Dry Eye Disease is a condition that affects 50 million people in the United States. This is a very common condition that affects the comfort and well-being of many of us. It is estimated that globally patients will pay $6.6 billion by 2027 for dry eye treatments. Google trends for the topic “dry eye syndrome” have doubled from 2010 to 2020. This condition is one of the most common reasons patients visit their eye doctor. It is becoming more prevalent with increasing time we are spending on our digital devices.
Symptoms of Dry Eye Disease:
Dry Eye Disease is a multifactorial condition. The many risk factors that can lead to Dry Eye Disease. include:
One of the most important steps in treating dry eye is diagnosing the cause of the dry eye. There are 3 main types of dry eyes. They include Aqueous deficiency, Inflammatory, and Evaporative.
Aqueous deficiency is the lack of adequate tears. This can be caused by the lacrimal gland not producing enough tears. I liken this to a sink when we wash our dishes. If we do not have enough water to wash the dishes it is a difficult task. If we do not have enough tears to lubricate the eyes they will start to burn and sting throughout the day. This burning and stinging can signal the brain to release reflex tears. This creates a situation of flood irrigation. This is the most common reason patients have eyes that water.
Inflammatory dry eye patients often experience the following symptoms: red eyes, burning and stinging, and contact lens discomfort. The inflammation can be caused by environmental conditions like low humidity or spending too much time under a fan or air conditioning. It may also be caused by systemic conditions, such as; Rheumatoid arthritis, Sjogrens syndrome (dry eye and dry mouth), thyroid conditions, and diabetes. Patients that over wear contact lenses and/or wear monthly contact lenses that require the use of cleaners are commonly suffer from inflammatory dry eye symptoms
Evaporative Dry Eye is the most common cause of dry eye disease. In our eyelids we have Meibomian Glands that express Meibum when we blink. This oil (meibum) makes up our outer tear layer. These glands can become plugged by debris or bacteria. The oil can over time thicken like Crisco. This will result in a lack of oily or protective layer in our tears. Due to the lack of oily layer, our tears evaporate quickly. Common symptoms of this type are: filmy or fluctuating vision, contact lens discomfort, eyes that water when hit with wind or heater/air conditioning. Studies show that 86% of dry eyes are caused by Meibomian Gland Dysfunction.
At EyeCare of Rigby we specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of Dry Eye Disease. With the help of our incredibly technology we are able to diagnose the type of dry eye that you are suffering from and treat it appropriately. At your comprehensive Dry Eye Evaluation we will measure the amount of tears you have, look at inflammation, take photographs of your eyes and meibomian glands. We will show you on a screen what is causing your dry eyes. It is truly an incredible experience.
Through our Dry Eye Evaluation the doctor will prescribe a treatment protocol that maximizes your success in relieving your symptoms. We try to be as natural and cost-effective as possible in your treatment. The following are some of the treatments that the doctors use:
Dry eye is a condition that can be controlled but will not go away. Left untreated, it can lead to permanent damage to the eyes. Our doctors are passionate about helping our patients achieve their best and most comfortable vision through the diagnosis and treatment of Dry Eye Disease. Schedule your comprehensive Dry Eye Evaluation today!
We will do a comprehensive examination of everything that might affect the quality and quantity of your tears. We will work to determine what’s truly causing your symptoms, and create a plan together to change the environment and stabilize your symptoms. The exam will be focused and you will be told a lot of information. The key is to not to panic, trust that everything will be written down, and trust the plan. Dry eye success requires dedication to the treatment course. Though there is no cure for dry eye, if you commit to the treatment plan, you will experience success!
Please thoughtfully answer the questions below. Your history is CRITICAL and provides us with a much better understanding of your condition, its possible cause, and how to help.