KENOSHA NEWS TUESDAY, DECEMBER 22, 2015 A6
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All those in favor, say ‘eye'
Dry, itchy eyes? Remedies are available
BY JESSICA STEPHEN
Dry, itchy, watery eyes — all an
unavoidable part of winter, right?
You could be suffering from dry
eye, a condition that leaves the eye with too few tears or too much in-eye debris for those tears to lubricate effectively. It affects an estimated 10 million Americans, ac-cording to the American Optomet-ric Association.
"It's actually pretty common, and
it's more common in this area now during the heating season," said Dr. John Warren, an optometrist and owner of Warren Eye Care in Racine and Oak Creek.
"Not blaming the heating and
air conditioning industry," Warren teased, "but the ambient humid-ity goes down dramatically from Thanksgiving to Easter — there's lower outdoor humidity and there's lower humidity indoors — and I see a lot more patients complaining of the problem at this time of year."
Many people mistake dry eye for
a side effect of the weather.
"A lot of people think it's because
it's windy out and there's nothing they can do," Warren said.
But identifying the symptoms
early can usually help eliminate the issue.
"The things that I hear that
make me think of dry eye are red, scratchy, burning, blurry vision and, actually, watering eyes, believe it or not," Warren said. "Patients look at your like you're crazy when
you say, ‘You have dry eyes,' when
Dry, itchy eyes can be treated with prescription eye drops. Those more at-risk for this condition could use a natural tears drop as well.
they're crying all the time. But the eye becomes irritated, and it dumps more tears in. And, in some cases, it
Five things to know about dry eye
can make it worse."
‘A LOT OF PEOPLE
Dry eye is treatable, although
Warren admitted it might take a
Dry eye is a diagnosable condition that leaves the eye with too few tears or too
think it's because it's
combination of over-the-counter
much in-eye debris for those tears to lubricate effectively.
and in-offi ce intervention.
windy out and there's
2. More than 10 million Americans experience dry eye, which is often made worse
"The best thing you should do
by winter weather conditions.
when you start having symptoms is
nothing they can do.'
get some artifi cial tears," Warren
3. Older adults, women, people with certain medical conditions (arthritis, diabetes,
said. "Not something Ben Stein sells
thyroid disease) and certain medications (decongestants, antihistamines and anti-
to get the red out, because if you're
depressants) could be more likely to experience dry eye. Certain cosmetics can
just treating the redness, you might
Area optometrist on the
cause dry eye. And people who have had laser vision correction or other eye surger-
treat the redness but not the under-
misconceptions about dr y eye
ies also are at higher risk for dry eye.
Warren suggested a basic over-
4. Dry eye is commonly treated with over-the-counter artifi cial tears, although pre-
the-counter eye lubricant. In fact,
An in-offi ce visit should involve
scription medications are available.
he said, if you think you have dry
looking at the eyes with a bio-micro-
eye, you might want to pick up
Staying hydrated and increasing the humidity in your environment can help pre-
"That's the thing where you stick
vent dry eye.
"They're not all the same," War-
your chin in the dish, and we shine
— American Optometric Association
ren explained. "Artifi cial tears
a bright light in your eyes. We can
are like Pepsi, Coke and Mountain
actually see the tears and how the
Dew. Some people drink only Pepsi
tears and the eye are getting along,"
and swear by it. Some people only
can be a complex disease to fi x,"
■ People with thyroid issues,
ries can prevent dry eye, however.
drink Coke. Some people only drink
diabetes and arthritis are at a
A prescription eye lubricant,
A general humidifi er can add
moisture to the air inside homes
■ Certain medications also can
and offi ces, while a personal humid-
increase the chances of getting dry
That's why knowing if you're at
ifi er or mister can help individuals
and they're fi ne.
eye, including some decongestants,
risk and preventing dry eye before
in hospitals, schools and factories,
It just depends on
antihistamines and antidepres-
it starts are so important.
where the air is typically drier.
According to the American Opto-
"You can also try to prevent it
■ Those who wear contact
inserted to treat
by staying hydrated," said Warren,
lenses, especially soft lenses, or
■ People over age 65 have a
an optometrist for 23 years and a
trying artifi cial
who have had laser vision correc-
greater chance of getting dry eye.
former president of the Wisconsin
tion or other eye surgeries are also
■ Hormonal changes make
Optometric Association. "Most
days. If there's
at higher risk.
tion of therapies
women, especially those who are
people in the Midwest are mildly de-
still an issue, then
FILE PHOTO does the trick.
pregnant, nearing menopause or
hydrated. They don't drink enough
Eye on prevention
Contact lens wearers are more
post-menopausal, more likely to
water . I say as I reach for a Diet
susceptible to dry, itchy eyes.
experience dry eye.
