An interesting ophthalmologic emergency room (ER) study found that 40.5 percent of the patients who reported to the ER for an eye-related condition used a self-prescribed therapy to solve their eye problems.1
Remedies for the eye concern include:1
– “Homemade” eye solutions
– Breast milk
– Lemon juice
– Holy water
– Boric acid mixtures
– Commercially available or pharmacist-recommended products
Amazingly, use of these therapies went beyond treating the common red eye and were used to manage acute, vision-threating injury.
This information begs the question as to what your patients may be using to soothe, treat, or “beautify” the components of the ocular surface system.
Related: What's your red eye protocol?
Balanced functional unit
Consider that dry eye disease is a multifactorial disease that affects one or more elements of the ocular surface functional unit. The ocular surface functional unit includes:
– Tear film
– Lid margin
– Muco-epidermal junction
– Lacrimal gland tubulo-acinar epithelia
– Lacrimal drainage system
Added to this are considerations of blink rate and completeness, tear spreading abnormalities related to conjunctival degenerations or compromised eyelid position and/or function.
Are your patients manipulating this delicately balanced environment in any way?
Since the first television commercials, television broadcast has marketed products to viewers, including those that are “eye related.”
Now, there are a myriad of information suppliers and marketing platforms that include Instagram and Twitter as well as online suppliers, most notably Amazon, that can advertise and supply items from around the globe.
Remember that many of these are products that are unregulated or monitored by any governing agency.
1. Carvalho RS, Kara-José N, Temporini ER, Kara-Junior N, Noma-Campos R. Self-medication: initial treatments used by patients seen in an ophthalmologic emergency room. Clinics (Sao Paulo). 2009;64(8):735-41.
2. Sheppard AL, Wolffsohn JS. Digital eye strain: prevalence, measurement and amelioration. BMJ Open Ophthalmol. 2018 Apr 16;3(1):e000146.
3. Freudenthaler N, Neuf H, Kadner G, Schlote T. Characteristics of spontaneous eyeblink activity during video display terminal use in healthy volunteers. Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol. 2003 Nov;241(11):914-20.
4. Patel S, Henderson R, Bradley L, Galloway B, Hunter L. Effect of visual display unit use on blink rate and tear stability. Optom Vis Sci. 1991 Nov;68(11):888-92.
5. Tsubota K, Nakamori K. Dry eyes and video display terminals. N Engl J Med. 1993 Feb 25;328(8):584.
6. eMarketer. Digital set to take majority share in UK time spent with media in 2016. 2016. Available at: https://www.emarketer.com/Article/Digital-Set-Take-Majority-Share-UK-Time-Spent-with-Media-2016/1013039. Accessed 8/29/19.
7. Palaiologou I. Children under five and digital technologies: implications for early years pedagogy. European Early Childhood Edu Res J. 2016;24(1):5-24.
8. Office for National Statistics. Internet users in the UK 2017. 2017. Available at: https://www.ons.gov.uk/businessindustryandtrade/itandinternetindustry/bu.... Accessed 8/29/19.
9. The Vision Council. Digital eye strain. Available at: https://www.thevisioncouncil.org/content/digital-eye-strain. Accessed 8/29/19.
10. Solomon-Moore E, Matthews J, Reid T, Toumpakari Z, Sebire SJ, Thompson JL, Lawlor DA, Jago R. Examining the challenges posed to parents by the contemporary screen environments of children: a qualitative investigation. BMC Pediatr. 2018 Apr 7;18(1):129.
11. Ng A, Evans K, North RV, Jones L, Purslow C. Impact of Eye Cosmetics on the Eye, Adnexa, and Ocular Surface. Eye Contact Lens. 2016 Jul;42(4):211-20.
12. Chen X, Sullivan DA, Sullivan AG, Kam WR, Liu Y. Toxicity of cosmetic preservatives on human ocular surface and adnexal cells. Exp Eye Res. 2018 May;170:188-197.
13. Goldberg H, Berger Y, Ben Bassat I, Barequet I. Inadvertent corneal pigmentation following cosmetic blepharopigmentation. Am J Ophthalmol Case Rep. 2018 Sep 5;12:52-54.
14. Moshirfar M, Espandar L, Kurz C, Mamalis N. Inadvertent pigmentation of the limbus during cosmetic blepharopigmentation. Cornea. 2009 Jul;28(6):712-3.
15. De M, Marshak H, Uzcategui N, Chang E. Full-thickness eyelid penetration during cosmetic blepharopigmentation causing eye injury. J Cosmet Dermatol. 2008 Mar;7(1):35-8.
16. Lee YB, Kim JJ, Hyon JY, Wee WR, Shin YJ. Eyelid Tattooing Induces Meibomian Gland Loss and Tear Film Instability. Cornea. 2015 Jul;34(7):750-5.
17. Tope WD, Shellock FG. Magnetic resonance imaging and permanent cosmetics (tattoos): survey of complications and adverse events. J Magn Reson Imaging. 2002 Feb;15(2):180-4.
18. Amano Y, Sugimoto Y, Sugita M. Ocular disorders due to eyelash extensions. Cornea. 2012 Feb;31(2):121-5.