Ease Discomfort Of Dry Eye, Ocular Rosacea

Nurse’s eyes are ‘happy’ after LipiFlow and Intense Pulsed Light treatments.

Sharon Taranto

A longtime cardiac intensive care nurse, Sharon Taranto saw daily how patients suffered, and she desired to help. So, she became a nurse practitioner specializing in pain management. For the past year, she’s been practicing telemedicine, conferring from home with patients via the internet.

“I interview the patients, go over their pain history and determine what we can do for them,” Sharon describes. “I’m able to prescribe some medications over the phone but not all medications due to DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) restrictions.

“I work four 10-hour days. I sit in front of the computer, read patients’ charts and talk with them on the screen.”

When first offered the opportunity to work from home, Sharon expressed concern about the long hours staring at a monitor. Her concern stemmed from uncomfortable eye issues she feared would worsen through extensive computer use.

“My eyes had been bothering me for about five years,” Sharon explains. “They itched and burned and were pink. They were dry and hurt as well. Then my eyelashes started getting crusty.

“I was concerned about that situation getting worse because people tend to forget to blink when they’re staring at a computer because they’re so intent on reading what’s on the screen. I thought, Can I even do this job?

“To help ease the problems with my eyes, I tried warm compresses, artificial tears and ocular scrubs with baby shampoo, but my condition didn’t improve. Then I went to the best source of information on anything: the hair salon.

“While I was getting my hair cut, I described my symptoms. One of the ladies at the salon said, I bet you have what I have: dry eye. You need to visit Dr. Ramsower. I made an appointment and sure enough Dr. Ramsower diagnosed me with dry eye disease.”

Modern and Advanced

Dr. Jenifer Ramsower is the founder of Dry Eye Center of Florida, the only clinic in Central Florida dedicated to the diagnosis and treatment of dry eye disease. It is at this new and modern facility that the latest research and technology are combined to successfully relieve symptoms and achieve the best outcomes.

Dr. Ramsower, who has provided comprehensive eye care in Brevard County since 2005, has spent the past 10 years researching and studying dry eye disease and the most advanced treatments for it. She explains that an inadequate amount of oil, water or both is what causes dry eye disease.

“The tear film must contain a proper balance of water and oil,” Dr. Ramsower informs. “A thin oil layer is the result when the oil glands in the eyelids — the meibomian glands — become blocked and do not function properly. This is called meibomian gland dysfunction, or MGD.”

During her initial visit with Sharon, Dr. Ramsower conducted a thorough eye evaluation, which led to the discovery of several issues, including MGD.

“In Ms. Taranto’s case, she was producing a sufficient amount of tears, but the oil layer of her tear film was severely inadequate,” Dr. Ramsower reports.

In addition to MGD, Sharon was also experiencing a buildup of debris along her eyelashes that caused irritation and itchiness. She also had ocular rosacea, which causes inflammation at the lid margin that can plug up oil glands and cause an unstable tear film.

“Rosacea is abnormal blood vessel growth in the skin,” Dr. Ramsower details. “It is common in the nose and cheek area and can travel up toward the eyes and cause inflammation of the eyelids. Eighty percent of rosacea patients suffer from MGD and dry eye disease.”

Dr. Ramsower treated the debris along Sharon’s eyelashes. To address MGD and ocular rosacea, Dr. Ramsower used a combination of two FDA-certified advanced treatments. One is the Johnson & Johnson® LipiFlow® Thermal Pulsation System. The other is the Lumenis® Optima Intense Pulsed Light (IPL), which decreases inflammation.

“During a LipiFlow treatment, we place sterile activators inside the patient’s eyes,” Dr. Ramsower explains. “This 12-minute automated treatment in the office is computer controlled and an extremely precise way to clear meibomian gland obstruction and restore healthy gland function.

“Lumenis Optima IPL helps to seal off the abnormal blood vessels that cause inflammation in the surrounding ocular tissue. Improved meibomian gland function, greater tear stability and a reduction of dry eye symptoms have been reported following treatment.”

“It’s Heaven”

Sharon received the LipiFlow and IPL treatments from Dr. Ramsower.

“I wanted to hit my condition as hard as we could,” Sharon explains. “It’s been almost four months since my treatment, and I have none of that crustiness. My eyes are no longer pink. They aren’t dry, and they don’t burn or hurt. It’s heaven.

“Before, I was always aware of my eyes because they bothered me. Now, I just do what Dr. Ramsower recommends for a daily routine: washing with tea tree foam and using heat pads on my eyes, and I’m not aware of my eyes anymore. She also taught me to take breaks from the computer and blink regularly. Now, my eyes are happy.”

Sharon has high praise for the doctor that eased her uncomfortable eye symptoms.

“Dr. Ramsower is a wonderful lady,” Sharon raves. “She’s very compassionate and gentle. I can’t say enough about her and her staff. Dr. Ramsower is the person to go to for dry eye disease, no doubt. I absolutely recommend her and Dry Eye Center of Florida.”

© FHCN article by Patti DiPanfilo. Photo by Jordan Pysz. mkb
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    • Dry Eye Center of Florida

      Dr. Jenifer Ramsower is committed to the advanced diagnosis and treatment of dry eye. Dry eye is a chronic and progressive condition that affects millions. Recent research into the causes of dry eye and the importance of maintaini... Read More

    • Jenifer Ramsower, OD

      Jenifer Ramsower, OD, earned her Bachelor of Science degree in life science and her Doctor of Optometry degree with honors from Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale.  She completed a residency in ocular disease at the Baltimore VA Me... Read More