Archive for December, 2012

Glaucoma Drug Good For Baldness?

Friday, December 21st, 2012

One of the most popular medications used to treat glaucoma is now being studied as a baldness treatment.   Bimatoprost is the active ingredient in Lumigan by Allergan and has been an effective medication to lower eye pressure.  It has been a great medication to treat glaucoma with one strange side effect:  it causes eye lash hair darkening and growth.

It was subsequently marked by Allergan as Latisse to enchance the length and thickness of lashes and now is being looked at as a possible treatement for baldness. There already has been anecdotal evidence that it works, but Allergan recently completed a Phase II study comparing brimatoprost to minoxidil for male pattern baldness.  There is hope for the hair challenged.

By Dr. Cook, O.D.

One More Holiday Concern: Your Vitamin D Level May Be Low

Monday, December 10th, 2012

The most readily available source of vitamin D is the sun’s UVB rays.  With cold weather comes more clothing, less outdoor time, and shorter days; possibly resulting in some of our lowest vitamin D levels of the year. Some experts are concerned that the increased use of sun screen is making vitamin D deficiency a year round concern.

Role of vitamin D:

  • promotes calcium absorption in the stomach
  • maintains serum calcium/phosphate levels
  • promotes bone growth/remodeling
  • linked with decreased risk of cancer, Crohn’s,                 depression, type 1 diabetes, MS, autism, and prostate   hyperplasia

Vitamin D and your eye:

General guidelines:

  • under 1, 400 IU
  • between 1-70, 600 IU
  • over 70, 800 IU

Those at highest risk of vitamin D deficiency:

  • diabetic individuals
  • those with macular degeneration
  • homebound individuals
  • people who have undergone gastric bypass
  • those with fat absorption problems
  • elderly individuals

If you think you are at risk for vitamin D deficiency, then ask your doctor about having your serum levels tested.  It is generally accepted that levels below 30 ng/mL are inadequate and levels above 50 ng/mL are sufficient.

By Dr. Cook, O.D.