What are the symptoms of dry eye disease?
Burning, itching, redness, grittiness, foreign body sensation, styes, reflex tearing, light sensitivity, fluctuating vision, and more…
What are the causes of dry eye disease?
Our lives require more screen time than ever before. But, how does this factor in to dry eye?
Naturally, our blink rate reduces when we concentrate. But, when we concentrate on screens in particular, our blink rate reduces even more.
Each blink releases clear oil from the glands in our eyelids, creating an oil layer that traps the tears against the ocular surface. When the oil layer is deficient, it leads to evaporative dry eye disease and inflammation along the eyelid margin.
Other causes can be rosacea, autoimmune diseases, medications, and environmental factors.
What are the effects of dry eye?
Dry eye can lead to decreased productivity, cause tired eyes, reduced vision, and unsightly signs like styes, redness, and visibly inflamed blood vessels (rosacea).
Decreased lubrication creates friction on every blink, which causes micro abrasions on the cornea, allowing access to bacteria. Not only can dry eye leave you prone to infections, it can also cause scarring, corneal erosions, and ulcers. In severe stages, dry eye can leave you with permanent vision loss.
What are my options?
At Family Vision Care, we treat the cause of the problem. Artificial tears temporarily relieve symptoms, but do not reverse the disease.
The cause is stemming from clogged oil glands in the skin of the lids, so we offer treatments and supplements that target the glands.
Getting started on a high quality omega 3 supplement is typically the first course of action. Chronic inflammation is the foundation of most disease, including meibomian gland dysfunction.
We have 2 in office treatments which address all the physical factors. Our MiboFlow treatment heats the lids to a specific temperature, followed by a gentle gland expression by the doctor.
To directly attenuated the inflammation, we use a light therapy similar to a laser. It momentarily heats the inflamed tissue to the point that the body will remove it, allowing healthy tissue to regenerate. It also alleviates symptoms of ocular allergies, styes, and demodex mites.
People who use these techniques reduce their need for home maintenance like drops and warm compresses.
Is light therapy safe?
OptiLight is the only IPL device FDA approved to treat evaporative dry eye. It has been proven to be safe and effective for most skin types. Your doctor will review contraindications and tune the device to your specific skin type and tolerance level. Side effects such as mild redness are rare and typically resolve in a few hours to 2 days after treatment.
Other side effects include reduced dark circles, reduction or elimination of blood vessel appearance, age spots, and acne, as well as increased collagen production and skin elasticity.
Please view our pre-treatment forms here.
How do I get started with treatments?
You will need a tear and gland evaluation done by one of our doctors. In office treatments may be started on the same day or scheduled at a future time. Our tear and gland evaluation consists of gland imaging, a questionnaire, and careful examination.
You can schedule your evaluation by calling our office at 570-714-2600.