We are proud to announce the opening of the Dry Eye Center of Excellence at Georgia Eye Partners. Our physician team is dedicated to providing patients of Metro Atlanta and North Georgia the highest quality treatment and outcomes by adapting new technologies and staying abreast with the most current treatments and procedures in eye care today. We are now offering dry eye treatment options at our Northside office so we can finally treat all forms of dry eye disease. Georgia Eye Partners feels that maximizing the ocular surface is an important variable to achieve the best surgical outcomes, improve symptoms from dry eye, and maximize your vision as a poor tear layer and ocular surface disease can be debilitating. In an effort to improve outcomes and also help relieve dry eye patient’s symptoms we are excited to be the first and only clinic in Georgia to offer both LipiFlow and BBL (broad band light) therapy to help treat dry eye disease.
What is Dry Eye?
Tears are necessary for overall eye health. Dry eye occurs when the eyes aren’t sufficiently moisturized, leading to itching, redness and pain from dry spots on the surface of the eye. The eyes may become dry and irritated because the tear ducts don’t produce enough tears, or because the tears themselves have a chemical imbalance. People who suffer from dry eyes may have difficulty performing certain daily activities. People usually begin experiencing dry eye symptoms as they age, but the condition can also result from certain medications, conditions or injuries. Dry eye is not only painful, it can also damage the eye’s tissues and impair vision. Fortunately, many treatment options are available.
Tears are made up of three layers. If you’re like many people with dry eye symptoms, your condition is related to blocked meibomian glands and an inadequate protective layer of oils in your tears.
The most common form of dry eye is Evaporative Dry Eye, which affects 9 out of 10 (86%) dry eye cases. Evaporative Dry Eye results from a shortage of oil in your tears caused by a blockage in your eyelid (Meibomian) glands, leading tears to evaporate faster than normal. This lack of tear oil is often referred to as Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD).
Common Symptoms of Evaporative Dry Eye Disease
- Sensitivity to light
- Blurred vision
- Discomfort in windy or dry conditions
These symptoms may also be accompanied by:
- Difficulty performing visual tasks like reading, watching TV, computer work and driving
- Inability to wear contact lenses
- Constant use of eye drops
- Trouble being out in the sun
- Symptoms that worsen late in the day
Why is it important to diagnose and treat dry eye disease?
For some, dry eye symptoms such as itchy, burning, stinging eyes may seem like a nuisance. However, if left untreated, dry eye disease can have serious consequences including:
- Permanent corneal scarring
- Corneal ulcers
- Increased risk of eye infections
Diagnostic Testing & Treatment Options
A series of evaluations will be performed to determine the likely cause of your dry eye. This can include a TearLab osmolarity test, LipiView® tear film assessment, and a Meibomian gland evaluation. Knowing what is causing your dry eye will help your doctor determine the best treatment option.
The TearLab test utilizes a temperature corrected impedance measurement to provide and indirect assessment of osmolarity. The TearLab osmolarity system pen is designed to hold the test card and facilitate pain-free, simple tear fluid collection.
PROKERA is similar to a contact lens and is made of amniotic tissue, which is known for its natural therapeutic actions and heals your eye faster with less pain, scarring, and inflammation. The amniotic tissue used in PROKERA is provided by a tissue bank regulated by the FDA and has passed numerous quality control tests making it safe and effective. Clinical studies have shown PROKERA reduces the sign and symptoms of Dry Eye, and helps soothe pain, heal the eye, and improve vision.
PROKERA is the only U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-cleared therapeutic device that reduces inflammation and promotes healing. For more information, visit www.prokerainfo.com.
Not all patients are candidates for the treatments mentioned above. However, there are several non-surgical options available such as:
- Blinking exercises
- Increasing humidity at home or work
- Medications such as artificial tears or moisturizing ointment