What is Dry Eye?
Dry eye syndrome is a common condition characterized by an insufficient flow of tears. Tears play an important role in the health and function of the eyes by keeping them properly moisturized and lubricated. Without a sufficient quantity or quality of natural tears, the eyes become dry, itchy and irritated. Dry eye syndrome also increases the risk of bacteria and infection.
The trusted eye doctors at Memphis Eye and Cataract Associates, PLLC have helped thousands of patients find relief from dry eye syndrome. They can work with you to determine the best treatment plan based on the cause and symptoms of your dry eye.
Dry Eye Causes
There are a number of factors that can cause dry eye, including:
- Environmental factors (e.g., dry air, high temperatures and windy weather)
- Medications (e.g., antihistamines, oral contraceptives)
- Hormonal changes
- Autoimmune disorders (e.g., lupus, rheumatoid arthritis)
- LASIK surgery
- Cataract surgery
- Cosmetic eyelid surgery
- Infrequent blinking (which can often occur while watching TV, reading or working on a computer)
- Contact lenses
- Sun exposure
Common Dry Eye Symptoms
Dry eye syndrome has a variety of symptoms that range in severity. Most worsen under certain environmental conditions, including windy weather and lower humidity. Common symptoms include:
- Stinging sensation
- Foreign body sensation
- Eye fatigue
- Watery eyes (in some cases)
- Mucous buildup in and/or around the eyes
Treating Dry Eye Syndrome
Treatment for dry eye syndrome largely depends on the root cause and severity of the condition. For instance, if symptoms are a result of wearing contact lenses, environmental factors or side effects of eye surgery, artificial tears may be sufficient to treat the condition. Other treatment options include:
- Prescription eye drops to reduce inflammation of the cornea
- Antibiotics to reduce gland-inhibiting inflammation of the Meibomian glands
- Cholinergic drugs to stimulate tear flow
- Punctal plugs to prevent tear drainage
- Dissolvable eye inserts placed between the lower eyelid and eye
- Omega-3 supplements
Introducing LipiFlow® from TearScience
New Treatment Option for Dry Eye
Memphis Eye and Cataract Associates, PLLC is pleased to offer long-term dry eye relief with the innovative LipiFlow® device from TearScience. Lipiflow® is designed to treat evaporative dry eye, a common type of the condition caused by malfunctioning meibomian glands. Meibomian glands secrete lipids (or oils) to slow the evaporation of tears, keeping the eyes properly lubricated. With evaporative dry eye, the meibomian glands become plugged and are unable to prevent the tears from evaporating too quickly. This, in turn, causes uncomfortable symptoms like itchiness and dryness.
LipiFlow® is a non-invasive device that clears the obstructed glands to promote the natural flow of oils and a healthy tear film. During treatment, the device is placed under and over the eyelids, applying precisely controlled heat and gentle pulsed pressure to soften and open the blocked glands, restoring proper gland function. Treatment with LipiFlow® is non-invasive and takes approximately 12 minutes per eye. Multiple treatment sessions may be needed for severe cases.
LipiFlow® is safe and effective. One clinical study found that approximately 80 percent of patients saw an improvement in their dry eye symptoms within two weeks of treatment.
Get Relief from Dry Eye with Memphis Eye and Cataract Associates, PLLC
To learn more about LipiFlow® or the other treatment options offered at Memphis Eye and Cataract Associates, PLLC, schedule an in-office consultation. Contact our office by calling (901) 767-3937 or (800) 393-7185 today.