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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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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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Eye Healthy Foods – How Does Caffeine Affect the Eyes?

A recent study shows that people who consume caffeine produce more tears compared to those who don't

If you’re anything like me, your day doesn’t start until you get that morning “cup of joe.” It can come in the form of a latte, a shot of espresso (or two), warm or cold brew, even a cappuccino, a macchiato, or a flat white. The thought of coffee gets me out of bed in the morning, it’s just what I need to get going, and I look forward to it every day. You get it, right? A History Lesson: So for a brief history lesson (and this is my take on the whole thing)… The popularity of coffee in […]

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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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Dry Eye Updates from #OM2017 in Washington DC

Optimal dry eye treatments should quell inflammation, which has been a major target of both Restasis and Xiidra

This past weekend, Optometry’s Meeting (OM2017) took place in Washington DC where several political aspects of eye health took center stage. One such instance was when 2300 students marched up Capitol Hill in an effort to urge congress to support the DOC Access Act (HR 1606). Events like this don’t happen often in our field, but advocacy is definitely important. And sometimes students are the best advocates, which is a good thing for me because they can yell louder than I can. But they also have the type of energy that persuades more experienced individuals to do right by them, […]

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iOS 11 to Feature “Smart Invert” Option in Dark Mode

Apple plans to improve "dark mode" options when iOS 11 rolls out later this fall

So how much sleep did you get last night? Regardless of your answer, your performance TODAY will be drastically affected by how much time you spent between the sheets LAST NIGHT (literal, not figurative). If you get less than optimal sleep on a regular basis, most of your waking hours will be less productive than they should be. Loss of sleep can lead to decreased critical thinking skills and short-term memory problems. It may also cause you to eat more during the day, which could contribute to weight gain. Not to mention the excess caffeine you’ll need to compensate, which […]