As we kick off the month of July, it’s a time to bring awareness to an eye disease that affects more than 40 million Americans each year – dry eye.
Dry eye, often called dry eye syndrome or dry eye disease, is an ocular disease that typically occurs as we age. There are two forms of dry eye – aqueous deficient dry eye and evaporative dry eye.
Evaporative dry eye accounts for 86% of all dry eye cases and occurs when a person’s Meibomian glands are blocked. Meibomian glands are located in the eyelid and create the oil layer of our tears. Without this layer, tears can evaporate four to sixteen times faster. Aqueous deficient dry eye occurs when the lacrimal glands do not produce a sufficient amount of aqueous (water) to keep the eyes moist. Each type of dry eye causes reduced tear production, and if not treated, patients risk permanent damage and/or scarring to the front of the eye.
Many people mistake the symptoms of dry eye for allergy conditions, eye fatigue or changing climate conditions. Although these conditions may aggravate dry eye, they are not the root cause. Typical symptoms of dry eye include irritated, scratchy or burning eyes. Blurred vision and excess watering of the eyes are also common.
The good news is there have been many recent advancements in the treatment of dry eye. Eye Clinic of Austin offers the most advanced technologies to treat the root cause of dry eye and get patients relief. One very effective therapy is our LipiFlow treatment, which is the first and only treatment that addresses the cause of evaporative dry eye: blocked Meibomian glands. For those who have tried eye drops and warm compresses, LipiFlow may be the solution for sustained relief from dry eye.
If you think you may be suffering from dry eye, schedule a dry eye assessment with your ophthalmologist in order to diagnose the disease and to determine what type of dry eye you may have.