Affecting up to 50% of the population, Dry Eye Disease results in symptoms including blurred vision, eye fatigue, sensitivity to bright light, gritty, watery, red eyes and discomfort with contact lens wear. It results from an inadequacy in the complex tear layer on the surface of the eye. The tear film provides a number of important functions including helping to maintain clear vision (being the first layer that light hits when entering the eye), providing lubrication and protection for the surface of the eye and the passage of the eyelids. It is made up of three main layers being the mucin layer which binds to the surface of the eye allowing it to wet properly, the aqueous/watery layer (produced by the lacrimal gland) providing the bulk of the tears and finally the protective oil/lipid layer (produced by the Meibomian glands) which spreads across the surface of the tear film and limits evaporation. As the tear film is directly exposed to air, this protective layer is essential in maintaining a healthy tear film on the surface of the eye. Dry Eye Disease results when this complex structure is out of balance, is more common in females rather than males and becomes more likely as people age.
Of the patients suffering from Dry Eye Disease, 86% have Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD) as their main cause. This results due to blockage or disruption of the oil glands in the eyelids leading to poor quality secretions on the surface of the eye. With an inadequate protective lipid layer, Evaporative Dry Eye follows with symptoms including blurred vision and discomfort. Your Optometrist can identify the cause of your dry eye's and provide advice on tailored treatments and targeted therapies to help relieve your symptoms of dry eye.
There are a number of tests that your Optometrist can perform to assess the type and severity of your Dry Eye Disease.
Once your Optometrist has assessed and determined the underlying cause of your Dry Eye Disease, they will be able to formulate a tailored treatment plan for you which may include a combination of the the following:
The LipiFlow® system treats MGD by applying a combination of targeted heat and controlled, pulsating pressure to your eyelids over a 12-minute cycle. This removes blockages and build up of the glands, allowing them to return to their normal function. The LipiFlow® activators are single-use, sterile devices that safely and comfortably deliver the treatment. Studies have shown that a single LipiFlow® treatment can provide up to 12 months relief from Dry Eye symptoms and improve comfortable contact lens wear time by an average of 4 hours. The LipiFlow system is currently available at our Fremantle Practice.
The E>Eye is an IPL device that produces highly controlled, bright and short sequenced pulses of light. These pulses are precisely engineered to stimulate the Meibomian glands in order for them to return to their normal function. E>Eye IPL is best performed following expression of the Meibomian glands. For this reason it is recommended to be used in conjunction with a LipiFlow® treatment. The E>Eye IPL treatment is currently available at our Fremantle Practice.