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Five Ways to Care for your Eyes

by Francesca Marchetti(more info)

listed in vision and eye sight, originally published in issue 293 - March 2024

A shocking new study[1] by Rohto Dry Aid – the eight in one clinically proven Dry Eye treatment solution – has given an insight into the nation’s eye health, discovering that 1 in 2 Brits are suffering from Dry Eye, with women being the more likely of the genders to experience this potentially eye-destroying condition. In fact, women in general are almost twice as likely to suffer from Dry Eye than men.[2]

Although so many people are victims of Dry Eye, one in two Brits have no idea what this condition even is!

 

Depiction_of_a_person_suffering_from_Dry_Eye_Syndrome

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Depiction_of_a_person_suffering_from_Dry_Eye_Syndrome.png

Depiction of a person suffering from Dry Eye Syndrome

Image Credit:  Myupchar Digital Hospital   via Wikipedia

 

Optometrist Francesca Marchetti says that Dry Eye occurs when you don’t produce enough tears or the consistency of the tear changes. This leads to inadequate lubrication of the tear film with inflammation and likely damage to the eye surface. The research also revealed how almost 46% of Brits correctly believe that Dry Eye Syndrome can damage your eyes.

Concerned? Francesca Marchetti says that the symptoms of Dry Eye include watery, gritty and/or itchy eyes, blurred vision, tired eyes, soreness, burning, irritated, dry, stinging, sensitivity to light and heavy eyelids. As the Rohto Dry Aid research discovered, when respondents understood the symptoms, only 26.6% of men and 17.3% of women admitted to never having suffered from Dry Eye

Our eyes are precious. Francesca Marchetti explains: “The eye contains over two million working parts and is considered the second most complex organ in the body – the most complex is the brain.”

“As for the causes of Dry Eye, Dr Byki Huntjens, clinical Optometrist and a Dry Eye researcher and specialist says: “Dry eye has many causes from age to the environment, including wind, cold, indoor air pollution and central heating, diet, certain medications, and some health conditions. Children too can suffer from Dry Eye.”

Women’s health expert, Dr Catherine Hood adds: “Changes in hormones that occur during the perimenopause and menopause, can lead to dysfunction of the tear glands as well as cause reduction in the oils and mucin that protect and lubricate the eye surface as part of the tear film.” So, what can be done to protect our eyes? Here are 5 eye care essential tips from Francesca Marchetti that she ‘swears by’:

  1. Take Screen Breaks
    The Rohto Dry Aid research found that almost six in 10 Brits admit that using a computer or laptop can have a negative impact on their eyes, with 32.3% saying that their screen time is leading to symptoms of Dry Eye. Francesca Marchetti explains that ‘screeners’ may find themselves blinking far less than usual. “This can cause tears to dry up or evaporate. Therefore, screen breaks are vital.”
    Worryingly, only 14.6% of people questioned take regular screen breaks. “Give your eyes a break from screens every 20 minutes by looking at a distant object 20ft away for 20 seconds and blink for 20 seconds – it’s called the 20 20 20 screen break rules,” explains Francesca Marchetti.
  2. Watch your Screen Position
    “Position your computer screen below eye level so that you won’t open your eyes as wide; if your computer screen is above eye level, you'll open your eyes wider to view the screen,” says Francesca Marchetti. When you don’t open your eyes as wide, it may help slow the evaporation of your tears between eye blinks.
  3. Use a Clinically Proven 8 in 1 Dry Eye Treatment
    Despite nearly half of Brits understanding that Dry Eye can damage eyes, 65% don’t actually have an eye care routine and less than a third use eye drops. Francesca Marchetti explains that it’s important to lubricate and protect the eyes to combat the decline in hyaluronic acid; a common trigger to Dry Eye.
    “The eyes rely on optimal levels of fluids to work properly. They need fluids to produce tears, absorb shocks, transport nutrients, and protect delicate tissues. When eyes lack fluids, they can become dry, sensitive, and easily irritable, and vision can suffer.”
    “Rohto Dry Aid eye drops provide a premium ‘8 in 1’ treatment for the Dry Eye condition, helping to relieve dryness, soreness, itchiness, irritation, burning, grittiness, stinging and tiredness.
    “An impressive 97% of study volunteers who tested[3] Rohto Dry Aid found that Rohto Dry Aid drops offered relief from Dry Eye symptoms in two minutes or less.”
  4. Eat an Eye-Lovin’ Diet
    Almost a third of Brits correctly believe that diet can have a significant negative impact on eye health. Enjoy an anti-inflammatory diet filled with fruits, vegetables, beans, pulses, and grains. A vitamin D supplement can also be useful as this vitamin has been proven to help support eye health
    Public Health Nutritionist, Dr Emma Derbyshire says: “A lack of omega 3s relative to omega 6s may also impact Dry Eye. Omega-3s have long been known for their anti-inflammatory properties.”
    Oily fish such as sardines, mackerel and salmon are your best sources of omega 3, however a supplement can also be a useful addition to your diet should you not want to eat fish.
  5. Be Aware of Your Environment
    Central heating, air con, indoor air pollution caused from heaters, room sprays, cleaning products etc., high altitude air such as that in planes, and smoky environments can all cause the eyes to dry out. Dr Byki Huntjens adds: “Don't direct hair dryers, car heaters, air conditioners or fans toward your eyes either.”
    “It may be helpful to frequently close your eyes for a few minutes at a time to minimise evaporation of your tears.”

