What is Dry Eye?
Dry eye occurs when the eyes cannot produce enough tears to nourish them. These tears are necessary to maintain clear vision and keep the surface of the eye healthy. Dry eye is incredibly common in the Central Valley and is often a chronic condition.
There are two types of dry eye: aqueous and evaporative. Aqueous dry eye occurs when the eye glands do not produce enough tears, while evaporative dry eye arises when the tear film lacks oil, causing tears to evaporate rapidly. Evaporative dry eye is caused by Meibomian gland dysfunction, which is a blockage of the Meibomian glands leading them to not secrete enough oil into the tears.
Dry eye may also be caused by blepharitis. This condition simply means inflammation of the eyelid region, which can lead to dry eye. Women and the elderly face a greater likelihood of developing dry eye—however, prolonged screen time and contact lens wear can also increase one’s chances of developing this condition.
There are many different symptoms that patients often report, including discomfort, blurry vision, irritation, heavy lids, and even watery eyes—dryness can sometimes stimulate your eyes into overproducing tears. Unfortunately, this temporary wateriness doesn’t correct the condition. Dry eye can be diagnosed through a comprehensive eye exam, which places an emphasis on the quality and quantity of tears that the eyes produce.
How can it be treated?
Though dry eye can be a chronic condition, treatment is available to maintain eye health. EYE-Q offers modern, customized treatments to suit each individual patient’s needs.
Artificial tears are a way to relieve any burning, discomfort or irritation caused by dry eyes. Some brands currently available on the market include Systane® and Refresh Tears.
HydroEye® is a nutritional supplement taken orally that provides relief from symptoms caused by dry eye. Taken twice daily, it works internally by targeting the root causes of dry eye.
Bruder’s Warm Compress
This eye compress opens up oil glands in the eye to allow natural oils to flow back into the eye, relieving any discomfort from aging, contact lenses or use of electronics. It also stabilizes tear film and slows tear evaporation.
Blephadex™ Eyelid Wipes and Foam Cleanser
The Blephadex™ eyelid wipes and cleansing foam relieve eye discomfort and provides long-term treatment for symptoms of dry eye as well as Meibomian gland dysfunction.
OCuSOFT® Lid Scrub and Foaming Wash
This lid scrub and foaming wash’s non-irritating formulas effectively removes oil, debris and pollen from the eyelids and is ideal for treating dry eye and blepharitis.
Punctal plugs are small devices that are inserted into the tear ducts to block drainage. They increase the eyes’ tear film and surface moisture while also minimizing certain symptoms of dry eye.
Restasis® is a prescription eye drop medication used to increase the eyes’ natural ability to produce tears, which is diminished by inflammation caused by dry eye.
Xiidra® eye drops block a protein that causes eyes not to produce enough tears or produce tears with the incorrect consistency required to maintain good eye health.
PROKERA® is a device used to protect, repair and heal damaged eye surfaces through natural therapeutic actions. This device helps return the surface of the eye back to a normal, healthy state by soothing pain, improving vision and healing the eye.
Specialty Contact Lenses
Scleral lenses are contact lenses that cover the entire corneal surface and sclera, rather than only covering a portion of the cornea. Scleral lenses help keep the front of the eye moist by forming a tear reservoir through the large space created between the back surface of the lenses and the cornea.
Dry Eye Kits
Each kit is designed by our dry eye specialist to target each level of dry eye, and the items included in these kits have been specially selected as the highest performing, clinically proven products to treat dry eye. These kits include a Bruder’s Mask, Systane® Balance artificial tears, HydroEye® vitamins and Blephadex™ eyelid wipes.