Dry eye syndrome is a common condition impacting over 30 million people in the United States. It develops as a result of your tear glands producing either an inadequate quality or quantity of tear film. As a result, you can experience significant tear evaporation and a variety of uncomfortable symptoms.
In addition to the chronic discomfort associated with dry eye syndrome, the condition may impact your candidacy for certain procedures such as LASIK. At Northeastern Eye Institute, we offer the latest and most advanced dry eye treatments to alleviate any discomfort you’re experiencing. These treatments can also help improve your candidacy for LASIK and other life-changing procedures.
The best way to learn about your dry eye treatment options is to speak with one of our ophthalmologists in person. Please call 800-334-2233 today to schedule an appointment. We have 15 offices conveniently located in Scranton, Wilkes-Barre and throughout Northeastern Pennsylvania.
Dry Eye Syndrome Often Caused by Meibomian Gland Dysfunction
Your tear film serves the important function of maintaining a smooth, moist and clear eye surface. This film is comprised of three distinct layers:
- Oily outer layer to minimize tear evaporation
- Watery middle (aqueous) layer to clean the eye
- Sticky inner mucous layer that allows the tear film adhere to the surface of your eye
The Meibomian gland is responsible for producing the oils that comprise the outer layer of your tear film. This oily layer forms a protective coating that allows the middle aqueous layer to function properly. When Meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD) occurs, these glands become blocked, preventing your eyes from secreting enough oil to sufficiently coat the aqueous layer. This causes you to experience excessive evaporation of the aqueous layer’s water content, creating friction between your eyelid and your cornea.
MGD is by far the most common cause of dry eye syndrome, accounting for over 85% of all cases. When MGD goes untreated, the oil production from your Meibomian glands will progressively decrease over time until they are eventually unable to produce any oil. If this occurs, the surface of your eye may become damaged, resulting in chronic discomfort and long-term vision damage. For this reason, it’s crucial that you treat dry eye syndrome to restore the proper functioning of your Meibomian gland.
There are some instances where dry eye syndrome isn’t associated with MGD. Other potential causes include:
- Auto-immune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus
- Dry climate
- Certain medications used to treat conditions such as diabetes, scleroderma, rheumatoid arthritis, Sjogren’s syndrome, lupus and thyroid disorders
What Are the Symptoms of Dry Eye Syndrome?
Dry eye symptoms are often painful. Some of the most common include:
- Scratchy, gritty sensation in your eyes
- Eye soreness
- Burning sensation in your eyes
- Sensation of having something in your eyes
- Increased irritation from smoke and other allergens
- Excessive tearing
- Blurry or double vision (most prominent in the morning and evening)
- Difficulty wearing contact lenses
- Eye fatigue
- Sensitivity to light
- Stringy mucus in or around the eyes
- Redness in the eyes
Dry Eye Treatment Options
In most instances, we treat dry eye syndrome using LipiFlow. This treatment achieves effective results because it specifically addresses the gland blockages caused by MGD. By targeting the root cause of your condition, LipiFlow is able to restore properly functioning tear film.
LipiFlow uses Vectored Thermal Pulse technology to apply heat and gentle pressure to the inner and outer eyelids. The combination of heat and massage pressure removes any obstructions blocking the secretion of tear oil from the Meibomian glands. Proper oil flow will restore a functional outer layer of tear film which prevents excessive evaporation of the aqueous layer.
Your LipiFlow treatment can be completed in one 12-minute session. The function of your Meibomian glands will gradually improve, and full results typically take six to eight weeks to achieve.
In cases where dry eye syndrome isn’t caused by MGD, our ophthalmologists may choose to treat the condition using artificial tears. These eye drops will provide the lubrication necessary to eliminate your uncomfortable dry eye symptoms. You can order artificial tears eye drops here.
Contact our Northeastern Pennsylvania Ophthalmologists
Please contact Northeastern Eye Institute using the form on this page or call 800-334-2233 today to schedule an appointment. We have 15 offices conveniently located in Scranton, Wilkes-Barre and throughout Northeastern Pennsylvania.