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Dry Eye

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 secrete nourishing oils into our tears to help prevent premature tear evaporation. Any blockages or irritation in these glands 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 found 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, was much lower in the eyeliner-wearing group in the study, indicating 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!

Our Dry Eye Optometrist Can Help

At Belill Eye Care, PLC, 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, comtact Belill Eye Care, PLC today!

Belill Eye Care, PLC serves patients from Clio, Flint, Flushing and Mt. Morris, Michigan and surrounding communities.

 

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Nicholas Belill

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.

 

Request A Dry Eye Appointment Today
You Have Dry Eye? Call 810-775-5100

Blinking Exercises

Blinking Exercises 640×350Did you know that the average person spends around 7 hours per day looking at a screen? Unfortunately, the glare and reflections from computer, smartphone, and tablet screens can reduce blink rates by 60-80%. When we concentrate intensely we blink less, and as our eyes are constantly trying to focus on the screen pixels, this leads to eye strain.. If your eyes feel dry, irritated or are red, you may have dry eye syndrome.

Don’t worry! There’s a simple set of eye exercises you can perform each day to help relieve your dry eye symptoms.

Blinking Exercises

Blinking exercises are a great way to keep your eyes lubricated and refreshed. They’re also simple to do and can be seamlessly integrated into your daily routine. These exercises should be done a few times an hour. Try alternating between the 2 exercises below.

1. Close-Pause-Pause-Open-Relax

  1. Without squeezing, close your eyes gently.
  2. Pause and keep your eyes closed for 2 seconds.
  3. Gently open your eyes and relax them.
  4. Repeat 5 times

2. Close-Pause-Pause-Squeeze-Open-Relax

  1. Without squeezing, close your eyes gently.
  2. Pause and keep your eyes closed for 2 seconds.
  3. While keeping your eyes closed, squeeze your eyelids together slowly and gently.
  4. Gently open your eyes and relax them.
  5. Repeat 5 times

The Importance of Fully Blinking

It’s important to fully blink in order to completely re-lubricate your eyes. If you’re only partially blinking it can make your dry eye symptoms worse.

To find out if you are fully blinking, when your eyes feel dry or appear red, have a look in the mirror. If you see a horizontal stripe of red blood vessels across your eyes, then you have only been partially blinking.

Another possible option is to gently place your index fingers at the corner of your eyes, near your temples, and blink normally. If you feel your muscles and skin move beneath your fingers, then you are not fully blinking. When you fully blink you shouldn’t feel movement under your fingertips.

If you’ve incorporated the blinking exercises into your routine, but you’re still experiencing eye irritation, you may have dry eye syndrome. We can diagnose the underlying cause of your symptoms, and offer a variety of dry eye treatments to alleviate them. Schedule an eye exam with Belill Eye Care, PLC and receive effective, long-lasting relief.

Belill Eye Care, PLC serves patients from , Flint, Flushing, and Mt. Morris, throughout Michigan.

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Nicholas Belill

Q: What is dry eye syndrome?

  • A: Dry eye syndrome is caused either by insufficient tears or poor tear quality. Every time you blink, you leave a thin film of tears over the surface of your eyes. This helps keep your vision clear and your eyes healthy. If your tears don’t keep the surface of your eye moist enough, you will experience dry eye symptoms. Some medical conditions, certain medications, dysfunctional glands, allergies and environmental irritants can all cause dry eye symptoms.

Q: What are dry eye symptoms?

  • A: Symptoms of dry eye include irritation; a gritty, scratchy or burning sensation; blurred vision; excessive tearing; and/or a feeling of something stuck in the eye.

Request A Dry Eye Appointment Today
You Have Dry Eye? Call 810-775-5100

What Happens If You Don’t Treat Dry Eye Syndrome?

girl sitting in the pool 640×350Dry eye syndrome is a condition where your eyes either produce low-quality tears or don’t produce enough tears to keep your eyes hydrated. Sometimes the meibomian glands inside your eyelid, which produce the oily layer of your tears, don’t function properly or are blocked, causing your tears to dry out. Environmental factors, some medical conditions and certain medications can also cause dry eye syndrome.

Tears are essential for maintaining eye health and comfort. They moisten your eyes and remove debris. In severe cases, untreated dry eye syndrome can actually damage your cornea and cause vision loss.

