What is Dry Eye Syndrome?
Dry eye syndrome (DES) can be a real nuisance, causing discomfort and affecting your daily life. It’s caused by the eyes not producing enough tears or the tears’ chemical balance being off.
What Causes Dry Eye?
Dry eye can be caused by various factors, including genetics, environmental triggers, the natural process of aging, and even certain medications.
Hormonal changes can also result in DES, which is why pregnant women or women who breastfeed, take oral contraceptives, or go through menopause, are prone to experiencing DES. In fact, women over 50 have double the risk of developing dry eye compared to their male counterparts.
Common Dry Eye Symptoms
Patients with DES can experience various symptoms that cause discomfort and make daily tasks challenging. The key signs and symptoms include:
- Burning sensation
- Feeling of foreign body presence in the eye
- Itchy eyes
- Excessive tearing
When it comes to battling dry eye symptoms, people often resort to various strategies in search of relief. Some rub their eyes, many turn to over-the-counter artificial tears, while others blink less or more frequently.
In general, blinking is important because it’s the eye’s way of moisturizing the eyes and removing foreign particles. When you blink less, you deprive the eyes of their natural refreshment, exacerbating DES symptoms.
Rubbing irritated eyes is natural, but it can make things worse. Applying pressure to already sensitive eyes amplifies pain and can result in you unknowingly inviting unwelcome germs or bacteria into your eyes. Vigorous eye-rubbing can even cause tiny blood vessels to burst, turning your eyes into a fiery shade of red.
Artificial tears are the superheroes of temporary relief. They lubricate the eyes with a solution, providing a soothing balm for soreness and itchiness. However, they don’t address the root cause of dry eye. Moreover, many artificial tear brands contain preservatives that aren’t good for long-term eye health. Plus, relying on artificial tears can strain your wallet and disrupt your daily routine.
Dry Eye Treatments
Treatment options for DES can include medicated eye drops, anti-inflammatory drops, in-office treatments, and warm compresses.
In some cases, punctal plugs may be recommended by your eye doctor. They’re small devices that are inserted into the tear ducts, effectively blocking drainage so the eyes maintain a higher level of moisture.
One of the advantages of punctal plugs is their non-permanence, meaning they can be easily removed or replaced as needed.
Dry Eye Technology
Eye Pieces Plano is equipped with innovative dry eye technologies such as InflammaDry, LipiFlow, and TearLab.
They’re designed to provide quick and lasting relief for DES.
Did you know that patients with dry eye syndrome often have elevated levels of a protein enzyme called matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) in their tears? The good news is that we have a revolutionary solution to measure MMP-9 levels and get you the relief you seek.
Introducing the InflammaDry system, a cutting-edge technology that analyzes tears collected from inside the lower eyelid. In just about 10 minutes, you’ll receive accurate results. This disposable test can be conveniently performed right here in our office, making it a top choice for patients seeking relief from DES. Say goodbye to guesswork, and let us provide precise insights into your eye health. Book an appointment today, and let’s get started on your journey towards clearer, more comfortable vision.
Deep within the eyelid, near the base of your eyelashes, lie the incredible meibomian glands. These little powerhouses are responsible for secreting oils that lubricate your eyes and keep your tears moist. But when these glands get clogged, dry eye becomes a persistent problem.
Introducing the remarkable LipiFlow system, a game-changer in combating meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD). Through detailed imaging of the tear film, our expert eye doctor can pinpoint if MGD is the culprit. Then, a gentle combination of soothing heat and light pressure is applied to both the inside and outside of your eyelids. This magical duo works to remove the blockages and kick-start your eyes’ natural moisture production. Best of all: this procedure is completed right here at our practice, taking only around 12 minutes of your time.
The TearLab device measures concentration levels in human tears. This helps diagnose DES by noting any levels of tear concentration that are elevated, which signal dry eye.
TearLab is a 3-in-1 device: the test card, test pen, and countertop unit. The test card is a single-use microchip that collects a tiny tear fluid sample in under 30 seconds. It sits inside the test pen, which analyzes and sends the data to the reader located in the unit. The unit rests on a flat surface and displays the test results within seconds.