• The Dry Eye Doctor with Dr. Travis Zigler

    The Dry Eye Doctor with Dr. Travis Zigler

    Dry eyes can downright be one of the most annoying and irritating things that can happen to you on a daily basis, and while you might think that the occurrences are random, there’s a lot more to it. So many things go into ensuring that your eyes are properly hydrated, so you have to be able to take a holistic approach to things. Dr. Travis Zigler is an optometrist who specializes in treating patients suffering from dry eyes. Dr. Travis explains his holistic approach to dry eye treatment, which incorporates both Western and Eastern medicine, with Dr. Kevin Pecca. If you follow Dr. Travis’ tips, you might just find yourself saying goodbye to the sting of dry, teary eyes for the last time.

    Listen To The Episode Here:

    The Dry Eye Doctor with Dr. Travis Zigler

    We have a special guest. We have Dr. Travis Zigler. He is a Dry Eye Specialist and much more. We’re going to talk about how to heal your body from the inside out, reduce inflammation and talk about tips and tricks to stay healthy and especially keep your eyes healthy. A couple of interesting things I didn’t know before talking to Dr. Travis, 703 million people are blind due to lack of glasses. That’s pretty astounding and 80% of vision problems worldwide are avoidable. We’re going to go over tips and tricks to keep your eyes and body healthy. Dr. Travis, thank you so much for joining the show. How are you?  

    I’m doing well, Dr. Kevin. How are you doing?

    I am doing amazing. Dr. Travis, you are doing excellent work all around the world and it’s an honor to have you on.

    Thanks for having me on. I appreciate you having me on your show. I’ve been following your show and loved the past guests. I hope I can live up to the expectations of all of them.

    You most certainly will. Dr. Travis, before we get into what you do, I like to get a general background on people. I love knowing where people are from and why it is they do what they do?  

    Originally, I’m from Ohio. I grew up in a little small town called Bryan, Ohio. I attended Ohio State University for undergrad and optometry school. I graduated in 2010 and I practiced with my uncle in Columbus, Ohio for about 4.5 to 5 years. I worked for him when I was in school as well. It was my wife, me, my cousin and my uncle. It was Dr. Zigler, Zigler, Zigler and Zigler. Not confusing at all. In 2014, I caught a niche that I needed to own my practice. My wife and I did the three things you’re not supposed to do. We quit our jobs, we moved across the country to South Carolina and then we started two practices. In South Carolina, we were going to specialize in pediatrics, but God had other plans because He said, “No, you’re doing geriatrics.” He pushed us down the disease glaucoma, dry-eye route. That’s what was in South Carolina. That’s what we did in South Carolina.

    We created this glaucoma specialty clinic, a dry-eye specialty clinic and that’s what we did. At the same time, we were starting these practices. It was a little slower. I don’t know if you’ve ever done a cold start-up in your practices, but as you see 1, 2 patients an hour, it’s a little slower at first. You have a lot of time on your hands. We started an online business as well and it’s called Eye Love and we started that in July of 2015 as a sunglass company. We have shifted since then to become more of a dry-eye holistic company. We teach people how to heal their dry eyes from the inside out using natural products, eating better food. We teach people holistic functional medicine essentially to help heal their eyes and help heal their dry eye. We stopped practicing a few years. We sold both of our practices and we went full-time into this.

    The reason we shifted from that Western medicine model to the Eastern medicine model is we had an event in our life where we were told we couldn’t have children and we tried three years of infertility treatment. All the typical Western medicine things, all the way up to IVF. We did not do IVF. They gave us a 17% chance to get pregnant with IVF and we didn’t feel like it was right for us. We didn’t want to put my wife’s body through all the IVF. I’m not saying it’s bad, it’s just something that we didn’t want to do. It’s for some people. We decided to explore Eastern medicine. We went the Eastern medicine route. We did acupuncture, chiropractic and then some herbals. We made our diet a little healthier. We already ate healthily, we ran marathons, we ran half marathons, but we shifted it a little bit more by adding more healthy fats like avocados, chia seeds, flax seeds, ground flax seeds, and everything. She got pregnant in three months. It was three years of struggles and then three months of Eastern medicine and she was pregnant.

