Millions of people suffer from chronic dry eye, blepharitis, meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD) and meibomitis. Treatment of these patients has been a difficult task for both optometrists and ophthalmologists alike. Indeed, a significant number of patients who seek relief for these chronic and debilitating conditions will bounce from doctor to doctor looking for a reprieve from their discomfort.
Recent evidence indicates that almost ten percent of the American population suffers to some degree from these persistent complaints.
Avenova, from NovaBay Pharmaceuticals, is the new kid on the block. The active ingredient in this revolutionary product is NeutroxTM, a 99% pure, stable form of hypochlorous acid, the same chemical produced by the body’s white blood cells to combat against infections. Avenova offers patients relief from their red, sore, achy eyes. In solution, Avenova has antimicrobial activity and laboratory results demonstrate anti-inflammatory activity as well.
Over-the-counter products do not appear to give continuous relief, leaving our patients to use topical prescription antibiotic or steroid eye drops, oral doxycycline, irritating baby shampoo cleanses, warm compresses, and high dosages of Omega 3 oils. No single treatment plan will resolve the discomfort, and often a combination of several treatments is needed. Now, Avenova appears to be a breakthrough cleanser for dry eye and blepharitis.
Many patients develop ocular complaints as they age. Others develop problems associated with rosacea and seborrhea. Still others will develop problems related to tear disruption secondary to contact lenses, corneal sutures, and punctal plugs.
Dry, itchy, red, or swollen eyelids. Burning, tearing, flaking, and crusting. Foreign body sensation. Tenderness to the touch. All are signs and symptoms screaming for relief. Frequently, dry eye, blepharitis, MGD, and meibomitis will co-exist and exacerbate each other. Often patients are undiagnosed, under diagnosed, or untreated, but why let them suffer?
Although there may be no true panacea to solve dry eye, blepharitis, MGD, or meibomitis, Avenova is a step in that direction. Whether it is used alone or in combination with other treatments, my patients have found it an easy and effective remedy for their complaints. It is nontoxic and nonirritating. Simply spray twice onto a cotton round or make-up pad, and rub the eyelids two or three times twice per day. It is a valuable technique in the cleansing and removal of topical bacteria that are often a major cause of their problems. Most patients start to obtain relief in two weeks.
One of the exciting benefits of Avenova is that I can avoid the use of antibiotics and steroids. Even though I have continued to use warm compresses and high dosage Omega 3, I have been able to reduce the reliance on other prescription medications. There is no need to use antibiotics when effective cleansing works.
Of course, a smiling, happy, and content patient is one of our principle goals. In my practice, Avenova has been shown to eliminate the signs and symptoms of chronic dry eye and blepharitis. I believe it is an effective solution for daily eyelid and eyelash hygiene. When I see happy smiling patients free from ocular discomfort, I feel like at least one of my main goals has been achieved.
A three-time graduate of The Ohio State University, Dr. Jeffrey Schultz received his Bachelor of Science in 1970, and in 1974, he received his Master of Science in Physiological Optics and Doctorate of Optometry. Following his graduation, Dr. Schultz joined the faculty at The Ohio State University College of Optometry as a clinical instructor in the general optometry, contact lens, and pathology programs. In 1975, Dr. Schultz opened his private practice, Lifetime Eye Care, in Cleveland, Ohio. Contact lens and contact lens solution research has been a continuing feature of his practice.