What is Dry Eye Syndrome?
Dry eye syndrome affects millions of Americans, and symptoms can range from occasional, mild irritation to debilitating and stubborn symptoms. Each time you blink your eye, tears spread across the surface of the cornea. Tears exist to provide lubrication to the eye, reduce the risk of infection and to wash away foreign matter in the eye. Excess tears drain out of the eye through small drainage ducts in the inner corners of the eyelid. Dry eyes occur when tear production and drainage are out of balance.
Patients with dry eye either do not produce good quality tears, or they simply do not produce enough tears. With the increased usage of phones and computers, our eyes are taking a hit.
Our Physicians at Bowden Eye & Associates take it seriously to educate our patients on how they can not only treat their symptoms but also help prevent future damage. Computer usage has no plans of going away in our near future, we must prepare to protect our sight. While some patients have no idea their glands are dying off, other patients do experience painful symptoms. As odd as it is, an increase of tears or an appearance that you are crying, is a symptom of Dry Eyes. If you suspect that you are experiencing dry eye symptoms, or would like to have your glands checked in a complete eye exam, make sure to schedule an appointment with our team of Jacksonville physicians.
Those with dry eye will experience symptoms such as:
- Scratchy or burning eyes
- Foreign body sensation
- Excess watering
- Blurry vision
What are the risk factors of Dry Eye Syndrome?
Dry eye can be the result of quite a few things, including:
- Aging – Dry eyes are common as we reach our middle and later years.
- Gender – Women are more likely to experience dry eye. Because of hormone changes.
- Medical conditions – Those who have diabetes, thyroid problems and rheumatoid arthritis are more likely to experience dry eye syndrome. Blepharitis, another common eye disease, is also often accompanied by dry eye syndrome.
- Environmental conditions – Exposure to wind, smoke and dry climates can greatly increase tear evaporation, causing dry eye symptoms. Prolonged computer use can also take it’s toll on the eyes, as people often blink muss less when staring at a screen.
Dry Eye Treatment
How exactly is dry eye syndrome treated? Some patients try to reach for over the counter drops which may offer short term relief, but that is only masking the problem.
Treatments for dry eye syndrome include:
Tear conservation: This treatment method involves plugging the tear ducts with devices called “punctal plugs”. This allows tears to stay in the eye for longer, relieving symptoms.
Increasing tear production: Some doctors will prescribe an omega-3 fatty acid supplement regimen. Over time, this will help your eye produce healthier, more balanced tears.
If you are experiencing dry eye syndrome, call us to see what we can do for you. Dry eye syndrome can be frustrating, but we can help you live a life free of annoying dry eye symptoms!
At Bowden Eye & Associates in Jacksonville, we give you a wide range of options for your dry eye and treatment needs. We proudly give the greater Jacksonville area premier services from start to finish. Our team realizes that each individual requires individual care. This is why Bowden Eye & Associates work with our patients from the diagnoses to the final treatments. Dry eye can be a nuisance and can bother your day to day life, schedule your appointment with us today by scheduling online or calling our office at (904) 296-0098!
Bowden Eye & Associates is proud to be the area’s leading Dry Eye Clinic. Our Physicians travel the country to train and educate other eye care physicians on the latest advancements to diagnosing and treating Dry Eye Disease. By doing this, we are able to test all the available options out there, and provide only the best to our patients to help achieve their best possible outcomes.
Some of these options include LipiFlow® Thermal Pulsation System as well as the TrueTear™ Intranasal Tear Neurostimulator, and the Blephex. Some patients will need to use artificial tears to lubricate the eyes and replace the lack of moisture. The various eye drop regimen varies by patient.
BlephEx® addresses the chronic inflammatory disease of the eyelids also known has “blepharitis”, which affects the tear glands and causes eye irritation and dry eye. BlephEx® treatment precisely and safely cleans and exfoliates your eyelids and lashes, which will almost immediately improve your symptoms. More importantly, by completely removing the film along the eye lid margin, our Physicians at Bowden Eye can help you avoid the long-term inflammatory damage to your tear glands, preventing chronic dry eye syndrome. Blephex is much like getting your teeth cleaned at the dentist. It’s a cleaning of your eyelids and should be done at minimum every 6 months, especially for those that wear make up daily.
How BlephEx® Works
BlephEx® is a painless and quick in-office procedure performed by each of our physicians at Bowden Eye & Associates. A 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 new one is used for each individual eyelid so bacteria is not spread between the lids.The eyes are then rinsed well.
The procedure lasts about 6-8 minutes and is well tolerated. At Bowden Eye, we only allow Physicians to complete this procedure. Most patients 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, the procedure is typically repeated at 4-6 month intervals.
LipiFlow® is a 12 minute procedure offered in our office. It is set up to be a relaxing way to restore your gland function by using a single use applicator that applies simultaneous heat and pressure to our patients’ eyelids to remove the gland contents and obstructions while reviving the eyes’ natural oil production.
With the LipiFlow® Thermal Pulsation System, our Physicians can warm and release oils that have hardened and clogged the glands responsible for the lubrication in your eyes. Consequently, this treatment addresses the root cause of dry eye rather than simply treating the symptoms of the condition.
The TrueTear™ Intranasal Tear Neurostimulator by Allergan is FDA-cleared to increase tear production in adults with dry eye. Bowden Eye & Associates is the first practice in the North Florida and South Georgia area to offer TrueTear™ for patients who cannot produce enough tears to properly lubricate their eyes. Our team was also involved in the clinical trials for this innovative intranasal device, furthermore Dr. Frank W. Bowden, III was the first Ophthalmologist in the World to prescribe a TrueTear device to a patient. The excitement didn’t stop there. When the product was launch nationwide, Dr. Jerry Robben followed with being the first Optometric Physician in the World to prescribe the device to a patient. The True Tear device has a list of benefits, all of which are all natural with no medications.
How It Works
After the TrueTear™ handheld device is inserted into the nose, the tip sends small electrical pulses into the tissue to stimulate tear production. Before each use, a new disposable tip is attached to the base. These tips are composed of a hydrogel material, similar to that of contact lenses, helping conduct the electrical current. The base has five levels of stimulation, allowing you to adjust the intensity until you feel a mild tingling. This sensation means you are touching the correct tissue, which leads to the formation of tears.
Helps increase your eyes’ natural ability to produce tears, which may be reduced by inflammation due to Chronic Dry Eye.
Xiidra improves patient-reported symptoms of eye dryness and signs of inferior corneal staining in clinical trials. By using the drops twice per day, patients can significantly reduce the chronic irritation and discomfort that comes with dry eye disease.