Managing Dry Eye Syndrome in Maryland
Your eyes rely on a certain amount of moisture to function properly. Typically, your tear glands and eyelids create tears to lubricate and clean the surface of your eyeball. In some cases, the natural tears are not adequate to sufficiently keep your eyes moist. This can be an occasional occurrence, due to environmental conditions, excessive computer use, or contact lens irritation. In other cases, this is due to dry eye syndrome.
If you suffer from dry eye syndrome, we can help. Book an appointment to talk to a doctor at Shady Grove Eye & Vision Care. We can identify why you suffer from dry eyes and develop a treatment plan.
The Reason Why of Dry Eye Syndrome
Dry eye syndrome sometimes referred to as dry eye disease, is more than just dry eyes. There are two reasons you may be suffering from dry eye disease and they are both based on your natural tears. Simply put, your tear glands are not creating enough tears or creating tears that are not good enough.
Lack of tears: your tear glands are not creating enough tears for your eyes. If they are draining faster than you are producing them, your eyes will dry out.
Poor tear quality: the tears your tear glands are producing do not have enough oil (meibum) content, meaning that the watery layer is evaporating too quickly. This makes your eyes feel dry.
Symptoms of Dry Eye Syndrome
There are many signs of dry eye syndrome. If any of these apply to you, book an appointment at our clinic.
- Burning or itching
- Watery eyes
- Foreign body sensation or grittiness
- Excess white stringy mucous
- Blurry vision
- Sensitivity to light
- Discomfort during contact lens wear
Treatment for Dry Eye Syndrome
Meibomian Gland Expression
The oil in your tears is known as meibum. The glands responsible for creating this oil are the meibomian glands in your eyelids. In some cases, these glands can become blocked by dirt or debris. In other cases, these glands are simply not producing as much oil as they should be. This is known as meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD).
At Shady Grove Eye & Vision Care, we can express these glands manually to encourage better performance. This is an effective treatment we provide in our office and can be repeated as necessary. Often, one treatment is enough but a follow-up treatment in a month can be beneficial. In more severe dry eye situations, this treatment can be administered monthly for optimal gland performance.
Lipiflow for Dry Eyes
If your meibomian glands do not respond to gland expression, another treatment option is Lipiflow. This method uses heat and pulses to warm and massage the inner and outer lid. This thermal pulsation treatment removes blockages to allow better meibum production. This is an in-office treatment that takes about 15 minutes.