About Dry Eye
Most people have experienced dry, itchy eyes at one point or another, but those suffering from dry eye syndrome have them really often or even all the time. Dry eye discomfort is one of the most frequent complaints heard by eye doctors. Besides dryness and itchiness, dry eye can cause blurred vision and sensations of sandiness and grittiness — like you have sand or dirt in your eyes that won't flush out.
Dry eye syndrome is caused by either insufficient tears or poor-quality tears, which in turn can be caused by medical conditions, medications, or environmental factors. At Solomon Eye Physicians & Surgeons, we are proud to provide the latest and most advanced treatment methods for our Greenbelt and Bowie, MD area dry eye syndrome patients. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with a dry eye specialist.
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The symptoms of dry eyes are varied, and the list below is by no means exhaustive; 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 may also cause light sensitivity, as well as heavy or achy/sore eyes. Some patients may also have reduced night vision.
The causes of dry eye syndrome, often referred to as keratitis sicca or keratoconjunctivitis sicca, are insufficient tear production or poor-quality tears.
There are three main components of 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, keep 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 why these glands may not be doing their part:
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. Also associated with an eyelid condition called blepharitis, this abnormality of the meibomian glands doesn't allow them to secrete enough oil into the tears. This causes tears to evaporate more quickly than normal and is a direct cause of dry eye.
Medications, hormonal changes, smoking, and eye strain can also cause ocular dryness. Other medical conditions, such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, thyroid disorder, and Vitamin A deficiency, can also be factors.
The Meibox Imaging Device
At Solomon Eye Physicians and Surgeons, we are proud to announce the latest technology: the Meibox Imaging device, which is revolutionizing the diagnosis and treatment of dry eye. The Meibox is able to provide higher resolution images of the meibomian glands. The device allows for easy integration and adaption into our practice's technology, making the process for you smoother than ever before. With this new technology, we are able to effectively and efficiently treat yet another facet of dry eye.
TruTear™ is a handheld stimulator that is used to temporarily induce the production of tears by being inserted into the nasal cavity. This is a technological breakthrough for patients who suffer from dry eye symptoms as it is a noninvasive, effective method of temporarily increasing tear production without the need for drugs or surgery.
The eyeXpress® is a Class 1 (exempt), FDA-cleared therapeutic device that has opened up a new affordable way to treat dry eye and eye fatigue. Through the patented goggle system, the device provides uniform, constant, regulated heat to the entire surface of the upper and lower lids. The eyeXpress® increases the tear film and aids in the eye hydrating itself, providing a regulated temperature. The eyeXpress® softens the meibum and aids in meibomian gland expression and offers relief to the patient.
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, 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.
Plan Your Procedure
Relieve Dry Eye
The team at Solomon Eye Physicians & Surgeons is very experienced in diagnosing and treating dry eye, and we are trained in the most advanced treatment methods. If you have chronic dry eye and have not gotten relief from over-the-counter remedies, schedule an exam at our Greenbelt or Bowie, MD office. We can get to the root of your condition and ensure you receive the proper treatment.