Zika Virus and Eye Care

Zika Virus and your eyes

The newest mosquito borne disease has been all over the news and will get more coverage the closer to the Summer Olympics we get. It has spread from South America to Central America and is now being found in the United States, Europe and Canada.

It can present to an eye doctors office and appear much like “pink”eye which is an adeno-viral conjunctivitis. Symptoms can be variable but include redness, discomfort, tearing, light sensitivity and possible swollen lymph nodes or adenopathy.

  • Questions to ask:
    1. History of recent illness –upper respiratory infection.
    2. Did it start on one side and spread to the other?
    3. Have the eyes been watery or any mucous discharge?

Zika is a RNA virus first discovered in Uganda in the 1940s.  It is self limiting but is associated with microcephaly birth defects.  The most common route of transmission is via an infected mosquito, but has been documented to spread by sexual contact and blood transfusion.  Incubation of a few days upto one week with the most common symptoms may manifest as conjunctivitis, fever, rash, joint pain, headache, fatigue, malaise, and muscle pain.  Most infected people experience mild symptoms and quickly produce antibodies and fully recover. Of most concern are pregnant women due to microcephaly and it’s link to Zika.

Testing can be done by the Health Department for Zika if:

  • Currently pregnant woman, non-pregnant person having 2+ symptoms within 2 weeks of travel to an area with Zika activity
    •  maculopapular rash
    • fever
    • conjunctivitis
    • arthralgia

ZIKV illness is a notifiable condition. Doctors are encouraged to report suspected cases to local health departments.


Eye exam leads to sleep apnea diagnosis

Sleep apnea diagnosed by an eye exam

This is another condition in a long line of conditions that can be found during a comprehensive eye exam. Sleep apnea affects about 1 in every 4 men and 1 in 10 women, many of whom are unaware they have a problem. This is millions of Americans that suffer from this condition that can lead to a host of other conditions like stroke, heart disease, liver fatigue and diabetes.

Sleep apnea often occurs in heavy snorers and is caused by the collapse or obstruction of the airway that can stop breathing for a period of time leading to gasping. This period of obstructed airway cause lower blood oxygen level and poor circulation which may cause cardiac arrest.

Risk Factors

  • obesity
  • large neck size
  • nasal congestion
  • African-American or hispanic.

Signs and symptoms of Sleep Apnea

  • Snoring
  • frequent nighttime urination
  • morning headaches
  • dry, sore throat
  • concentration problems
  • lack of energy
  • depression or irritability/ mood swings

What show up in an eye exam that can lead to this diagnosis?

The number one sign is called floppy lid syndrome followed by optic neuritis and papilledema. Floppy eyelid syndrome is laxity in the eyelids. If we detect any of these during your eye exam at BA Eye Site in Broken Arrow, we will discuss with you the possibility of getting a sleep study and seeking treatment. treatment can greatly improve patients quality of life and help guard against deteriorating health.

It is recommended that you have a comprehensive eye exam annually to detect this and possible other conditions that may be affecting you. (918)893-3769


Dr. Matthew Ozment

Quaility eye care for Broken Arrow and Tulsa

Eye exam and your health

Eye exam and your health conditions really do go hand in hand.

A comprehensive eye exam can reveal a lot about a persons health and can even lead to some diagnoses. The eyes are a window to the body; eye doctors can see blood vessels, nerve tissue and signs of thyroid disease.

We would point to a study done by UnitedHealthCare that identified eye cares impact on:

  1. Crohn’s Disease -As a form of Irritable Bowel Syndrome may manifest in the eye as swelling, dry eyes or uveitis.
  2. Hypertension can be seen as changes in retinal vasculature and may affect glaucoma and intraocular pressures.
  3. Diabetes -Diabetes is a hypoxic disease meaning the body is unable to get the oxygen it needs because of high blood sugar levels. This leads to bleeding in the eyes and even vision disruption. This bleeding is easily observed in the eyes where it may not be so easily observed in areas like the kidneys or other areas of the nervous system.
  4. Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinson’s Syndrome can be observed in the eyes as twitches an and motor difficulties as well and optic nerve appearance.
  5. Cholesterol -Elevated cholesterol levels can be observed in the cornea and in the blood vasculature in the retina.
  6. Rheumatoid Arthritis and other autoimmune diseases  like lupus and sarcoidosis can manifest in the eye as uveitis or iritis.
  7. Graves Disease -This as a thyroid condition that causes the eyes to bulge. The thyroid is important to maintain metabolism and energy levels. An malfunctioning thyroid can also cause issues with the eyelashes and eyebrows because it can cause hair loss or thinning.

This is part of why it is recommended to have an annual comprehensive eye exam. Early detection and treatment saves lives and eye care is an important aspect of your health care team. BA Eye Site at 101st and Aspen want to be the eye care center serving you and your family’s eyecare needs. Call us (918)893-3769 to schedule your comprehensive eye exam, today. New patients and walk-ins are welcome.