Eyes and Makeup

The most common problem that makeup causes for the eyes is an allergic reaction. Makeup can also cause eye infections, if you use old or contaminated products. Although rare, eye injuries caused while applying makeup can lead to serious infections.

Eye Makeup Safety
Your makeup can cause an eye infection even without an eye injury. If you injure your eye while applying your makeup, contaminated products greatly increase the likelihood of a serious infection. Some basic tips for avoiding infections caused by your makeup include:

  • Replace your makeup every six months or more often
  • Sterilize non-disposable applicators when you replace your makeup
  • Do not share eye makeup with anyone
  • Replace any makeup used when you have had an eye infection
  • Do not use the samplers in stores unless they are sealed, single-use samples
  • Never try to dilute your eye makeup with water or saliva

To avoid injury while applying eye makeup:

  • Never apply your makeup in a moving vehicle
  • Keep eye pencils sharp enough that the wood cannot scratch your eye or eyelid
  • Only apply your eye makeup in a safe environment, never around boisterous children or in an overcrowded restroom

Also, remember that your eyes are sensitive to chemicals and substances that other parts of your body can handle. Never try to use hair dye to dye your eyelashes or eyebrows. It can cause blindness.

If you are concerned about the safety of your makeup, please contact an ophthalmologist in your area and make an appointment to learn more today.

Eyes and Computers

Computer use has become a part of everyday life. Many people spend eight hours a day or more looking at the screen. Our eyes, and the rest of our bodies for that matter, are not designed for this. Computer vision syndrome is just one of the problems you may develop from sitting at the computer for extended periods of time. In fact, as little as two hours of screen time a day can be harmful. Fortunately, there are things you can do to protect your eyes.

Tips to Prevent Computer Eye Strain

  • Keep light levels even between your monitor and surrounding light. You may need to reduce the brightness on your monitor and/or adjust the lighting in the room.
  • Position your monitor at eye level when sitting up straight. Looking down at your monitor causes poor posture and poor blood flow.
  • Get up and move around every half hour.
  • Look away from your computer, at something in the distance, for about 20 seconds every 20 minutes.
  • Do not forget to blink, and do it often.
  • If you wear corrective lenses, talk to your eye doctor about a prescription that is appropriate for your computer use.

Recognizing Computer Vision Syndrome
Symptoms of computer vision syndrome can include:

  • Headaches
  • Neck and shoulder pain
  • Blurry vision
  • Double vision
  • Difficulty focusing
  • Tired eyes
  • Irritated or dry eyes

If you use a computer every day you should have regular eye exams to monitor for any changes it might be causing in your vision. If you suffer from computer eye strain, please contact a qualified eye doctor in your area to learn more about solutions.

Eye Nutrition

The foods you eat or miss out on play a much larger role in your vision and eye health than you might imagine. Nutrition is not just a passive, preventative measure that may help keep your eyes healthy; it is actually the treatment for some conditions such as age-related macular degeneration. Nutritional supplements may be used to stop the progression of the disease, and some patients even report reversal of vision loss with aggressive nutritional therapy. Of course, starting before you develop problems is the best way to use nutrition for your eyes.

Important Nutrients for Your Eyes
The nutrients that are healthy for your eyes are good for your whole body and include:

  • Lutein
  • Zeaxanthin
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin E
  • Zinc
  • Selenium

Sources of Eye-healthy Nutrients
Whenever possible it is best to get your nutrition from food, but sometimes it is hard to know if you are getting enough. You may want to take supplements as well.

Green leafy vegetables, fresh fruit, eggs yolks, nuts, and cheese are just some of the foods that provide eye-healthy nutrients. Lutein is very important for healthy retinas and the body absorbs it better from egg yolks than any other source, including vegetables and supplements.

Protecting Your Vision with a Healthy Diet
Getting the right nutrients can help prevent cataracts, macular degeneration, and other eye conditions.

Avoiding sugar and simple carbohydrates will also help keep your eyes healthy. High blood sugar is harmful to your eyes, even if you do not have diabetes.

Please contact your local ophthalmologist today and find out which nutrients are the most important for your eyes and how much you need.

Eye Medications

Although your local grocery store may have a very large selection of eye drops and other eye products, most eye medications require a prescription. If you use eye medication, it is imperative that you follow the directions closely, keep the container clean, and call your eye doctor immediately if you think you may be having a bad reaction.

Over-the-counter Eye Medications
There are a few types of eye medications that are available over-the-counter (OTC).

Artificial tears can be used to lubricate dry eyes, and are safe for frequent and regular use. However, if you are dependent on them, you should talk to your eye doctor. You may be suffering from dry eye syndrome.

