Michael Lange OD discusses Natural Dry Eye Relief and Meibomian Gland Dysfunction treatment
Dr. Michael Lange founder of Lange Eye Care, Syndicated Radio Talk show host of “Ask the Dr” and Certified Nutrition Specialist has developed four clinically proven steps to give dramatic dry eye relief to the majority of dry eye patients.
1. A condition causing the lids to become quite inflamed,red and crusty called blepharitis is a main cause of dry eyes and meibomian gland dysfunction. Good lid hygiene is a crucial step in natural dry eye relief. Michael Lange OD recommends cleansing the lids and lid margins with a commercial preparation called occusoft lid scrub. The scrubbing will eliminate much of the bacterial flora that can clog the Meibomian glands. This lid scrub with occusoft will help to reduce the staph bacterial flora that blocks the meibomian glands. If the patient continues to have a chronic red-eye with inflamed lid margins then it could be a form of blepharitis related to a parasite called Demodex. Demodex is a small parasite that reproduces in the hair follicle at night. The demodex may cause lids to become red, inflamed, crusty , and itch ( demodex blepharitis). It is important to wipe the lashes and lid margins with a special pre medicated pad called cliradex right before bed. Cliradex has the demodex killing properties derived from tea tree oil and is extremely effective for the treatment of demodex related blepharitis and secondary dry eyes. Scrub lashes first with occusoft, rinse then rub the Cliradex onto lashes and lids before bed and do not rinse. This combination of lid hygiene will help to eliminate the microbial flora ( staph and demodex) that is blocking the Meibomian glands and causing the dry eyes. The meticulous cleaning of the lids and lid margins with occusoft and or cliradex will improve the functioning of the meibomian glands and help reduce dry eye symptoms naturally.
2. The most important step in natural dry eye relief is proper nutrition. The majority of Americans are deficient in omega 3 with an Omega index score around 4 . Omega index is the ratio of omega 6 to omega 3 in blood. Omega index should be over 8 to gain the therapeutic health benefits. Take a good triglyceride form omega 3 fish oil with a minimum of 1500 mg of omega 3
The correct dosage of omega 3 will reduce inflammation in the Meibomian glands and improve the tear production. Most patients will have a dramatic improvement in the tear production from the Meibomian glands after starting a good omega 3 supplement. Fortifeye Super Omega gives the ratio of DHA and EPA that has been used in large dry eye clinics throughout the world. Omega index studies indicate that two per day dosing of Fortifeye Super Omega will bring the omega index to an average between 9.1 and 11 in patients under 240 lbs. The goal is to bring the omega index to a minimum of 8. People over 240 lbs may need to double the concentration of omega 3 to get the same results. Most patients with dry eyes and meibomian gland dysfunction will improve by starting the optimal dosage and form of omega 3 fish oil. However some moderate to marked dry eye symptoms may need some additional nutritional help. Dr. Michael Lange recommends adding 6mg of astaxanthin due to its antioxidant and anti inflammatory effects. Astaxanthin is the hottest nutrient in the supplement business at this time due to its incredible health benefits.
Astaxanthin for dry eye is rapidly gaining a strong foothold in the natural medicine realm. Astaxanthin is a super carotenoid derived from algae. Astaxanthin when added to omega 3 fish oil will enhance the anti inflammatory effects. Astaxanthin will also help to reduce dry tired eye symptoms. Astaxanthin has many other amazing health benefits. I recommend using an organically grown algae called astareal. The combination of triglyceride form omega 3 and 6 mg of astaxanthin will help combat against oxidation and inflammation in the eye and entire body. This combination will also improve circulation to the eye and may indirectly help other eye problems like glaucoma, macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy. One final nutrient that can be added for the more extreme dry eye is GLA from Black currant seed oil. I like a ratio of close to 10 to 1 GLA to omega 3. 140-160 mg of GLA in addition to 1400-1600 mg of omega 3 fish oil is ideal. The exact combination can be obtained by taking two Fortifeye super omega along with 140mg- 160 mg of GLA. GLA has some additional anti inflammatory properties that stimulate series one prostaglandins and aids in healthy tear production. The triple whammy of dry eye nutrition is TG form omega 3, Astaxanthin and GLA. GLA for dry eye when used in combination with omega 3 and astaxanthin works very well. This combination is also great for skin and joint health
3.Meibomian glands may become blocked with time. Meibomian glands often times need a jump-start to help them secrete a healthier tear film. Heating and massaging the lid margins is crucial to unblock the meibomian glands so the glands can secrete the outer layer of tear film. This needs to be done for 10-15 minutes 2 times a day. The use of a warm wash cloth is an inexpensive way to do this but I have found that the Brueder Mask is the best way to continuously do this treatment. This is a mask that u put in microwave for 20 seconds and then Velcro around your face for 10-15 minutes two times a day. While the mask is on the eyes gently massage the lid margins to help un clog the blocked glands. This mask will also help cut inflammation around and under the eyes. The Brueder eye hydrating mask can last up to two to three years without being replaced. This mask is only $25 and makes the hot compresses a very simple and relaxing task.
4. Artificial tears are important to use frequently in initial phases of natural dry eye treatment. Using a good unpreserved artificial tear that has some hyaluranic acid for relief of dry eyes is my first choice. I recommend either Oasis tears plus or Blink to minimize dry eye symptomatology and both have hyaluronic acid in them . Hyaluaronic acid has some anti inflammatory effects and makes these two lubricating eye drops my first choice for dry eyes. For the extreme dry eyes and Meibomian gland dysfunction patients I like adding a special lubricating eye drop called Retain MGD. Retain MGD helps to replenish the outer lipid layer of tear film that may be deficient in Meibomian gland dysfunction patients. This combination helps to replenish all layers of the tear film. Combining oasis tears plus with Retain MGD with about ten minutes in between drops will help extreme dry eyes. These unpreserved lubricating eye drops can be used as frequently as necessary to get dry eye relief.
Michael Lange OD states if the four steps above are followed carefully most people with dry eye and meibomian gland problems will improve. Many people will notice improvements in as little as five days but it will take up to four months to gain the full potential for dry eyes. These steps will in many cases eliminate the need to have more expensive dry eye procedures like Meibomian gland probing, lipiflow dry eye treatment or IPL laser dry eye treatment performed. Dry eye kits including everything mentioned above are available at a discounted price at http://www.fortifeye.com. I recommend all readers of this blog see their local optometrist or ophthalmologist if they have any problems with their eyes. This blog is for educational purposes only. If you are in the Florida area come by one of the 10 Lange Eye Care locations. http://www.langeeyecare.com , http://www.drmichaellange.com Dry eye will affect every one sooner or later in life and a natural approach to treat dry eyes is the best approach.
Everything discussed in this article can be purchased at http://www.fortifeye.com or u can call 866 503 9746
Michael Lange OD, CNS (Board Certified Optometric Physician and Certified Nutrition Specialist) 10/07/2013