The right dry eye products can be game changers when it comes to your vision and comfort.
Anyone with dry eye, or ocular surface disease, will tell you, it’s no fun living with the condition. Most cases of dry eye, approximately 86%, stem from Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD). This disorder is a blockage of the Meibomian glands in your eyelids. When these tiny glands don’t function properly, it can lead to dry eye. If not treated, it can lead to permanent eye damage. Most other cases are a result of issues of tear deficiency. Whatever the cause, if you have this disorder, you want to alleviate the discomfort.
Fortunately, there are many great dry eye products and treatment options available. Depending on your particular condition, the cause, and your symptoms, our doctors will get you on the road to relief. Take a look at some of what we offer at Eyes of New Mexico.
LipiFlow is an electronic device used in the treatment of MGD. Approved by the FDA, it is safe and effective for clearing blocked glands and treating dry eye. It uses Vectored Thermal Pulsation technology, which is a combination of heat and pressure applied to your inner eyelids. It’s like a gentle message to unblock the glands. Regulated by electronic sensors, the heat and pressure work together to clear the glands. The heat liquifies the meibum and the pressure pushes it up out of the glands. Without the blockages, the glands can more effectively produce and distribute the natural oil to your tears to better cover and lubricate your eye’s surface.
This process might sound a little scary, so take a look at some answers to questions you might have:
- Is it safe? Yes, the LipiFlow device is safe. The US Food and Drug Administration approve it as a safe medical device.
- Does it hurt? LipiFlow shouldn’t be painful. Your eye doctor will administer an anesthetic drop to reduce discomfort during the procedure. No other medications are necessary for the procedure.
- Will it damage my eye? No, the LipiFlow is designed to vault over your cornea to protect your eye. There are also multi-point sensors that monitor the pressure and heat during the treatment to minimize discomfort.
MiBoFlo, or MiBo Thermoflo, is similar to the LipiFlo treatment. It works to improve lipid secretions that help lubricate your eyes and add oil to your tears. By unblocking your Meibomian glands, it can reduce or eliminate ocular surface disease.
The difference between MiBoFlo and LipiFlow is minor. MiBoFlo applies heat to the outside of the lid surface, and LipiFlow applies heat to the inside of the lid surface. Using a thermoelectric heat pump, MiBoFlo helps to liquefy the meibum and improve the evaporative component of your eye’s tear film. This therapy is often used as a follow-up to LipoFlow to help keep the glands open and functioning properly.
Dry Eye Medication Options
Some cases of ocular surface disease respond to medication. Some of the best results come from one or more of the following medications:
- Shire’s Xiidra and Allergan’s Restatis are both drops that reduce inflammation related to the signs and symptoms of dry eye, often improving comfort and decreasing symptoms within a few days.
- Topical steroid medications are only safe for short-term treatment of extreme inflammation with dry eye conditions. Because of potential side effects, including glaucoma and cataracts, we use these drops conservatively, and your eye doctor will monitor your eyes closely while you are using them.
- HydroEye is an oral supplement that contains omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, antioxidants, and other nutrients including GLA, gamma linolenic acid, that are hard to get from diet alone. These help support tear production and secretion while reducing inflammation. You can see results from HydroEye in as little as 30-60 days, though you may experience relief in less time.
- Avenova is a prescription medication used to treat blepharitis. This inflammation of the lids and lashes can compromise lid hygiene and affect the Meibomian glands. This treatment is aggressive, made up of hypochlorous acid, and neutralizes infection quickly.
- Ocusoft eyelid foam is a treatment for mild blepharitis. Used daily it will help keep the base of your eyelids and eyelashes clean and reduce the potential for infection.
We also recommend and provide additional options for those suffering from dry eye, including eye seal sleep masks, ointment for nighttime sleeping, artificial tears (Retain MGD or Oasis), heat masks, and brooder masks.
Dry eye is a common condition. If you have it, you understand it’s uncomfortable, sometimes painful, and can negatively impact your quality of life. You don’t need to suffer in silence. Talk to the experienced team at Eyes of New Mexico to determine the best course of treatment for your dry eyes.