New Study Shows Success Fighting Eye Mites

Tiny eye mites cause serious eye problems for millions of Americans, but a new study being presented by Dr. Kathryn Najafi-Tagol at a major Ophthalmology meeting shows that those problems can be successfully managed with Avenova® eyelid cleanser from NovaBay Pharmaceuticals

Nov 11, 2015, 08:00 ET from NovaBay Pharmaceuticals

SAN RAFAEL, Calif., Nov. 11, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- The Eye Institute, located in Marin County, California, announced today that its Founder and Medical Director, Kathryn Najafi-Tagol, MD, will present a new study demonstrating success in managing blepharitis caused by Demodex mites using an eyelid cleanser called Avenova®. Her presentation will take place on Friday, November 13th at the Ocular Microbiology Immunology Group during the American Academy of Ophthalmology 2015 meeting in Las Vegas, Nevada.

As Dr. Najafi-Tagol will describe, Demodex mites are tiny parasites that live on the eyelid lash follicles and skin sebaceous glands. Based on published genetic analysis virtually everyone over the age of 18 has some of these mites on their face; but by the age of 60, an estimated 84% of people actually harbor the mites in their eye lash hair follicles.

"These mites in high numbers can definitely be harmful," Dr. Najafi-Tagol explains. "They carry bacteria and cause a crusty, often irritating build-up of debris on the eyelids—a condition called blepharitis. Millions of Americans suffer from blepharitis." A video featuring a mite taken from a patient's eyelid is shown under the microscope.

In her presentation, Dr. Najafi-Tagol will describe how she treated a Demodex infestation and blepharitis in a patient with Avenova, an eyelid cleanser that was developed by the Eye Institute and NovaBay® Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NYSE MKT: NBY). Avenova is the only lid hygiene product that contains Neutrox, NovaBay's proprietary pure hypochlorous acid, which mimics a naturally occurring substance produced by white blood cells to fight microbial invaders.

The patient's eyes were red and inflamed, with debris from the mites and bacteria on the lids and lashes. Dr. Najafi-Tagol prescribed a regimen of wiping the eyes twice daily with a cotton pad moistened with Avenova.

The result? "There was a dramatic improvement," says Dr. Najafi-Tagol. "Moreover, the improvement was achieved without the need for topical or oral antibiotics or anti-parasitic agents."

As Dr. Najafi-Tagol will describe in her presentation, she also worked with scientists at NovaBay to test the ability of Avenova to kill the bacteria that live on or within the Demodex mites and that contribute to common eye conditions like blepharitis. In the lab, when tested in solution Avenova was able to completely kill all four types of Staphylococcus bacteria tested (including an antibiotic-resistant strain), along with Bacillus oleronius and Propionibacterium acnes, in less than one minute.

"These results suggest that Avenova can offer benefits in managing patients with symptoms of blepharitis and mite infestations," says Dr. Najafi-Tagol.

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