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What’s a Chalazion?

What is a Chalazion 640Finding a lump on your eyelid can be scary, but it doesn’t have to be. Fortunately, a chalazion is treatable if treated early, and in most cases, it will completely resolve following treatment.

At Family Eye Care we can diagnose and help treat your chalazion so that you can see comfortably.

What is a Chalazion?

A chalazion, also known as a meibomian cyst, is a small fluid-filled cyst.

your eyelids have special glands called the meibomian glands, that produce oil to lubricate the front surface of the eye. When a glands becomes blocked, it may cause swelling and lead to a lump called a chalazion.

What Causes a Chalazion?

A chalazion occurs when the gland in the eyelid is clogged. Exactly why the gland becomes clogged isn’t known, but some individuals appear to be more susceptible to developing a chalazion than others.

A chalazion may be associated with dry eye syndrome, which is often caused by meibomian gland dysfunction.

People exhibiting certain risk factors are more likely to develop a chalazion. This includes people who have:

  • Blepharitis, an inflammation of the eyelids
  • Conjunctivitis, also known as pink eye
  • Thicker oil or meibum than normal consistency
  • Ocular rosacea, a skin condition adjacent to the eyes
  • Seborrhea, or dandruff, of the eyelashes
  • Styes or a history of styes

What Are the Symptoms of a Chalazion?

Common symptoms of a chalazion include:

  • A bump on the eyelid that sometimes becomes swollen and red
  • An entirely swollen eyelid, although very rare
  • Vision issues (such as blurred vision) if the chalazion becomes large enough to press on the eyeball

While a chalazion is not an infection, it may become infected. In the rare event that this occurs, it may become red, more severely swollen, and painful.

Chalazia are often mistaken for styes since they have a similar appearance.

What’s the Difference Between a Chalazion and a Stye?

The two look similar and at times it is difficult to differentiate a chalazion from a stye.

Styes develop along the edge of your eyelid and can at times be seen at the base of an eyelash. In contrast, chalazia usually occur closer to the middle of the eyelid. A stye is more likely to be painful and tends to have a yellowish spot at the center that may burst after a few days.

Basically, the most noticeable difference between a chalazion and a stye is that a chalazion tends to be painless while a stye is usually painful and may cause the eye to feel sore, itchy or scratchy.

How to Treat a Chalazion

Most chalazia require minimal medical treatment and some may even clear up on their own in a few weeks to a month. When a chalazion first appears, you can try doing the following for 1-2 days:

  • Apply a warm compress to the eyelid for 5 to 10 minutes, 6 to 8 times a day. The warm compress helps soften the hardened oil that blocks the ducts, allowing drainage and healing.
  • Gently massage the external eyelids for several minutes each day to help promote drainage.

If the chalazion does not drain and heal within a few days, contact us. Don’t attempt to squeeze or pop the chalazion, as it may inadvertently cause more damage. Never poke it with a needle.

To learn more about chalazion treatment and the other eye care services we offer, call Family Eye Care to schedule an appointment.

Family Eye Care serves patients from Old Bridge, East Brunswick, Woodbridge, and Edison, New Jersey and surrounding communities.

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Moshe Roth

Q: Can a chalazion spread from one person to another?

  • A: Since a chalazion is not an infection, it does not spread from one person to another or even to the other eye of the affected person.

Q: Can a chalazion affect my eyesight?

  • A: A chalazion can affect vision if the lump is large enough to distort the front of the eye.

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Call Us 855-884-3937

Can People With Dry Eye Syndrome Wear Eye Makeup?

Eye Makeup 640×350If your eyes feel dry and irritated after wearing eyeliner—you aren’t alone. Many patients report symptoms of dry eye syndrome after rocking a smoky eye look, especially for extended periods of time.

The good news is those makeup lovers who have dry eye syndrome can continue to put their best face forward with the guidance of their dry eye optometrist.

What is Dry Eye Syndrome?

Dry eye syndrome (DES) is a chronic lack of ocular hydration that can be caused by several factors, including genetics, environmental irritants, allergies, certain medical conditions, specific medications and hormonal fluctuations.

