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Dry Eye Syndrome

Have you ever experienced a gritty, itchy, stinging sensation in one or both eyes?  Have you ever wondered why your eyes and/or eyelids always appear red?  Do your eyes constantly water?  If you’ve answered “yes” to any of these questions, you may have dry eyes.

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Dry eye syndrome (DES) is a very common and often chronic condition that is caused by the imbalance of one or all components of the tear film.  Poor quality of tears results in the tears evaporating too quickly or not spreading evenly over the cornea.  Tears are necessary for maintaining the health of the front surface of the eye (cornea) and for providing clear vision.

Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD) is the inflammation and clogging of small glands in your eyelids.  Clogged oil glands along both upper and lower lid margins contribute to 86% of dry eye.  Poor lacrimal gland function causes aqueous deficiency and further reduces the production of our "emergency eye wash tears."  Damage to the goblet cells in the innermost mucin tear layer affects nourishment and eyesight.  Understanding the complex makeup of our tears is important in devising a proper treatment approach to solving DES.

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The most common causes include:

  • Age and hormonal changes

  • Gender: women are more at risk

  • Environment

    • Increased screen time

    • Smoke, wind, and dry climates

  • Long term use of contact lenses

  • Harmful cosmetic eye products

  • Refractive eye surgeries (LASIK, cataract)

  • Medications

  • Medical conditions i.e. rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, thyroid problems

Current treatment approaches include:

  • Lid margin hygiene to encourage better oil gland production

  • Artificial tears and/or prescription eye drops

  • Gel drops and/or eye ointments

  • Regener-Eyes: biologic serum containing growth factors and hyaluronic acid

  • Discussion of omega 3 supplements and skin care

  • Advanced in-office therapy such as OptiLight IPL, Radiofrequency (RF), and TearCare

Depending on the severity of your dry eye, a combination of a few strategies may be needed to improve your symptoms.  Our advanced in-office treatments will effectively tackle the root of the issue while maintaining your quality of life.

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