All Posts in Category: iHaven Newsletter


14 Dry Eye Symptoms You Shouldn’t Ignore

If you have dry eyes, it could be dry eye disease—a chronic problem with tear production, which can lead to serious eye issues if not treated. The problem? Although it sounds easy to spot, dry eye symptoms can be mistaken for other problems, sometimes for years, before getting a proper diagnosis.
Dry eye disease is one of the most common ophthalmological disorders causing chronic discomfort in up to 100 million people worldwide. The disease burden is forecast to rise due to increased screen time and average life expectancy. Risk of dry eye disease increases 35% each decade after age 40.

What is Dry Eye Disease?

dry-eyeThey say oil and water don’t mix, but tell that to your eyes. The tears produced by healthy eyes have a lubricating oil layer on top of a nourishing water layer, and without this combo, your eyes can be in serious trouble.

That’s where dry eye disease comes in. Different from just a one-time episode of dry-feeling eyes, this is an umbrella term for a variety of problems in which tear production is faulty. Ophthalmologists tend to lump dry-eye sufferers into two camps: Those whose tears are in short supply and others whose tears are lacking in oil, causing moisture to evaporate too quickly from the eye’s surface. Some people experience a combination of the two.

Dry-eye sufferer Natalia Warren is chair and co-founder of a nonprofit Not A Dry Eye Foundation, created by a group of patients who “suffered untold agonies” before getting proper diagnosis and treatment. “My symptoms were so severe that I felt like I had tissues stuffed under my eyelid,” she said.

What are dry-eye symptoms?

Here are some common and troubling dry eye symptoms:

  1. Red or bloodshot eyes

    Swollen blood vessels on the white, outer layer of the eyeball can give eyes a crimson hue or make them look completely bloodshot. If you don’t have an eye infection or allergies, it’s a good bet they’re red because your eyes are dry.dry-eye

    “If you have lack of tears, then the cells on the surface of the eye cry out in pain because they’re not being protected,” said Steven Maskin, MD, medical director of the Dry Eye and Cornea Treatment Center in Tampa, Fla. “Chemicals are released that cause inflammation,” and redness is a byproduct, he explained.

  2. Eyes that Feel Gritty

    Dry eye disease often causes the feeling of gritty, sandy, or gravelly eyes. Some people dry-eyedescribe a foreign body sensation as if something’s painfully lodged in one or both eyes. (dirt or makeup can get stuck in the eye, so it’s important to have it checked out). At the doctor’s office, the symptoms many people describe may be due to dry patches on the cornea, the transparent front layer of the eye.

    “The surface of your eye just literally dries out, the cells dry out and cause these micro-abrasions,” explained Amy Lin, MD, associate professor of ophthalmology and visual sciences at the University of Utah Moran Eye Center in Salt Lake City. Fortunately, it doesn’t necessarily cause permanent damage. “Those dry spots heal when the eyes are more moisturized,” she added.

  3. Light Sensitivity

    People with insufficient watery tears may experience photophobia, or extreme sensitivity to light. As Not A Dry Eye Foundation explains, it can be temporary or constant and occur in all types of light.

    People with photophobia may squint or shut their eyes when exposed to light. The amount of discomfort may vary, too. Some people may experience extreme pain when nerve endings in the eye come in contact with light. Others may complain of light being too bright. Light-sensitive cells in the retina, the layer of tissue lining the back of the eye, may be responsible for the discomfort, according to the North American Neuro-Ophthalmology Society. It’s thought that these cells may have connections with the nerve that is responsible for relaying sensory information to the head and face

  4. Sensitivity to Irritants

    The eyes endure a litany of insults: wind, smoke, dry air, cleaning product fumes, you name it. An inadequate tear film on the eye exposes nerve endings to whatever wafts in their path.

    Not A Dry Eye Foundation’s Ms. Warren says the cornea has 300 to 600 times more nerve endings than any other part of the body. “So imagine a pin prick in your finger, but the pin is 600 times wider.”