    We didn’t stop believing in Western medicine, but we questioned everything we learned. We’re like, “Let’s try to shift this and apply it to dry eye.” We’ve put people through different regimens of diet changes. It’s been amazing. We’ve had thousands of people go through our program and the results are better than any prescription medication out there. We give them the Ocular Surface Disease Index score, which is an official survey that they use for studies. We do it before and after they go through our eight-week program. The results have been better than most prescription medications and most prescriptions for dry eyes. We went all in and here we are years later and we’re loving every second of it.

    EM 122 | Dry Eyes

    Dry Eyes: Don’t stop believing in Western medicine, but question everything you learn.

     

    I’m a huge fan of Western medicine too, emergency medicine especially. I completely broke my elbow and if it wasn’t for surgery, I probably wouldn’t be able to practice. I would have lost motion in my arm and everything. Besides that, why not start people on a system where they could heal their body from the inside out, all-natural and you see amazing things happen? It’s interesting too because you were on both sides of the spectrum there.  

    We still are. There are phases where they’ll go through our program and it is Eastern medicine focus, but there’s also a Western medicine component to it too. We tell them that they still need to be following up with their doctors to have different procedures done because these procedures are more natural. They’re not medications or anything. Those are just going to help boost the anti-inflammatory properties that were already given in their body. It’s a combination of Western medicine with Eastern medicine. Our goal is to get you off all the medications like eye drops that are medications. Even over the counter eye drops like artificial tears, they’re not fixing a problem, they’re covering the problem.

    What are some tips and tricks to keep your eyes and body more healthy that you’ve prescribed to your patients that pretty much everybody can generally benefit from?  

    The number one tip that we give everybody is to replace your breakfast with a green smoothie. What that’s going to do is it’s going to start your day with leafy green vegetables. I know you had a guest, Dr. Cabeca was on and she talked about her Keto-Green approach, which is a great approach. It’s 75% of your plate should be leafy green vegetables. It’s a power-packed full of nutrition phytochemicals, phytonutrients, which are little scrapers that take out free radicals that cause cancer. It’s going to help heal your eyes. It’s also going to help heal your body. It’s going to decrease the inflammation. The first tip we always give everybody is to start your day off with a green smoothie. The reason is that breakfast foods are inflammatory.

    There are not any good breakfast foods out there. Cereal, bread, pancakes, waffles, bacon, sausage, a pasture-raised egg might be okay, but instead of that pasture-raised eggs for breakfast, maybe eat it for lunch or dinner and then switch to that green smoothie. What we’re doing there is we’re not telling you to eliminate anything. We’re telling you to replace your breakfast with a green smoothie. It’s a lot easier for our patients and our customers to replace something than eliminate something. The first step we have you do is replace your breakfast with a green smoothie because those leafy green vegetables are going to help with your macular health.

    Your audience has probably heard of macular degeneration. That’s where your central vision, you lose that 20/20 vision, that clarity in your vision. If you eat a lot of leafy green vegetables, they have a lot of lutein and that’s going to pack back into your macula. That’s going to help you achieve that 20/20 vision again and keep your macula in the back of your eye health. It’s going to help with that, but it’s also going to help decrease the inflammation for dry eyes and for blepharitis, which is the inflammation of the eyelid. A lot of people probably have problems with their eyelids sticking shut when they’re waking up in the morning. That’s called blepharitis. This will help with all of that.

    I’ve heard a lot of amazing stories of people healing their vision naturally through what you’re talking about. One of the stories was on The Secret, The Law of Attraction. It’s possible to restore vision quality naturally is what you’re saying.  