Antihistamine eye drops are used to relieve allergy symptoms, such as itchy eyes. These can bring relief, but you need to be sure that the itching and irritation is really due to an allergy, not something else such as an infection.

Eye drops for redness simply should not be used. They temporarily get rid of the redness by constricting the blood vessels in your eyes. With long term use they are addictive. They can also cause dryness and irritation. Not to mention, potentially masking a more serious underlying problem.

Prescription Eye Medications
Your eye doctor uses and prescribes eye medications for many reasons.

In the office, he may use drops to dilate, dye, or numb your eyes for various exams and procedures. He may prescribe antibiotic drops or ointment for an infection. If you have an eye condition such as glaucoma, drops may be prescribed to control the pressure inside of your eye.

If you have questions about your eye medication, please call an eye doctor in your local area today.

Eye Exercises

Eye exercises can help you maintain good vision and avoid eyestrain. The muscles in your eyes must be strong and flexible to focus properly and comfortably, and your eyes need to work together. Our bodies are designed for more outdoor activity than most of us actually participate in currently. Computer work is a common problem, but even if you do not work in front of a computer screen, your eyes may not be getting the exercise they need to stay their healthiest.

Eye Exercises You Can do Every Day
Your eye doctor may recommend a specific set of eye exercises for your unique needs. In the meantime, there are simple things you can do to keep your eye muscles strong and flexible without taking a chunk of time out of your day. You can slip them in at your convenience throughout the day, especially when your eyes feel tired.

  • Roll your eyes. Go full circle, clockwise and counterclockwise.
  • Practice near and far. Focus clearly on something as close to your face as possible. Some reading material or the back of your finger will work. Then, shift your focus to something in the distance (at least 10 feet away) as quickly as you can. With practice you should be able to shift and focus faster.
  • Hold your finger about 10 inches or so from your face, focusing on the tips with both eyes. Slowly bring it closer to your face, maintaining focus as long as possible. When the image doubles, move it away slowly. With practice, you should be able to move it closer and closer to your face without blurring or doubling.

Please, contact an ophthalmologist in your area to learn more about the eye exercises that will be the most beneficial to you.

Eye Diseases and Conditions

Learning the symptoms of eye diseases and conditions can help you nip potentially serious problems in the bud and may save your vision. However, some conditions that can lead to blindness do not show any symptoms before real damage begins. Early detection and treatment can prevent blindness. Regular eye exams by a qualified ophthalmologist who performs the right tests, such as glaucoma screening, can detect problems as they develop and early enough for effective treatment.

About 95% of blindness is caused by disease. Some are diseases of the eye only, but many start out as diseases or conditions of the body. For instance, diabetes, herpes, syphilis, and many autoimmune diseases can lead to conditions of the eye that may cause blindness. Trauma to the eyes or brain can also cause blindness, as can some medications such as steroids.

Age-related Conditions
Many conditions and diseases of the eye are associated with aging. Some occur almost exclusively with advanced age, while others can occur at any age but become more likely in later years. Age-related conditions include:

  • Presbyopia
  • Age-related macular degeneration
  • Cataracts
  • Diabetes and Eye Conditions

Diabetes significantly increases your risk of developing many eye problems. Most people with diabetes will eventually experience some degree of vision loss due to high blood sugar levels. Controlling your blood sugar will slow down and minimize the damage to your eyes. Eye conditions that often occur in people with diabetes include:

  • Diabetic retinopathy
  • Glaucoma
  • Cataracts

Has it been too long since your last eye exam? Please, contact a qualified ophthalmologist in your area today.

Eye Anatomy

The eye is one of the most unique parts of the body in both structure and function. It has visible and hidden parts and is much larger than it appears. When you look into a person’s eyes you see the cornea, sclera, iris, and pupil. The lens, retina, and optic nerve are not visible, but your ophthalmologist has ways of seeing them.

What You See
The cornea is the clear front surface of your eye. The cornea refracts (bends) light as it passes into your eye and is responsible for about 60% of focusing. The cornea is the part of your eye that is reshaped by LASIK surgery.

The sclera is the white of your eye. The iris is the colored part. It is actually a muscle. And the pupil is nothing at all. It is the opening in the center of the eye – empty space.

What You Cannot See
The lens of your eye is behind the pupil where it is not visible. Some people think that the cornea is the same thing as the lens. The cornea is a lens, but it is not “the” lens. The lens of your eye bends and flexes changing curvature to fine tune the focus of the light that has passed through the cornea. The lens can be replaced with an artificial lens (IOL) to correct problems such as cataracts and presbyopia.

