The increasing prevalence of dry eye disease is why Clemson Eye strives to be a Dry Center of excellence. As such, our staff is trained to provide the highest quality of dry eye care using advanced diagnostic techniques and treatments.
There are multiple kinds of tests used to approximate the level of dry eye disease a patient may have. But we use what we believe to be the best and most accurate: the LipiView and TearLab test.
One of the latest devices in dry eye technology is the TearLab Osmolarity System. By using TearLab, we can quickly and painlessly measure a small sample of a patient's tears to determine how dry they truly are.
TearLab is the first objective and quantitative test for diagnosing and managing dry eye patients. Using the slightest nanoliter of tear fluid, the osmolarity data allows us to understand the 'level' of disease – is it mild, moderate or severe dry eye you’re experiencing. Your tear number also allows us to determine the best treatment for you.
How will the test be performed?
The TearLab osmolarity test uses a pen designed to hold the test card and facilitate pain-free, simple tear fluid collection. Using a mechanical, electrical interface, the pen conveys data to the TearLab reader automatically when docked.
About the TearLab Osmolarity Test
The TearLab measures the salt content in your eyes and is the gold standard for objectively diagnosing dry eye disease.
Your specific osmolarity number is generated by TearLab's 'lab on a chip technology'. This unique number helps your doctor determine whether you have dry eye disease, and if so, whether you fall into the mild, moderate or severe category.
Takes a fast and painless small sample of your tears.
TearLab Osmolarity Test
Diagnoses severity of dry eye.
For some, dry eye symptoms such as itchy, burning, stinging eyes may seem like a mere nuisance. However, if left untreated, dry eye disease can have serious consequences including:
Mild dry eyes can often be improved by making simple changes in your surroundings. One of the most common problems is air blowing in your face, which can evaporate your tears faster than your eye can make them. Don't sit directly in front of a heating or air-conditioning vent at home or at work, and in the car, make sure these vents are not aimed directly into your face. Shield your eyes when using a blow dryer. If you smoke, you should seriously consider quitting, because smoking also aggravates dry eyes.
LipiFlow® is a cutting edge treatment for Evaporative Dry Eye. LipiFlow® is a thermal eyelid massage that applies consistent, comfortable heat to your eyelids. It also provides gentle, pulsating pressure to your eyelids to massage out the liquefied blockages of your meibomian glands. The LipiFlow® Activator is inserted under your lower and upper eye lid. It is shaped to prevent contact with the cornea, or front surface of your eye. Once in place, you simply recline in the treatment chair for the procedure.
Omega-3s found in fish have been shown to greatly support dry eye relief, along with their many other health benefits.
Not all omega-3s are created equal, which is why we recommend PRN supplements to our patients. Physician-recommended nutraceutical PRN is specifically formulated to address dry eye and proven to improve its symptoms.
Clinical research has shown that after 8 weeks of treatment, 82% of patients using PRN Dry Eye Omega Benefits had a positive change in normalizing their tears.
PRN Dry Eye Omega Benefits capsules or liquid both address symptoms from inside the body instead of outside. The effects are similar to when you eat omega-3 rich foods, like fish.
Four capsules per day or one teaspoon of PRN equates to consuming 37 cans of tuna a week. Also, note that you may need to take anywhere from two-to-10 times the amount of a drug store omega-3 supplement to get the same therapeutic benefit delivered in just one serving of PRN, so these supplements are good for your eye health and wallet.
Talk to your Clemson Eye doctor about the advantages of PRN Dry Eye Omega Benefits in treating dry eye. PRN is part of our affordable "Dry Eye Kit".
OCuSOFT is an excellent solution for lid and lash hygiene. It is designed for patients with chronic dry eye, blepharitis and meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD). OCuSOFT is intended for cleaning and removing foreign material and debris from the application site including microorganisms, immediate care of minor irritations to the skin, cleansing minor cuts, minor scrapes and minor burns.
It's estimated that 10% to 20% of Americans suffer from Dry Eye Syndrome. In addition, approximately 23 million Americans chronically suffer from inflammation of the eyelids, known as blepharitis. Another 13 million struggle with the debilitating condition of meibomian gland dysfunction ("MGD").
Well-tolerated and easy to use, OCuSOFT also acts as a preventive measure, and can be incorporated into a patient’s daily lid and lash hygiene regimen.
Clemson Eye offers a “Dry Eye Kit” at an affordable price. Since it takes 3 months of use to see results, we encourage purchasing 3 bottles/kits. The kits include a two-month supply of:
Dosage: 4 PRN pills per day, and 1 spritz of OCuSoft per eye morning and night.
This kit is also useful for all our eye surgery patients. It is available at an introductory price of $75, saving you at least $25 on retail costs.
If environmental changes and/or Omega-3 supplements don't restore your eyes' moisture level, many over-the-counter eye drops - called artificial tears - are available. These drops are highly effective in soothing dry eyes for most people, but they must be used frequently — often 4-6 times a day — to maintain constant moisture throughout the day.
Artificial tears are available in multi-dose bottles and in single-dose vials. The bottles are easier to handle and contain preservatives so that the tears won't spoil before you use the whole bottle. Some people develop allergies to the preservatives if they use the drops more than 3-4 times a day. The single-dose vials do not contain preservatives, and are recommended for anyone who needs to use the drops more than 3-4 times a day.
These products can be purchased without a prescription in any supermarket or drug store. When electing for artificial tear products, talk to your Clemson Eye doctor before choosing an over-the-counter medication, as some can actually make your condition worse.
You have a tear duct in the inner corner of each eyelid (upper and lower). Artificial tears can make your eyes feel better but you have to use them often. A Clemson Eye doctor can put a small plug in the tear duct opening, called the punctum, to prevent your tears from draining away.
By making your tears last longer, you may maintain eye moisture with fewer tears overall. This simple procedure can be done in the office in just a minute or two, is painless, and if you don’t like them, they can be removed just as easily. Note there is a cost to the surgical procedure and occasionally the plugs may fall out.
A prescription medication called cyclosporin is available to help relieve dry eye symptoms. Cyclosporin helps your tear glands produce more tears, but with some trade-offs. The medication is more expensive than other treatments for dry eyes and may sting or burn.
Remember, your Clemson Eye doctor can help you develop a dry eye treatment plan that is right for you.
Sjogren's Syndrome Foundation (SSF)
North American Menopause Society (NAMS)
Tear Film & Ocular Surface Society (TFOS)
National Women's Health Resource Center
If you've been experiencing recurring dry eye symptoms including: itching, burning and discomfort, be sure to schedule a TearLab test with us. Clemson Eye specializes in diagnosing and treating dry eye syndrome.
For your comprehensive dry eye examination, please call us 855‑654‑2020 (toll-free).