Jacksonville Dry Eye Treatment
What is Dry Eye Disease?
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. 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.
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 eyes 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. Bowden Eye & Associates was the area’s first Dry Eye Center of Excellence in Jacksonville, FL.
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 Disease?
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 a toll on the eyes, as people often blink muss less when staring at a screen.
Dry Eye Treatment
How exactly is dry eye disease 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 disease include:
- Blephex ; which is a deep clean of the eyelid surfaces
- IPL (Intense Pulsed Light Laser)
- Punctal plugs
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.
This is why Bowden Eye & Associates work with our patients from the diagnoses to the final treatments with an individual approach. 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 in 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 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.
Prokera is a biologic bandage made from amniotic membrane, which is placenta tissue. The membrane has both anti-inflammatory and anti-scarring properties naturally. The tissue comes from a tissue bank, which is FDA-regulated for safety and quality control.
Prokera is FDA-approved for treating ocular surface disease, which includes the symptoms of Dry Eye Disease. Using Prokera, patients with dry eyes can find faster relief from their dry eye symptoms while promoting more effective corneal healing. By reducing inflammation and scarring, patients will have a healthier cornea while healing the surface of their eye.
How BlephEx® Works
BlephEx® is a painless and quick in-office procedure performed by each of our physicians at Bowden Eye & Associates. A handpiece 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.