numerous suggestions floating around the internet that promote certain remedies for dry eyes. These range from eye exercises to yoga to certain nutritional supplements. Studies are inconclusive as to the benefits of any singular approach – except limiting screen time. When environmental factors are to blame, adding a humidifier to a home or office may also support moisture in the eyes.

In addition to staying hydrated and aware of the environment, individuals with dry eyes may also use lubricating eye drops to reduce symptoms. However, this may not always work. When dryness lasts more than a week or two, or frequently occurs, the best approach to treatment is to schedule a comprehensive eye exam. The chronic dry eye may be improved with treatment of the meibomian glands that produce tears, or with medicated eye drops.

Schedule a Consultation

Have your eyes been dry for a while now? We can help you regain comfort. Call 806-351-1177 to learn how Lipiflow treatment has helped our other Amarillo patients.