Dry eye is a condition that is much more complex than the name implies and much more common than you might think. Statistics show that 23 million Americans have dry eye, but there are likely many more that are undiagnosed. At SkyVision Centers in suburban Cleveland, we see dry eye every day, often in people who didn’t know they had it. Because this condition has such a huge impact on our patients’ comfort, vision, and eye health, we’ve made dry eye treatment a priority at our practice.
The experienced doctors at SkyVision Centers are proud to treat both the cause and symptoms of dry eye syndrome. SkyVision was one of the first accredited TearLab Dry Eye Centers in the U.S., which means we are one of the nation’s premier practices in the treatment of dry eye symptoms. The use of the Lipiflow® treatment for the cause of dry eye syndrome has made the treatment of Dry Eye a complete process for our patients. Area doctors are actively referring their patients here for their MGD treatment when other options have not resulted in enough relief for their patients.
Request your dry eye consultation today and learn about your options for clearer, more comfortable eyes.
What are the treatment options for dry eye?
Your treatment will be symptom-driven, and our goal is the smallest amount of intervention needed to produce the greatest degree of improvement.
Prescription Eye Drops
Chronic inflammation is a very important cause of dry eye, especially for women between the ages of 35 and 60. Restasis is a totally different type of anti-inflammatory drop and a breakthrough in dry eye care. It helps increase your eyes’ ability to produce tears, and can be used over very long periods of time. It is both very safe and very effective.
There is now a new medicine available to treat this inflammation, Xiidra. It is also very effective, has very few side effects, and is very easy to use. Xiidra is FDA approved to treat the inflammation that your doctors see in the office as well as the symptoms that your dry eye disease is causing.
Acute inflammation, or an acute worsening of chronic inflammation can be treated with topical steroid eye drops. Lotemax gel is a very effective steroid drop which has the best safety profile of all topical steroids.
Inflammation in the eyelid glands that produce the oil part of the tears (meibomian glands) is a very important cause of dysfunctional tear syndrome, or the evaporative dry eye. This type of inflammation, often called Blepharitis or meibomian gland disease (MGD), can be treated with a combination of manual therapy (warm compresses, lid cleaning, or newer automated treatment like the LipiFlow® system) and topical medication. The topical antibiotic gel drop Azasite is a wonderful treatment for those people who require longer term care. Azasite is easy to apply and has such a long duration that some patients only need to use it twice a week.
We now have a new treatment for MGD and all of its symptoms called LipiFlow. Heating the meibomian glands from the inside of the lid with the LipiFlow Activator is a very effective treatment, especially when it is combined with the LipiFlow micro-massage. Most patients continue to have some relief from their symptoms a year after a single treatment.
The combination of Restasis or Xiidra with either Azasite or LipiFlow is considered by many eye doctors to be the gold standard in the treatment of dry eye symptoms.
Most people with evaporative dry eye have meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD) – blockage of the tiny glands that produce the lipid component of tears. LipiFlow® treatments use heat and gentle pulsatile pressure to unclog obstructed Meibomian glands and provide remarkable relief. Using a single-use eyepiece, the LipiFlow® treatment clears all the meibomian glands, both upper and lower. Within 2 to 6 weeks, dry eye symptoms should improve dramatically as the lipid component of your tears increases. Patients compare the feeling of the gentle pulsations to having a twitchy eyelid.
Wondering if Lipiflow is right for you? Click here for more information on MGD and Dry Eye Treatment Options
As the Cleveland area's leader in Dry Eye Treatment, SkyVision Centers has performed Lipiflow Treatments on hundreds of patients over the past 2 years.
Lipiflow is the only electronic FDA-cleared treatment for MGD, which uses a precise application of heat to the inside of the eyelids, close to the location of the meibomian glands, and massage to outside of the eyelids.
For more information contact us today!
Sometimes the most appropriate treatment is to conserve the tears that you are producing naturally. Tears drain from your eye through tiny channels that actually empty inside your nose. With a minor tear duct procedure, we can conserve your tears and increase the amount of time that both natural and artificial tears stay in contact with your eye by closing these tear duct channels with punctal plugs. These can be temporary or permanent, and are indicated in about 15 to 20% of cases.
TrueTear is a non-invasive, nasal neurostimulation device that helps the body work like it should, naturally. This is done by comfortable stimulation of the Trigeminal Nerve (CN V), which activates the entire lacrimal functional unit.
TrueTear was invented by a team of experts at Stanford led by Dr. Michael Ackermann, a PhD in neurostimulation. The device was further developed in Silicone Valley, home to the world’s most innovative and disruptive technologies. This singular technology creates an entirely new treatment class in eye care representing a true paradigm shift in the treatment of dry eye. This produces true tears, containing meibum from the meibomian glands, aqueous from the lacrimal glands and mucin from goblet cell degranulation, the three components of tears. This device offers the right patients a new, innovative treatment option.
