Dry eye treatment in Denver and Lone Tree is one of the services offered by the Dry Eye Center of Margolis Vision. Margolis Vision is proud to be one of the few Accredited Dry Eye Centers in Denver. The office facility offers Tearlab technology. Through this advanced technology, we can precisely identify and track the daily progress of your dry eye treatment every step of the way.
What is Dry Eye?
Dry eye syndrome is a common disorder of the normal tear film. A thin film of tears coat our eyes for a normal optimal vision that is comfortable. Without this dry eye can result. Dry is happens because tear production is decreased, evaporation of tears is increased, or if there is an abnormality in the production of mucus or lipids normally found in the tear layer. Dry eye can also result from any combination of these effects.
Poor production in the lacrimal glands of the watery part of the tears can cause aqueous (watery) tear deficiency. Also, excessive evaporation of the watery tear layer can cause this deficiency. Contributing factors for the poor production of tears may include age and hormonal changes. Various autoimmune diseases such as Sjögren’s syndrome,rheumatoid arthritis, or lupus are also considered as contributing factors. Evaporative loss of the watery tear layer is a result usually of an insufficient overlying lipid layer.
What are the symptoms of Dry Eye?
A person with dry eye syndrome may experience either one or all of these feeling to their eyes: Dryness, gritty or scratchy, filmy feeling, burning or itching sensation, redness of the eyes or conjunctivitis, blurred vision, foreign body sensation and light sensitivity.
The symptoms may worsen in climates that are dry or windy with lower humidity and higher temperatures. Prolonged use of the eyes like reading and watching a TV may also worsen the symptoms.
Dry eye syndrome can also happen to a person who is producing excessive tears. When the eyes become slightly dry and irritated and are not getting enough lubrication, it may send a signal to the nervous system for more lubrication. The eye may also initiate a reflex of producing a large amount of tears in a single time to help itself moisten. Unfortunately, our eyes have a limited capacity to handle a large amount of tears at one time and as a result the excess will pour over the eyelids and towards down the cheeks. These excess tears that pour down are wasted and of no help the eye. These tears are mostly composed of water and do not have the lubricating quality of a normal tear. They will just wash out any debris but will not coat the eye surface properly. Which later on results in the eye will becoming dry and irritated and this condition will come back again. These are only emergency tears and there is a need for the eyes to regenerate protective tears, so a dry eye treatment may be necessary.
What causes Dry Eye?
There are many causes of dry eye syndrome which usually occur in people beyond the age of 65 years. The most common causes of dry eye are age, gender, medications, health or medical conditions and environmental conditions. Other factors that causes dry eye may include the prolonged use of contact lenses and refractive eye surgery like LASIK.
A decrease in tear production or an excessive tear production can cause dry eye. Instances that may decrease tear production are medicine intakes such as antidepressants, antihistamines, beta-blockers and oral contraceptives.
Excessive tear evaporation is another cause for dry eye that will happen when blinking is decreased or if the eyelids can’t be closed often. The eyes may dry out because of the tear evaporation. An example for not blinking the eyes often enough is when you are watching TV, reading or even performing a task that requires close attention with the eyes. In effect, decreased blinking of the eyes results to excessive evaporation of tears. There are health conditions that make it difficult to close the eyes such as stroke or Bell’s palsy. The eyes may become dry from the evaporation of tears or the abnormal production of mucin by the conjunctiva may occur. This can result from chemical (alkali) burns to the eye or because of different autoimmune diseases such as Stevens-Johnson syndrome and cicatricial pemphigoid. This abnormal production leads to poor spreading of the tears over the surface of the eye. The surface of the eye can dry out and even become damaged, even though more than enough watery tears may be present. Insufficient lipid layers are the result of meibomian gland dysfunction, rosacea, or the use of oral isotretinoin medication.
Meibomian glands are the oil glands in the eyelids that produce the lipid layer. If these oil glands become blocked or if the oil is too thick, there may not be enough oil to cover the watery tear layer to prevent its evaporation. In addition, if an infection is present along the eyelids or the eyelashes (called blepharitis) the bacteria may break down the oil, so there may not be enough oil. This may lead to evaporative loss of tears and dry eyes.
Inflammation in Ocular Surface Disease
Ocular Surface Disease (OSD) is a condition that affects the cornea of the eye, eyelids and tear film. Dry eye syndrome is a common and under-recognized ocular surface inflammatory disease (OSID). Inflammation of the tissue is one of the many problems with Ocular Surface Disease. It can affect the tear production and thereby decrease the quantity of normal tears or it can be an excessive tear production. These are indications of a dry eye syndrome. Inflammation associated with dry eye syndrome can lead to more serious ocular complications like an eye infection which can severely affect your eyesight. This kind of an eye condition needs to be diagnosed properly at an early stage by an eye specialist like Dr. Alan Margolis. He is fully equipped to effective diagnose, treat and care for ocular surface disease with expertise.
Please contact Margolis Vision today to schedule a dry eye treatment consultation. Dr. Alan Margolis serves patients in Lone Tree, Castle Rock, and throughout the Denver metropolitan area.