What is dry eye?

Dry eye or dry eye syndrome happens when the surface of your eyes has a tear film imbalance. For most people, this occurs when the tears don’t produce enough tears or because the meibomian glands have become blocked.

Meibomian glands are located in the eyelids. They are tiny oil glands that release oil, which coats the surface of the eye.

A healthy tear has three components: water, oil, and mucous. Each of these components is a layer that’s necessary for healthy tear development. Tears should have an oily layer, a watery layer, and a mucous layer.

If the meibomian glands become blocked, they can’t produce the oil that’s necessary for having a healthy or stable tear film. When this happens, it’s a condition called meibomian gland disorder (MGD).

MGD and dry eye are conditions that go together, as this is a condition that 86% of dry eye patients also have. If you’re over 40 years old, you also have a greater risk of developing MGD.

Thanks to the advancement of technology and testing, patients can have their dry eyes treated and diagnosed before they even have symptoms!

Dry Eyes Diagram; Healthy Vs Dry Eye

How do I know if I have dry eye syndrome?

Although a common sign of dry eye syndrome is having dry eyes, there are other symptoms that you may develop as well.

Let your eye doctor at Clemson Eye know if you develop any of the following:

  • Your eyes burn or sting
  • Your eyes start to water uncontrollably or start to produce stringy mucous
  • Your eyes become itchy or uncomfortable
  • Your eyes feel gritty or feel like they have sand in them
  • You experience pain when you try to wear contact lenses
  • Your eyes feel fatigued or hurt

These are only some of the symptoms associated with having dry eyes. If it feels like something isn’t right with your eyes, let your eye doctor know!


What are the causes of dry eyes?

Man Suffering from Dry Eye

There are many things that can cause your dry eyes. This can vary from your environment to how much time you spend in front of screens to your age. Dry eye can also be caused by:

  • Health problems like blepharitis, Sjogren’s syndrome, Rheumatoid arthritis, or any autoimmune conditions
  • Taking medications like antihistamines, antidepressants, or the continued use of corticosteroids
  • Wearing contact lenses
  • Spending a lot of time in front of digital devices like a desktop computer, smartphone, tablet, or laptop

If your eyes are dry, it’s important to understand the root cause of what is making them dry to treat them.


Lipiflow logo and Eye Doctor

How is dry eye treated?

To ensure your eyes are in the best shape, the tear film must function properly. Any kind of treatment for dry eyes will fall flat if your meibomian glands are not functioning the right way.

LipiFlow

For this reason, patients at Clemson Eye with dry eyes should start their dry eye treatment with LipiFlow. This is a state-of-the-art treatment for dry eye syndrome. LipiFlow is the only FDA-cleared device that provides patients with both inner and outer lid therapy. It uses a thermal eyelid massage while applying consistent and comfortable heat to your eyelids. For blocked meibomian glands, it provides gentle, pulsating pressure. This massages out any liquified blockages in the glands, allowing your tear film to stabilize and go back to normal. The LipiFlow Activator is activated under the lower and upper eyelid. It has a special shape to prevent any contact with the cornea or the front surface of the eye.

After it’s put in place, all you have to do is recline in the treatment chair for the procedure. The treatment only takes 12 minutes total. With a unique combination of heat and gentle pressure, any gland obstruction and blockages are safely removed. Most patients experience results about 6-8 weeks after treatment.

The goal with LipiFlow treatment is for the Meibomian glands to resume their normal oil production. Depending on the severity of your dry eye symptoms, you may benefit from LipiFlow every eight to 12 months.

Other patients may only need a LipiFlow treatment every two years. Your eye doctor will let you know how often they recommend you have a LipiFlow treatment based on how your eyes respond to it.


Treating Dry Eye

If you have dry eyes, many different treatments are available to maintain moist and healthy eyes. Your doctor can help you develop a treatment plan that is right for you.

Call For a Dry Eye Test 855-654-2020

For more information call 855-654-2020 today or click here to schedule an appointment.