Dry Eye

Why SkyVision Centers?

dry eyeWe're a patient-centered practice, dedicated to helping people feel better. The successful diagnosis and treatment of dry eye is a cornerstone of the care we provide. Every member of our team is trained in the process of evaluating, diagnosing, and treating dry eyes, so that no one’s symptoms go undetected, and you’ll find support at every turn.

Dr. White, Dr. Schlegel, and Dr. Kaye are respected authorities on dry eye, and routinely train and mentor other ophthalmologists about this prevalent condition. Many dry eye patients come to our Westlake center from Cleveland suburbs such as Bay Village, Avon Lake, Avon, Lakewood, and North Olmsted. However, due to our center’s reputation as a pioneer in the treatment of this condition, we draw patients from other parts of the country as well.

I've seen the difference treatment can make in people’s lives. Many of them didn’t realize how uncomfortable they were until they experienced relief." –Dr. Darrell E. White

What is dry eye?

Tear Layers Diagram"Dry eye" is the broad term for a number of disorders in which the eyes aren’t adequately moisturized by natural tears. To understand dry eyes, you need a basic understanding of your eye’s tear film.

Tears are composed of the mucin layer, closest to the cornea; the aqueous (salt water) layer, in the middle; and the oil or lipid layer, which is the top layer of the tear film. Dr. White explains in more detail in this video:

Click here to view more Dry Eye videos on YouTube

For the sake of simplicity, dry eye can be broken down into 2 basic (causes) or types, based on tears: "low quantity," and "poor quality."

Quantity – Not enough tears
  • For a variety of reasons, many people do not produce enough of the watery (aqueous) component of tear fluid. This is often called aqueous dry eye.
Quality – Tears that don;t get the job done
  • Many people produce plenty of tears, but they simply don’t work well enough and their eyes are left functionally dry. This is sometimes referred to as dysfunctional tear syndrome (MGD) or evaporative dry eye syndrome. This type comprises the majority of dry eye cases.

Is it really a big deal?

Yes, it is. Left untreated, dry eye can cause irreversible damage to the cornea, and can interfere with ophthalmic surgical procedures such as cataract surgery or LASIK. And since most dry eyes sufferers have an issue with the quality, not the quantity of tears, you’ll likely need more than just drugstore eye drops.

What we at SkyVision want you to know is that you don’t have to suffer; we have state-of-the-art diagnostic testing and treatment options to relieve your dry eye symptoms quickly and effectively.

Dry Eye Symptoms

You may have dry eye if you experience:

  • Difficulty wearing contact lenses
  • Excessively watery eyes
  • Foreign body sensation
  • Intermittent blurring of vision
  • Dryness
  • Redness
  • Eye fatigue
  • Burning/stinging
  • Pain

How is dry eye diagnosed?

dry eye osdi appDetermining what type of dry eye you have is essential to successful treatment. We use leading edge diagnostic technology, but we also use our ears. At every point of contact, we’ll ask you how your eyes feel, and that input helps guide our diagnosis and treatment.

If you or your doctor suspect dry eyes, we will begin by giving you the Ocular Surface Disease Index (OSDI) questionnaire. After that, your diagnostic process will likely include:

  • Tear osmolarity testing and inflammation testing – quick tests performed by a technician; results are available to your doctor immediately
  • LipiView® – performed by a technician; provides detailed digital images of your tear film and measures the absolute thickness of the lipid layer
  • Slit lamp testing – performed by the doctor to examine the tears, the eyelids, the blinking pattern, and tear film breakup time
  • Corneal staining or corneal topography – performed by the doctor to identify damage to the cornea

Your doctor may order a blood test for Sjogren’s syndrome if the disease is suspected.

In the near future, we will offer one of the latest advancements in the diagnosis of dry eye: tear film videography. Stay tuned for more about this exciting technology!