Dry eye syndrome is a common condition characterized by an unhealthy tear film and a variety of symptoms ranging from mildly irritating to debilitating. The purpose of the tear film is to lubricate the surface of the eye throughout the day. When it does not function properly the eyes become dry, and patients often develop symptoms. Common symptoms include burning, dryness, discomfort, fluctuating vision, excessive tearing, itching, and a sandy or gritty feeling.
Patients develop dry eye syndrome due to lack of tear film production (aqueous deficient dry eye), excessive tear film evaporation (evaporative dry eye), or a combination of both factors. This can subsequently lead to chronic inflammation which causes symptoms and also disrupts the patient’s ability to produce a quality tear film. A cycle of poor tear film quality resulting in inflammation followed by further reduction in healthy tear production is established. This leads to a chronic problem for patients with fluctuations in severity of symptoms.
Research indicates a majority of patients with dry eye syndrome suffer from evaporative dry eye syndrome. This is typically caused by Meibomian gland dysfunction. The Meibomian glands are oil glands embedded in the eyelids responsible for producing the oily, outermost layer of the tear film. The purpose of the oily layer is to stabilize and prevent evaporation of the tear film. When the glands are unable to adequately supply the oily layer, this leads to tear film evaporation.
Dry eye syndrome is a chronic problem and can be challenging to manage. There is not a cure for the condition, but fortunately there are now more effective ways to manage dry eye syndrome. The doctors and clinic team Hunter Family Vision are trained to identify the root cause of dry eye syndrome and prescribe a specific treatment plan for each patient. In addition to prescribing an at-home treatment plan, we now offer effective in-office treatments including Tear Care and Intense Pulsed Light (IPL).