Dry Eye & MGD Treatment
86% OF PATIENTS WITH DRY EYE HAVE MGD AND IT’S TREATABLE
For over 60 years, the term “Dry Eye” has been generally applied to a variety of uncomfortable eye surface problems, much in the same way the term back pain is generally used. The eye feels uncomfortable, but the cause is unknown. Dry eye symptoms have primarily been thought to be a direct result of the eye’s inability to produce the proper amount of natural tears, but we now know that is not the case for many dry eye sufferers.
Today, the leading cause of dry eye is known to be Meibomian Gland Disease (MGD) for over 86% of patients who present with symptoms, such as discomfort, redness, tearing, gritty or burning sensations and blurry vision. While MGD is chronic and progressive, if caught early, it can be effectively treated to stop the progression and maintain optimal eye health.
Signs and symptoms of dry eyes, which usually affect both eyes, may include:
- A stinging, burning or scratchy sensation in your eyes
- Stringy mucus in or around your eyes
- Increased eye irritation from smoke or wind
- Eye fatigue after short periods of reading
- Sensitivity to light
- Difficulty wearing contact lenses
- Blurred vision, often worsening at the end of the day or after visually focusing for a prolonged period on a nearby task.
UNDERSTANDING MGD, THE LEADING CAUSE OF DRY EYE
MGD occurs when the meibomian glands, located in the eyelids, do not sufficiently produce and release the oils needed to protect and maintain a healthy tear film. This causes the watery layer in the tear film to evaporate. Thus, the problem for many dry eye patients is not inadequate tear production, as thought for so many years, but a lack of oil production that ensures the protective integrity of the tear film is maintained on a daily basis.
LIPIFLOW, A PROVEN MGD TREATMENT
The only electronic FDA-cleared treatment for MGD is LipiFlow, which uses a precise application of heat to the inside of the eyelids, close to the location of the meibomian glands, and massage to outside of the eyelids.
LipiFlow uses vectored thermal pulsating eyepieces known as Activators. LipiFlow Activators are precisely designed to provide necessary inner and outer lid contact to properly apply heat and massage and evacuate the meibomian glands. The entire treatment takes approximately 12 minutes.
The clinical science behind MGD as the primary cause of dry eye and its treatment is supported by over 25 years of scientific research. Removal of the gland blockages is essential to improve gland function and reduce the progression of MGD. Over time after treatment, the meibomian glands may become blocked again because of continued evaporative stress, which is caused by infrequent blinking from modern lifestyles and leads to thickening of the gland secretions and blockage of oil production.
When the Vectored Thermal Pulse (VTPTM) LipiFlow treatment is properly applied, the heat and gentle massaging action evacuate the blockages from the glands, allowing the glands to resume oil production. You and your eye care professional can determine how often LipiFlow should be repeated based on evaluation of your gland function and structure over time.
We understand your frustration with the limitations of traditional therapies and are committed to bringing you the best technology available to treat this uncomfortable disease – so that you can enjoy the greatest possible relief.
If you suffer from any of the above symptoms from time to time you may benefit from a visit to our Dry Eye clinic.
Eye Care Associates of Nevada offers Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) Treatment for dry-eye disease, eyelid inflammation, and meibomian gland dysfunction.
IPL Treatment for Dry Eye
Introducing real relief from dry, red, fatigued eyes caused by skin and eyelid inflammation. Are you suffering from dry, red, tired or burning eyes? It may be caused by skin and eyelid inflammation. Affecting millions of Americans every year; over 85% of skin and eyelid inflammation patients also suffer from inflammatory ocular conditions, such as dry eye.
Does the need for frequent eye drop use in an attempt to control your symptoms frustrate you?
Eye Care Associates of Nevada offers a revolutionary treatment using IPL technology to eliminate the root cause of your dry, red, fatigued and burning eyes that will also help your eyes feel calm and clear – while reducing your dependency on eye drops.
How does IPL work?
IPL stands for Intense Pulsed Light, and is a light-based technology commonly used in dermatology to treat rosacea and reduce telangiectasia. IPL is now being used in ophthalmology to treat meibomian gland dysfunction and dry-eye disease.
During the procedure, a strategic level of light pulses is administered to penetrate the skin under the eye and targets the root cause of the inflammation. As the IPL treatment treats your overall skin appearance, your eyelid inflammation is treated and improved as well. IPL procedures are effective, gentle and safe.
Improves eye comfort and vision clarity
Safe and Comfortable – FDA approved
Reduces your dependency on eye drops
Treats the root cause of the problem
Quick “lunch time” treatment
During the Procedure
You may experience a warm sensation as the light is applied to your skin, but the treatment is gentle and you should not feel uncomfortable. Ultrasound jelly is applied under the eye to help soothe the skin. Each session lasts approximately 15 minutes. Depending upon the severity of your condition, an additional procedure to remove a portion of your meibomian glands, to accelerate your skin and eyelid healing process, may be recommended.
After the Procedure
Following treatment, your ophthalmologist may perform a meibomian gland expression (in this procedure, tiny “paddles” are used to compress the lower eyelid to squeeze out the contents of the meibomian glands.) The purpose of meibomian gland expression is to accelerate your skin and eyelid healing process and is optional.
You may experience some redness and discomfort in the treated areas – this will usually disappear within a few hours. Most patients are able to resume their daily activities the same day. Sunlight should be avoided for a few days following the treatment and sunscreen should be used.
For optimal results, 5 sessions are typically recommended, with 3-4 weeks in between. Maintenance treatments, usually once every 6-12 months, are also recommended for optimal long-term results.
Eye Care Associates of Nevada is pleased to offer our patients PROKERA®, a biologic corneal bandage/medical device used by eye doctors around the world to treat eye diseases such as keratitis, recurrent corneal erosion, dry eye syndrome and chemical burns. This unique treatment is safe and effective, and it is comprised of cryopreserved amniotic membrane tissue in a thermoplastic ring set. Amniotic tissue is proven to have natural therapeutic actions to help damaged eye surfaces heal faster.
PROKERA is the only FDA-cleared therapeutic device that both reduces inflammation and promotes healing.
PROKERA, from Bio-Tissue, is proven to promote fast healing of ocular surface conditions, with less pain and scarring, and less inflammation. The device is easily inserted in the doctor’s office, or may be inserted in an emergency room, hospital bedside, or in the operating room in conjunction with other procedures.
For more information on PROKERA visit www.prokerainfo.com.
Our doctor may prescribe cyclosporine (Restasis®), a medication approved by the Food and Drug Administration for chronic dry eyes. Restasis® decreases inflammation on the eye surface and helps increase production of healthy tears. Some people experience a burning sensation in their eyes when using this drug. Don’t use Restasis® if you currently have an eye infection or if you have a history of herpes viral infection of your eye.
People with mild dry eye respond well to treatment with artificial tears. Severely dry eyes require more aggressive treatment such as silicone plugs or medications. When people experience continuous irritation from dry eyes despite these treatments, our doctors may prescribe steroid drops to reduce inflammation.