Dry eyes are more than just uncomfortable; if the issue isn’t addressed, it can lead to long term corneal damage. If you suffer from dry eyes OPMT Vision Centers are here to help. We will not just treat your symptoms; we will identify the underlying cause of your dry eyes and create a tailored treatment plan to suit your eye health needs.
The Causes of Dry Eyes
Dry eye disease has two root causes: inadequate tear volume and poor tear quality. Our eyes rely on a healthy, balanced tear film to stay lubricated, so if we are not able to produce enough tears, or the tears we do produce do not contain enough oil, water, or mucin, our eyes may become dry and irritated.
Inadequate Tear Volume
Our tears are produced by several different glands located in and around our eyelids. The aging process can cause us to produce fewer tears, but some medical conditions and medications can also impact our ability to produce high quality tears.
Even if our eyelids are able to produce a sufficient quantity of tears, environmental factors, such as wind and dry climate, can cause our tears to evaporate too quickly, causing dry eye symptoms.
Poor Tear Quality
Our tears are made up of three main components: mucin, water, and oil (called meibum). The mucin ensures an even coating of tears across our eye’s front surface (the cornea), while the meibum is the outer tear layer that prevents the aqueous layer from evaporating too quickly. If our eyelids are not able to uniformly distribute our tears, or our tears evaporate too quickly, it can cause dry eyes.
Symptoms of Dry Eye
Dry eye symptoms may include:
- Red eyes
- Itchy eyes
- A gritty or foreign body sensation
- Blurry vision
- Tired eyes
- Itching or burning eyes
- Stringy discharge
- Light sensitivity
- Excessive glare (particularly while driving at night)
Dry Eye Therapy at OPMT Vision Centres
OPMT Vision Centers have a wide variety of dry eye treatments to suit your unique situation. Treatments include:
Punctal plugs are tiny, biocompatible caps that are placed in your tear ducts to prevent your tears from draining too quickly. This increases your tear volume and can provide relief from some forms of dry eye disease.
Meibomian gland expression
The meibomian glands in our eyelids are responsible for producing meibum, an oil, which keeps our tears from evaporating too quickly. If the meibomian glands become clogged, they can’t provide sufficient oil, causing dry eyes. Meibomian gland expression is an in-office treatment that uses heat and eyelid massage to soften the meibum that is obstructing your glands before gently debriding or removing it.
Lipiview is a diagnostic tool that helps our team determine if you have meibomian gland dysfunction causing your dry eye disease.
Lipiflow is a revolutionary device that combines warm compress therapy and meibomian gland expression to treat meibomian gland dysfunction and relieve you of your dry eye symptoms.
Medicated eye drops (such as Restasis)
While artificial tear drops can offer temporary relief of dryness by providing your eyes with lubrication, medicated eye drops like Restasis help combat dry eye by reducing inflammation and helping your eyes produce more of your natural tears.