Dry eyes can cause more than just discomfort; if left untreated, they can cause corneal damage. If you suffer from dry eyes, Family Eye Care is here to help. We will not only offer you relief from your symptoms; we will also get to the root of the problem so that we can create a custom treatment plan to give you long-lasting relief.
Are you looking for sustained relief from your dry eyes?
Dry Eye Symptoms
Symptoms of dry eyes may include:
- Tired eyes
- Red eyes
- Blurry vision
- A gritty or foreign body sensation
- Stringy discharge
- Sensitivity to light
- Increased sensitivity to glare, particularly at night
- Itchy or scratchy eyes
OUR DRY EYE ASSESSMENT
Dry eyes can have a variety of root causes. To determine the cause of your dry eyes and create a tailored treatment or management plan to meet your needs, we offer comprehensive dry eye assessments. Our optometrists will perform a series of tests using cutting-edge equipment to assess your eyes and determine the best course of action. These tests will include a full history with dry eye questionnaire, measuring tear osmolarity, measuring inflammation (MMP9), imaging the meibomian glands, measuring the tear break up time and assessing the ocular surface, all to create a customized dry eye treatment and management plan.
What Causes Dry Eyes?
Dry eyes are caused by two main factors: inadequate tear volume and poor tear quality. Our eyes depend on a healthy and balanced tear film to stay lubricated. When we aren’t able to produce enough tears or the tears we do produce are poor quality, our eyes become dry and irritated.
Inadequate Tear Volume
Our bodies produce tears using several different glands located in and around our eyelids. As we age, our eyes aren’t able to produce as many tears as they once did, which can cause dry eyes. Some medical conditions and medications can also impact tear production. Environmental factors can also cause dry eyes. Even if we can produce enough tears, dry air or windy weather can cause our tears to evaporate too quickly.
Poor Tear Quality
Tears are made up of three main ingredients: meibum (a type of oil), water, and mucin. Meibum is the outer tear layer, forming a thin protective barrier and preventing our tears from evaporating too quickly. Mucin helps our tears spread evenly across the surface of our eyes, protecting our corneas. If our tears evaporate too quickly or our tears are not uniformly distributed, it can result in dry eyes.
Our practice offers a variety of in-office treatments to address your dry eyes and give you the long-lasting relief you need.
ZEST (Zocular Eyelid Treatment System) is used to treat blepharitis, a common condition that causes the eyelids to become irritated and inflamed. Blepharitis occurs when the oil-producing glands in the eyelids become clogged, causing swelling and irritation. Though there is no cure for blepharitis, ZEST can be used to manage the condition. ZEST treatment is an okra infused product with restorative and healing properties including control of Demodex. It gently exfoliates, lifts, and clears the oil, debris and residue on your eyelid margins. This procedure can be done as a stand-alone procedure or as part of your in-office treatment of LIPIFLOW, IPL and/or RF.
LIPIFLOW is an in office treatment device specifically designed to effectively remove blockages form the meibomian glands, allowing them to properly function and produce the oils that make up the top protective lipid layer of the tear film. This treatment improves gland function and can offer long term relief from MGD, and has been found to be significantly more effective than other heat-based treatments.
IPL (Intense Pulse Light) can be used to treat dry eyes caused by MGD (meibomian gland dysfunction). IPL is a common treatment for skin rosacea that is also effective for treating dry eye. High intensity light energy warms the oil in the meibomian glands allowing them to be expressed and improve their function. IPL shrinks inflamed blood vessels, reduces chemical inflammatory 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.
RADIO FREQUENCY is a non-invasive treatment. Heating the deeper subdermal layers help clear obstructed meibomian glands by melting the meibum. It also stimulates collagen and elastin production which means it has cosmetic skin effect of reducing fine lines and wrinkles. If you are interested in having tighter, younger looking skin in addition to treating your dry eye, then RF may be the treatment of choice for you.
To help you enjoy long-lasting relief, your optometrist may suggest you use one of the following maintenance products in addition to your regular in-office treatments.
Bruder masks use gentle, warming heat to provide relief from dry eyes caused by MGD (meibomian gland dysfunction) and blepharitis. The mask uses heat to melt thickened meibum, improving meibomian gland function and slowing the
evaporation rate of your tears.
Thealoz Duo Gel Drops
Thealoz Duo gel drops may be prescribed to patient with moderate to severe dry eye to be used in conjunction with regular in-office treatments. As its name suggests, these eye drops contain two significant ingredients – trehalose and sodium hyaluronate. Trehalose is used to protect the eyes epithelial cells so they can become more resistant to the everyday stress of dry
environments and tear film changes that can cause dry eye. Sodium hyaluronate is used to help your tears retain
the water they need to hydrate and lubricate your eyes surface. This gel drop is suitable for patients requiring
additional relief from their more persistent dry eye signs and symptoms with fewer drops. This gel drop is also
suitable for use all day and especially during the night.
If you suffer from either chronic or occasional dry eyes, your optometrist may suggest you increase your
intake of some nutrients and minerals, such as Omega 3. Omega 3 supplements from PRN (Physician
Recommended Nutraceuticals) can be used to improve tear film quality to prevent tears from evaporating took quickly. Research
has shown that consuming Omega 3 fatty acids can significantly improve the quality of tears produced.