Dry Eye Treatment on the Gold Coast
Our optometrists, Andrew Bowden, Nicole Arnold, Cassie Baan and Cleo Yip, have a special interest in diagnosing and treating dry eyes. And they understand that tears have several important functions:
- They wash away debris and waste products from the eye surface.
- They keep the cornea moist, comfortable and prevent blurring.
- They provide nutrients to the eye and carry immune substances to help prevent and fight infections.
What Causes Dry Eyes?
- Meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD)
- Dry, windy weather, heaters and air conditioning
- Pregnancy, menopause and other hormonal changes
- Driving, reading, computer use, TV and other concentrated tasks
- Certain medications
- Thyroid problems
- Certain autoimmune conditions
- Contact lens wear
Dry Eyes Can Still Water
If the tears are not lubricating the eyes effectively, then the eyes will not be moist and comfortable. This will irritate and stimulate more tear production. These reflex tears are more watery due to the gland that secretes them, so they are more unstable and tend to run off the eye surface or evaporate very easily.
Types of Dry Eyes
Aqueous tear deficiency is one of the two main categories of dry eyes related to the under-production of tears. Dryness results from reduced lacrimal tear secretion and volume.
Evaporative dry eyes result from meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD), which are the small oil-secreting glands that line the inside of the top and bottom eyelids. These glands secrete oily compounds, which are an essential component of our tear film that lubricates the eye's surface, providing clear vision and ocular comfort.
Can I Prevent Dry Eyes?
Following are some simple preventative measures you can do every day to minimise the chances of developing dry eyes:
- Never apply eye makeup to the edge of the eyelid behind the eyelash line.
- Carefully remove all makeup around the eyelids at the end of each day.
- Perform warm compresses for five minutes, followed by gentle finger roll massage across the eyelids several times a week.
- Eat a diet with 3-4 servings of oily fish each week like tuna, salmon or other darker flesh fish: high in omega 3.
- Remember to blink regularly when doing extended periods of computer work or other near tasks.
Diagnosing Dry Eyes
Usually, Andrew, your optometrist in Burleigh Waters and Tweed Heads, can diagnose dry eye through an exam. But at Envision Optical, we believe in using the latest technology and scientifically validated protocols for a more accurate diagnosis.
We use the following detailed testing procedures to fully understand the nature of your condition and ensure we start your care, knowing what we are truly dealing with.
- Ocular surface disease index (OSDI) patient symptom questionnaire
- Tear analysis digital scan
- Tear volume testing
- Comprehensive biomicroscope assessment
- Vital dye staining and photography
- Assessment of the meibomian glands via infrared imaging
After completing the suite of diagnostic tests, our optometrists have an accurate understanding of your current dry eye status. We can formulate a customised treatment plan to start your journey back to comfortable eyes.
Treating Dry Eyes
Treatment for dry eyes in Burleigh Waters and Tweed Heads depends on the cause of your condition, but treatments may include:
- Blephasteam Heat Therapy and Gland Expression
- MGDRx Eyebag Home Therapy
- Blephadex Wipes and Demodex
- Specific eye drops
- Lacrimal Lavage
- Punctal Plugs
- Nutrition therapy
Advanced Dry Eye Treatments
For decades, the standard treatment for dry eyes included a combination of drops and minor surgical procedures. At Envision Optical, our lead optometrist Andrew Bowden constantly strives to provide the most leading-edge treatments available.
IPL for Dry Eyes
IPL (intense pulsed light) uses light energy to reduce inflammation and promote cell regeneration. Light energy warms the tear glands within the eye, helping to clear blockages and promote healthy tear production. Finally, IPL discourages Demodex mites, a naturally occurring skin pest that can impede healthy tear flow and lipid layer production.
IPL has an 87-90% success rate when treatment protocol (typically four sessions) is completed.
LipiFlow Therapy for Dry Eyes
One of the major causes of dry eyes is when the glands that produce lubricating lipids become clogged and cannot release the necessary lipid to tear ratio for comfort and ideal vision. LipiFlow therapy warms the meibomian glands, reducing blockages and inflammation to promote healthy lipid production and delivery to the surface of the eye.
LipiFlow is a comfortable, even enjoyable procedure like a comforting, warm massage for the eyes. After initial LipiFlow treatments, Andrew will recommend a follow-up routine to keep tear ducts and glands clear and functioning properly.