What is Snow Blindness?

Snow blindness is like sunburn for your eyes.

Snow blindness is like sunburn for your eyes.

Did you know that spending a day outside in winter could be worse on your eyes than a day at the beach?  Snow can reflect up to 85% of UV rays from the sun.  UV reflection from snow, streets and vehicles can cause glare, impair vision and damage the eyes.  Studies show that UV exposure contributes to cataracts and increases the risk of macular degeneration.  Excessive exposure to reflected light on the snow can also damage the cornea and conjunctiva and cause photokeratitis, more commonly known as snow “blindness.”

Think of photokeratitis like a sunburn to the eyes.  Symptoms include increased watering, pain, light sensitivity and the feeling like there is sand in your eyes.  Treatment includes artificial tears, cool compresses and pain medication.  Typically, symptoms resolve anywhere within a few days to a week.

UV protection, specifically polarized sunglasses, is the best preventative measure to combat glare and prevent UV damage to the eyes.  Polarized sunglasses are better than regular sunglasses because they contain a special filter that blocks reflected light, which, in turn, reduces glare.  Ask your eye doctor about prescription polarized sunglasses or non-prescription polarized sunglasses if you wear contact lenses.

From the eye doctors, opticians and staff at Rinkov Eyecare Centers. We’ve provided comprehensive eye exams, contact lenses, eyeglasses, sunglasses and medical treatment of eye disease such as cataract treatment in Columbus, Ohio, for over 35 years. Come see an optometrist at one of our Columbus locations – Downtown, West, East, Westerville, Dublin, Bexley, Worthington and Nationwide Plaza. 

Juvenile Xanthogranuloma and Eye Health

Regular eye exams can monitor ocular involvement of juvenile xanthogranuloma

Regular eye exams can monitor ocular involvement of juvenile xanthogranuloma.

Juvenile xanthogranuloma is a relatively uncommon dermatological condition that appears in early childhood. Typically, these skin legions are firm and dome-shaped. While the legions may appear red at first, they usually progress to an orange-ish brown shade later on.

While juvenile xanthogranuloma is benign, it is possible to develop the legions on or near the eye, affecting the iris, retina and eyelid. It is important that patients with this condition be monitored once every three months, up to the age of three, in order to detect any ocular involvement. In fact, most eye-related symptoms occur before patients are two-years-old.

If your child has been diagnosed with juvenile xanthogranuloma, it is important to speak with your child’s eye care professional to understand the complications this condition may cause. Ocular legions will need to be addressed if they lead to visual problems. Typically, only one eye is affected, but if left untreated, ocular juvenile xanthogranuloma can cause glaucoma, corneal blood staining, hyphema, cataract development, vascular occlusion and retinal detachment. It is possible that complications can lead to amblyopia and eventual blindness.

From the eye doctors, opticians and staff at Rinkov Eyecare Centers. We’ve provided comprehensive eye exams, contact lenses, eyeglasses, sunglasses and medical treatment of eye disease such as cataract treatment in Columbus, Ohio, for over 35 years. Come see an optometrist at one of our Columbus locations – Downtown, West, East, Westerville, Dublin, Bexley, Worthington and Nationwide Plaza. 

Aging Eyes and Drooping Eye Lids

Many years ago, as my dad entered middle-age, my brother and I often teased him about his growing waistline. My dad would always defend himself, naming Dunlap’s Disease as the culprit.

“It’s Dunlap’s Disease! My belly has done lapped over my belt!” he explained.

My dad said many strange things that have stuck with me through the years, and now, as I enter middle-age, it appears he has stuck me with something else: Dunlap’s Disease must be genetic, because I am starting to show signs and symptoms.

blepharochalasis

In the picture above, you can see the upper eyelid has done lapped over the lashes. Dermatochalasis—or blepharochalasis when referring specifically to the eye—is an age-related condition that causes folds of skin to lap over and weigh the eyelid down. It is a common cause of ptosis, which is the medical term for drooping eyelids.

Patients who have this condition will experience blurred vision, visual interference from the eyelashes, and/or “blocked” vision, which results in visual field defects. This condition typically requires surgery to build up the muscles of the eye, effectively lifting the skin to clear the visual field.

There are many other causes of ptosis, which can be much more sinister. These causes are usually due to systemic difficulties such as a stroke or trauma to the eye, among others. If you are experiencing symptoms of ptosis, you should have a discussion with your eye care practitioner to find the cause and the appropriate remedy.

