Dry eye disease is most commonly caused by a deficiency in one or more areas of the tear film. The tear film, or tears, are made up of three separate layers.
At the Alaska Dry Eye Center, we offer specialized diagnostic testing to determine which layer of the tears is causing your dry eye issues. This allows us to focus on treating your specific tear film deficiency.
We start with a short questionnaire to determine what symptoms you're experiencing, how long you've been experiencing those symptoms, and if you have tried anything to relief your dry eye issues, such as drops. Using that questionnaire, we can determine how to proceed and what diagnostic tests we can perform.
We have a variety of tests in our office to determine the type and severity of your dry eye. We evaluate the quality of your tears, the health of your oil glands, and the consistency of the oils using a variety of tests ranging from InflammaDry to the LipiScan.
Eye drops help to keep your eyes lubricated and detracts from that dry feeling, but they can also help with other underlying symptoms. Some prescription drops can decrease inflammation, ease pain, and help with allergies. Meanwhile, the over-the-counter drops we offer can act as a replacement for the lipid layer of the tears, providing oil that your body isn't able to produce.
One of the most common at-home dry eye treatments we recommend is hot eye compresses. The hot compress is designed to help open up the oil glands, and to liquefy the oils inside. This allows the oil to flow more freely from the glands. It is suggested to use the hot compress every day for at least 30 days, and then can be relaxed to 3 times a week depending on the doctor's suggestion.
The lash line, also called your lid margin, is the one area of the body that is very rarely cleaned, which causes a build up of debris composed of skin cells, oils, and even makeup. This creates the perfect environment for bacteria that eats that build up. The bacteria that thrives in this area causes irritation, redness of the lid margin, itching, and even a sandy, gritty feeling in the eye. By cleaning your lid margin regularly with a lid scrub, you help to control that build up of debris and decrease the amount of bacteria that causes your symptoms.
The LipiFlow Thermal Pulsating System is a revolutionary way to treat Dry Eye caused by MGD. Opening and clearing the blocked glands allows the body to resume the natural production of the oils needed for the tear film.
BlephEx and ZEST are new, in-office procedures that allow our doctors to treat blepharitis by eliminating the biofilm and bacterial toxins that cause inflammatory lid disease and dry eye, and improving the overall health of the eyelid.
Punctal plugs are tiny, biocompatible devices that can be inserted into tear ducts to block drainage. This increases the eye's tear film and surface moisture to help relieve certain forms of dry eye.
At the Alaska Dry Eye Center, we want to ensure that your Dry Eye is addressed and treated. We have more ways of treating, managing, and diagnosing your Dry Eye Disease. Be sure to check out our website to learn more!