Symptoms of DES may include:

  • Burning eyes
  • Itchy eyes
  • Red or irritated eyes
  • Dry eyes
  • Watery eyes
  • Mucus around the eyes
  • Discomfort while wearing contact lenses
  • Light sensitivity
  • Blurred vision
  • Eyes that ache or feel heavy

DES treatment depends on the underlying cause of the problem. Your dry eye optometrist will thoroughly evaluate your eyes to find and treat the source of your symptoms.

Can Eyeliner and Other Eye Makeup Cause Dry Eyes?

Our eyes are lined with tiny glands, known as meibomian glands, at the edge of both the upper and lower eyelids that lubricate the front of the eye. They secrete nourishing oils into our tears to help prevent the tears from evaporation too quickly. If something blocks or irritates these glands, that can lead to meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD), a leading cause of dry eye symptoms.

A recent study published in The Journal of Cornea and External Disease stated that the regular use of eyeliner can cause the tear film to become unstable as the eyeliner can clog these small meibomian glands.

An important measurement, known as tear film breakup time (BUT), was much lower in those who wore eyeliner, meaning that their tears evaporated more quickly. The same group also had reduced meibomian gland function and more symptoms of MGD.

The good news is that you can still wear eyeliner and other eye makeup products, despite having dry eyes. Here’s how:

Tips for Safely Wearing Eyeliner With Dry Eyes

  1. Only use eye makeup products that are intended for use around the eye area.
  2. Keep your makeup and applicators clean. Sharpen your eyeliner pencil and clean your brushes before each use to avoid contamination.
  3. Replace your eye makeup as often as recommended by the manufacturer.
  4. Never share your makeup with friends or family members.
  5. Avoid liners or shadows with glitter, as the particles can easily disrupt your tear film.
  6. Try to stick to cream-based products for the least amount of irritation.
  7. Apply eye makeup to the outside of your eyelashes. Lining the inner rim of your eyelids can clog or irritate the meibomian glands.
  8. Be diligent about eye hygiene. Always thoroughly wash your face and eyes before bed with eye-safe cleaning products.
  9. Visit your dry eye optometrist!

We can help. We treat patients who have Dry Eye

At Family Eye Care, we know that our patients want to look and feel their best. That’s why we tailor your dry eye treatment to suit your lifestyle and needs.

If you or a loved one suffers from symptoms of DES to any degree, we can help. Our optometric team will determine the underlying cause of your dry eye symptoms and offer the relief you seek.

To schedule a dry eye consultation, contact Family Eye Care today!

Family Eye Care serves patients from Old Bridge, East Brunswick, Woodbridge and Edison, New Jersey and surrounding communities.

 

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Moshe Roth

Q: Are there any vitamins I can take to prevent or relieve dry eye disease?

  • A: Yes, certain foods help the eyes stay properly hydrated. Specific vitamins, fatty acids and trace elements are good not only for our overall health but also for our tear film. These include Omega 3 fatty acids, Vitamins A, B, C, E, as well as Lutein and Zeaxanthin.

Q: Is dry eye syndrome dangerous for eye health?

  • A: When chronic dry eye isn’t treated, several eye conditions can occur: pink eye (conjunctivitis), keratitis (corneal inflammation) and corneal ulcers. DES can also make it difficult or impossible to wear contact lenses, cause difficulty with reading and trigger headaches.

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Call Us 855-884-3937

Why is My Dry Eye More Severe in the Mornings?

sleepy mornings 640

Waking up in the morning can be hard enough, but waking up with stinging, burning eyes is even worse! If your eyes feel itchy and scratchy, this miserable morning sensation may be caused by Dry Eye Syndrome. Your tear glands may be clogged or producing insufficient tears and oils to retain moisture.

But why do certain people experience more acute dry eye symptoms in the mornings? Here are some reasons:

What Causes Red, Itchy or Painful Eyes Upon Waking?

Nocturnal Lagophthalmos

Nocturnal lagophthalmos is the inability to close one’s eyelids completely during sleep. You may not even realize this is happening. Since the surface of your eye is exposed at night, it becomes dry. Left untreated, this condition can damage your cornea.

