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By O’Donnell Eye Institute
August 09, 2022
Category: Eye Condition
Tags: Glaucoma  

Learn more about this eye condition you could have but not even realize.

Millions of Americans have glaucoma but may not even be aware that they have it, which is why turning to our Santa Rosa Beach, FL, optometrists Dr. Lan O’Donnell and Dr. Heidi Gonzalez, for an annual eye exam could save your vision. If glaucoma isn’t caught and treated early, it could lead to permanent vision loss. Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that impact the optic nerve due to pressure in the eye. If you recognize these symptoms, you need to seek medical attention right away,

  • Halos around light (could also be a sign of cataracts)
  • Loss of peripheral vision
  • Redness in the eyes
  • Changes in vision
  • Hazy or blurry vision
  • Eye pain with or without nausea and vomiting
  • Tunnel vision

Sometimes glaucoma causes no symptoms, which is another reason regular vision checks with an eye doctor are critical for everyone, especially for adults over 60 and those with other health problems such as hypertension and heart disease.

How Can I Protect Myself From Glaucoma?

While there is no way to prevent glaucoma entirely, there are certain things you can do to reduce your risk, including,

  • Make sure you know the risk factors predisposing you to develop glaucoma, whether it’s a family history or you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes.
  • If you are taking steroid medications for an extended period, it’s essential that you turn to us for eye pressure checks.
  • Visit our Santa Rosa Beach, FL, optometrists once a year for eye exams, where we can detect glaucoma during the early stages when it’s easier to treat with medications.
  • Wear protective eyewear when necessary to protect your eyes from injury, which can also lead to glaucoma.

How Is Glaucoma Treated?

We can provide treatment options to prevent vision loss and blindness by catching glaucoma early. The most common treatment option is prescription eye drops that lower pressure in the eye to protect the optic nerve from permanent damage. Our optometrists may also use lasers to drain fluid from the yes. If eye drops don’t bring the pressure down, our team may recommend an oral carbonic anhydrase inhibitor medication to lower ocular pressure. Sometimes surgery is recommended to drain fluid from the eye.

Have risk factors for glaucoma and want to turn to our Santa Rosa Beach, FL, optometrists for an annual eye check to ensure your eyes are healthy. Call O’Donnell Eye Institute at (850) 622-4000 to book your next appointment. If you are also experiencing symptoms of glaucoma, please call us immediately.

By O’Donnell Eye Institute
April 12, 2022
Category: General
Tags: Optometrist  

Is it time to schedule an eye exam?

Vision changes always warrant visiting our Santa Rosa Beach, FL, optometrists Dr. Lan O’Donnell and Dr. Heidi Gonzalez for an evaluation. Even if you don’t experience obvious changes in your vision doesn’t mean you couldn’t still benefit from an annual eye exam with our team here at O’Donnell Eye Institute. Many people have changes in vision but don’t even realize it. Here are some signs that it may be time to see an optometrist.

Persistent Headaches

Sure, everything from diet and stress to tension can lead to headaches; however, if you find yourself straining to look at a computer screen all day long your eyestrain could also be contributing to your headaches. Try taking a break every 20 minutes by looking away from your electronics and resting your eyes for just 20 seconds. If your headaches persist and you haven’t seen an eye doctor in a while, it might be time to book an appointment.

Eye Pain

Eye pain can be caused by an injury or infection in the eye and always warrants turning to an eye care professional to find out what’s going on. Eye pain may also be caused by allergies, irritation or dry eyes. If your pain doesn’t go away or gets worse, it’s time to give us a call.

Changes in Vision

No matter whether you are dealing with blurry vision or double vision, if you are noticing any changes in your vision it’s important that you turn to our Santa Rosa Beach, FL, optometrist for an immediate checkup. It’s important not to ignore even the slightest changes. It’s normal for vision to change and for some individuals to need a stronger or weaker prescription throughout the years. By coming in once a year we can detect these changes and provide you with the proper prescription.

Prevent or Treat Eye Diseases

Whether eye diseases run in your family or you’re dealing with health problems such as diabetes or lupus that increase your risk for eye disease, it’s important that you turn to our optometry team once a year. This is the best way to catch problems early on when they are treatable and less likely to cause long-term complications including vision loss or even blindness.

When was the last time you visited our Santa Rosa Beach, FL, optometrist? If it’s been more than a year then you owe it to the health of your eyes to schedule an appointment. Call O’Donnell Eye Institute at (850) 622-4000.

By O’Donnell Eye Institute
March 29, 2022
Category: Eye Exam
Tags: Eye Exam  

How an eye exam from your eye doctor in Santa Rosa Beach, FL, can help protect your vision

Your vision is precious, and you want to protect it. There are many great ways to take care of your eyes, and one of the best is to have regular eye exams with your eye doctor

Dr. Lan O’Donnell at O’Donnell Eye Institute in Santa Rosa Beach, FL, provides a wide range of vision services, including regular eye exams to help protect your vision.

So, how often should you get an eye exam? Once each year is a great idea. You may need them more often if you suffer from eye conditions like glaucoma or macular degeneration.

Your vision can change and seeing your eye doctor once each year can help you keep current if you need vision correction.

The annual eye exam is also an excellent time to find out about all the latest trends in eyewear and contact lenses.

