What is Dry Eye Disease?
Though there are many causes, the main reason for Dry Eye Syndrome is a combination of decreased tear production and increased tear evaporation resulting in poor quality of the components in your tears.
Most cases of dry eye are related to progressive and irreversible meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD). MGD is the loss of many or all of the oil (mucin) producing glands in the eyelids, which help to keep tears from evaporating on the eye surface. When the oil (mucin) layer is reduced, rapid evaporation of the water layer occurs, leaving the ocular surface completely exposed.
Meibomian Gland Loss:
- Environment: Extended exposure to wind, smoke, dry climate, dry heat in winter, AC in car
- Lifestyle and occupational requirements: computer use, environmental exposure, contact lens wear
- Hormonal changes
- Insufficient Diet: lacking Vitamin A and Omega 3 (EPA)
- Dehydration: less than half your body weight in ounces of water a day
- Blepharitis: an overabundance of bacteria or demodex mite infestation
- Ocular surface inflammation
- Anatomical eyelid dysfunction: incomplete blinking or lagophthalmos, out-turning of the lids (ectropion) or in-turning of the lids (entropion), use of a C-Pap machine
- Medical conditions: Diabetes, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus, Scleroderma, Sjogren’s Syndrome, Thyroid Disorders, Vitamin A Deficiency
- Medications: high blood pressure meds, antihistamines, decongestants, hormone replacement therapy, antidepressants, acne treatments, birth control, Parkinson’s disease medications
- Eye surgery: any laser eye surgery including LASIK, cataract surgery
How is Dry Eye Syndrome Diagnosed and Treated?
Dry Eye Treatments are tailored specifically for each individual patient which is why
thorough evaluation is necessary. Ives Eyecare Center utilizes specialized diagnostic
imaging to screen, diagnose and compare data points to manage and alter treatments
- Infrared imaging of the tear film and ocular surface
- Meibography of the top AND bottom eyelids
- Corneal topography
- Blink rate and Lid function analysis
- Diagnostic Testing: Oculus Keratograph 5M: Complete Tear Film and Lid Structure and Function Analysis
Eyelid Hygiene and In-Office Treatments:
OcuSoft Oust Demodex/Blepharitis Treatment: This is an in-office lid debridement performed by the
doctor by applying a high concentration of *Tea Tree Oil to the lids and eyelashes. The lids are cleaned thoroughly to remove debris and/or demodex mites from the base of the eye lashes.
*100% Tea Tree Oil should not be used directly on the skin/eyelids unless under a doctors supervision as it can cause severe burning without a topical anesthetic!
Blephex: An in office instrument used to mechanically remove debris and demodex mites from the eyelashes. It closely resembles an automatic toothbrush but for the eyelids!
Blephadex/Tea Tree Oil Lid Scrubs: may be used for at home maintenance to keep eyelids and lashes clean and healthy.