The retina is the back wall of the eye. It contains three types of light sensitive cells. The optic nerve connects just off the center of the retina and contains fibers that run to each of the photosensitive cells in the retina. The optic nerve relays messages between the eye and the brain.

To learn more please read our Eye Anatomy page and contact an ophthalmologist in your area today.

Dry Eye Syndrome

Dry eye syndrome occurs when you do not produce enough tears or when your tears evaporate too fast. The condition can also result from an imbalance in the composition of the tears. It is an uncomfortable condition but, because dry eyes often result in excessive tearing, many people who suffer with it do not know that the irritation is due to dryness. In severe cases, dry eye can lead to more serious problems including infections and scarring of the cornea.

Symptoms of Dry Eye Syndrome
You may or may not feel like you have dry eyes, and to make it even more confusing, dry eye syndrome can cause excessive tearing. Symptoms include:

  • A gritty or scratchy feeling
  • Redness
  • Itching
  • Burning
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Blurry vision
  • Feeling like there is something in your eye (foreign body sensation)

Causes of Dry Eye Syndrome
There are numerous things that can cause dry eye syndrome, including personal habits, health problems, medications, and your environment. Some causes include:

  • Anything that causes your tears to evaporate too quickly such as dry climate, sleeping with your eyes partially open, or an inadequate lipid layer in your tear film
  • Hormonal changes, such as menopause
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Certain medications

Dry Eye Syndrome and LASIK
In general, people with dry eye syndrome should not undergo LASIK surgery because it increases your risk of complications. If your dry eye is mild, your doctor may feel that LASIK is safe for you. However, there are treatments for dry eyes including some simple things you can do at home, medications, and even surgery in some cases.

If you are experiencing the symptoms of dry eye syndrome, please talk to an eye doctor in your area today to find out how you can get relief.

Blindness Overview

For those with sight, it is easy to imagine going blind as being suddenly plunged into darkness. Thinking about it can bring about feelings of panic and helplessness. For some that is the real experience, but more often blindness comes on gradually as a result of disease and it occurs to varying degrees. Even those with total blindness can learn to live independently.

Legally Blind vs. Total Blindness
Total blindness typically involves damage to the optic nerves, disrupting the communication between the brain and the eye. A person is considered legally blind when their vision is 20/200 or worse, even with corrective lenses. While this is very poor vision, it does not mean there is no sight at all.

When legal blindness is the result of refractive error, LASIK surgery can sometimes significantly improve vision. Sometimes people who are legally blind achieve 20/20 vision or better, although in cases this severe most will still need corrective lenses to see clearly after laser vision correction.

Preventing Blindness
There are many diseases that lead to blindness, but with early detection and treatment, blindness may be prevented or delayed.

Some conditions, such as cataracts, can be corrected with simple, routine eye surgery. Others are caused by underlying health problems that must be addressed. Diabetic retinopathy, for instance, is very common in people with diabetes and is caused by uncontrolled blood sugar. In fact, declining vision is sometimes the first symptom of diabetes.

Regular eye exams and prompt attention to any changes in your vision can stop or slow vision loss, and may even prevent blindness.

If you have experienced a change in your vision, please contact a qualified eye doctor in your area today.

Aging Eyes

Most people experience some decline in their vision as they get older. It is something that we have come to expect, but it is not necessarily something that you have to live with. Most age-related vision problems can be improved, halted, slowed down, or reversed. Better yet, there are steps you can take to prevent or delay their development. You should never think of vision loss as an inevitable part of aging.

Common Symptoms of Aging Eyes

  • Needing more light to read or do fine work such as sewing
  • Difficulty with night driving
  • Colors seem faded or less intense
  • Difficulty adjusting to bright or dim lighting conditions
  • Frequent changes in prescriptions for your glasses or contacts
  • A constant haze in the air
  • Eyestrain and headaches
  • Eye irritation and constant blinking

Common Conditions Affecting Aging Eyes

  • Presbyopia – the lens of the eye no longer makes the fine adjustments needed for focusing clearly on close work such as reading
  • Cataracts – clouding of the lens of the eye
  • Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) – progressive damage to the center of the retina
  • Diabetic retinopathy – retinal disorders caused over time by high blood sugar levels in people with diabetes
  • Glaucoma – damage to the optic nerve, usually but not always involving elevated intraocular pressure
  • Dry Eye Syndrome – inadequate lubrication of the eyes, often caused by menopause or medications

Most people will develop one or more of these conditions as they age. The good news is that there is help and you can retain your vision in most cases. If you are experiencing a decline in your vision, please talk to an ophthalmologist in your area soon.