Michael Lange OD, CNS founder of Lange Eye Care and The Lange Eye Institute has used natural approaches to treat Meibomian gland dysfunction and dry eyes since 1992 with great success. Dr. Lange discusses the protocol he uses for dry eye and Meibomian gland problem patients.
Natural treatment for meibomian gland
dysfunction and dry eye is a combination of proper lid hygiene, good diet, plenty of hydration, correct ratio of supplements and proper lubricating eye drops. Blepharitis a condition that causes the eye lids to become inflamed and crusty secondarily to a host of pathogens.Meibomian gland dysfunction is when small glands along the lower and upper lid margins become blocked and inflammed. These conditions can lead to lid infections , dry eyes and permanent vision loss if proper treatment isn’t initiated. The eye lids accumalate lots of bacteria and parasites so it is crucial that the lids are cleaned properly. Dr. Lange recommends seeing your local optometrist or ophthalmologist to determine if you have blepharitis and if so what kind?? Most forms of blepharitis can be controlled with a special lid scrub foam like ocusoft. However, some forms of blepharitis are related to a parasite called demodex. If demodex is in the lashes and the hair follicles then traditional lid scrubs will not help . Dr. Lange recommends use of a commercially available product called Cliradex to treat this type of demodex condition. The combination of lid scrubs with ocusoft then followed by a wipe of the Cliradex will get most forms of blepharitis under control within one month. However if this condition does not respond to this therapy then a topical and sometimes oral medication may be prescribed.
Dr. Lange recommends using hot compresses two to three times a day for ten minutes with gentle massage of the lid margins. This will help to liquify the clogged meibomian glands and allow the outer lipid layer of the tear film to be healthy. A patient can use a warm wash cloth for this but the simplest and most effective way to heat up the meibomian glands is to use a Bruder eye hydrating Mask, this mask retails for $25 and last for years. The combination of hot compresses and lid scrubs will open up the meibomian glands and allow a much healthier secretion of tears resulting in improved dry eye symptomology.
Michael Lange OD, CNS also states that an over haul in the typical American diet is crucial for dry eye patients. Most Americans are eating a highly refined and overly processed diet very high in omega 6. He recommends patients adapt an all organic, gluten free paleo diet. This is an anti inflammatory diet that helps the body detoxify. The typical American diet is pro inflammatory and is one of the reasons we have so much inflammation in the body. Inflammation is a root cause of dry eyes. Natural treatment of dry eyes starts with adjustment in the diet. Michael Lange OD sees many patients with meibomian gland dysfunction improve dramatically with just an improvement in diet.
Most Americans are dehydrated! Dehydration is also a major contributing factor to dry eyes. Michael Lange OD, CNS preaches on his syndicated radio show and to his patients to drink half your body weight in spring water. Drink spring water, not distilled water or reverse osmosis water. Spring water is high in minerals and relatively alkaline. Reverse osmosis and distilled water is acidic and mineral free. If a patient drinks a lot of distilled water or reverse osmosis water then due to the laws of osmosis the minerals in the body can be leached out causing mineral deficiency in the body. This can aggravate a dry eye condition.
Dr Lange also recommends drinking 1-2 glasses of coconut water a day to gain some valuable minerals like magnesium and potassium.
One cup of coffee a day may be beneficial for dry eyes however more than one cup becomes a diuretic.To counter effect the coffee one must drink three additional cups of water for every cup of coffee. Nutritional supplements for dry eyes and blocked meibomian glands are becoming the gold standard because they work.
Dr Michael Lange has also been adding a non denatured whey protein concentrate from grass fed A2 cows to all of his dry eye patients. This type of protein is very high in covalent bonded cysteine, CLA and lactoferrin. Blending one scoop of this form of protein along with either spring water, coconut water, almond milk, goats milk , A2 cows milk or coconut milk in a smoothie is a great way to get theses valuable dry eye nutrients. This can also be used as a meal replacement to help with weight management. Fortifeye Vitamins has a delicious non denatured whey protein concentrate from New Zealand grass fed A2 cows called Fortifeye Sueper Protein.
