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.

My Eyes Are Swelling! Could It Be Vernal Conjunctivitis!?

Vernal conjunctivitis is a chronic allergic reaction involving the eyes in which the outer lining of the eyes swell.

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It is most common in the spring and summer and among young men and those with a strong history of allergies.

Symptoms include:

  • Strong itching and burning sensation
  • Swollen eyes
  • Sensitivity to bright

If you experience these symptoms please consult your eye care provider. Your eye care provider can diagnose vernal conjunctivitis with an eye exam. If left untreated possible complications include continued discomfort, reduced vision,  or scarring of the cornea.

Treatments include:

  • Cool compresses placed over the eyes
  • Allergy eye drops
  • Steroids in severe cases.

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

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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.*

Ocular side effects of amiodarone

ocular side effects of amiodarone

Amiodarone is a systemic medication that is used to treat cardiac arrhythmias. It can have many side effects, but a common effect on the eye is a condition called vortex keratopathy. In vortex keratopathy, deposits are formed in the cornea that can commonly cause glare and irritation. This glare and irritation tends to increase with continued use. The best way to treat the keratopathy is to decrease the dosage, but this is not always an option. In those cases, the keratopathy can be treated with lubricants and glare protection, but this solution may not always work. Amiodarone may also lead to optic neuropathy, retinopathy and caratacts, as well as mask many other underlying eye disorders. It is important to maintain regular evaluations to monitor the progression of the keratopathy, as well as monitor for development of more serious complications.

If you are taking Amiodarone, be sure to schedule regular visits with your eye doctor to maintain optimal eye health.

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.*

Preventing nearsightedness in children

Preventing Nearsightedness in Children

Peripheral defocus is a hot topic in the prevention of myopia (nearsightedness) in children. Peripheral defocus comes from the concept that the entire back surface of the eye is not in focus at any one time for someone to see. Even if the central retina is in focus, the peripheral retina may be under or over corrected. Research is being conducted to see if controlling the peripheral defocus may control myopia and aid in nearsightedness control. Researchers are also trying to detect if hyperopic defocus or myopic defocus may be a marker for future development of myopia. Many studies have been designed to test if altering the peripheral defocus with different types of lenses or contact lenses may have an impact on peripheral defocus and in slowing myopic progression. Previous studies involving single vision lenses, soft contacts and RGPs have shown varied results. In 2013 a study by Berntsen found that progressive lenses caused a superior myopic shift in peripheral defocus and less central myopic progression in children. Further studies have found that soft multifocal contact lenses may also have the ability to slow myopia progression. If further research continues to show a decrease in myopia, progressive lenses, anti-fatigue lenses and soft multifocal contact lenses may be a useful tool in slowing myopia progression in at-risk children.

Stay proactive with your child’s eye health. Contact your child’s eye doctor to schedule his or her next annual eye exam.

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.*

Rinkov Eyecare Centers now in Worthington!

Dr. Kamer Rinkov Eyecare Centers Worthington

Rinkov Eyecare Centers is now serving patients in Worthington, Ohio, after acquiring Clear Image Eyecare on June 1.

Dr. Donald J. Kamer, optometrist at Clear Image Eyecare, will continue to serve patients at the Worthington office. A 2002 graduate of The Ohio State University College of Optometry, he joins Rinkov Eyecare Centers’ team of seven optometrists and Rinkov Eyecare Centers’ seven locations in Westerville, Dublin, Reynoldsburg, Hilliard, Bexley, Nationwide Plaza and Gay Street in downtown Columbus.

“Dr. Kamer is an award-winning optometrist, and he runs a phenomenal practice,” said Dr. Mark Rinkov, optometrist and CEO of Rinkov Eyecare Centers. “His staff is friendly and courteous, and he has earned a high level of trust and respect with his patients. We are honored to have Dr. Kamer join our team of highly skilled optometrists.”

Rinkov Eyecare Centers will upgrade the new Worthington office with minor renovations, install additional advanced diagnostic equipment, expand its frame lines and provide electronic medical records that are linked to all Rinkov Eyecare Centers offices. Dr. Kamer will also use Rinkov Eyecare Centers’ innovative 20-Point Eye Exam®, which includes many important assessments that most patients haven’t previously received elsewhere, at no extra charge. This comprehensive exam can uncover early signs of health risks as well as eye conditions that need immediate attention.

In addition to the Worthington acquisition, Rinkov Eyecare Centers hired an additional optometrist, Dr. Jordan T. Bierman, for its expanding West Broad Street office. Dr. Bierman graduated from the Illinois College of Optometry in 2013 and will be coming to Rinkov Eyecare Centers from his residency at the Huntington VA Medical Center in Huntington, W. Va.

“We are continuing to invest in our support center and focus on new systems as part of our growth strategy. We have grown our staff by 40% since 2011, and we are continuing to pursue other acquisitions,” said Jeff Rinkov, President of Rinkov Eyecare Centers. “We are committed to continued growth, making investments, hiring the right people, adopting innovative technology and ensuring that every patient receives the absolute, best quality eye care.”

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.*

What is Fuchs’ endothelial dystrophy?

Fuch's endothelial dystrophy

Fuchs’ endothelial dystrophy is a genetic condition that affects the back layer of cells on the cornea called the endothelium. When a person has Fuchs’ endothelial dystrophy, small proteins called guttae begin to form on the endothelium, and the proteins interrupt endothelial cell function. Endothelial cells are responsible for regulating the amount of fluid in the cornea and maintaining crisp vision.  As guttae progress, they lead to decreased vision, light sensitivity and pain from the resulting swelling and small blisters that may develop on the cornea.  Luckily guttae may be detected early during a comprehensive eye exam and may be closely monitored by specialized testing, such as with a specular microscope.

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.*