Offering the Latest in Dry Eye Care
The first and only doctor eyelid cleaning procedure to help maintain clean and healthy lids. BlephEx® uses a soft rotating medical grade micro-sponge along the edge of your eyelids and lashes. This procedure removes excess bacteria, biofilm and bacterial toxins, which are the main causes of eyelid symptoms. The procedure lasts about 6 – 8 minutes and most patients simply report a tickling sensation.
Dry Eye and Lid Margin Disease
Your eyes constantly produce tears at a slow and steady rate so that they stay moist and comfortable. Some people are not able to produce enough tears or the appropriate quality of tears to keep their eyes healthy or comfortable. This condition is known as dry eye.
Symptoms of dry eye include scratchiness, stinging, stringy mucus in or around the eyes, and blurry vision.
Sometimes people with dry eye will experience excess tearing. This is the eye’s response to the discomfort from dry eye. When the eyes get irritated, the gland that makes tears releases a larger than usual volume of tears, which overwhelms the tear drainage system. These excess tears then overflow from your eyes.
Dry eye often increases with age as tear production slows. For women, this is especially true after menopause.
Dry eye can be associated with other problems like Sjögren’s syndrome, which can cause dry eyes along with dry mouth and arthritis.
Your optometrist or ophthalmologist can usually diagnose dry eye by examining your eyes. Sometimes tests that measure tear production are necessary. The Schirmer tear test measures tear production by placing filter-paper strips between your eyeball and your lower lid. Your eye doctor might also test you for dry eye using diagnostic drops to check for patterns of dryness on the eye’s surface. Other valuable tests in dry eye diagnosis include measuring the salt content of the tears and checking for inflammation in the tear film.
Treatments for dry eye include eyedrops called artificial tears to lubricate the eyes and help maintain moisture. Your eye care professional may conserve your tears by closing the channels through which your tears drain. You can also try to prevent tears from evaporating by avoiding wind and dry air from overheated rooms and hair dryers. Smoking irritates dry eyes and should be avoided.
In less developed countries, dry eye due to a lack of vitamin A in the diet is not uncommon. Ointments with vitamin A can help dry eye caused by unusual conditions like Stevens-Johnson syndrome or pemphigoid.
Often times, dry eye patients have issues with oil secretion from the meibomian glands in their eyelids. The doctors at Tucson Eye Care can treat this with an in-office procedure called LipiFlow®.
Lid Margin Disease
Lid margin disease is a common and frequently chronic inflammation of the eyelids. Symptoms include irritation, itching, and, occasionally, a red eye. This condition frequently occurs in people who tend to have oily skin, dandruff, or dry eyes.
Bacteria and mites normally reside on the skin, but in some people, they thrive in the skin at the base of the eyelashes. Nearby oil glands may be overactive, causing dandruff-like scales and particles to form along the lashes and eyelid margins, which can cause redness, stinging, or burning.
Lid margin disease cannot be cured, but it can be controlled with a few simple, daily hygienic measures, as recommended by your eye doctor. This may include the use of an eyelid cleanser, warm compresses and/or an in-office procedure called Blephex®.
When medications are necessary, they may include:
- artificial tears (over-the-counter eyedrops) to relieve symptoms of dry eye;
- antibiotics (oral or topical) to decrease bacteria on the eyelids; and
- steroids (short-term), to decrease inflammation.
Medications alone are not sufficient to control lid margin disease; the application of warmth and detailed cleansing of the lashes daily is the key.
Allergies and The Eyes
Approximately 22 million people in the United States suffer from seasonal itchy, swollen, red eyes. Airborne allergens, such as house dust, animal dander, and mold, constantly bombard the eyes and can cause ocular allergies at any time. But when spring rolls around and the plant pollen starts flying, it seems as if almost everyone starts crying.
Seasonal allergic conjunctivitis, or hay fever, is the most common allergic eye problem. Various antihistamine and decongestant eye drops and sprays can soothe your irritated eyes and nose.
Make every effort to avoid allergens. An allergist can help determine what you are allergic to so you can stay away from it. Staying away from outdoor pollen may be impossible, but remaining indoors in the morning when the outdoor pollen levels are highest may help control symptoms. If you are allergic to house dust, open the windows and keep household filters clean.
Applying cool compresses to the eyes helps decrease swelling and itching. Artificial tears dilute the allergens and form a protective barrier over the surface of the eye. Avoid rubbing the eyes, which makes symptoms worse.
If seasonal allergic conjunctivitis is a problem, see an optometrist or ophthalmologist. Your eye doctor can prescribe several safe and effective anti-allergy drops. In some cases, oral medications are needed. Your eye care professional can also make sure that your symptoms are not being caused by a more serious problem.
Tucson Eye Care
4709 E Camp Lowell Dr.
Tucson, AZ 85712
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Camp Lowell Surgery Center
4620 E Camp Lowell Dr.
Tucson, AZ 85712
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