WHAT IS DRY EYE?
Dry eye is a multifactorial disease of the tears and ocular surface that results in symptoms of discomfort, visual disturbance, and tear film instability with potential damage to the ocular surface. It is accompanied by higher osmolarity (salt concentration) of the tear film and inflammation of the ocular surface. Dry eyes occur when either the eye cannot produce enough tears to lubricate the ocular surface or the tears that are produced evaporate too quickly. When either of these two mechanisms occurs, it results in eventual breakdown of the ocular surface which in turn causes an inflammatory response. Symptoms are varied and can range from minor irritation and vision fluctuation to moderate to severe debilitating disease and vision loss.
WHAT IS THE CAUSE OF DRY EYE?
Dry eye is a multifactorial disease. Aging is the most common factor but it can also be associated with:
Air conditioning/ fans
Exposure to chemicals
Previous Eye Surgery:
Thyroid/ Graves disease
Contact lens wear
Eyelid malposition: Incomplete blinking, lower eyelid drooping
Previous eye infections
WHY DO MY EYES TEAR IF I HAVE DRY EYE?
It’s important to remember there are two types of tears. We have the tear film which acts as a lubricant so the eyelids can open and close without sticking to the eye, as well as to protect the eye surface from exposure to air. When the tear film is working properly, we don’t notice our eyes. The second type of tear is the reflex tearing which occurs when the eye feels any type of irritation. This occurs, for example, when peeling and cutting an onion. If the tear film breaks down and the eye becomes irritated, the reflex tearing will be stimulated, thus causing the eye to tear.
WHAT IS A DRY EYE CENTER OF EXCELLENCE?
Dry eye is much more prevalent than was previously recognized. In the last several tears, there have been major advances in the diagnosis and treatment of dry eye. At South Palm Eye Associates, we have mad the commitment to provide our patients with the latest state-of-the-art diagnostic and treatment modalities. As such, we have become a Dry Eye Center of Excellence.
Tearlab: The TearLab is an instrument which measures the osmolarity, or salt content, of the tears. If the aqueous, or water content is reduced, either by decreased production or increased evaporation, then the salt concentration rises. The TearLab is an easy and accurate way to diagnose dry eye and to follow treatment results.
Keratograph 5M: The Keratograph 5M is an advanced ocular imaging system which evaluates the tear film in a standardized and reproducible manner. We can now analyze the lipid, or oil, producing glands as well as the lipid layer thickness. Since it is estimated that approximately 85% of dry eye is due to evaporation of the tear film due to an insufficient lipid layer, this gives us a powerful tool to diagnose and treat dry eye.
Allergy Testing: Doctor’s Allergy Formula is a Food and Drug Administration-approved, non-invasive, no-needle, proprietary diagnostic test designed to objectively diagnose specific allergies. Uniquely, this non-invasive skin testing includes positive and negative controls, as well as 58 allergens that are regionally specific for higher yield depending on geographic location.
Sjö Diagnostic Test: Sjö is a diagnostic test for the early detection of Sjögren’s syndrome. The early symptoms of Sjögren’s syndrome commonly present as routine dry eye. Sjögren’s syndrome affects about 4 million people in the U.S.; most of whom are undiagnosed. It is estimated that approximately 10% of all dry eye is caused by Sjögren’s syndrome.
Inflammadry: InflammaDry® is the first and only, rapid, in-office test that detects MMP-9, an inflammatory marker that is consistently elevated in the tears of patients with dry eye disease.
Lipiflow: LipiFlow is a therapeutic instrument which applies controlled heat to the inner eyelid, and mild intermittent pressure releasing oils from the blocked Meibomian glands. It does this without damage to the glands or the delicate structures of the eye. LipiFlow treats the upper and lower eyelids simultaneously. The procedure is virtually painless and some patients consider it somewhat like a spa experience. In some cases, treatment can be performed the same day as your evaluation. In a clinical study, 79% of patients reported improvement of their overall dry eye symptoms within four weeks, ranging from 10% to 100% improvement
Blephex: BlephEx™ is a revolutionary new patented hand piece used to very precisely and carefully spin a medical grade micro-sponge along the edge of your eyelids and lashes, removing the debris from the margin of your lids for the treatment of blepharitis.