Blepharitis

Blepharitis is an inflammatory condition of the eyes caused by bacterial overgrowth. These bacteria are active at night, causing dry eye-related symptoms of redness, soreness and irritation upon waking. The eye is a perfect medium for bacteria to grow at night: it is warm, moist, and dark.

Environment

A gritty sensation in your eyes can also be caused by the environment. For example, sleeping directly in front of or under an air vent, heating units, or ceiling fans can dry out your eyes. In addition, sensitivity to allergens like dust that accumulate in the bedroom can cause your eyes to become dry and irritated.

Medications

Some types of over-the-counter and prescription medication can dehydrate the eyes. These include:

  • Antihistamines and decongestants
  • Antipsychotic medications
  • Antidepressants
  • Medications for High Blood Pressure
  • Hormones
  • Drugs for gastrointestinal problems
  • Pain relievers
  • Skin medications
  • Chemotherapy medications
  • Oral Contraceptives

In the majority of cases, medication-related dry eye symptoms will resolve once you discontinue the meds. However, it may take several weeks or months for symptoms to completely disappear. But some medications that need to be taken can’t be discontinued. In those cases we must address the symptoms that are produced by those medications.

Age

Many people develop dry eye symptoms with age, as tear production tends to decrease and becomes less efficient as we grow older. This becomes particularly true before, during, and after menopause.

How to Treat Morning Dry Eye

Depending on the cause, morning dry eye can be treated with sleeping masks, lubricating eye drops and ointment applied right before bed. To ensure that you sleep in a moisture-rich environment, consider using a humidifier. In severe cases of nocturnal lagophthalmos, eyelid surgery may be necessary. At times we need to prescribe oral medications to counteract the side effects of the medications you are taking. Punctal plugs, Amniotic tissue, and Blephex often give positive benefits when the simple solutions fail.

If you are tired of waking up to red, burning eyes, visit our office for long-lasting relief. Contact Family Eye Care to determine the cause of your morning dry eye and receive an effective treatment plan.

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Moshe Roth

Q: What causes dry eye?

  • A: Dry eye can occur if the glands in your eyelids don’t produce enough oil to keep your tears from evaporating, or if you don’t produce enough water for healthy tears. It can occur when the glands are capped and the lubricating oil can’t get out. This can cause those glands to die. No matter the cause, it’s important to have your condition diagnosed and treated to protect your vision and ensure good eye health.

Q: Can dry eye be cured?

  • A: Dry eye is a chronic condition that has many factors; environmental, computer use, side effects of certain medications, age, etc. We have many treatment methods to help you manage this condition for long-term relief. If you have dry eye syndrome, we invite you to contact us to discover the best treatment for your needs.

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Family Eye Care serves patients from Old Bridge, East Brunswick, Woodbridge and Edison, all throughout New Jersey.

 

Book An Appointment
Call Us 855-884-3937

Can Drinking Coffee Relieve Dry Eyes?

Can Drinking Coffee Relieve Dry Eyes 640Many of us enjoy a cup or two of coffee in the morning to keep our eyes awake and mind alert. But what else can caffeine do for our eyes?

If you suffer from dry eye syndrome (DES), characterized by dry, itchy and red eyes, you may have been advised by a friend or doctor to steer clear of caffeinated coffee due to its diuretic (water losing) effect. Caffeinated beverages increase the frequency of urination (going to the bathroom), which leads to water loss. Some research, however, suggests that a cup of caffeinated joe might actually promote tear production.

Below, we’ll explore scientific research that studies the relationship between caffeine consumption and tear film.

What is Dry Eye Syndrome?

  • Dry eye syndrome (DES) is an eye condition characterized by dry, stinging, red, itchy eyes. It can be caused by several factors: poor tear quality, insufficient tears, allergies, environmental irritants and excessive digital screen time. Left untreated, DES can lead to corneal damage and scarring and even permanent vision loss in severe cases.
    Certain foods and beverages have been shown to improve the symptoms of DES, like fish high in omega 3s, leafy greens, seeds, nuts, and…possibly coffee.

How Does Caffeine Consumption Impact Dry Eye Syndrome?