    This is for people that have a deteriorating vision. If you’ve been diagnosed with macular degeneration, it’s important to go back on the leafy greens because you’re then going to rid yourself of the free radicals that are building up in your macula by eating leafy green vegetables. That’s going to pack back in and that’s going to make your cells more abundant. The macula is this area where there are a ton of cells. You probably remember your cones and rods from the day. Your cones are packed into your macula tightly. We want those to be healthy. We want them to be working. With macular degeneration, they start to break down and they start to die off. With leafy green vegetables, with lutein, with vegetables in general, it’s going to help restore those cones. Therefore, you’re going to see well.

    We look at it as what’s called a Macular Pigment Density Score. It’s going to show us how much is in there. That’s going to show us how healthy they are. The higher that is, the better. If you’re starting to have macular degeneration, that’s going to start to reduce and you’re going to start losing that crystal clear clarity that you have. As far as being nearsighted and farsighted, it doesn’t help with that. This is more the health of your eyes and how clear you can see. If you’re nearsighted or if you’re farsighted and you wear glasses, it’s not going to help as much with that. That’s a whole different ball game. It is going to help with the health of your overall eyes.

    A lot of people start complaining of dry eyes and itchy eyes during spring. How do you go about treating that naturally?  

    Hygiene is key. We have a hygiene regimen that we recommend for your eyelids and your face. We have all-natural products for that. We like to wash your face and your eyelids with a natural tea tree soap without all the preservatives that you’re going to find in most things at Walmart. After you wash those eyelids carefully, both morning and night, we have you spray it with what’s called a hypochlorous acid eyelid cleanser. Your immune system naturally makes hypochlorous acid. What that does is, it attacks pretty much bacteria or any buildup that you have on your eyelids. Your eyelids have these natural bacteria that will cause irritation. Hypochlorous acid will help reduce bacteria to a normal load. If you put excess bacteria on top of allergens that are out in the air, then you’re going to have a histamine mess and you’re going to have redness, irritation, and itching. Those are the two big ones.

    If you need to go to a prescription, if your eyes are still itching a lot, then I recommend a drop called Alaway. It’s not the greatest drop. It has a preservative in it, but it helps with that itch. There are supplements that you can take. I believe the Standard Process makes one. It’s called D-Hist and you take that three times a day and that’s a natural supplement to help you with your allergies. That’s your systemic allergies, not just your eye allergies. Those are three things. Eyelid hygiene with the hypochlorous acid spray afterward. You spray it on and leave it on. If you need a drop, Alaway and then D-Hist is the supplement that we recommend for allergies in general. If you’re having an acute reaction or you’re inflamed quite a bit, a cold compress works well. We recommend a gel mask, put it in the freezer, and then take it out and place it over your closed eyes. That’s going to help reduce that inflammation and calm down your eyes quickly.

    Another thing I love about your story is you had a successful practice, you started a company, but then you shifted your focus to helping people that might not be able to afford care. One of your goals is to open up several clinics around the world for people that can’t afford care. Tell me where that started because that’s truly amazing. That’s the epitome of giving back and helping people.  

    The funny thing is that’s how this business started in the first place. In 2007, when we were in school, I was in second-year and my wife was in first-year. We went to Ecuador and fell in love with mission work. I still remember his name was Anhel Riviera and he had a bright red eye. He’s coming into the clinic. I grabbed him from the line and brought him to the front of the line. I started checking him over and he had a pressure of about 80 in one of his eyes. The normal pressure in your eyes is about 22. What the pressure is, your eye is a circular globe. We’re pumping fluid into it and we’re pumping fluid out of it at all times. When that gets out of balance, your pressure is going to increase. The drain of his eye, think of the drain in your sink, was clogged. What was happening is fluid is getting pumped in but it couldn’t get out so his pressure went up to 80.

