Ocular Surface Disease (often referred to as Dry Eye Syndrome) is a disease process in the body leading to inflammation and in many cases atrophy of the meibomian gland. 75% of people have this condition, and only 60% of those people have symptoms.
What does that mean?
In short, your body’s ability to hold moisture on your eyeball stops working. There is an oil gland (meibomian) that secretes oil in order to hold the tear film (hydration) on the eyeball. When it stops working the eyes feel dry and become irritated, causing inflammation. This inflammation and lack of moisture make dry eyes very uncomfortable. Left untreated this disease process can become auto-immune in nature and lead to vision disturbances from damage to the cornea.
What are the symptoms?
Dry Eye Syndrome most frequently shows up with:
What are the risk factors?
Many different things contribute to Ocular Surface Disease, the most common are:
Age (the older you get the more at risk you become)
Medications (many prescription medications have the side effect of decreased tear production. Examples of these include: antidepressants, decongestants, blood pressure medication, hormonal contraceptives, antihistamines and more.)
Gender (women are more likely than men to have Dry Eye Syndrome. This risk is increased because of a woman’s hormone level fluctuation through the lifespan.)
Medical conditions (diabetes, thyroid conditions, and rheumatoid arthritis are some of the contributors)
Long term use of contacts
Environmental conditions (like increased screen use, wind, and smoke, that either inhibit or affect your body’s ability to blink and retain moisture in the eye.)
Eye surgeries (such as LASIK)
What are the Treatments?
In order to establish how best to treat your specific circumstance, our physician does a thorough eye exam using specific diagnostic measures before recommending treatment. Your Dry Eye treatment may include:
Radio Frequency (RF) Treatment - This stimulates your body into rejuvenating the oil glands back to working order. Results help your body to help itself maintain tearfilm and hydration on your eyeballs.
Intense Pulse Light (IPL) Treatment - This uses two different wavelengths of light to penetrate the skin and target inflammation below the surface. It reduces redness and decreases vessel inflammation. This treatment also eradicates demodex.
Lid margin hygiene - this is a daily practice to encourage better oil gland production. Products include OCuSOFT original, ZocuSheild gel, and OCuSOFT hypochlorous spray
Eye drop medication
Autologous serum eye drops
Amniotic membrane technology
Or a combination of the above therapies
Request an appointment for an eye exam to assess your dry eye.