The Dry Eye Zone

Rebecca's Blog

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General press coverage of dry eye: What they're reporting

I get a daily google news alert on dry eye.

Usually the vast majority of news reports that it flags are descriptions of some kind of event or ceremony where the journalist says "There was not a dry eye in the house." Gotta love the originality. Every now and then there are actually truly relevant links - pharmaceutical company updates for the most part. And then there's the slow news day health reports relating to dry eye. I've seen the quality and frequency of such reports ebb and flow quite a bit in the years since launching DEZ, from the ubiquitous Restasis infomercials to the computer-vision-syndrome warnings. Wish I had a nickel for every one of them that's been titled "Not a dry eye in the house".

But as a general trend, this year I'm seeing a far greater proportion of these alerts actually having substantive business and treatment content, reflecting the much increased attention to the need for better dry eye treatments. A very hopeful sign.

Meantime, in 'general press', infomercials, Dry Eye 101 newspaper writeups, dog owner tips, and local service- or product pushing press releases, here's a flavor of what's being reported about dry eye these days:

Smaller Screens Mean Bigger Eye Health Issues (Health News Digest)
“While these small and highly productive devices may make us more efficient work-wise, they are causing unprecedented levels of CVS symptoms in patients of all ages — we’ve seen a dramatic increase in the number of patients we see monthly for CVS,” said Dr. Harvey Moscot, a renowned Optometrist in New York City and a CVS specialist who is presently conducting a CVS study to evaluate the effectiveness of specialized lenses for the reduction of CVS symptoms.


Zapping Dry Eye (ABC)
Dry eye is a condition that affects tear production and/or drainage. Patients may complain of eye stinging, burning, irritation or discomfort. Vision may be blurred, causing difficulty viewing a computer monitor, watching television or seeing clearly while driving....
Christopher Coad, M.D., Ophthalmologist at Chelsea Eye & Cosmetic Surgery Associates in New York City, is using a technique for some dry eye patients called intense pulsed light therapy (IPL). IPL is sometimes used to reduce facial skin redness caused by growth of abnormal blood vessels in patients with rosacea. Doctors noticed that some rosacea patients reported easing of dry eye symptoms after getting IPL. That finding led physicians to try it for patients with dry eye.


DRY EYE SUFFERERS COULD BENEFIT FROM ORTHO K (igolenses.com)
Worn at night, ortho k lenses are taken out in the day, meaning that the eye is open to elements and less likely to become oxygen starved - and consequently dry.

Orthokeratology lenses also mean that a wearer can avoid having the annoyance of getting things stuck to lenses during the day or having them fall out at awkward moments.


Lack of tears in animals can lead to blindness (coloradoan.com)
Keratoconjunctivitis sicca, or KCS, is a condition that occurs in dogs and cats, and often called dry eye.

Animals with KCS can't make enough tears. While this might seem like a desirable situation if you routinely deal with tear-staining on the fur of your fluffy white dog, uncontrolled KCS can cause pain, corneal ulcers and even blindness.


Dry Eye in Dogs (The Nassau Guardian)
Numerous breeds of dogs are at risk for developing KCS including the West Highland White Terrier, English Bulldog, Pug, Shih Tzu, American Cocker Spaniel, Lhasa Apso and Pekingese.


Tips to winterize your eyes (napsnet.com)
Dr. Marguerite McDonald, a cornea/refractive/anterior segment specialist with the Ophthalmic Consultants of Long Island and a clinical professor of ophthalmology at NYU School of Medicine in New York, says that during winter months, men and women can guard against dry eye symptoms at home, at work and when traveling by following these simple tips:

Tip No. 1: Keep moisture in and smoke out of your home....
Tip No. 2: Take blinking breaks at work....
Tip No. 3: Keep hydrated inside and out when traveling....
Tip No. 4: Relief over the counter and at your doctor's office....


Why are your eyes dry? (empowher.com)
Our eyes are naturally kept moist by a thin layer of tears which are necessary for good vision. These tears consist of three parts: an oily or lipid layer, a watery layer, and a mucus layer. The ratio between these parts is critical to maintaining the best consistency in our tears. Your eyes may feel dry if you are not producing enough tears, or if your tears are the wrong consistency and evaporate too quickly. A variety of other factors can contribute to the feeling that your eyes are dry....


New treatments for dry eye (examiner.com)
Higher concentration Cyclosporine A – If the dry eyes are not responding to Restasis, a stronger concentration of Cyclosporine A, such as 1% for example, can be formulated at special compounding pharmacies and used to treat dry eyes resistant to other treatments
Other steroids – dexamethasone eye drops can be formulated at special compounding pharmacies as well to treat dry eyes
Hormone eye drops – DHEA is an androgen that can be formulated into an eye drop and used to treat dry eyes, especially in peri- or pos-menopausal women
Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) – is commonly used as a treatment for skin rejuvenation. New evidence suggests that Intense Pulsed Light can also be used to treat improper functioning of the oil glands in the lids and improve the lipid layer of the tear film.


Fish Oil May Fight Dry Eye Syndrome (onlinenews.com)
Dry eye syndrome in women may be linked to their intake of dietary fat. But consuming foods rich in omega-3 -- such as tuna -- may reduce dry eye risk by 68 percent, according to a new U.S. study....
"We found that a high intake of omega 3 fatty acids, often referred to as a ’good’ fat, commonly found in fish and walnuts, is associated with a protective effect. Conversely, a higher ratio of omega 6, a fat found in many cooking and salad oils and animal meats, compared to omega 3 in the diet, may increase the risk of dry eye syndrome," Miljanovic said.


Say Goodbye to Gamer's Dry Eye (npr.org) Also see my previous post with a pic of the Wink Glasses.
The Japanese company that designed Sarah Palin's thin-rimmed specs has released a new set of glasses to fight "dry eye." The condition affects gamers, readers and others who stare at screens or pages for long stretches of time, causing a lower than average blinking rate.

Masunaga Optical Manufacturing Co.'s new Wink Glasses feature a tiny sensor that monitors the wearer's eye-blink activity. If the users' eyes go more than five seconds without blinking, tiny liquid crystals cause the lenses to become opaque, fogging vision. The wearer is forced to blink, after which the lenses immediately de-frost.

The high-tech glasses protect customers' eyes from fatigue and dehydration. But, they're not cheap, be ready to shell out $430.
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