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Dry Eye Treatment in Memphis

Searching for dry eye treatment in Memphis? Dry Eye Syndrome (DES) is a lack of sufficient lubrication and moisture on the eye surface. This may be caused by an insufficient quality and/or quantity of natural tears. Tears function as a lubricant, nutrition source, and "germ fighter" for the eyes. Symptoms of DES may include burning, redness, itching, foreign body sensation (sandy or gritty), and a general sense of dryness. The level of discomfort ranges from very mild to very uncomfortable or even painful. Tears are produced by the tear glands in the upper eyelids. As they are secreted from the tear glands, they flow across the eye surface and are distributed by the blinking action of the lids. Some of the tears evaporate and others drain away from the eye via the tear ducts. An adequate oil layer on the tear film helps prevent rapid evaporation.

There are multiple factors in the development of DES. The eye becomes drier as we get older due to the natural aging process. Medications such as antihistamines, antidepressants and others also cause the eyes to become drier. Systemic diseases such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, rosacea or Sjogren’s syndrome are other causes of DES. Long term contact lens wearers frequently suffer from DES. Often persons will feel that they must discontinue contact lens wear due to the discomfort associated with their dry eyes. Of course if a person lives or works in a dry, dusty environment or climate, this will affect the severity of symptoms associated with DES.

Also, eyelid disease and incomplete closure of the eyelids contribute to DES. Women are more likely than men to have dry eye symptoms possibly due to hormone fluctuations.

Eye surgery contributes to dry eye syndrome, especially LASIK surgery. When the corneal flap is created in LASIK, the corneal nerves are severed. This prevents the “message” that the eyes are dry from being transmitted to the brain; therefore, tears are not produced in sufficient quantities to keep the eyes well lubricated and healthy. In cataract surgery, there is a disruption of the nerve fibers at the incision site as well as exposure of the cornea allowing some evaporation of tears to occur despite the use of drops and gel during the surgical procedure. All surgery patients are instructed to use artificial tear drops and artificial tear gel for an extended time period postoperatively.

There are various treatment modalities to treat DES. The first line of defense is to use artificial tears in drop and/or gel forms. Nutritional supplements, specifically omega three fatty acids, taken by mouth may be used in conjunction with drops. For additional therapies, punctual occlusion (punctum plugs or cautery) may be advised and prescription medications, as well as the use of cool mist humidifiers may be recommended by the doctor.

LipiFlow® from Tear Science
New Treatment Option for Evaporative Dry Eye

LipiFlow is a new procedure designed to treat blocked meibomian glands, MGD. These glands, located in your lids, produce the lipid layer of the tears. If your meibomian glands are blocked, the watery layer of the tears will evaporate causing dry eyes. Opening and clearing these blocked glands can allow them to resume natural production of lipids needed for a healthy tear film.