    The problem is the eye has nowhere to go. It’s not going to blow up like a balloon. It’s not going to pop like a balloon. It’s going to stay there and the pressure is going to keep increasing. What that then causes is glaucoma. Glaucoma is where the pressure is so high that it’s starting to cause damage onto the nerve of your eye. Your nerve connects your eye to your brain. That’s the communication device. You know all about nerves, that’s your career. When that nerve is being damaged, it’s unfortunately irreversible at this time. Anything can happen in the future. He was blind in that eye, but he was in a lot of pain. We couldn’t reverse the blindness but we could help him with the pain. We got his pressure from 80 to about 20 in the clinic in about two hours. It took a lot of drops and a lot of medications and we got that pressure down.

    He was a hard nose, an 80-year-old farmer, lived his whole life out in the fields and didn’t say a word the whole time. He didn’t react the whole time. He started to burst out into tears, grabbed me and said, “God bless you.” That’s when I lost it. That’s when I knew I was hooked for life. That was 2007. Come full circle, we went to Peru the next year and then we graduated. We stopped because life gets in the way and we didn’t go on a mission trip for about five years and we missed it. Once we moved to South Carolina and started our practices, we wanted that to be the forefront of our business and our goals. One of the benefits of working for us is you get to have a trip fully paid for a mission trip. We took our whole team and it was a blast. That was for the practice and for our online business as well. That’s always been our mission is to focus on these mission trips. We’ve been on about eleven since then. We tried to go on 2 to 3 years.

    We focus on the Caribbean and our goal is to create sustainable clinics down there. The challenge that we have down there is you don’t want to put the optometrist, the opticians, the ophthalmologists that are there out of business. You have to balance things out well. As you said at the beginning of the show, there are one billion people that are blind due to a lack of glasses. I think you said 700 million, the numbers are always going up. It’s now a billion people and these are a pair of glasses that you and I take advantage of. You can go to the store and buy a pair of reading glasses and you can see to read. Whereas in these people that are in third world countries that have no access to this care. They don’t have these readers. They think they’re going blind because they can no longer read their Bible or read a book.

    The most common example I give is a fisherman. A fisherman has to line his hook to be able to fish. If he loses that ability to see up close and can no longer line his hook, he then loses his job and then becomes a beggar. That’s the most impactful thing that you can do is throw on $0.50 pair of readers on someone and watch their eyes light up because they think that you’ve given them vision back, but it’s just a pair of readers. There are almost a billion people blind due to that. That’s always been the mission that we’re striving for. We thought by the age of 60 we were going to get there, but our online company putting that mission forward, people have come beside us and helped us. Our online company has grown by leaps and bounds faster than our practice ever could. We thought we were going to get to it by the age of 60 but we were able to retire from practicing at the age of 33. It’s something that when you put a goal out there and you publicly announce it, people will come to your side and help you out. It didn’t just happen because that mission is there but we also had to come out with quality products as well.

    Our mission in our business is to heal one million dry eyes sufferers naturally, but we use the profits from that business to then fund our charity. Our charity is called the Eye Love Cares Foundation and that charity is what helps us pay for the mission work. We donate a portion of our gross revenue to our charity. The charity then funds all these mission trips and gets our team to go and helps with the clinics that are down there that we’ve been able to purchase. We would have gone on a trip to Peru, but we weren’t able to go. We purchased all the sunglasses for that trip. We purchased 2,000 pairs of sunglasses that they will distribute.

    If there’s an outbreak of a condition of some kind, wherever they’re going, we can donate one of our products called Heyedrate Lid & Lash Cleanser that can help control these outbreaks that are happening. We’ll donate cases of that as well. The mission was the forefront. That’s why we started it all. What we didn’t realize is that we’d be done practicing three years after we publicly announced it. We were able to focus on our mission in our company, which is healing a million dry eyes sufferers naturally by the year 2030.

    EM 122 | Dry Eyes

    Dry Eyes: The number one health tip that generally everyone can benefit from is replacing your breakfast with green smoothies.

     

    I have a couple of questions for you because I’m interested in everything you said. How does one start a mission trip? 

    The easiest way to do it is to come on one first. You want to see the logistics of it first. I’ve been on twelve of them.

    Before you started any, you were on twelve.

