We have an ongoing focus at Eye-Revive, to stay educated about current treatments that will empower our patients to address and manage their eye health concerns.Just a few years ago, we, as Optometrists experienced an alarming increase of patients presenting to our offices with complaints of dry eye. This included many new patients, but also returning patients with reoccurring dry eye symptoms. “Why is the hot face cloth not working, or my bottle of the OTC eye drops”, they asked? Whether it be a change in our environment or our daily routines, diagnostic testing and dry eye treatments have evolved immensely from those basic “quick fixes”.
Dry Eye Disease(DED) is continually being researched as it becomes more prevalent. Medical peers can report that DED can stem from other health issues, and can go undiagnosed. So through diligence and discipline, patients adhering to their eye health exams, can now be properly diagnosed by means of “metrics or measurements” and be prescribed a safe, daily protocol to treat their dry eyes for life.
Fortunately, Eye-Revive has developed a strong relationship with some of the most reputable and innovative companies, who specialize in dry eye treatments, diagnostics, and products that are safe for long durations of use.
Our website is dedicated to supplying treatments and products to help relieve all chronic symptoms associated with Ocular Surface Disease (OSD). Our products are specifically chosen because they are safe, and do not contain toxic ingredients or preservatives. They are effective to use over a lifetime.
Ocular Surface Disease refers to four main conditions that will cause damage and vision problems if left untreated for long periods of time, they are:
- Dry Eye Syndrome (DES) or Meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD)
- Blepharitis and Demodex
- Ocular allergies and Ocular Rosacea
- Recurrent corneal erosions and Lagophthalmos (incomplete closure of lids when sleeping)
Along with our colleagues, we strongly believe that a daily routine is the only way to protect vision and maintain healthy eyes. Similar to the routine of flossing and brushing our teeth for good dental health —our eyes need the same attention to protected and replenish good eye health. The best way to understand this is to explain what the ocular surface should be like in a normal eye.
Why Do We Blink? Why Do We Produce Tears?
The cornea is the only part of the anatomy that has no blood supply—thank goodness, it would be difficult to see through red! The body has invented a way of feeding oxygen to the cornea because of this lack of blood supply. Small glands in the lids called Meibomian glands produce a complex mixture of oils that build up in a layer(or puddle) on the bottom lid margin. Approximately 22 times a minute, the upper lid comes down to meet the lower lid (blinking). The upper lid then spreads a smooth layer of oily tear over the front surface of the eye. This oily tear has some very critical functions:
Any disruption of this normal production of tears and blinking mechanism will significantly impact eye health and vision. Unfortunately Dry Eye Disease (DED) is very common and often times, it’s under diagnosed.
Why Does Dry Eye Disease Become So Common?
Think of three main factors:
- Post op Lasik
- Wearing contact lenses
- Use of CPAP
- Dramatic increase in use of eletronics
- Dry climates
- Increased air pollution
- Office buildings, airplanes and car travel with recirculated dry air
- Diabetes, Rheumatoid arthritis, Sjorgens syndrome, Lupus, Acne rosacea and Menopause
- Normal aging (we produce 60% less oil at age 65 than we do at 18)
- Medications for conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure, depression, birth control pills, Parkinson's, chemotherapy, allergies and hormone replacement
Ocular surface disease (OSD) can start at age 10 and is found in 30% of people over the age of 50 and up to 75% of people over 65 will experience significant OSD. The symptoms can range from very mild to moderate to extreme discomfort. These symptoms include:
- Eye irritation - burning, dryness, foreign body sensation, grittiness, itchiness, stinging
- Blurry or fluctuation of vision
- Loss of vision
- Chronic pain
- Sensitivity to light
- Excessive tearing
The dramatic increase in the use of computers, cell phones and electronics in the last 10 years has been responsible for many more new cases of OSD. Research has shown that we only blink an average of 7 blinks per minute on a computer compared with 22 blinks normally. The muscles of the eyelids are like other muscles of the body in that they will learn this behaviour, and now our blinking is reduced even when we are away from computer screens. The electronic age has created a new group of people developing OSD, our youth.
The best way to address these problems is to be proactive and develop a daily routine that will help prevent progression and development of OSD. Three important steps in maintaining eye health and vision is start a daily routine of: