It is estimated that five million Americans suffer from dry eye; a number that is likely to increase due to prolonged computer use and reliance on digital technologies such as smartphones, tablets, and laptops. Dry Eye Syndrome is characterized by a lack of moisture or lubrication in the eyes. Patients may experience vision or irritation problems from marginal tear production. Dry eye can cause contact lenses to no longer feel comfortable by the end of the day, and cause fluctuations in vision as well.
Dr. Brittany McMurren specializes in dry eye diagnostic examination and treatment here at Gordon Schanzlin New Vision Institute. Contact our office at 858-455-6800 or fill out the form below to determine whether you’re a candidate for dry eye treatment.
Dry Eye Disease is a multifactorial condition that may be experienced as persistent dryness, scratchiness, redness, burning, and even excessive tearing. The cause of dry eye syndrome may be related to a lack of tear production, poor quality tears, infection, and localized or systemic inflammation. For patients that don’t get adequate relief from using lubricating drops, determining the cause of dry eye can lead to customized and effective treatment options.
Aqueous – deficiency in the aqueous can be caused when the body is not producing enough of the watery component to the tear layer or the tears that are produced are too quickly evaporated. The evaporative aqueous deficiency can sometimes be caused by inflammation in the meibomian glands.
Lipid – outer layer of the tear layer consisting of an oily layer. The oil comes from the meibomian glands and is produced or “pumped out” with each blink. Deficiency in the lipid layer can be caused by meibomian gland dysfunction, which affects the amount of lipid output from the meibomian glands.
Mucin – the innermost layer of the tear, which carries important nutrients and vitamins necessary for the health of the cornea.
Our goal is to provide patients with an approach to keeping their eyes healthy and comfortable while maximizing their own tear function/production.
There are several approaches to relieving the symptoms of dry eye, including:
To see if you are a potential candidate for LipiFlow®, complete our Dry Eye Questionnaire before you schedule your dry eye consultation. We will review your responses and contact you shortly after your submission.
What are meibomian glands?
Meibomian glands are the oil producing glands in your eyelids. Over time, these glands become blocked and don’t produce enough oil, which may contribute to your symptoms of dry eye. Oils, or lipids, are an important component of your tears, as they help keep your eyes moisturized and prevent tear evaporation. Restoring regular oil flow can improve dry eye symptoms.
What is Meibomian Gland Dysfunction?
Meibomian gland dysfunction is the primary cause or contributor to as many as 85% of dry eye disease cases. The FDA has approved LipiFlow®, a well-studied and clinically proven treatment for restoring meibomian gland function. Opening and clearing these blocked glands can allow them to resume natural production of lipids (oils) needed for a healthy tear film.
What is LipiFlow®?
LipiFlow® is an advanced treatment designed to clear blockages affecting the meibomian glands. The procedure typically takes only about 12 minutes right here in the office and can be utilized for both the upper and lower eyelids. Utilizing targeted heat and massaging techniques, LipiFlow® can help loosen blockages and unclog meibomian glands. The treatment can ultimately allow the meibomian glands to function in a much better way, enabling them to produce the oil that is so necessary for the hydration of your eyes and tear film. Individuals diagnosed with meibomian gland dysfunction and evaporative dry eye syndrome may be ideal candidates for LipiFlow®.
Will LipiFlow® treatment involve contact with my eyes?
The device utilized in LipiFlow® is designed to prevent it from coming into contact with the front surface of the eye.
Are the benefits of LipiFlow® long-lasting?
In some cases, the results of LipiFlow® can last up to two years; however, the effects of this treatment vary greatly among individual patients. Also, it may be several weeks after the procedure before the full results of LipiFlow® become apparent. While LipiFlow® is not a cure for dry eye, it can address the symptoms and restore oil production. LipiFlow® treatments can be repeated as necessary when the effects wear off to maintain results for very long periods of time.
Does insurance cover this procedure?
The LipiView® analysis and the LipiFlow® treatment are not currently covered by insurance; however, the dry eye examination can typically be billed to your medical insurance. We will be happy to answer any questions you may have about insurance and help you determine what may or may not be covered.
Is there a cure for dry eye syndrome?
There is no cure dry eye disease; however, the condition can be managed and controlled. There have been numerous technological advances over the years that have made treating this chronic condition very effective, significantly relieving symptoms and stopping its progression. Gordon Schanzlin New Vision Institute has established a comprehensive dry eye clinic to provide a full range of diagnostic testing and treatment options that can help you achieve relief from the debilitating effects of dry eye.