Treatment for Chronic Dry Eye Near Portland, OR
Chronic dry eye can be highly frustrating and expensive to treat using eye lubricants and medicines, with prescriptions such as Xiidra® or Restasis® frequently costing over $500 per month.
At Will Vision, we are at the forefront of the most effective diagnostic and treatment modalities for our patients. We have found MiBo ThermoFlo® and LipiFlow® treatments to be an invaluable tool in ensuring that our patients can attain their personal best vision. No other LASIK center in the region has the MiBoFlo® or Tear Science® diagnostic or therapeutic systems to ensure happy and healthy eyes both before and after your procedure.
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What Causes Dry Eye?
The human tear film consists of three layers – mucin on the eye surface, water in front of the mucin, and a layer of oil on the surface. The meibomian glands, located on our eyelids, secrete the oils that lubricate the eye, reduce evaporation of tears, and stabilize the water layer – helping it to remain balanced between blinks. Due to current lifestyles, which involve the use of prolonged exposure to computer screens, these glands described above frequently become blocked – even in young patients. The images from our advanced LipiView® imaging system seen below demonstrate common problems with the meibomian glands including blockage, gland tortuosity and total gland loss.
MGD (meibomian gland dysfunction) is the most common cause of dry eye in the United States. It is prevalent, progressive, and creates the following eye symptoms:
- Stinging and burning
- Sandy or gritty feeling
- Redness of the eyes
- Fluctuating vision
- Contact lens discomfort
- Difficulty while reading or using electronic devices
Once these glands are damaged, they cannot be replaced, but we can improve the function of those glands that remain. For most patients, successful treatment of MGD requires removal of the gland obstruction. Removal can be performed using the LipiFlow® or MiBo ThermoFlo® systems.
When reading or looking intently at a computer, tablet or mobile phone, the average blink rate is reduced, and the eyelids are not always completely closed. Increased use of these devices has created an epidemic of MGD (meibomian gland dysfunction) in the United States. We often need to put down the reading material and blink to refocus. Excessive amounts of time devoted to these near-vision tasks results in reduced compression of the meibomian glands which ultimately causes the glands to become blocked.
The excessive use of eye makeup, such as eyeliner applied to the base of the eyelids, may also increase inflammation in the glands and damage them.
Dr. Brian Will is dedicated to quality care and his patients receive the personalized attention and visual results they need and deserve. Dr. Will provides a safe, effective, and accurate approach to patient diagnosis and treatment.
Modern and Effective Treatments for Dry Eye
At Will Vision & Laser Centers, we offer the LipiView® II and LipiScan® technologies, which analyze over one billion data points in each eye. They are the only instruments available that measure the lipid (oils and waxes) layer and evaluate blink dynamics. We can capitalize on real-time information to understand dynamic eye response and lid closure while blinking.
The Vision Break Up Time test (VBUT) from Visiometrics allows us to assess how clear the vision is in the eye and are able to assign how much loss is attributable to the tear film. Using double pass wavefront optical engineering, this test provides highly accurate information regarding the degree of light scattering caused by dry eye. The VBUT test also demonstrates improvements in the tear film over time associated with the treatments.
The LipiView® II and LipiScan® systems also assess the meibomian gland’s structure, producing high definition pictures of these glands. This is especially useful, as meibomian gland dysfunction is prevalent amongst patients seeking laser vision correction and treatment for chronic dry eye.
We are one of a small handful of clinics in the Pacific Northwest to use LipiFlow® and MiBo ThermoFlo® for the treatment of MGD. LipiFlow® is the only FDA approved single-dose treatment for MGD that has been shown to improve gland function and dry eye symptoms with long-lasting results. In the FDA trial, 86% of patients that received only a single LipiFlow treatment did not require additional prescription therapy for dry eye symptoms.
Unlike hot compresses, lid scrubs, or older treatments for MGD, the LipiFlow® system applies heat to the inner eyelid, causing the meibomian oils to become liquid and the glands to open. A pulsing massage is then precisely applied to the eyelids. This combination of pulsation and massage gently cleans the blocked material out of the glands and allows them to function properly once again.
Patients looking for a service that provides longer-lasting results than eyedrops and is both more effective and affordable than LipiFlow® can choose to undergo treatment with our MiBo ThermoFlo®. This treatment offers comparable relief from dry eye and can be easily and affordably repeated when needed. MiBoFlo® also frequently provides more rapid improvement in comfort compared to LipiFlow® and is very comfortable to undergo with treatment experience being more like a spa therapy than a medical procedure.
To create its clinical effect, MiBo ThermoFlo® applies continuous, controlled heat to the blocked meibomian glands by using a specialized gel to provide excellent heat transmission to the area. The therapeutic heat massage ensures that the hardened lipids (oils and waxes) in the meibomian glands are liquefied and expelled. The gland is then open allowing the now healthy meibomian glands to produce a much thinner, clearer and healthier oil that provides a stable and effective tear film for the eye.
The Future's Right Before Your Eyes!
If you’re ready to take the next step in your journey to better vision, contact Will Vision & Laser Centers today. We’re excited to welcome you into our practice and for you to “See the Difference.”
Contact Us for Effective Relief from Dry Eye in Portland
Dr. Will’s expertise and his committed to providing modern, effective technology allow us to create a customized treatment plan for patients with dry eye caused by meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD). If you’re living with the discomfort and hassle of chronic dry eye, you have options. Contact Will Vision & Laser Centers today for a consultation!
Dry Eye Treatments FAQs
What causes dry eye?
The most common cause of dry eye is the natural aging process that can reduce the amount of moisture your tear glands naturally produce. Autoimmune disorders, medications, and anything else that promotes dryness can also be a factor. Meibomian gland blockage can reduce oil production, causing moisture to evaporate. Infrequent blinking or living in an area with windy conditions can also contribute to dry eye, and so can spending too much time looking at screens on tablets, phones, or computers.
What are the symptoms of dry eye?
Patients who have dry eye experience one or more of the following symptoms: redness, dryness, eye fatigue, discomfort and irritation, excessive tearing, grittiness, sensitivity to light, discharge, feeling of foreign body sensation, burning or stinging sensation, and vision disturbances. The best way to verify if your symptoms are because of dry eye is to schedule an examination with a board-certified ophthalmologist to be correctly diagnosed and learn about your treatment options.
What kind of condition is dry eye?
Dry eye is not a specific condition, but a syndrome or set of associated illnesses having to do with the lack of eye lubrication or moisture. It is related to imbalance or insufficiency in the tear film that usually covers the eye.
Why do my eyes always tear up after I’ve been diagnosed with dry eye?
Many patients are surprised to learn that although their eyes may regularly water, they are dry. Although excessive tearing seems unlikely, it is a common symptom of dry eye. When the eyes don’t retain enough moisture due to inadequate tear production, tear drainage issues, or rapid tear evaporation, they may start producing an excessive amount of tears to compensate.
What are the meibomian glands?
Oil-producing glands in your eyelids are meibomian glands. These glands may become blocked without producing enough oil, which can contribute to dry eye. Oils, or lipids, are a critical component of tears, that help keep the eyes moist and prevent tear evaporation. Restoring a regular oil flow usually improves dry eye symptoms.
Is there a cure for dry eye?
Unfortunately, no. Dry eye is a chronic disease that is manageable through regular treatments. Medical technology has advanced throughout the last decade, offering new protocols for dry eye symptom relief and to prevent the condition from progressing. Dr. Will provides his patients comprehensive testing and treatment regimens to battle the chronic effects of dry eye.