All Posts in Category: iHaven Newsletter

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
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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

 

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Contact Lens Do’s and Don’ts

More than 40 million Americans wear contact lenses, and as many as 90 percent of them don’t follow proper care instructions, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Improper cleaning and other bad habits can lead to a range of problems, including eye irritation and infection.

A recent CDC report found that 99 percent of contact lens wearers surveyed admitted to at least one poor lens-hygiene habit that could lead to infection, such as rinsing the lenses in tap water. One-third have visited a doctor for a red or painful eye related to their lenses.

“Most problems associated with contact lenses cause minor irritation, but serious eye conditions can be extremely painful and may lead to permanent vision loss,” says Jeffrey Walline, OD, PhD, chair of the contact lens and cornea section of the American Optometric Association, and associate dean for research at the Ohio State University College of Optometry in Columbus.

For instance, microbial keratitis — inflammation of the cornea caused by germs in the eye — is more common in people who wear contact lenses. The chance of developing an infection is relatively low, but it increases when you leave lenses in overnight, according to Dr. Walline.

Here’s what to do, and what not to do, when wearing and caring for your contacts.

  • Do Close The Cap on All Cleaning Solutions After Use, and never reuse solutions. Re-Clean and Re-Rinse lenses if stored for more than 12 hours.
  • Do Empty and Rinse lens case With Fresh Saline Daily.
  • Do Discard Lens Cases Every 6 Months.
  • Do Use Solutions Only as Recommended by Your Eye Care Professional.
  • Do Wash Hands With a Mild, Non-Perfume Soap and Dry Hands With a Lint-Free Towel Prior to Handling Lenses.
  • Do Wear UV-Protective Sunglasses When Wearing Contacts. You will probably be even more light-sensitive when wearing your lenses.
  • Do Follow the Wearing Guidelines as Proscribed by Your Eye Care Professional and have your eyes re-evaluated every year – even if everything seems fine.
  • Do Insert Contact Lenses PRIOR to Applying Make-Up (This goes for the women too!) Remember that oil-based cosmetics potentially cause more problems than water based products.
  • Do Close Your Eyes Whenever Spraying Perfume, Cologne, Hairspray, etc.
  • Do Always Work With Your Right Lens First, and Never Switch lenses eye-for-eye for any reason.
  • Don’t Use Fingernails, Tweezers, or Any Other Tool for Removing Lenses from their packages or containers.
  • Don’t Wear CLs When Using Eye Drops or Other Ocular Medications unless instructed to do so by your Eye care Professional.
  • Don’t Mix Solutions or Switch Brands (including generic) Before Consulting Your Eye Care Professional.
  • Don’t Use Saliva to “Clean” or “Store” Your Contacts.
  • Don’t Ever Try on Someone Else’s Contacts.
  • Don’t Allow Your CLs to Get Too Hot; always store them in a cool place.
  • Don’t Apply Eye Liner to the Inner Lid Area – outer lids only.
  • Don’t Swim With Your Contact Lenses.
  • Don’t Allow Creams, Lotions, etc. to Get On Your Contacts.
  • Don’t Exceed the Wearing Schedule Given To You By Your ECP.

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

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“‘UV’ Gotta Have Shades,”

Majority of Americans unaware of link between UV exposure and eye disease

The Vision Council has released a report “‘UV’ Gotta Have Shades,”  about the health risks associated with exposure to the sun’s UV rays.  The report highlights findings from a recent survey from the Vision Council about adults’ and children’s eye protection habits, in addition to information on how to properly protect eyes from UV rays. The Vision Council said in a press release that it plans to use the report in the media to pitch upcoming awareness campaigns, but also to provide information to the public.

According to the report, only 21.2% of adult respondents say that they always wear sunglasses, and only 7.4% of parents say their children always wear sunglasses.

“It is the Vision Council’s goal to shed light on the risks of UV exposure and uncover the UV-protective eye wear options available to consumers,” Ashley Mills, CEO of the Vision Council, said in the release. “We ultimately hope that Americans will make UV eye protection a top priority – not only for themselves, but also for their children – to preserve their eyesight for a lifetime.”

“UV radiation, whether from natural sunlight or indoor artificial rays, can damage the eye’s surface tissues as well as the cornea and lens,” said Michael Kutryb, MD, an ophthalmologist in Edgewater, Fla., and clinical correspondent for the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

To protect yourself and your family wear sunglasses labeled “100% UV protection”: Use only glasses that block both UV-A and UV-B rays and that are labeled either UV400 or 100% UV protection.

  • Choose wraparound styles so that the sun’s rays can’t enter from the side.
  • If you wear UV-blocking contact lenses, you’ll still need sunglasses.

Wear a hat along with your sunglasses; broad-brimmed hats are best.

Remember the kids: It’s best to keep children out of direct sunlight during the middle of the day. Make sure they wear sunglasses and hats whenever they are in the sun.

Know that clouds don’t block UV light: The sun’s rays can pass through haze and clouds. Sun damage to the eyes can occur any time of year, not just in summer.

