New milestone for the Eye Doctor
The granting of the patent is a major milestone for The Body Doctor, the family-run business behind the Eye Doctor range and comes after the company won the Queen’s Award for Innovation in 2016. The patent follows years of research and development with three independent laboratories.
“We have been pursuing the patent for five years for the UK and around the world as there are many false claims surrounding bacteria on compresses,” explained Managing Director of The Body Doctor, Sue Grant.
“We are led to believe that heating a compress in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions will eliminate all bacteria, but this is false. It is also believed that if the compress filling has antibacterial properties, bacteria will not survive on the cover applied to the eyes which is also wrong. In addition, most compresses now offer hot and cold usage and, of course, no bacteria at all are killed when used cold.”
“After a long, arduous expensive journey through trials and testing, we feel our concerns for patients that are recommended a compress laden with bacteria have been borne out, particularly in this new world where people are more aware than ever of the risks of transference of bacteria and viruses.”
“Several years ago, at great expense, we undertook the challenge of providing the safest, cleanest, and most cost-effective treatment available for patients suffering with MGD, blepharitis and evaporative dry eye disease. We are delighted that this journey has concluded with the grant of our patent to do just that.”
Contrary to popular belief not all bacteria on masks are killed in the microwave and millions more bacteria can be transferred from the eyes and face onto the eye compress during treatment. Increasing levels of bacteria on the compress may create the opportunity for cross-infection.
Ophthalmologist Dr Colin Parsloe explained: “Biofilm is a sticky protective substance that bacteria use to protect themselves from natural defence mechanisms and antibiotics. This protective biofilm can be found along the skin and base of the eyelashes of patients with anterior blepharitis and dry eye disease. These bacteria become more virulent and produce exotoxins including lipase which aggravates dry eye disease.”
“I do have grave concerns about patients continuing to use contaminated hot compresses. Sterileyes is a breakthrough product and introduces a new paradigm shift we all must make in managing our dry eye patients.”
Dry Eye and Contact Lens Specialist, Mr Andrew D Price spoke of his increasing concerns regarding his patients reapplying a bacterial load during home heat treatments, “it is now apparent we need to be more selective in our choice of hot compresses, as we can inadvertently be providing a treatment that is not as safe or effective as it should be”. “The presence of bacteria, sometimes on the product even before first use, has the potential to not only be a source of eye infection but to counter the effectiveness of the treatment itself due to produced exotoxins.”
The Eye Doctor range is branded differently for the optical sector and the company offers practices the option to own brand at no additional cost. The company also provides the opportunity for a more favourable recommended retail price to optical patients.