  • Caffeine contains a chemical called xanthine, which has been shown to stimulate tear production when applied topically to the eye. As yet, there is insufficient published research to confirm that ingesting xanthine provides the same tear-producing effect, though preliminary studies seem to suggest that it does.

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A study published in Optometry and Vision Science found that drinking caffeinated beverages significantly increased tear production after 45-90 minutes. Interestingly, age, gender and body mass had no bearing on the outcome.

Another study, published in Ophthalmology, found similar results. Researchers measured the participants’ tear film twice: once after consuming caffeine and once after drinking a placebo. Their tear film was thickest after consuming caffeine, especially in those with a specific genetic makeup.

Both of these studies showed promising results, but they were pilot studies. That means they didn’t include enough participants to accurately project the findings onto the general population.

If You Have Dry Eye Syndrome, We Can Help

Finding relief from dry eye syndrome relies on understanding the root cause of your symptoms. We have the knowledge and expertise to diagnose the problem and determine the best treatment for you, whether in the form of medicated or lubricating eye drops, in-clinic treatments, personalized eye hygiene products like eyelid cleansing wipes, nutritional supplements and more.

For long-lasting relief from dry eye syndrome, schedule your dry eye consultation with Family Eye Care today.

Family Eye Care serves patients from Old Bridge, East Brunswick, Woodbridge, and Edison, all throughout New Jersey.

References

Book An Appointment
Call Us 855-884-3937

Does Computer Use Can Cause Dry Eye & Eye Strain

Long Term Computer Use 640

Most of us use some kind of digital device — a phone, computer, tablet, TV. About 60% of the world spends at least 5 hours a day on some sort of device. For some people, that causes eye strain, irritation and dryness. The term to describe that is Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS). This has become even more common as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic, working from home, virtual schooling, and the like. The symptoms of CVS include:

  • Red, watery eyes
  • Burning or stinging eyes
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Blurred vision
  • The feeling of having something in your eyes

Computer Vision Syndrome symptoms are similar to those individuals who have dry eye syndrome. We tend to blink less when reading and working on devices. Blinking is critical to maintain the tear film on your eyes, to make sure that the cornea is well hydrated and protected from damage.

5 Tips to Prevent CVS

T- manage Computer Vision Syndrome consider the following suggestions and adjustments to your screen time.

  1. Take regular breaks. Follow the 20-20-20 rule to prevent staring at your screen for too long. Take a break from your computer or device for 20 seconds, every 20 minutes, and look at something at least 20 feet away. You can set your phone to remind you or download an app.
  2. Adjust your angle. Your screen should be 20-28 inches from your eyes and that the center of the screen should be 4-5 inches lower than eye level.
  3. Use a cool-air humidifier. A humidifier adds moisture to the air and prevents your eyes from drying out.
  4. Reduce glare. Your eyes work harder to read when there is glare reflecting off your screen. Position the screen in a way that prevents glare from windows and lighting. You can also add a glare filter for eye comfort.
  5. Get vision computer glasses. These are eyeglasses prescribed for computer distance, they allow your eyes to focus on the computer screen with less effort. Blue-light filters and Anti-Glare filters may also reduce exposure to potentially harmful blue light emitted by digital devices.

Taking regular breaks from your screen enables you to give your eyes and body a much-needed rest. To learn more about Computer Vision Syndrome and to receive treatment to alleviate dry eye symptoms and eye strain, contact Family Eye Care. You can reach us at 1-732-679-2020.

 

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Moshe Roth and Dr. Steffani Tiomno

 

Q: What’s the link between staring at a computer screen and dry eye?

  • A: When we spend time working at a computer screen, we tend to blink about 30% less. That is a problem because blinking is essential for lubricating the eyes and keeping the protective tear film that covers the eye intact. If you find your eyes becoming irritated or uncomfortable at work, try to blink more, especially while using the computer and reading.

Q: Can blue light glasses help avoid computer vision syndrome and dry eye?

  • A: Spending long periods of time on a computer or device can negatively affect your eyes, potentially leading to Computer Vision Syndrome and dry eye. Symptoms include blurred or double vision, headaches, eye strain, eye fatigue, sleep disruptions, and dry eyes. Computer glasses offer blue light protection by reducing the dangerous effects of blue light and the risks of computer vision syndrome.

