Have you noticed that your eyes often feel dry, easily become fatigued with tight eyelids, appear red and swollen, itchy, have a sensation of foreign objects, experience increased eye discharge, sticky discharge, and sensitivity to light? If you're experiencing these symptoms, it is possible that you may have dry eye syndrome. According to estimates from the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), approximately 340 million people worldwide suffer from dry eye syndrome. It has become a prevalent eye disorder in today's society, particularly in work environments where electronic devices are used for extended periods.
The tear film, which covers the surface of the eye, plays a vital role in maintaining eye health, comfort, and optimal vision. Composed of lipid, aqueous, and mucin layers, the tear film's proper function and balance are crucial for ensuring an adequate and high-quality tear secretion. When there is an issue with one of these layers, such as inadequate lipid secretion or a decrease in the mucin layer, it can affect the quantity and quality of tears, leading to insufficient lubrication of the eyes and the development of dry eye syndrome.
Facilitate surface tension to prevent spillover and evaporation
Facilitate hydration to nourish the underlaying cornea and contains antimicrobials to protect the eye
Facilitate tear spreading
Preliminary data and future plan：
There is a decrease in tear production due to damage, degeneration, or dysfunction of the lacrimal glands. Age-related gland degeneration, hormonal changes during menopause in women, and autoimmune diseases can all lead to inadequate tear production, resulting in “aqueous deficiency” dry eye syndrome.
The meibomian glands, located near the base of the upper and lower eyelashes, primarily secrete the lipid layer of the tear film. A healthy lipid layer helps slow down the evaporation of the aqueous layer. When the tear film lacks an adequate lipid layer, the moisture evaporates rapidly, leading to “meibomian gland dysfunction” dry eye syndrome.
The majority of patients with dry eye syndrome have a combination of both inadequate tear production (aqueous deficiency) and excessive tear evaporation (evaporative dysfunction). This is known as the “mixed type” dry eye syndrome, where symptoms of both water deficiency and oil deficiency coexist.
Detailed Patient History: Conduct a comprehensive interview with the patient to understand their symptoms and eye-related habits in order to assess the main causes of dry eye.
Examination of Eyelids and Cornea: Perform an examination of the eyelids to check for signs of inflammation, meibomian gland disease, or other abnormalities. Additionally, examine the cornea, the clear front surface of the eye, for any irregularities or damage.
Testing to Evaluate Tear Film Stability and Tear Break-Up Time: Conduct tests to quantify the stability of the tear film and measure the time it takes for the tear film to break up. These tests help in determining the quality and stability of the tear film.
Tear Function Tests to Measure Tear Secretion: Perform tests to measure tear production. These tests can provide information about the quantity of tears being produced and help in diagnosing any abnormalities in tear secretion.
Please consult your eyecare practitioner
OptiLight by Lumenis is a light-based therapy known as intense pulsed light (IPL) that has been FDA-approved for managing dry eye.
It is a non-invasive treatment that targets the area below the eyes to address the underlying causes of dry eye.
IPL therapy for dry eye involves using pulses of light to stimulate the meibomian glands, which are responsible for producing the oily component of tears.
By improving the function of these glands, IPL treatment aims to enhance the quality and quantity of the tears, thereby reducing dry eye symptoms.
Quantum Molecular Resonance(QMR) technology
The treatment is safe, non-invasive, comfortable, and pleasant, providing a relaxing experience.
It is suitable for both aqueous deficiency and evaporative dry eye conditions.
By utilizing low-power high-frequency electric fields that resonate with tissue molecular bindings, it stimulates the repair and regeneration of cells.
The treatment involves 20 minutes of therapy per week for a duration of 4 weeks. It offers a long-lasting treatment effect that can last up to 12 months.
Eye drops are a convenient and easy-to-use method for directly supplementing moisture to the dry surface of the eyes. However, the moisture tends to evaporate quickly, so frequent use may be necessary for severe symptoms.
Eye ointments have a higher viscosity, allowing them to stay in the eyes for a longer period, keeping the eyes moisturized. However, due to their thicker consistency, they often cause temporary blurry vision. Therefore, it is generally recommended to use ointment-based artificial tears during periods of eye rest, such as before sleep.
Punctal plugs, are tiny soluble plugs made of gel-like material that are placed in the tear ducts.
They work by reducing the drainage of tears through the tear ducts, allowing tears to stay in the eye for a longer time, thus maintaining eye moisture.
Punctal plugs which can dissolve on their own within approximately two weeks to six months, provide relief for dry eye patients who do not find sufficient relief from artificial tears, lubricating gels, or ointments to moisturize their eyes.
iTEAR is a non-invasive technique to stimulate nasal nerve which is FDA and TFOS DEWSII endorsed to promote natural tear production. With the unique vibration frequency, iTEAR is applied to the area between nasal cartilage and the bone of each side of the nose to induce tear production.
Clinical study showed the level of basal tear production increased by 56% after 30 days of use of iTEAR. The tear film stability has also been improved (tear breakup time increased by 33%). The increase of tear production and reduce rate of tear evaporation may help relieve dry eye symptoms from the route, which is independent of the use of artificial tears.
Cyclosporin is an immunomodulator that exhibits anti-inflammatory effects. Restasis® is the only FDA-approved eyedrop containing 0.05% cyclosporin. It relieves dry eye by increasing tear production. The regular dosage is twice a day, but more frequent usage may increase its efficacy. Minimal side effects, such as pain, irritation, and a burning sensation, are associated with its use.
Seek early eye examinations from eye care professional to receive proper diagnosis and treatment plan.