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(BPT) - Between the bright lights and dusty film sets, actress Bellamy Young found herself switching contact brands and going through a bottle of artificial tears a month to try to help her dry eyes. After years of dealing with symptoms and assuming it wasn’t a serious issue, she was recently diagnosed with a type of Chronic Dry Eye by her eye doctor.
However, if it wasn't for having an important conversation with her eye doctor, she may have never been able to get the appropriate diagnosis and take the necessary steps to manage her condition. “Having an open conversation with my eye doctor finally helped me realize there is an underlying cause for my condition and treatment options that could help,” said Bellamy. As it turns out, she's not alone in putting off having important conversations with an eye doctor.
An online survey sponsored by RESTASIS MULTIDOSE® (Cyclosporine Ophthalmic Emulsion) 0.05% of more than 1,000 adults found that while many raise concerns about a change in vision, respondents were less likely to bring up issues like burning or stinging (9 percent), redness (9 percent) or watering eyes (15 percent). Among those with concerns, nearly half said they stayed silent about such issues because they didn’t think they were serious, hoped the problems would resolve on their own or assumed they were natural age-related changes.
“More than half of respondents say they are comfortable speaking about their health with a general practitioner, while only 6 percent say the same about their eye doctors — even though eye health is intrinsic to overall health,” says noted ophthalmologist and “eye doctor to the stars,” Neda Shamie, MD, of Advanced Vision Care in Los Angeles, California. “The survey also found many people don’t bring up symptoms of Chronic Dry Eye when they see their eye doctor because they don’t think the issue is important enough.”
Bellamy is Dr. Shamie's patient and together they worked to figure out the best treatment option to manage her condition. She's so happy to have finally found a treatment in RESTASIS MULTIDOSE® that she's sharing her story to help others who may be experiencing dry eye.
“I use RESTASIS MULTIDOSE® twice a day every day and am thrilled to go on this journey and share my Chronic Dry Eye story in case other people are in similar situations. I put a drop in each eye and wait 15 minutes before putting in my contacts," said Bellamy. "I’m hopeful that over time, as I make more of my own real tears, I’ll be able to rely less on artificial tears.”
Is it time you talk with your eye doctor? Dr. Shamie offers some advice for starting a conversation about common eye concerns such as Chronic Dry Eye:
* Keep a mental log of symptoms in the weeks prior to your eye doctor appointment, paying close attention to any changes related to eye health. For example, if your eyes are red, does the redness occur in the morning or afternoon? Are you using artificial tears often?
* Write down your questions. Helpful things to ask could include whether your eye doctor’s diagnosis addresses the core of your problem, what will help your condition or make it worse, and what lifestyle changes you can make to help improve your condition.
* If you’ve always worn contact lenses and have started to experience trouble wearing them all day, or you use artificial tears often or for a long time, there could be an underlying cause for your condition. Talking to your eye doctor about what you’re experiencing can help you determine a diagnosis, and identify treatment options like RESTASIS MULTIDOSE®, the only FDA-approved, preservative-free prescription eye drop to be offered in a multidose bottle.
“I not only prescribe RESTASIS MULTIDOSE® as a treatment for patients like Bellamy who have been diagnosed with a type of Chronic Dry Eye, but as a patient with a similar diagnosis, I also use it to help me make more of my own tears with continued use, twice a day every day,” Dr. Shamie says.
With the end of the year approaching and insurance deductibles resetting, RESTASIS MULTIDOSE® patients can plan ahead and take advantage of savings by filling their prescription now. My Tears, My Rewards® Savings Card holders can pay as little as $0 for three bottles of RESTASIS MULTIDOSE® or a 90-day supply of RESTASIS®. For more information on the savings program and to determine eligibility, visit www.Restasis.com/savings or call 844-4MY-TEARS.
Visit Restasis.com to take the short Dry Eye quiz and learn more about RESTASIS MULTIDOSE®.
RESTASIS® (cyclosporine ophthalmic emulsion) 0.05% and RESTASIS MULTIDOSE® help increase your eyes’ natural ability to produce tears, which may be reduced by inflammation due to Chronic Dry Eye. RESTASIS® and RESTASIS MULTIDOSE® did not increase tear production in patients using anti-inflammatory eye drops or tear duct plugs.
Important Safety Information
Do not use RESTASIS® and RESTASIS MULTIDOSE® Ophthalmic Emulsion if you are allergic to any of the ingredients. Be careful not to touch the container tip to your eye or other surfaces, to help avoid eye injury and contamination. RESTASIS® and RESTASIS MULTIDOSE® should not be used while wearing contact lenses. If contact lenses are worn, they should be removed prior to use of RESTASIS® and RESTASIS MULTIDOSE® and may be reinserted after 15 minutes.
The most common side effect is a temporary burning sensation. Other side effects include eye redness, discharge, watery eyes, eye pain, foreign body sensation, itching, stinging and blurred vision.
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch, or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
Please see full Product Information for RESTASIS® and RESTASIS MULTIDOSE®.