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Beware of Similar Looking Bottles

Take few minutes right now and separate your artificial tear/eyedrop bottles from ALL other similar containers. There has been a recent increase in patients reaching for their eyedrops, or what they thought was eyedrops, but instead placing a drop of nail cleaner, ear wax remover, super glue or whiteout into their eye. Some of these solutions can be easily rinsed out, but some cannot and are very dangerous, such as super glue.

If you do inadvertently put the wrong liquid into your eyes, immediately rinse the eye with lots of plain water or saline solution. This is one of those times where the old eye cups would be useful. When you are done rinsing, use a thicker artificial tear solution, such as a gel, to re-lubricate your eyes. If you have persistent pain, redness or blurred vision, by all means call the office. There is a doctor on call 24/7 who can advise you if immediate attention is needed.

If something more toxic, such as drain cleaner, battery acid, ammonia based cleaning products, dry wall or concrete dust, gets into your eyes, a trip to the emergency room or eye clinic nearest to you is recommended. A full 20 minutes of continuous, thorough rinsing and pH testing are needed to completely remove these products. BUT before you go to the emergency room, do an immediate rinse wherever you are. I do not care if you rinse with a garden hose… one patient used a can of 7-Up (that is all she had to help her son after the car battery exploded in his face). The faster your eyes are washed out and the toxic solution diluted the better. Even a 5 minute ride to the hospital can be more than enough time for potentially blinding damage to occur if these solutions are present full strength. It is common to be concerned if the word acid is in a description of the fluid, but solutions with the opposite pH called bases, such as ammonia, can cause much more rapid and severe damage to your eyes.

By Richard Hector, MD

Tear Osmolarity Testing for Dry Eyes

Accredited Dry Eye Center logo

Accredited Dry Eye Center Logo

Dry Eyes

Did you know that the human eye has over 2 million working parts?  Imagine all those 2 million parts working beautifully, and then suddenly there is a poor tear film covering the cornea, preventing a clear image from being formed for your brain’s vision center to use when you read, drive and text, causing dry eyes.

Achieving the right volume and mixture of lubricating fluids to be available for delivery with each blink is no easy task. To better analyze your tear film, we now can do a simple and quick in office test (called a tear osmolarity test) that not only helps us diagnose Dry Eye Disease, but also allows us to monitor the progress patients are making in their treatment programs. In the past, we were not able to objectively quantify the quality of a patient’s tears. Now we can do that with the Tearlab equipment.

When the tear osmolarity (salt content) test first came out, the results were not very consistent.  This was at first felt to be a deficiency in the machine.  Now we understand that this variability is the hallmark of Dry Eye Disease. Those of us who suffer from dry eyes are very aware of this variability.  We have our good days, and sometimes only a few good hours in the day. Many days are filled coping with the familiar battle of fluctuating vision and discomfort.

What cannot vary, though, is your dry eye treatment program. Maintain your fluid intake; do not over indulge in caffeinated beverages; apply your warm compresses, follow your lid hygiene regimen; and take your Omega 3 and Vitamin D. Do everything you can to give those 2 million parts in your eyes a clear image to work with!

Your Dry Eye Coach, Richard Hector

Power Blink! Help for your Dry Eyes.


<img alt="man with eyes wide open for start of the power blink"

This is the starting point of a POWER BLINK.

For those of you who follow my blog, you know that I put a lot of weight into good quality blinks. Want your eyes to feel better? Start by practicing the POWER BLINK on a regular basis! When you are reading, driving, and especially when you are on the computer, you actually blink less. It is estimated that during those activities, your blink rate is reduced by 70%. Yes, I said 70%. And remember that not blinking is to your eyes like not breathing is to your lungs.

What is a POWER BLINK?

A strong, full blink wipes away the old tear film and distributes a nice fresh tear lake full of nutrients and relief.

More Information about the Power of Blinking and Dry Eye Disease

We know from previous studies that people with dry eyes do not blink well, but a recent study revealed two interesting facts about blinking. Many do not close their eyes completely nor do they blink as often as those without dry eyes. The length of their blinks were also measured, and not surprisingly, when they do blink, they hold their eyes closed 2.5 times longer. So, is it the chicken or the egg? Do you develop dry eyes because you do not blink as often, or do you not blink as often because you have dry eyes? Do dry eye patients avoid blinking because when they do blink, they have to hold their eyes closed longer which is disconcerting when you are reading, on the computer, driving or even trying to carry on a conversation with someone?

So start practicing your POWER BLINK right now. Give your eyes a full, strong, eyes-completely-closed BLINK.

Richard Hector, MD

Fellowship Trained Corneal & Dry Eye Specialist

 

 

 

Women & Dry Eyes


<img alt="young woman rubbing her dry eyes"

Do your eyes burn, itch and feel scratchy? It’s probably Dry Eyes Disease.

Dry Eye Disease is among the most common eye conditions in the United States.

Did you know that over 60% of menopausal women are affected by Dry Eyes Disease (DED) and don’t even realize it? Yes, they know that their eyes burn and are dry, red and irritated. And they know that sometimes their eyes even water excessively. This is your eyes way of trying to soothe they eye irritation. But they don’t know that women are two to three times more likely to be affected by DED than men.

In healthy eyes, a thin layer of tears coats the outside surface of the eye, therefore, keeping it moist. It also washes away bits of debris that might fall into the eyes. Dry Eye Disease occurs when the eye doesn’t make enough tears, or it makes tears that evaporate too quickly. This leaves the eyes dry and vulnerable. Dry Eye Disease may sound like more of a nuisance than a serious problem, but if left untreated, DED can inhibit your everyday lifestyle, and in severe cases, can even result in permanent loss of sight.

If you think you might have DED, call 1-866-865-2020 for dry eye treatment in Bradenton. We can help you find relief!