Dry Eye Center

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.

Wendy_Gross_215x243Dr. Wendy Gross 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 Symptoms

  • Red eyes
  • Burning
  • Itching
  • Excessive tearing
  • Eyes feeling tired at the end of the day
  • Fluctuating vision
  • Halos
  • Grittiness
  • Discharge
  • Light sensitivity

eyedropsDry 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.

Tear Film Anatomy

Explanation of Three Tear Layers

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.

Dry Eye Examination

  • Evaluating Your Dry Eyes
  • Analysis of your day-to-day symptoms
  • Testing all layers of the tear film to determine if there is a deficiency at any level
  • Ocular Allergy evaluation
  • Image and test meibomian gland function
  • Assessment of lid anatomy for physical causes of dry eye
  • Investigation of infectious causes of dry eye
  • Determining if there is systemic inflammation causing chronic dry eye
  • Customization of treatment regimen for your specific type of dry eye

Dry Eye Treatment

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:

  • Blinking exercises
  • Warm compresses or Bruder Mask
  • Punctal plugs
  • Nightly lid wipes
  • Ocusci Omega Supplements
  • Ointments and gels
  • Rewetting drops
  • Prescription RESTASIS®
  • LipiFlow® procedure to stimulate healthy lipid production
  • Bio-tissue (amniotic membrane) to treat severe corneal erosion due to dry eye
  • Moisture goggles at bedtime or sleep mask
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Use a humidifier while sleeping
  • Avoid ceiling fans or other fans blowing directly on you

Are You A Candidate for LipiFlow®?

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.

Dry Eye FAQs

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_w_backgroundLipiFlow® 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.

Contact Gordon Schanzlin New Vision Institute

For more information on dry eye disease and treatments available at our practice, or to schedule an eye exam, please call us at (858) 455-6800 or click here to email us.

Latest News


Debunking LASIK Myths

As one of San Diego’s leading providers of LASIK, we have advised thousands of patients, listened to their concerns and answered many questions about laser vision correction. Many myths about LASIK are debunked and common questions are answered by simply learning more about how the LASIK procedure works. Get the […]

Continue Reading

Cosmetic Open House

With the holidays quickly approaching, consider rejuvenating your look just in time for holiday parties and the New Year! Our Cosmetic Open House is a great way to take a little time for yourself to restore, refresh and revitalize your skin. Find out how fillers and injectables such as Botox® […]

Continue Reading
San Diego LASIK

6 Ways to Enjoy San Diego After LASIK

Now that you have had LASIK eye surgery, life with less dependence on corrective lenses is so sweet. Here are a few activities our patients love to do with their newfound freedom in San Diego. Swim in the ocean and duckdive under waves Actually see the waves, which means a […]

Continue Reading