Overview of Dry Eye Treatment

Did you know that around 300 million people globally suffer from Dry Eye Syndrome? In India, the prevalence of dry eye disease will be about 40% of the urban population by 2030. Early Diagnosis and dry eye treatment are essential.

What is Dry Eye?

Dry eye is a common condition that occurs when the eyes are unable to produce sufficient tears or there is excessive evaporation of tears. It is characterized by symptoms such as dryness, redness, irritation, and a gritty sensation in the eyes. This condition can affect people of all ages, but it is more prevalent among older individuals and those who spend significant time in environments with low humidity or air conditioning and it is common in people who work on digital devices for a long time.

Technically speaking, in dry eye, the obstruction or malfunction of the meibomian glands disrupts the normal balance of the tear film. It leads to an insufficient lipid layer. As a result, tears evaporate more quickly. This excessive evaporation of tears (which is a cause of 86% of Dry eye) is caused by the obstruction or malfunction of the Meibomian glands. This evaporation imbalance can cause dryness, discomfort, and other symptoms associated with dry eye.

What is the Tear Film in Dry Eye?

The tear film in the cornea is formed by three layers necessary for the eye’s functioning. The tear film plays a vital role in maintaining the health and comfort of the eyes. It consists of three layers: the lipid layer, aqueous layer, and mucin layer. Each layer contributes to tear stability, lubrication, and protection of the ocular surface. 

  1. A Mucuos Layer- It is in contact with the eye globe, secreted by the conjunctival mucus cells.
  2. An Aqueous Layer- It is secreted by the lacrimal glands.
  3. A Lipid Layer- It is secreted by meibomian glands.

Causes of Dryness of Eye:-

    1. Age: As we age, tear production tends to decrease, making older individuals more prone to dry eye. 
    2. Environmental factors: Dry or windy climates, exposure to air conditioning or heating systems, and excessive screen time can contribute to evaporation of tears and dryness of the eye.
    3. Other existing factors: Eye surgery, contact lens wear, and hormonal changes (such as during pregnancy or menopause) can also lead to dry eye. Air pollution and abuse of eye cosmetics also cause dry eye. 
    4. Medications: Some medications, including antihistamines, decongestants, and antidepressants, can reduce tear production in the cornea. Thus, causing dry eye.
    5. Contact Lens Wear: Wearing contact lenses can contribute to dryness due to increased evaporation and reduced oxygen flow to the eyes
    6. Eye Strain: Prolonged periods of digital device use, reading, or other activities that require focused attention can lead to decreased blinking, resulting in dry eye.

Risks Associated with Dry Eye

There are also potential risks associated with this condition. Some of the further risks of dry eye disease include:

  • Corneal Damage: Prolonged or severe dry eye disease can lead to corneal damage, which may result in corneal abrasions, ulcers, or infections. The cornea is the clear front surface of the eye, and once affected, it can affect vision and overall eye health.
  • Increased Eye Infections: Insufficient tear production and poor tear quality associated with dry eye disease can make the eyes more susceptible to infections. Bacterial or viral infections, such as conjunctivitis (pink eye), can occur more frequently in individuals with dry eyes.
  • Vision Disturbances: Dry eye disease can cause fluctuations in vision quality. Blurry vision, difficulty focusing, and sensitivity to light can affect visual clarity and may impact activities that require clear vision, such as reading or driving.

Symptoms of Dry Eye:-

  1. Dryness: The eyes may feel dry, itchy, or gritty, as if there is something foreign in the eye.
  2. Eye Redness: Redness and bloodshot appearance of the eyes can occur due to inflammation caused by insufficient lubrication.
  3. Burning or Stinging Sensation: A burning or stinging sensation in the eyes, which can be intermittent or persistent.
  4. Blurred Vision: Vision may become temporarily blurred, especially during activities that require visual focus, such as reading or using a computer.
  5. Light Sensitivity: Dry eyes can make individuals more sensitive to light, causing discomfort in bright environments or when exposed to artificial lighting.
  6. Eye Fatigue: Prolonged periods of visual concentration, such as reading or using digital devices, can lead to eye fatigue and discomfort.
  7. Difficulty Wearing Contact Lenses: Dry eye can make it challenging to wear contact lenses comfortably, leading to irritation or lens intolerance.