Even people in those risk catego-
Don't run out of Zyrtec on a remote island
Question: I live on a
a warning will be included
demonstrated impressive im-
headache, blood disorders,
for more than two months is
remote island in the South
on the label. The best way
provement, but the research
digestive upset, fatigue, high
risky for older people. It can
Pacifi c that is almost a
to report such an adverse
is still in its early days.
cholesterol, fever and painful
lead to C. diff intestinal infec-
12-hour fl ight from Los
drug reaction is at www.
Your neurologist could
joints, along with other side
tions as well as bone loss and
Angeles. A week ago, I ran
legally prescribe Tasigna for
out of Zyrtec. During the
Parkinson's disease, but most
We are sending you our
next four days, I experi-
physicians are cautious about Acid suprressors, bones
Guide to Digestive Disorders
enced some of the worst
with a discussion of the pros
Question: I have Par-
prescribing unproven medica-
Question: My wife and
hives and itchy symptoms
and cons of these medications
kinson's disease (PD), and
tions. It would be worth a
I are in our 70s. She has
in my entire life. Bena-
and the alternatives. Anyone
it is getting progressively
been taking Nexium for
dryl was my only relief,
who would like a copy, please
worse. My hands shake
Although the dose for
years. We recently read
and working three jobs is
send $3 in check or money
so much that it is almost
Parkinson's disease was
that this kind of medica-
diffi cult enough without
order with a long (No. 10),
punishment to expect.
impossible to hold a cup
much lower than the dose for
tion could increase her
the drowsiness Benadryl
stamped (70 cents), self-ad-
Answer: We have received
without spilling its con-
leukemia, the drug would still risk for bone fracture.
dressed envelope to: Grae-
so many reports of itching
be expensive. Cancer treat-
How could this be true?
Then I read all the sto-
dons' People's Pharmacy, No.
and hives associated with
Given the recent study
ment with Tasigna costs more
ries on your website about
G-3, P.O. Box 52027, Durham,
stopping cetirizine (Zyrtec)
using reduced doses of the
than $10,000 a month. Insur-
drugs such as esomeprazole
people experiencing un-
NC 27717-2027. It also can be
that we contacted the Food
ance rarely covers off-label
bearable itching when they
downloaded for $2 from our
and Drug Administration.
mia drug nilotinib to suc-
(Prevacid) and omeprazole
stopped Zyrtec. I immedi-
The agency has not respond-
cessfully treat PD, should
We don't know whether
(Prilosec) interfere with
ately ran out to the only
I ask my neurologist to
the people in the pilot study
the absorption of minerals
place on island that sells
Like you, most people don't prescribe it off-label?
experienced serious compli-
such as calcium and mag-
Zyrtec and found instant
In their column, Joe
realize that running out of
Answer: Nilotinib (Ta-
cations from taking low-dose
nesium. A recent article in
relief. When I am fi nally
Zyrtec could trigger pro-
signa) is a leukemia medicine Tasigna for six months.
the Journal of the American
and Teresa Graedon answer
ready to take the plunge of
longed itching. If enough in-
that has shown promise in a
Used in higher doses for
Geriatrics Society (November letters from readers. Write to
quitting Zyrtec, at least I
dividuals tell the FDA about
pilot study of 12 people with
cancer, Tasigna can cause
2015) suggests that taking
them via their website: www.
have an idea what kind of
this complication, perhaps
Parkinson's disease. Some
rash, elevated blood sugar,
such proton-pump inhibitors
COMING WEDNESDAY: Picking a six-pack of Christmas beers
Contents lists available at Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology & Biological An update on amine oxidase inhibitors: Multifaceted drugs Mee-Sook Song Dmitriy Matveychuk , Erin M. MacKenzie , Maryana Duchcherer Darrell D. Mousseau Glen B. Baker a Neurochemical Research Unit, Department of Psychiatry, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canadab Cell Signalling Laboratory, Department of Psychiatry, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada
Bad Homburg • Berlin • Frankfurt/Main Market survey Medicinal and Aromatic Products (MAP) Klaus Dürbeck / Torsten Picha Management Consultants Bad Homburg, Deutschland Victoor-Achard-Str. 15 • 61350 Bad Homburg • Germany Abbreviations EU European Food and Agriculture Organization Food and Drug Administration