    I’ve been on twelve. I wouldn’t say I’ve started any of them. I’m not the director of any of these clinics. I’ve been more of one of the lead doctors in it but I work alongside the director quite closely to help organize it. There are organizations out there that you can do this through. Our organization is called Great Shape. They do dental, eye-care and reading literacy mission trips. We focused on the vision. There’s another big organization called VOSH, Volunteers for Optometric Services to Humanity. You can do one called on your own, but I recommend going through an already existing group. There are groups out there in chiropractic, dental and everything. They already have the logistics in place that it’s going to make it a lot easier.

    The schooling part, we want to build a school down in the Caribbean, which will then teach people to go out into their communities and give eye exams or check them for glasses. That’s something that we’re trying to spearhead a little bit more. They do it successfully in Fiji because Fiji has got 10,000 islands in that area. They have a central school in the Island of Fiji that teaches people to then go back out to their islands, screen the people, see if they need reading glasses or something. If they can’t help them then they send them back into the main hub. That’s what we’re trying to create in the Caribbean because there are thousands of islands in the Caribbean that can use help. That’s the end goal but right now we go in and give 1,500 to 3,000 eye exams in a week. Unfortunately, we have to leave the community. We’re trying to create that sustainability. If you want to go on a mission trip, find one in whatever field you want to go on. It can be absolutely anything. To go on an eye mission trip with us, you don’t have to be an optometrist. We have about 40 people that come and about 8 to 10 of those are eye doctors.

    The rest are coming along to help out?

    We have dentists that come along on our eye mission trips. They love our mission so much because it’s a lot more fun than pulling teeth.

    Walk me through the online business aspect of this. Was this the first online business that you started up? 

    In 2015, we started a sunglass company. As I was explaining with our practices, they were a little slower at first. We wanted something to do while our practices were building. Also when my wife had children, we could work from home. She could work from home or I could work from home and one of us could go in and see patients. It ended up taking off a lot faster. What we did is we learned how to sell on Amazon. Selling on Amazon is an art form in itself. It’s different than it was in 2015, but you can still do that. In 2017, we shifted our business model to start focusing on a customer because selling sunglasses, you’re solving a problem, but you’re not solving a big pain point. We were always drawn to dry eye. In 2016, we started a community called the Dry Eye Syndrome Support Community on Facebook. You can come to join us. We passed 10,000 members. In 2016, we started serving dry eye sufferers, teaching them things, and not just them learning from us, but we were learning from them. We’d go live in this Facebook group.

    Seven months after we started this group, somebody came to us, we have prescribed a product in our office and they went from $30 a month to $300 a month. We thought that was crazy. How could you go from $30 a month to $300 a month? A patient came to us and said, “Can you make this? I know you’re an entrepreneur, could you make this for us because it’s too much? I can’t afford it anymore and it works well.” It’s the Hypochlorous Acid Eyelid Cleanser. Our competitor increased their prices. They’ve since come back down but we came out with our product called Heyedrate Lid & Lash Cleanser. That was in June of 2017 and that’s when our dry-eye business started. That’s when everything shifted to the dry eye and healing people naturally with dry eye.

    We had our child in 2017 too. That’s why our mind shifted from this Western medicine to Eastern medicine approach, healing dry eye naturally, and then coming out with more natural products. We tried to come out with products like we have a tea tree facewash and tea tree bar soap. They’re all products that have minimal ingredients or all-natural ingredients. We try to minimize preservatives. Our Hypochlorous Acid spray has two ingredients, electrolyze water and hypochlorous acid. It’s simple and we try to avoid all the chemicals that are in most things that you’ll find at Walmart or CVS.