Who can opt for Dry-Eye Treatment?

The specific dry eye treatment that is recommended may vary depending on the underlying cause and the severity of the symptoms.

Dry eye treatment is typically recommended for people who experience irritation, redness, and blurred vision for an extended period. 

Dry eye symptoms occur mainly due to various factors, including aging, certain medications, environmental factors, and medical conditions. 

Types of treatments for Dry Eye

There are several solutions for the dry eye problem, from artificial tears (eye drops) to a modern way of therapeutic treatments. Professional Dry eye diagnosis should always be made by the Ophthalmologist with reliable tests, thus avoiding self-diagnosis at home and treatment “over the counter.” The ophthalmologist will consider several parameters and the correct treatments for each case. This includes the modern and professional assessment of dry eye. 

1.  Eye Drops: Also known as Artificial tears, or prescription eye drops that provide temporary relief by supplementing natural tears. They help lubricate the eyes, reduce dryness, and relieve discomfort.

2. Eye gels and ointments are thicker and provide longer-lasting lubrication compared to regular eye drops. Eye gels contain a higher concentration of lubricating ingredients which provide a thicker and more viscous consistency. Gels are commonly used before bedtime or in situations where longer-lasting lubrication is required.

Modern therapeutic treatments includes Dry Eye Wand, IPL laser, and Lipiflow.

3. Dry Eye Wand: It is the latest treatment modality for dry eyes which provides heat, vibration and IR to the lower kids to stimulate the meibomian glands and it provides heat and vibration to the upper lid for the same

4. Eye light (Intense Pulse Light Laser): This equipment uses two medical technologies in synergy to optimize the result.

OPE® (IPL) is a polychromatic light that, due to thermal pulses, stimulates the meibomian glands to resume normal activities. Applied to the periorbital areas and cheekbone, it stimulates the contraction of the glands, increasing the lipid stream and reducing the evaporation of tears.

LIGHT MODULATION® (LLLT) is a unique technology of photobiomodulation used for many years in various fields of medicine (dermatology, dentistry, etc.). Emitting a particular light of a specific wavelength triggers endogenous heating of the eyelids.

This treatment eases the spill from the meibomian glands of the tear film’s oily

5. Lipiflow (vectored thermal pulsation): It’s another treatment for dry eye. It, also known as vectored thermal pulsation (VTP) treatment, is an advanced and effective procedure for managing dry eye, particularly those caused by meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD). It is a non-invasive in-office treatment that targets the underlying cause of dry eye by improving the function of the meibomian glands.

During a LipiFlow treatment session, a device is used to gently apply mild heat and pressure to the inner eyelids. It simultaneously provides intermittent pressure to the outer eyelids. This combination of heat and pressure helps to melt and liquefy the hardened meibum, unclogging the blocked meibomian glands and allowing the healthy flow of oil to resume. Gentle massaging of the eyelids is done for 12 minutes. It helps remove blockages from the meibomian glands and makes them function better.

Benefits of Dry Eye Treatment:

  1. Relief from symptoms: Dry eye treatment can help alleviate discomfort and improve vision.
  2. Improved Eye Health: Chronic dry eye can damage the cornea and increase the risk of damaging the eyes permanently, so an advanced dry eye treatment can help maintain overall eye health.
  3. Increased quality of life: Chronic dry eye can interfere with daily activities and reduce the quality of life, so dry eye treatment can improve your vision and enhance your sense of comfort & overall lifestyle.

Our Experience in Dry-eye Treatment

There have been numerous patients who have undergone treatment with us and have been supremely satisfied with the results. They have had a pleasant, pain-free experience. It has relieved them from their dry eyes and allowed them to be drop-free.