Happy Healthy Vision Month!

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May is a busy month.  May includes the Kentucky Derby, Mother’s Day, the last day of school, the Indianapolis 500, and even International Tuba Day.

It is also Healthy Vision Month!

This is the perfect time to make your eye health a priority.  The National Eye Institute advises 5 things to protect your eyes:

1.  Get a dilated eye exam.

  • This thorough evaluation of your retinal health allows early detection of conditions such as glaucoma and macular degeneration.
  • It can also reveal ocular damage from systemic conditions like high blood pressure and diabetes.

2.  Live a healthy lifestyle:

  • Eat healthy foods.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Manage any chronic health issues like diabetes and high blood pressure.
  • Don’t smoke.

3.  Learn your family history and share that information with your eye doctor.

  • Many eye diseases are inherited.
  • Is there glaucoma, macular degeneration, or blindness in your family?

4.  Use protective eye wear:

  • Protective eye wear can prevent 90% of all eye injuries.
  • Use goggles, face shields, safety glasses, or full-face respirators when needed for work or hobbies.
  • Wear sports goggles with polycarbonate lenses for sports such as baseball/softball and basketball.

5.  Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from the damage of UV rays.

  • UV radiation is linked to the development of cataracts, macular degeneration, and pterygium.
  • Sunglasses should block 100% of UV-A and UV-B rays.
  • A hat with a brim will provide further protection.

Rinkov Eyecare is here to help you make your eye health the priority it should be.

 

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.

Stereo Acuity and Summation: The Advantage of Two Eyes

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Frequently during eye exams, patients will notice they see better on the eye chart with two eyes open, and will try to sneak around the cover paddle to get to two eyes ASAP. We are well familiar with the mathematical rule, the whole is not greater than the sum of its parts, but eyes are an exception to this rule. Summation describes the brain’s ability to add the vision from each eye in order to produce better visual acuity than one eye provides alone. As a result, the exam chart may read something like this:

20/20 Right(OD), 20/20 Left(OS), 20/15 Both(OU)

Stereo acuity, or 3-D vision, is another binocular (when two eyes work together) visionprocess. Because the eyes are physically separated by space, they view object from a different angle, and the brain can then interpret depth. For example, those of you without stereo cannot appreciate 3-D puzzles and movies.

Eye conditions that can limit summation and stereo acuity include refractive error, amblyopia, monovision, esotropia, exotropia and a host of possible medical eye concerns.

We advise all minions, one and two-eyed, to have regular 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.

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.

What is Snow Blindness?

Snow blindness is like sunburn for your eyes.

Snow blindness is like sunburn for your eyes.

Did you know that spending a day outside in winter could be worse on your eyes than a day at the beach?  Snow can reflect up to 85% of UV rays from the sun.  UV reflection from snow, streets and vehicles can cause glare, impair vision and damage the eyes.  Studies show that UV exposure contributes to cataracts and increases the risk of macular degeneration.  Excessive exposure to reflected light on the snow can also damage the cornea and conjunctiva and cause photokeratitis, more commonly known as snow “blindness.”

Think of photokeratitis like a sunburn to the eyes.  Symptoms include increased watering, pain, light sensitivity and the feeling like there is sand in your eyes.  Treatment includes artificial tears, cool compresses and pain medication.  Typically, symptoms resolve anywhere within a few days to a week.

UV protection, specifically polarized sunglasses, is the best preventative measure to combat glare and prevent UV damage to the eyes.  Polarized sunglasses are better than regular sunglasses because they contain a special filter that blocks reflected light, which, in turn, reduces glare.  Ask your eye doctor about prescription polarized sunglasses or non-prescription polarized sunglasses if you wear contact lenses.

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. 

Aging Eyes and Drooping Eye Lids

Many years ago, as my dad entered middle-age, my brother and I often teased him about his growing waistline. My dad would always defend himself, naming Dunlap’s Disease as the culprit.

“It’s Dunlap’s Disease! My belly has done lapped over my belt!” he explained.

My dad said many strange things that have stuck with me through the years, and now, as I enter middle-age, it appears he has stuck me with something else: Dunlap’s Disease must be genetic, because I am starting to show signs and symptoms.

blepharochalasis

In the picture above, you can see the upper eyelid has done lapped over the lashes. Dermatochalasis—or blepharochalasis when referring specifically to the eye—is an age-related condition that causes folds of skin to lap over and weigh the eyelid down. It is a common cause of ptosis, which is the medical term for drooping eyelids.

Patients who have this condition will experience blurred vision, visual interference from the eyelashes, and/or “blocked” vision, which results in visual field defects. This condition typically requires surgery to build up the muscles of the eye, effectively lifting the skin to clear the visual field.

There are many other causes of ptosis, which can be much more sinister. These causes are usually due to systemic difficulties such as a stroke or trauma to the eye, among others. If you are experiencing symptoms of ptosis, you should have a discussion with your eye care practitioner to find the cause and the appropriate remedy.

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.*

How to prevent an eye disease

Rinkov Eyecare Centers 20-Point Eye Exam

Many people only go to the eye doctor when they are having trouble with their eye sight. While this is a valid reason to see the eye doctor, everyone should have an annual eye exam whether they are seeing well or not. Many medical conditions of the eye are painless or have no symptoms until irreversible harm has occurred to the eye. Glaucoma is a painless condition that slowly damages the optic nerve, the nerve that connects the eye to the brain, until blindness results. Retinal holes and tears can often have no symptoms but can easily progress to retinal detachment which can cause blindness. Tumors of the retina can be both vision threatening and life threatening, but they will often have no symptoms until too late. All of these conditions can be detected in a routine eye exam and can be treated before they result in permanent vision loss.

