Diagnosis and Treatment
Diagnosis and Treatment
If you suffer from symptoms of dry eye, then you know how uncomfortable this condition can be. The doctors at Louisiana Eye Care diagnose dry eye syndrome and offer solutions for effective treatment customized to the eye health needs of the individual.
What Is Dry Eye?
Dry eye syndrome is a chronic condition when your tears are not sufficient to keep the front surface of the eye lubricated properly. When your eyes do not produce optimal tears to keep them moisturized, dry eye occurs. Because dry eye is a common condition where the symptoms can mimic those of other issues like eye allergies, it is frequently under-diagnosed.
Tears help give you clear vision, lubricate your eyes, protect against infection, and help with wound healing, so the proper production and drainage of tears is an important part of maintaining optimal eye health and vision.
What Causes Dry Eye?
Dry eye syndrome can be the result of many factors including diet, medication use, hormonal changes, age, and the environment. One of the most common causes of dry eye disease is Meibomian Gland Dysfunction, or MGD.
The meibomian glands are small oil glands located in the upper and lower eyelids and secrete oil which coats the surface of the eyes and prevents moisture from evaporating. Water, oil, and mucin layers make up the tear film, and this tear film is what keeps the surface of the eye healthy.
Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD) occurs when the oil-producing meibomian glands are clogged and unable to create a healthy tear film to keep the eyes properly lubricated. In the early stages of MGD, there may not be many symptoms, but if the glands remain clogged, they are unable to secrete oil which can result in permanent changes to the tear film and dry eye syndrome.
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Dry Eye Syndrome Survey
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Do You Need Dry Eye Treatment?
Due to lack of awareness about dry eye syndrome and available treatments, many people who struggle with dry eye do not realize they have a problem. You may benefit from dry eye treatment if you are experiencing the following symptoms:
- Blurry vision
- Burning eyes
- Red or bloodshot eyes
- Feeling like something scratchy is stuck in your eye
- Experiencing discomfort when wearing contact lenses
- Recurring irritation that causes teary or watery eyes
- Stringy mucus surrounding your eyes
If you suspect you are experiencing dry eye, the expert team of optometrists at Louisiana Eye Care are here to help you find solutions.
How Is Dry Eye Diagnosed?
The first step to diagnosing dry eye is to undergo a comprehensive eye exam, at which time your doctor will gain a complete understanding of your eye health. If dry eye is suspected, your doctor will also perform other tests to rule out other possible causes.
What Are the Treatment Options for Dry Eye?
Depending on your individual needs, treatment can range from ongoing to infrequent. If an individual has serious damage to the surface of their eye, that may require more specific attention. Everyone’s experience with dry eye is different due to these variables. At Louisiana Eye Care, we will help you find the best path forward.
IPL Treatment for Dry Eye – OptiLight by Lumenis
We now offer treatment in our office to people who are suffering from dry eye disease – OptiLight by Lumenis, the first and only IPL (intense pulsed light) therapy FDA-approved for the management of dry eye disease due to meibomian gland dysfunction.
The OptiLight IPL treatment is a way to alleviate symptoms associated with dry eye disease and meibomian gland dysfunction using a specific wavelength of light. The treatment works by delivering short bursts of light to the affected area to reduce inflammation, which is a common cause of eye irritation symptoms. This treatment has been proven to be effective through multiple studies and research, showing a significant improvement in the indicators of dry eye. It has a multifaceted impact, including improving the production and volume of oil from the meibomian glands, increasing the time taken for tears to break up, reducing bacteria and the population of Demodex mites around the eyes, and eliminating superficial blood vessels that contribute to inflammation.
Some of the benefits of OptiLight IPL treatments include the following:
- Quick treatment times – can be completed during a lunch break
- Long-lasting results
- Immediately return to your daily activities after treatment – no recovery period
- Decrease your dependence on eye drops
- Treat the underlying cause of dry eye, not just the symptoms
- Reduction of redness or skin blemishes and mild reduction in fine lines and wrinkles in the treated area
The OptiLight IPL treatment is fast, straightforward, and painless. The eye doctor or technician will start by covering your eyes with protective shields and applying a coupling gel to the treatment area. The gel used is like that used during ultrasound; it’s gentle on sensitive skin and can be easily removed after the treatment.
During the treatment, you may feel a mild warmth and see a bright flash as the light is applied to the skin. The procedure is generally comfortable and only takes about 15 minutes to complete. Once the treatment is finished, the gel will be removed, and sunscreen will be applied to the treated area.
The most common side effect is temporary redness or swelling of the treated area. Some people may also experience temporary changes in vision, like increased sensitivity to light or blurry vision. These side effects usually go away within a few hours after treatment.