    That’s how that evolves. If you want to start an online business, it’s all about focusing on pain or pleasure, and then focusing on a person, not the product. We focus on that dry-eye sufferers and most of our customers are around 42 to 71-year-old females because they’ve hit menopause. Their hormones are fluctuating and inflammation in their body as a whole happens. Therefore we try to solve that inflammation naturally. Green smoothies is step one. An eyelid hygiene routine, if you’re suffering from dry eye, is one of the biggest things you can do. We started coming out with products around that whole routine and we catered to that person. Every product we’ve come out with, we think her name is Cindy. She’s our customer avatar. My mom’s name is Cindy and she’s right in that demographic. That’s where we came up with it. We have a picture of my mom and to myself every time we come out with a product, what does she use? Whenever I’m home, I asked my mom. Whenever I’m out with my aunts, I asked them, what do they use? What do they like?

    You’re catering to a person and then ask your customers too. We started catering to a person. It started with one sale and it grew from there. If you have a good quality product, you’re going to naturally sell more of it because that person is going to come back to buy again. They’re also going to buy your other products too because there’s that trust there. We’ve had problems happen and we’re going through a problem with one of our manufacturers that we had some quality issues. We have to deal with that. The whole goal is to never lose that trust with the customer. We had to pull that product from the shelf and reformulate it and we’re going to re-release it about a month. That trust is everything. You have to cater to that person and serve a person and not think about, “How can I sell more products?”

    To give you an example, in 2019 we focused on sales and trying to sell more and it didn’t feel good and you could tell because we did not grow and our profit went down. All we did before that from 2016 to 2018 was focused on service. In 2020, our whole goal is focused on service again. We’re trying to serve them as much as possible and the sales will come as a result of that. Whereas in 2019, it was all about sales and it hurt us quite a bit. We’re reshifting our focus quite a bit.

    I could not agree more with everything. In my practice, when I’m focusing on, “I’ve got to make more money,” the money goes down. When you focus on fixing the person in front of you the best of your ability, it’s amazing how much more you attract and you get better results for the people. They start referring more people in and the mind is not even thinking about the money. It just comes.

    It takes the stress away and it feels good. Every time we went on the video we had a call to action like, “Head to DryEyeBook.com to get our free dry eye book. We also have one that’s called free Heyedrate where you can try our Heyedrate Lid & Lash Cleanser for free. You just pay the shipping. We’d have that in every video. I felt good about it because I believe in our products but it’s still salesy. I don’t mind asking for the sale, it’s because I believe in our products. This year we don’t have any calls to action on our videos except for subscribing to our YouTube channel or like this video and share it with a friend. We’re on a mission to help one million dry eyes sufferer, join in our mission. That’s our calls to action, instead of trying to ask for a sale. The sales will come as a result. That’s the difference between the sales approach and the service approach. We’re trying to serve the customer a lot more. Our blog posts aren’t covered with ads anymore. They have content, videos, and pictures. It’s more content-driven then. We’re doing interviews like this one, you’re interviewing me. We interview dry-eye specialists around the world and get different perspectives on dry-eye management, which is fun too.

    You also wrote a book. 

    My wife and I wrote a book called Rethinking Dry Eye Treatment. It’s pretty much our infertility journey. We wrap it up towards dry eye and we’ve had thousands and thousands of people read this book and take action on the book. The key is to read it and then take action on it. You can get the PDF version for free. It’s from DryEyeBook.com. You can also get it on Amazon, Kindle, Audible. The Audible is my wife and I. If you’ve never done an Audible book, it’s challenging.

    It’s challenging to record it. What does the process of writing a book look like? Is 90% of the battle getting started and starting to write? 

    I’ll give a couple of tips on writing the book. Writing the book is essentially you can create a story with your blog. If you’re writing a blog or doing these interviews, you could recreate a book around this because you’re learning from a ton of different people about health. You could write a 50-chapter book on all your interviews. That could be a book. What we did is we wrote blog posts. We created this eight-week dry-eye bootcamp. We outlined it, weeks 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. We then wrote it and we did it. Week one, for example, was changed to eyelid hygiene and mindset. In our book, it’s hydration. Chapter one is all about drinking more because 80% of people are dehydrated. Dehydration comes in many symptoms. It can come as brain fog and fatigue in the middle of the afternoon. It’s that crash that you get and needing more caffeine when you probably need just more water. Most people aren’t drinking enough water. Drinking water, we call it hyperhydration. When you wake up, 16 to 32 ounces, drink it right away. It boosts your metabolism by up to 30%, but it also gets the oil running through your veins. It gets your body pumping. It gets you working and functioning better. You might not even need that cup of coffee. I’ve eliminated caffeine because I don’t need it. I have water and I have green smoothies.

