A new “drug free” treatment for dry, inflamed and itchy eyes Do you from dry eyes or an inflammatory eye condition which can include symptoms like itchy, red, irritated and swollen eyes? Dry eye mostly occurs as a part of the natural ageing process, affecting about a third of people over 65 (representing over 500,000 people in this age bracket alone in Ireland) and is 50% more common in women than men.
Perhaps you suffer from Meibomian gland dysfunction, a condition where the glands at the eye lids become blocked with thick secretions leading to unsightly swelling around the eyes and inflamed and irritated eyes. Statistics show that 20% of adults between 45 and 64 in Ireland suffer from meibomium gland dysfunction, a common cause of inflamed and irritated eyes. If you suffer from either of these conditions, there is a new and innovative Irish made product could give you relief.
“The Eye Spoon”
“The Eye Spoon” is a drug free treatment option designed for many of the most common and annoying eye problems. The concept of The Eye Spoon was developed by Dr Micheal J Gallagher, a Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon who has a monthly ophthalmic clinic at St Francis Private Hospital in Mullingar. According to Dr Gallagher, he designed the eye spoon out of necessity to treat his patients effectively. Dr Gallagher says the “eye spoon represents a novel design and has been trialled on his patients to great effect over a two year period.”
How does it work?
Dr. Gallagher’s invention provides a method for applying heat effectively to the human eyelid. The apparatus consists of a spoon-shaped device comprising a wooden oval heat applicator with dimensions sufficient to cover a human eye, with an elongated handle extending from the applicator.
So, how does it work? Initially, the device is placed into boiling water in a mug for 20 seconds. Once removed, air dry for 20 seconds to prevent scalding. The Eye Spoons are then applied directly to both eyes until the heat subsides. The device is designed for safe use, whilst retaining sufficient heat to treat the affected eye.
Designed to be used for both adults and children, the reusable device is manufactured in Ireland from beech timber and is splinter and chemical free. It is a simple yet effective device which allows a large heat specific capacity to target dysfunctional eye glands. The eye spoon targets the eye’s meibomiun glands, freeing up their secretions into the tear film, hence easing dry eyes and reducing inflammation of the glands.
Study results reveal that use of the product is highly effective in the treatment of dry eye, external eyelid disease (blepharitis and meibomianitis), both causes of the most common complaints of dry, red, scratchy and itchy eyes. The eye spoons were used to treat fifty patients with dry eye and external eyelid disease over a two year period. 80% of those patients with dry eye syndrome found the eye spoons to be of benefit. 32% of patients had been using a lubricating eye drop prior to assessment. The study demonstrated that eye spoons represent an effective method of treatment for dry eye syndrome and external eyelid disease. Market research shows there is no similar product with the ability to alleviate dry eye and meibomianitis in the long term that comes close to the eye spoons.
Dr Gallagher says “Prior to the use of eye spoons in my clinics, I prescribed lid wipes and lubricants as they were all that were on the market but did not find them satisfactory as they were largely chemical based and did not address the underlying problem. The eye spoons are not only effective in the management of the acute phase of these conditions but are effective in the treatment of the maintenance phase of these conditions to prevent recurrence which is not possible with other products on the market.”
Whelehans experience of the product
From speaking to customers in Whelehan’s pharmacy, pharmacist and owner of Whelehans, Eamonn Brady says the device has been a great success story since he introduced it recently. Eamonn says “essentially the device looks like a mini wooden spoon and people think how could a device that looks so simple help their eye condition?. The eye spoons provide an innovative, effective, reusable and chemical free treatment for dry eye and external eyelid disease.” Eamonn goes on to say that “the beauty of it is that it is so simple. The product design enables it to hold heat at the correct temperature for the correct amount of time to treat common eye conditions. This is important because if the temperature of the device is too low or too high, it will not work effectively and safely.” Eamonn explains “It has been on sale in Whelehans for a couple of months now since Dr Gallagher first introduced me to the product. I am seeing great results for those using it and in some cases, it is the first consistent relief some people have found in years. Unlike drugs and drops, it is a one-off purchase of €18.95 which includes two eyespoons. As it is re-usable, once purchased, there are no on-going costs” Eamonn concludes by saying that “like many of the best inventions, it is simple, yet effective”. Call into Whelehans of Mullingar if you want more detailed information or if you feel they could benefit you.
Disclaimer: Please ensure you consult with your healthcare professional before making any changes to your medication
The Eye Spoonsfrom Whelehans Pharmacy, 38 Pearse St, Mullingar (Opposite the Greville Arms Hotel). Tel 04493 34591. www.whelehans.ie.