Understanding Dry Eye
Some people do not produce enough tears or the appropriate quality of tears to keep the eye healthy and comfortable. This is known as dry eye. Dry eye disease affects more than 100 million people throughout the world. If not treated correctly, this can lead to more serious issues including cornea damage and other vision issues.
Symptoms of Dry Eye
- Excessive tearing (sounds illogical, but true!)
- Stinging or burning eyes
- Stringy mucus in or around the eyes
- Excessive eye irritation from smoke or wind
- Difficulty wearing contacts
Dry eye disease often goes undiagnosed because it can mimic the symptoms of eye allergies.
Normal Tear Film
Tears are produced by two different methods:
- Slow, steady production rate for normal eye lubrication
- Large quantities of tears in response to eye irritation or emotions
A film of tears, spread over the eye by each blink, gives the eye a glassy smooth optical surface. Without a healthy tear film, good vision is not possible. The tear film consists of three layers:
- Oily layer to smooth the tear surface and reduce tear evaporation
- Watery layer to cleanse the eye and wash away foreign particles or irritants
- Mucus layer to keep the eye moist and allow tears to stick to the eye
Causes of Dry Eye
- Meibomian Gland Dysfunction
- Hormonal changes like menopause
- Contact lenses
- Environmental factors such as smoke, dust and air-conditioning
- Autoimmune disease
Some medications can also cause dry eye. Be sure to inform your eye care provider about all the medications you are taking.
Treatment for Dry Eye in Orange County, CA
The appropriate treatment for dry eye will depend on what is causing your symptoms. Treatment options may include:
- Eye Drops
- Punctal Plugs
- At-home remedies
- Lipiflow® Thermal Pulsation Treatment
Breakthrough Treatment for Dry Eye Disease: LipiFLow® in Orange County, CA
Harvard Eye Associates is proud to be the first practice in Southern California to offer LipiFlow® Thermal Pulsation System, a revolutionary new treatment for the most common cause of dry eye disease; meibomian gland dysfunction.
When the meibomian glands – the oily layer of tears – become blocked, there is an increase in tear evaporation. LipiFlow® applies direct, controlled warmth and pressure to the inner eyelid and glands. Pulsations empty the affected glands of clogging oils, allowing for the eye’s normal lipid flow to resume.
One of our own Orange County cornea specialists, Dr. John Hovanesian, was featured on “The Doctors” demonstrating this breakthrough technology.
To find out if LipiFlow® is right for you, contact us to schedule an appointment with one of our dry eye specialists.
If you have been diagnosed with or think you may have dry eye, contact us today to schedule an appointment with one of our dry eye specialists.