We at the Dry Eye and Blepharitis Treatment Center at An Eye To The Future work with each patient to determine the best eye treatment. We offer several treatment methods to help patients resolve severe dry eye syndrome and help control the symptoms of Blepharitis
What is Dry Eye ?
Dry Eye Syndrome is a term used to describe the reduction in your eyes' ability to naturally produce tears. Estimates are over 50 million Americans who suffer from dry eyes. Your tears are made up of three different layers: a mucous layer to help the tears cover the surface of the eye, an aqueous layer that provides moisture, and an oil layer to help prevent evaporation. Dry eye syndrome occurs when one or more of these layers break down and are imbalanced, or when your eyes simply do not produce enough tears, dry spots may appear on the surface of the cornea (the clear front surface of the eye).
Dry eyes are common among older people or those who use computers, contact lenses, or certain medications such as allergy medicines. People who are exposed to excess amounts of sun, wind, dust or smoke will often suffer from dry eye syndrome as well.
Signs and Symptoms
When tears do not adequately lubricate the eye a person may experience:
- Light sensitivity
- A gritty sensation
- A feeling of a foreign body or sand in the eye
- Blurring of vision
What services do we offer?
Our office is always getting the latest technologies to treat these conditions. Treatment and diagnostic options include:
- Lubricants design specifically for type of Dry Eye or Blepharitis
- Pharmaceuticals such as Restasis and Xiidra are among many topical and oral agents aid in both these conditions
- Manual gland expression is both an easy and highly effective procedure for reducing symptoms and improving signs in patients with meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD). Because MGD represents a significant portion of dry eye disease, proper management and treatment are essential for improving ocular health
- Eyelid hygiene insures a clean tear film which leads to optimal vision and comfort. Depending on the status of your eyelids, our doctors can recommend specific products, such as those with tea tree oil or hypochlorous acid, to keep your tear film in the best state possible
- Omega 3 oil vitamins
- There is growing evidence that increasing the oral intake of fish oil and omega-3 via diet or supplement is very helpful to those suffering with dry eye.
- Punctal Occlusion is a technique in which tears can be kept in the eye longer with the aid of small devices
- BlephEx lid cleaning: This is a brand new approach that cleans the lids and opens the glands often occluded causing dry eye and blepharitis. WE are proud to have been one of the first to institute this into our practice.
- The LipiFlow® Thermal Pulsation System: a cleared medical device for Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD), consists of a Console and a single-use sterile device, known as the Activator, and has a drug-free mechanism of action.
What is Blepharitis?
Blepharitis: A very common eye disorder, blepharitis is a condition affecting the eyelids and eyelashes. Causes can range from a bacterial infection (staphylococcal blepharitis) to allergies, lice and/or abnormal fat production in the eyelids (seborrheic blepharitis).
Signs and Symptoms
The swelling and inflammation at the edges of the eyelids can cause one or more of the following symptoms:
- dandruff-like flaking
- crusty layer of dried discharge
- swelling and puffiness redness (bloodshot eyes and eyelids)
- irritation (discomfort)
- grainy/coarse sensation under the eyelid (foreign body sensation)
Everyday steps that you can take to prevent blepharitis include removing all eye makeup before bedtime and not applying eyeliner on the back edges of the eyelids behind the eyelashes.
Bleph Ex is a handheld instrument for in-office treatment of blepharitis and dry eye caused by clogged meibomian glands. This is a brand new approach that cleans the lids and opens the glands often occluded causing dry eye and blepharitis. WE are proud to have been one of the first to institute this into our practice.The procedure lasts about 6 -8 minutes and is well tolerated. Most patients simply report a tickling sensation. A numbing drop is usually placed in each eye prior to treatment for increased comfort.After the procedure, the patient is instructed on how to maintain their clean eyelids with regular nightly lid hygiene. Since home treatments are only semi-effective, the procedure is typically repeated at 4-6 month intervals.
What is Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD)?
The outermost layer of the tear film, the lipid layer, is composed of oils from meibomian gland secretions that lubricate, prevent evaporation, and perform barrier functions. If glands become obstructed, qualitative and quantitative changes in glandular secretion may lead to symptoms of eye irritation, clinically apparent inflammation, and ocular surface disease.
In one study, up to 86% of dry eye patients had signs of MGD.
If left untreated, obstructed glands will reduce oil production, atrophy, and eventually drop out. Once a gland has atrophied completely, the function is lost permanently, which leads to chronic discomfort and potentially sight-threatening damage to the ocular surface.
Lipiflow and Lipiscan
LipiScan™ Dynamic Meibomian Imager (DMI) is an ophthalmic imaging device that renders high-definition image of meibomian gland structure in about a minute.
Lipiflow is an FDA-approved system that uses specially designed eyepieces or activators to help treat dry eye symptoms.
These eyepieces use a patented, precisely controlled heat that is applied to the inner eyelid with pulsed pressure to unblock the meibomian glands while protecting the surface of the eye. This thermal pulsation system not only unclogs the glands but also encourages them to resume their natural production of the lipids needed for healthy tears.
Its single-use design and built-in sensors ensure a safe, sterile treatment. This process lasts approximately 12 minutes. The treatment is painless, and many patients liken it to a hot stone massage for your eyes.
Click here to learn more about Lipiflow and Lipiscan.