    Any enclosed space with forced vented air, like air conditioning in a home, office, or car, or even an indoor fan, can make dry eyes worse, Dr. Lin said.

    There can also be eye sensitivity to fumes (even from foods while cooking) and perfumes, the foundation says. Eyes need adequate lubrication to feel comfortable, and blinking plays a crucial role. That’s how meibum, the oily substance that keeps the eyes lubed up, is released. When people engage in activities requiring intense focus, they may not blink enough. Or they may not sufficiently close their eyes when they blink. That may be one reason dry eye patients experience a burning sensation in the eyes or on the eyelid margins.

  5. Stringy Mucus in the Eye

    It’s more common in individuals with moderate to severe dry eye and may occur in combination with other conditions, like an infection or allergy. Here’s what happens: People who don’t have a good watery layer on the eye surface experience friction and strain when they blink. And that causes the tear film to secrete more mucus to make up for the missing layer of moisture.

    Esen Akpek, MD, professor of ophthalmology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine’s Wilmer Eye Institute, says it’s a “compensation mechanism of the eye to overcome the lack of good volume.”

    Trouble is when people wipe their eyes to clear the mucus, it can cause further insult to the eye surface and trigger more inflammation, said Dr. Akpek, And so, begins a vicious cycle.

  6. Excessive Tearing or Watery Eyes

    It seems counterintuitive: Why would people with dry eyes have watery eyes? Dry, irritated eyes “turn on the water works” in an attempt to flush out whatever’s bugging them, Dr. Lin explains. But the reason the eyes are irritated in the first place is because they’re dry.

    Patients who complain of excessive tearing often have evaporative dry eye syndrome, Dr. Akpek said. When the eye’s oil layer is inadequate, the tear layer quickly evaporates, causing excessive tearing.

  7. Your Contacts Hurt

    Contact lens wearers sometimes feel the need to reduce the amount of time they use contacts or ditch the lenses altogether because their eyes become so uncomfortable. Roughly half of contact lens wearers report dry eye symptoms. Long-term contact use can lead to loss of sensation in the cornea, the eye’s clear surface, Dr. Maskin explains. It’s the same for patients who’ve undergone LASIK eye surgery or other corneal procedures.

    “When the sensitivity of the cornea is altered, it can lead to reduction in tear secretion, decreased blink and dry eye,” he says.

    Should you switch to wearing glasses? Maybe or maybe not. With proper diagnosis and management, many people can comfortably continue wearing contacts, according to a report in Review of Optometry.

  8. Blurred Vision that Comes and Goes

    dry-eyeBlurry vision is a common symptom of dry eye, one that typically comes and goes. Vision may clear in the morning, after a night of shuteye. But when dryness sets in during the day, so does foggy vision.

    “When the tear film is robust and smooth, then you can see very well through it,” Dr. Lin explains. “But if the tear film is kind of ratty and it’s not covering the eye very well, then it’s like ripples on the surface of a pond or a lake.”

    Dr. Maskin has seen patients whose doctors referred them for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for blurred vision when what they had was dry eye. He offers two simple tests: First, try blinking and if your vision improves, you probably have dry eye. And second, add a drop of artificial tears to each eye (which are available over-the-counter). If it’s dry eye, the blur should disappear.

  9. Inability to Cry

    If you’re feeling emotional, but the tears won’t come, it could be a dry eye symptom. Keep in mind that reduced tear production maydry-eye also result from any number of factors, from hormonal changes to medication side effects. It’s also one of the hallmarks of Sjogren’s syndrome, an autoimmune disorder that causes dry eye, dry mouth and other issues mainly for women.

  10. Heavy Eyes or Eyelids

    Eyes or eyelids that feel heavy are a possible indicator of dry eye. Insufficient tear film can leave your eyes fatigued, “and your eyelids try to droop a little bit to protect the eye surface,” Dr. Akpek explains.

