Total Eye Care has participated in numerous studies and clinical trials concerning the role of the eye as a window into many “invisible illnesses”. We are happy to say the culmination of much of this research can now be found in The Driscoll Theory® which is currently available as a downloadable PDF.
As many of you know, Dr. Diana Driscoll (optometrist at Total Eye Care) became disabled by one of these “invisible illnesses” in 2008. Diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS) and “POTS” – postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, she began a quest to discover the underlying cause of this dramatic and disabling condition. Not surprisingly, many signs of the underlying problems could be located within the eye, thus that is where her research began.
The doctors at Total Eye Care continue to be especially interested in “invisible illness” and believe many patients diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome (or M.E.), fibromyalgia, chronic Lyme disease and EDS/POTS suffer with similar symptoms and signs – many of which are visible in the eyes. By locating these problems, correct treatment can begin, and the condition can be reversed.
For more information concerning studies about “invisible illnesses” at Total Eye Care, you may want to visit our “research studies” page at http://www.totaleyecare.com/Clinical-Studies.html.
If you or someone you love suffers from an “invisible illness”, we may be able to help you.
Total Eye Care will be conducting clinical trials for patients with dysautonomia, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, and multiple sclerosis. As a part of the study, participants will receive an eye exam at no charge. Currently, we still have some openings for patients with relapsing remitting MS. If you would like to be a part of the study please contact us at [email protected]
For strict dietary vegans flax meal may be the only option of increasing the omega 3 fatty acids, albeit an inefficient one. However, for most people flax seed oil’s role is very limited in the treatment of dry eye syndrome. Flax seed meal on the other hand may have a limited role. The biggest disadvantages to using flax seed oil is that you can’t cook with it (it is not stable above 160° F), it must be refrigerated and it has a short shelf life. Flax seed meal, on the other, hand can be used as a shortening substitute, has a very high fiber content, has a much longer shelf life and can be used in baking. Therefore, I would only recommend flax seed oil over omega 3 fatty acids derived from fish if someone did not like the texture of the flax seed meal or flax meal would be inappropriate in a particular recipe.
One of the best uses of flax seed meal is its high fiber content therefore, I would recommend flax seed meal in baking to increase our dietary fiber and any ALA (alpha linolenic acid) converted to the omega fatty acids is just an extra bonus. In addition, flax seeds are not digested by our bodies and should not be considered as a dietary source of fiber or omega 3 fatty acids. The flax seed’s shell is very hard and must be crushed if our bodies are to utilize it. Therefore, if you must rely on flax as a source of omega 3 fatty acids utilize flax seed meal.
This article is the fourth and final article in a series on Omega 3 fatty acids in the treatment of dry eye syndrome.
Posted in dry eye, dry eye syndrome
Tagged cholesterol, chronic fatigue, DHA, dry eye syndrome, EPA, essential fatty acid, fibromyalgia, fish oil, flax seed meal, flax seed oil, lipid, MS, multiple sclerosis, omega 3 fatty acid, triglyceride, vegan
The short answer, without question is fish oil. We have found better results by eliminating the flax seed oil and greatly increasing the EPA and DHA (we like 2000 mg to 3000 mg of EPA and DHA combined). Flax seed oil is very unstable and thus has a short shelf life at room temperature. Flax seed oil also does not contain omega 3 fatty acids, instead our bodies must convert the ALA (alpha linolenic acid) contained within the flax seed into the omega 3 fatty acids that can then be used by our bodies. Another disadvantage to flax seed oil is that our body’s conversion of flax seed oil to EPA or DHA is very inefficient. The conversion ALA to EPA/DHA rate has been reported to be between 4% and 15% (worse for DHA than EPA and lower for men than women). A person’s conversion rate can vary based on many factors. Therefore, fish is a much better and efficient source of omega 3 fatty acids.
