What is Dry Eye?
Dry eye is a very common condition in with the eyes are not sufficiently lubricated. This leads to itching, redness, and pain. Eyes can become dry if the tear ducts are not producing enough tears or if there is a chemical imbalance in the tears. It is important to alleviate the symptoms of dry eye. If untreated, dry eyes have the potential to damage vision. Dry eye can be diagnosed after a comprehensive eye exam at Jacksonville Eye Center.
Dry Eye Symptoms
Dry eye related discomfort is one of the most frequent complaints heard by eye doctors. The symptoms of dry eyes are varied and the list below is by no means all-inclusive, however, patients that suffer from dry eyes usually experience a number of the following symptoms.
- Blurred Vision
- Foreign body sensation
- Burning sensation
- Sandy/gritty sensation
What Causes Dry Eye Syndrome?
Dry eye syndrome, often referred to as keratitis sicca or keratoconjunctivitis sicca, is caused by insufficient and/or poor quality tears. There are three main components of human tears. Most human tears are produced by the lacrimal gland. The oily component of tears is produced by the meibomian glands and the third component, the goblet cells, keeps all of the components mixed up. When one of the parts of this mixture becomes unbalanced, dry eye syndrome can occur. There are numerous reasons as to why these glands may not be doing their part.
Insufficient tear production and/or poor tear quality are the most common causes of dry eye syndrome. Inflammation of the lacrimal gland is the most common cause of insufficient tear volume. Meibomian gland dysfunction, inflammation of the glands at the eyelid margin, contributes to poor tear quality. Medications can also cause ocular dryness. Hormonal changes also contribute to insufficient and poor quality tears.
What Our Patients Say
“Dr. Schnipper and his entire staff are a most courteous and professional group of people. You are always greeted with a smile and knowledgeable answer to any questions you may have. I travel from out of state because to me they are the best around! He has been my opthomologist for 20 plus years and I highly recommend him for any and all of your vision needs!” – Erma B.
“Dr. Schnipper and staff were very professional and went above and beyond what you would normally expect…considering that I was not the most cooperative patient…he did an excellent job. He is the best of the best….5 Stars” – Richard W.
DRY EYE Treatment Options
There are many treatment options for dry eye syndrome. When you have your comprehensive eye exam at Jacksonville Eye Center, either Dr. Schnipper or Dr. Brown will guide you in choosing the best treatment option for your condition.
Artificial tears containing active ingredients such as carboxymethylcellulose, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, glycerin, castor oil, polyethyline glycol or polyvinyl alcohol are used in mild cases of dry eyes. Not all artificial tear brands work the same or work in all patients. More severe case require additional treatment. If you find yourself using your artificial tears three or more times a day you should use a preservative-free tear. Most patients find that artificial tears do help, however, the effect is only temporary, lasting only 10-15 minutes. Most of these patients will experience significant relief with punctual occlusion.
The puncta is the small opening found on the edge of the upper and lower eyelids next to the nose. Tears drain out of the eye through the puncta into the nose, this is why your nose runs when you cry. If you aren’t producing enough tears then you don’t want the tears that you are producing to be drained away. Punctal occlusion is a painless treatment option that is performed in the office, taking only a couple of minutes.
The MiBoFlo Thermoflo®
The MiBoFlo Thermoflo® is a therapeutic device providing an alternative therapy for dry eyes. It uses a proprietary thermoelectric heat pump to help maximize liquefaction of meibum, thus improving the preservation and function of the evaporative component of the tear film. This therapy is aimed at improving the function of the meibomian component of the tear film.
The thermo control operates within a plus or minus 3% variance to maintain an effective treatment temperature of 108 degrees. The MiBoFlo has an adjustable timer allowing for the versatility to treat various levels of dry eye.
The MiBoFlo device is constructed from quality components and manufactured in the U.S.
Schedule a Consultation
If you suffer from dry eye and would like to learn more about your treatment options, contact Jacksonville Eye Center. Call our office today at 904-355-5555 to schedule a consultation. Our practice serves Jacksonville, Florida and surrounding areas.