General Eye Care
Dry eye related discomfort is one of the most frequent complaints heard by eye doctors. The symptoms of dry eyes are varied and the list below is by no means all inclusive, however patients that suffer from dry eyes usually experience a number of the following symptoms:
- Blurred Vision
- Foreign Body Sensation
- Burning Sensation
- Sandy/Gritty Sensation
Dry eye syndrome often referred to as keratitis sicca or keratoconjunctivitis sicca, is caused by insufficient and/or poor quality tears. There are three main components to human tears. Most human tears are produced by the lacrimal gland. The oily component of tears is produced by the meibomian glands and the third component, the goblet cells, keeps all of the components mixed up. When one of the parts of this mixture becomes unbalanced, dry eye syndrome can occur. There are numerous reasons as to why these glands may not be doing their part.
Insufficient tear production and/or poor tear quality are the most common causes of dry eye syndrome. Inflammation of the lacrimal gland is the most common cause of insufficient tear volume. Meibomian gland dysfunction, inflammation of the glands at the eyelid margin, contributes to poor tear quality. Medications can also cause ocular dryness. Hormonal changes also contribute to insufficient and poor quality tears.
Treatment Options for Dry Eye Syndrome
Artificial tears containing active ingredients such as carboxymethylcellulose, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, glycerin, castor oil, polyethylene glycol or polyvinyl alcohol are used in mild cases of dry eyes. Not all artificial tear brands work the same or work in all patients. More severe cases require additional treatment. If you find yourself using your artificial tears three or more times a day you should use a preservative-free tear. Most patients find that artificial tears do help, however, the effect is only temporary, lasting only 10-15 minutes. Most of these patients will experience significant relief with punctal occlusion.
The puncta is the small opening found on the edge of the upper and lower eyelids next to the nose. Tears drain out of the eye through the puncta into the nose, this is why your nose runs when you cry. If you aren’t producing enough tears then you don’t want the tears that you are producing to be drained away. Punctal occlusion is painless and performed in the office, taking only a couple of minutes.
BlephEx® is a painless in-office procedure performed by your eyecare professional or trained technician. A revolutionary new patented BlephEx® handpiece is used to very precisely spin a soft medical grade micro-sponge along the edge of your eyelids and lashes. This procedure effectively removes years of accumulated bacterial biofilm, much like a dental cleaning removes accumulated plaque, also a biofilm. Once the biofilm is removed, your eyelids are cleaner and healthier. A healthy eyelid is critical for normal tear production.
LipiFlow is a treatment device specifically designed for effectively removing blockages from the meibmomian glands, allowing them to properly function and produce the oils that make up the top protective lipid layer of the tear film.
RESTASIS® helps dry eye syndrome patients increase your eye’s natural ability to produce tears. Producing tears is a critical component for the relief of dry eye syndrome.
Restasis Safety Information:
RESTASIS® should not be used by eye care patients with active eye infections and has not been studied in patients with a history of herpes viral infections of the eye. RESTASIS® should not be used while wearing contact lenses. If contact lenses are worn, they should be removed prior to use.
Finding Virginia Restasis Doctors
The doctors at Advanced Vision Institute are certified to discuss and treat you with Restasis®. At your eye exam, one of our eye doctors can discuss the best treatment options for you. If Restasis® is the best treatment option you will be notified of the treatment protocol.