Eyegiene the Natural Way with Hypochlorous Acid

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Make room for a new promising addition to your dry eye care – hypochlorous acid (HOCl). It has a long history in the medical field with uses in wound care before antibiotics were available. Fast forward to the present day and HOCl is used in several healthcare industries ranging from dentistry, dermatology and optometry.   HOCl has become a common disinfectant in healthcare because of its gentle yet effective power. It has the same active ingredient as bleach but holds a different chemical structure. As a result, it neutralizes much quicker and it is not harmful, unlike bleach and alcohol.  Interestingly, pure HOCl is also produced by our body as an immune response. Its oxidizing properties are released by our immune cells which helps kill microorganisms. 

HOCl Role in Eyegiene 

Blepharitis is a common condition seen in dry eye patients. A large bacterial load affecting the skin of the eyelids, base of lashes and eyelash follicles can cause irritation and inflammation. HOCl is highly effective against bacteria and can be provided as a treatment option for eyelid hygiene (eyegiene).

One study tested HOCl’s ability to reduce bacteria on the ocular skin. After 20 minutes with the HOCl hygiene solution, there was a reduction in gram-negative, anaerobic and gram-positive bacteria. HOCl dramatically decreased staphylococcus strains by 99.6% on 71 eyes. The application of HOCl also reduced the bacterial load of susceptible and/or resistant strains to antibiotics.   However, full eradication of bacteria can be harmful to the body because some bacteria strains protect us against pathogens. HOCl preserves the diversity of microbial species and does not eliminate resident commensal bacteria. It demonstrated a clinically significant reduction of >90% in overall bacterial load.  Another publication determined HOCl’s efficacy against bacterial and viral conjunctivitis. Total resolution of bacterial conjunctivitis occurred in 64 out of 65 cases and complete and rapid resolution of viral conjunctivitis symptoms.   HOCl is a powerful agent against pathogens and has multiple uses within optometry and other medical fields. It is shown to be a non-toxic and safe treatment option for patients with blepharitis and dry eyes.

Considerations with HOCl 

Purity and stability are important factors when choosing HOCl products. Many solutions on the market employ buffers and stabilizers to maintain a certain pH range of 3.5-6.5 as the proper concentration. When the pH is outside of this range, dissociation occurs and HOCl may not be as effective against pathogens. Typically, the buffers contain a form of sodium hypochlorite (bleach) which damages tissues and is highly irritating to the eyes and skin.  Secondly, the stability of HOCl can vary depending on the product. It’s best to find a product that has a longer shelf life to maximize use and ultimately, comfort when applying it.

How HCOl is Made

Under strict quality-control procedures, water and salt are used to create a specific brine solution and then it is passed through a proprietary, electrolytic chamber.  The finished product is a weak acid solution with powerful benefits. The electrically active HOCl maintains efficacy to eradicate offending microbes and is a much-needed addition to eyelid care and dry eyes. 

HOCl Option in Canada Briotech HOCl (BIHOCl) 0.018% maintains a strict pH range of 4-5 which is maintained over time and does not include any bleach in its formulation. As a result, BIHOCl is non-irritating, gentle on the eyelids and does not have harmful side effects.  BIHOCl excels with its stability with a shelf life of 3 years if left unopened and 6 months once opened. This exceeds all products on the market and is an economical choice for patients and clinics.  It has also shown to demonstrate efficacy and stability in temperatures over 30℃.

HOCl Role in Eyegiene 

Blepharitis is a common condition seen in dry eye patients. A large bacterial load affecting the skin of the eyelids, base of lashes and eyelash follicles can cause irritation and inflammation. HOCl is highly effective against bacteria and can be provided as a treatment option for eyelid hygiene (eyegiene).

One study tested HOCl’s ability to reduce bacteria on the ocular skin. After 20 minutes with the HOCl hygiene solution, there was a reduction in gram-negative, anaerobic and gram-positive bacteria. HOCl dramatically decreased staphylococcus strains by 99.6% on 71 eyes. The application of HOCl also reduced the bacterial load of susceptible and/or resistant strains to antibiotics.   However, full eradication of bacteria can be harmful to the body because some bacteria strains protect us against pathogens. HOCl preserves the diversity of microbial species and does not eliminate resident commensal bacteria. It demonstrated a clinically significant reduction of >90% in overall bacterial load.  Another publication determined HOCl’s efficacy against bacterial and viral conjunctivitis. Total resolution of bacterial conjunctivitis occurred in 64 out of 65 cases and complete and rapid resolution of viral conjunctivitis symptoms.   HOCl is a powerful agent against pathogens and has multiple uses within optometry and other medical fields. It is shown to be a non-toxic and safe treatment option for patients with blepharitis and dry eyes.

Considerations with HOCl 

Purity and stability are important factors when choosing HOCl products. Many solutions on the market employ buffers and stabilizers to maintain a certain pH range of 3.5-6.5 as the proper concentration. When the pH is outside of this range, dissociation occurs and HOCl may not be as effective against pathogens. Typically, the buffers contain a form of sodium hypochlorite (bleach) which damages tissues and is highly irritating to the eyes and skin.  Secondly, the stability of HOCl can vary depending on the product. It’s best to find a product that has a longer shelf life to maximize use and ultimately, comfort when applying it.

How HCOl is Made

Under strict quality-control procedures, water and salt are used to create a specific brine solution and then it is passed through a proprietary, electrolytic chamber.  The finished product is a weak acid solution with powerful benefits. The electrically active HOCl maintains efficacy to eradicate offending microbes and is a much-needed addition to eyelid care and dry eyes. 

HOCl Option in Canada Briotech HOCl (BIHOCl) 0.018% maintains a strict pH range of 4-5 which is maintained over time and does not include any bleach in its formulation. As a result, BIHOCl is non-irritating, gentle on the eyelids and does not have harmful side effects.  BIHOCl excels with its stability with a shelf life of 3 years if left unopened and 6 months once opened. This exceeds all products on the market and is an economical choice for patients and clinics.  It has also shown to demonstrate efficacy and stability in temperatures over 30℃.

Written by Trevor Miranda

Dr. Miranda was raised in Simcoe, Ontario and graduated from the University of Waterloo with his Doctorate of Optometry in 1995. Following graduation, he moved to beautiful Vancouver Island, where he continues to serve the eye care needs of the Cowichan Valley. Trevor is also an active member of the Third World Eye Care Society and has participated with other professionals to improve the vision of the less fortunate. Dr. Miranda was named Optometrist of the Year by the British Columbia Association of Optometrists in March 2015. This prestigious honour recognized Dr. Miranda’s commitment to providing every patient with exceptional care while mentoring optometrists across Canada. Outside the office, you will find Trevor enjoying hockey, coaching soccer, involved with the South Cowichan Rotary Club, and spending time with his wife Cheryl and their three children. Trevor looks forward to continuing to care for the eyes of the Cowichan Valley and welcomes new patients without a referral. Dr. Miranda is available for appointments in our Duncan and Cobble Hill.
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