From the eye doctors, opticians and staff at Rinkov Eyecare Centers. We’ve provided comprehensive eye exams, contact lenses, eyeglasses, sunglasses and medical treatment of eye disease such as cataract treatment in Columbus, Ohio, for over 35 years. Come see an optometrist at one of our Columbus locations – Downtown, West, East, Westerville, Dublin, Bexley, Worthington and Nationwide Plaza. 

 

How to Have Healthier Eyes in 2015

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We promise this resolution is easy!

We promise this resolution is easy!

Now that the New Year is under way, many people are working on their New Year’s resolutions. You may be working on getting fit, getting organized or getting your finances in order, but there is one easy resolution you probably forgot about: taking better care of your eyes. By making a few minor changes, you will be crossing this resolution off your list in no time.

 

  1. Schedule a yearly eye exam

A yearly eye exam is the first step to better eye health and it is essential to catching any early signs of eye disease. Many feel if they are seeing well, an eye exam is not necessary. This is not true, because many eye diseases do not show symptoms until it is too late. In addition, annual eye exams can alert your doctor to changes in your overall health.

  1. Wear your sunglasses

Sunglasses are not just a fashion statement, nor are they just for people who need prescription sunglasses. Your shades help to shield your eyes from UV radiation, which can contribute to cataracts, macular degeneration, and cancers of the eye. They can also protect your eyes from particles in the air.

  1. Follow your contact lenses’ directions

For those who wear contact lenses, you can drastically improve your eye health by simply following the directions for your contact lenses. Most people wear their contact lenses longer than what is recommended by their eye doctor every day. By following your optometrist’s recommendations, you can drastically reduce discomfort and risk of infections from over-wearing your contact lenses. Many contact lens wearers fail to replace their contacts on the schedule prescribed. Wearing your contact lenses past the replacement date makes you much more vulnerable to eye infections and permanent scarring of the cornea. If you’re running low on your contacts, make sure you have a current prescription and order new ones ASAP. 

By following these three simple steps, you will be able to cross this resolution off your list. These minor changes will not only lead to healthier eyes, but a healthier you.

From the eye doctors, opticians and staff at Rinkov Eyecare Centers. We’ve provided comprehensive eye exams, contact lenses, eyeglasses, sunglasses and medical treatment of eye disease such as cataract treatment in Columbus, Ohio, for over 35 years. Come see an optometrist at one of our Columbus locations – Downtown, West, East, Westerville, Dublin, Bexley, Worthington and Nationwide Plaza. 

Dry Eyes and Winter Weather

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Winter is officially here, and some individuals may already be plagued by dry eyes. In fact, many people with dry eye will find that the symptoms get worse this time of year. The cold, low humidity air dries the eyes out when going outdoors, and inside, heaters trap us in a dry environment day and night. Even our car heaters can exacerbate dry eyes. Contact lens wearers generally experience more discomfort than those without contacts.

Symptoms of dryness include watering, burning, irritation and redness. While these symptoms can be resolved, if left untreated, they can turn into a chronic condition known as dry eye syndrome.

There are multiple things you can do to combat dry eyes in the winter. Using artificial tears prior to going into conditions that will dry out your eyes can greatly reduce symptoms. However, exercise caution when using over-the-counter tears: some only mask the symptoms and can lead to more irritation issues later. Check with your eye care professional to find out which artificial tear works best for you. In addition to artificial tears, humidifiers can help restore moisture in the air inside your home and work. By combating dryness in the air, you will give your eyes some relief. Finally, sun protection or googles can prevent cold air, snow and other particles from irritating the eyes.

If these tips don’t adequately control the dryness, your eye doctor can discuss other treatment options that may be available to you. You don’t have to suffer with dry eye this winter—come see your Rinkov Eyecare optometrists today!

From the eye doctors, opticians and staff at Rinkov Eyecare Centers. We’ve provided comprehensive eye exams, contact lenses, eyeglasses, sunglasses and medical treatment of eye disease such as cataract treatment in Columbus, Ohio, for over 35 years. Come see an optometrist at one of our Columbus locations – Downtown, West, East, Westerville, Dublin, Bexley, Worthington and Nationwide Plaza. 

CARE : 20|20 : LIFE®

*this advice is general in nature and does not constitute an exam. For specific advice, see your eye doctor or healthcare professional.*