Varieties of Dry Eye

>>Varieties of Dry Eye
Varieties of Dry Eye – Family Eye Clinic
Varieties of Dry Eye 2019-06-28T19:03:43-07:00

There are two major categories of dry eyes, caused by either

  1. Too little water
  2. Too little “goo” (oil)

Too little water is vastly more common. This category can be broken into two types:

  1. Too much evaporation, i.e. evaporative dry eye (EDE).
  2. Too little water production, i.e. aqueous deficient dry eye (ADDE)

Of these two, the vast majority is evaporative dry eye. {Nine out of ten of all dry eyes are EDE.)

Evaporative dry eye means too little oil. There are 25 meibomian glands in the upper lid and 20 in the lower. When they are sick, there is not enough oil, and we call it meibomian gland disease (MGD) or meibomitis. It’s an epidemic! Why?

We typically blink about every three seconds (22 blinks per minute, or bpm). Electronic devices — computers, televisions, tablets, games, and cell phones — transfix us and cause the blink rate to plunge to seven bpm. What’s more, the blinks we do take are likely to be incomplete; after all, complete blinks break concentraton, which could cause mistakes in your work — and lead to a fiery death if you are playing Save the Galaxy.

Strong, healthy blinks express the meibomian glands. When the meibomian glands are not fully expressed, the oil congeals, orifices clog, glands become sick and dry eye complaints begin. Without treatment, the meibomian glands eventually die.

Computers are not the whole story. Throw in antihistamines, decongestants, tranquilizers, blood pressure meds, antidepressants, birth control pills, and hormone therapy. Then add contact lenses, skin diseases, pregnancy, eyelid disease, LASIK, cataract surgery, and cosmetics. And let’s not forget forced air (home and auto), zero humidity flights, urban air, smog, rural agronomy pollution, and allergies. Even then, the list is incomplete.

What’s the cure?

The first step is to find exactly what your particular problem is. Fortunately, the same image science (MRI) that is used for macular degeneration and brain tumors can noe be used for meibomian gland disfunction, and the lab techniques for analyzing Ebola, herpes, and AIDs can be applied to ocular surface diseases. A  precise diagnosis is now available for dry eyes.

Some clinics specialize in cataracts, glaucoma, or refractive surgery. Others, like us here at Family Eye Clinic, also have expertise in ocular surface disease diagnosis and management.

The most exciting resolve of ocular gland diseases is TearScience’s diagnostic and therapeutic management systems, i.e. LipiView and LipiFlow. TearScience has developed a way of unblocking meibomian glands through a simple, short and comfortable process done at Family Eye Clinic. It’s a non-surgical outpatient procedure unencumbered by regulation — meaning that, like LASIK, TearScience’s procedures come at a bargain. Yet some fear that eventually these procedures will be regulated, which would increase the cost dramatically.

Of course TearScience is not the only management for glandular eye disease. There are myriad pharmaceuticals that can treat your tears to health — topical, oral, prescription, non-prescription, preserved, and unpreserved.

With so many effective options. there is no reason to suffer with dry eyes any longer.

“I had LipiFlow done in January 2017; it helped to resolve my dry eye problems.  After two years, my eyes still feel better than they did before the procedure, though the dryness is gradually returning.  I’ve kept up with two of the recommended follow-up actions to LipiFlow; using eye drops and taking fish oil tablets morning and evening.”

Gary Jenkins