What is Dry Eye?
Dry eye is a condition that is much more complex than the name implies and much more common than you might think. Statistics show that 26 million Americans have dry eye with another 3 million projected by 2022, but there are likely many more that are undiagnosed. At SkyVision Centers in suburban Cleveland, we see dry eye every day, often in people who didn’t know they had it. Because this condition has such a huge impact on our patients’ comfort, vision, and eye health, we’ve made dry eye treatment a priority at our practice. The experienced doctors at SkyVision Centers are proud to treat both the cause and symptoms of dry eye syndrome.
SkyVision was one of the first accredited TearLab Dry Eye Centers in the U.S., which means we are one of the nation’s premier practices in the treatment of dry eye symptoms.
What are the treatment options for dry eye?
Your treatment will be symptom-driven, and our goal is the smallest amount of intervention needed to produce the greatest degree of improvement.
At-home remedies for Dry Eye:
Over-the-counter Eye Drops/Artificial Tears
Most people are better served by the medical-grade products available at SkyVision Centers, but you may benefit from over-the-counter artificial tears for dry eyes. These may include saline eye drops or natural eye drops. Your SkyVision doctor will give you a list or very specific recommendations for the best types for your particular condition.
Order your recommended artificial tears and have them shipped to home!
Vitamins for your eyes
All dry eye patients would probably benefit from taking vitamins for their dry eyes such as an oral Omega-3 fatty acid supplement. The most effective supplements are fish oil that contains Omega-3 fatty acids in the triglyceride forms DHA and EPA. The most effective doses are probably as much as 2 or 3 grams of DHA or EPA per day. Ask your SkyVision Center doctor for a personal recommendation on types of fish oil supplements for Omega-3 fatty acids.
Warm Eye Compresses
If you have eyelid margin disease such as Meibomium Gland Dysfunction (MGD) or Blepharitis, you may benefit from warm compresses and special eyelid cleansers. Your doctor will make recommendations for you.
You should also use a humidifier during the dry months; protect your eyes from wind, cold, and ultraviolet light with a good pair of sunglasses; and drink lots of water. If you are experiencing dry eyes at night, you may benefit from the use of dry eye goggles while you sleep.
In some cases, a more advanced treatment called I.P.L. for eyelid margin disease such as MGD or Blepharitis may be recommended.
Dry Eye Prescription Drops
Chronic inflammation is a very important cause of dry eye, especially for women between the ages of 35 and 60. Restasis is a totally different type of anti-inflammatory drop and a breakthrough in dry eye care. It helps increase your eyes’ ability to produce tears, and can be used over very long periods of time. It is both very safe and very effective.
Xiidra is another FDA approved eye drop to treat the inflammation that your doctors see in the office as well as the symptoms that your dry eye disease is causing.
Cequa is also an approved eye drop new to the scene to treat inflammation of your dry eye disease symptoms.
Dry Eye Procedures
Sometimes the most appropriate treatment is to conserve the tears that you are producing naturally. Tears drain from your eye through tiny channels that actually empty inside your nose. With a minor tear duct procedure, we can conserve your tears and increase the amount of time that both natural and artificial tears stay in contact with your eye by closing these tear duct channels with punctal plugs. These can be temporary or permanent, and are indicated in about 15 to 20% of cases.
Most people with evaporative dry eye have meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD) – blockage of the tiny glands that produce the lipid component of tears. As the Cleveland area’s leader in Dry Eye Treatment, SkyVision Centers has performed nearly 1000 Lipiflow Treatments over the past 4 years. Lipiflow is the only electronic FDA-cleared treatment for MGD, which uses a precise application of heat to the inside of the eyelids, close to the location of the meibomian glands, and massage to outside of the eyelids.
Wondering if Lipiflow is right for you? Call 440-892-3931
I.P.L. (Intense Pulsed Light) Here in July 2020!
The M22 Optima IPL, an instrument manufactured by Lumenis, emits short-wavelength blue light that targets photophores, which include melanin, hemoglobin, and water.
In the area of aesthetics, the traditional use of this light is to get rid of sunspots, freckles, color imperfections in the skin, fine lines, and mild wrinkles. It gives more of a porcelain type of appearance to the skin.
Medically, this treatment is an excellent addition to our Dry Eye menu of treatments. Dry eye is an inflammatory eye disease. This inflammation damages the glands in the lower eyelid, leading to decreased oil production, loss of eyelashes and scarring and thickening of the lid margin. The oil is required to protect the ocular surface from drying out and is even important for good vision.
The inflammation is caused by a cascading effect of the small blood vessels that your body produces in response to inflammation. They are weak and leak inflammatory products. Although tears may temporarily make your eye feel better, they do nothing to address the cause of the inflammation.
The only therapeutic procedure we have found to be successful at addressing the cause of this inflammation is IPL. It will destroy the small blood vessels that cause the inflammation and may even promote your glands to function better. As an added bonus this is the only dry-eye treatment that has a significant aesthetic benefit. There may be times when a combination of treatments, such as Lipiflow plus IPL may be recommended.
Call us to find out if IPL is right for you at 440-892-3931.