What is Dry Eye?
Most people experience some degree of dry eye symptoms during their lives. Wearing contact lenses can cause your eyes to become irritated and environmental factors (wind, pollution, sun, smoke or dry air inside homes or offices) also play a part in eye irritation. You may only need to remove your contacts and use over-the-counter eye drops to soothe your eyes in these cases.
However, when you suffer from chronic dry eye, there may be an underlying condition that is reducing the amount or quality of healthy tear film on your eyes.
Symptoms of Dry Eye
- Scratchy and burning feeling in the eyes
- The feeling of having something stuck in your eye
- Heightened sensitivity to smoke or wind in the eyes
- Light sensitivity
- Decreased vision
- Tired eyes from reading or trying to focus on an object
Many people with dry eye syndrome have random blurry vision that temporarily improves with rapid blinking.
If you experience these symptoms, you are not alone. It is estimated that nearly 5 million people in the United States are affected by dry eye syndrome.
Types of Dry Eye
There are two types of dry eye:
Evaporative Dry Eye. This is the most common type of dry eye that is caused by blockage to the eyelid glands (meibomian glands). This blockage leads to a shortage of oil on the surface of the tears and quicker-than-normal tear evaporation.
Aqueous Dry Eye. This type of dry eye occurs when the lacrimal glands do not produce enough tears.
Causes of Dry Eye
There are many reasons why your tear production can be compromised:
- Aging (over age 50)
- Medications (decongestants, antihistamines, antidepressants, birth control, etc.)
- Menopause (hormone replacement therapy)
- Seasonal allergies
- Environmental factors (dry air, wind, dust, smoke, etc.)
- Screen usage (extended exposure to computers, phones, etc.)
- Eye surgery
- Autoimmune disorders (Sjögren’s syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, etc.)
- Eye disease
Dry Eye Diagnosis
In order to properly treat dry eye syndrome, our Inland Empire dry eye specialists must first precisely diagnose the underlying cause of your condition during a dry eye exam. This will allow us to recommend treatment options that will be the most effective for your unique situation.
Dry Eye Treatment Options
Our dry eye treatments for Inland Empire patients will depend on the root cause of your condition. Treatments may include:
- LipiFlow® Thermal Pulsation System
- Punctal plugs
- Artificial tears
- Prescription eye drops
- Lid scrubs
- BRUDER Moist Heat Eye Compress
- Environmental or lifestyle changes
LipiFlow® Thermal Pulsation System
If your dry eye is caused by evaporative dry eye or Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD), that means you have a blocked eyelid gland. The LipiFlow treatment includes the application of precisely-controlled heat and adaptive pressure to the inner eyelid to unblock the eyelid glands, stimulating production of complex natural oils for tear film.
LipiFlow By Tearscience
Is LipiFlow Right for You?
Our doctors can determine if LipiFlow is right for your eyes by using the non-invasive LipiView® Ocular Surface Interferometer to assess your tear film.
The LipiView Evaluation will help us determine the thickness of the lipid layer in the eye with nanometer accuracy, captures your eye’s blink dynamics and images the meibomian gland structure. This allows our dry eye specialists to formulate the optimal treatment path to manage and eliminate any patient’s dry eye symptoms.
Some treatment options are not covered by insurance. Our team can discuss costs with you during your dye eye appointment.
Reasons to Schedule a Dry Eye Evaluation
- Your eyes feel tired, irritated, burn, are red or if your eyes just bother you
- Your eyes bother you, but you haven’t seen an eye doctor
- You have seen an eye doctor, but your eyes still aren’t feeling better
- You spend a great deal of time reading a hand-held device, computer, documents, books, watching TV or driving
- You would simply like to see and feel better
At Pacific Eye Institute our goal is to diagnose and treat your dry eye early in an effort to help you feel better, see better and to keep your eyes from progressively getting worse. We want to keep your eyes healthy for the rest of your life!
To learn more about dry eye treatments in the Inland Empire, contact Pacific Eye Institute today to schedule an eye exam.