Get Checked – Protect your Peeps!

When you hear the word melanoma is the first thing to come to mind skin cancer?

That’s the case for most people, but do you know about the dangers of Ocular Melanoma?

With Summer come the numerous warnings to protect our skin from the sun, so why not talk about Ocular Melanoma? After all, your eyes are pretty important!

So What is Ocular Melanoma?

Ocular Melanoma is a cancer of the melanin producing cells of the eye similar to that of the skin. In the eye ocular melanoma is a type of cancer that develops in pigment producing cells — the same cells that gives your skin, hair and eyes color. Just as you can develop melanoma on your skin, you can also develop it in your eye, however, it is not associated with UV exposure as it is in the skin.

Due to the fact that many ocular melanomas present in the back of the eye and are not readily visible, early detection is the key to a positive outcome.   Melanomas diagnosed and treated with less than 2mm thickness have a much better prognosis than those diagnosed at a later stage. Ocular melanomas are usually not detected until a latter date due to the lack of visual symptoms. When they do produce symptoms, they may include:

  • flashes of light
  • blurry vision
  • loss of peripheral vision
  • distortion of pupil size
  • a growing spot on the iris

In any case the best way to catch ocular melanomas early is with regular comprehensive eye exams.

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.

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.

You have a pterygium…now what?

shutterstock_150573029

 

A pterygium is a growth of fibro-vascular tissue that develops on the conjunctiva, or white of the eye, and extends into the cornea, which is the clear covering over the colored part of the eye.  This type of tissue growth causes symptoms similar to dry eye, such as burning, redness, or a foreign body sensation.

Image of cornea

Over-the-counter lubricating eye drops or a short course of steroid eye drops commonly treat and manage these symptoms. However, if the tissue grows into a patient’s line of sight, surgical methods are needed to preserve vision.

Exposure to UV light causes many occurrences of pterygium, so wearing proper sun protection is key to preventing this tissue growth. Be sure to ask your eye care professional about polarized sunglasses, which block damaging UV rays. Foreign bodies also cause tissue growth, because the objects continuously rub across the surface of the eye. Make sure that you wear the proper safety glasses when exposure to foreign bodies is a risk.

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. 

How to Have Healthier Eyes in 2015

Image

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

shutterstock_190186787

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 online shopping affecting your eyes?

Now that holiday shopping is in full force, online shopping can be good for your wallet but bad for your eyes. Excessive near vision tasks, such as working on a computer, can cause strain on the focusing system of the eyes, causing eye fatigue, blurred vision and headaches. Electronic devices, such as computer monitors, mobile phones and tablets, emit high-frequency UV rays known as blue light. Studies show blue light can irritate the eye, cause damage to the retina, and disrupt sleep cycles.

If you spend time in front of a digital device, your eye doctor can help combat the effects of blue light. Glasses with specially manufactured lens coatings that help block blue light and reduce glare can significantly improve computer vision. With the proper eyewear, you can have healthier, more comfortable eyes. Talk to your eye care professional about how computer glasses can improve and protect your vision. Call any of our eight locations to schedule your 20-Point Comprehensive Examination™ 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.*

How Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome can affect the eyes

Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome

Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome is a variety of genetic disorders that affect the body’s ability to correctly produce collagen. Collagen is important in the production of connective tissue because it gives it stretch and strength. Since connective tissue is present in many different and important parts of the body, Ehlers-Danlos syndrome can affect many of the body’s important organs including but not limited to the skin, joints, lungs, eyes, cardiovascular system and gastrointestinal system. Some individuals may experience severe and even life threatening symptoms, while others tend to be mild. In the eye, Ehlers-Danlos may first be noted in children due to the appearance of extra folds of skin near the inner corner of the eyes. Patients may also have a thin sclera, or in rare cases, a hole in the sclera. Nearsightedness has also been associated with Ehlers-Danlos 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.*

Eye problems and diabetes

eye problems and diabetes

With the rising obesity rate in the United States, more and more Americans are becoming diabetic. A person can have diabetes and not even realize it. While blood sugar testing at the primary care physician is the best method for diagnosis, signs can be found during an annual eye exam.

As a diabetic’s blood sugar rises and fluctuates, we may see large and frequent changes in their spectacle prescription. Changes to the retina are seen with prolonged unstable blood sugar levels. Diabetic retinopathy can cause bleeding, oxygen deprivation, and fluid leakage in the retina. These can all be very harmful to the retina and—if left untreated—can result in blindness.

Everyone should have an annual physical to have their blood sugar tested and an annual eye exam. to have a dilated retinal evaluation. Diagnosing diabetes and diabetic retinopathy early can lead to much better prognosis with the disease and its effects on the eyes.

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.*