If you answered yes, you most likely have "Dry Eye Disease".
What is Dry Eye Disease?
Dry eye is a chronic condition that occurs when your tears aren't able to provide adequate lubrication for your eyes. Your tear film is important for keeping the eye moist. If the eye stops producing enough tears or if the tears evaporate too quickly, this can cause dry, gritty and irritated eyes.
The most common type of dry eyes is "Meibomian Gland Dysfunction" (MGD), which accounts for 80% of all dry eye problems. Meibomian glands are oil glands found on the eyelid that secrete oil into the tearfilm to stabilise the tear film to keep the surface moist and hydrated. However, the oil secreted can become thick, cloudy and gluggy so much so that the glands can become blocked. When the glands become blocked the build up of oil in the tear film cause the tears to evaporate quicker, causing dry eyes. In severe MGD the glands become atrophic (death of the glands) and there is no way for the oil glands to grow back and restore its function.
Another common cause of dry eyes is Blepharitis, which is infection or inflammation of the eyelid margin. This condition usually causes gritty, crusty and gunky debris on the eyelid and eyelashes. The bacteria built up on the eyelids release toxins into the tear film that cause the burning and stinging sensation in dry eyes.
Another known cause of dry eyes is Aqueous Tear Deficiency, which results in dryness due to reduced tear secretion by the lacrimal gland. The lacrimal gland is responsible for creating the tears, but if it is unable to create an adequate volume of tears, there is simply not enough tears to keep the eye hydrated. This type of dry eye typically occurs in elderly patients or patients with Sjögren's syndrome, and they usually have severe dry eye symptoms.
Other causes of dry eye include:
Contact lens wear as contact lenses can alter tear film stability meaning the tears evaporate quicker
Medical conditions such as arthritis, thyroid problems as these conditions can alter tear production
Certain medications can cause dry eye including the contraceptive pill and Roaccutane
Age plays a large factor as the level of tear production decreases as we get older
Hormonal changes in pregnancy and menopause can reduce tear production
Lifestyle factors such as increased screen time on digital devices reduce our blink rate by 50% which means we don't rewet our eyes as regularly
What is the Treatment?
Our practice offers Gold Coast's firstRexon-Eye machine, the newest dry eye innovation that uses electric stimulation to treat dry eye and meibomian gland dysfunction. Rexon-Eye uses the innovative patented Quantum Molecular Resonance (QMR) to stimulate the tear producing lacrimal gland and oil producing meibomian glands with a low power but high-frequency electric therapy treatment. The treatment is capable of stimulating the metabolism and natural regeneration of cells which allows the lacrimal glands to produce more tears and the meibomian glands to produce more oil to keep the tear film healthy and hydrated. The Rexon-Eye Dry Eye Treatment provides great relief for many dry eye patients.
We also offer E-Eye IPLmachine to treat Meibomian Gland Dysfunction which is the most common cause of dry eye disease. It generates Intense Regulated Pulsed Light by producing perfectly calibrated and homogeneously sequenced light pulses. The sculpted pulses are delivered under the shape of a train of pulses. The energy, spectrum and time period are precisely set to stimulate the meibomian glands in order for them to return their normal function.
We have other effective ways to manage dry eye disease and reduce the discomfort and inconvenience it often causes. Dry eye disease is a progressive disease, so early diagnosis and treatment is important to maintain the health of your meibomian and lacrimal glands, otherwise your dry eyes will get worse with age.
Below are the dry eye services we offer at our Dry Eye Clinic:
Dry Eye Assessment, Management and Treatment
Corneal Topography (assessment of tear film quality)
Meibography (assessment of meibomian gland atrophy)
Tear Evaporation Testing
Tear Volume Testing
Tear Lubrication Testing
Eye Redness Testing
Blepharitis Management and Treatment
Meibomian Gland Disease (MGD) Management and Treatment
Red Eye Management
Foreign Body Removal
Below are the dry eye treatments we offer at our Dry Eye Clinic: