Dry Eye Syndrome
Symptoms of Dry Eye Questionnaire
- Do you use artificial tears on a regular basis?
- Do your eyes burn and/or look red?
- Do you experience blurry vision that clears when you blink?
- Do your eyes water frequently?
- Do your eyes feel scratchy or gritty?
- Do your contact lenses bother you after wearing them for a short period of time?
If you answered yes to these questions, you may be experiencing Dry Eye Syndrome. Call our office today for an appointment!
Dry Eye Syndrome is caused by poor tear quality from tear glands that do not function properly. Dry weather, wind, heat, air conditioning, ceiling fans, excessive computer use especially under fluorescent lighting and certain medications are common causes. Over time, without treatment, dry eye can cause infections and scarring on the surface of the eye.
Tear film consists of three layers: oil, water, and mucus. A problem with any of these layers causes poor tear quality resulting in dry eye syndrome.
- Oil. The outer layer of the tear film, produced by small glands on the edge of your eyelids (meibomian glands), contains fatty oils called lipids. These smooth the tear surface and slow evaporation. If your oil glands don’t produce enough oil, the water layer evaporates too quickly, causing dry eye. Dry eyes are common in people whose meibomian glands are clogged.
- Water. This layer, produced by the tear glands or lacrimal glands, cleanses your cornea and washes away foreign particles or irritants.
- Mucus. The inner layer of mucus helps spread tears evenly over the surface of your eyes. If you don’t have enough mucus to cover your eyes, dry spots can form on the front surface of the eye (cornea).
While there a variety of treatments for dry eye syndrome, Larson Eye Care offers Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) treatment to treat the common underlying problem of incorrectly functioning meibomian glands. Because these glands produce the oil that protects your tears from evaporating too quickly, they often clog. The individual openings of this important gland, as well as the consistency and quality of tears, are examined by your doctor under a microscope during an eye exam.
IPL treatment works like a warm compress for the eye. The blood vessels that surround the eyes absorb the heat that is produced by the laser, which in turn heats up the neighboring areas around the blood vessels. As result, secretions that have plugged the meibomian glands are dissolved unclogging the gland. The tear film is restored and inflammation is reduced. Relief from dry eyes is noticeable quickly after the procedure.