Dry Eye Clinic

For patients over 50, a common condition occurs which prevents your tears from providing sufficient lubrication for your eyes. This occurrence is known as "dry eyes"; despite being common in patients over 50 years of age, younger adults can also suffer from this eye disease.

CAUSES OF DRY EYE

Dry Eye Syndrome varies vastly with the following causes

  1. Inappropriate and undue use of contact lenses is a major contributor to dry eye syndrome. Gradually, as the volume of tears decreases, there won't be enough to cover the cornea over the required time period, and this results in dry eyes.
  2. Genetics plays a broader role in this than in some eye diseases. Women over 45 have a higher tendency to develop this disease, alongside menopause, than males do.
  3. In situations where there is an insufficient amount of mucin in the tears, the tear/cornea interface changes and a constant, even coverage will not be maintained. The eyes then become uncomfortable. If the enzyme component is altered, there is an incremental likelihood of bacterial build-up along the eyelid margins. This can result in Blepharitis, or inflammation of the eyelids. This will further reduce tear production in the eye.
  4. Some types of birth control pills can also cause Dry Eye Syndrome as a side effect. Reports have been made that this effect is from the hormones that are released by the pills.
  5. Performing LASIK Eye Surgery with a microkeratome blade vs. a Femtosecond Bladeless Custom Laser can also result in dry eyes.

SYMPTOMS OF DRY EYES

Symptoms leading to diagnosis include:

  • Light sensitivity
  • Blurry and hazy vision
  • Dry scratchy feeling
  • Burning, itching, or redness of the eyes
  • The feeling of a foreign object in your eyes

"The vision decline" is a more severe symptom, caused by milky haze coverage on the surface of cornea. A microorganism/bacteria develops as the haze increases, which causes dry eyes. As the disease continues in development, scar tissue may appear due to the alteration of the corneal tissue or, more seriously, eyes can become visually impaired (leading to blindness).

Important testing to truly affirm the disorder includes:

  • Evaluation of the tear film and cornea with Lissamine green and Rose bengel.
  • Fluorescein staining
  • Schirmer's test
  • Tear meniscus and corneal staining

TREATMENTS AND MEDICATIONS

Over the years, there have been great improvements in patient comfort following these treatments.

1. Increase Water Intake

This is very important in the summer months, since even a minor case of dehydration can aggravate your symptoms.

2. Oil Gland Therapy

This method utilizes a small instrument that tests the oil glands, which can be opened up to allow greater secretion of the natural oils in the eyelid.

3. Care for Your Eyelids

Recently, it has been confirmed that lid inflammation, Blepharitis, reduces tear production and tear quality. Antibiotics can be used to kill lid bacteria and clean out invasive organisms that inflame the eyelid area.

4. Eye Blinking Exercises

Eye exercises are beneficial for relieving dry eyes and increasing tear production. The following technique recommended is speedy, safe, simple, and easy to perform:

"Squeeze blinking" is considered a highly effective therapy for dry eyes. Keep your eyes closed tightly for 3 seconds and then open them once again to start blinking several times. Repeat this procedure 5 or 6 times until tear production increases.

5. Nutrition

Abstain from;

  • Alcohol, coffee, excess sugar, canned & processed products, spicy dishes, and fungal foods, as well as vinegar, mushrooms, and blue cheese.
  • Yeast Products (linked to candida overgrowth, gut fermentation, and symptoms of fatigue, bloating, and digestive problems);

The eyes stay healthy with the aid of specific vitamins and herbs which include vitamin C, bilberry, eyebright, beta-carotene, lutein, lycopene, cinnamon, and alpha lipoic acid. Recipes that contain these ingredients can be found at health food stores and pharmacies with supplements.

Pick fresh, wholesome food with as little additive content as possible. Eat no less than five portions of fresh vegetables and non-citrus fruit each day.

6. Light Therapy (IPL)

Intense Pulsed Light Laser Treatment can be utilized to unplug the oil glands lining the eyelid. The intense light serves as a warm, healing compression which will loosen up the hardened oil that clogs the glands.

7. Artificial Tears

These tears come in different forms and formulations, beginning with basic low-viscosity drops, and extending towards thicker gel drops. The thicker the drop, the better it covers the corneal surface. However, the drawback is that they will blur the vision as they get thicker. In more severe cases, gels/ointments are employed to keep the eye covered for a more drawn out period of time. This enables the corneal surface to regenerate and heal.

In the worst cases of dry eye, topical steroid drops are utilized. This reduces inflammation in the tear-producing glands.

8. Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Diet and nutrition play a vital role in terms of the natural healing of dry eyes. Omega-3 fatty acids provide relief from the symptoms of dry eye. Omega-3 fatty acids are accessible at most nutritional stores and pharmacies. Some common food sources of Omega-3s are sardines, mackerel, tuna, salmon, and other fish. All these serve the purpose of reducing inflammation. Other food sources include walnuts, flaxseed, and chicken eggs from organically-raised chickens.

Our precious eyes will serve us for a lifetime, so it is necessary that we find the right solutions for our eye problems – ones that not only treat the symptoms, but directly address the sources of those problems.