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    Hypochlorous acid eyelid wash reduces bacterial load

    Application did not alter diversity of bacteria recovered but can reduce symptoms related to overgrowth


    Polar, nonpolar phases

    The oil layer of the tear film has two phases, polar and nonpolar, Dr. Epstein continued.

    The polar phase bonds the nonpolar phase to the underlying aqueous layer while the nonpolar layer forms an evaporative barrier and provides structural stability. As lipase breaks down the lipid layer, it also mechanically destabilizes the tear film.

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    “Bacterial overgrowth gives the eye a double whammy,” he said.

    Lipase produced by the bacteria as a result of their overgrowth and competition breaks down the lipid layer. The soaps produced by the lipid breakdown also break down whatever lipid remains, creating an alternative pathway for tear film instability and dry eye, according to Dr. Epstein.

    Before and after two weeks of treatment with the hypochlorus acid wash. Courtesy of NovaBay Pharmaceuticals“Hypochlorous acid not only knocks down the bacterial overgrowth that triggers overproduction of lipase, it almost totally shuts down lipase activity and halts that degradation of lipids that destroy the tear film,” he said. “We have never had a treatment for dry eye or blepharitis with this mechanism of action or a treatment this effective.”

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    Resistance to hypochlorous acid does not appear to be a problem, he continued.

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