What Can You Expect From Dry Eye Treatment at ICT Eye?
A Non-Invasive Solution
We use iLux to treat dry eyes for our patients. It’s non-surgical, with treatments being carried out in our comfortable office space. During a consultation, we’d be happy to take a look at your unique situation and help you decide if iLux is the right call for you.
What Can It Treat?
Meibomian Gland Dysfunction
Commonly called MGD, meibomian gland dysfunction is one of the most common contributors to dry eyes. The meibomian glands help lubricate our eyes. They produce oils on both the upper and lower eyelids. These oils help fight off dryness.
MGD can cause these glands to not produce enough oils. Without the protection these oils provide, tears evaporate quickly and our eyes are left to dry out.
What Are the Symptoms of MGD?
Dry eyes are the most common symptom of MGD, but there are some other symptoms to look out for as well. These symptoms may include:
- Irritated eyes, especially in the corners
- Red or swollen eyelids
- Glands that are swollen, or secreting mucus
- Crusty eyes
- Eyelashes that are wet and matted in the morning
- Eyelashes that easily fall out
- A burning sensation in the eyes
In addition to the possible symptoms, you can have your eyelids checked for MGD as well. MGD can cause your inner eyelid to look different than it would normally. If MGD is suspected, gentle pressure can be applied to your eyelid to see if any oils are released.
Another way dry eyes can be diagnosed is by measuring the volume of tears you’re producing. Blotting paper strips can be placed under your lower eyelid. The paper will soak up your tears, which can then be measured to see if your body is producing an appropriate level of moisture.
How It Works
Gentle Heat and Pressure
This treatment uses a handheld device. It delivers gentle pressure and heat to the eyelids, which helps the meibomian glands to unclog and open up. When the glands are unclogged, they’re able to do their job again. By treating the cause behind your dry eyes, the goal is to provide lasting relief.
Treatment Can Be Adjusted for Your Needs
We will have control over the heat and pressure iLux uses to deliver relief. This control allows us to adjust the levels as needed for each patient. If your case requires a little more heat or pressure, we can increase heat and pressure levels while always keeping the treatment safe and comfortable.
Safety That’s Been Proven
Our professional team holds your safety and comfort at the highest priority. This dry eye treatment is considered a safe and effective way to treat MGD. It is FDA-approved as well.
The special eyelid pad that iLux uses ensures that the treatment is applied right onto the blocked glands while protecting the rest of your eye at the same time. This also helps create an optimally comfortable experience.
Quick and Effective Makes for an Ideal Treatment
Both eyes can usually be treated in 12 minutes or less, making it an excellent option for patients with packed schedules. The first step will involve us taking a look at your eyelids to decide the ideal treatment zones. Your eyelid will then be held in iLux’s soft eyelid pads as light-based heat gently warms the blocked glands.
Once the glands release their trapped oil, your treatment will be complete. You can be on your way and go back to your daily routine.
Taking a Look at the Benefits
This treatment has proven itself a powerful dry eye treatment through both clinical study and practice. If a lack of oil production or a condition such as MGD is playing a role in your symptoms, iLux has the benefit of addressing the root of the issue instead of putting a band-aid over it. It can also offer an alternative to having the blockages surgically removed.
One of the most obvious benefits of treatment is allowing you to have better comfort. Helping your eyes be healthier now can also help their long-term health in the future.
Benefits for Contact Users
Can you feel your contact lens when they’re in your eyes? Are they causing discomfort or irritation? Patients with MGD may think that’s normal, but that doesn’t have to be the case.
Sometimes uncomfortable contacts can be caused by MGD, and by having it treated you may find you are able to comfortably wear contacts for longer than before.
Understanding Dry Eyes
Having dry eyes is a symptom, and there can be different causes behind it. Dry eyes may be caused by a lack of water, oil, or both!
Dry Eyes and Tear Production
There is a thin layer of tears coating our eyes. This layer is replenished with each blink. When it evaporates too quickly, this can lead to parts of our cornea becoming dehydrated. The tear film covering our eyes is roughly composed of three layers. When one part of this delicate balance in our eyes is thrown off, it can lead to dry eyes and other uncomfortable symptoms.
