Tag Archives: eye health

Is Your Eye Makeup Dangerous?

Did you know all those mascaras you’ve been accumulating in your makeup bag can be hazardous to your health? Various dangerous bacteria thrive in those little tubes if they are kept and used for too long. There are other reported health risks associated with eye make up as well, such as controversial ingredients that can easily irritate the eye. Let’s take a closer look:

What’s In Your Mascara?

Mascara dates back to the Ancient Egyptians who used a mixture containing charcoal and crocodile excrement. Eww! While there may not be any poo in our modernized mascaras, many do contain a harsh cocktail of unpronounceable ingredients such as propylene glycol, which has been known to cause skin irritations in those with sensitive skin. Many mascaras also contain aluminum powder, a potentially hazardous neurotoxin that remains on the radars of different skin safety groups such as the EWG.

How Can Old Mascara Hurt Your Health?

Old mascara tubes are the front-running culprits when it comes to make up danger. Most people don’t even notice the expiry dates on their mascaras, often keeping and using them months (or even years!) after they should have been disposed of. Big deal, right? It actually is a big deal. These little tubes provide the perfect moist little microcosm for harmful bacteria to flourish, especially since every time you use that little wand, more and more bacteria make their way back into the tube. Also, being that the eye is one of the most delicate areas of the body, its thin tissue can easily tear, allowing these infectious bacteria easy passage.

What Kind of Harmful Bacteria Live In Mascara Tubes?

Old mascara tubes can easily accumulate harmful little crawlies like pseudomonas aeruginosa, which can causes skin irritation, inflammation or potentially even sepsis! An even worse offender, methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (more commonly known as MRSA), has also been found in the tiny tubes. MRSA is known for rapidly progressing, often untreatable (and potentially deadly) infections, Eeek!

How Long Can You Safely Keep Eye Makeup?

It is recommended you throw out and replace your mascara and liquid eyeliner approximately every three months. Pencil eyeliner and cream eye shadow are usually safe for about a year. Powder eye shadow has a longer safety shelf life, with the potential to safely last up to 2 years if you keep your eyeshadow applicators clean and haven’t shared it or used it while you’ve had an eye infection. However, these rules are not hard and fast – if in doubt, throw it out!

Keep an eye out for some make-up safety tips next! Thanks for visiting DocChat!

QUIZ: What’s Your Eye Health IQ?

How much do you know about ocular health? Let’s find out. Take a look at the statements below – are they true or false? Try to give the quiz a shot before looking at the answers below. You can write “T or F” for each number on a piece of paper and check your answers at the end. No scrolling down!

  1. Getting a regular physical at the doctor’s office can usually catch any eye problems.
  2. As long as you have carrots when you think about it, you’re doing about all you can diet-wise to help your vision.
  3. Most people don’t go to the optometrist regularly because you need a referral.
  4. Most cases of infant blindness are caused by hereditary eye diseases.
  5. A signature type of retinopathy is a key feature of cardiovascular disease.
  6. Smoking is linked to several different types of eye disease.
  7. If you can see perfectly but just get irritated eyes from time to time, there is no need to visit an optometrist.
  8. Eyes can get sunburned so it is important to wear sunglasses that repel UVA and UVB rays.




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  1. FALSE. A full eye exam where your pupils are dilated by an eye care professional is the only way to ensure you have healthy eyes, or catch any potential eye problems. Many eye problems are not visible or obvious to an onlooker, so visiting your optometrist or ophthalmologist annually is the only way to detect a problem before it causes vision loss.
  2. FALSE. Contrary to popular belief, there are many other foods that also promote eye health aside from carrots. Some of those include: leafy greens like spinach, fatty fish for their omega-3’s, citrus and berries for their plentiful vitamin C. Also, try to include eggs in your diet regularly as they offer many health benefits and medical studies have linked them to slowing or helping prevent macular degeneration.
  3. FALSE. You do not need a referral to see an eye doctor, even though many people don’t realize this. Anyone can go to an optometrist, and there are online databases to help you find a professional near you.
  4. TRUE. Over 60% of infant blindness cases are due to genetic predispositions to eye disease. Many common adult eye diseases that cause blindness such as glaucoma and macular degeneration also have genetic links. It is important to know your family history of eye problems and let your eye care professional know of any problems your family has with their eyes.
  5. FALSE. A special type of retinopathy often goes hand in hand with diabetes, not cardiovascular disease. It is called diabetic retinopathy. Diabetic retinopathy is one of the leading causes of blindness in the United States and strikes up to 80% of diabetics who have had the disease for longer than a couple decades. Diabetic retinopathy can be prevented with regular screenings.
  6. TRUE. According to the National Eye Institute, smoking is very detrimental to your vision (as it is to the rest of your body). It can contribute to macular degeneration, cataracts or even nerve damage to they eyes. So, if you’re a smoker who is concerned about your vision health, quit smoking today!
  7. FALSE. You could have allergies or an eye condition called dry eye, which causes very irritated eyes due to blockages in your meibomian glands that prevent lubrication from properly forming to coat the eyes. It can get worse with time, and can even be linked to bigger underlying problems such as autoimmune disease. An optometrist can give you eye drops to help treat either condition.
  8. TRUE. Your eyes most certainly can get sunburned, causing them to be red, dry, itchy and painful. It is important to avoid this unpleasant sun hazard with good quality sunglasses.

So how did you do? Hopefully 8/8! Hopefully you see how important it is not to neglect your peepers! Thanks for visiting DocChat!

Tips To Maintain Good Ocular Health

Sure, carrots are great for the old peepers because of the Vitamin A and beta carotene, but there are many other things you should be doing to keep your eyes in check as well. Some of which include:

  1. Know your genes. There are many eye conditions that have genetic components, so it is important to know if any run in your family and let your optometrist know so he or she can screen you accordingly and catch anything before it develops. Some genetic eye conditions include juvenile retinoschisis, rod and cone dystrophy, usher syndrome and open-angle glaucoma.
  2. Maintain a healthy diet. Aside from a bunny’s favourite food, some other great choices for your eyes are: green leafy veggies like spinach and kale and berries which all contain lutein, one of the best substances for eye health. Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids are also great choices as they help reduce inflammation of the blood vessels and other structures of the eyes. These may include nuts and fatty fish.
  3. Watch out for the sun! The sun’s powerful ultraviolet rays can effect the eyes as much as any other part of the body. Not only can your eyes become sunburned, long term UV exposure can also play a part in macular degeneration and cataracts.
  4. Wear glasses or goggles when appropriate. If you have prescribed glasses for certain activities like driving or starting at computer screens, get used to wearing them every time you do these activities. It may help reduce strain headaches, blurry vision and eye fatigue. Similarly, be sure to wear protective eyewear if you are doing hobbies that could damage your eyes, such as construction.
  5. Avoid cigarettes and lose extra weight. These are two important lifestyle changes you can make to help reduce your risk of not only eye disease, but many chronic inflammatory illnesses.
  6. Coffee (in moderation) is actually good for your eyes. Two cups of joe a day may help stave off dry eyes, which can be a very aggravating condition. Don’t overdo it though, as too much caffeine can actually contribute to eye irritation as well as many other bodily discomforts!
  7. Go for regular eye exams – perhaps the single most important thing you can do is to get regular screenings and eye check ups. Your optometrist will take all the measures to ensure your eyes are healthy, and catch any issues that are beginning to arise. This is of utmost importance since many eye diseases are silent (meaning they don’t show any symptoms until they have progressed to an irreversible point). So go see your eye doc today if you haven’t been there in a while!

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