Q & A
What is dry eye ?
Dry eye occurs when the quantity and/or quality of tears fails to keep the surface of the eye adequately lubricated. Experts estimate that dry eye affects millions of adults in the United States. The risk of developing dry eye increases with advancing age. Women have a higher prevalence of dry eye compared with men. It causes a scratchy sensation or the feeling that something is in the eye. Other symptoms include stinging or burning, episodes of excess tearing that follow periods of dryness, discharge, pain, and redness in the eye. People with dry eye may also feel as if their eyelids are heavy and may experience blurred vision.
What are tears and how do they relate to dry eye?
Tears are a complex mixture of fatty oils, water, mucus, and more than 1500 different proteins that keep the surface of the eye smooth and protected from the environment, irritants, and infectious pathogens. They form 3 layers on the eye: an oil layer, water layer, and mucin layer. In a healthy eye, lubricating tears continuously bathe the surface of the eye. Vision may be affected because tears on the surface of the eye play an important role in focusing light.
What causes dry eye?
Dry eye can occur when tear production decreases, tear evaporation increases, or tear composition is imbalanced. Factors that can contribute to dry eye include the following:
Medications including antihistamines, decongestants, antidepressants, birth control pills, hormone replacement therapy to relieve symptoms of menopause, and medications for anxiety, Parkinson’s disease, and high blood pressure have been associated with dry eye.
Advancing age is a risk factor for declines in tear production. Dry eye is more common in people age 50 years or older.
Rosacea (an inflammatory skin disease) and blepharitis (an inflammatory eyelid disease) can disrupt the function of the Meibomian glands.
Autoimmune disorders such as Sjögren’s syndrome, lupus, scleroderma, and rheumatoid arthritis and other disorders such as diabetes, thyroid disorders, and Vitamin A deficiency are associated with dry eye.
Women are more likely to develop dry eye. Hormonal changes during pregnancy and after menopause have been linked with dry eye.
Windy, smoky, or dry environments
Prolonged periods of screen time
Laser eye surgery
How is dry eye treated?
If you are experiencing symptoms, schedule and evaluation with Dr. Westcott to determine the cause, which guides treatment strategy.
Some treatment options:
Artificial tears, gels, ointments and supplements
Environmental and lifestyle changes: cutting back on screen time, blinking repeatedly, wrap sunglasses that block wind, smoking cessation
Medications: Restasis (cyclosporine), Xiidra (lifitegrast), and/or corticosteroids
What VEC is offering?
A: Hydroeye Nutritional Supplements
A leading, doctor-recommended dry eye supplement that relieves
dry, itchy and irritated eyes due to: age, tear deficiency,
contact lens wear, computer use, frequent flying, LASIK surgery,
and other causes. HydroEye has been clinically tested and
found to support eye comfort, keep irritation at bay and maintain corneal smoothness in a double-blind, placebo-controlled, multi-center trial, published in the peer-reviewed journal, Cornea.
Offers uninterrupted relief with continued use; results typically experienced within 30-60 days.
Money-back guarantee! Try HydroEye risk-free for 60 days
How Does HydroEye Compare to other dry eye products?
HydroEye's unique, patented formulation features a balanced blend of omega fatty acids, which have been well established to provide support for dry eyes as well as other health benefits. GLA, a key omega fat in HydroEye, has been well studied and safely used for over 20 years. GLA has gained attention in recent years for it's role in dampening inflammation, an underlying cause of dry eye. HydroEye also contains omega-3 EPA and DHA from the highest quality, USP-verified fish oil. EPA and DHA provide additional anti-inflammatory support as well as benefits for macular and heart health. HydroEye has also been found to raise levels of lactoferrin in LASIK patients. Additionally, HydroEye provides antioxidants and other key nutrients that support all 3 layers of the tear film.
Can HydroEye be taken with Coumadin or other "blood thinning" medications?
A study published in 1994 reported that supplemental GLA lowered triglycerides, increased levels of "good" HDL cholesterol and prolonged the time it takes for blood platelets to clump together- factors which may contribute to cardiovascular health.
Platelets in the blood have a sticky surface which allows them, along with other substances, to form blood clots when bleeding occurs, a process called coagulation. Since platelets are involved in the process of forming clots, the GLA contained in HydroEye could theoretically increase the effects of anti-coagulant and anti-platelet medications such as Coumadin, Plavix or aspirin. If you are taking "blood thinning" medications, Dr. Westcott can perform a Prothrombin time, INR, or bleeding time test to measure how long it takes blood to clot. This will ensure that HydroEye can safely be added to your current drug regimen.
How does HydroEye differ from flaxseed and fish oils?
HydroEye provides the same omega-3s as flaxseed and fish oil. HydroEye now features EPA and DHA from highest-quality, USP verified fish oil. However, only HydroEye provides GLA (gamma linolenic acid). GLA effectively promotes the body's production of anti-inflammatory compounds. Both GLA and the omega-3 from fish oils have anti-inflammatory actions, but only GLA has been clinically shown to decrease dry eye symptoms. Additionally, neither fish nor flaxseed oils contain other important nutrients that are included in HydroEye: vitamin B6 and magnesium to promote fatty acid metabolism, vitamin A to support the production of mucin in the tear film, and the antioxidant vitamin C to help fight the free radicals associated with inflammation.
How long does HydroEye take to work?
HydroEye offers long-lasting effectiveness with continued use. Results are typically experienced within 30-60 days.
How does HydroEye differ from artificial tears and drops?
HydroEye is an oral formulation that works from the inside out to target the root causes of dry eye. Unlike topical products like drops and artificial tears, HydroEye does not require frequent re-application throughout the day. HydroEye provides uninterrupted relief within 30-60 days.
What’s the difference between the EE and TG forms of omega-3s?
Research suggests that the EE (Ethyl Ester) and TG (triglyceride) forms of omega fatty acids from fish oil are absorbed about the same when taken over several weeks or more. While some research measuring absorption over just a single day or less found the TG form to be better absorbed, differences disappear in studies that compared these forms over two weeks or more. SBH products contain the EE form, as the EE form has been used in nearly every clinical trial showing benefit for omega-3s from fish oil and is the choice for the National Eye Institute’s AREDS 2 trial now in progress.
Why does it take more than just fish oil to combat dry eye?
Although discussion of fish omega forms has centered on their use for dry eye, research has not yet shown fish omegas to be a lead dry eye player. Instead, they are a useful adjunct to GLA, an omega that has demonstrated significant dry eye benefit in three clinical trials. When the fish omega EPA is paired with GLA, they reduce inflammation in a complementary fashion. HydroEye features GLA plus USP-verified fish oil that, along with other important nutrients, fights inflammation and supports all three layers of the tear film.
What does it Cost?
1 bottle (60 capsules) is $34.95. VEC recommends a 2 month period for full effectiveness. If patient does not feel relief we offer a money back guarantee. Note: Pt has to be compliant with direction/number of supplementation.