Center For Sight in Fort Myers | Optometrist | Cataract Surgery

Dry Eye Disease

Approximately 12 million Americans suffer from a disease called dry eye syndrome. Dry eye syndrome is a chronic lack of sufficient lubrication and moisture in the eye. Its consequences range from vision fluctuation, subtle but consistent irritation to ocular inflammation of the anterior tissues of the eye. The condition is one of the most common disorders among people over 40. In fact, 20% of all adults have some degree of dry eye syndrome and women past menopause are especially susceptible.

For some people, the stinging, burning and redness may seem like little more than a nuisance. But, if left untreated, dry eye syndrome can lead to serious eye problems, including blindness. Dry eyes are inflamed eyes. Inflammation of the front surface of the eye increases the risk of infection and can also lead to scarring. Once scarring occurs, permanent loss of sight can occur.

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Your Meibomian glands are located in your eyelids, where they secrete an oily fluid that enhances your tear film and slows the evaporation of your tears. This allows the tears to keep your cornea well lubricated for smooth and clear vision.

When the Meibomian glands are either blocked or don’t function optimally, the lipid (fatty) layer of your tear film isn’t rich enough to maintain lasting moisture on your eyes. In addition to the rapid evaporation of tears, there is also greater friction between the cornea and eyelids. This is what causes dry eye symptoms.

Eye care professionals estimate that approximately 86% of patients diagnosed with dry eye symptoms have a poor quality tear film due to Meibomian Gland Dysfunction. Unfortunately,  MGD is chronic and progressive; when left untreated, the symptoms generally worsen.

  • Older people and women
  • Those with autoimmune diseases (Sjogrens syndrome)
  • Those taking medications including diuretics, beta-blockers, antihistamines, and antidepressants.
  • Patients with thyroid disease and diabetes
  • Prolonged screen time
  • Contact lens wear or eye surgery (LASIK)

Center For Sight is the leader in bringing our patients the latest advances for the treatment of glaucoma. While there is no cure for the disorder, effective treatments are available that can control the pressure within the eye and prevent vision loss.

  • Medications – A variety of different eye drops and oral medications are used to control glaucoma. However, some of these drugs may stop working over time, or they may cause unpleasant side effects. When a problem occurs, your physician may try a different medication or discuss other treatment options.
  • Laser therapy Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty (SLT) – Used to treat open angle glaucoma. The SLT uses short pulses of energy to target the trabecular meshwork to reduce intraocular pressure that can damage the optic nerve. SLT does not cause any scarring of the trabecular network and therefore, is a repeatable procedure.
  • Minimally Invasive Glaucoma Surgery (MIGS) – A stent (iStent) can be placed at the time of cataract surgery for those with mild to moderate glaucoma. This stent allows fluid to bypass the normal drainage system of the eye — thus lowering the pressure. There are no additional risks with the stent. More of these MIGS procedures will be available in the future and Center For Sight continues to be involved in these clinical studies.
  • Trabeculectomy – A drain is created with the patient’s own tissue to bypass the natural system. This procedure is usually reserved for patients with more advanced glaucoma disease. It is performed on an outpatient basis in one of Center For Sight’s fully accredited Surgery Centers.
  • Tube Implants – Silicone tubes are implanted around the eye to drain the fluid which helps keep the pressure down.

Dry Eye Treatment Options

Treatment options range from prescription eye drops to lifestyle changes, and all have the goal of increasing the visual ability of the eye while promoting eye comfort.

The optometrists and ophthalmologists at Center for Sight in Naples, FL, are able to detect dry eye during your exam and develop personalized treatment plans based on your symptoms.

Center For Sight offers a variety of products for the treatment of Dry Eye Diseases:

  • Artificial tears:  Retaine MGD, TheraTears Dry Eye Therapy
  • Warm compress Mask: Bruder Moist Heat Eye Compress & D.E.R.M.® For Mild Dry Eye Relief
  • Lidscrubs and foam cleaners from Blephadex and TheraTears
  • Retaine PM nighttime ointment
  • Punctal plugs done in the office by doctor or technician
  • TheraTears Eye Nutrition Omega-3 oral supplement

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