Dry Eye Disease
Dry Eye is a general term we use to describe eye discomfort. Dry eye syndrome occurs when decreased tear production or tear film abnormalities do not allow for adequate lubrication of the surface of your eye. Although dry eye syndrome can occur in both men and women at any age, women are most often affected. Fortunately, our staff can bring relief and healing to dry eye patients. Dr. Fischer Professional Eyecare can treat Dry Eye Syndrome, from mild to severe. Whether it’s an occasional irritant or a debilitating daily problem, we can help.
Dry Eye Disease is a progressive condition that can result in eye discomfort, dryness, changing vision through the day, and blurred vision.
What are the Signs and Symptoms of Dry Eye Disease?
Burning or stinging
Light sensitivity and glare
Decreased wear time in contact lenses or inability to wear contacts
What Causes Dry Eye?
Normally, dry eyes occur if you don't produce enough tears or if you produce poor-quality tears. This tear instability leads to inflammation and damage of the eye's surface. Your tear film has three layers: fatty oils, aqueous fluid and mucus. This combination normally keeps the surface of your eyes lubricated, smooth and clear. Problems with any of these layers can cause dry eyes.
Dry Eye Treatment Options
Drs. Springston, Troutman and Fischer uses the latest diagnostic equipment and tools to quickly and accurately pinpoint the cause and type of dry eye problem you’re suffering from. We don’t just throw any old drops at you either. We provide custom treatment plans designed to maximize the relief of your dry eye symptoms and treat the underlying cause of your discomfort.
Left untreated dry eye can lead to other more serious conditions including corneal ulcers, infection, and conjunctivitis.
The LipiFlow device works by applying warmth to the meibomian glands combined with gentle pulsating pressure to massage out the blockages and stimulate the lipids to excrete healthy, clean lipids. This combination both alleviates the immediate symptoms of dry eye disease and helps to recuperate meibomian functioning for improved long-term functioning of the meibomian glands.
Prokera is a cryopreserved amniotic membrane formed into a ring that is placed on the eye like a contact lens. It can be used for many different conditions including corneal abrasions, herpectic ulcers, recurrent corneal erosions, keratitis, chronic dry eyes and more. For this discussion we will stick with dry eyes and how the Prokera can help treat it.
The Prokera is placed in one eye at a time by your eye doctor and it can remain in your eye for one to two weeks. The length of time depends upon the severity of the dry eye. It helps your eyes through the amniotic membranes healing properties. The amniotic membrane has anti-inflammatory properties along with regenerative properties to grow new healthy cells. This will increase the eye’s ability to heal faster and also reduce pain. Basically the corneal cells that have been affected by chronic dry eye can heal and regenerate to better, healthier cells. You can still use eye drops while the Prokera is in your eye. In some cases the eye doctor will put tape on the upper lid to prevent the Prokera from coming out. Your eye doctor will have you back to remove the Prokera once the amniotic cells have a chance to contour to your eye and typically all that will remain is the ring. The amniotic cells are different from stem cells as amniotic cells are taken after pregnancy naturally and there is no harm done to anyone to get these cells.
AB Max Procedure
Most people have their teeth professionally cleaned every six months to remove all of the plaque (bacteria) and tartar from their teeth – even though they brush/clean their teeth every day. The same level of care should be provided for patients with Anterior Blepharitis by having your eyelids professionally cleaned by your eye doctor or lid hygienist. Removing all of the scurf and bacteria can prevent long term, debilitating eye disease and maintain healthy eyelids to promote overall eye health. AB Max™ is a new, in-office procedure that allows your eye doctor to treat Anterior Blepharitis. With our Patent Pending Pulse mode, the procedure reduces scurf and bacterial debris which are the main causes of eyelid inflammation and lid disease.
With AB Max™, your doctor or lid hygienist will thoroughly eliminate the scurf and bacterial debris that has built up along your anterior eyelid margins which is one of the leading causes of inflammatory lid diseases like Anterior Blepharitis. Finally, your doctor will finish your Anterior Blepharoexfoliation procedure with the AB Max™ Patent Pending PULSE technology to gently massage your outer eyelid margins, which will help reduce or alleviate the debilitating and chronic symptoms. Treatments are typically repeated at regular intervals depending on the severity of your disease. After a few treatments, patients can then begin to start producing more of their own tears and start enjoying a life free of chronic, irritating symptoms caused by Anterior Blepharitis.
Sometimes it is necessary to close the ducts that drain tears out of the eyes in order to treat symptoms of dry eye. These tiny plugs can be inserted to achieve better lubrication of the eyes.
Temporary punctal occlusion: Temporary plugs can be inserted into the tear drain of the lower eyelid to determine if this helps provide adequate tears. These plugs can be removable or dissolvable within a few days to a few months.
Permanent punctal occlusion: If the temporary plugs work well, our doctors may suggest permanent (yet removable) plugs. The goal is to provide adequate tears/lubrication, improve patient comfort and reduce the need for artificial tears. In rare cases the plugs may come out spontaneously or migrate down the tear drain.
Our doctors will measure your tear duct size to determine the right size and type of punctal plug to achieve the best results.