Dry Eye Center

Dry Eye Overview

Dry eye is a multifactorial condition of the ocular surface where the eyes do not produce enough tears and/or the tears being produced are of poor quality. Insufficient and/or poor quality tears lead to inflammation and possible permanent damage to the ocular surface. Dry eye is a very common condition, in fact it is one of the most common reasons someone seeks care from an eye care provider. Dry eye symptoms can have a significant impact on quality of life and have a negative effect on activities of daily living such as reading, computer use, and driving. Envision Specialty EyeCare and Dry Eye Center offers the most advanced dry eye diagnostics and treatments in the Treasure Valley.

When we blink tears form a thin layer “film” over the front surface of the eye. The tear film helps protect the eye and keeps the surface of the eye smooth and clear. The tear film is made of three distinct layers; oil layer, water layer and mucin layer. Each layer of the tear film provides a specific function. The oil layer is the outermost layer of the tear film and is designed to help keep the eye surface smooth, and prevent the tears from drying quickly from the surface of the eye. There are specific glands, called meibomian glands, in the upper and lower eyelids that produce the oil layer of the tear film.

The most common cause of dry eye is secondary to the meibomian glands not functioning properly, which is termed meibomian gland dysfunction. The water layer of the tear film is produced by the lacrimal gland, which is located under the upper eyelid. The mucin layer is the innermost layer of the tear film and helps spread the tears over the surface of the eye. Mucins are produced by specific glands in the conjunctiva. If something affects one or more layers of the tear film you may experience symptoms of dry eye.

Common Symptoms of Dry Eye

      • Burning or stinging sensation

      • Scratchy or gritty feeling, like something is in your eye

      • Red irritated eyes

      • Fluctuating blurry, vision especially when reading or doing computer work

      • Excessive tearing, watery eyes

      • Itchy eyes

      • Light sensitivity

      • Eye fatigue

        Causes/Risk Factors of Dry Eye

        There are many factors that can lead to dry eye, and cause symptoms of dry eye to become worse. Common causes and risk factors for dry eye include:

        • Dry eye is more common in women, especially those who have gone through menopause.

        • Various autoimmune conditions can cause dry eye such as rheumatoid arthritis and Sjogrens Syndrome.

        • Several medications can lead to dry eye including some medications for blood pressure, allergy, anxiety, and depression.

        • Activities that decrease the blink rate, such as computer use or reading, can lead to dry eye.

        • Seasonal allergies and poor air quality can worsen symptoms of dry eye.

        • History of contact lens use or previous eye surgeries can cause dry eye.

        Diagnosing Dry Eye

        Dry eye can be diagnosed based on signs and symptoms. Specific questionnaires can help discover symptoms of dry eye. There are several specific diagnostic tests that can be performed to help make a diagnosis of dry eye including:

        • Meibography- specialized imaging of structure/health of meibomian glands

        • Osmolarity- quantifiable biomarker for dry eye, provides insight of the quality of tears

        • Vital dye staining- helps visualize damage to the ocular surface from dry eye

        • Tear break up time- measurement of stability of tears on the ocular surface

        • Tear production analysis

        Envision Specialty EyeCare and Dry Eye Center utilizes some of the most advanced diagnostic testing to measure the quality and quantity of tears being produced, which is important for helping our doctor determine the most appropriate dry eye treatment.

        Dry Eye Treatments

        Unfortunately there is no cure for dry eye, although there are several treatments that can help improve dry eye symptoms, and prevent dry eye from becoming worse. Left untreated dry eye can lead to severe ocular surface disease and possibly permanent decrease in vision.

        Treatments for dry eye can include:

        • Advanced Procedures

          • Intense Pulsed Light (IPL)

            • Lumenis Optima® IPL - FDA approved to treat dry eye caused by meibomian gland dysfunction or ocular rosacea. “Dr. Jason Besecker is the first and only provider in the state of Idaho to offer this revolutionary treatment.”

          • Intelligent Controlled Heat and Meibomian Gland Expression

            • TearCare®-FDA approved to treat dry eye caused by meibomian gland dysfunction.

          • Amniotic Membranes

            • PROKERA®-Biological contact lens FDA approved to treat ocular surface disease caused by dry eye.

          • Punctal Plugs

            • FDA approved device to treat dry eye disease caused by decreased tear production.

        • Biologics

          • Amniotic Membranes

            • PROKERA® - Biological contact lens FDA approved to treat ocular surface disease caused by dry eye.

          • Amniotic Fluid Eye Drops

            • Regener-Eyes® - Biologic eye drop that contains anti-inflammatory cytokines, healing factors and growth factors that help heal damage to the eye caused by dry eye disease.

          • Autologous Serum Tears

            • Autologous serum tears are a highly effective advanced treatment for dry eye disease. They are a good option for patients who have had no relief with other dry eye treatments. Autologous serum tears are eye drops made from the patient's own blood plasma. Serum tears contain vital components for the health of the ocular surface that are also found in our natural tears.

        • Products

          • Supplements

            • PRN De3 Omega Benefits®-triglyceride based fish oil supplement specifically formulated for dry eye disease.

          • Hot Compress

            • EyeEco DERM®-moist heat compress designed to help relieve dry eye symptoms

          • Lid Hygiene

            • HyClear®-broad spectrum anti-bacterial designed for daily eyelid health management to help improve dry eye symptoms.

            • EyeEco Tea Tree Eyelid and Facial Clenser™-eyelid and facial cleanser that can help treat demodex blepharitis.

          • Eye Drops

            • Preservative free Oasis Tears®-lubricant eye drops for dry eye relief

            • Regener-Eyes®- Biologic eye drop that contains anti-inflammatory cytokines, healing factors and growth factors that help heal damage to the eye caused by dry eye disease

        Request A Dry Eye Consultation

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