Dry eye is a chronic, progressive condition of the eye and affects millions of people. Dry eye happens when a patient does not have enough quality tears to nourish and lubricate the eye. If left untreated, this condition could lead to more moderate or severe eye problems that could affect quality of life. Vision can become unstable and fluctuate. In addition, eyes can become very uncomfortable, so it can be hard to do normal tasks like reading, using a computer, or watching a movie.
There are a couple of different types of dry eye. These are:
- Evaporative Dry Eye Disease – This type of dry eye is caused by inflammation of the meibomian glands that are located in the eyelids. It is a result of a deficiency in the oily lipid layer of the eye’s natural tear film.
- Aqueous Tear Deficient Dry Eye – This is a disorder where the lacrimal glands fail to produce enough of the watery component of tears to maintain a healthy eye.
Our eye care specialists at Boston Vision can diagnose this condition for you and start a treatment plan to make your life more comfortable.
People with dry eyes can experience many different symptoms. These symptoms are redness, burning, gritty sensation, itching, crusting of the eyelashes, sticky discharge, tired eyes, blurred vision, and excessive watering of the eyes.
There are many different reasons why dry eyes may develop, and some people can be more at risk than others for getting dry eyes. Reasons for dry eye may include:
- Age (tear production can reduce as you get older)
- Medications including birth control pills
- Thyroid Problems
- Inflammation of the Eyelids
- Dry or Windy Climates
- Long-term Use of Contact Lenses
- Refractive Eye Surgeries/Laser eye surgery
The treatment for your dry eye will vary depending on the severity of the syndrome and the symptoms that you are experiencing. Your Boston Vision specialist will examine your eyes and discuss your symptoms to find the right treatment for you. You may need lubricating artificial tears eye drops and ointment, tiny punctual plugs, or the TearCare treatment.
Tearcare (www.tearcare.com ) is an FDA-approved treatment for dry eye symptoms that are more associated with meibomian gland dysfunction. It is done in-office and only takes 12 minutes to complete. It uses a disposable eyepiece to apply controlled heat to the inner eyelids and gentle pressure to the outer eyelid. This treatment facilitates the release of lipids from the blocked Meibomian glands, allowing the natural flow of lipids to resume. Tearcare is ideal for patients who have chronic cystic eyelid conditions. Unlike traditional forms of dry eye treatment, Tearcare treats the root cause. This helps in the reformation of a healthy tear film and ensures you have enough tears of your own.
Some patients benefit from having their blood drawn and having tears prepared from the serum found in the blood. Boston Vision is one of the few practices in MA that offers this advanced treatment for dry eyes.
If you are experiencing dry eye symptoms, don’t live with the discomfort. Come into Boston Vision to meet with an eye care specialist and get treatment started. We want our patients to be living life comfortably. Book an appointment online or try giving us a call at 617-202-2020.
Dry Eye (TearCare) is available at our Brookline, Milford, and Medford locations.