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Family Eye Care serves patients from Old Bridge, East Brunswick, Woodbridge, and Edison, all throughout New Jersey.

Book An Appointment
Call Us 855-884-3937

What’s the Link Between Dry Eye and Menopause?

Dry Eye and Menopause 640Dry Eye Syndrome (DES) affects 2 out of every 3 women who pre-menopause or post menopause. If you had LASIK, its even higher than that.

During menopause, the body produces less estrogen, progesterone, and androgen. That causes a number of uncomfortable symptoms such as sweating, insomnia, and hot flashes.

Among these physical symptoms is dry eyes, characterized by dry, itchy and burning eyes.

If you’re experiencing dry eyes, contact Family Eye Care today for effective and lasting dry eye treatment.

Biological Changes That Affect Your Eyes

During menopause, the androgen hormone decreases, affecting the meibomian and lacrimal glands in the eyelids. The meibomian glands are in the lids and they produce the tears that keep the eye moist. The lids margins, the edges of the lids, is where this comes out. They produce the essential oils for the tears, so less oil causes more tear evaporation and drier eyes. We suggest that you not put eye liner on the lid margin because that pugs up these glands. Rather, put the eyeliner on the outside of your lashes.

When the Meibomian glands (these oil-producing glands) are affected, the eyelids can become inflamed, reducing tear quality and production, resulting in dry eye syndrome. Sometimes it feels like there is grit or sand in the eye.

Some researchers believe that dry eye is connected to changes in estrogen levels. This explains why many women experience dry eye symptoms during certain times of a woman’s monthly cycle, or while taking birth control pills.

Symptoms of dry eye syndrome

  • Red eyes
  • Burning in the eyes
  • Itchy eyes
  • Blurred vision
  • Gritty feeling in the eyes
  • The feeling something is caught in your eye. Excessive tearing

How Is Hormone-Related Dry Eye Treated?

Reduced hormone levels during and after menopause can cause meibomian gland dysfunction.

We treat this to preserve these glands and help them work better. There are nutritional treatments and mechanical treatments to reduce dry eye symptoms.

Dry eye treatments can include:

  • Tear substitutes, sometimes referred to as Artificial Tears
  • Lubricating eye drops
  • Eyelid hygiene
  • Oral antibiotics
  • Corticosteroid eye drops
  • Medications that reduce eyelid inflammation
  • Punctal plugs – to reduce tear flow away from the eyes
  • Blephex

The lid margins never really get cleaned. Think about it; when you wash your face you close your eyes, so that part of the body never gets cleaned. You brush your teeth and you probably go to a dentist periodically to have them professionally cleared. Blephey is a 15 minute treatment to your upper and lower lids to get them cleaned.

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Moshe Roth

Q: Are there home remedies to treat dry eye syndrome?

  • A: Yes. Here are a few things you can do at home to reduce dry eye symptoms.We tend to blink less when we are on computers and when we use digital devices. Although this is becoming more and more difficult, try to limit your screen time. Blinking less because we spend so much time on computer, harms the tear film. Remember to take frequent breaks and to blink.
  • Protect your eyes by using polarized lenses that wrap around your face That can block dry air and wind.
    Avoid triggers. Irritants like pollen and smoke can make your symptoms more severe.
    Try a humidifier. Keeping the air around you moist may help.
    Eat right. A diet rich in vitamin A and omega-3 fatty acids can encourage healthy tear production.
    Warm Compress. A warm compress will improve oil flow through your eyelid glands and clean your eyelids.

Q:Can dry eye syndrome damage your eyes?

  • A: Yes. Without sufficient tears, your eyes are not protected from the outside world, leading to an increased risk of eye infections. Severe dry eye syndrome can lead to abrasions or inflammation on the cornea, the front surface of the eye. This can cause pain, a corneal ulcer, and long-lasting vision problems.Menopause causes many changes throughout your body. If you’re experiencing dry eye symptoms due to hormonal changes, contact Family Eye Care to find out what dry eye treatments are available to give your eyes relief.

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Family Eye Care serves patients from Old Bridge, East Brunswick, Woodbridge, and Edison, all throughout New Jersey.

