Dry Eye

What Is Dry Eye?

Dry eye is an ocular surface dysfunction that affects millions of people in the United States and is a condition where the eye lacks sufficient lubrication. This could be due to a low quantity of tear production or a breakdown in the quality of the tear itself. As we age (typically around the age of 50), the risk of developing dry eye increases. Research shows that women have a higher chance of experiencing dry eye compared with men especially if they experience hormonal changes due to pregnancy, using birth control pills or reaching menopause. If left untreated, dry eye can affect vision and often leads to discomfort due to itchy, scratchy, burning, and sore eyes. Dry eyes also affect diagnostic equipment needed for the planning of cataract surgery or laser vision correction.

What Are The Symptoms of Dry Eye?

Symptoms of dry eye include:

  • Stinging, burning or scratchy sensation in your eyes
  • Aching eyes
  • Heavy eyes
  • Fatigued eyes
  • Sore eyes
  • Dryness sensation
  • Red eyes
  • Light sensitivity
  • Blurry vision
  • Watery eyes (your body produces more tears due to low tear quality or an insufficient amount)
  • Difficulty wearing contact lenses

Tear film layers

The tear film has three distinct layers: the lipid (oil) layer, the aqueous (water) layer and the mucous layer. Each layer serves an important function in maintaining the quality of the tear and lubricating the eye.

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Not All Tears Are Equal

Your body produces three types of tears:

  1. Basal Tears – tears that lubricate the eye and help to keep it clean and clear.
  2. Reflex Tears – tears that flush out irritants on the eye such as those caused by fumes from an onion or other powerful fragrances.
  3. Emotional Tears – tears from experiencing a highly emotional situation such as sadness, happiness, or anger.

How Can Dry Eye Be Treated?

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The good news is that ocular surface dysfunctions like dry eye is treatable. Price Vision Group offers a variety of dry eye treatments to give the best possible outcome for our patients. Treatments include artificial tears to help increase eye lubrication, prescription eye drops, eyelid cleansers, and advanced treatment options such as Intense Pulsed Light therapy and TrueTear®.

Dry Eye Treatment Options

Artificial Tears

A common treatment for moderate dry eye, artificial tears are eye drops that help provide additional lubrication to the surface of the eye and are typically used on an “as-needed” basis. Artificial tears do not require a prescription and are available in two main categories: preserved and preservative-free.

  • Eyedrops with preservatives. These eye drops are sold in the familiar multidose bottle shape. They contain preservatives that help prevent the growth of bacteria once the bottle has been opened but may cause eye irritation for some users.
  • Preservative-free eyedrops. These eyedrops typically come in single-dose vials and contain fewer additives that could potentially irritate the eyes.

Prescription Eye Drops

Prescription eyedrops can be used as a more effective dry eye treatment option or in addition to the use of artificial tears. The eye drops contain ingredients that not only aim to reduce inflammation associated with signs and symptoms of dry eye but also help your body produce more natural tears. Unlike artificial tears, prescription eye drops are to be used on a treatment schedule so the full benefits will not be experienced until after several months of regular use.

Eyelid Cleansers

There are approximately 45-70 meibomian glands on your upper and lower eyelids that secrete oils to coat the surface of your eye. Meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD) is the leading cause of dry eye syndrome and is a condition where a blockage occurs in these glands and in turn causes a lower-quality tear film that evaporates quickly. This blockage can also lead to inflammation of the eyelids known as blepharitis. Specially designed eyelid cleansers help unclog the glands and reduce the inflammation of the eyelids.

Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) Therapy

Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) therapy is another treatment option for MGD. Using specific wavelengths of light directed on the eyelid region, IPL therapy helps close abnormal blood vessels and dilate the meibomian glands.

Click Here to Learn About Intense Pulsed Light Therapy for Dry Eye

What Are The Next Steps?

Dry eye is a treatable condition and we can help! Please call (317) 844-5530 or click on the button below to schedule an appointment to meet with one of our dry eye specialists so we can create a treatment plan that is best for you.

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Price Vision Group is a global leader in corneal transplant, cataract surgery, keratoconus treatment, PRK and LASIK. At our center in Indianapolis, we see patients from Indiana cities including Zionsville, Fishers, Carmel, Noblesville, Avon, and Greenwood, as well as people who travel from across the U.S. and even abroad for treatment by our renowned physicians.

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