Dry eye is characterized by a combination of one or several irritating symptoms. This condition can be chronic or acute, and your symptoms may even change at times. Dry eye disease is becoming increasingly common and can significantly impact your day-to-day life, sometimes making even the smallest of tasks seem difficult.

If you experience eye pain, blurry vision, and dry or watery eyes, it could be a sign that you have dry eye disease. Dry eye can be triggered by several different things, from health conditions and medications to environmental and lifestyle factors. These symptoms can include:

• Dry, irritated, or red eyes
• Excessive tearing/watery eyes
• Feeling like you have something in your eyes
• Inflammation or redness
• Sore, sensitive, or itchy eyes
• A gritty or pasty feeling in the eyelids
• Crusty or gunky eyes
• Blurred vision
• Light sensitivity

Understanding Dry Eye

The front of your eye (comprised of the iris, cornea, lens and pupil) filters in light and focuses an image onto the membrane at the back of the eye, called the retina. This membrane sends electrical signals to the optic nerve, which then funnels them to the brain so you can understand what you’re seeing. Most importantly, the eye needs to stay lubricated for peak functionality.

Dry eye occurs when your eyes don’t get enough moisture. Without proper lubrication, they can feel itchy and painful, often accompanied by a burning sensation or vision issues. Dry eye can be triggered by other factors, but it’s primarily the result of decreased tear production or increased tear evaporation. This means that your eyes aren’t making enough tears or that your overall tear quality isn’t up to speed.

What causes Dry Eye?

Many factors can contribute to dry eye, including:

• Tear duct infection or inflammation
• Environmental conditions, like dry air, heat and smoke
• Pre-existing health issues, such as diabetes or autoimmune disorders
• Medications, like some that treat acne, depression or blood pressure
• Too much screen time, which can cause infrequent blinking
• Natural aging process and hormonal changes
• Frequent or long-term contact lens use
• Laser eye surgery and other procedures

How do you treat Dry Eye?

If you’re experiencing dry eye symptoms, first we will need to see you for an assessment to determine the exact cause. Then, we will be able to recommend treatment options based on your unique needs. Dry eye therapy is one of our specialties! There are several treatment options available, including Optilight by Lumenis.

OptiLight by Lumenis is a light-based, non-invasive treatment done in the area below the eyes to manage dry eye. The first and only IPL FDA-approved for dry eye management. The treatment is safe, gentle, and is backed by more than 20 clinical studies.

How does it work?

OptiLight uses precise pulses of light to reduce the inflammation that is typically associated with dry eye disease, improve tear break-up time, and increase meibomian gland functionality. Optilight can also reduce the amount of demodex mites and bacteria living around your eyes and eliminate blood vessels that can contribute to inflammation.

While this treatment has been proven to be an effective dry eye management solution, we will discuss all factors during your initial consultation to ensure it’s the right treatment for you. Once we move forward together, you can anticipate the following from the Optilight treatment:

  1. 1. 4 sessions, 10-15 minutes long. Scheduled every 2-4 weeks.

  2. 2. Treatment is applied on the skin below the eyes and is non-invasive.

  3. 3. You’ll have eye shields covering your eyes during the treatment, and a thin layer of coupling gel on the treatment area.

  4. 4. You may experience a warm sensation as light is applied to the skin. The treatment is gentle with minimal discomfort.

Once your treatment is complete, you should be able to resume your daily activities straight away. You may experience some redness immediately following treatment. This will usually disappear within a few hours. You will also be advised to stay out of direct sunlight for a few days and apply sunscreen.

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