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?
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 are not able to produce enough tears or the tears we do produce are poor quality, our eyes become dry and irritated.
Our bodies produce tears using several different glands located in and around our eyelids. As we age, our eyes are not 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 tears to evaporate quickly.
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.
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 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.
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 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.
Blephaclean is a sterile, well-tolerated, antimicrobial wipe for daily eyelid hygiene. This wipe is effective in the management of blepharitis.
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® is a natural preservative free artificial tear that helps regenerate the ocular surface while lubricating the eye for long-lasting relief and restoring the eye's normal environment.
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.