Dry eye is a more common problem today than ever before. In fact, more than 100 million people worldwide suffer from painful and persistent dry eye symptoms.
Most experts agree that near work – computers, smartphones, video games – is likely to blame for the increase in dry eye symptoms. Each of these activities interfere with quality and quantity of blinks. Not enough quality blinks mean not enough natural tears, which leads to dry eye symptoms.
How Will I Know If I Have Dry Eye?
Common symptoms of dry eye can include dryness, grittiness, irritation, soreness, burning and eye fatigue.
But since those symptoms are also commonly associated with allergies and infections, it’s important to determine if what you’re experiencing is actually dry eye.
To do that, an ICON Eyecare dry eye specialist will perform a series of diagnostic tests to evaluate your unique ocular surface condition. This will help us determine the best course of action specifically for you.
How is Dry Eye Treated?
If you show signs of dry eye, don’t worry. We can help. The following are potential options for treatment at ICON Eyecare:
The LipiFlow System is a revolution in the treatment of dry eye. LipiFlow treatment addresses the root cause of evaporative dry eye, the most common form of dry eye, by unblocking the meibomian glands that secrete oily lipids. In controlled clinical studies of patients who received a single LipiFlow treatment, the average meibomian gland score at 4 weeks increased by 2-3 times over the baseline condition!
In other words, LipiFlow uses heat and gentle movement to unclog the glands on the rim of your eyelid that help keep your tears from evaporating. When they’re free and clear, they’re able to function properly to keep more tears on your eye’s surface.
Serum tears are made from a small sample of your own blood in order to fit your unique biology. Red blood cells and clotting factors are removed, leaving behind blood serum. This is diluted with a sterile, preservative-free solution to produce a tear substitute that is unique to you, and contains many important growth factors and nutrients normally found in healthy tears. Since blood and tears have an almost identical salinity and pH, there is no issue of burning or stinging upon instillation.
Punctal plugs keep your natural tears on your eyes longer. This can be done by blocking the tear ducts through which the tears normally drain. The tear ducts can be blocked with tiny silicone or gel-like plugs that can be removed, if needed. In either case, the goal is to keep the available tears in the eye longer to reduce problems related to dry eyes.
Eyelid expression is an in-office procedure that opens the glands and stimulates new tear production.
Prescription Eye Drops
While many over-the-counter artificial tears will help to temporarily lubricate and soothe dry eyes, they do not resolve the root cause of dry eye. Your doctor may prescribe an eyedrop that address the root cause and works to increase the production of and improve the quality of your tears.