    The heaviness may also be related to meibomian gland dysfunction. This occurs when oil-secreting glands in the lids fail to produce enough oil to keep the tear film moist, or the oil becomes too thick to do any good. The glands themselves can become clogged and crusted

  11. Eye Strain when Using Electronics

    Staring at phones, computer screens or other electronic devices for extended periods of time is not very helpful to maintaining moist eyes. Neither is reading a book. When people are engaged in these activities, they tend to blink at one-third of the normal rate, says Dr. Lin. Is it any wonder that their eyes begin to dry out? Even kids are showing up with dry eye, she said.

    To stave off dryness, follow this 20-20-20 rule of thumb: Take a break every 20 minutes by looking 20 feet away for 20 seconds.

  12. Stinging or Burning Eye Pain

    Eyes need adequate lubrication to feel comfortable, and blinking plays a crucial role in this. That’s how meibum, the oily substance that keeps the eyes lubricated, is released. When people engage in activities requiring intense focus, they may not blink enough. Or they may not sufficiently close their eyes when they blink. That may be one reason dry eye patients experience a burning sensation in the eyes or on the eyelid margins.

    “When you have tears that evaporate readily, it leaves the cornea desiccated, and that gives you a sense of burning,” explained Dr. Maskin, author of the book Reversing Dry Eye Syndrome. 

  13. Difficulty Driving at Night

    Having night vision problems behind the wheel? It could be a sign of dry eye.

    Any activity that requires intense focus, say, maneuvering a vehicle from point A to point B, tends to cause people not to blink as much as they normally would. Blinking, of course, is a crucial function for keeping the eyes lubricated.

    Headlight and street light glare may also be bothersome to people with dry eye.

    What’s more, nighttime driving may be more difficult simply because the eyes are typically at their driest at the end of the day.

  14. Suicidal Thoughts

    Although that may seem extreme, when dry eye symptoms become severe, they can completely overwhelm people and contribute to dry-eyedepression.

    “Suicidal thoughts among dry eye sufferers are more common and more alarming than anyone knows,” says Ms. Warren, of Not A Dry Eye Foundation. Most of the organization’s founding board members had suicidal thoughts at some point, she says. “I was one of them.”

    Dr. Maskin agrees, and has seen about two dozen patients who planned or tried suicide in his 25 years of practice. He urges people to be their own advocates for symptom relief.

    All bad dry eye starts out as annoying nuisance, or just minimal dry eye,” he says. “If you let it build up over time, you become a significant risk factor for more significant dry eye.”


WHERE TO FIND AVENOVA1-800­-890­-0329 or via web Patients – Contact or
Physician Contact

Socialize & Stay Current with NovaBay via Facebook Twitter and LinkedIn

Read More

Facts About Your Amazing Eyes

We don’t often give our eyes as much thought as we should; that is until something goes wrong and our vision is affected. But when you learn the facts about eyes, you realize just how amazing they are.

Here are a few facts you may enjoy:

