Hold the Waterline: Eye Make-Up and Dry Eyes

Check an ocular anatomy book and you’ll discover that a “Waterline” does not exist. But check recent articles in women’s magazines — and you will find references to the “Waterline”. Articles on make-up frequently recommend placing eyeliner on the inner rim of your eyelashes. They usually state something to the effect that placing make-up on the waterline makes the whites of your eyes look whiter.

Actually, it can make eyes look more bloodshot because some of the make-up will ultimately flake into the eyes and irritate them.

The inner rim of the eyelash line is where you will find openings to meibomian glands. These delicate glands produce a crucial portion of the tears that bathe the cornea and keep it from drying out. Placing make-up in this area can plug up these important glands. And, make-up in this area is very difficult to remove properly which can mean that the glands are continually blocked.

We have had many patients over the years whose dry eye and other ocular symptoms dramatically improved when they stopped blocking up their meibomian gland openings with make-up and/or the make-up remover they used to try to get the make-up off.

Wearing make-up outside the eyelash line is fine. Wearing make-up inside the eyelash line (or on the “Waterline”) — not a good idea.

It’s funny that while writers in professional eye care journals are frequently writing articles about meibomian gland dysfunction; writers at beauty magazines are writing articles about how to muck up meibomian glands!

Dr. Ally Stoeger provides annual eye examinations, medical eye care, contact lens examinations and Lasik surgery co-management in the Gainesville-Haymarket area of Virginia. Her eye care practice at GH Eye has a superb collection of  basic and high tech lenses and the latest in fashion frames for adults and children.  

 

Vision Plan Facts

If you have a Vision Plan, there’s a good chance GH Eye and Dr. Ally Stoeger are providers for your plan. We see patients who have Vision Service Plan (VSP), Eyemed, Davis Vision, Spectera and other vision plans.

One of the benefits for patients who have a Vision Plan is that whether they are examined at an optical store — or whether they are examined at a technologically advanced private practice like GH Eye — fees are determined by their VIsion Plan Benefits.   The bottom line is that patients are pleasantly surprised to find it costs about the same to have their eyes examined at GH Eye as it does to be examined at a big box store optical!

We’re fortunate to have a large number of patients tell us how much they appreciate having a private practice alternative.  

When national retail opticals and big box opticals first appeared on the landscape, the perception was that their prices on exams and glasses were much lower than private practice eye doctors.  But Vision Plans and other changes have leveled the field.   In fact, while private practice doctors have lowered many of their fees, some “discount” opticals have quietly raised theirs.  

If it’s been a while since you’ve had an eye exam by a private practice eye doctor, schedule your next appointment at GH Eye, and see the difference.

If you have a medical eye problem, we accept most medical insurance plans (Anthem, CareFirst BlueCross Blue Shield, Aetna, United Health Care, Medicare).  Vision Plans do not cover medical eye problems, but medical insurance plans do.

If you don’t have a Vision Plan, don’t worry —  just ask us how you can benefit from our GH Eye Club program! 

Dr. Ally Stoeger provides annual eye examinations, medical eye care, contact lens examinations and Lasik surgery co-management in the Gainesville-Haymarket area of Virginia. Her eye care practice at GH Eye has a superb collection of  basic and high tech lenses and the latest in fashion frames for adults and children.   

 

 

 

 

 

How Long Does a Monthly Contact Lens Last?

Sounds like a trick question, right?  So how often should you replace a monthly disposable contact lens?

a.  once a month

b.  when you can’t see out of it anymore

c.  when your eye starts producing odd-looking goop

d.  every 2-3 weeks

The correct answer, for many of our patients, is every 2-3 weeks.  Even though lenses such as Biofinity (CooperVision), Air Optix Aqua (CibaVision)  and Pure Vision (Bausch & Lomb) are marketed as monthly lenses, I find that for many patients the 4th week of wear is noticably less comfortable than the first 2 or 3 weeks.  If a lens is feeling less comfortable there’s a good chance it’s causing irritation to the cornea and inflammation under the upper eye lid–changes that can affect your future ability to comfortably wear contact lenses.

I often suggest to my patients that they replace their contact lenses about 2 days before the lenses typically start to feel less comfortable.  For many patients, that means replacing a monthly disposable contact lenses every 2-3 weeks.

Dr. Ally Stoeger provides annual eye examinations for all age groups, medical eye care, contact lens examinations and Lasik surgery co-management in the Gainesville-Haymarket area of Virginia. Her practice at GH Eye has a superb collection of  basic and high tech lenses and the latest in fashion frames for adults and children.   


 

Laser Pointer Maculopathy

Based on a recent case report in the Review Of Optometry, it’s possible to get the same kind of permanent retinal damage from a laser pointer directed at your eyes as it is from staring at the sun. In this case, a teenager was pointing the laser pointer at the reflection of his eyes while looking in the mirror. The result was a loss of vision – not correctible with glasses, contacts, surgery or medication. Clinically, the retinal lesion was similar to the type of lesion we see in people have who stare at the sun.

We have had millions of years of evolution of eye/brain nerve fibers so that even babies won’t stare at the sun. Unfortunately, laser pointers sometimes look like regular flashlights and when children (or adults) play with them, they may not realize how serious they are. It’s not as uncomfortable to look at a laser pointer as it is to look at the sun, so there is probably not a quick enough reflex to turn away.

It’s nice to know that some problems have a really easy fix. Don’t buy laser pointers, don’t use them, don’t leave them where kids, friends or colleagues can pick them up and look into them because they think its just a penlight. It’s the rare power point presentation that would suffer (any more than they already do) without the help of a laser pointer.

Dr. Ally Stoeger provides annual eye examinations, medical eye care, contact lens examinations and Lasik surgery co-management in the Gainesville-Haymarket area. Her practice at GH Eye has a superb collection of both basic and hi-tech lenses and latest fashion frames.

Electronic Health Records

Better living via electronic health records….
In my previous practice, we transitioned from traditional paper charts to electronic records back in 2004. At that time we had two trainers come out to our practice for three days. They had to fly in from somewhere on the west coast, so it was expensive just to get them to Northern Virginia. And even with all that training, it still took six months to get the kinks out (and some kinks never left).

When GH Eye opens in Gainesville Va, in April 2012, we will be using RevolutionEHR technology for our electronic medical record keeping. No three day visits from trainers this time around. Happy to say that Clara, our fabulous online trainer is friendly, exceptionally well versed in the system, and easy to talk to (so you don’t mind sounding dumb when you haven’t practiced enough). Thankfully, computers are much faster; there are far less computer breakdowns; and RevolutionEHR software is clever and not cumbersome.
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