Rohto Dry Aid eye drops can also help with lubrication. An effective eye drop for Dry Eye, Rohto Dry Aid, provides fast soothing relief for up to 12 hours. Its Tearshield Technology™ formulation (see note to editors) has been designed with a range of ingredients to provide the protection and hydration required to tackle dry spots and restore all layers (the muco-aqueous layer and the lipid layer) of the natural tear film, which breaks the cycle of dry eye. For more information on Rohto Dry Aid see www.mentholatum.co.uk/brands/rohto-dry-aid

 

Rohto Dry Aid

https://www.amazon.co.uk/ROHTO-Dry-AID-Intensive-Relief/dp/B08JZGWVR3

ROHTO Dry AID Intensive Dry Eye Relief


Rohto Dry Aid Formulation – Modes of Action

Povidone is a polymer with a wide range of pharmaceutical and medical applications.[4]  It lubricates, protects, and soothes the surface of the eye, and works as a carrier to ensure that other active ingredients are integrated into all layers of the tear film. By bolstering the tear film, it also reduces water loss and protects the cornea.

Propylene glycol is a well-tolerated synthetic liquid which attracts water and is clinically proven to help hydrate the tear film,[5] particularly the mucin area. By reducing friction, it prevents damage and subsequent inflammation of the mucin area.

Sesame oil has a long history of use as a safe carrier for medicines delivered by intramuscular injection.[6] Sesame Oil also spreads more evenly over the eye, which ensures a greater uniform coating versus mineral oil, which is what most other eye drops use. More recently, it is one of a number of lipids with proven, and well tolerated, ophthalmic applications — particularly enhancing membrane permeability and cellular uptake of lipophilic molecules.[7]  It has a very similar chemical structure to the lipid area of the tear film, an affinity which helps repair and maintain it. This also prevents evaporation from the aqueous area.

PEG-10 Castor oil is another lipid with proven ophthalmic benefits, with studies showing it reduces corneal drying and helps stabilize and thicken the tear film. Trials confirm it also reduces tear evaporation,[8]  and it extends dry-eye symptom relief by reducing Tear Film Break Up Time (TFBUT).

Poloxamers are thermoresponsive, and when dispersed in water, turn into hydrogels. In Rohto Dry Aid, they work in two distinct modes: their lipid-friendly lipophilic block protects the ocular surface by binding to membrane lipids on the corneal epithelium cells or lipid area, while their hydrophilic blocks are water-retentive, contributing to tear film stability, all helping the surface of the eye.

Electrolytes in the form of potassium and calcium create a positive environment for the corneal stem cells which allow it to repair and replace damage. This is achieved by maintaining a loser tear osmolarity, which reduces fluid loss from the cornea’s epithelial cells.

Menthol is added to create a gentle refreshing sensation when the drops are applied.

Polyhexamthylene biguanide is a mild, gentle, eye-friendly preservative born out of the same ingredient family of compounds (Polyaminopropyl biguanide) used in contact lens solutions and eye drops, to ensure that the product remains safe to use for a certain period of time after its first opening. Rohto Dry Aid can therefore be used safely for up to 3 months after the bottle has been opened for the very first time. This ingredient also has proven antiviral and antibacterial properties.

