Weekly Newsletter

Eye twitches, conjunctivitis and more eye health updates

Curious about why your eye muscles are pumping? Looking for online pink eye treatment? These tips will keep your vision clear throughout the new year.
A selfie of a woman on a beach in winter. She is wrapped up against the cold, wearing an insulated coat with he hood pulled up and a woollen hat. All that can be seen of her face is her eyes.

Have you envisioned your best self for 2024 + are already nailing your resolutions? Excellent!

This week, we cover other kinds of vision. Namely, how lifestyle + habits can keep our eyes strong + safe. And as the holidays encouraged viral spread (no surprise there), we close with RSV, flu and Covid-19 numbers + treatment tips. Plus, the latest news on prescription drug access.

Now, polish up your lenses + set your sites on...

  • The Checkup: to do + not to do
  • Eyes Up! twitches + pink + blue
  • Healthcare: drugs + viruses + abortion pills

The Checkup

Why do eyes twitch?

A pretty Asian woman with long brown hair wearing a long-sleeved white collared shirt looks into a mirror, one hand on her hip and the other moving hair from her face.

Ever experienced the random sensation of a twitchy eye? You’re not alone. While common, eye twitches are usually painless + not dangerous.

So, why do they happen?

Things like bad sleep, stress, too much caffeine, allergies or general irritation can trigger fibers in the orbicularis oculi—a fine muscle under the eyelid skin—to contract. Not only can we feel the tremor, but others can see it, too.

So your next twitch may be a sign that you need to stop + shift some lifestyle habits if you want to protect your eye muscles from jumping around. When should you seek medical help? Learn more at PopSugar.

Think pink (eye spread)

Color photograph through a glass wall looking into an office where a young, pretty Black woman with a short Afro wearing a white top and pink skirt looks down at paperwork while talking on the phone.

Pink eye (conjunctivitis) is a common eye infection that causes sensitivity to light and pink or red eyes. It spreads easily in packed spaces like schools, daycare centers and the workplace. If you’re experiencing watery, blurry vision, how long are your nearest + dearest at risk?

Infections caused by allergies (allergic conjunctivitis) aren’t contagious. Those caused by bacterial + viral infections are extremely contagious—especially when you’re experiencing a lot of discharge from your eyes.

Prescription antibiotic eye drops clear conjunctivitis from bacterial infections within a few days. Viral conjunctivitis takes a week or two—and there’s no treatment for it other than keeping eyes clean + lubricated with eye drops or ointments containing artificial tears.

To limit the spread of infectious conjunctivitis, make sure to keep washing your hands regularly, try not to touch your eyes, and use a cold compress to reduce swelling or a warm compress to soothe pain.

For more tips on treating the various cases of pink eye, head to this Dr. B article. Or get pink eye treatment online with a $15 online consultation.

Blue (light) news

A young Asian dad works on his computer at home with baby on his lap, smiling and looking at screen together.

If you spend too much time staring at a screen, you may wear blue light glasses to reduce digital eye strain. We hate to deliver bad news, but studies don’t support the investment.

Aside from a few brands that filter a lot of blue light, most don’t reduce eye strain or improve daytime alertness. Results are mixed about improved sleep—but the benefits are minimal. Instead, experts recommend sitting at least 25 inches from screens, reducing their brightness + warming their light. Take a break every 20 minutes during computer hours, focusing on something 20 feet away for 20 seconds.

And if screens (or anything else) trigger migraines, Dr. B offers prescription migraine treatment online.

Healthcare 411

FDA. issues first approval for mass drug imports to states from Canada (NY Times). Laws allowing drug importation have been in the works for decades but have been delayed by the FDA for safety concerns. This movement may pave the way for lower prescription drug prices in the States. But pushback from pharmaceutical companies and Canada’s minimal drug production may prove inhibitive.

Paxlovid cuts Covid death risk, but only if you take it (NY Times). US deaths from Covid-19 have risen to 1,500 per week + continue to increase unless more of us get vaccinated or take Paxlovid when needed. If half of those eligible had taken them, we could have prevented 50,000 recent deaths. Find details about respiratory illness numbers + recommendations at NPR. And if you’re at high risk for Covid-19 complications, get same-day Paxlovid treatment through a Dr. B $15 online consultation.

Get Covid-19 care today.

More nonpregnant women are requesting abortion pills to have on hand (NBC). A study published Tuesday confirms that requests for abortion pills from non-pregnant people spiked after a leaked document showed the Supreme Court plans to overturn the constitutional right to abortion. Some experts say safety concerns in pre-prescribing abortion pills are low, especially as 16 million people have already traveled out of state for abortion care. There’s also concern that those who most need abortion care the most are still not receiving it.

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