    That’s how I know your one sheet is a little old because, on the bottom, it says, “You enjoy drinking coffee and playing the ukulele.”

    I do drink decaf.

    I love the habit of drinking coffee. I would still drink coffee decaf. I love drinking coffee. 

    It’s the warmth and the feeling of drinking that cup of coffee. It relaxes you. If it does, we switched to decaf. That’s all we did. We have decaf, don’t worry. It’s organic decaf. We grind the beans ourselves. We don’t grow the beans, but we grind them. It’s not anything too fancy. I love a scoop of coconut oil in it. Organic coconut oil, unrefined because I like the taste of coconut oil and it tastes good. Coconut oil is a healthy fat. Make sure it’s organic. We talk about green smoothies. Getting the green smoothies to replace your breakfast, that’s a big way to reduce inflammation. Our book focuses on more of a plant-rich diet. I don’t mind if you have meat, make sure it’s pasture-raised, organic when possible and then save it for dinner or save it for once a week. I eat meat about once a week, but the rest of my time is plant-rich.

    If I go out with friends, I will maybe have meat. I will maybe have 1 or 2 drinks, 90% of the time I control what I eat strictly, plant-rich. That 10% of the time, I can have fun and that 10% of the time it’s not going to cause my inflammation to build up. When I’m at home, I like to eat that anti-inflammatory diet. We focus around diet quite a bit with it, but we also focus on detoxing your life in general. The most common example I give are the cleaners around your house. You can essentially replace every cleaner in your house like a bleach window cleaner, kitchen cleaner, bathroom cleaner with vinegar. Buy organic vinegar, maybe go 1/4 vinegar and 3/4 of water and use that to clean your house.

    Some of those cleaning products are toxic. 

    Get rid of the toxic cleaning supplies because you’re spraying it on a table that you’re then going to touch. You’re going to eat off of it, your son is going to eat off of it or your daughter or somebody. You’re consuming those chemicals. The second thing we always talk about is laundry. There are berries that you can buy the shell of and you can put those in your laundry instead of laundry detergent and they naturally foam up. In your dryer, instead of dryer sheets, we use organic wool balls. Organic wool balls last for years. We have ours from 2012 and they’re still going strong. You never have to buy dryer sheets again because dryer sheets are toxic. Laundry detergents are toxic and that’s on your clothes that are touching your skin all day long.

    What about the detergent they sell in Whole Foods that says toxic-free? 

    That’s going to be better but most people aren’t buying that. They’re buying tide. I can’t think of the berry name. It’s Eco Nuts. I use them all the time.

    A handful in the wash and then it foams up and it cleans the clothes? 

    You get a bag with them when you buy them. You can buy them on Amazon, they’re organic Eco Nuts and you put them into this bag and tie the bag shut and throw it in. Eight berry shells are good for about eight washes. You throw them away when you’re done or throw them in your yard if you want because they’re shells of a berry and you do new ones. We still use an organic laundry detergent that you’ll find at Whole Foods for our sweaty clothes because it doesn’t quite get the smell out of the sweat, but we use it for everything else.

    I want to go back to the actual writing part of the book. Did you sit down, you wrote it and then you find publishers? How does that work? 

    We self-publish it on Amazon with Kindle. We found a publisher and a printer. We went through them. You can google self-publishing. They’ll help you format it correctly. Once it’s formatted, they’ll print it for you.

    Did you have anybody proofread it?