Magnesium sulfate has been shown to improve ocular blood flow and reduce oxidative stress. It is also being investigated as a possible treatment for glaucoma.[9]

Evidence of Efficacy

The effective and long-lasting relief that Rohto Dry Aid provides was confirmed in a recent UK user trial involving 107 adults aged 20 to over 66 who suffered from dry eye symptoms.[10]

All experienced multiple issues with dryness being the most common concern (96%), followed by eye fatigue (69%) and irritation (50%). And in line with more extensive consumer research carried out by Rohto Dry Aid, 61% of the trial volunteers reported using screen devices more frequently during the pandemic.

Before using the eyedrops, the volunteers were asked to score their symptoms at three different time points: on waking in the morning, in the middle of the day, and just before bedtime. They then applied a single drop of Rohto Dry Aid and scored symptoms after 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 and 12 hours of application.

Then, after 1 to 2 drops, as needed, for 14 days, they were again asked about their symptoms and other aspects such as blurriness and ease of use.

Almost all the volunteers – 97% – reported symptom relief in two minutes or less. There was a 31% reduction in symptom scores at 2 hours[11]  and a 41% reduction in symptom scores at 4 hours: 3.49, compared to 5.92 at baseline. At 12 hours the drops were still providing significant symptom relief.

After 14 days of using Rohto Dry Aid:

  • 98% reported the drops soothed their eyes effectively[12]
  • 84% said they provided all-day symptom relief[13]
  • 97% thought the drops were easy to use[14]
  • 93% confirmed it was non-blurry[15]

When asked to rate the eye drops on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being excellent, the average score was 4.21.

The findings align with earlier research by ocular centres including the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, which was published in the journal, Clinical Ophthalmology in 2017.

In that trial, Rohto Dry Aid was compared to a leading competitor product and researchers concluded: “The Rohto group experienced a superior relief from discomfort associated with visual tasking activities and daily diaries, indicating that the Rohto Dry Aid drops may provide a longer duration of symptomatic relief over the course of the day.”[16]

Researchers also found that when the competitor product was used, symptoms increased throughout the day, while the Rohto users’ symptoms scores remained low throughout the day.

One of the co-authors, Optometrist, Michael S. Cooper, says, “Patient-reported symptoms from this study suggest that Rohto Dry Aid balances the ocular surface throughout the day, which may help reduce patients’ need for continuous dosing and allow for improved quality of life and visual measures.”[17]

References

  1. Global Perspectus; 1,109 nationally representative consumers questioned; Spring 2023.
  2. Findlay Q,Reid K (2018)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6202299
  3. Data on file
  4. https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/medicine-and-dentistry/povidone
  5. https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/Propylene-glycol
  6. https://www.drugs.com/inactive/sesame-oil-85.html
  7. Garique J-S et al (2017) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5655476/
  8. Garique J-S et al (2017 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5655476/
  9. Eckici F et al. (2014) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4897098/
  10. Independent Consumer User Trial; data on file
  11. 5.92 at baseline down to 4.12
  12. Independent Consumer User Trial; data on file; data from: Q36
  13. Independent Consumer User Trial; data on file; data from Q49
  14. Independent Consumer User Trial; data on file; data from Q55
  15. Independent Consumer User Trial; data on file; data from Q54
  16. Torkildsen G et al (2017) https://www.dovepress.com/evaluation-of-a-new-artificial-tear-formulation-for-the-management-of--peer-reviewed-article-OPTH
  17. https://eyewire.news/articles/study-patients-using-rohto-dry-aid-report-all-day-relief-of-ocular-signs-and-symptoms-of-dry-eye-disease/

 

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About Francesca Marchetti

Francesca Marchetti, Committee member Coventry & Warwickshire Local Optical Committee, graduated from Glasgow in 1984 and is now a Self Employed Optometrist, working in both the independent and multiple sector in the West Midlands. She works in a refractive clinic on a regular basis and does sessional work at Aston University. She has been a Councillor for the College of Optometrists since 2006.and a Councillor for the Association of Optometrists (AOP) since 2007. She is a media spokesperson for the College and the AOP doing radio , TV and newspaper interviews. She sits on the “Driving Committee” with the AOP, is a regular contributor as an Optometric educator/presenter at numerous conferences and meetings and is secretary to her Local Optical Committee , Warwickshire. She has been Chair of National Eye Health Week from 2011-1023 and remains on the steering group as Past Chair. Francesca has recently taken up the role of Clinical Liaison Lead at Midland Eye in Solihull and  may be contacted via  linkedin.com/in/francesca-marchetti-a525b631

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