Dry Eye

in Charlotte and Mooresville, NC

Spectrum Eye Care’s Dry Eye Clinic:

What is Dry Eye Disease and why is it important?

Dry Eye Disease is a multifactorial condition in which a person doesn’t have enough quality tears to lubricate and nourish the eye. Tears are necessary for maintaining the health of the front surface of the eye and for providing clear vision. Dry eye is a common and often chronic problem, particularly in older adults as well as computer users.

People with dry eyes either do not produce enough tears or their tears are of a poor quality:

  • Inadequate amount of tears. Tears are produced by several glands in and around the eyelids. Tear production tends to diminish with age, with various medical conditions or as a side effect of certain medicines. Environmental conditions, such as wind and dry climates, can also decrease tear volume due to increased tear evaporation. When the normal amount of tear production decreases or tears evaporate too quickly from the eyes, symptoms of dry eye can develop.
  • Poor quality of tears. Tears are made up of three layers: oil, water and mucus. Each component protects and nourishes the front surface of the eye. A smooth oil layer helps prevent evaporation of the water layer, while the mucin layer spreads the tears evenly over the surface of the eye. If the tears evaporate too quickly or do not spread evenly over the cornea due to deficiencies with any of the three tear layers, dry eye symptoms can develop.

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Dry Eye Disease?

  • Itchy eyes
  • Red eyes
  • Foreign-body sensation
  • Fluctuating Vision
  • Blurred vision
  • Headache
  • Excessive tearing
  • Light sensitivity and glare
  • Contact Lens discomfort

What causes dry eye?

Age. Dry eyes are a part of the natural aging process. The majority of people over age 65 experience some symptoms of dry eyes.

Medications. Certain medicines, including antihistamines, decongestants, blood pressure medications and antidepressants, can reduce tear production.

Medical conditions. People with rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes and thyroid problems are more likely to have symptoms of dry eyes. Also, problems with inflammation of the eyelids (blepharitis), inflammation of the surfaces of the eye, or the inward or outward turning of eyelids can cause dry eyes to develop.

Environmental conditions. Exposure to smoke, wind and dry climates can increase tear evaporation resulting in dry eye symptoms. Failure to blink regularly, such as when staring at a computer screen for long periods of time, can also contribute to drying of the eyes.

Other factors. Long-term use of contact lenses can be a factor in the development of dry eyes. Refractive eye surgeries, such as LASIK, can decrease tear production and contribute to dry eyes.

How are dry eyes diagnosed?

Dry eyes are a part of the natural aging process. The majority of people over age 65 experience some symptoms of dry eyes.

Medications. Certain medicines, including antihistamines, decongestants, blood pressure medications and antidepressants, can reduce tear production.

Medical conditions. People with rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes and thyroid problems are more likely to have symptoms of dry eyes. Also, problems with inflammation of the eyelids (blepharitis), inflammation of the surfaces of the eye, or the inward or outward turning of eyelids can cause dry eyes to develop.

Environmental conditions. Exposure to smoke, wind and dry climates can increase tear evaporation resulting in dry eye symptoms. Failure to blink regularly, such as when staring at a computer screen for long periods of time, can also contribute to drying of the eyes.

Other factors. Long-term use of contact lenses can be a factor in the development of dry eyes. Refractive eye surgeries, such as LASIK, can decrease tear production and contribute to dry eyes.

How is Dry Eye Treated?

Treating Dry Eye Disease is dependent on the form of dry eye you have and the severity. Depending on what form of Dry Eye you are diagnosed with, our doctors may recommend any of the following:

  • Artificial Tears/ointments
  • Omega 3 Supplements
  • Warm Compresses
  • Eyelid Scrubs
  • Meibomian Gland Expression
    • iLux
  • Rx Medications
  • Scleral Contact Lenses
  • Punctal Plugs
  • Amniotic Membranes

Learn more about iLux!

Fast and Effective

With your medical professional by your side every step of the way, the iLUX® MGD treatment device incorporates the innovative Smart Tip Patient Interface to deliver treatment directly to the blocked meibomian glands. Provide real time feedback as they administer therapeutic heat and then express the oil. Now that the glands are unblocked, it will be easier for the oil to be released naturally.

Real Dry Eye Relief

The iLUX device was shown to significantly reduce dry eye symptoms such as gritty eyes and irritation.

In a clinical study, patients’ meibomian gland scores were three times better at two weeks post-treatment and four times better at four weeks, compared to baseline.

Family Eye Care in South Charlotte, Uptown Charlotte & Mooresville NC

South Charlotte: 704.543.9000 | Uptown: 704.334.4444 | Mooresville: 704.817.4600

Schedule An Appointment Today!