During your eye exam, your eye doctor performs several tests and vision exercises to determine if you are having problems with:

  • Depth perception
  • Peripheral vision
  • Distinguishing color
  • Eye muscle imbalances
  • Tracking and focusing
  • Eye pressure
  • Structural issues with your eyes

There are many great ways to take care of your eyes, and regular eye exams are just the start. In addition, you should:

  • Stop smoking
  • Wear sunglasses outside
  • Avoid harmful chemicals
  • Wash your hands often
  • Try not to touch your eyes
  • Keep your contact lenses and glasses clean

Remember to wear eye protection when you play sports or are exposed to harmful substances which can damage your eyes.

O’Donnell Eye Institute offers many other services, including diagnosis and treatment of:

  • Dry eyes
  • Pink eye
  • Cataracts
  • Glaucoma

To learn more about the importance of eye exams and how they can protect your vision, call Dr. Lan O’Donnell at O’Donnell Eye Institute in Santa Rosa Beach, FL. You can reach her in the office by calling (850) 622-4000. Protect your vision by calling right now.

By O’Donnell Eye Institute
November 12, 2021
Category: Eye Disorders
Tags: Glaucoma  

If you think you may be suffering from glaucoma in Santa Rosa Beach, FL, visit the O’Donnell Eye Institute and see Dr. Lan O’Donnell or Dr. Heidi Gonzalez for a comprehensive eye exam. It will give you the answer you need. 

What is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is not just one disease, according to the American Optometric Association, it is a group of eye disorders. What they have in common is the increase in pressure within the eye. This leads to damage to the optic nerve and can result in loss of sight, even complete loss. This is a condition that needs to be taken seriously and caught early. 

Types of Glaucoma

Two primary types of glaucoma can affect your eyes. They are primary open-angle glaucoma, which is by far the most common, and angle-closure glaucoma. 

Who Should Worry About Glaucoma? 

 Different types of glaucoma can have different risk levels and causes. Some reasons you should worry about are:

  • An immediate family member has glaucoma
  • You are over 60
  • You are African American 
  • You are Hispanic over 60
  • You are Asian
  • You use steroids
  • You have suffered an eye injury
  • You have hypertension
  • You are nearsighted

As you can see, age and ethnicity are important factors when assessing your potential risk of developing glaucoma. It makes it even more important that you get regular eye exams for glaucoma in Santa Rosa Beach, FL. 

What Are the Symptoms of Glaucoma?

No obvious symptoms can be found when primary open-angle glaucoma is in the early stages. By the time it is obvious that something is wrong, the damage has been done. By getting regular comprehensive eye exams, you stand a much better chance of having it caught and getting the treatment you need to relieve the eye pressure that can damage the optic nerve. 

Acute angle-closure glaucoma causes blurry vision, auras, pain in the eyes and head, and sudden sight loss. The eye pain may be accompanied by nausea. 


If caught early, blindness does not have to be the end result of glaucoma. But even with proper early treatment, about 10% of those with glaucoma will lose their vision. For most people, eye drops will be able to relieve the pressure in the eye. For more severe cases, surgery with laser or incision is the proper treatment.  

If you are in danger of suffering from glaucoma in Santa Rosa Beach, FL, or have already had a diagnosis, visiting the O'Donnell Eye Institute can make sure your condition is kept under observation by Dr. O'Donnell and Dr.Gonzalez. Call their office for an appointment at (850) 622-4000. 

By O’Donnell Eye Institute
November 03, 2021
Category: Vision Problems
Tags: Eyeglasses   Astigmatism  

Are you having vision issues and sometimes have to strain to see things at various distances? You may be dealing with astigmatism and should consult with an eye care professional about eyeglasses in Santa Rosa Beach, FL. Dr. Lan O’ Donnell and Dr. Heidi Gonzalez at the O’Donnell Eye Institute can help you with your eye care needs.

What Is Astigmatism?

Astigmatism is when the surface curvature of the eye's cornea or lens refracts light to more than one focal point on the eye. This disorder results from unequal curves in different parts of the cornea. As many as one out of three people in the United States deal with astigmatism. 

You may have astigmatism if your vision has become blurry or distorted at more than one distance. Uncorrected astigmatism may cause eyestrain, headaches, poor night vision, etc. However, astigmatism will not always affect your vision. 

If you want help correcting your astigmatism, a safe way to do so is by finding the right pair of eyeglasses in Santa Rosa Beach, FL.

What Kind of Glasses Should I Use For Astigmatism?

Look for eyeglasses that have a special cylindrical lens. This type of lens can help adjust how light passes through your cornea. Your eye doctor may prescribe single vision lenses for you. On the other hand, if you are over 40 years old, your doctor may give you bifocal glasses instead. 

When buying eyeglasses for astigmatism, try not to get caught up in just a cute pair of frames. Make sure you get the right prescription for your eye disorder. 

Astigmatism patients should also focus on the thickness of the lens when buying eyeglasses. You should get a high index or trivex lens if you have a high level of astigmatism. You should also look for an anti-reflective coating on your eyeglasses to protect your eyes from excessive glare.

If you are dealing with astigmatism in Santa Rosa Beach, FL, eyeglasses can be purchased after consulting with the professionals at the O’Donnell Eye Institute. Dr. O’Donnell and Dr. Gonzalez are experienced professionals that can help you with your eye-care needs. Call us at (850) 622-4000 for a consultation today.

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