What is Dry Eye?
Dry Eye Syndrome effects millions of people of all ages starting in the 20’s and progressing through the 90’s. The broad range of symptoms of dry eyes may include a sandy, gritty sensation in the eyes, fluctuating vision, tearing, or a constant feeling of an eyelash stuck in the eye. In some patients, this ocular surface disease (OSD) can be painful leading to slowed reading speed, decreased work productivity, trouble focusing on the computer monitor, or difficulty seeing to drive safely. At Raleigh Eye Center, Dr. Wrzosek is delighted to offer patients relief from their Dry Eye Syndrome with the advanced TearScience System that includes the LipiView® with DMI imaging and the LipiFlow® treatment as further explained below.
Dry Eye is more than your eyes feeling a bit scratchy from time to time, as explained by our Raleigh eye ophthalmologist, Dr. Wrzosek. It’s a chronic medical condition (some specialists may classify it as dry eye syndrome in research) that stems from a lack of tear film. While reduced tear production is rare, sometimes there are tiny blocks in the glands that produce our tears. When these glands are blocked, the eye is exposed–because there is no longer a film–and our eyes get dry.
What Causes Dry Eye?
Aside from blockage to the glands, which is an internal problem, there are several external factors that could be contributing to your dry eye. A lot of us have to use computers for work daily, but staring at them for extended periods can lead to drier eyes. This is because we don’t blink as much as we should, and therefore don’t spread the essential oils our eyes need for moisture. Other factors include, but are not limited to:
- Dry Atmosphere
Though these are mostly temporary, long-term exposure to these elements could lead to potential issues with dry eye as time progresses.
Tips for Dealing With Dry Eye
Some of the best dry eye treatments involve medicated eye drops, much like what we’d get at an optometrist’s office during our exams. Some of these products, such as LipiFlow for example, are lab-tested and designed to remove the blockages we mentioned earlier as one of the primary internal causes of dry eye. Specially-designed products like this prove effective in professional treatments, negating the need for you to put drops in your eyes several times daily.
Another effective dry eye treatment is the use ointments. These are great as they are available over the counter, and you can use them before bed each night. However, most ointments will remain in the eyes overnight, causing blurred vision when you wake up. Because of this, we do not recommend using these products during the day.
Keeping Tears Inside
It may seem a bit counter-intuitive, but in some cases, blocking the ducts in order to keep more of your body’s natural tears inside longer can be effective in combating dry eye symptoms. You can do this with tiny removable “plugs,” or in some cases permanently via surgery. We highly recommend consulting your optometrist regarding this option.
Our Advice For Avoiding Dry Eyes Naturally
There are also several small things you can do to help avoid drying out your eyes. These include, but are not limited to:
- Wearing Sunglasses
- Using a Humidifier
- Applying a Warm Compress
- Call Raleigh Eye Center for LipiView test and LipiFlow treatment
All of these methods work with your body naturally to help relieve dry eye symptoms.
LipiView Test for Dry Eye Syndrome
The LipiView analysis is vital in detecting the level of a patient’s dry eyes. The eye doctor uses this eye evaluation to get a better view of a patient’s film production. The following steps are included in the LipiView procedure:
- The examination is done at your eye doctor’s clinic or dry eye center where your ophthalmologist practices his/her medical profession.
- The whole procedure will only take 5 minutes.
Patient will be asked to look directly at a special light camera and blink normally where a computer aided program will take care of the necessary measurements of the patient’s lipid content and quality.
LipiFlow Dry Eye Syndrome Treatment
LipiFlow is a treatment device specifically designed for effectively removing blockages from the meibmomian glands, allowing them to properly function and produce the oils that make up the top protective lipid layer of the tear film. Supported by 37 patents and used around the world by leading eye care professionals, LipiFlow is fast becoming the standard of care for MGD with studies demonstrating its safe and effective results. LipiFlow was designed to minimize patient discomfort during a 12 minute in-office treatment that most patients describe as a gently massaging of the eye lids.
Do you have dry eye problems? Dr. Wrzosek suggests a LipiView analysis to verify the extent of your dry eyes to identify the severity of your particular situation. Whatever the case, put in a call to our office today; we can help you put an end to Dry Eye Syndrome.