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Dry Eye Clinic

Do You have Dry Eyes?

Unfortunately, this irritating condition is incredibly common, and can be caused by a variety of factors.
Regardless of why your eyes are dry, the results are the same: uncomfortable, irritated eyes. Fortunately, relief is available.

Common Dry Eye Symptoms

o Excessive watering
o Itchiness and discomfort
o Redness
o Foreign object
o Burning sensations

These are only some of the possible symptoms of dry eyes, and symptoms may vary depending on the root cause. If you are experiencing similar symptoms, ask your optometrist if this could be an indication of dry eyes.

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Dry eye disease is a complex disease and our understanding of it continues to evolve based on new research. As we learn more about the disease, we learn different ways to manage it. While the disease is not curable, there are many ways to manage it depending on the severity. Dry eye disease occurs when your eyes do not produce enough tears or produce poor quality tears.

Dry Eye Evaluation Steps

Step 1: Tear Analysis (TearLab)

This is the first step in our dry eye evaluation. With our TearLab instrument we can now take a sample of your tears and measure osmolarity (the saltiness of your tears). As osmolarity increases, the ocular surface cells become inflamed and damaged. To measure this, your optometrist will need an amount of tear fluid no larger than the period at the end of this sentence.

Step 2: Eye Surface Evaluation (Oculus Keratograph 5M)

The next step in our evaluation is analyzing your eye surface with our Oculus Keratograph 5M. We are able to see your tear film in different ways and analyze your meibomian glands, which are responsible for the tear lipid (oil) layer. The white stripes in the images below show these meibomian glands. As you move to the right the white stripes disappear. This is gland death. Knowing the health of your glands is important when choosing the proper treatment.

Home Treatments

Eyelid Heating

In the past, the typical treatment recommended for Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD) was applying warm compresses to the eyelids, followed by massaging the eyelids. The goal of this treatment was to melt and express any thickened oil clogging the openings of meibomian glands. Depending on the severity of the condition, warm compresses and eyelid massage may not be enough in relieving MGD symptoms.

Lid Hygiene

The eyelids play a crucial role in keeping the eyes moist and comfortable. It is here that the meibomian glands produce oil that coats the surface of the eye. If there is debris along the eyelashes and the margin of the eyelid, this can impede the eyes natural oil production. Keeping this area clean goes a long way to keeping your eyes moist and comfortable.

Artificial Tears

The sheer number of eye drops available to patients is often overwhelming. Our doctors have done their research and selected several types and brands of drops that are friendly to the surface of the eye but at the same time provide the relief you are looking for. Eye drops vary in the type of lubricating agent they contain, how thick or viscous they are and if they have preservatives or not.

Omega 3 Fatty Acids

Dietary supplements such as Omega 3 fatty acids have been shown to reduce the inflammatory impacts for dry eye and help boost the natural oil layer on the surface of the eye.

Professional In-Office Treatments

ZEST

Zocular eyelid system treatment (ZEST) treatment is an okra infused product with restorative and healing properties, including control of Demodex. It gently lifts and clears the oil, debris, and residue on your eyelid margins.

BlephEx

BlephEx is an in-office medical device used in the fields of ophthalmology and optometry to treat blepharitis and dry eye disease. The handheld device is used by your eye doctor to exfoliate the eyelid at the lash line and remove the inflammatory biofilm that leads to chronic lid disease and discomfort.

ILux

The iLux is an in-office treatment for MGD that uses an LED-based heat source to warm the inner and outer surface of the eyelids to melt and express the waxy secretions trapped inside the meibomian glands. Most patients can be treated in less than ten minutes. Studies have shown that iLux treatment resulted in significant improvements in the signs and symptoms of MGD and dry eyes at two to four weeks after the treatment.

IPL

Intense pulsed light (IPL) is a standard treatment for skin rosacea that is also effective for treating dry eye. High-intensity light energy warms the meibomian glands’ oil, allowing them to be expressed and improve their function. IPL shrinks inflamed blood vessels, reduces inflammatory chemical factors on the eye and tear film, and is effective against Demodex. IPL can also provide collagen tightening and some aesthetic improvement to the skin around the eyes.

Low-level light therapy (LLLT)

Low-level light therapy (LLLT) utilizes long-wavelength red LED light to stimulate the meibomian glands on both the upper and lower eyelids.

The goal of Focal Point’s Dry Eye Clinic is to determine the best course of action to treat your symptoms and work with you to give you the best care. If you have any questions feel free to ask your optometrist or schedule an appointment to address your dry eye concerns.

Depending on your age, we have added lower lid screening to your routine eye exam with our Lipiscan camera. This will help diagnose lid disease before it may cause issues.

Lipiscan

This non-invasive infrared camera images the meibomian glands. Meibomian glands sit within your eyelids and produce oils which form the outermost, or top, layer of your tears. Damage to, or loss of, these glands can lead to dry eye disease.

 

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