Book An Appointment
Call Us 855-884-3937

3 Reasons Women Are More Likely Than Men To Develop Dry Eye

3 Reasons Women Are More Likely Than Men To Develop Dry Eye 640

Did you know that women are more likely than men to experience symptoms of dry eye syndrome (DES)? In fact, women represent about 6 out of 10 diagnosed cases of DES worldwide. This is due to several factors, 3 of which we explain below.

DES is a chronic lack of ocular moisture to lubricate the eyes and causes uncomfortable symptoms like red, burning, itchy, watery eyes. Left untreated, DES can damage the cornea. It is not only the AMOUNT of tears, but the QUALITY and thickness of the tears that keep the eyes moist. It can also be precipitated by allergies, environmental factors, hormones and even certain medications. If you or anyone in your family suffers from DES, Dr. Roth and Dr. Tiomno at Family Eye Care, can help solve your dry eye symptoms

3 Reasons Why Women Are Prone to Dry Eye Syndrome

  1. Cosmetic Use

Makeup, skincare items, and hair styling products can all drastically effect your eyes. Women who wear makeup—especially eye makeup like mascara and eyeliner—are more likely to develop dry eye symptoms due to the ingredients within the cosmetics that can be irritating to the eye and cause cell loss. Makeup and other cosmetics may include chemicals that come in contact with the eye and then damage the eye’s tear film.

Eyeliner and mascara may also block the tiny oil-secreting glands on the margins of the eyelids. Oil is an essential component of tears, as it reduces eye-eyelid friction and lessens tear evaporation. This is why it is especially important NOT to put eyeliner on the lid margin because that blocks the oil glands from releasing the tears that lubricate the eyes. Rather, put the eyeline on the skin outside the lid margin. The lid margin is the edge of the lid that points up on the lower lid and points down on the upper lid.

It is also a good idea to make sure to thoroughly remove your eye makeup before going to sleep.

  1. Hormonal Changes

From puberty to pregnancy and menopause, women’s hormones are constantly changing. All those surges and dips in estrogen can affect your eyes, especially when it comes to dry eye syndrome. Some women even experience dry eyes at certain times of the month, when estrogen levels rise.

Women also produce androgens, also known as “male hormones,” which affect the quality of the tear film. In fact, both men and women who have low androgens may suffer from DES.

Women over the age of 50 who take hormone replacement therapy (HRT) are at a heightened risk of developing dry eye symptoms. About 4 out of 10 post-menopausal women in North America use HRT to manage symptoms of menopause. Women increase their chances of developing DES by 70% when using estrogen alone for HRT, and by 29% when estrogen and progesterone are used together, compared to women who don’t use HRT.

  1. Certain Medications

Women are more likely than men to take both prescription and over-the-counter medications. They are therefore also more prone to experience the negative effects of those medications. The common medications that often cause or exacerbate symptoms of DES include:

  • Antihistamines
  • Corticosteroids
  • Antidepressants
  • Antipsychotics
  • Acne medications
  • Sleeping pills
  • Birth control pills
  • Blood pressure medications

DES can be uncomfortable at the very least, and debilitating at its worst. The good news is that you can get the relief you seek! At Family Eye Care, we provide long-lasting relief to patients suffering from dry eye syndrome by targeting the root of the problem.

If you or a loved one is suffering from dry eyes, call Family Eye Care today.

Family Eye Care provides dry eye relief to patients from Old Bridge, East Brunswick, Woodbridge, Edison, and throughout New Jersey.

 

Frequently Asked Questions with Our Dry Eye Doctor in Old Bridge

Q: Can I treat my dry eye symptoms at home?

  • A: While there are over-the-counter options available at your local drugstore, you should seek treatment from a dry eye optometrist for the most effective and long-lasting results. Generic dry eye remedies may not target the underlying source of your specific problem.

Q: Can women with dry eye syndrome still wear eye makeup?

  • A: Women with moderate-to-severe DES may find conventional makeup irritating. Try choosing makeup that is hypoallergenic, cream-based (instead of powder), and has a low water content. Thorough makeup removal is crucial for everyone— all the more so for those suffering from DES. So make sure you remove every bit of eyeliner, eyeshadow, and mascara before bed.

