Understanding dry eye will help you determine the best treatment option. Dry eye occurs when a person doesn't have enough quality tears to lubricate and nourish the eye. Tears reduce eye infections, wash away foreign matter, and keep the eye’s surface smooth and clear. People with dry eyes either do not produce enough tears or their tears are of poor quality. It’s a common and often chronic problem, especially in older adults. While dry eye isn’t a serious condition, it can have a major impact on your quality of life. Let’s take a look at dry eye treatments – from simple self-care to innovative prescriptions and therapies – to help you see clearly and comfortably.
Dry Eye Syndrome (DES), also known as Ocular Surface Disease (OSD), is the most common eye disorder, affecting about 20% of the population. It is caused when one or all of the components of the tear film are not in balance.
Clogged oil glands along both upper and lower lid margins contribute to 86% of ocular surface disease progression (OSD) and dry eye. Poor lacrimal gland function further reduces the production of our “emergency eyewash tears.” Damage to our goblet cells that reside in the tissue near our beautiful iris can reduce the output of our mucous tears which help to nourish and protect our precious sight.
Understanding the complex makeup of our tears is important in devising a proper treatment approach to solving OSD. At Eye Health Consultants, we have cutting edge diagnostic and treatment technology to assess and manage every level of OSD/ dry eye.
The most common symptoms of Dry Eye Syndrome include:
Advanced dry eyes may damage the front surface of the eye and impair your vision. Depending on the severity of your symptoms, we have effective treatment solutions for OSD.
Dry eyes can develop for many reasons, including:
Age (a majority of people 40 and higher experience symptoms of dry eyes)
Gender (women are more likely to develop dry eyes due to hormonal changes caused by pregnancy, the use of contraceptives, and menopause)
Medications (i.e., antihistamines, decongestants, blood pressure medications, and antidepressants can reduce tear production)
Medical conditions (i.e., rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, and thyroid problems are more likely to have symptoms of dry eyes)
Environmental conditions (i.e., screen time, exposure to smoke, wind, and dry climates can in crease tear evaporation and failure to blink regularly can also contribute to drying of the eyes)
Long-term use of contact lenses
Refractive eye surgeries, such as LASIK, can decrease tear production
We start with a full eye examination and carefully examine the ocular surface with specific diagnostic equipment to determine which areas of the tear film are in distress.
Our doctors will then formulate an initial treatment plan which may include:
Lumenis energy-based treatments are not suitable for everyone and, like every treatment, can carry some risks. Treatment with OptiLight is contraindicated for patients with the following conditions in the treatment area: active infections, dysplastic nevi, tattoos, significant concurrent skin inflammation (excluding rosacea or acne), active cold sores, open lacerations, abrasions, and prolonged sun exposure.
Initially found to be beneficial for treating facial rosacea for the past 20 years it has been more recently used in the dry eye field.
Countless studies show its effectiveness in reducing fine ocular rosacea along the upper and lower lid margins.
Minimizing these pro-inflammatory vessels in the eyelids reduces the expression of toxic mediators that cause further destruction of the oil glands in the eyelids.
Utilizing this technology is a game-changer in treating ocular surface disease and dry eye.
Eye Health Consultants is the only office in the North Houston Area currently employing this cutting-edge technology and seeing wonderful results.
Like TempSure Envi, the Lumenis IPL also does not have any downtime and is also non-invasive.
The light therapy of the future is here at Eye Health Consultants to help us see 20/20 and beyond!
TemSure Envi radio frequency treats dry eye by stimulating clogged tear glands.
The oil producing tear glands reside along the upper and lower eyelids.
These glands become blocked over time and lose their ability to produce the rich oil layer of the tear film.
Our Punctal Plug treatment is designed to help increase moisture in the surface of your eyes.
Punctal plugs are tiny semi-permanent or dissolvable devices that can be inserted into tear ducts to block drainage.
Blepharitis is a common and persistent condition that causes inflammation of your eyelids.
Once your condition is fully diagnosed, our doctors can create an effective treatment plan to manage your blepharitis condition.
When this happens the eyes start to feel dry, irritated, burning, and red especially upon waking.
Over time these plugged glands can lead to atrophy (death of the glands), lid laxity and ocular surface disease, and dry eye.
As this condition worsens it can impact the ability to see clearly.
Amniotic Membranes are a super simple and effective treatment for certain cases of dry eye. It works like a bandage to protect the surface of the eye while it heals. It also significantly reduces pain caused by friction of the eyelids.
Dry Eye Scleral lenses are custom made for each patient and are fitted to sit on the sclera.
This fit helps maintain a constant reservoir of fluid between the lens and the cornea to ensure that it remains hydrated.
Demodex is a microscopic mite that can be found around your eyelashes.
If not properly managed, demodex mites can proliferate and infest the eyelash follicles resulting in inflammation, meibomian gland dysfunction, and other dry eye symptoms.
This non-invasive treatment utilizes radiofrequency technology to safely and effectively treat dry eyes and dermatochalasis (droopy eyelids) for a smoother, healthier-looking appearance.
Best of all, there is no surgery or downtime!
Lumenis™ IPL (intense pulsed light therapy) is an innovative treatment for ocular rosacea and dry eye.
Lid margin hygiene to encourage better oil gland production
Discussion of supplements that may be beneficial
Possible prescription eye drop medication
TempSure™ Envi procedures to revitalize the oil glands along the lid margins
Lumenis™ IPL (intense pulse light therapy) to reduce redness and vessel inflammation around the eyes and Demodex eradication
Amniotic membrane technology
Autologous serum eye drops
Or a combination of some of these strategies