Dry Eye Treatment
You might be surprised to learn that your itchy eyes may actually be a disease known as Dry Eye Syndrome. Dr. Gindi and the team at Healing Eye Care have decades of experience in helping uncover the symptoms of your dry eye, the causes behind it, and the perfect solution to provide much needed relief. We leverage cutting edge technology to study your overall eye health and dive right to the solution rather than simply recommending prescription eye drops and warm compresses in the hopes that the issues go away on their own.
What Is Dry Eye?
Dry Eye, also known as Dry Eye Syndrome or DES, is a condition in which the eyes are unable to produce enough tears or the tears produced lack sufficient lubrication for comfortable vision. Dry Eye is a common and often chronic problem, affecting around 5 million Americans annually. Dry Eye may be caused by aging, certain medications, medical conditions like Sjogren’s Syndrome or autoimmune diseases, and environmental factors such as dry climates or prolonged use of digital screens.
Dry Eye Symptoms
Dry Eye Syndrome is caused by your tear ducts’ inability to produce quality tears or enough natural tears to properly lubricate your eye. Tears are made up of three layers: oil, water, and mucus. Each component protects and nourishes the front surface of the eye. A smooth oil layer helps prevent evaporation of the water layer, while the mucin layer spreads the tears evenly over the surface of the eye. If the tears evaporate too quickly or do not spread evenly over the cornea due to deficiencies with any of the three tear layers, dry eye symptoms can develop. It is also important to know certain medicines, including antihistamines, decongestants, blood pressure medications, and antidepressants, can reduce tear production.
The lowered or lack of tear production can result in a number of symptoms including scratchy and irritated eyes, red eyes, blurry vision, light sensitivity, eye-fatigue, watery eyes. Without enough natural or artificial tears, dry eye can lead to inflammation and eventually damage to the surface of the eye.
Dry Eye Treatments
No matter why you are lacking excess tears and moisture on the surface of the eye, the simple answer is you need more tears to create relief for your dry eyes. The most common first approach is to use warm compresses and artificial tears as needed throughout the day to keep the eyes lubricated and create a level of normal tear film. Dietary changes can also help, such as increasing omega-3 fatty acid intake or reducing caffeine and alcohol consumption which can make the symptoms of dry eye disease worse.
In some severe cases, prescription medication may be necessary to stimulate tear production or reduce inflammation in the eye. Dry Eye is not always easy to treat, so it’s important to work closely with our eye care professional in finding the best solution for you. You can get started on finding relief from dry eye symptoms and maintain long term eye health with our eye care team below.
Oculus 5M Keratograph
Here at Healing Eye Care, we have the very latest technology that helps us create a proper treatment plan for individual patients. The OCULUS Keratograph assesses tear evaporation rates, blocked glands and tear layer health. Features include analyzing the meibomian glands, noninvasive tear picture break-up time, the tear meniscus height measurement, and assessing the lipid layer. This advanced technology allows us to image the anatomy of the oil glands, found in the upper and lower eyelids. These glands are unique because they provide the natural lubrication to keep the tears wholesome. Additionally, and most importantly, this scan gives us a deeper look into the eye than ever before, which allows us to put together a more accurate and efficient treatment plan. This technology also provides the doctor with a Crystal Tear Report which allows us to develop and provide you with a treatment plan that is tailored to your needs.
Dry Eye Syndrome
Now, more than ever, we are relying on our eyes in our day to day activities. With the ever growing need for more and more computer work, we often find that this is making dry eye syndrome worse. When sitting at the computer or looking at any artificial screen, we tend to blink less than normal which then disrupts the tear film from producing the natural oil within.
“Dry eyes? But my eyes are watering!:” While it made sound odd, tearing or watering of the eyes is one of the many symptoms that is associated with dry eyes. When the surface of the eye is dry, our eyes are triggered to produce more tears to help lubricate the eye.
What can I do to help?: It is important to make sure that you are taking breaks when working on any type of digital screen (phones, tablets, computers, etc) for extended periods of time. It is recommended that you take a 15 second break and look at something that is at least 15 feet away every hour so the muscles in your eyes are able to relax.
Tear Care System
Dry Eye Treatment
The TearCare® System at Healing Eye Care is intended for the application of localized heat therapy in adult patients with tear evaporation issues due to meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD), when used in conjunction with manual expression of the meibomian glands to increase tear production. Dr. Gindi and her team in Clearwater, FL, are delighted to bring this dry eye treatment to you or anyone you know who suffers from dry eye.
In addition to the Tear Care in-office treatment, some patients are given a prescribed course of at-home care products and eye drops to relieve and manage their dry eye symptoms and increase tear volume. Ocusoft is one of the industry leaders in professional grade ocular care products such as dry eye masks, lid scrubs, and nutritional supplements. The doctor will prescribe these therapeutic products in combination, to specifically target the gland and tear structure dysfunction.
Preparing for Your Dry Eye Treatment Appointment
To prepare for your eye doctor appointment, it is a good idea to make a list of all your symptoms, along with when they first started. This should include any other issues beyond your eyes, as if your whole body is connected and any other ailments may correlate with your dry eye. You will also be asked about any family history of dry eyes, any places or situations your symptoms worsen, previous use of artificial tears, issues with tear ducts, and if you have tried any treatments in the past that have worked.
At the appointment, we will complete a comprehensive eye exam and provide you with eye drops to help numb your eye. From there, we will perform a test to determine your natural tear production and create a long term treatment plan that is unique to your needs.
What are Meibomian Glands?
Meibomian glands are the tiny oil glands which line the margin of the eyelids (the edges that touch when eyelids are closed). These glands secrete oil which coats the surface of our eyes and keeps the water component of our tears from evaporating (or drying out). Together the water and oil layer make up the tear film in our eyes. This tear film lubricates and keeps the surface of our eyes healthy and has a direct affect on how clearly we see. If either the water or oil layer is decreased or of poor quality, we may develop symptoms of irritation or blurred vision.
What is Meibomian Gland Dysfunction?
Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (or MGD) refers to the chronic condition where the glands are not secreting enough oil or when the oil they do secrete is of poor quality. The oils that do make it out of the gland can be noted as granular (crusty) or otherwise abnormal and can cause irritation.
How do we treat MGD?
Treatment plans vary based on individual patients conditions. Our technicians will review which steps you will take based on the doctors exam. They will review these steps with you to ensure understanding and to answer any questions you may have. The basis of treatment is centered around moist heat and lid hygiene.