This article is the third in the four part series on using omega 3 fatty acids in treating dry eye syndrome
Posted in dry eye, dry eye syndrome
Tagged cholesterol, chronic fatigue, DHA, dry eye syndrome, EPA, essential fatty acid, fatty acid, fibromyalgia, fish oil, flax, lipid, MS, multiple sclerosis, omega 3, omega 3 fatty acid, triglyceride
As eye doctors we recommend that our patients with dry eyes increase their dietary intake of omega 3 fatty acids. Our typical dosage is 2000 mg to 3000 mg in a combination of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). This translates into 4 oz of wild, Atlantic salmon per day. Regardless of how much we like salmon we probably don’t want it every day no matter how many different ways there are to fix it, therefore fish oil capsules are a necessary dietary supplement. Unfortunately, not all fish oil capsules are created equal. Often inferior and/or low dose varieties cause “fish burp” and indigestion while others can not be efficiently used by our bodies. Here is an article on how to evaluate the different types of omega 3 fish oil capsules.
This article is the second of a four part series on using omega 3 fatty acids in treating dry eye syndrome
Posted in dry eye, dry eye syndrome, Macular Degeneration
Tagged cholesterol, chronic fatigue, DHA, dry eye sydrome, dry eye syndrome, EPA, essential fatty acid, fatty acid, fibromyalgia, fish oil, lipid, Macular Degeneration, MS, multiple sclerosis, omega 3, omega 3 fatty acid, triglyceride
A hot topic currently in medicine revolves around the multiple benefits of increasing the Omega 3 Fatty Acids in our western diets. At Total Eye Care we have recommended increasing the essential fatty acids in our diet for many years. A pilot study, conducted by the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, on the efficacy Omega 3 Fatty Acids in the treatment of dry eye syndrome was published in the journal Cornea. 36 patients with dry eye syndrome were involved in the study. The control group was given a placebo and the study group was given a daily dose of 450 mg of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), 300 mg of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and 1000 mg of flaxseed oil. The patient’s symptoms and objective findings were assessed at baseline and then again 90 days later.
The objective findings suggested that there was increased tear production as well as an improvement in fluorophotometry (the assessment of the tears with fluorescein dye), however more importantly 70% of the study group experienced an improvement in their symptoms versus only 7% of the control group. This data compares well with what we see clinically at Total Eye Care.
This article is the first in a four part series on using omega 3 fatty acids in the treatment of dry eye syndrome
Posted in dry eye, dry eye syndrome
Tagged cholesterol, chronic fatigue, DHA, dry eye syndrome, EPA, essential fatty acid, fibromyalgia, fish oil, lipid, MS, multiple sclerosis, omega 3 fatty acid, triglyceride
Dr. Diana Driscoll
Effective 10/22/2010 we are going to put Lunch and Lounge on hiatus for a while. We’ll make an announcement here when we bring it back. Thanks to all of those that participated.
Many patients with questions and concerns regarding their challenges with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome have contacted Dr. Diana for help. Starting Friday, June 11 at Noon Central time, Dr. Diana would like to help as many people as possible by holding weekly conference calls.
It’s hard to find a comprehensive source for the ocular problems experienced by patients with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. Our very own Diana Driscoll, O.D. wrote this article, placing the most up to date information in one place.
Our practice continues to be sought out by patients for help in their quest for answers to the potential ocular complications related to Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, such as dry eye syndrome and keratoconus, as a result the number of patients we see with EDS grows rapidly.
This updated eBook includes many color pictures and references. It is the only book covering EDS and the eye. Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome: Your Eyes and EDS is now available on Amazon.com
In each of the previous two months I’ve written about new dry eye medications, Prolacria and RX-10045, that may receive approval in late 2010, thus I was not looking to write about another dry eye medication, however I write about new developments as I come across them so here it is . In a recent study naltrexone hydrochloride, as an eye drop, restored corneal sensitivity and normalized tear production in diabetic rats. Interestingly, the effect occured within an hour of administration and lasted for days.
Naltrexone hydrochloride or NTX, as it is known, is currently used in treating alcohol dependence. Low dose naltrexone (LDN) has some popular off label uses as well for auto immune diseases such as multiple sclerosis and fibromyalgia to name a few.
Studies using NTX to treat dry eye syndrome in humans can not be far behind. It is also expect that NTX will also be studied to see if it can reverse the effects of diabetic retinopathy.