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Dry Eye Center at Gordon Schanzlin New Vision Institute

It is estimated that five million Americans suffer from dry eye, and that number will likely continue to grow with our increasing screen time and reliance on smartphones, tablets, and laptops. The experienced team at Gordon Schanzlin New Vision Institute is committed to diagnosing and treating dry eye in San Diego, as well as educating patients about dry eye symptoms and treatment options for chronic dry eye disease.

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 to schedule a consultation for dry eye treatment.

What Is Dry Eye Disease?

Dry Eye Disease, or Dry Eye Syndrome, is characterized by a lack of moisture or lubrication in the eyes. Dry Eye is very common, but many people don’t realize that their symptoms could indicate Dry Eye Disease or they don’t realize that there are treatment options available. The cause of Dry Eye Syndrome may be related to a lack of tear production, tear evaporation due to lack of oils, poor quality tears, infection, and inflammation. Factors that can cause or exacerbate dry eye symptoms include extended screen time, allergies, or environmental conditions, such as Santa Ana winds.

Chronic Dry Eye Symptoms

You may already be familiar with a few of the most common dry eye symptoms, but some people are surprised to learn the many symptoms of Dry Eye Syndrome. For example, watery eyes can actually indicate that your body is producing an excess of tears to compensate for dry eyes. Here are more symptoms of Dry Eye Syndrome:

  • Redness
  • Burning
  • Itching
  • Excessive tearing
  • Eyes feeling tired at the end of the day
  • Fluctuating vision
  • Halos
  • Grittiness
  • Mucous or stringy discharge
  • Poor night vision
  • Light sensitivity
  • Contact lens discomfort

Who Gets Dry Eye Syndrome?

Dry Eye Syndrome can affect anyone. However, there are some risk factors that may make you more likely to suffer from dry eye symptoms. Risk factors include:

  • Regular usage of digital devices for more than 2 hours per day
  • Age 50 or older
  • Hormonal fluctuations
  • Medical conditions such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, thyroid disorders or lupus
  • Use of certain prescription medications, including birth control, blood pressure medicine, antidepressants, and antihistamines
  • Family history of Meibomian gland dysfunction

Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD)

Dry Eye Syndrome may be caused by a condition called Meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD). Meibomian glands are the oil producing glands in your eyelids. Oils, or lipids, are an important component of your tears, as they help keep your eyes moisturized and prevent tear evaporation. Over time, these glands can become blocked and stop producing enough oil, which may contribute to your symptoms of dry eye. MGD is the primary cause or contributor to as many as 85% of dry eye disease cases. Gordon Schanzlin New Vision Institute offers treatment, including LipiFlow®, for Meibomian gland dysfunction.

Anatomy of the Eye – Explanation of Tear Layers

Knowledge of how the eye works can be helpful in understanding the causes, symptoms, and treatment of dry eye. In addition to the meibomian glands, there are three tear layers that help keep the eye lubricated – the lipid, aqueous and mucin layers each play a role in eye health.

How Do I Know if I Have Dry Eye Syndrome?

A consultation with an experienced eye doctor is the best way to diagnose Dry Eye Syndrome. The doctors at Gordon Schanzlin New Vision Institute are dedicated to providing comprehensive eye care. If you are suffering from dry eyes, we will work with you to determine the root cause of your dry eye symptoms in order to create a personalized treatment plan. During a consultation, your doctor may:

  • Evaluate and analyze your day-to-day symptoms
  • Test all layers of the tear film to determine if there is a deficiency at any level
  • Perform an ocular allergy evaluation
  • Test meibomian gland function
  • Assess eyelid anatomy for physical causes of dry eye
  • Investigate for infectious causes of dry eye
  • Determine if there is systemic inflammation causing chronic dry eye
  • Customize a treatment regimen for your specific type of dry eye

Dry Eye Solutions

Our goal is to provide patients with the tools and information to keep their eyes healthy and comfortable while maximizing their own tear function and production. There are several initial approaches that patients can take to relieve the symptoms of dry eye. These are some at-home remedies that your doctor may suggest:

  • Drink plenty of water
  • Use warm compresses, a Bruder Mask or Tranquileyes Goggles
  • Take specialized supplements, such as Ocusci™ Omega or HydroEye®
  • Avoid ceiling fans or other fans blowing directly on you
  • Over the counter rewetting or lubricant drops, such as TheraTears®
  • Use a humidifier while sleeping
  • Nightly lid wipes, such as OCuSOFT® Lid Scrubs
  • Make blinking exercises a regular part of your routine

Dry Eye Treatment Options

There are a number of treatment options for patients whose dry eye symptoms persist despite lifestyle changes and over the counter drops. The dry eye treatment options offered at Gordon Schanzlin New Vision Institute Dry Eye Center include:

  • LipiFlow® is an effective procedure to stimulate healthy lipid production – learn more about LipiFlow®.
  • RESTASIS® is a prescription eye drop to reduce ocular inflammation.
  • Xiidra® is a prescription eye drop to treat the signs and symptoms of dry eye disease.
  • Punctal plugs, also known as lacrimal plugs or tear duct plugs, are tiny devices that are inserted into the tear ducts to prevent drainage and keep eyes lubricated.
  • Bio-tissue® is an amniotic membrane treatment to treat severe corneal erosion due to dry eye.
  • Systane® iLux is a non-surgical and minimally invasive treatment that is clinically proven to relieve dry eye symptoms caused by Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD). Learn about iLux.

Is There a Cure for Dry Eye Syndrome?

There is no permanent cure Dry Eye Syndrome. However, the condition can be managed and treated to minimize the effect of symptoms. There have been numerous technological advances in effective treatments for chronic dry eye, and new treatments can significantly relieve symptoms and halt the progression of dry eye disease. Gordon Schanzlin New Vision Institute has established a comprehensive Dry Eye Center in San Diego to provide a full range of diagnostic testing and treatment options to help you achieve relief from the debilitating effects of Dry Eye Syndrome.

Contact Gordon Schanzlin New Vision Institute

If you believe you may be suffering from Dry Eye Syndrome, contact us to learn more about the treatments available for chronic dry eye in San Diego or call us at (858) 455-6800 to schedule an eye exam.

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