Avenova, a lid and lash cleanser with pure 0.01% hypochlorous acid (HOCl) that is new to the Australian market, is proving to be an effective treatment for patients with signs of dry eye disease (DED) and blepharitis, says optometrist Dr Leigh Plowman.
DED has been described by the Tear and Ocular Film Society (TFOS) DEWS II Report as “a multifactorial disease of the ocular surface characterised by a loss of homeostasis of the tear film, and accompanied by ocular symptoms, in which tear film instability and hyperosmolarity, ocular surface inflammation and damage, and neurosensory abnormalities play etiological roles”.1
they say they get immediate relief, and I can assure them that overtime, it penetrates the biofilms that are causing the problems
While DED can significantly affect people’s quality of life, Dr Plowman, who lives with the condition, believes this shouldn’t be the case. He has personally tried many treatments and 18 months ago established the Dry Eye Directory to support both eye care professionals and others living with DED. The website now has a strong presence in Australia and New Zealand, and is growing steadily in the United States and United Kingdom. It is visited by people with dry eye in 146 countries of the world.
Dr Plowman said he has had great success with Avenova in his practice having recommended it to patients over the past six months.
Listed in the TFOS DEWSII Report as a level one treatment, he recommends Avenova when he sees signs of blepharitis, chalazion, debris, bubbles around the eyelids, ocular rosacea, or any disturbance in the tear film.
“I look for subtle signs and if I see them, I take a photo on my smartphone to show the patient. I recommend they try Avenova and demonstrate it while they are in the consult room.
“They get to experience how easy it is to use – you close your eyes, spray the Avenova over the lids and wipe dry within 15 seconds. Patients find it refreshing – they say they get immediate relief, and I can assure them that overtime, it penetrates the biofilms that are causing the problems.”
Dr Plowman said when talking to patients about managing their dry eye, he often uses the analogy of brushing their teeth.
“Everyone understands the concept of regularly brushing teeth to remove plaque and prevent decay. I explain that we need to take a similar approach to care for our lids and lashes. Regular use of a spray like Avenova will reduce the risk of staphylococci or the build-up of debris that becomes food for demodex,” he said. “I advise patients with symptoms to use Avenova for a week then come back into the practice. If their symptoms are persisting, we’ll do keratography and meibography to examine the tear film and consider treating with intense pulse light therapy.”
He said many of his patients report keeping their Avenova spray next to their toothbrush as a reminder and have told him their family uses it too.
Distributed in Australia by Designs for Vision, Avenona is presented in a glass bottle, which is inherently more stable than plastic. Indeed, the manufacturer states that glass is essential to preserve the safety and efficacy of pure HOCl – plastic containers interact with HOCl, causing the plastic to break down into the solution. Dr Plowman cautioned that while most patients can easily tolerate Avenova, it may not suit those with chlorine sensitivity.