Dry Eye occurs when the eye does not produce tears properly or when the tears are not of the correct consistency and evaporate too quickly. Depending on the causes of dry eye, our doctors may use various approaches to relieve the symptoms.
In addition, inflammation of the surface of the eye may occur along with dry eye. If left untreated, this condition can lead to pain, ulcers, or scars on the cornea and some loss of vision.
The first priority is to determine if a disease is the underlying cause of the dry eye.
Dry eye symptoms:
- Stinging or burning of the eye
- A sandy or gritty feeling as if something is in the eye
- Episodes of excess tears following very dry eye periods
- A stringy discharge from the eye
- Pain and redness of the eye
- Episodes of blurred vision
- Uncomfortable contact lenses wear
- Decreased tolerance of reading, working on the computer, or any activity that requires sustained visual attention
- Eye fatigue
A punctal plug is a small device insert
ed into the tear duct (puncta) of the inner eye lid to block the duct from draining tears. For certain types of dry eye, this device may provide relief by letting the natural tears remain on the surface of the eye longer. This quick and painless technique is done in the office during an examination. You doctor will determine if punctual plugs are a good treatment option for your type of dry eye.
Meibomian Gland Dysfuntion
Many patients suffer from Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD) which can mimic or exacerbate dry eyes. MGD occurs when the protective oil that normally flows from the eyelid slows or stops. Over time, blockage and structural damage of the glands occurs. When these glands are not healthy, it causes the tear film to rapidly evaporate, leaving the eye’s surface exposed. This exposure can cause discomfort that increases over time and impacts quality of vision.
LipiView and LipiFlow
The Hughes Eye Group offers LipiView testing and LipiFlow treatments of the eyelid glands. LipiFlow treatment incorporates heat and massage to evacuate the blockages from the eyelid glands, allowing the glands to resume oil production. Lipiflow is the only FDA approved treatment using thermal pulsating heat for this condition.