As the name suggests, dry eye syndrome causes the sufferer’s eyes to become dry and irritated, leading to problems such as soreness, light sensitivity, and blurred vision. If left untreated, it can cause more serious complications, such as ulcers or scarring on the cornea, risk of infection, and (strange as it may sound) chronically watery eyes. Unfortunately, this does not solve the problem, as the tears won’t stay long without the proper mixture of naturally occurring oils that your eye produces, and will quickly evaporate.
What Causes Dry Eye Syndrome?
Dry eye syndrome is a problem that can come from many different sources and affects over 5 million people in the U.S. alone. It mostly affects Americans over the age of 50; aging usually leads to a whole host of other eye problems. It can also be caused by things such as certain medications, the climate that the person lives in, and even spending too much time in front of screens. Certain pre-existing diseases will also cause dry eye, such as Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD). MGD is the leading cause of dry eye.
Meibomian Gland Dysfunction
MGD occurs when the glands in the eyelids, responsible for producing the moisturizing oils that your body uses to lubricate your eyes, are no longer producing oils. It blocks the glands and can lead not only to dry eye syndrome but to other complications like blepharitis.
What Can I Do About It?
While dry eye syndrome may be a common and widespread problem, it can be treated. Things like specialized drops and punctal plugs (tiny plugs that are inserted into your tear duct) can help, but one of the most effective ways to treat dry eye is with the LipiFlow® system.
The LipiFlow® thermal pulsation system from TearScience, offered right here at the office of Dr. Diamante in Johnston, Rhode Island, is specifically designed to help patients with MGD. The system is placed on top of the eyelids where it applies pressure and slightly warms up to 43 degrees Celsius. This removes the build up in the oil-producing glands by opening up the glands safely melting blockages away without damaging the eye. In fact, many patients find the process to be relaxing and enjoyable! The entire procedure takes about 12 minutes, and in one study, 79% of patients experienced a significant improvement in their dry eye symptoms.
Don’t wait. We’re here to help you help your eyes. Call us today to set up a consultation and ask about LipiFlow®!