The holiday season brings lots of good cheer and also worsens dry eyes-here's how your patients can effectively manage their symptoms.
Editor’s Note: Welcome to “Let's Chat,” a blog series featuring contributions from members of the ophthalmic community. These blogs are an opportunity for ophthalmic bloggers to engage with readers with about a topic that is top of mind, whether it is practice management, experiences with patients, the industry, medicine in general, or healthcare reform. The series continues with this blog by Melissa Toyos, MD. The views expressed in these blogs are those of their respective contributors and do not represent the views of Ophthalmology Times or UBM Medica.
The holiday season bring lots of good cheer and also worsens dry eyes. Indoor heat lowers already low winter humidity levels and on top of that, patients are getting dressed up for events and parties where beauty-related dry eye problems abound.
Makeup is a major offender. Some patients with severe dry eye often find it virtually impossible to wear eye makeup. However, the majority of dry eye sufferers do try to glam up, and we can help them by making recommendations for products and treatments that can facilitate their holiday season and improve their resilience to the season’s challenges.
Beauty product problems
For many of my patients, makeup and beauty products are not optional. I try to minimize dry eye problems related to these products by telling them my recommendations for cosmetics and reminding them to always remove all makeup before bed, no matter how late they’re getting there.
Treatment for healthy eyes
In addition to educating patients about beauty products, I think the best defense is to make sure that they start the season with the healthiest eyes possible. I use IPL therapy (Optima IPL, Lumenis), which allows us to solve several issues simultaneously. IPL rejuvenates skin in the eye area, reduces ocular surface inflammation, closes off lid margin telengiectasias, improves meibomian gland function, and can even increase the number of working glands over time.
I also prescribe cyclosporine (Restasis, Allergan; Cequa, Sun Pharma) and lifitegrast (Xiidra, Shire), as well as loteprednol (Lotemax, Bausch & Lomb) for acute flares. I offer platelet-rich plasma tears made with an advanced centrifuge technology (Genius PRP, Reinvent Biologics) and a natural preservative-free tear product containing chamomile, aloe vera, and other natural anti-inflammatories. With dry eye disease under control-and, hopefully, with some beauty tips heeded-my patients can sail through the holidays with fresh, clear, healthy eyes.
Melissa Toyos, MD
Dr. Toyos is a partner and research director at Toyos Clinic in Nashville, Tennessee. She is a consultant for Iridex; speaker and consultant for Valeant and Sun; researcher for Kala, Lumenis, Magellan, Novaliq, Opternative, and Sun; speaker, consultant and researcher for Shire, Mallinckrodt, and Mixto Lasering; and consultant and researcher for DigiSight