Over-the-counter Eye Drops/Artificial Tears
Most people are better served by the medical-grade products available at SkyVision Centers, but you may benefit from over-the-counter artificial tears for dry eyes. These may include saline eye drops or natural eye drops. Your SkyVision doctor will give you a list or very specific recommendations for the best types for your particular condition.
Are there at-home remedies for dry eye?
Yes! All dry eye patients would probably benefit from taking vitamins for their dry eyes such as an oral Omega-3 fatty acid supplement. The most effective supplements are fish oil that contains Omega-3 fatty acids in the triglyceride forms DHA and EPA. The most effective doses are probably as much as 2 or 3 grams of DHA or EPA per day. Ask your SkyVision Center doctor for a personal recommendation on types of fish oil supplements for Omega-3 fatty acids.
If you have eyelid margin disease such as MGD or blepharitis, you may benefit from warm compresses and special eyelid cleansers. Your doctor will make recommendations for you.
You should also use a humidifier during the dry months; protect your eyes from wind, cold, and ultraviolet light with a good pair of sunglasses; and drink lots of water. If you are experiencing dry eyes at night, you may benefit from the use of dry eye goggles while you sleep.
BlephEx™ Treatment for Blepharitis and MGD
What is Blepharitis and is BlephEx™ right for me?
Over 50% of all patients suffer from some type of dry eye and blepharitis symptoms. Blepharitis is a chronic, inflammatory disease of the eyelids caused by an overgrowth of normal bacteria living along the lid and the base of the eyelashes. Anyone can get blepharitis at any age, but the prevalence increases with age, since as we get older, we make fewer natural antibodies in our tears.
This overgrowth of bacteria produces a biofilm that traps scurf and debris along the eyelashes and harbors bacterial exotoxins along the lid margin. These exotoxins penetrate the eyelid tissue causing low-grade inflammation which adversely affects the tear glands, turning down tear production. Fewer tears containing fewer antibodies allow even more bacteria accumulate and a vicious cycle is established, leading to chronic irritation and dry eye.
Since the eyelids are difficult to clean, this overgrowth of bacteria, biofilm, scurf and debris can accumulate over many years, and the exotoxin-induced inflammation can cause significant damage to the eyelid and tear glands.
Now, thanks to BlephEx™, your eye doctor can precisely and safely, clean and exfoliate your eyelids and lashes, which will almost immediately improve your symptoms. More importantly, by completely removing the exotoxin-laden biofilm along the lid margin, your doctor can help you avoid the long-term inflammatory damage to your tear glands, preventing chronic dry eye syndrome.
How BlephEx™ Works?
BlephEx™ is a painless in-office procedure performed by your eye care professional. A revolutionary new patented BlephEx™ hand piece is used to very precisely and carefully spin a medical grade micro-sponge along the edge of your eyelids and lashes, removing scurf and debris and exfoliating your eyelids.
The patented micro-sponge is disposable and a clean one is used for each individual eyelid so bacteria does not spread between the lids. The eyes are rinsed well afterwards.
The procedure lasts about 6 - 8 minutes and is well tolerated. Most patients simply report a tickling sensation. A numbing drop is usually placed in each eye prior to treatment for increased comfort.
After the procedure, the patient is instructed on how to maintain their clean eyelids with regular nightly lid hygiene. Since home treatments are only semi-effective, you may want to repeat the treatment as needed or on a regular schedule determined by you and your eye doctor.
Am I a Candidate for BlephEx™?
If you suffer from one or more of the following symptoms, you may be suffering from blepharitis:
- Itching or scratchy eyes
- Foreign body sensation
- Dry Ey
- Eye Rubbing
There are several conditions which may affect the severity of blepharitis such as dry eye disease, allergies, seborrheic dermatitis, rosacea, age, contact lens wear, poor immune status, rheumatoid arthritis, Sjogrens disease, and androgen deficiency.
If left untreated, blepharitis can lead directly or indirectly, to a number of eyelid diseases, such as:
Dry Eye Syndrome, Chalazions (Styes), Cicatricial Ectropion, Involutional Ectropian, Cicatricial Entropion, Involutional Entropian, Acquired Distichiasis and Trichiasis.
Blepharitis can only be diagnosed by your eye doctor. Make sure to let your eye doctor know of your eye symptoms and inquire about BlephEx, the latest in eye care technology for lid disease.
To make an appointment call 440-892-3931 or online HERE!