  • Eyes began to develop 550 million years ago. The simplest eyes were patches of photo-receptor protein in single-celled animals.eye-facts
  • Your eyes start to develop two weeks after you are conceived.
  • The entire length of all the eyelashes shed by a human in their life is over 98 feet with each eye lash having a life span of about 5 months.
  • To protect your eyes, they are positioned in a hollowed eye socket, while eyebrows prevent sweat dripping into your eyes and eyelashes keep dirt out of your eyes.
  • Your eyeballs stay the same size from birth to death, while your nose and ears continue to grow.
  • An eye is composed of more than 2 million working parts to make them fully functional.
  • Only 1/6 of the human eyeball is exposed.
  • The human eye weights approximately just under an ounce (28 grams) and is about an inch across.
  • An eye cannot be transplanted. More than 1 million nerve fibers connect each eye to the brain and currently we’re not able to reconstruct those connections.
  • Corneas, the transparent front layer of the eye, are the only tissues that don’t have blood.
  • 80% of our memories are determined by what we see.
  • Eyes heal quickly. With proper care, it takes only about 48 hours to repair a minor corneal scratch.
  • Humans and dogs are the only species known to seek visual cues from another individual’s eyes, and dogs only do this when interacting with humans.
  • A fingerprint has 40 unique characteristics, but an iris has 256, a reason retina scans are increasingly being used for security purposes.
  • People who are blind can see their dreams if they weren’t born blind.
  • “Red eye” occurs in photos because light from the flash bounces off the back of the eye. The retina, the back of the eye, is rich in blood vessels, which make it appear red on film.
  • 80% of what we learn is through our eyes.
  • The most active muscles in your body are in your eyes.
  • If the human eye were a digital camera it would have 576 megapixels.
  • Your eyes contain 7 million cones which help you see color and detail and 100 million cells called rods which help you to see better in the dark.



WHERE TO FIND AVENOVA1-800­-890­-0329 or via web Patients – Contact or
Physician Contact

Socialize & Stay Current with NovaBay via Facebook Twitter and LinkedIn

Read More

Study Finds Yoga and Meditation Can Change Genes, Reverse Depression

In the past two decades, mind–body interventions such as yoga and meditation have been gaining empirical support and recognition from mental health professionals.  A new study found that yoga and meditation may do more than just help you feel relaxed in the moment. The new scientific research published in the journal of Frontiers in Immunology  suggests that these and other mindfulness exercises can actually reverse stress-related changes in genes linked to poor health and depression.

This meta-analysis study looked at over a decade of research, analyzing the findings from 18 previously published studies—involving a total of 846 people. In these studies researchers looked at how human genes are affected by different mind-body interventions, including mindfulness, yoga, meditation and Tai Chi. What they found is that these activities don’t simply relax us — they can reverse molecular reactions to stress in human DNA that can lead to poor health and depression.

The authors say, the studies show that these mind-body exercises appear to suppress the expression of genes and genetic pathways that promote inflammation.

Inflammation can temporarily boost the immune system, and can be protective against infection and injury. However, in today’s society, where stress is primarily psychological, the body’s inflammatory response can become chronic and can impair both physical and mental health.

Stressful events, can activate the fight-or-flight response and trigger a chain reaction of stress-related changes in the body—including activating specific genes involved in making proteins that produce inflammation.

Researchers found that people who practiced these mind-body activities regularly had fewer signs of inflammation, including a decrease in their production of inflammatory proteins. This initiates “the reversal of the molecular signature of the effects of chronic stress,” they wrote, which may translate to a reduced risk of inflammation-related diseases and conditions.

Lead author is  Ivana Buric, is a PhD student in Coventry University’s Brain, Belief and Behaviour Lab in England.

WHERE TO FIND AVENOVA1-800­-890­-0329 or via web Patients – Contact or
Physician Contact

Socialize & Stay Current with NovaBay via Facebook Twitter and LinkedIn

Related Content:

Understanding the Stress Response


Frontiers in Immunology Journal – What Is the Molecular Signature of Mind–Body Interventions? A Systematic Review of Gene Expression Changes Induced by Meditation and Related Practices

Forbes – How Meditation And Yoga Can Alter The Expression Of Our Genes

Science Daily – Meditation and yoga can ‘reverse’ DNA reactions which cause stress, new study suggests

Time – Yoga and Meditation Can Change Your Genes, Study Says

NBC News – Meditation and Yoga May Change How Stress Affects Our DNA, Study Finds

Read More

Surgeon Says Keep Eyelids Healthy with Avenova

By: Alice Epitropoulos, MD, FACS

Source: The Eye Center of Columbus

Eye Surgeon Alice T. Epitropoulos, MD, FACS, co-founder of The Eye Center of Columbus and eye surgeon at the Cataract & Refraction Center of Ohio, offers women advice on keeping their eyes healthy and beautiful. “The best way to keep the eyes as beautiful as possible is to keep the eyelids healthy, which can be done using an eyelid hygiene product from NovaBay Pharmaceuticals called Avenova,” says Dr. Epitropoulos.

