Dry eye disease is on the rise, especially in Colorado. In fact, people of all ages are now suffering from dry eye disease, even children and young adults.
As a chronic condition, dry eye disease often has no symptoms at first but eventually leads to irreversible ocular surface irregularities, inflammatory tissue destruction, and permanence of symptoms. Symptoms of dry eye disease include frequent watery teariness, eye redness, sandiness, grittiness, burning, stinging, fluctuating unstable vision, and eye strain.
The causes of dry eye disease are often multifactorial with overlapping factors including Meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD), computer vision syndrome, incomplete blink, contact lens overwear, medications, and systemic disease.
Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD) and Dry Eye Disease
MGD is the most common cause of dry eye disease. Meibomian glands live along the eyelid margins and produce the oily lipid layer of the tear film, which prevents evaporation of the aqueous (watery) layer underneath. Chronic evaporation of the tear film leads to inflammatory ocular surface disease and increased risk for eye infection.
Furthermore, chronic MGD also leads to irreversible destruction of the Meibomian glands themselves. In fact, people most at risk are contact lens overwearers, heavy computer users, and those suffering from systemic disease like diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, Lupus, and Sjogren’s. Such risk factors cause Meibomian glands to become obstructed over time, leading to lack of oil secretion, gland congestion, and permanent structural and functional loss.
Meibomian glands do not regenerate. Once they are destroyed from chronic MGD, they are gone for good. The severity of Meibomian gland loss is screened and diagnosed during routine comprehensive exams at Vision Care Specialists. Early diagnosis and treatment is key to preventing further progressive irreversible loss of Meibomian glands and permanence of evaporative dry eye disease.
LipiFlow Can Restore Function and Prevent Irreversible Loss of Meibomian Glands
LipiFlow thermal pulsation system is the only FDA approved procedure proven effective for treating MGD at the source and stopping further Meibomian gland loss.
LipiFlow is a simple painless 12 minute in-office procedure that gently removes years of obstructive matter trapped deep within the Meibomian orifices of both upper and lower eyelids simultaneously. Once the obstructive matter is removed, oil flow is restored, and your body’s natural ability to produce a balanced tear film is improved.
While the main purpose of LipiFlow is to restore oil flow and prevent further loss of Meibomian glands, studies show that 86% of patients who already experience dry eye symptoms found relief and less dependence on eye drops after one LipiFlow treatment.
Do You Suspect You Might Have MGD?
If you already suffer from dry eye symptoms, you may have MGD and other forms of dry eye disease that will benefit from medical treatment.
Vision Care Specialists is proud to provide specialty care at our Dry Eye Disease clinic for Colorado residents. If you’re struggling with dry eye symptoms with no relief in sight, we can help you. To find out more, schedule an appointment at Vision Care Specialists today.
Feature image: Alexander Raths/Shutterstock