Dry Eye Syndrome – San Diego Optometrist Discusses LipiFlow® and Other Advanced Treatments
Dr. Brittany McMurren of Gordon Schanzlin New Vision Institute Institute says there are a number of new and effective treatments for Dry Eye Syndrome, one of the most common eye conditions in the U.S.
San Diego, CA – Dry Eye Syndrome affects millions of Americans, causing a range of symptoms that can have a significant impact on one’s livelihood. Dr. Brittany McMurren, an optometrist in San Diego and the La Jolla area, says the condition can lead to dryness, irritation, redness, burning sensations, and a decrease or even an increase in the production of tears. “Dry Eye is sort of a misnomer, catch-all term because patients experience the symptoms differently. Some patients have excessive tearing, which may not seem to make sense with a term like ‘Dry Eye’ – but, it’s still all part of what’s known as ocular surface disease.”
Dr. McMurren says about 86 percent of the estimated 25 million cases of Dry Eye in the U.S. is due to meibomian gland dysfunction. These glands are located inside each eyelid, and they produce the oily layers of tears. Dr. McMurren says, if the glands are clogged or otherwise not functioning properly, Dry Eye symptoms can result. The good news is, there are a number of treatments available designed to treat Dry Eye Syndrome.
Dr. McMurren says, once a patient has come in for an eye exam, the root cause of the condition can often be identified and a treatment can be chosen. Dry Eye can be caused by a number of factors, she notes, including the environment, certain medications, menopausal or hormonal changes, allergies, systemic diseases, and even the natural aging process. “We will test all of the layers of the tear film, the quality of the tears, and any inflammation factors that may be impacting it. If a patient is not producing enough tears, we might treat them with Restasis®, [a prescription medication], to help them build up their own natural tears. For someone with meibomian gland dysfunction we would treat the glands themselves.”
Dr. McMurren says a new treatment at Gordon Schanzlin New Vision Institute Institute called LipiFlow® has also shown very positive outcomes in many patients who have Dry Eye symptoms caused by meibomian gland dysfunction. LipiFlow® is an in-office procedure that utilizes heat and massaging pressure to help release hardened oil deposits in the meibomian glands and restore a normal oil flow. Dr. McMurren notes that the treatment is often very quick, and most patients do not require any recovery or downtime. She says LipiFlow® is one of many new technologies that can be very effective for patients suffering from Dry Eye. “We also have biotissues that we can apply to the front of the eye if the patient is in severe pain, and we have a range of medications that can help. We have treatment regimens that use supplements, as well as in-office treatments.”
Some of the potential Dry Eye symptoms individuals should be aware of, Dr. McMurren says, include: general discomfort in the eyes; a changing level of comfort throughout the day – from normal in the morning to a tired, gritty, or burning sensation later on; excessive tearing; and fluctuation in vision. She says the best thing to do for individuals who are experiencing those or other eye and vision problems is to see an experienced eye doctor immediately to have their symptoms checked out. “Dry Eye Syndrome is a multi-faceted condition. There are treatments available that, if tailored properly, can actually have patients feeling much better and have them producing their own natural tears.”
About Brittany McMurren, OD
Dr. Brittany McMurren is a licensed optometrist at Gordon Schanzlin New Vision Institute Institute in La Jolla, California. Dr. McMurren earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Neuroscience at Cedar Crest College in Pennsylvania, and received her Doctor of Optometry at the Illinois College of Optometry in Chicago. Her graduate experience included refractive surgery pre- and post-operative care, pediatric vision development, complex contact lens fittings, sport vision therapy, and work in both vision care and neuroscience fields. Dr. McMurren is available for interview upon request.
About Gordon Schanzlin New Vision Institute Institute
Gordon Schanzlin New Vision Institute Institute (GWSVI) has been serving the San Diego community for more than 20 years. The practice includes a team of ophthalmologists, laser eye surgeons, cataract surgeons, optometrists, and other eye care professionals who have over 90 years of collective experience in vision correction. Many of GWSVI’s doctors are recognized as leaders in the field of ophthalmology and clinical research. In addition to comprehensive treatments for Dry Eye Syndrome, the practice offers LASIK laser vision correction, cataract surgery, treatments for corneal diseases, and procedures for a full range of eye and vision conditions.
Gordon Schanzlin New Vision Institute Institute
8910 University Center Lane
Ste. 800, UTC
La Jolla, San Diego, CA 92122