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.

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.

Eye boogers!

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You know that stuff you wake up with in the corners of your eyes? Some might call it sleep, eye boogers, mattering, or just plain old crusty stuff. Whatever you call it, most of us have it in the morning, so what is it exactly?

This discharge, known as rheum, is nothing more than a combination of mucus, oil, dead skin cells and other debris such as makeup or dust that accumulates in the corners of the eyes and lash lines while you sleep. Normally we remove excess mucus, oil and debris after each blink, preventing them from accumulating. However, we aren’t blinking while we sleep, which means that the debris forms the eye boogers we find in the morning.

Sometimes people mistake this crusty stuff as discharge from an infection. While a little mucus in the morning is normal, there may be something else going on if the consistency or amount changes. There are different types of discharge with different causes. Conditions like conjunctivitis (pink eye), blepharitis, sties and dry eye can all produce discharge along with other symptoms. You should schedule an appointment with your eye care professional if you experience any out-of-the-ordinary symptoms.

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. 

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.*

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.*

Prevent an eye infection from your cat’s litter box

Toxoplasmosis: eye infection from litter box

Many people have pets. If you have a cat, it’s very important to wash your hands thoroughly after cleaning out the litter box. There is a protozoa called toxoplasmosis that can be found in cat feces that can cause infections in the eye. This infection can cause retinal scars, inflammation of the optic nerve, and inflammation in the fluid in the eye. It is difficult to treat, but treatment usually includes antibiotics and steroids. Perhaps even more importantly, pregnant women should avoid cleaning litter boxes entirely, as the protozoa can cross the blood-placenta barrier and cause anything from stillbirth to neurologic birth defects in the baby, depending upon which stage in pregnancy the infection was acquired.

Rinkov Eyecare Centers cares for your health. We can diagnose and treat many eye problems. If you detect an infection, immediately call one of our locations to schedule an appointment. Note that we now have two new locations in Bexley and Nationwide Plaza for your convenience!

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 often should you replace eye makeup?

replace eye makeup often

You should replace eye makeup more often than you think!  Eye makeup can be a breeding ground for many varieties of bacteria including staphylococcus, streptococcus, micrococcus and bacillus.  Mascara, eyeliner and eye shadow should be replaced every three months due to the growth of these organisms.

It is also important to practice clean habits while using makeup:

  • Always keep makeup lids tightly closed.
  • Sharpen eye pencils regularly to remove the outer layer, which may contain bacteria.
  • Be sure to store makeup in a cool, dry area.
  • If you experience any symptoms or signs of an eye infection immediately dispose of all eye makeup and refrain from the use of new products until you have been cleared by an eye doctor.

If your eyes are dry, red, swollen or uncomfortable, please contact our offices so we can get you on the path to healthy 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 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.*

Don’t dismiss eye pain or redness

contact

In our annual exams, we’ve noticed that many contact lens wearers have scarred corneas. They report that their contact lenses were uncomfortable in the past and that their eye was red for a few days but symptoms eventually went away. These symptoms are often the sign of an infection in the cornea from over-wearing contact lenses. These infections can cause ulcers on the cornea, which eventually scar. It is very important to stop wearing your contact lenses and see your eye doctor right away with any pain, redness or decreased vision in your contact lenses. If one of these scars forms over your pupil in your line of sight, permanent vision damage can result.

If you experience any of these symptoms, contact us immediately or request an appointment online. We care about your 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 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.*

Eye Drops are Meant to Drop in Your Eyes

Many people have trouble putting eye drops in their eyes when their optometrist prescribes them for them. Besides the obvious of dropping it right in the eye, there are a few tricks to getting eye drops in the eyes. One is to pull down on the lower lid while looking up slightly. The lower lid forms a little pouch, which the drops can be dropped into. The lower lid would be released and a few blinks would distribute the drop across the eye. Another trick is to tip the head back so that the eyes are pointed at the ceiling. With the eyes closed, the drop can be placed in the corner of the eye nearest the nose. Opening the eyes and tilting the head toward the ear on the same side will allow the eye drop to run into the eye. This would then be repeated for the other eye.

From the Optometrists, Opticians and Staff of Rinkov Eyecare Center. Providing quality comprehensive eye exams, contact lenses, glasses, sunglasses and medical treatment of eye disease. Serving Columbus, Ohio for over 30 years. Downtown Columbus, West Columbus, Dublin, Westerville and Reynoldsburg.

www.rinkoveyecare.com