I have prescribed one of the following treatments for you and told you which one pertains to you. If I forgot to tell you which one or you forgot, just call the office.
A. MEIBOMITIS (CLOGGED AND INFECTED OIL GLANDS IN UPPER AND LOWER LID EDGES)
Step I: Heat to melt the thick oil. With your eyes closed, heat the lids for 10 minutes. Options include; a tap water hot washcloth, commercial obtained heated gel pad for eyes, warm dried beans in a sock in the microwave, etc
Step 2: Pressing out the thick, nasty, infected oil. Looking in a mirror, place a Q-tip at the inner edge of your right upper lid. Push straight in firmly and hold for 5 seconds (“1 alligator, 2 alligator…”). Move over slightly and press again. Continue pressing in 6 areas until you have pressed on the entire lid. Now do the left upper lid and then both lower lids. When done, your vision should be filmy. THIS IS GOOD!
Step 3: Remove the gooey oil and bacteria. Use the Ocusoft Lid Scrub, either foam or pads, and by wiping side to side and up and down, thoroughly cleanse the lids, especially the base of the eyelashes. Remove any soapy residue with a warm washcloth. DONE!
Do this treatment every day for two weeks then twice weekly going forward. If you don’t keep up the Lid treatment, all the bad symptoms will return….sorry.
B. BLEPHARITIS (Infection of lid edge and eyelashes)
Step 1. Using Ocusoft Lid Scrub, either foam or pads, vigorously remove all stuck on debris along the lid edge and base of eyelashes. The bacteria are living in that “gunk”. You may even need to carefully use your finger nails to pull the hardened gunk off the base of the lashes.
Step 2. Apply the prescription ointment or gel I prescribed by wiping it on the base of the eyelashes, both upper and lower. Do this every night for 2 weeks. Do before bed since the ointment or gel will film your vision.
Do the lid scrub twice weekly going forward and only use the prescription medicine if you flare up and get worse.
C. MACULAR DEGENERATION (MD) TREATMENT/PREVENTION (Lose of sharp, clear central vision due to retinal damage)
I’m going to list all the currently known risk factors that cause or lead to Macular Degeneration. Some you can modify, some you are stuck with. Those in bold you can modify.
1. Age – MD is more prevalent with age. Can’t change that.
2. Ultraviolet Radiation (UV) – There is growing evidence that UV exposure especially your lifetime exposure to UV is harmful. We live in a HIGH UV ENVIRONMENT !! At 7,000 feet, we are receiving about 28% more UV than at sea level. And that is assuming we have a normally thick, protective ozone layer which we all know is disappearing due to air pollution. Wearing large, 100% UVA,UVB absorbing sunglasses are critical whenever you are outdoors. Also, get your children and grandchildren used to wearing sunglasses now.
3. Smoking – Your risk of MD goes way up if you smoke or used to smoke. Here is yet another reason to quit!
4. Light colored eyes/race – Light blue and green eyes are that color due to a lack of protective pigment. If you have light eyes and skin such as those with a Scandinavian or Northern Europe ancestry, it is IMPERATIVE you wear good UV absorbing sunglasses and lots of sunscreen.
5. Nutrition – I could write 20 pages on this topic but suffice to say that a poor diet containing lots of sugars of all types (soda, cereals, pastries, candy, desserts, prepared foods, etc), fried foods (fries, onion rings, fish, chicken, etc.) saturated fats (beef, hamburgers, pork, cheese, any milk but non-fat, etc) and few vegetables and fruit is a disaster. Basically these types of “food” create chemical molecules called “free radicals” that slowly destroy your body including your eyes.
6. Obesity – Being medically obese brings the increased risk of mild MD progressing to a more severe type.
7. Genetics – Some people carry genes that, if the conditions are right, give them a greater chance of MD -Can’t change that.
8. –Cardiovascular disease & elevated cholesterol – If you have diseases that affect your heart and blood vessels or have elevated cholesterol, your risk is increased.
A WORD ABOUT SUPPLEMENTS FOR MD – The government has funded two major nutritional studies with the abbreviations of AREDS I and AREDS II. They found there is value in taking certain vitamins and minerals to slow down or lessen the severity of MD in those with mild to moderate forms. There are literally dozens of “eye vitamins” on the market. Some are well formulated with quality ingredients and have therapeutic value, others are missing the mark. Each 12 – 18 months, I evaluate all the available products in order to come up with a sensible recommendation for my patients and family. Currently, I recommend Maxivision and take it myself. It can be purchased as an eye supplement only or combined with a good multiple vitamin and mineral supplement and is called “Maxivision Forte”. It is available in tablet (4/day) or powder forms. It is not available in any stores I’m aware of but you can purchase it through my office or on-line. My price is the same as on-line but there is no shipping charge. I strongly recommend any patient who has mild to moderate dry MD to take a quality AREDS formula such as Maxivision Forte.
-Jim Almaraz, OD