Dry Eye Diagnosis and Treatment
Dry eye syndrome is a common condition that affects many people, often without their knowledge. But for the sake of optimal eye health, it is important to give dry eye proper attention and treatment if necessary. At Accent Vision Care, our doctors can diagnose dry eye syndrome and offer solutions for effective treatment tailored to your unique eye health needs.
What Is Dry Eye?
When a person is unable to produce enough lubrication for their eyes due to lack of quality tears, dry eye occurs. Dry eye typically affects both eyes, not just one, and if left untreated, this condition can result in a higher risk of infections. It can even damage your eye’s surface, leading to potential problems in the future.
Dry eye syndrome can be the result of many factors including diet, medication use, hormonal changes, age, and the environment. A variety of treatment options are available for dry eye, leading to less discomfort and an improved quality of life.
Do You Need Dry Eye Treatment?
Due to lack of awareness about dry eye syndrome and available treatments, many people who struggle with dry eye do not realize they have a problem. You may benefit from dry eye treatment if you are experiencing the following symptoms:
- Blurry vision
- Burning eyes
- Red or bloodshot eyes
- Feeling like something scratchy is stuck in your eye
- Experiencing discomfort when wearing contact lenses
- Recurring irritation that causes teary or watery eyes
- Stringy mucus surrounding your eyes
If you suspect you are experiencing dry eye, our qualified team of optometrists at Accent Vision Care are here to help you find solutions.
How Is Dry Eye Diagnosed?
The first step to diagnosing dry eye is to undergo a comprehensive eye exam, at which time your doctor will gain a complete understanding of your eye health. If dry eye is suspected, your doctor will also perform other tests to rule out other possible causes. Diagnostic tests for dry eye include the following:
Oculus Keratograph 5M with Crystal Tear Report Technology
The OCULUS Keratograph is an advanced corneal topographer with a built-in keratometer, and a color camera optimized for external imaging. This technology allows us to carry out a comprehensive analysis using the measurement results for your diagnosis.
The TearLab Osmolarity System
The TearLab Osmolarity System* is intended to measure the osmolarity of human tears to aid in the diagnosis of dry eye disease in patients suspected of having dry eye disease, in conjunction with other methods of clinical evaluation.
Tear Meniscus Height
This test uses an image to determine your tear volume that is distributed across the surface of your eye when you blink. The height of the tear meniscus is the quantity of tears that are physically sitting on the eye, and it can be precisely measured with an integrated ruler and various magnification options.
Non-Invasive Keratograph Break Up Time
This is a video measuring how quickly your tear film evaporates after you blink. The tear film break-up time is measured non-invasively and fully automatically. Its infrared illumination is not visible to the human eye and prevents glare during the exam.
Tearfilm• Dynamic Video
We use this test to evaluate the amount of debris being distributed across your tear film when you blink. The video recording enables the observation of the tear film flow, from which conclusions can be drawn regarding the debris and the viscosity of the tear film can be drawn.
Lipid Layer Video
We use this test to determine if the oils that sit on the top of your tear film are healthy or need treatment to get them to a healthy point.
We take an image of your eyes to document exactly how red your eyes are.
Conjunctival redness used to be assessed subjectively and depended on the examiner. The R-Scan is the first module that automatically and objectively documents and classifies the bulbar and limbal degree of redness. It detects the blood vessels in the conjunctiva and evaluates the degree of redness.
Inferior Lash and Lid Margins and Superior Lash and Lid Margin
This test Is an image the doctor uses to assess your meibomian glands and the cleanliness of your lash bases on your top and bottom lids.
Corneal and Conjunctival Stain with Flouress:
We use a drop that will highlight the front surface of your eyes and any “dry spots” you may have.
Partial Blink Video
We capture a video to enable your doctor to assess how often you do not complete a full blink, which leaves a percentage of your eye exposed.
Meibomian Gland Imaging
We look at the glands in your eyelids that produce the oils needed to keep the tear film from evaporating from the front surface of your eyes. Meibomian gland dysfunction is the most frequent cause of dry eye. This test will enable your doctor to determine if meibomian gland dysfunction is the cause of your dry eye, and the severity of the dysfunction.
Once your doctor has gained a better picture of your condition, they will determine next steps to begin treatment and get you well on your way to relieving your symptoms.
What Are the Treatment Options for Dry Eye?
Depending on your individual needs, treatment can range from ongoing to infrequent. If an individual has serious damage to the surface of their eye, that may require more specific attention. Everyone’s experience with dry eye is different due to these variables. At Accent Vision Care, we will help you find the best path forward.
OptiLight – Intense Pulsed Light Therapy
Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) therapy has been in use by dermatologists for decades to treat rosacea, but now, it’s also a revolutionary and highly effective treatment for chronic dry eye and meibomian gland dysfunction.
At Accent Vision Care, we use the first and only FDA approved Intense Pulsed Light therapy for the treatment of dry eye: OptiLight.
During an OptiLight IPL treatment, the gentle heat generated by the wavelengths of light releases oils that have become hardened and have clogged the meibomian glands so that the blockages are removed which cause chronic dry eye symptoms and improves the quality of the tears.
We place shields over the eyes to protect them from the wavelengths of light. After placing the shields over the eyes, a cooling gel is applied to the treatment area and a small device painlessly administers the light to the area around the eyelids which will break up the clogged buildup.
Each OptiLight IPL session takes about 15 minutes, and patients experience reduced inflammation, healthier meibomian glands, and improved tear break-up time in as little as 4 sessions. Learn more about OptiLight here.
Dry Eye Diagnosis and Treatment at Accent Vision Care
Our doctors modify dry eye treatment for every patient’s specific needs with the goal of minimizing dryness and discomfort while promoting optimal eye health. If you are interested in learning more about dry eye diagnosis and treatment, please contact our office to schedule an exam today.