Recommended Eye Care Products
Lutein / Zeaxanthin
Lutein/Zeaxanthin: Macular degeneration is an eye disease that can affect your central vision. Age is the greatest risk factor, but family history, caucasian race and smoking are additional risk factors.
Many middle-aged children of parents with macular degeneration ask whether there is anything they can do to lessen their risk of being affected by this disease. If you smoke, quit. Additionally, studies have found that supplementation with lutein and zeaxanthin may be beneficial.
Lutein and zeaxanthin are carotenoids, yellow pigments found in foods. We use these pigments in our skin and in our eyes. In the eyes, the yellow pigment helps block blue light that may be damaging to the macula. It is sometimes referred to as “sunscreen” for the macula.
Costco (Trunature) and Sam's Club (Members Mark) carry a version that is reasonably priced. You will want a formula that is at least 10 mg lutein/ 2 mg zeaxanthin. The most common available formula is 25 mg lutein/ 5 mg zeaxanthin, which is fine.
Some multivitamins, such as Centrum Silver 50+, contain lutein. If you are taking a multivitamin that contains lutein, I would not change or add additional lutein.
Artificial tears: Tear supplements come in many different formulas. All have a wetting agent that is meant to help keep the eyes moist.
Hyaluronate is a molecule that is water-loving and can provide healing relief to dry eyes. The common available drops with hyaluronate are Refresh Relieva, Blink Tears, BioTrue Hydration Boost, iVizia and Systane Complete.
Stronger formulations from Europe can be ordered on Amazon. They include: Blink Intensive Tears, HycoSan Extra, Hylo Forte.
Mineral oil or castor oil can be added to tear drops to help keep your tears from evaporating too quickly. Available drops are Systane Balance or Complete, Soothe XP, Blink Triple Care, Refresh Optive Advanced, and Rohto Dry Aid.
Thermalon Dry Eye Compress:(Amazon): Symptoms of dry, irritated eyes have been shown to improve with warm, moist heat. The Thermalon Dry Eye Compress is an effective and value-priced option for applying warm, moist heat to your eyes. Available from Amazon and others.
Evertears (https://thermamedx.com/product/evertears/) is a self heating pad that provides heat and cleansing to the eyelids. “The pre-moistened pads provide immediate heat at the precise temperature needed to help unblock eyelid glands, and clean the area - treats the problem, not just the symptoms!”
VitA-POS or HYLO Night™ Nighttime Ointment: Sleep should be restorative for the ocular surfaces, repairing the damage from a day of dust, dirt, wind, pollen and/or dryness.
If you wake up with dry, gritty-feeling eyes, your eyes may be drying out while you sleep. Instilling an ointment before bed can help coat the ocular surfaces and help them to heal while you are sleeping.
Available from Amazon and Optase. Other alternatives are Refresh PM or its store-brand equivalent.
Allergy drops: If you suffer from seasonal allergies that cause red, itchy eyes, you are in luck.
Most ocular treatments are now OTC, available without a prescription. Zaditor and Alaway are now joined by Pataday and Lastacaft. Any of these drops should be a good first-line treatment for allergic eyes.
And don't forget, cool compresses can also bring relief. Another trick is to keep an artificial tear bottle in the refrigerator and instill the cold drop for relief.
Eyelids: Coconut oil, yes the white stuff for cooking, is a great moisturizer and cleanser for the eyelids.
Apply a thin layer with a clean finger to the eyelashes and outer eyelid skin. Leave on for about 5 minutes and clean and rinse with your normal facial cleanser and warm water.
Coconut oil has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties that are very beneficial to the eyelids.