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Book An Appointment
Call Us 855-884-3937

Are Face Masks Causing Dry Eye Symptoms?

woman wearing a mask 640Face masks and social distancing have become the first line of defense in COVID-19 prevention.

While these protective measures are essential to combating the virus’ spread, eye doctors are seeing an increase in dry eye cases among people who wear masks. If you are seeking relief, contact us.

What is Mask-Associated Dry Eye (MADE)?

Mask-associated dry eye (MADE) was first described by an ophthalmologist in May 2020 based on the higher rate of dry eye he was seeing in his practice among patients who wore masks. Patients with existing dry eye reported worsening symptoms when wearing a mask.

When a face mask doesn’t fit securely, it can push air from the nose and mouth upward, onto the eyes, causing the tear film — the liquid layer that coats the eyes’ surface — to evaporate more quickly. This leads to MADE.

Dry eye leaves the eyes feeling sore, gritty, dry and irritated. Left untreated, dry eye can cause damage to the cornea.

There are many causes of dry eye, including eye and health conditions, age, gender and certain medications. Insufficient blinking when looking at a digital device or book, poor indoor air quality and pollution can all play a role. Situations that increase how quickly the tear film evaporates can quickly and significantly dry the eye’s surface, leading to more pronounced symptoms.

What Causes Dry Eye When Wearing a Mask?

Wearing a face mask significantly reduces the spread of air when breathing out from the mouth and nose. Instead of moving out, the air moves upwards towards the eyes’ surface. This forces a stream of air over the surface of the eye, causing the tears to evaporate more quickly.

This is the same reason that eyeglasses fog up when wearing a mask.

When masks are worn for long periods of time, this repeated evaporation may lead to dry spots on the eyes’ surface.

 

How to Prevent or Alleviate MADE?

Here are some simple measures to help reduce dry eye while wearing a mask:

  1. Ensure your mask fits well, and consider taping the top edge to prevent air from rising from your mouth toward your eyes.
  2. Limit your time in air-conditioned or heated environments when possible. Also, take regular breaks from digital devices.
  3. Consult your eye doctor, who will examine your eyes and prescribe the best treatment.

Having to wear a face mask to prevent COVID-19’s spread may cause dry eye, but relief is available. Contact Family Eye Care if you are experiencing dry eye symptoms. We will determine the underlying cause of your dry eye and offer you the best solution so you can get back to having comfortable eyes and vision.

 

Family Eye Care serves patients from Old Bridge, East Brunswick, Woodbridge and Edison, throughout New Jersey.

 

Book An Appointment
Call Us 855-884-3937

How to Get Rid of Eyelash Mites

How to Get Rid of Eyelash Mites 640What if we told you that there are tiny critters living on your face? Would you believe it?

The truth is that just about every person on earth has Demodex mites living in their facial pores.

But before you run to the bathroom sink and start scrubbing your cheeks, read on to learn what these microscopic mites are, and how they can affect your eyes.

What are Demodex Mites?

Demodex mites are tiny 8-legged arachnids that make their home in the pores and hair follicles of your face. Fortunately, they’re too small to see with the naked eye, measuring only 0.4 mm long.

There are 2 types of Demodex mites: Demodex folliculorum and Demodex brevis. Both types can be found all over the face, but Demodex folliculorum mites tend to concentrate around the eyelash area.

Demodex mites live inside hair follicles, where they feed on dead skin cells and oily sebum that is secreted onto the hair shaft. That’s why they’re found in higher numbers around greasier areas of the body, like the eyes and nose.

The mites come out of the hair follicle at night to mate and then return in the morning. For this reason, symptoms of a Demodex infestation may be worse in the morning.

Demodex mites can be transferred from one host to another through facial skin or hair contact. They can also be introduced to a new host through shared makeup and cosmetics.

Having a small amount of Demodex mites seems to be harmless, but an overgrowth of mites — called “demodicosis” — can cause a host of symptoms affecting the eyes and other areas of the face. A Demodex infestation can also exacerbate pre-existing skin conditions like rosacea and acne.

How Can Demodex Mites Affect Your Eyes?