Women spend billions of dollars a year on cosmetics and other preparations to make their eyes look striking and attractive. Yet, ironically, makeup can also make eyes unhealthy, causing inflamed and painful eyes.

In addition, millions of women suffer from common eye conditions such as dry eye disease and blepharitis, and up to 30 percent of women over 50 can no longer wear their contact lenses because of these conditions. As if that’s not enough, the hormonal changes associated with menopause can also adversely affect the eyes, increasing the chances of dry eye. “These conditions make it challenging to keep the eyes looking beautiful,” says Dr. Epitropoulos.

In the vast majority of cases, these problems have a common cause, Dr. Epitropoulos explains – the growth of bacteria on the eyelids and lashes.

Various types of microbes naturally live around the eyes. But when populations get large, often because of makeup (which can be a breeding ground for bacteria), the bacterial overgrowth can cause a host of problems. Debris and a crust-like substance build up on the lids and lashes. More important, the bacteria can release an enzyme that contributes to clogging of the glands on the eyelids. These glands produce a crucial oil needed to keep the tear film on the eye from evaporating. The enzyme released from the bacteria on the lids can also disrupt the oil in the tear film, causing the tears to become unstable.

The result: irritated, scratchy, or burning eyes, as well as blurred or impaired vision and other symptoms of Dry Eye. “It’s hard to feel pretty when your eyes are tearing, red, inflamed and painful,” says Dr. Epitropoulos.

Fortunately, Dr. Epitropoulos and her fellow eye doctors now have a good way of managing these conditions – using Avenova, which directly tackles the root cause.

The key ingredient in Avenova is Neutrox, a pure 0.01% formulation of hypochlorous acid, a substance that is naturally made by our body’s white blood cells to fight microbial invaders. “Avenova® safely removes the harmful bacteria,” Dr. Epitropoulos explains. “Moreover, Avenova inactivates the enzyme that breaks up the vital oil.”

Her own patients report that regular use of Avenova leaves their eyes feeling more refreshed, clean, pain-free – and more beautiful. “Women care so much about the beauty of their eyes, and maintaining a youthful beautiful appearance requires keeping the eyes healthy,” says Dr. Epitropoulos.


Dr. Alice T. Epitropoulos, MD, FACS

WHERE TO FIND  AVENOVA1-800­-890­-0329 or via web Patients – Contact or
Physician Contact

Socialize & Stay Current with NovaBay via Facebook Twitter and LinkedIn

Read More
Why Women Are at Higher Risk of Eye Disease

Why Women Are at Higher Risk of Eye Disease

Women are far more likely to experience eye irritation. A higher percentage of women than men develop age-related eye issues such as macular degeneration, cataracts and dry eye.  Human females tend to live longer than males and hormonal changes associated with pregnancy and menopause may make females more susceptible to eye disease.

There are also other triggers that play a role.  Makeup and contact lens wear along with digital device and computer use are common risk factors.  Certain medication as well as autoimmune diseases that cause inflammation of body tissues can also affect vision. Rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and multiple sclerosis are among these, and they tend to be more common in women.

Women also tend to run a higher risk of developing chronic dry eye syndrome. Eyes produce fewer tears as we age, and chronic MGD dry eye can be the result. Women are two to three times more likely to have dry eye syndrome than men.

