What is Dry Eye Disease?
Dry eye disease is a result of many factors, including but not limited to environment, age, gender, medications, concurrent medical conditions, and contact lens wear.
Your tears are composed of three layers: an innermost mucous layer, a middle aqueous layer, and an outermost lipid layer. The mucous layer adheres the tears to the front surface of the eye and is created by the goblet cells in your conjunctiva, the clear tissue above the white part of your eye. The aqueous layer is the watery part of your tears and is created by the lacrimal glands. The lipid layer is made of meibum, an oily substance that is secreted by the meibomian glands in your eyelids. This oily layer stabilizes the tear film and prevents the tears from evaporating from the front surface of your eye, creating a healthy, consistent tear film.
There are two principal types of dry eye disease: aqueous deficient and evaporative. Aqueous deficient dry eye occurs when your lacrimal glands are not secreting enough of the watery component of your tears, resulting in a reduction in the amount of tears on your eye. Evaporative dry eye, the more common type of dry eye disease, occurs when the meibomian glands are not secreting an adequate amount of meibum into the lipid layer, causing poor tear quality and increased evaporation of tears off of your eye. This poor tear quality is a result of meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD) or degeneration of meibomian glands.
Dry Eye Symptoms
- Dryness, Grittiness, or Scratchiness
- Burning or Stinging
- Blurry or Fluctuating Vision
- Light Sensitivity
- Soreness, Irritation, or Foreign Body Sensation
- Eye Fatigue
Diagnosis of Dry Eye
We will analyze several measurements of the quality and quality of your tears and will evaluate the structures responsible for creating your tears. Some of these measurements may include:
- SPEED Dry Eye Questionnaire
- Slit Lamp Examination with Fluorescein and/or Lissamine Green dyes
- Tear Lab Osmolarity
- InflammaDry/MMP-9 Detection
- Meibomian Gland Imaging
- Tear Film Evaluation
Dry Eye Treatments
Dry eye is a chronic condition, and no cure exists. Treatments aim towards improving signs and symptoms of dry eye, and some form of treatment is often required indefinitely to improve your long-term quality of life. Our goal is to stabilize your dry eyes and to maintain your signs and symptoms over time. Some of the treatments we may offer you include:
- Eye Drops
- Artificial Tears
- Gels or Ointments
- Anti-Inflammatory Drops/Ointments
- Restasis or Xiidra
- Autologous Serum Eye Drops through VitalTears
- Oral Medications
- Omega-3 Fatty Acid Supplement
- Eyelid Hygiene
- Moist Heat Mask
- Oasis Lid & Lash Gel Cleaner
- Ocusoft Foam
- Neurostimulation Device
Because we are continuously striving to implement the industry’s most up-to-date dry eye treatments and services for her patients, the measurements and treatments listed above are not all-inclusive. Please schedule an appointment for a dry eye evaluation with Dr. Clarke to discuss the best treatment options for you.