Be extra careful in UV-intense conditions: Sunlight is strongest mid-day to early afternoon, at higher altitudes, and when reflected off of water, ice or snow.

By embracing these simple tips you and your family can enjoy the outdoors sun safely while protecting your vision.

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

 

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Managing Symptoms Due to Dry Eye before Refractive and Cataract Eye Surgery

Managing Underlying Conditions Due to Dry Eye is Essential for Successful LASIK and Cataract Surgery, Top Washington, D.C. Eye Surgeons Say; Avenova Lid & Lash Hygiene is Effective in Managing those Conditions.

Dr. Shilpa Rose, an ophthalmologist at Whitten Laser Eye based in Washington, D.C., today is making a public service announcement about the problem of Dry Eye in patients undergoing refractive eye surgery – and how a new product, Avenova® Lid & Lash Hygiene by NovaBay Pharmaceuticals (NYSE MKT: NBY), can help manage this problem.

That’s a problem for eye surgeons. “To get the best possible outcome in surgery, it is imperative that the surface of the eye is in optimal condition, which means first managing the patient’s Dry Eye,” explains Dr. Rose. “Fortunately, we are finding that we can successfully manage many of the variables of Dry Eye with Avenova®, an innovative daily lid and lash hygiene spray.”

An estimated 4,000,000 Americans every year undergo various types of eye surgery, such as LASIK and cataract surgery. By reshaping the cornea to treat nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism, LASIK has dramatically improved the vision-and quality of life-for millions of people. With the introduction of multifocal IOL’s, cataract surgery patients are now able to retain their full range of vision. Whitten Laser Eye is one of the leading refractive surgical practices nationally, with many high profile patients, including Tiger Woods.

Many of the patients coming in for surgery suffer from a condition known as meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD) Dry Eye, especially those who wear contact lenses.

Meibomian Gland Dysfunction Dry Eye is typically caused or exacerbated by tiny microbes-bacteria and parasitic mites that live on the eyelids. The microbes cause inflammation and block glands near the eye-the meibomian gland-from releasing a natural oil needed for the protective film of tears on the eyes. The microbes also produce lipase, an enzyme that breaks up the crucial oil. “As a result, the eyes lack the normal protective tear film,” says Dr. Rose. “Not only can that be a painful and sometimes debilitating condition for patients, it also makes refractive eye surgery more difficult.”

Avenova directly tackles the major cause of Dry Eye. It is the only lid hygiene product to contain pure 0.01% hypochlorous acid, manufactured by the Neutrox method. Hypochlorous acid is naturally produced in our own white blood cells. In vitro testing shows that hypochlorous acid kills harmful bacteria. It also blocks inflammatory agents released by both the bacteria and the body, and breaks up the enzyme lipase that attacks the tear-protection oil from the meibomian glands.

“I love Avenova,” says Dr. Rose. “Avenova provides an easy, safe and cost effective regimen to help manage MGD Dry Eye. Dr. Whitten and I now implement Avenova treatment for our refractive and cataract surgeries preoperatively and have been very pleased with the results.”

Contact Dr. Shilpa Rose, MD, Board Certified Ophthalmologist at Whitten Laser Eye via Shilpadrose@gmail.com

SOURCE: Whitten Laser Eye

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

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color blindness

How People with Different Types of Color Blindness See the World

Different Types of Color Blindness 

Color blindness according to data available on the most comprehensive resource affects, quite a lot of us — around 0.5% of women and 8% of men — suffer from inaccurate perceptions of color.

The effects of color vision deficiency can be mild, moderate or severe depending upon the defect. If you have inherited color blindness your condition will stay the same throughout your life – it won’t get any better or worse.

The retina of the eye has two types of light-sensitive cells called rods and cones. Both are found in the retina which is the layer at the back of your eye which processes images. Rods work in low light conditions to help night vision, but cones work in daylight and are responsible for color discrimination.

There are three types of cone cells and each type has a different sensitivity to light wavelengths. One type of cone perceives blue light, another perceives green and the third perceives red. When you look at an object, light enters your eye and stimulates the cone cells. Your brain then interprets the signals from the cones cells so that you can see the color of the object. The red, green and blue cones all work together allowing you to see the whole spectrum of colors. For example, when the red and blue cones are simulated in a certain way you will see the color purple.


  • Normal Vision – A person with normal vision sees the world around them in these colors.

  • Deuteranomalia – is the most common form of color blindness. Around 4.63% of men suffer from it and in many cases don’t even realize. It’s clear from the photo that the colors have lost some of their brightness, especially with regard to green and red.


  • Protanopia is a less-widespread form of color blindness — only around 1% of men experience it. All shades of green and red appear somewhat faded, whilst blue and yellow shades remain virtually unchanged.


  • Tritanopia is a very rare form of color blindness affecting men and women to an equally small degree. Those who experience it see the world in greenish pink tones.

  • As for total color blindness, it certainly exists, but it’s extremely rare: only 0.00003% of the world’s population has it.

     

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

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