There’s the oil layer which is produced by the meibomian glands, the aqueous layer, and the mucous layer. The oil layer slows down the evaporation of our tears, which helps keeps our eyes healthy and moist. The aqueous layer helps provide nutrients for the cells of our eyes. Finally, the mucous layer is a natural lubricant for the eye’s surface.
Dry Eyes FAQ
1. When Should I Seek Out Dry Eye Treatment?
Dry eyes aren’t just uncomfortable. Untreated MGD can risk permanently damaging your glands. When you notice the painful symptoms that dry eyes can dish out, we recommend seeking out treatment as soon as possible. Keeping your glands healthy will help treatment be as effective as possible.
2. What Are the Risks of Waiting for Treatment?
Damaged glands can leave your eyes more susceptible to infection. It can also lead to a damaged or scarred cornea, which can negatively affect your vision over time.
3. Does Treatment Have To Be Repeated?
For patients with MGD, iLux is expected to relieve your symptoms for six months or more. How often you seek out treatment will depend on your individual needs. Appointments can be set on a more regular schedule, or you can seek us out if and when you feel like a follow-up treatment is necessary. Some patients are comfortable waiting for longer periods, while others prefer a more proactive approach.
Whatever your preference is, we’d be happy to work with you and set up the right routine for your lifestyle. We may also recommend a schedule based on how your eyes respond to treatment and how severe your MGD symptoms are.
4. Are There Alternative Treatments?
Some patients try to treat MGD at home by massaging their eyes with a warm compress. While this may offer some comfort and relief, it usually isn’t enough to effectively treat the problem or fully unclog your glands.
Meibomian gland probing involves having your eyes numbed with eye drops, and then having your meibomian glands dilated and probed to remove the blockages. It’s effective, but it is more invasive.
Eye drops can offer relief from some of the symptoms of MGD, but regular eyedrops aren’t considered a lasting solution and don’t solve the root of the problem.
Antibacterial eye drops are sometimes used to treat MGD. We’d be happy to go over some of the pros and cons of antibacterial eye drops for you when you come in for a consultation.
Some supplements, such as omega-3 fatty acids, may be able to help improve the health of your meibomian glands. That said, they aren’t usually considered treatment by themselves.
5. What Else Can Cause Dry Eyes?
MGD is a common factor behind many dry-eye cases, but it isn’t the only factor. Aging, excessive screen time, windy environments, certain medications, pollution, and some medical conditions may all contribute to experiencing dry eyes. Even a lack of sleep can cause your eyes to be dry and irritated! If you’ve tried removing irritants and are still struggling, it may be time to seek treatment.
When we have a better idea of what is causing your dry eyes, we will be able to offer different ways you can support the overall health of your eyes. Improving the lives of our patients is our passion, so we’re ready to team up and help you in any way possible.
6. What Can I Do at Home to Protect My Eyes?
Protecting your eyes from the sun and from too much screen time can help reduce painful symptoms. This may look like limiting the time you spend on the computer, or wearing glasses that block blue light. Sometimes staring at a screen can reduce your blink rate, so you may have to remind yourself to blink more often when you’re in front of a screen.
Wearing sunglasses when you hit the beach can help protect your eyes from sun damage and from dryness. Proper hydration can be very helpful as well. If you’re dehydrated, you won’t be able to produce a healthy amount of tears.
Practice Good Contact Lens Hygiene
Sometimes contact lens hygiene can feel like a chore, especially after a long day. But poor contact lens hygiene can irritate the eyes.
Contact lens can harbor bacteria when they’re not properly cleaned. Be sure that you’re changing your solution each night, and cleaning your case as well. You should also check that your contact lens material is compatible with the cleaning solution that you use. Try not to leave your contacts in for longer than the recommended wear time.
7. What Should I Avoid?
Some eye drops can make things worse instead of helping matters. Certain eye drops that are designed to cover up red eyes may work by constricting the blood vessels in your eyes. By reducing their size, it makes your eyes look less red. However, once the effect wears off it can leave your eyes even dryer than before.
When you’re looking for allergy medicine, try to find an option that helps without drying your eyes out. Allergy eye drops may be helpful to treat itchy eyes without making them drier.
Our Team Is Ready to Help
If you’re ready for lasting relief and to learn more about how you can protect your eyes and vision, contact our team at ICT Eye in Wichita, KS, today for your consultation.