    My wife is a proofreader. She does pretty well. We did that but essentially don’t think of the book as a whole, that will overwhelm you. Think of it as parts. What I find works best is to make the outline like you learn back in grade school and then write the first sentence of every chapter. That will start getting your juices flowing. If you’re not feeling like writing that day, don’t force it. The best thing you can do when you’re writing a book makes it the first thing you do when you wake up and have the most energy. You sit down. It may not be in the first thing in the morning, but mine is the first thing in the morning. I wake up, I would sit down and I would set my timer for 25 minutes and I’d have to write for 25 minutes. What happens is you usually end up writing for 1 or 2 hours because you start to flow. We wrote these as blog posts first and then organize it into a book. The best thing to do is write that first sentence of that first chapter after you’ve done your outline. It’s a lot easier than you think. It’s overwhelming to think I have to write 200 pages on a book. How am I going to ever do that? It starts with one sentence and you’ve got to go from there.

    EM 122 | Dry Eyes

    Dry Eyes: An eyelid hygiene routine is one of the biggest things that you can do to help yourself if you’re suffering from dry eyes.

     

    Dr. Travis, where can people find you online, social media platforms, websites, and your products? 

    Thanks for letting me share my links. We talked about the Facebook community, the Dry Eye Syndrome Support Community. That’s where we’ve gathered a group of dry eye sufferers to help them heal their dry eye naturally. We go live in that group, we post videos, we post our blogs, everything that we’re doing there. We usually come out with two blogs a week and we also do interviews there as well. We try to get one interview out a week. As you know, it’s hard to schedule podcasts when you’re busy. Dry Eye Syndrome Support Community. We have our show on a podcast, it’s called The Dry Eye Show. Any podcast platform, we’re on. That’s also on YouTube as well. Our YouTube channel, it’s probably where we have our biggest following. You can go there, check out all the videos we put. We go live there quite a bit too. If you want to check out our book, you can get the PDF version for free. That’s at DryEyeBook.com. If you want to try our product, the Hypochlorous Acid Cleanser that I talked about, head to FreeHeyedrate.com and you have to pay for shipping, try it out. If you don’t like it, we’ll refund your shipping, but we think you will. We know you’ll be back for more. That’s why we give away that first trial offer because we believe in the product and it works incredibly well. Look us up on Facebook and The Dry Eye Syndrome Support Community is the best way to contact us.

    Dr. Travis at the end of every show, I like to ask all my guests, what is one piece of advice you would like to gift the audience that has resonated with you? It could be absolutely anything.  

    Meditation has been a big part of my life and we’ve had a lot of stress happen to us. Most of my followers know it, but we lost a son in November. We lost something big too in December. My wife lost her first grandfather in January. On top of that, we moved to Austin. Stress can overtake your life. The key thing is you need to have systems in place to manage that stress. It’s hard and meditation has been our grounding point. Some big things that you can do for meditation a lot of people think you have to be sitting down, listening and completely spacing out. You don’t need to do that. My meditation is simple. I started doing this and it works incredibly well. I put on a hymn or a chant or something repetitive. It doesn’t have any words. I repeat to myself, “I love myself,” over and over again or “I love my life.”

    We can’t love anybody else and we can’t decompress our lives if we don’t love ourselves first. I have to constantly remind myself. I will sit there for about 5 to 15 minutes every morning, listening to a chant or a hymn, something that spaces out your mind. I put headphones in for this and I say to myself over and over again, “I love myself.” What that does is it puts you in a state of mind. That’s something I got from a book. It’s worked incredibly well for us. We’ve had a lot of stress in our lives. It was topped off by a move to Austin and I even got shingles in the process. That tells you how stressed we were. Meditation has always been that grounding point for us. That’s something that is for everyone. You don’t have to be ultra spiritual or ultra-religious. It’s a mindfulness practice. Petition and saying that I love myself over and over again has helped us out with the stress.

    Dr. Travis, thank you much for coming on. I love your story. I love all the work you did and you continue to do. You’re helping out many people and that’s what it’s all about. Thank you so much for coming on the show and I’m excited about this episode. 

    Thanks for having me, Dr. Kevin.

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