Stinging, burning, and chronic visual fatigue can be symptoms of dry eye, a condition that affects many adults. In Pensacola, FL, Mills Eye + Facial Surgery offers high-tech diagnosis and treatment for dry eye syndrome, employing the newest, innovative methods. A dry eye condition is unlikely to resolve without treatment, and can sometimes lead to serious complications. With our care, you can manage symptoms and alleviate your discomfort.
What is Dry Eye Syndrome?
Moisture is essential to eye health, playing a role in preventing infection and delivering oxygen to the cornea. Lack of appropriate lubrication can cause the surface of the eye to become inflamed and painful. When the amount or consistency of tears is inadequate, dry eye symptoms can result.
Symptoms of dry eye may include:
- Stinging or burning pain
- Feeling an irritating object is in the eye
- Episodes of excess tearing
- Occasional blurred vision
- Eye fatigue and redness
- Stringy discharge
- Heavy eyelids
- Lack of tears when crying
If left untreated, chronic dry eye syndrome can potentially lead to ocular ulcers or corneal scarring. There may also be some loss of vision, though permanent vision loss is not common.
Causes of Dry Eye
In more than 80 percent of patients with dry eye, Meibomian Gland Disease (MGD) is the cause. Located underneath the eyelids, these glands secrete a protective oil for your eyes, but a blockage or other damage can limit the flow. Lack of lubricating oil causes your tear film to evaporate too quickly, leaving the eye surface exposed.
In other cases, dry eye can stem from the lacrimal glands, which fail to produce enough moisture. Contact lens wearers especially may experience discomfort with dry eye, as do those whose activities require extended, close visual attention, such as computer work. Cold, dry, temperatures or air conditioning will tend to exacerbate symptoms.
Dry Eye Diagnosis and Treatment
Mills Eye + Facial Surgery offers a clinic equipped with the newest diagnostic and treatment tools for dry eye. The LipiView® and LipiFlow® system allow our doctors to quickly diagnose and treat dry eye. Studies show many patients can experience symptom relief within two weeks with these methods, and 79 percent can see noticeable improvement in four weeks.
LipiView® uses a digital camera and computer program to help detect signs of atrophy or lipid deficiency in the glands and tear film of the eye. This machine requires a painless, 5-minute procedure that simply involves looking into the camera and blinking normally. If you are diagnosed with dry eye, Dr. David Mills can use the data to determine the appropriate course of treatment.
Do not ignore uncomfortable symptoms of dry eye when you can find reliable relief at Mills Eye + Facial Surgery clinic.
LipiFlow® is a 20-minute MGD treatment that uses heat and gentle massaging action to open blocked meibomian glands. A mechanized eyepiece placed over the closed eyelid performs the targeted massage, which is a comfortable, even enjoyable experience. Once the glands are opened, natural tear production can resume, bathing your eye in soothing moisture. The effects of this treatment can last for years, and greatly extends the wear time and comfort of contacts for wearers.
For patients with tear-deficient dry eye, prescription RESTASIS® is an effective medication. Administered with daily eye drops, this emulsion therapy increases the eyes’ natural ability to make tears.
Relieve Painful Symptoms
Do not ignore uncomfortable symptoms of dry eye when you can find reliable relief at our clinic. Please contact us today to schedule an appointment.