What is a Dry Eye Evaluation and what treatments do you offer patients?
Dry Eye disease is a multifaceted disorder that can be unique to each individual person. When doing a dry evaluation, we can determine the potential cause of your dry eye and create a treatment plan specifically tailored to you. Some in-office treatments we offer include manual debridement and cleaning along your upper and lower lids.
This allows us to help open your glands up, and remove any debris buildup (similar to dental tartar) that may be causing discomfort to the front surface of your eyes. We also will add heat therapy and manual expression of your eyelid glands to remove any oily tear gland (meibomian gland) blockages or buildup.
This process helps to allow your eyelid glands to produce and release nice healthy oils that your eyes need to prevent dryness. In the future, we hope to add more treatments that are still being researched at this time.
What are some common symptoms that may prompt a patient to need treatment?
Patients with Dry Eye disease will most commonly complain of burning, grittiness, and excessive blinking to help clear their vision up. As counterintuitive as it may seem patients may even experience excessive watering or tearing as a sign of their dry eye.
This is often a tear quality dry eye rather than a tear quantity issue relating to dry eye. It is possible that as providers we may see signs of dryness, before you start experiencing symptoms. In cases like that we may start you on a regimen to prevent symptoms from occurring.
How do your treatments differ from those offered by an optometrist or other eye care provider?
Our treatments differ are individualized per person. Not only that, but some eye care providers are not as comfortable with performing these treatments. We are a group of highly trained and skilled providers, who are up to date on the latest treatments for your dry eye needs.
Can you explain the role of diagnostic tests in identifying and treating dry eye?
We use state of the art equipment to image your eyelids glands and assess the state they are in. We also can measure the amount of tears that are on the surface of your eye, as well as how quickly your tears evaporate. We are also able to look for inflammatory markers present that indicate the severity and the chronic nature of your dry eye.
These diagnostic tests allow us to determine what form of dry eye you may have so we can create the right treatment plan.
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What can a patient expect in terms of results and relief from dry eye symptoms after undergoing treatment?
Dry eye can be very complex and results vary per patient and severity of their dry eye. Think of taking care of your eyes the same way you do your teeth. We brush our teeth and floss every day, we should maintain the same level of care with our eyes.
In-office dry eye treatment is targeted to help our patients get a jump start when they do their home therapy. By coming in routinely for in-office dry eye treatments (similar to dental cleanings), home therapy becomes more effective for treating your dry eye.