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Managing Dry Eye Disease – Treatment Options (Update)

As 2017 nears it's end, I'm confident that help is on the way for the vast majority of dry eye sufferers

The last year has been an exciting one in terms of dry eye disease. The new medication Xiidra made its debut and DEWS2 officially updated the dry eye definition. If that’s not enough, Shire (the parent company of Xiidra) started a public health campaign called MyEyeLove, which increased the overall awareness of dry eye. This marked the beginning of celebrity endorsements in the eye care industry, which has definitely been a game changer. I say this because many new (and existing) patients have been asking me: “Do I have what Jennifer Aniston has?” Personally, I didn’t realize the impact would […]

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Decreased Vitamin D Intake Linked to Dry Eye

There’s always a group of dry eye patients who don’t get relief from traditional therapies

Numerous studies suggest that vitamin D plays a protective role in dealing with dry eye. It does this by acting as an anti-inflammatory agent for our tears. Since increasing vitamin D intake is positive for our overall health, I’m led to believe that more vitamin D plus eye drops (as opposed to eye drops alone), could be an effective solution for dry eye. When I see a patient with dry eye, I advise him/her to collaborate with their primary care doctor to assess for vitamin D deficiency. If the patient is below the recommended vitamin D levels, then supplementation may […]

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Increased Hydration Linked to Dry Eye Improvements

Because of our not-so-great beverage choices, most of us are dehydrated, and we don’t even know it

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For those out there struggling with dry eye, a rather recent study suggests that dry eye symptoms can be improved with increased hydration. Per this particular study, the subjects were divided into two groups, then instructed to hydrate their bodies either habitually or therapeutically. Over the course of the one week study, the group that hydrated therapeutically saw slight improvements in their Dry Eye Questionnaire (DEQ) test results. As a result, the study concluded that “subjects get multiple ocular benefits from increased hydration,” even though their dry eye symptoms didn’t improve much. From the wording of the article, it seems […]

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Possible Causes for the Recent Surge in Dry Eye Cases

Dry eye disease is quite common in older patients, but the number of young sufferers is clearly on the rise

According to the American Optometric Association, “Dry eye is a condition in which a person doesn’t have enough quality tears to lubricate and nourish the eye.” This one sentence sums up dry eye in a nutshell, but finding adequate treatments can be much more difficult. Symptoms of dry eye disease include: Burning or stinging of the eyes Redness of the eyes or eyelids Itching Light sensitivity Eye fatigue Contact lens irritation Here in the world of health and eye care, we’re currently experiencing a dry eye surge. The condition has always been quite common in older patients, but the number […]

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Introduction to Dry Eye – A Beginner’s Guide

It’s important to remember that every dry eye case is unique

Dry Eye Disease can burn you out in more ways than one. According to the Dry Eye Workshop, Dry Eye Disease (DED) is defined as “a multifactorial disease of the tears and ocular surface that results in symptoms of discomfort, visual disturbance, and tear film instability with potential damage to the ocular surface.” The two main types of dry eye are aqueous deficient and lipid deficient. Aqueous deficient is when the eyes aren’t making enough tears. Lipid deficient is when the tears evaporate too quickly. In my profession, I see several patients who suffer from either one, or a combination […]

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Examining the Role of Today’s Optometrist

When a given retina is examined, optometrists can gain an inside look at the overall health of the person

The role of an optometrist seems simple enough. Determine the best vision option for patients. Check for diseases such as cataracts, glaucoma, and macular degeneration. Assess for dry eye, allergies, and inflammation. So on and so forth. But does it stop there? In all actuality, the eyes are very complex organs which connect to the rest of the body. When a given retina is examined, today’s optometrists can gain an inside look at the overall health of the person to which the retina belongs. Early signs of diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and other diseases can be detected through […]

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Correct Contact Lens Care for Optimum Eye Health

A very large percentage of contact lens wearers do not properly follow contact lens care instructions

I’m not biased or anything, but I think it’s safe to say that contact lenses are a pretty amazing modern invention (maybe just a little biased). We can’t be absolutely sure when the very first contact lens was invented, but we do know major advancements have been taking place since the 1970’s (soft lenses, disposable lenses, material upgrades, etc.). In the last 30 years, a vast majority of the visually impaired shifted out of glasses and into contacts lenses. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) “Contact lenses are used by more than 30 million people in the United […]

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Making a Fashion Statement with a Pair of Sunglasses

A cool pair of sunglasses is a fashion statement, but their main purpose is to block out UV rays

As I explained in my last post, sunglasses are very important to your long-term eye health. A cool pair of sunglasses can serve as a fashion statement, but their main purpose is to block out UV rays (which can lead to eye problems). Most people forget to keep their sunglasses on them at all times, but they should be a permanent accessory, just like your wallet, keys, and cell phone. When it comes to choosing the right pair of sunglasses, we’re faced with many options. Some pairs protect better than others. Some pairs offer more style. And some are simply […]

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Smartphone Overuse & Eye Health Risks in Teenagers

Many young teens just don't understand the consequences of smartphone overuse

An interesting eye health story recently made its way onto NBC Nightly News. The segment entitled Kids’ Eyes Aged by Intense Use of Tablets & Phones tells of a Minnesota teenager who spends nearly 8-hours a day using a smartphone. As a result, this particular teen has been having trouble taking exams at school and has developed Dry Eye Disease (DED). In describing the effects of smartphone overuse, Dr. Ralph Chu states (in the video), “… you see this (DED) commonly in people who are in their 50’s & 60’s, but now with children who are using their smartphones a […]

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A Healthcare Moment with Malcolm Gladwell

Patient engagement is extremely important, especially in this time of nonstop information

You may not be able to tell, but I’ve been very busy over the last couple of weeks. I’ve been on-the-go nonstop in places such as Boston, Texas, and California. One highlight of my recent travels (and there were many) was a layover at the American Academy of Optometry medical conference in Anaheim. Our industry conference takes place every year (in different cities), and it’s something I absolutely look forward to. Attending academy provides a chance to gain new clinical insights and interact with the world of optometry. Moreover, it’s also a chance to catch up with some old friends […]