Michael Lange OD discusses Natural Treatment for Dry Eyes and Meibomian Gland Dysfunction
Michael Lange OD, CNS founder of Lange Eye care and Associates a ten office based eye care practice in Florida. Dr. Michael Lange has built one of the largest privately owned Nutritional eye care centers in the country called The Lange Eye institute. This is a large practice embracing the most advanced technology in medical, surgical, nutritional and optical eye care . Michael Lange OD has been involved in research and development of nutritional supplements for eye care for the last 20 years. Dr. Lange is constantly re developing supplements to help macular degeneration and dry eyes. He is using the very latest in intracellular blood testing ( spectracell), omega index blood testing and DNA testing to further enhance the nutritional approaches to eye diseases and total body wellness. Lange Eye Care and Dr. Lange have patients that come from all over the globe to learn about natural options to helping their eyes. One area Dr. Lange has had considerable success in is the Natural treatment of dry eyes and meibomian gland dysfunction.
1. Blepharitis a main causes of dry eye and Meibomian gland dysfunction is a build up of microbial flora on the eye lashes and inside the Meibomian glands. This condition causes the lids to become quite inflamed ,red and crusty . Proper lid hygiene is crucial as the first step of natural dry eye relief. Dr. Lange recommends scrubbing the lids and lid margins with a commercial preparation like occusoft lid scrub foam. This scrubbing will eliminate much of the bacterial flora on the lashes that can block the Meibomian glands that secrete the outer layer of the tear film. This lid scrub with occusoft will help to reduce the staph bacterial flora and open the blocked meibomian glands. If a 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 crawls into the hair follicle at night and lays eggs. 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. Proper lid hygiene is one of the most important steps in natural treatment of dry eye.
2. Nutrition for dry eyes is the most important step in natural dry eye treatment. 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 after taking the correct form omega 3 supplement in the right dosage will have a dramatic improvement in the tear production from the Meibomian glands. Fortifeye Super Omega gives the ratio of DHA and EPA that has been working in large dry eye clinics through out 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 correct dosage and form of omega 3 fish oil. However some moderate to marked dry eye symptoms may need some additional nutritional help. I recommend adding the most potent antioxidant /anti inflammatory nutrient on the planet called astaxanthin at 6mg.
Fortifeye Focus improves dry tired eye symptoms. Works well with Fortifeye Super omega.
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 often times need a jump-start to help them secrete a healthier tear film. Heating and massaging the lid margins is crucial to unclog the meibomian glands so the glands can secrete the crucial 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.
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
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) 10/06/2013