Vitamin D and Your Eyes

Vitamin D infographicsThe Vitamin D Council, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing reliable and evidence-based information about vitamin D, notes that researchers consider lack of sufficient vitamin D to be pandemic. [Read more…]

Evidence Supports Increased Screening of Dry Eye Patients for Sjögren’s Syndrome

In 2012, the Sjögren’s Syndrome Foundation (SSF) announced a major initiative to reduce the time it takes to receive a Sjögren’s diagnosis by 50%. At present, the average time from the onset of symptoms to diagnosis is over 5 years, which delays treatment and can lead to prolonged discomfort and increased complications for patients. [Read more…]

Ocular Allergies and Eye Disease: An Uncomfortable Combination

spring flowersSpringtime is so beautiful:  the flowers are blooming, the sun is shining, and the temps are mild. Unfortunately, sometimes all of this beauty can bring a whole lot of misery! The sneezing, runny nose, and itchy, watery eyes are the hallmarks of seasonal allergies that arrive with the spring.

Allergy eye symptoms can be particularly difficult for those who are already dealing with an underlying eye health condition. Here are some suggestions for safely relieving ocular allergy symptoms and a few precautions to be aware of for specific eye health conditions. [Read more…]

Dry Eye Severity Directly Linked with Decreased Reading Rates

readingReading is a critical life skill, essential for communicating with others, keeping up with the news, understanding instructions, succeeding at work, using a computer, or simply for enjoyment. Vision problems can seriously impede reading and make these necessary tasks extremely difficult and, in some cases, impossible.

Our BostonSight® PROSE patients with moderate to severe dry eye disease know firsthand the impact of their symptoms on their ability to read the printed word. In fact, a 2010 survey conducted by Boston Foundation for Sight found that 81% of survey respondents with severe dry eye reported difficulty reading regular print newspapers, magazines, or websites.  [Read more…]

Potassium Deficiency and Dry Eye

potassium foodsOne of the many nutrients that is essential for human life is potassium. Potassium is an electrolyte:  a mineral with an electric charge that is present in blood and other fluids in the body. This mineral is necessary for growth, muscle function, electrical activity of the heart, nerve impulse transmission, and acid-base balance.  Our dry eye community will be interested to know that low levels of potassium have been associated with dry eye.  [Read more…]

Research Uncovers Link between Dehydration and Dry Eye

glass of waterOne of the most common reasons that people visit an eye care professional is dry eye. Dry eye syndrome has many varied causes, including the body not producing enough tears, tear production that lacks enough oily or mucous components, eye surgery complications, or systemic illness that affects the eyes.

Although BostonSight® PROSE treatment helps many patients overcome the painful symptoms that result from moderate to severe dry eye, home care also helps promote comfort in conjunction with PROSE treatment. Drinking plenty of fluids is often recommended and seems to be a rather simplistic solution for dry eye. Does staying hydrated really have an impact on dry eye? New research finally answers this question.  [Read more…]

Research Indicates Alcohol Consumption Affects Dry Eye

Red wine on white background

Our BostonSight® PROSE patients with dry eye are advised to follow home-care strategies in addition to their medically prescribed treatment plans in order to alleviate symptoms. Some of these self-care treatment protocols include taking frequent breaks from computer time, increasing humidity in the home or workplace, and protecting the eyes from wind and sun. Another key component is staying hydrated, which we wrote about here in a previous blog post. Something to consider when focusing on staying well hydrated is to avoid diuretics (substances that reduce the amount of fluid in the body). Alcohol is considered a diuretic and it is often recommended to avoid or limit alcohol consumption to prevent exacerbation of dry eye symptoms. Here is scientific research that supports this recommendation and illustrates how alcohol can impact dry eye.  [Read more…]

Omega-3s: What They Are and How They Can Help Your Eyes

Omega 3 foodsIt seems like Omega-3s are everywhere now. In the grocery store you can find cereals, crackers, nutrition bars, eggs, and beverages all fortified with Omega-3s. The supplement aisle is lined with assorted brands, types, and strengths of these essential fatty acids.

You’ve read about their health benefits in newspapers, magazines, and online. The myriad of products and information can be overwhelming. Should you incorporate omega-3s into your diet? If so, which way is best and how much should you consume? Here’s an overview of the health and ocular benefits of Omega-3s and some ways you can include them as part of your healthy lifestyle.  [Read more…]

Sleep Is Necessary for Ocular Health

Black woman with closed eyesIt can be hard to get a good night’s sleep every night. Life is busy and it’s hard to squeeze in everything. Often sleep is the first item to get shortchanged in a busy day. But did you know that chronic lack of sleep can lead to serious health and safety issues? Harvard University experts note that lack of sleep can increase the risk of chronic diseases, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease. In addition, engaging in potentially dangerous activities such as driving while sleep deprived can have grave consequences. Chronic lack of sleep can take a serious toll on the eyes as well.
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Prescription Medications and Dry Eye Side Effects

dry-eye-photoNew pharmaceuticals and their generic counterparts are approved every week by the FDA. In fact, 2012 was a strong year, with 39 new drugs approved. While this is certainly great news for those whose health conditions can be better treated and managed with these new drugs or medication costs reduced with the approval of generic formulations, all prescription medications can produce side effects. For people with chronic or serious illnesses that require multiple daily prescription medications, the side effects can be compounded. What you may not realize, is that some of these side effects can significantly impact the eyes.  [Read more…]