Dry Eye Disease
Dry Eye Disease is a complex and chronic disease with multiple causes and tends to develop gradually over years. Oftentimes, Dry Eye Disease goes undiagnosed, or untreated, until a patient's symptoms become noticeable; in which irreversible damage has already occurred.
Dry Eye Disease is most commonly caused by inflammation of the meibomian (oil) glands in the eyelids. This inflammation can be triggered by bacteria, demodex mites, autoimmune disease, or even poor blinking. The digital demands on our vision are increasing the prevalence of dry eye disease, to the point that we are now seeing irreversible damage in teenagers. Like most diseases, early diagnosis and treatment are critical to prevent long term damage to our eyes.
Treatments vary depending on the cause and severity of the Dry Eye Disease. Most often, treatment will involve reducing inflammation in the eyes. This can be accomplished through the use of medical grade omega 3 supplementation, prescription eye drops, or treatments like BlephEx (see video).
In addition to stopping the cycle of inflammation, the oil glands must be rehabilitated. This is accomplished through treatments like LipiFlow or EyeXpress. These treatments help remove poor quality oils that clog the meibomian glands, allowing the body to produce a thinner, higher quality oil. These treatments can help improve the function of the meibomian glands, but cannot reverse any existing damage or gland loss.
With time and proper treatment, most patients can significantly improve their vision and quality of life through proper management of this chronic condition.
1. Normal, healthy oil glands
3. Severe oil gland damage
2. Mild oil gland damage
4. Complete loss of oil glands