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.  


What Your Eyes Say About Your Health

Yesterday, the Wall St Journal, in it’s Personal Journal section, reported something eye doctors have known for a long time–changes in the eye may signal diseases elsewhere in the body. These diseases include diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, multiple sclerosis, cancer and others.

The article specifically discussed the benefits of this technology as a method of screening for many medical conditions. I’m happy to say that I have utilized Optomap technology in my optometry practice for over 10 years!

The Optomap instantaneously captures more than 80% of your retina in one panoramic image. More traditional methods show smaller sections of the retina at one time. Plus, Optomap technology allows us to store a digital record of your retina for future comparisons. Optomap is not the same as retinal photography. Typical retinal photographs can only view 30 degrees of the retina. Optomap can image 200 degrees – a huge difference! And, although a dilated view can show up to about 240 degrees – the quality of that view depends on how well the patient can hold their eye steady while bright lights are shining in their eye. and that’s only if the patient allows you to place dilating drops in their eyes.

Bottom line – Optomap and Dilation do not show exactly the same thing. The most comprehensive eye and medical health information occurs when I perform both Optomap and Dilation.
However, there are many patients who simply do not want to be dilated. Optomap is the very best technology for those patients. And, it’s a great test for kids.

Which tests we perform is always related to the patient’s eye health and medical history. What I find works best for many of our patients is to alternate – some years we perform Optomap testing and other years we perform dilation. That way we are always checking thoroughly, but getting slightly different information each time. Optomap is a powerful diagnostic tool and we are pleased to offer it at GH Eye!

Retina and Apple Retina

Apple is now featuring “Retina Display”. Improved, amazing resolution for I-pads, Mac Computers and I-phones. Interesting that Apple chose the word “Retina” to describe its resolution revolution.

Apple’s advanced resolution technology is amazing, but not any more amazing than the human retina. Apple has their “Retina” trademarked and protected; and just like Apple protects their “Retina” we should all protect our high resolution, one of a kind Retina. Because without a healthy retina of your own, you won’t appreciate Apple’s retina.

So here’s 3 preventive tips to preserve and protect your “Retinal Display”

1. If you experience sudden vision change – blurry vision, spots, flashes, floaters call your eye doctor immediately. A dilated eye examination can determine whether the symptoms might be caused by a retinal detachment. There are some health problems that you can take a wait and see approach about. Sudden vision change is NOT one of them. Some retinal detachments require immediate repair. Bottom line — if your vision changes suddenly, call your eye doctor suddenly.

2. Your retina features some of the tiniest blood vessels in your body. Keep those small blood vessels healthy by eating healthy, exercising, controlling hypertension, and treating elevated lipid levels. Strategies that keep your heart healthy can also keep your eyes healthy.

3. Your sharpest vision occurs in the Macula, which is the portion of the retina. Appropriate sunglasses and hats provide UV Protection for this vital area.

Maybe “Macula Display” will be Apple’s next generation of resolution. Although it doesn’t quite have the advertising zing of “Retina Display”.

At GH Eye, in addition to dilating your eyes (or sometimes instead of dilating your eyes) we can Display Your Retina using advanced Optos technology. To see Your Retina Displayed, see us. To see a Retina Display, see Apple.

Berries and Your Eyes

Blueberries, Blackberries, Raspberries and Strawberries. They’re delicious and provide nutrients for healthy eyes. But berries that sit around your home for more than a day lose flavor, texture and may even go bad. So if you never, ever want to waste delicious berries (and your money) again, try this tip.

When I bring berries home from the market, I separate out what I think I will eat that day. (You can wait a few days until you have leftover berries, but this ultra-easy recipe will give you better tasting berries if you plan ahead and do this the first day).

I put the berries in a small Pyrex glass dish, sprinkle about 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of sugar per half cup of berries, (do NOT add water) and microwave on high for about 1 minute. That releases the juices in the berries and softens them. Don’t be surprised if you see blackberries turn red!

If you want the berries somewhat firm, only microwave for 1 minute. If you prefer more of a “sauce” texture, microwave an additional 30 seconds at a time longer, until it has the consistency you want.

The “compote” berry mixtures are great as toppings for yogurt or ice cream– or just on their own. Or you can toss some of the berry mixture into a salad. You can even combine the berry mixture with oil and vinegar for a homemade dressing. Enjoy!