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About Dry Eye

Dry Eye is defined as “Dry eye is a multi­factorial disease of the ocular surface characterized by a loss of homeostasis of the tear film, and accompanied by ocular symptoms, in which tear film instability and hyperosmolarity, ocular surface in­flammation and damage, and neurosen­sory abnormalities play etiological roles.”

Dry Eye IS NOT an Eye Disease

We know that 5-15% of people have Dry Eye, so it's an incredibly common disease. Women are affected disproportionately as compared to men. It’s more common with lots of screen time and more common with comorbidities like diabetes, hypertension etc. It increases with age and can be caused by systemic medications. Autoimmune disease increases the risk and allergies exacerbate the symptoms. 

 

Ok, so of all the things I just listed, isn’t it interesting that almost all of them have to do with Systemic Issues?

 

Think about it menopause affects our entire body when our hormones change. diabetes is a systemic disease - as is hypertension.  Autoimmune diseases are systemic diseases as well that cause low-grade inflammation.

 

Dry eye happens as a result of all of these systemic diseases as well as skin diseases like rosacea or blepharitis and therefore it’s my position that dry eye isn’t really a primary eye disease at all and is more  accurately described as the secondary effect of systemic and skin diseases.

 

Ok, so now I’ve got your attention!

Meibomian Gland Dysfunction IS Dry Eye Disease

Dry Eye occurs when there is an imbalance of tears that leads to inflammation of the ocular surface that builds on itself over time, causing irritation, discomfort, blurred vision and more. One might think the stimulus is not having enough watery tears, but in reality 86% of Dry Eye Disease patients hava an Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD) component. Even if you have Sjogrens syndrome and think you won't benefit from any of our new interventional dry eye treatments, you could be very wrong.

Is It Possible To Cure Dry Eye Permanently?

SO Is there a cure for Dry EYE DISEASE? No.

 

Are there ways to make it a LOT better? Yes, absolutely.

In the past 12 years of treating dry eye disease, I’ve spent lots of time seemingly treating in circles - anti-inflammatories, artificial tears, and warm compresses help for a bit, but never seem to cure the disease.

 

However, in the past few years, new treatments allowing for a more interventional dry eye approach have completely changed the outcomes I’m seeing in my patients. 

 

First, before finding YOUR cure, you have to know what caused your dry eye as these contributing factors are different for everyone.

Some Helpful Dry Eye Disease Information

The past couple of years have been incredible for the advancement of Dry Eye therapies. We’ve seen treatments like IPL, Gland Expression, and Radiofrequency become more mainstream.

 

But many of these newer Dry Eye treatments are expensive or not covered by insurance or both.  So how do you decide which expensive treatments are actually worth it so you don’t break the bank in treating your dry eye?

Recently newer Dry Eye disease treatments are proving to be even more expensive and not covered by insurance, thus putting the cost burden on the patient for Dry Eye disease.

 

Dry Eye disease is incredibly common and can be experienced as anything from mild irritation and tired eyes to debilitating glare and pain in the eyes. There are a ton of new treatments that help a lot, but many of them are expensive. So what are you to do on a budget?

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