The amount of dryness varies in severity from person to person. If you have a minor case of dry eye, you may be able to manage it with over-the-counter eye drops. However, if the problem persists or appears to be getting worse, it’s time to visit your [eye-doctor], who will assess your eyes, find the underlying problem and begin treatment.

Here are some of the complications that can occur when chronic dry eye syndrome isn’t treated:

Conjunctivitis

Conjunctivitis is the infection or inflammation of the conjunctiva — the clear layer of cells that covers the white part of your eyeball and the inner surface of your eyelids. Symptoms include grittiness, redness and sensitivity to light.

Keratitis

Keratitis is the inflammation of the cornea. It can be caused by different types of infections, abnormalities of the eyelids, injury, and dry eye. If the deeper layers of the cornea are involved it can lead to scarring or a corneal ulcer, if left untreated.

Corneal Ulcer

A corneal ulcer is an open sore that develops on the cornea, the clear, protective outer layer of your eyes.

While corneal ulcers typically occur after an injury, they can also be caused by severe dry eye.

Here’s why:

Debris like dirt and sand particles can enter your eyes and scratch the surface of the cornea. When your tear glands don’t produce enough tears to wash away the particles, bacteria can infect the scratch and cause an ulcer.

Luckily, corneal ulcers are treatable with antibiotic eye drops. But unless they are treated, these ulcers can spread and scar the eyeball, causing partial or complete blindness.

Inability to wear contact lenses

Unless your eyes produce enough good-quality tears, your contact lenses can become overly dry, leading to a gritty sensation, irritation and redness.

Without sufficient moisture, your contacts may stick to your eyeball, making it difficult to remove them. Chronic dry eye syndrome may prevent you from wearing standard contact lenses.

However, there are certain specialized contact lenses that can help lubricate your eyes.

Difficulty keeping your eyes open

Depending on the severity of dry eye, it may be difficult to keep your eyes open. This can occur if dry eye syndrome leads to extreme light sensitivity or the sensation that something is in your eye.

While artificial tears may provide enough moisture to partially open your eyes, you may still feel the need to squint, especially when exposed to a computer screen or sunlight.

Difficulty reading or driving

While blurry vision can be a sign that you need a stronger prescription for your glasses or contacts, it is also a symptom of chronic dry eye syndrome.

If left untreated, blurriness may gradually worsen, or you may develop double vision.

If so, you may have trouble driving and reading. Sometimes, with blurry vision, it’s difficult or even impossible to work.

Headaches

While more research is needed, there may be a connection between headaches and dry eye. A population-based case study of more than 72,000 patients published by JAMA Ophthalmology (2019) found that people who suffer from migraine headaches are more likely to have dry eyes compared to the general population.

It’s not clear why. Being female and of an advanced age “play an important role in determining the strength of this association,” the researchers said.

Depression

A 2015 study, published in the journal Cornea evaluated the connection between dry eye disease and depressive symptoms in more than 6,000 women. Researchers found that women diagnosed with dry eye had a higher likelihood of developing depressive moods, anxiety, and psychological stress.

While the connection isn’t fully understood, researchers noted that some medications for treating depression have a drying effect on the eyes, and that dry eye syndrome may limit a person’s participation in activities, to the point where they may become anxious, withdrawn and depressed.

If left untreated, chronic dry eye can lead to complications. The first step in determining the cause of your symptoms and how to treat them is a visit with your eye doctor.

Schedule an appointment with Belill Eye Care, PLC to help find the right treatment options for you, to increase the quality of your tears and improve the quality of your life.

Belill Eye Care, PLC serves patients from Clio, Flint, Flushing, and Mt. Morris, all throughout Michigan.

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Nicholas Belill

Q: How do I know if I have dry eye syndrome?

  • A: If you experience itchiness, light sensitivity, tearing and tired eyes it could be a sign that you have dry eye syndrome. If you experience these symptoms regularly, get your eyes checked out by an eye doctor, who can officially diagnose your symptoms and offer treatment.

Q: What causes dry eye?

  • A: Various things can cause dry, itchy eyes. Some of the most common causes include blocked glands, sensitivity to the environment (wind, air pollution), infrequent blinking, certain medications, contact lenses and demodex mites.


Request A Dry Eye Appointment Today
You Have Dry Eye? Call 810-775-5100