Jenks Eye Doctor : Great Service
Dr. Kyle Tate: Welcome to “Eye Care Insights” with Dr. Kyle Tate, your Jenks eye doctor. Today, we are in our series about dry eyes. If you’re having any symptoms of burning, stinging, gritty, or fluctuating vision, you should be looking for a Jenks eye doctor. Reach out to us, Insight Eye Care. We treat patients of all ages, from newborn babies to great-great-grandparents. We offer everything from basic eye exams, contact lens fits of all complexities, eye injuries. We treat pink eye, dry eye, and many others.
Insight Eye Care is located one mile south off of Creek Turnpike at Highway 75 and 177 near the Glenpool Walmart. Located within our clinic, is a large optical boutique with over 1,000 frames to meet all eyeglasses wants and needs. We partner with the finest labs to give you the best vision possible out of your glasses. Our team at Insight Eye Care wants to be your Jenks eye doctor for all your eye care and eyewear needs. This is our fourth part in our dry eye series. We’ve talked about the signs and symptoms, what is dry eye, common conditions that cause it. Now let’s talk about the meat. What are we going to do about it?
We’ve got these burning, stinging, gritty eyes. We have vision that changes when you blink, that gets ghost images, that gets a little doubling and the vision is blurry, just not as crisp as we want it to be. We’ve got these miserable symptoms that a patient experiences. Well, how do we fix it? In medicine, we like to do step-wise approach, so when we examine the eyes, depending on whether things are mild, moderate, or severe, it depends on our treatment that helps dictate what we do.
Well, for a mild patient, we wouldn’t use the most severe treatment available. That’s just overkill. We don’t need to do that. We’re going to start there. We’re going to start very basic. This would be someone who maybe has a symptom once or twice a week, someone who maybe just has a sign on the eyes but is not actually feeling anything with their eyes yet, and we’re trying to stop it. The first treatment, the first step that we’re going to do is get into the world of artificial tears.
Humans cannot produce anything as good as the actual tears in the eye. The consistency of the tears on the eye, we can’t replicate, plus, all the other things an individual body makes. Your body actually and your tears has immune components, things to help fight infection, things to promote healing, things to keep the surface of the eye healthy. Think of it as vitamins and minerals that are protecting the surface of the eye. What we try and do is we try and figure out what the deficiency in those tears are, whether it’s fluids, mucins, and oils.
The first generation was just getting saline-type fluids on the eye, some that were a little thicker, maybe a little bit mucusy on there. Those are going to be the ones that are cheapest at the store, the generics. Those are going to be the ones that really aren’t going to help as much. As we learn more, we learn that the mucin was a very important concept, especially with patients with LASIK, patients with inflammation on the eye. The glands that make that mucin tend to go away. Some of the brands that I tend to steer towards when we’re trying to get a mucin-based tear would be your Systane Ultra or your Refresh Optive. Those are both very gentle on the eyes.
An important thing to realize is that all these tears we’re talking about right now, they’re mainly going to come in a bottle, and a bottle-type tear has something in there called a preservative. What is a preservative? That’s a chemical put inside the bottle to keep infections out, so it’s there to protect you. Now the goal for the companies that make artificial tears is to get the preservative that is the gentlest on the eye. Ideally, what we want is one that’s strong in the bottle and weak when it touches the eye. Some of them like Thera Tears, like Refresh Optive, the target their preservative.
They designed it specifically that when it touches the eye, it’s neutralized to be just a soft, gentle tear where it doesn’t have any harsh chemicals. Once again, you’ll hear we’re not big fans of generics and things like Visine, Clear Eyes, Equate brands. They’re going to have a lot more harsher chemicals. Some of those chemicals will actually further irritate the eye, and so the more you use it, the more you feel like you need to use it, and it works out really well for their sales system.
The newest generation of artificial tears are called lipid based, meaning they’re oil based. Remember we talked about the oil glands as being a deficient way, a way that the tears don’t have enough oil to cause a dry eye. Well, starting in about 2013, we had companies really marketing these lipid-based tears. The studies have shown that they work significantly better, but there’s difference on how they work. That’s between the way the doctor wants it to work and how the patient wants it to work. These oil-based tears do not work with the initial soothing feeling like the mucous-based ones.
That’s important for a patient to know and we’ll say that. “Hey, when you put this on your eye, when you use this drop, it’s not going to be the soothing feeling for the first minute or two like some of the other ones are.” The most important thing about this lipid-based tear is that an hour, two hours down the line, it’s still going to be there doing its job, where the previous generations will have completely washed out of the eye. As your Jenks eye doctor, if you have ever experienced that where you’ve used a generic and had to use it more and more, that’s probably due to the preservative.
If you’ve ever been to us or a different clinic and was prescribed a tear and you didn’t like using it because you didn’t think it soothed the eye, well, that was maybe not the goal. Maybe the goal was to actually treat the problem, and so it’s really important to understand that. There’s a few other specialty type tears out there. There’s one called Retaine that has mineral oil to it that’s unique. There’s also one called Oasis Tears, which I’m actually a really big fan of.
Oasis Tears has a unique chemical that’s found in the body called hyaluronic acid. They’ve got patents on allowing that to be used. It’s a very, very lubricating substance, and so it works really well with a certain type of dry eye. Now let’s talk more about the preservative. Any type of tear that’s in a bottle, we said has that preservative. Well, after about four drops a day of preservative, even a good one will build up on the eyes and will irritate the surface of the eye, causing damage, which makes the symptoms of dry eye worse.
When I’m treating a patient once they get to about four times a day, I will move them over into a preservative-free drop, meaning it comes not ina bottle but in a little clear vial that’s got six to eight drops in there. Quick story, my mother came to see me as a patient. She’s got bad health history with her eyes, has had many surgeries, and she said her dry eye was getting worse. I said, “Well, okay. Come see me, Mom. Your Jenks eye doctor will get you fixed up.” She came in, and she was using Systane four to six times every day. I didn’t see signs of anything worse. I just saw some irritation on the eyes.
I said, “Okay, I want you to just put those caps on those bottles, go get the sensitive or the preservative-free kind. It comes in a little vial. Switch to that.” Within two days, she sends me a text message because of course moms just do that. They don’t need to call the clinic and let the doctor know, but sends me a text message that her eye has completely resolved. It’s the best she’s seen in months and that things were just hunky-dory after that in her own terms. Preservatives are often overlooked in treating dry eye.
The next step, so we’ve put a patient on an artificial tear. The next step is going to be into individualized therapies. We’re actually going to talk about that in the next podcast because there’s a lot more that we can do there on these individualized therapies. They target the different types, and there’s a few different systems that we want to go through on what’s going to be best there. As your Jenks eye doctor, I just want you to remember, if you experience any of these symptoms, reach out to us at Insight Eye Care.
Our mission is to improve every life at every encounter. That means we want all of our patients to have healthy, comfortable eyes with the best vision possible to view and enjoy your life. When you think you need a Jenks eye doctor, come to us at Insight Eye Care. Our welcoming staff, state-of-the-art facility, advanced equipment, the eyeglasses boutique, the thousands of contacts that we keep in stock, it’s all there to meet your needs as a patient.
As your Jenks eye doctor, remember, we treat all types of common diseases, things like nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, cataracts, glaucoma, dry eyes, allergies, foreign material removal, macular degeneration. We want you to bring us your red, gritty, sandy eyes so we can help fix you. God bless. Have a great day.