Dry eye, also known as Ocular Surface Disease, can occur from certain medications, naturally by aging, or as a symptom arising from systemic diseases such as Sjogren’s syndrome, Rheumatoid arthritis, or Lupus. If you have a minor case of dry eye, you may be experiencing irritation, excessive tearing, fluctuating vision, and/or a burning sensation in your eyes. Excessive dry eyes, or dry eye symptoms that go untreated, have the potential to damage eye tissue, scar your corneas, and impair your vision. Here at Lonestar Vision, we want to help educate our patients on the treatments we provide to help combat dry eye and provide relief from its symptoms.
Causes Dry Eye?
Many symptoms of dry eye are a result of Meibomian Gland Dysfunction, which causes blockages that hinder the production of oil, which helps prevent your eyes from drying out. These oils also help protect your eyes from environmental variables that can negatively impact the health of your eyes, not to mention your comfort. Without the protection of these oils, excessive reading and television use, dry climates, and heating and air conditioning can all have adverse effects on your eye health and can contribute to dry eye symptoms.
LipiFlow Treatment at Lonestar Vision
In the past, dry eye has primarily been treated with prescription or over-the-counter eye drops, dietary supplements, and punctal plugs (also known as tear duct plugs). Here at Lonestar Vision, we are proud to offer a more effective, safe, and drug-free option: LipiFlow Dry Eye Treatment. This unique treatment is designed to remove any blockages from the meibomian gland and treat dry eye symptoms.
With the LipiFlow treatment, we can clear blockages of the meibomian gland through a combination of heat and massage to the outer and inner eyelids. By removing these blockages, your eyes can return to their natural functionality so that your dry eye symptoms are treated with natural tears rather than artificial ones. This treatment is not only extremely effective in treating dry eye, but it is a quick, non-surgical procedure that we can do in a single office visit. LipiFlow treatment is safe and designed only to apply pressure and heat to the eyelids, so your eyeball and the structure of your eye is never affected.
Another treatment option we often recommend to treat dry eye is the use of scleral lenses.
Scleral lenses are similar to conventional gas-permeable (GP) lenses, but are larger and provide more comfort for those with irregularly shaped corneas, keratoconus, post-corneal transplants, dry eyes, and otherwise hard-to-fit eyes. Because they are larger than standard contacts, they also provide comfort and protection for patients who experience frequent eye discomfort due to allergies, dust, and debris. Scleral lenses don’t irritate the cornea like other contacts do, so these lenses may be a possible option even if you have previously been told you can’t wear contact lenses due to your dry eye condition. They are designed to protect the cornea and provide a constant source of hydration to your eye. The area between the cornea and the lens is usually filled with saline, but in some cases antibiotics and artificial tears can be added to help keep the eye hydrated and aid in healing the ocular surface. With your lens working with you instead of against you when it comes to fighting dry eye symptoms, your eyes will look and feel much more healthy, simply because they are!
Additional benefits of scleral lenses include:
- Sharper vision
- Greater durability
- Easier handling
- Less risk of complications
- Longer life of the contact lens
We know how uncomfortable it can be to deal with dry eye symptoms, and we want to help you find the relief you deserve. For more information about our services or to schedule a comprehensive eye exam, contact us today.