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.

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.*

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.*

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.*

Morning Eye Irritation is Irritating!

Often patients will report waking in the morning with severe eye irritation, watering, blur, and light sensitivity. These symptoms will often dissipate after a few hours of being awake. One thing this can be due to is a condition called #lagophthalmos. This is a condition in which the patient sleeps with their eyes partially open. Therefore during the night the eyes dry out and the patient awakens to severe discomfort. A few ways to combat this problem are to tape the eyelids shut with medical tape before bed, or use a thick artificial tear ointment immediately before going to bed. This ointment protects the eye’s surface from drying out due to environmental exposure. The only real way to tell if you suffer from this condition is to have someone look at your eyes while you are sleeping. The first step is to call your Optometrist to see if lagophthalmos may be the cause of your morning eye irritation.

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

Downtown – 614-224-2414 West – 614-878-7771

East – 614-861-7771 Westerville – 614-890-3577

Dublin – 614-978-9940

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

Cold Weather – Lots of Tears

A common complaint at the eye doctor’s office this time of year is excessive tearing. Although it may seem counter-intuitive, this is actually due to dry eye. The air outside is cold and has low humidity levels. Once inside the house the air is warm or in the car warm air is blowing at your face. This dries the eyes out and irritates them. The eyes then react as if there were something in the eyes by tearing. One way to combat this is to use frequent artificial tears. It is important to check with your Optometrist and make sure that you are getting a high quality artificial tear. These help to re- moisten the eyes and prevent them from drying out, causing the excessive tearing. You should never us contact lens solution in place of artificial tears.

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

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

Meibomian Glands

The meibomian glands are found on the rim of the eyelids. If you look closely, you can see what looks like little holes on the lids. Your eye doctor can them with a biomicroscope which has a high degree of magnification . There are approximately 50 on the upper lid and 30 on the lower lid. These glands produce lipids and proteins which help the tear film from evaporating. If these are not working correctly, either by being clogged or by not producing properly,  vision can be affected . Vision could be intermittently blurred . One could also develop symptoms such as dryness.  You should consult  your vision care professional for treatment.

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

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