Cheney Free Press -

By Scott Borgholthaus

Ways to prevent damage happening to eyes


March 29, 2018

In the last article, I discussed some of the symptoms and causes of Ocular Surface Disease, or dry eye as it is usually called. Now let’s study some of the ways you can prevent damage from happening to the eye surface.

As I mentioned before, blinking fully so the eyelids touch every 10-15 seconds help supply the eye surface with lubricating fluids. Recent studies with high speed cameras show that when you blink the eyelids not only touch, but also move past each other, which helps mix the oils from top and bottom with the water coming in from the outside.

Contact lenses need to be inserted on the eye before makeup is applied, to reduce the chance of it getting under the contacts and causing irritation. Crème makeups don’t flake as much as dry ones, also reducing the chance of irritation from free moving particles. Also, make sure makeup is completely removed daily to reduce the chance of it getting under a contact upon insertion the next day.

Drinking more fluids, especially water, helps the body rejuvenate nutrients and electrolytes for better cellular function. Eating more vegetables and leafy greens helps get more high quality proteins and nutrients into the system. Exercising to burn off excess fats and carbohydrates help so they aren’t stored and clog up ocular glands.

When you are using lubricants, don’t use eye drops that “reduce redness.” Redness is usually due to inflammation/dryness. These drops may help the eye feel better at first, but it actually can dry out the glands further and make the problem worse. Instead, use eye drops that are lubricants only when a prescription isn’t needed.

Also understand that lubricants don’t treat the disease, but just help the eyes feel better by giving it a short-term buffer to outside elements. If you need to use a lubricant more than 1-2 times a day, or for more than a day or two, then professional help should be considered.

Reducing tobacco, alcohol, caffeine and probably cannabis too, has proven to help dryness issues considerably. Even though Resveratrol in red wine has been shown to possibly help heart disease when only one glass is imbibed, you probably get better results drinking red grape juice without the dryness effects.

When prevention alone isn’t adequate to control signs and symptoms of this disease then professional help is needed.

Antibiotics and anti-allergy medications for infections and allergies may also need anti-inflammatory medication to relieve troubles from leftover toxins within the invading entity.

Hot compresses are helpful in opening up the oil gland pores, but they must be 107-plus degrees and stay in place on the eye lid for over 10 minutes. Most store or home remedy compresses stay warm enough for 1-2 minutes.

Fish/flax seed oil is helpful in dissolving thick oils in the eye glands by the way of the blood stream. To do so, there must be over a 2,000 milligram. EPA/DPA concentration to get the job done. Many fish oil capsules sold have only a small fraction of this EPA/DPA concentration. As such, it may cost less to get a more expensive brand that a less expensive one due to the number of capsules needs to achieve the proper concentration. If the fish oil gives a fishy aftertaste, it may also be less effective because it’s already breaking down.

Another item that is available to help with computer/cell phone screen glare and discomfort are lenses that are infused with particles that actually block blue-violet light. Since I wear this technology, I have also noticed it greatly reduces the glare from car halogen or blue light headlights.

If cataract or Lasik surgery is being contemplated, I would highly suggest that a dissolving collagen punctal plug be considered for better accuracy in the surgery calculations and healing comfort. Having punctal plugs in place before surgery help give the post-surgical dryer eye a reservoir of lubricating tears to draw, thus making the eye surface more smooth and comfortable.

Finally, in our office, we have developed a regimen to reduce cholesterol naturally to help dry eye and another to help speed up recovery by increasing blood flow. Feel free to call us or stop by our office for more information.

Since Ocular Surface Disease is a progressive problem, the sooner it is found and treated the better the chances of long term eye comfort and clarity.

Dr. Scott Borgholthaus is in private practice in Cheney with over 30 years in experience dealing with ocular disorders.


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