If you haven’t yet done so, schedule your 2014 eye exam today! You can contact one of our seven locations 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, 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.*

Top Ten Reasons NOT to Wear Prescription Sunglasses

The Doctors and Staff of Rinkov Eyecare Centers firmly believe that sunglasses are necessary for nearly every patient we see. The sun’s rays are extremely harsh on the eyes and can lead to terrible vision and health related-issues down the road. Plus sunglasses are cool and look good!

Even though we feel very strongly about sunwear, we often hear objections from our patients. Some are, on the surface, valid. Whereas some are a bit humorous. Below are the top 10 reasons we hear from patients why they should not get sunglasses, followed by our reasoning why every patient is better off making an investment in quality sunwear. Almost without exception, our patients are thrilled with their prescription sunglasses and are actually aggravated they waited so long!  Our hope is that you won’t wait too much longer either.

1.  Sunglasses are too expensive! 

Did you know that sunglasses reduce or delay a number of eye diseases? It is true! Cataracts, macular degeneration, corneal disease, and lid lesions are all reduced greatly or delayed by simply wearing a quality pair of sunglasses. A pair of good sunglasses are MUCH less expensive than medical intervention to save your sight!

2.  I’m not light sensitive.

Patients will tell us that the bright sun does not bother them… BUT, it does bother your retinas!  Everyone’s retinas are incredibly sensitive to light. If you are diabetic, hypertensive, have lighter eyes and/or are taking any number of medications, this also increases the sensitivity of your retinas. Ask any Dermatologist whether UV rays are harmful for your skin and they will tell you that over a lifetime, UV exposure greatly increases your risk for denatured skin and cancers. Your eyes are no different and can be easily protected with quality sunglasses. And unlike putting zinc on your nose, you will look good too!

3.  I’m never outside :)

Really? I mean… really? You never walk outside? Never drive in a car? Never?  Try a pair of quality prescription sunglasses while driving and you will be amazed at what you have been missing!

4. I wear Transitions or other self-tinting lenses.

Transitions are a great product. Our patients love them. But ask any transitions wearer if they prefer Transitions over a pair of sunglasses and nearly all of them prefer the sunglasses. Transitions and other self-tinting lenses cannot match the performance that a quality pair of sunglasses provides. Sunglasses provide superior UV protection, are darker, come in a variety of tints, are polarized and typically have a larger frame (which provides protection to the sensitive skin around your eyes).

We think of Transitions and other self-tinting lenses as a convenient comfort filter for on the run occasions. They are better than nothing, but are not a substitute for sunglasses.

5. I wear a clip or a shield over my glasses.

As doctors and vision professionals, we want you to have the best vision possible. Looking through multiple surfaces simply is not as good as looking through one. In fact, light through multiple optical surfaces is degraded, causing your vision to suffer. And let’s face it, a good looking pair of sunglasses looks so much better than one of those bulky shields or a imperfect clip that is all bent out of shape!

6. I’ll lose them!

Generally, people do not lose what we value. And trust us, once you put on a pair of quality prescription sunglasses, you will value them!

7. My insurance won’t cover prescription sunglasses.

Actually, most vision plans have benefits for prescription sunglasses. If not, we always offer a discount on a second pair!

8. They give me headaches.

Our Eye Doctors have found that most of the time the sunglasses are not the real reason for your headaches. You should visit your eyecare provider to find the real root of your headache. It could be the poor optics from over-the-counter or cheap sunglasses. It could also be that you suffer from dry eyes or even cataracts. There is also the possibility that the prescription is wrong or the lenses are too different from your regular glasses. All these factors are taken into account with our patients, which is why they love their prescription sunglasses so much!

9. They’ll make my eyes dependent.

There is no physiological dependence developed. You will, however, enjoy the benefits of clear vision, less glare, no squinting, and eye protection. Plus, you will look great!

10. I wear contacts

Ok, so you do not require prescription sunglasses over your contact lenses. However, if you are like the majority of our patients, you are seeking the best visual performance out of you contact lenses. If that is the case, then what is the logic in putting a cheap pair of drugstore sunglasses on top of your perfectly fitted contact lenses? Plus the optics on these cheap sunglasses are terrible!  Trust us… there is a HUGE noticeable visual difference with a quality pair of ophthalmic sunglasses compared to a sunglasses picked off the rack at a drugstore or in line at the checkout counter elsewhere.

We hope that this article has persuaded you non-believers to give prescription sunglasses a try. We know you will love them. If you would like to learn more, feel free to call one of our offices or check out our website (www.rinkoveyecare.com).

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

Reynoldsburg 614-861-7771   Westerville 614-890-3577

Dublin 614-798-9940

From the Optometrists, Opticians and Staff of Rinkov Eyecare Centers. Providing quality comprehensive eye exams, contact lenses, glasses, sunglasses and medical treatment of eye disease. Eye Doctor serving Columbus, Ohio for over 30 years. Downtown Columbus, West Columbus, Dublin, Westerville and Reynoldsburg. Sunglasses to protect your eye and make you look good!

CARE : 20|20 : LIFE