Too many Demodex mites can cause uncomfortable symptoms that may include:

  • Itchy or burning eyes, especially in the morning
  • Swollen eyelids
  • Crusty eyes
  • Red, irritated eyes
  • Watery eyes
  • Blurred or decreased vision
  • Falling eyelashes
  • Infected eyes

If you experience a yellowish discharge on your eyelashes mainly in the mornings, this could be a sign of a Demodex mite infestation.

Severe cases of demodicosis can lead to blepharitis — an inflammation of the eyelids. Blepharitis often leads to an inflammation of the cornea called keratitis, a serious condition that can lead to blindness if left untreated.

Risk Factors For Demodicosis

You’re more likely to have a Demodex mite outbreak if you:

  • Have oily skin
  • Wear makeup
  • Sleep overnight without properly removing makeup
  • Have poor personal hygiene

Some pre-existing conditions that increase the possibility of a Demodex outbreak include:

  • A weakened immune system
  • Alopecia
  • Inflammatory acne
  • Dermatitis

Your Dry Eye Optometrist Can Help

The good news is that Dr. Moshe Roth and Dr. Steffani Tiomno can provide safe and effective treatment for your demodicosis.

Because Demodex mites are so small, they’re impossible to diagnose on your own. Only a comprehensive eye exam can determine the source of your symptoms.

Treatment for a Demodex mite infestation typically involves a medicated ointment that can prevent the mites from reproducing. In severe cases, oral medication may be prescribed. Your eye doctor may also manually clean the margins of your eyelids or recommend over-the-counter products that can help soothe irritation and promote healing.

If you suspect you have demodicosis or experience any of the symptoms listed above, contact Family Eye Care to schedule an eye exam.

Family Eye Care serves patients from Old Bridge, East Brunswick, Woodbridge, Edison, and throughout New Jersey.

 

Book An Appointment
Call Us 855-884-3937

Warm Compresses Can Relieve Dry Eye

protect your eyes 640x350What Is Dry Eye?

Our tears are made up of water and oil layers. Dry eye (also known as dry eye syndrome) occurs when the eyelids’ meibomian glands do not secrete enough natural oil into the tears. This causes the eyes to become dry, itchy, red, and painful. Environmental conditions like dry or windy air, and staring at a screen or book for a long time, can also dry out your eyes.

Here’s What To Do About It

One of the best ways to make dry, irritated eyes feel refreshed is with a warm compress. A warm compress will open the oil glands and soften oil blockages, allowing oil to flow into the tears. Wet a clean washcloth or place it in a microwave for 20 seconds. Touch it to your wrist to make sure it’s not too hot, then place the compress on your closed eyelids for a few minutes while tilting your head back or reclining. When the compress cools, reheat and repeat.

Compresses slow the evaporation of tears. Their warm moisture provides relief by stabilizing the eyes’ tear film and improving the meibomian glands’ production of oil. With your eyes now hydrated and lubricated, they can also expel bacteria more efficiently.

Certain prescription eye drops also address dry eye, and steroids can provide relief. Others provide additional lubrication. Please consult with Dr. Moshe Roth and Dr. Steffani Tiomno, who can recommend or prescribe the best drops for your eyes.

Other home remedies include:

  • An air filter to eliminate irritants
  • A humidifier to increase moisture in the air and decrease evaporation of your tears
  • Drinking water to stay hydrated
  • Wearing sunglasses to deflect ultraviolet rays and wind that dry the eyes

Please Keep the Following in Mind:

  • Don’t make the compresses or washcloths too hot.
  • Use a different compress for each eye to prevent spreading an infection between the eyes.
  • We recommend lightly cleaning with a swab or cloth, then wetting and wiping your eyelids several times each day. Doing so can prevent bacteria from entering your eyes.

If you are experiencing dry eye, please bring it to our attention. Untreated, dry eye can sometimes cause corneal abrasions or ulcers, inflammation, and even vision impairment.

 

 

At Family Eye Care, Dr. Moshe Roth and Dr. Steffani Tiomno will treat patients with dry eye from Old Bridge, East Brunswick, Woodbridge, Edison, and throughout New Jersey.

References:

 

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Call Us 855-884-3937