Host 1: Well, as the change of seasons blow in, many of you out there are dreading what that means in the terms of your vision.
Host 2: Yeah. We’re talking about those of you that suffer from dry eye. It’s actually a condition that affects four out of every 10 people. Scott Wasserman’s here now to tell us about a new treatment that actually can help millions of people. This could be some great relief, Scott.
Scott Wasserman: You know, great relief, especially as we come into winter, because winter is one of the toughest times for people here in the Twin Cities. You get the dry air and then the dry eyes. If you don’t know what dry eyes are all about, just imagine this. If you wear glasses or have contacts, there’s a smear on your glasses or contacts get dry and you can’t see, well, we can take our glasses off, wipe them off, our contacts out and change them over, put saline in there, and then we can see. Well, these people, by the end of the day, they can’t even read. Imagine that. Not even being able to read what you’re doing on the computer. There really wasn’t a definitive treatment to cure this until now.
Dr. Ralph Chu: There’s not a lot of heat, but this does make it a little bit more comfortable. At the Chu Vision Institute in Bloomington, Wanda Jackson is getting one step closer to improving her quality of life.
Wanda Jackson: It’s really frustrating. Very frustrating. You start out okay, and then as the day goes on, it gets worse and worse.
Scott Wasserman: Wanda’s talking about dry eye.
Wanda Jackson: I work with numbers. By afternoon, it’s really hard to read paperwork.
Dr. Ralph Chu: I’m going to place it gently against the side of your face, and you’re going to feel a little flash. Here we go.
Scott Wasserman: Today, Wanda’s getting a new treatment called intense pulse light treatment, or IPL.
Dr. Ralph Chu: Perfect.
Scott Wasserman: Once used by dermatologists to treat skin conditions, doctors learned it also helped those with dry eyes.
Dr. Ralph Chu: IPL is a therapy where we use light that’s absorbed by the oxyhemoglobin in the capillaries, and it actually helps grow more collagen, but it helps heal the glands that are damaged in dry eye disease.
Scott Wasserman: With more than 30% of his patients suffering from dry eye, this summer, Dr. Ralph Chu’s clinic became one of 14 in the country to offer the service.
Dr. Ralph Chu: I think it really helps them see better and live more comfortable lives with their eyes.
Brigitte Pond: I love my crafts and I don’t can sit still. I just need to do things.
Scott Wasserman: Forget a pond is an avid sewer, knitter, and loves crochet. Obviously, she relies on her eyes to do her crafts. But for years,it was difficult as she, too, suffered from dry eyes.
Brigitte Pond: It’s very bad. You cannot see the precise when you need the precise vision. You cannot see it. Then your eyes been so dry and clouding over.
Scott Wasserman: The air conditioner. That was Brigitte’s biggest trigger. It became so bad, she’d wake up in the morning with their eyes sealed shut. Less than two months ago, she went in for her first treatment. This video provided to us by Dr. Chu’s office. Three treatments later…
Brigitte Pond: Right away after the treatment, I said, “Ooh, I can see again.” It makes a world of difference.
Scott Wasserman: Yeah. She was so happy that she was talking to us that she didn’t really suffer from that dry eye anymore. She’s just able to do her crafts and be able to see everything. You might be asking yourself, “Do I qualify for this therapy? And how much does it cost?” Well, the treatments, there are anywhere between two and four treatments, and it costs between a thousand and $1,500. It’s not covered by your insurance. If you think that you might be a candidate for this therapy, you should see your eye doctor and they’ll tell you. Then you can seek out where to get it. Back to you guys.