Archive for the 'Eye Disorders' Category

Glaucoma Drug Improves Eyelash Growth and Thickening

Glaucoma Eye DropsEyelash growth and thickening was signficantly improved with one drop per day of a glaucoma drug in almost 80%  of participants in a recent study.   The FDA approved the prescription drug, bimatoprost, for eyelash growth late last year.

During this study by Therapeutics Clinical Research in San Diego, patients applied a single drop of glaucoma eye medication to each upper eyelid at the junction with the hair follicle. Lower eyelids were not treated. After only one week of treatment, many experienced significant improvement, although for some it took as long as eight weeks.

Investigators have found no safety issues with bimatoprost.  Fewer than 4% of patients encountered adverse events during the trial. The most common adverse events in the bimatoprost group were conjunctival hyperemia (3.6%), skin hyperpigmentation (2.9%), and ocular irritation, dry eye, and eyelid erythema (2% each).

 Source: Smith S, et al “Eyelash growth in subjects treated with bimatoprost ophthalmic solution 0.03%; a multicenter, randomized, double-masked, vehicle-controlled parallel study” J Am Acad Dermatol 2009; 60(suppl): Abstract P406.

Source: MedPage Today, March 12, 2009

Eye irritation, a common problem with a simple solution

Irritated eyesHave your eyes gradually become irritated and somewhat reddened? Have you noticed slight difficulty with reading? If you have, it’s important to check with your health care provider or eye doctor right away instead of merely dismissing these symptoms as being due to annoying allergies or the unavoidable pitfalls of aging.

This can be a cause for a number of serious conditions, but it can also be caused by one very common disorder, which is relatively simple to treat. It is called Dry Eye Syndrome and affects approximately 10-30% of the population, especially those older than 40.

The symptoms, at first, are only barely noticeable, but over time one or more of the following eye symptoms start developing:

  • irritation
  • itching
  • burning
  • redness of the whites of the eyes or the margin of the eyelids
  • mucous build up or dry crusty mucous on the eyelid margin
  • sometimes excessive watering instead of dryness 
  • light sensitivity
  • blurred vision, and difficulty reading

The symptoms are made worse by smoky or dry environments, indoor heating, and excessive reading or computer use. Running a ceiling fan all night in the bedroom is very drying to the eyes and enough to cause a flare up of symptoms.  It’s hard to believe that this could make a difference since you’re sleeping with your eyes closed, but apparently the wind from the fan reaches the surface of your eye and drys it out, even when the eyelid is closed. 

If you think you might have Dry Eye Syndrome, see your health care provider or eye doctor and ask about:

  • Artificial tears (Artificial tears are sold over-the-counter and are to be used several times a day.  Recommended artificial tears include: Systane, Optive, Refresh, Gen-Teal, Visine Pure Tears, Soothe, Thera-Tears)
  • Punctal Plugs to be inserted by an ophthalmologist. Your tears drain through tiny openings (puncta) in your eyelids.  Your ophthalmologist can treat dry eyes by painlessly plugging these tiny openings with microscopic silicone plugs (punctual plugs). These plugs close the tiny opening (punctum) that you have in the inner corner of your upper and lower eyelid so your own tears remain in your eyes longer.  This procedure does not last permanently and has to be repeated after a period of time. The clinical efficacy of silicone punctal plug therapy
  • Restasis (A prescription eyedrop that successfully treats the underlying cause of dry eye in most patients.  Ask your doctor if it is right for you.)
  • Fish oil capsules 500 mg twice daily or Flaxseed oil capsules 1000 mg twice daily with meals. Caution: Taking fish oil supplements should be done in consultation with your physician. High intakes could cause excessive bleeding in some people. Of particular concern are people expecting to undergo surgery, or those with bleeding disorders such as hemophilia, and those taking blood thinners, such as Coumadin (warfarin) heparin, Lovenox, anti-platelet drugs, such as Plavix (clopidogrel); and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) or naproxen (Naprosyn, Aleve), or even aspirin. Also, small reductions in blood pressure can occur.

via “Dry Eye Syndrome” Medline Plus