Prevention and Early Detection

  • Practice Daily Lid and Lash Hygiene
  • Get Regular Eye Exams, Especially Over 50
  • Exercise Regularly
  • Protect Your Eyes from Injury – Wear Safety Glasses When Needed
  • Wear UV 400 or Better Sunglasses When Outside
  • Quit Smoking
  • Eat a Healthy Diet with Adequate Amount of Omega-3 Fatty Acids
  • Limit Screen Use
  • Know Your Family Medical History
Read More

Screens Are No Longer Optional

 Digital Eye Strain

Sources: Time Health , Canadian Association of Optometrists ,  American Optometric Association 

Screens are no longer optional. If you’re not driving, exercising or sleeping, you’re probably staring at one. Most American workers spend 7 to 14 hours of screen time in a single day. Many individuals experience eye discomfort and vision problems. The level of discomfort appears to increase with the amount of digital screen use.

Uncorrected vision problems can increase the severity of Computer Vision Syndrome or Digital Eye Strain symptoms. Depending on your condition, your eyes could be exerting extra effort or forced to work harder to maintain a clear image when viewing the screen.

“There is no evidence that eye strain leads to chronic issues or harm. However, it is theoretically possible we could find out years from now that too much screen-time messes with our eyes or vision. But for now, short-term symptoms—like headaches, eye pressure and dry eyes—are your biggest worries.” says Dr. Joshua Dunaief, a professor of ophthalmology at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine.

To help reduce the risk of digital eye strain, consider the following tips:

  • Position your screen about an arm’s length from your eyes and 20 degrees below eye level.
  • Set color and contrast tones to suit your eyes, and match the brightness of your screen with your surroundings.
  • Minimize reflected glare on your screen by dimming the lights in the room if possible and consider using a protective anti-glare screen cover.
  • Position your screen so that it sits perpendicular to windows and other bright light sources. If you are having trouble locating the source of the glare, turn off your monitor to reveal a darkened screen, and tilt/swivel your monitor until the reflection disappears.
  • Keep your screen free of fingerprints and dust, as both can reduce visual clarity.
  • If you alternate between looking at your screen and paperwork, consider obtaining a clipboard that attaches alongside your monitor so that the two are at the same working distance.
  • Optometrists recommend the use of the 20-20-20 rule. Every 20 minutes take a 20 second break and focus your eyes on something at least 20 feet away to give your eyes a much-needed break.
  • To ensure comfortable and efficient computer usage, visit your eye care professional for a thorough eye health exam.

WHERE TO FIND AVENOVA: 1-800­-890­-0329 or via web Patients – Contact or
Physician Contact

Socialize & Stay Current with NovaBay via Facebook Twitter and LinkedIn

Read More

Preventing Contact Lens-Related Microbial Corneal Inflammation (Keratitis)

Many factors work against contact lens wearers, so a robust strategy is needed to reduce their bioburden.

By: Christine W. Sindt, OD, FAAO

Contact lens-related microbial keratitis is all too common. Consider these statistics:

  • Contact lens wear is the single greatest risk factor for microbial keratitis, with an annual cost of $175 million.
  • There are 40.9 million adult contact lens wearers in the United States — that’s one in six adults.
  • Nearly one-third of contact lens wearers have had a red or painful eye at some point that required them to go to the doctor since they began wearing contact lenses.
  • A remarkable 99% of contact lens wearers report having at least one poor hygiene behavior that puts them at greater risk for microbial keratitis or a cornea infiltrative event.

In the decades since we have been prescribing contact lenses, the incidence of microbial keratitis has not improved. That means that all the advances in lens materials and solutions have not reduced the incidence — which indicates that microbial keratitis and other inflammatory events must be caused by something that is naturally introduced into the eye.

All these risk factors point to the need to control the bioburden on our contact lens patients. In particular, we need to address the bacteria that most commonly cause microbial keratitis events: Pseudomonas, Serratia, and Staphylococcus. Pseudomonas is a gram-negative, biofilm-forming bacterium that adapts to different environments and may acquire solution resistance. It produces toxins and causes inflammatory events. Staphylococcus is gram positive. It exists in normal external ocular microbiota, and we see it commonly in contact lens peripheral ulcers. If patients have an abundance of any of these microorganisms in their lid margins, they are likely to experience microbial keratitis.  

