Article 48: Changes in Dry Eye Treatments – Your Sapulpa Eye Doctor

Welcome to another Eyecare Insights from Dr. Kyle Tate your Sapulpa eye doctor.

Today we are making an article for you about updates to new dry eye treatments. As a review, Dry Eyes is a slang term for Ocular Surface Disease which encounters anything and everything that has to do with the surface of the eye. The surface of the eye is important. It needs to be a clear, smooth, polished surface to focus light. Two thirds of your eye’s focus comes from the front of the eye. This is why you must have a clear cornea.

Ocular surface disease inflammation causes an issue on the front of the eye. It can cause red eyes, itchy eyes, burning eyes, stinging eyes, and blurry vision. If you’ve experienced any these things come to see your Sapulpa eye doctor so that we can evaluate and treat this problem to improve your life. Insight Eyecare has locations in both Jenks and Glenpool to help meet your needs. Our doctors have ocular disease experience to be able to treat anything from an infant eye exam, removing metal from the eye, managing laser eye surgeries, cataracts, glaucoma, and even grandma’s macular degeneration. If you have eye problems your Sapulpa eye doctor is here for you.

Now that we’ve reviewed a little bit about dry eyes I want to talk to you about some updates regarding treatments for the oil glands. Dry eyes comes from any mixture of problems between the fluid glands, the mucous glands, and the oil glands. The oil glands are in the eyelids and they are vertical glands that produce a thin clear oil that appears as vegetable oil. The job is to stabilize the tear film and prevent evaporation. Even with a basic explanation you can see that a dry eye does not simply need more fluid on it which is what many people think.

When these Meibomian glands do not function as they’re supposed to, the oil secretions will thicken up into a yellow opaque oil, then to a white cream, and then finally to a white cheese like substance. At this point in time those oil glands are usually not flowing at all. Which is incredibly common. In this stage you can easily have one of these glands start to swell and get infected which is called a Hordeolum, or in slang terms an infectious stye. If they get to this stage they may require antibiotics to prevent a dangerous infection called Orbital Cellulitis.

Historically to treat these glands the only thing we had to use were warm compresses. Studies have shown us the most effective warm compress is actually using uncooked rice in a clean sock and heating in the microwave. 10 minutes of heat used twice a day followed by 30 seconds of gentle massage to the closed eyelids can help thin the oils and help let them start flowing again. How does the heat help? Think about what happens when you heat Crisco; it goes from a thick buttery substance into liquid.

Over the last 10 years a lot of research has been done about different types of dietary oils that you can take to help these glands function. We know inflammation is the key to causing dry eyes and many other problems in our bodies. We have wonderful anti-inflammatory eyedrops that helps all the glands and the surface the eye to produce better. However, a surface eyedrop cannot penetrate deep into these oil glands. We have relied on different types of dietary oils used in pill form to start reducing inflammation on these glands. At Insight Eyecare we’ve effectively used a brand called HydroEye for years now. Modern research has shown us that we need to be getting higher amounts of Omega-3’s.

Omega-3’s can reduce inflammation in many areas of our body. The reason that this is becoming such an endemic in America can be linked to how our meats are produced. Studies have proven that grass fed beef has 10 times more omega-3’s than beef that is grain fed. Most commercially available beef is grain fed due to the ease of raising the animals that way. Grass fed beef requires a lot more acres of land per cow. Why on earth is your Sapulpa eye doctor teaching you about cows right now? Simple, we want to improve your life.

At Insight Eyecare our team truly cares about people and we want to help them whether that’s improving their eyes, making their day better, or helping them live a happier healthier life. If we can give you a treatment that not only makes sure your eyes feel less dry but also helps you be healthier and not suffer from inflammation than everybody wins. So now that you know we’re not getting enough omega-3’s in our diets naturally we can take a step closer to learning what to do about it.

In your body the relationship between Omega-3’s and Omega-6’s is very important. The information that we discussed comes from having too low of an amount of Omega-3 versus Omega-6. Omega-6 is very easy to come by these days. In the American diet these include breads, processed food, grains, and etc. Omega-3’s, which help reduce inflammation, are found in high levels in leafy green vegetables, and un-fried fish. Notice those last few words. Many of the things that are fried are fried in oils. These oils are rich in omega-6 but in that form it can cause more information. So summary, you must have 6 to 10 times more Omega-3’s in your diet than Omega-6’s.

The latest research explaining Omega-3’s and Omega-6’s has shown that we need to increase the amount we get. Specifically, we need over 1000 mg of combined EPA and DHA types of Omega-3’s. When purchasing these products it’s important to know that you do not want to get the cheapest Omega-3’s to help treat your dry eyes or inflammation. Many times patients come to us and we tell them exactly what to get. Then they go buy the cheapest version of an Omega-3 they can find. While that may seem like a cheaper way to go you would likely have to take 3 to 4 times the amount to have the same effect as a higher-quality product. If you read our last podcast about cheap eyeglasses you will learn “you get what you pay for” and you pay for cheap things more after you purchase them. This is why I asked patients to only get a specific type and we even have printouts with it written down. We also sell those supplements to make it easy for them.

I have dry eyes. My meibomian glands do not function correctly. This can cause blurry vision, red eyes, and burning eyes. I have taken Omega supplements with a multivitamin since 2014. I do not have to rely on eyedrops because my body has correctly used the resources I have taken in and started functioning better on its own. This is what we want for you. We want to give you treatments that are not just tears to put fluid on the eyes but actually treatments to make your body reduce inflammation and function better. As your Sapulpa eye doctor, we do not want you to suffer from dry eyes when there are so many amazing treatments available. If you or someone you know suffers from dry eyes please come see us at Insight Eyecare. We are your specialists for gritty eyes, itchy eyes, red eyes, burning eyes, and we promised to stay on the forefront of treatments to improve your life. God bless you guys have a great day!

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