What is Dry Eye?
Dry Eye is a common disease affecting vision quality and eye comfort.
Symptoms of Dry Eye can vary widely from patient to patient. People with Dry Eye may experience one or more of the following symptoms:
- Dry, gritty, or itchy sensation
- Light sensitivity
- Visual fluctuation
- Watery eyes
At our clinic, we use a number of different technologies to determine whether you may be experiencing Dry Eye and to better understand your symptoms. Dry Eye is a serious condition that can dramatically affect your vision and your eye health.
What causes Dry Eye?
Dry eye can be influenced by a number of factors related to environment and health that determine tear quality.
Tears have 3 layers:
- a mucus layer
- an aqueous (watery) layer
- a lipid (oily) layer
If there’s an imbalance in these layers, your vision and comfort of your eyes may be affected. For example, if not enough lipid layer is being produced, tears may evaporate too quickly and cause symptoms ranging from discomfort to extra tear production and poor quality of vision.
Poor tear quality is often caused by Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD), a condition that impacts the production of oils in your tears. The most common form of MGD is obstruction of the oil producing glands in the eyelids. At Nittany Eye Associates, we will test your tear quality to determine whether MGD is contributing to or causing your dry eye symptoms and create a customized treatment plan to address it.
How do we treat Dry Eye?
Each case of Dry Eye is unique. We consider the factors causing your dry eye as well as your tear quality to develop a custom dry eye treatment plan. Management considerations for Dry Eye include artificial tears/lubricant drops which provide short-term relief of symptoms. Other options include prescription anti-inflammatory drops and in-office obstruction removal with medical devices like The TearCare® System.
Craig JP, Nichols KK, Akpek EK, et al. TFOS DEWS II Definition and Classification Report. Ocul Surf. 2017;15(3):276-283. doi:10.1016/j.jtos.2017.05.008
What is TearCare®?
TearCare® is an innovative Dry Eye procedure that targets the blocked meibomian glands in your eyelids that produce oils to keep your tears healthy. When these glands become blocked or have reduced function, your tears may evaporate more quickly. Unblocking these glands with The TearCare® System can help restore their function and stabilize the tear film. This may improve the quality of tears and reduce symptoms like dryness, gritty or scratchy sensations, blurry vision, and watery eyes.
At your appointment, we will determine whether your dry eye symptoms are caused by Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD) and would benefit from the use of The TearCare® System.