Exposure Keratitis and Sleeping with Your Eyes Open

We’ve all heard about people who sleep with their eyes open, but did you know that this can cause serious issues with your eyes?

Sleeping with the eyes open, either partially or fully, is actually a medical condition known as nocturnal lagophthalmos. This is a relatively common condition is a form of partial facial paralysis, and it can cause many eye issues.

When you cannot fully close your eyes during sleep, your eye is left exposed to air. Tears then evaporate, leaving the eye without the moisture it requires. When the eyes don’t have adequate moisture, patients are at a higher risk for eye infections and blurred vision. Many common symptoms include dryness, scratchiness, and a foreign body sensation, particularly upon waking. Patients who experience nocturnal lagophthalmos often notice that the symptoms worsen in the winter, due to the low humidity, both indoors and out.

The green specks are unhealthy cells that are at risk for infection.

The green specks are unhealthy cells that are at risk for infection.

The patient above has dry eye syndrome complicated by exposure keratitis. Her family members have confirmed that she doesn’t close her eyes when she sleeps. Her condition has also caused her to experience blurry vision that is not remedied by prescription eyeglasses. The external ocular photograph above is a popular method for monitoring treatment. The unhealthy cells that are at risk for infection appear as green spots and specks, while the blueish color is the light from the microscope.

Treatment for nocturnal lagophthalmos and resulting exposure keratitis and dry eye syndrome can include wearing a sleep mask, lubricating eye drops and ointments, and, in more serious cases, surgery. Because a number of underlying conditions can cause nocturnal lagophthalmos, it is important to speak with your eye care professional to determine the best course of treatment.

 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.*

Is ocular rosacea caused by eye mites?

demodex mites and ocular rosacea
Demodex are a group of mites that have been known to live on the skin of up to 80% of the population. They are usually thought to be harmless, but new research from Ireland has closely linked the bacteria in the mites to Rosacea. Ocular Rosacea is a common skin condition that, when left untreated, may lead to increased dry eye symptoms and blepharitis. Rosacea is currently known to be worsened by stress, heat and humidity, but the research from Ireland believes the bacteria in the Demodex may worsen the Rosacea. More research is needed in this area, but it has lead many eye care practitioners to prescribe eyelid cleansers that target Demodex in the treatment of blepharitis and dry eye syndrome.

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.*

Improve dry eye with a warm compress

warm compress on eyes

How a warm compress helps dry eye

Warm compresses are an important part of dry eye therapy. In many cases of dry eye, the meibomian glands along the eyelid margin often become clogged with hardened oil and surface debris. This leads to an inability to produce the thick protective outer layer of the tear film and results in excess tear evaporation. Warm compresses help to loosen the hardened oil and debris that are clogging the oil-producing glands, and warm compresses aid in the body’s natural ability to maintain an appropriate tear film.

How to use a warm compress on eyes

A warm compress may be performed in many ways. The most common type is to take a warm clean wash cloth, heat it as warm as possible (but not too hot to cause damage) and lay it across the closed eyes for 10-15 minutes, rewarming as needed. This method works well but can become bothersome to rewarm the cloth repeatedly.

Other options include microwaving the wet washcloth for about 5 minutes or microwaving a rice sack or other commercially available products. Place the warm washcloth over the eyes then lay the heat source over the washcloth and relax for 10-15 minutes.

Be careful not to overheat the cloth or the heat source, and never use it if it’s hot enough to cause damage. Warm compresses are usually performed two times a day until improvement is noted and then tapered accordingly.

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 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.*

Dangers of over-the-counter eye drops

How to properly use eye drops

Many people attempt to treat eye redness and irritation with over-the-counter eye drops. However, over-the-counter eye drops can lead to more problems than they solve.

Eye Redness

Most drops that claim to “get the red out” contain ingredients that will constrict the blood vessels of the eye for a short time but can lead to more redness as they wear off. These drops can be effective in masking the symptoms of redness, but they don’t do anything to alleviate the original cause of the redness.

Dry Eyes

Artificial tear drops can be helpful in treating dry eye, although most contain preservatives. Using a drop with preservatives more than 2-3 times per day can lead to more dryness and irritation of the eye’s surface. If your eyes become red, irritated or itchy, it is always best to visit an eye doctor first to determine the cause of the discomfort in order to properly treat the issue.

Contact Rinkov Eyecare Centers to learn more about how red, dry or irritated eyes can be treated.

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 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.*

Dr. Rinkov on Daytime Columbus

Dr. Mark Rinkov appeared on Daytime Columbus with Gail Hogan this past Wednesday, as the show highlights businesses that have won the Consumer’s Choice Award. In fact, Rinkov Eyecare Centers has won the prestigious award every year since 2002!

In his interview, Dr. Rinkov explains the negative effects that harmful blue light can have on your eyes, and he also touches on dry eye diseasediabetes and macular degeneration.

Watch the video here!
Columbus Ohio News, Weather

Dry eyes and the long winter

Dry Eye

The further we go into winter, the more patients we see with dry eye. The usual symptoms include the following: foreign body sensation, irritation, redness, tearing, sties, flaky eyelid skin, contact lens intolerance and blurred vision. Environmental factors include low humidity, circulated air in offices, smoking and an increase in time spent on the computer or reading. Medications can also play a role. Depending on the type of dry eye, tear deficient or evaporative, patients report great success with a “pulse” of therapy. None of us prefer long-term medication as an initial treatment plan, and pulses of treatment for four to six weeks can be very effective. These pulses can also limit chances of it progressing into a more chronic/inflammatory dry eye. Add in a little nutrition support and some home therapy, and you won’t have to “live with it!”

If you’re experiencing symptoms of dry eye, see your eye care practitioner soon for evaluation and treatment.

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 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.*

Is something constantly rubbing your eye?

trichiasis

Many patients will report to the eye doctor’s office that they feel as though something is in their eye. While there may be something actually in their eye, other things can cause the feeling. One of the most common causes is dry eye. However, something that can occasionally cause this foreign body sensation is a condition known as trichiasis. Trichiasis is a condition where the eyelashes grow inward toward the eye instead of outward. This causes the lashes to continually rub against the cornea, severely irritating the eye. The remedy for trichiasis is for your eye doctor to pull the lashes with tweezers to stop the irritation. Unfortunately, this often has to be repeatedly done on a regular basis as the lashes grow back.

If your eyes are irritated or you continually feel like there’s something in your eye, contact Rinkov Eyecare Centers, and we can help you figure out what’s happening!

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 Columbus, Dublin, Westerville and Reynoldsburg.

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.*

How rheumatoid arthritis can affect your eyes

RA Hands

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA), which primarily affects the lining of the small joints of the body, may also have significant eye implications. RA is a result of an overreaction to the immune system.  This can lead to many eye conditions including cataracts, glaucoma, uveitis, scleritits, iritis and dry eye syndrome.  Some of the conditions are directly caused by the inflammation and can sometimes be worsened by the steroids used to treat the RA.  Many RA complications and symptoms can easily be diagnosed and treated or monitored with a comprehensive eye exam.

Always be proactive with your eye health, especially if you have other ailments. Our 20-Point Eye Exam allows us to catch many eye problems that other eye exams cannot. That means we can detect and treat a problem before it becomes worse. Contact your nearest Rinkov Eyecare Centers location to schedule your annual appointment, or request an appointment online.

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 Columbus, Dublin, Westerville and Reynoldsburg.

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.*