DRY EYE CENTER
What is Dry Eye Syndrome
Dry Eye Syndrome is a chronic eye condition that can be very debilitating. The symptoms of dry eyes are tearing, the sensation of sandy, gritty eyes, a sharp stabbing pain in the eye, sensitivity to light, burning, stinging eyes, and difficulty wearing contact lenses. The causes of dry eyes are declining quantity of tears or a poor quality of tears. If left untreated dry eyes can damage the surface of the eye and cause blurry vision. Hormonal changes associated with aging and menopause, autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, Sjogren’s syndrome and diabetes, and medications (prescription and over the counter), such as antihistamines can all cause dry eyes. Various environmental factors can contribute to dry eyes such as ceiling fans, windy conditions and low humidity.
Recent advancement in technology has also proven to contribute to dry eye. With more and more people using their computers and smart phones regularly, the diagnosis of dry eye syndrome has increased throughout the world.
Do I have Dry Eye?
Common symptoms for dry eye include:
- Scratchy, or gritty feeling.
- Burning/stinging sensation.
- Chronic allergies.
- Taking antihistamines, antidepressants or beta-blockers. These medications may decrease tear production.
- Diet that is low in vitamin A.
If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, contact us today to setup a consultation!
What treatment to expect from your exam
During the appointment for your dry eye exam, Dr. Grin and her professional staff will run a series of tests to precisely assess the tear film of your eye to determine if you have dry eye syndrome. A variety of tests can be performed. One such test, the Schirmer test, is painless and administered by Dr. Grin and her staff. The test involves placing filter-paper strips under the lower eyelids to measure the rate of tear production.
An alternative to this, our doctors can diagnose dry eye by placing medicated eye drops in each eye, and then recording how long it takes for dry spots to develop on the cornea.
Preservative free artificial tears are the first line of defense as preservatives are a contributing factor of dry eyes. Artificial tears may provide a temporary symptomatic relief, but many patients will require a medication called Restasis.
An additional treatment option for dry eyes is tear duct Punctal Plugs. These are tiny silicone plugs that block the drainage of your tears and thus allows your tears to stay on the eye surface longer. This is an office procedure that is quick and painless.
LipiView® and LipiFlow®
LipiFlow is then used to relieve blockage of the meibomian glands. LipiFlow uses a controlled warm temperature and gentle massaging to allow the blocked glands to open. The natural production of lipids needed for the tear film is then resumed.