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Dry Eye

Dry Eye

A Dry Eye Center of Excellence

Dry eye syndrome is a condition that is extremely common, plaguing millions of Americans each year. The symptoms of dry eye syndrome can be very frustrating, and managing these symptoms can sometimes be difficult. If you are one of the many sufferers of dry eye syndrome, our doctors at Montgomery & Riddle may have the solution for you!

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Understanding Dry Eye Syndrome

Dry eye syndrome is caused by malfunctioning tear glands, and often perpetuated by environmental factors, working long hours on a computer, or even poor diet. When your tear glands are malfunctioning, this means that you are either not creating enough tears to lubricate the eye, or there is an imbalance in the components of the tears themselves.

The tear film is made up of three layers:

  • Oil (lipid) layer: the outermost layer of the tear film that seals the tear film to help reduce tear evaporation.
  • Water (aqueous) layer: the middle layer that lubricates the eye and washes away particles, preventing infection.
  • Mucin layer: the innermost layer that helps the water layer to spread evenly over the eye.

The most common form of dry eye syndrome is referred to as evaporative dry eye syndrome. Evaporative dry eye, as the name suggests, occurs when the water (aqueous) layer evaporates too quickly to lubricate the eye. This happens when the lipid layer is not sufficient enough to protect the water layer from evaporating. With the lack of a sufficient lipid layer, dry eye symptoms will start to appear.

Dry Eye Symptoms

One of the most common symptoms of dry eyes is often watery eyes. While this sounds odd, this symptom means that your eye is trying to overcompensate for the dryness. Unfortunately, because dry eye is more often caused by the quality of tears and not the quantity, this does not do anything to help other dry eye symptoms.

Other common symptoms of dry eye include:

  • Persistent dry sensation
  • Scratchiness
  • Red eyes
  • Burning sensation
  • Foreign body sensation

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms on a regular basis, it is important to come into Montgomery & Riddle for testing. While dry eye syndrome itself is not a cause for concern, it is important that symptoms are well managed to prevent long term damage to the cornea.
To test for dry eye syndrome, our doctors at Montgomery & Riddle will use a thin strip of filter paper placed under the lower eyelid to measure tear production. This is called a Schimer test.

Dry Eye Treatment

After confirming that you have dry eye syndrome, and which type of dry eye syndrome you have, one of our expert doctors at Montgomery & Riddle will be able to determine the best course of treatment.

Montgomery & Riddle Eyecare is one of the region’s leaders in dry eye care. We have state-of-the-art advanced diagnostic tools to analyze your eyes and tear film to assess your dry eye condition. These tests might include measurement of the quantity of your tears, the drainage of your tears, any inflammation within your tears, the coating ability of your tears, the saltiness of your tears, and the quality of your eyelid/gland structure. Based on our findings and assessment, we can offer you a treatment designed specifically for your particular condition. In addition, we offer the latest treatment options listed below:

Prokera


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Prokera is a biologic corneal bandage with natural therapeutic actions that help damaged eye surfaces heal. Eyes treated with Prokera have quicker healing, less pain, less scarring, and less inflammation. Prokera is used to treat eye diseases such as keratitis due to severe dry eye, corneal scars, chemical burns, corneal defects, partial limbal stem cell deficiency and many other ocular surface diseases associated with inflammation.

LipiFlow


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This unique system combines visual imaging to diagnose a patient’s dry eye syndrome with a treatment which applies painless heat and compression to unclog the meibomian glands. If our testing with the LipiView/Scan determines that blocked glands (MGD – meibomian gland dysfunction) are at the root of your dry eye condition resulting in Evaporative Dry Eye and, if you are a candidate, you can now be treated with the innovative LipiFlow Thermal Pulsation System. LipiFlow works by applying directed energy to the eyelid near the affected glands. It uses precisely targeted warmth from the back of the eyelid, and slight pressure from the front. Opening the blocked glands may allow your body to resume its natural production of tear film oil. This clinically proven procedure takes approximately 12 minutes and is performed in our office.

Blephex


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Blepharitis is a chronic, inflammatory disease of the eyelids caused by an overgrowth of normal bacteria living along the lid and the base of the eyelashes. Anyone can get blepharitis at any age, but the prevalence increases with age, since as we get older, we make fewer natural antibodies in our tears. BlephEx treatment precisely and safely cleans and exfoliates your eyelids and lashes, which will almost immediately improve your symptoms. It addresses chronic inflammatory disease of the eyelids, which adversely affects the tear glands and contributes to irritation and dry eye. More importantly, by completely removing the exotoxin-laden biofilm along the lid margin, your doctor can help you avoid long-term inflammatory damage to your tear glands thus preventing chronic dry eye syndrome. This treatment is sometimes performed in conjunction with LipiFlow.

Punctal Plugs

The doctor may recommend punctal plugs for dry eyes. The term puncta refers to the opening of the tear ducts on the eyelid margin which drains the tear film. The use of these plugs is typically useful in moderate to severe cases and often used in a specific eye that is not responsive to eye drops. These are actually little plugs placed in the corners of the eyes to reduce tear drainage. Tears will typically drain into your nose, but these plugs are inserted near the tear ducts to slow the outflow.

Prescription Medication

Chronic inflammation is a common cause of dry eye which affects your eyes’ natural ability to produce tears. Restasis and Xiidra are a highly effective drops that treat the inflammation and early treatment can help you get better control of your dry eyes.

Artificial Tears/Lubrication Drops

The simplest and most common treatment for dry eye is the use of artificial tears to supplement your own natural tear production. We make very specific recommendations of artificial tears based on the results of your dry eye tests, signs and symptoms.

Omega 3 Supplements and Diet

Help maintain tear film components by supplementing your diet with foods that are rich in Omega 3 fatty acids. These foods include walnuts, cod liver oil, flax seed oil, primrose oil, and cold-water fish. Also vitamin A is important and it can be found in foods such as eggs, dark green and yellow vegetables.

The doctor may recommend punctal plugs for dry eyes. The term puncta refers to the opening of the tear ducts on the eyelid margin which drains the tear film. The use of these plugs is typically useful in moderate to severe cases and often used in a specific eye that is not responsive to eye drops. These are actually little plugs placed in the corners of the eyes to reduce tear drainage. Tears will typically drain into your nose, but these plugs are inserted near the tear ducts to slow the outflow.The doctor may recommend punctal plugs for dry eyes. The term puncta refers to the opening of the tear ducts on the eyelid margin which drains the tear film. The use of these plugs is typically useful in moderate to severe cases and often used in a specific eye that is not responsive to eye drops. These are actually little plugs placed in the corners of the eyes to reduce tear drainage. Tears will typically drain into your nose, but these plugs are inserted near the tear ducts to slow the outflow.

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Our doctors at Montgomery & Riddle will be able to determine the best treatment for you. If you have been experiencing this frustrating condition, do not hesitate to contact our office for an appointment today!

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