Causes of Dry Eye
Dry eye occurs when there is a problem with the basal tears. Basal tears are not like emotional tears, which are comprised of oil, water, and mucus. The oil helps prevent the tears from drying too quickly on the surface of the eye. The watery layer helps the tears spread evenly over the eyes, and the mucus layer combines with the watery layer to help ensure eye hydration. If any of these layers are deficient, symptoms of dry eye can develop.
- Medications – The most common cause of dry eye is prescription and OTC medications. Usually, they will list dry eye as a side-effect.
- Older Adults – As we age, the basal tear production in the eyes can reduce. This is why most people who have dry eye are over the age of 50.
- Having an Immune Disorder – Autoimmune disorders can cause dry eyes. Common conditions include Lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and Sjogren’s syndrome.
- Having Allergies – Seasonal allergies can lead to dry, itchy scratchy eyes.
- Environmental Conditions – Individuals who work in dry, dusty or windy conditions can develop symptoms of dry eye.
Symptoms of Dry Eye
Dry eye can result in a wide range of symptoms that may not be readily noticeable. If you have any of these symptoms, it is important to call our office and schedule an appointment with Dr. Huynh to diagnose the causes of your dry eye and develop a dry eye treatment plan.
- Having blurry vision, difficulty seeing at night or a sensitivity to light
- Having eyes that are scratchy or feel gritty when you blink
- Having red eyes or feeling like your eyes are burning
- Sudden intolerance to wearing contact lenses
Dry Eye Treatment with Dr. Huynh
Dry eye treatment starts with a thorough diagnosis that includes an eye exam to test your eye health and visual acuity. Next, our Dr. Huynh will measure the volume and quality of your tears. If there is a problem with your tear production or the composition of your basal tears, a dry eye treatment plan will be developed.
Creams, Eye Drops, and Ointments
For mild to moderate dry eye, our optometrist may recommend eye drops, creams and/or ointments. Eye drops are typically used during the day to keep your eyes hydrated and to reduce symptoms. Creams and ointments are placed in the eyes at night to help keep your eyes hydrated while you sleep.
If you have one or more prescription or OTC medications that list dry eye as a side effect, our optometrist may recommend talking to your family doctor about switching to medications that do not cause symptoms of dry eye.
Medications that Increase Tear Production
There are medications on the market that can increase your natural tear production. They can be prescribed as oral tablets or pills, eye drops, and creams.
Temporarily or Permanently Closing Your Tear Ducts
If creams, ointments, and switching medications doesn’t help alleviate your dry eye symptoms, our optometrist may recommend inserting plugs into your tear ducts to close them. The first step usually involves inserting temporary tear duct plugs to see if this helps alleviate your symptoms. If it does, we may recommend permanent tear duct plugs.
What Is the OptiLight by Lumenis & How Can It Manage Your Dry Eye?
Dry eye disease is a widespread and common issue for up to 49 million Americans. This chronic condition can have a significant impact on your quality of life, causing a foreign body sensation in your eyes, pain, blurry vision, and dry or watery eyes. Untreated, it can even lead to further eye health complications.
Despite these constant detrimental effects on quality of life, many dry eye sufferers are not aware that they’re suffering from dry eye disease or that real treatments exist. Instead, they just live with the discomfort.
We’ve invested in the latest technology at Kubo Optometry to help accurately diagnose and treat dry eyes. We can help you find relief from dry eye symptoms after providing you with a customized treatment plan.
We’re proud to offer OptiLight by Lumenis to our patients, specially designed for dry eye management.
What Is OptiLight by Lumenis?
OptiLight by Lumenis is a light-based, non-invasive treatment done in the area below the eyes to manage dry eye. The first and only IPL FDA-approved for dry eye management.
The treatment is safe, gentle, and is backed by more than 20 clinical studies.
How Does It Work?
OptiLight uses precise pulses of light to reduce the inflammation that is typically associated with dry eye disease, improve tear break-up time, and increase meibomian gland functionality.
This application can significantly relieve dry eye indicators and has a multi-factorial effect, including:
- Increasing tear break-up time
- Reducing the amount of demodex mites and bacteria living around your eyes
- Eliminating blood vessels that contribute to inflammation
- Improving meibomian gland functionality
What to Expect
Before Your Treatment
Preparing for your appointment is straightforward. Make sure to arrive without wearing any makeup, and we’ll take care of the rest.
During Your Treatment
This treatment is fast and simple. During the treatment your doctor will apply a coupling gel on the treatment area and cover your eyes with shields.
As light is applied to the skin, you may experience a warm sensation. The treatment is gentle with minimum discomfort. The treatment itself will only take 10–15 minutes.
After Your Treatment
Expect to apply sunscreen after your treatment session is complete to help protect your skin. You may experience a couple of side effects, such as red and inflamed skin. You may develop small bumps as you recover from treatment.
Part of Your Custom Treatment Plan
A course of treatment depends on the specifics of your case. Your doctor will help determine the number of treatments you may need.
Everyone has different eyes, and we’re happy to offer other treatment options. These treatments include punctal plugs, heat masks, and prescription eye drops. Your doctor will recommend the best options for you as part of your treatment plan.
Will the OptiLight by Lumenis Work for Me?
While OptiLight by Lumenis is an effective dry eye management solution, we want to make sure it’s right for you. We do not recommend this treatment if you:
- Suffer from aqueous deficiency dry eye (rather than evaporative dry eye or meibomian gland dysfunction)
- Have a history of keloid scarring
- Have severe scarring around your eyes
- Pregnant or currently nursing
Ultimately, your doctor is the only person who can determine whether this option is right for you. During your next appointment, ask us if you are a good candidate for OptiLight by Lumenis.
The TearCare® System uses localized heat therapy to treat adult patients who are suffering from evaporative dry eye disease due to meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD). Kubo Optometry is pleased to offer TearCare® as an innovative and effective treatment option. If you have MGD and subsequent evaporative dry eye disease, we invite you to start a conversation. To learn more about the TearCare® System, visit the link provided or contact our team today.