Bruder Healthcare offers the Eyeleve Contact Lens Compress, which the company says delivers consistent, therapeutic moist heat that alleviates symptoms of meibomian gland dysfunction and contact lens-related dry eye. The Eyeleve Contact Lens Compress utilizes silver ion MediBeads that retain moisture naturally and deliver clean, moist heat, according to Bruder. In addition, the company says that the beads will not break down, even when washed. The Eyeleve compresses feature a patented anti-microbial EyeOnic fabric. Bruder says that the EyeOnic material has anti-microbial threads woven into the fabric of the compress, reducing the risk of infections. Together, these features help address eyelid hygiene and reduce the risk of corneal infection in contact lens wearers, according to the company. Finally, Eyeleve features a patent-pending ergonomic pod design and a contoured comfort stitch to reduce pressure on the eyes, according to Bruder.
I recently talked with three practitioners who are actively prescribing the Eyeleve compresses in their practices. Here we share their clinical experiences.
Please tell us about your general experience with Bruder Healthcare’s Eyeleve compresses in your practice.
Cynthia Matossian, MD, who has offices in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, says that the goal is to keep their patients as comfortable as possible in their contact lenses. She explains that the ability to image the meibomian glands and do point-of-care testing in the office has helped with diagnosing ocular surface disease and meibomian gland dysfunction. “We are able to then treat it properly and keep these patients in their contact lenses for longer periods of time in a comfortable manner.
“We are now noticing a trend among contact lens wearers—they could be in their 20s and 30s, and they already have significant meibomian gland loss or meibomian gland atrophy,” she continues. “Perhaps these folks are not making enough lubricant. The meibum isn’t there to coat the ocular surface to provide that comfort to the contact lens wearers.”
That, she notes, is where Eyeleve comes in, because it is specifically designed for contact lens wearers. “To use the mask, you simply heat it in the microwave for 20 seconds and put it over your eyes for five to 10 minutes. The assumption is that the moist heat is keeping the meibum more liquid,” she says. “The lipid will then more readily squirt out of the meibomian gland orifices to coat the ocular surface, hence making contact lens wear more comfortable.”
Mile Brujic, OD, from Ohio, has also had a good experience with the Eyeleve so far. “We have always utilized masks for individuals who have dry eye, but more recently we have started to use Eyeleve, which is highly specific for individuals who wear contact lenses. And, we have found tremendous improvement with contact lens comfort as well with those patients,” he says. “It provides more moist heat on the lid margin, and moist heat is highly effective when using a compress.”
Melissa Barnett, OD, of Sacramento, CA, says that Eyeleve has worked extremely well for her patients. “My patients report that the compress is easy to use and that they strongly prefer Eyeleve over a warm compress with a wet washcloth.”
Dr. Brujic also mentions the hygienic nature and cost as selling points of the product. “One of the other things that I enjoy about the actual mask itself is its antimicrobial nature. So, you don’t have to worry about anything sticking to the mask. You are working with a hygienic environment,” he adds. “Also, using the product is not a difficult decision for patients to make, because there is not a significant barrier to cost of entry for the technology.”
Who are the best candidates for this product and why?
According to Dr. Barnett, patients who have meibomian gland dysfunction or dry eye disease are excellent candidates for Eyeleve. “This product is great for contact lens wearers who experience dryness, particularly end-of-day dryness with their contact lenses. Eyeleve stimulates meibomian glands to increase oil production and create a smoother ocular surface,” she explains. “This in turn reduces dry eye symptoms and increases comfortable wear time of contact lenses.”
Dr. Matossian explains that the Bruder Eyeleve has become a first-line treatment for many of her dry eye patients. “Adding just water alone [to tears], such as with an artificial tear, will not be enough. You need the oily component...to prevent evaporation of the tears and to stabilize the tear film,” she says.
Dr. Brujic states that practitioners shouldn’t limit the potential user pool to contact lens wearers. “When you are thinking about wellness, you are talking about taking care of the healthy ocular surface and maintaining the healthy ocular surface,” he says. “I think that because of the nature of the Eyeleve mask, it makes sense for contact lens wearers. But, we shouldn’t limit it…we have actually had great success using it with non-contact lens wearers as well.”
How has the Eyeleve compress helped with troubleshooting for particular patients?
Dr. Brujic doesn’t personally use the Eyeleve compress to troubleshoot. “What we are doing is using the diagnostic information that we have accumulated throughout the exam and also through any special diagnostic tests that we are performing. We then determine what the best course of action is for that patient, and then we make an appropriate plan; the Eyeleve mask is part of that treatment regimen,” he says. “We may start with the Eyeleve mask and will determine how successful the treatment is. And, if we need to add something to that, then we will actually add another level of treatment to it, whether it is something pharmaceutical in nature or something more procedure-based.”
Tell us about any success with the Eyeleve compresses.
Dr. Matossian tells of a frustrated gentleman in his late 30s who came into her office complaining of blurred and fluctuating vision. As a software engineer, he looks at his computer all day, every day for hours on end. In addition, he is extremely nearsighted—so he depends on his contact lenses, which he wears for “way more than the number of hours that he should.” In addition, he was complaining of eye pain. “After a normal workup, his tear osmolarity and MMP-9 tests came back abnormal. Meibography showed very significant gland dropout. When I pointed out that this was the cause of his problem, he was in disbelief. So, we changed his contact lenses to daily disposable and encouraged him to minimize contact lens wearing time…. And I started him on the Eyeleve mask every day. Plus, I put him on an oral omega-3 supplement because his meibomian glands were so dramatically atrophied.
“It took three to four months before he started to feel an improvement, but he said that he was able to wear his contact lenses with greater comfort and that he experienced less fluctuation in his vision while he was using his computer at work,” she continues.
Dr. Barnett had success with a 50-year-old female scleral lens wearer who reported end-of-day dryness with her lenses. “After using Eyeleve and Bruder Hygienic Eyelid Solution, she is now able to wear her lenses comfortably all day long. She reported that the products are easy to use and that her eyes feel much better and less dry,” she says.
Dr. Brujic had success with a 34-year-old female contact lens wearer whose eyes looked relatively normal at the slit lamp, but she was experiencing classic end-of-day contact lens wear symptoms. “She didn’t have a lot of inflammation at the lid line. We performed a lid margin exfoliation procedure in-office, and then, as her homework, I advised her to utilize the Eyeleve mask once a day because I did see some meibomian gland stagnation. When we saw her back eight weeks later, she said that her symptoms were completely gone…not improved, but gone,” he says. CLS