Dr. Lange recommends a minimum of 1600 mg of triglyceride form omega 3 fish oil daily for anyone under 240lbs. If you are over 240 lbs then 3000-4000 mg of triglyceride form omega 3 fish oil is recommended. The addition of 6 mg of a super carotenoid called astaxanthin has a synergistic effect when taken with omega 3 fish oil. Astaxanthin is one of the most potent natural anti inflammatory/ antioxidant nutrients. Omega 3 in the triglyceride form helps the carotenoid astaxanthin absorb more efficiently. Astaxanthin helps to reduce eye strain , improve focusing ability of the eye and reduce eye fatigue associated with prolonged near point or computer work. Astaxanthin helps control oxidative stress and inflammation. The combination of 1600 mg of omega 3 and 6 mg of astaxanthin dramatically reduces dry and tired eye symptoms. Michael Lange OD, CNS is the formulator of two specific supplements he developed for Dry Tired eyes: Fortifeye Super Omega has 1600mg of TG form Omega 3 and Fortifeye Focus has 6mg of astaxanthin, 10 mg of lutein and 2 mg of zeaxanthin isomers. Learn more at www.fortifeye.com . Astaxanthin also has some other great health benefits; blocks the harmful uv and blue light from the sun acting as a natural sun screen, minimizes fine lines and wrinkles in the face, astaxanthin improves choroidal circulation, lowers CRP and cholesterol, improves muscle endurance and muscle recovery and has a very high ORAC value so great at quenching free radicals. Wild Alaskan Salmon is a power food because it has both omega 3 in the triglyceride form and astaxanthin. The combination of Fortifeye Super Omega and Fortifeye Focus will help reduce inflammation in the lid margins and the meibomian glands and improve the quality of tear film that is secreted dramatically. This combination will also help lower inflammation in the entire body . Its maximum effect takes three to four months but many people notice significant improvement in two weeks. One last nutrient that has some benefit for dry eyes is GLA. However the ratio of GLA is crucial if its going to work. GLA is an omega 6 and if too much is taken it will increase inflammation in the body. GLA from black currant seed oil seems to work the best due to the fact that is has ALA (vegetable source of omega 3 ) as well as GLA. Dr. Lange has tried many different combinations of GLA and Omega 3 in extremely busy dry eye practices in Florida and has come to the conclusion that a ratio of close to 10-1 omega 3 to GLA is ideal natural treatment for dry eyes. For dry eye treatment he recommends 140-160mg of GLA to 1600 mg of omega 3. Michael Lange OD, CNS says the triple whammy for natural dry eye treatment is Fortifeye Super omega 2 -4 per day depending on weight, 1 Fortifeye Focus, and 140-160 mg of GLA from Black Currant seed oil.
The final part to natural treatment of dry eyes is to add a good lubricating eye drop. Michael Lange OD, CNS likes to use preservative free lubricating eye drops if they are going to be used more than two times a day. Oasis tears , Oasis tears plus, Retaine MGD and Blink Tears are three lubricating eye drops Dr Lange uses on most of his patients. He likes Blink Tears and Oasis because they both have a form of hyluranic acid in them that helps eliminate dry eye symptoms longer than most OTC artificial tears. Often times in very dry eyes related to meibomian gland dysfunction he will add Retaine MGD preservative free drops along with Oasis or Blink Tears( preservative free) to get broader coverage.
In summary , when a combination of proper lid hygiene, diet, hydration, correct supplements and good artificial tears are used most dry eye conditions that are a result of blepharitis and meibomian gland dysfunction will start to improve. Patients with dry eyes have come from all over the country to The Lange Eye Institute in The Villages Florida to learn more about natural treatment for dry eyes. Learn more about Lange Eye Care at www.langeeyecare.com and learn more about all the products discussed in this article at www.fortifeye.com to order or get more information on Dry Eye Nutrition u can call 866 503 9746 another good site for Natural dry eye treatment is www.dryeyenutrition.org