Many seniors appreciate the time to sit back and take in the world around them. But whether that means watching wildlife in the backyard or grandkids as they run around the house, dry eyes and blurred vision can make it hard to truly enjoy what’s happening.
The American Optometry Association reports the majority of people over 65 experience some symptoms of dry eyes resulting from medical conditions or side effects of medications. While using artificial tears and other eye drops can provide temporary relief, there’s a more natural treatment available that gets to the root of the problem—and it’s now available without a prescription.
Most irritating eye conditions are caused by an overpopulation of bacteria on the lids and lashes, and soap alone doesn’t wash them away. On a mission to find a solution, scientists at NovaBay Pharmaceuticals discovered that pure hypochlorous acid (HOCl) – a substance our bodies produce naturally – could safely clear that bacteria without causing any stinging or irritation. So, iIn 2014, the company developed Avenova lid and lash spray, and more than 15,000 physicians have prescribed it to nearly a million patients since. Recently, the company began offering Avenova directly to consumers for purchase.
“When your sight is affected by irritation and redness, it robs you of moments that matter,” said NovaBay CEO Justin Hall. “We want anyone who is suffering from frustrating eye conditions to be able to enjoy life again.”
What is hypochlorous acid (HOCl)?
The Review of Optometry explains that HOCl is naturally produced as an element of the human immune response, and because it’s neutralized quickly, it’s nontoxic to the ocular surface. In higher concentrations (from 1% to 5%), doctors often use HOCl for its all-natural antimicrobial benefits in wound care, but by lowering the concentration to 0.01%, it’s gentle enough to use as an eyelid cleaner on a daily basis.
Who can benefit from using Avenova?
Avenova is patented, FDA-cleared and clinically proven to relieve a number of chronic eye conditions that cause microorganisms and debris to build up around the eyelid:
- Blepharitis – This condition occurs when the tiny oil glands near the base of the eyelashes become clogged, causing irritation, redness, itching, and crusted, flaky eyelids.
- Meibomian gland dysfunction – The meibomian glands are responsible for making an oil called meibum, which combines with water and mucus to form tear film, the fluid that keeps eyes moist. When these glands become clogged – or there’s a change in the production of the oil – dryness can occur. As we age, the number of meibomian glands goes down, and hormone therapy drugs can also reduce oil production.
- Dry eyes – Tear production tends to diminish with age, but older adults may also experience dry eyes as a side effect of medications such as diuretics, analgesics, blood pressure medications, antidepressants and antihistamines. The condition may also be due to medical conditions including rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, thyroid disorders or vitamin A deficiency.
How does Avenova work?
Using Avenova is safe and simple. Before your loved one applies makeup in the morning, help them spray Avenova on a cotton round or a NovaWipe, and wipe the eyelids and margins. It also works to spray the solution directly on the eyelids and then wipe it around (ensuring the eyes are closed before spraying). For best results, follow this same procedure again at night after removing makeup. Avenova is also gentle and safe enough to use with other eye drops, including prescriptions.
What sets Avenova apart from other brands?
Although other manufacturers have attempted to create eyelid cleansing products using HOCl, Avenova is the only one without bleach, detergents or plastic leachables (Avenova is only sold in glass bottles). In lab tests, two competing brands lost more than half of their concentration of HOCl after one week of use, and a third brand had only 63% of the concentration claimed on the label when first opened and tested.
How can I buy Avenova?
While the 40 ml bottle of Avenova can only be prescribed by an optometrist or ophthalmologist, the smaller 20 ml bottle is available directly to consumers through Amazon, Walmart and the Avenova website, as well as your local CVS store.