Case Study

We see these cases all the time. A 32-year-old woman has irritated eyes for three days, and then wakes up with red, pain-ful eyes and photophobia. She is a contact lens wearer, and swears that she does not sleep in her contact lenses. Our examination does not show any true ulceration, but there is a lot of staining along the lid margin, so it’s clear that the eyelid areas are the source of the irritation.

Once we start the patient on moxifloxacin (Vigamox, Alcon) and prednisolone (Pred Forte, Allergan), along with Avenova, her eyes improve quickly and significantly. This tells us that this is an inflammatory process caused by the toxins from bacteria along her lid margins. After one week, the patient’s red eyes resolve completely. She continues with Avenova and we fit her for daily disposable contact lenses.

Approaching Lid Hygiene with Avenova

What does this mean to the 32-year-old patient with contact lens-related microbial keratitis originating in her eyelids? As we work to control the flora introduced into the contact lens wearer’s eye, lid hygiene is a key initiative. Staph isolates from eyelids of contact lens wearers are genetically more resistant to disinfection and antibiotics than isolates from people who don’t wear contact lenses. The longer a patient wears contact lenses, the more resistant the lenses may become to cleaning and disinfecting.

Avenova® a pure hypochlorous acid product by NovaBay, does not build up resistance. It uses a patented, pure, non-cytotoxic hypochlorous acid, a substance that occurs naturally in the immune system, to counteract bacteria living on the eyelids.

I recommend all contact lens wearers wipe down their lids with Avenova® before and after contact lens wear. The product is gentle and comfortable and takes just a few minutes to use.  Christine W. Sindt, OD, FAAO, is the Director of the Contact Lens Service and a Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Iowa, Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences. She is also a consultant for NovaBay.

WHERE TO FIND AVENOVA: 1-800­-890­-0329 or via web Patients – Contact or
Physician Contact

Socialize & Stay Current with NovaBay via Facebook Twitter and LinkedIn

Read More

Fighting the Mites that Live on Your Eyelids

Demodex mites are one of the most challenging problems that ophthalmologists and optometrists face in the routine care of their patients.

Millions of Americans suffer from chronic eye conditions caused by parasites living on their eyelids. But a revolutionary hygiene spray Avenova®, helps control the conditions and make it impossible for those nasty bugs to survive, bringing relief to countless patients whose eyes are red and painfully dry.

Tiny parasites called demodex mites are a huge problem in America. The parasites burrow into the skin of the eyelids, causing inflammation and plugging glands in the eye that help keep the tear film from evaporating.  As a result, the mites are associated with meibomian gland dysfunction, also known as MGD dry eye.

The combination of mites and bacteria causes blepharitis, a condition suffered by more than 30 million Americans, where the eyes become red, irritated and painful, and crusty debris builds up on the eyelids and eyelashes.

“These microbes are extremely common and yet largely an unknown problem,” says ophthalmologist Kathryn Najafi-Tagol, MD, Founder and Medical Director of the Eye Institute of Marin in California.

“Avenova is the first good weapon that we have to fight these very unpleasant parasites,” says Dr. Najafi. “It’s also remarkably easy to use—just spray it on a cotton pad and wipe the eyelids. It is a remarkable advance in eye care.”

Avenova is manufactured by NovaBay Pharmaceuticals  (NYSE MKT: NBY) through a patented process. It is the only lid hygiene product to contain pure 0.01 percent solution of hypochlorous acid (HOCl). HOCl is a substance that is naturally made by our own cells. In vitro testing shows that NovaBay’s proprietary version kills bacteria, and Dr. Najafi has found that Avenova helps prevent the proliferation of the mites in her patients. “It is also very easy to use,” says Dr. Najafi. “I show my patients how to spray it on their eyelids twice a day. It is completely safe and non-irritating, and my patients find it feels refreshing. My patients who have been suffering for years say that it has finally brought them some relief.”

