The Dry Eye Zone

Rebecca's Blog


Newsblurb: Allergan infomercial

Many Women Unaware Of Differences In Common Over-The-Counter Eye Drops

Gee, personally, I woulda said many women are aware of similarities in common over-the-counter eye drops (e.g. they don't work?).

Selecting eye drops can be an overwhelming experience with many different types and brands of over-the-counter eye drops on the market.

Got that part right.

The Red Hot Mamas® and Allergan, Inc., a global leader in eye care, recently conducted a nationwide survey of 371 women ages 45 to 65 who regularly experience at least one symptom of dry eye, and found that two-thirds of women experiencing dry eye symptoms were not aware of any difference between two common types of over-the-counter eye drops that are designed with different purposes-vasoconstrictors and artificial tears.

Got that part right too.

And your competitors over at Pfizer are probably 98% to blame for this by marketing BOTH artificial tears AND vasoconstrictors under the same label (the big V). I have ALWAYS felt that that was an unconscionable move... selling more by creating massive confusion. I haven't looked at the Visine line in awhile but when I last updated the site, there were 9 Visine products, 6 of which contained benzalkonium chloride and therefore are unsuitable for frequent use.

While approximately 20 million people in the United States have experienced dry eye symptoms, a medical condition called chronic dry eye often affects women because of hormonal changes due to aging and menopause. Other causes of dry eye include inflammation, certain medications and various systemic conditions.

You forgot to mention LASIK. If I'm not mistaken, considerably more people in this country have undergone LASIK than suffer from Sjogrens Syndrome, yet somehow, this is always left off the lists in any context in which it might, er, offend someone.

"We encourage women to focus on feeling good about menopause by taking personal control and gathering information during this natural transition," said Karen Giblin, president of Red Hot Mamas, the nation's largest menopause management education organization. "To that end, we are concentrating our efforts on raising awareness of dry eye, an often overlooked consequence of menopause."

I'm thrilled to hear it, and I sure hope your OTHER efforts are not as demeaning as that (shudder) Dry Eye Book Club thing.

"Artificial tears can provide temporary relief of dry eye symptoms, but they do not treat the underlying causes of chronic dry eye. Anyone experiencing the symptoms of dry eye or using artificial tears several times a day or on a regular basis should visit an eye doctor immediately, instead of continuing to try different over-the-counter artificial tears on their own," said Frank A. Bucci Jr., MD, founder and medical director of Bucci Cataract and Laser Vision Institute in Wilkes-Barre, PA. "An eye doctor can diagnose chronic dry eye and may recommend adding a prescription therapy."

Golly gee, that wouldn't be a gentle reference to Restasis, now, would it? (wink)