WHERE TO FIND AVENOVA: 1-800­-890­-0329 or via web Patients – Contact or Physician Contact

Socialize & Stay Current with NovaBay via Facebook Twitter and LinkedIn

Read More

Why Do We Cry? The Science Of Crying

Crying is one of the most unique and perplexing of all human behaviors and part of of our human emotional package.  A recent study found women cry 30-64 times a year, whereas men cry 6-17 times per year, according to Dr. Vingerhoets, a clinical psychologist at Tilburg University.  Clearly crying is a prominent and important human behavior. But why do we cry? And what role do tears play in our overall eye health?

The ”why” of crying may seem obvious and straightforward: You’re happy or sad. But that’s too simplistic.

”Crying is a natural emotional response to certain feelings, usually sadness and hurt. But then people [also] cry under other circumstances and occasions,” says Stephen Sideroff, PhD, a staff psychologist at Santa Monica–University of California Los Angeles & Orthopedic Hospital and clinical director of the Moonview Treatment Center in Santa Monica, Calif.

Crying is unique to humans.  New research is beginning to answer these questions to help us better understand what human tears mean from social, psychological, and neuroscientific perspectives. Tears are complex, and we shed three different kinds.

  • Basal tears that coat your eyes on a day-to-day basis to keep them moisturized.  They protect our eyes by keeping dirt and debris away, and are made up of three layers.
  • Irritant/Reflex tears that form in response to pain or to flush foreign objects out of the eye. Their composition is similar to basal tears, but they contain more healing properties.
  • Emotional tears that appear in response to feelings of sadness, stress, joy and extreme emotion. These tears carry more protein-based hormones than basal or irritant tears and help to cleanse your body of the chemical side effects of pent-up emotion.

As stated before, tears also play an important role in keeping our eyes healthy. Without the appropriate levels of lubrication, our eyes cannot function properly and it could lead to Dry Eye Syndrome, which is a lack of tear production needed to properly lubricate the eye. The natural, basal tears you produce provide both a protective barrier and the adequate moisture needed to maintain comfort and clear vision. Simply put, when you don’t have enough tears to keep your eyes moist, they become dry, and you will experience discomfort and the following Dry Eye symptoms:

  • general eye irritation
  • stinging or burning
  • scratchiness/itchiness
  • fluctuating vision changes
  • tearing up when trying to focus heavily – such as reading, driving, or playing sports
  • difficulty wearing contact lenses
  • foreign body feeling
  • tired eyes, such as after prolonged computer use

WHERE TO FIND AVENOVA: 1-800­-890­-0329 or via web Patients – Contact or Physician Contact

Socialize & Stay Current with NovaBay via Facebook Twitter and LinkedIn

Read More

What is Chronic Eye Lid Disease?

Eyes are one of the most important connections we have to the rest of the world. However, when practicing good hygiene many people forget about their eyes. Similar to the way we brush our teeth daily and visit the dentist, we should clean our eye lids and lashes daily and visit our eye doctors on a regular basis.

The Role of Lid Hygiene in Ocular Surface Disease prevention is an important part of any preventative eye care. The key function of the eyelid is to regularly spread the tears and other secretions of the eye surface to keep the cornea moist and protect the eye from dirt and debris. The blink reflex protects the eye from foreign bodies while spreading the tear film evenly across the cornea. Eyelids also keep the eyes from drying out when asleep. There are many chronic eyelid conditions caused by meibomian glands dysfunction or MGD.

Dysfunctional meibomian glands often cause dry eye, one of the more common eye conditions. They may also contribute to blepharitis.

Avenova ® is designed for removal of microorganisms and debris that may be due to dry eye, MGD, and blepharitis.






Where to Find AVENOVA: 1-800­-890­-0329  and via web Patients – Contact or Physicians Contact

Connect and Socialize with NovaBay via Facebook Twitter and LinkedIn


Read More