Dry irritated eyes can be frustrating to deal with. Given the demands we place on our eyes daily with digital devices its no wonder almost half the world’s population suffers from some form of dry eye disease. A meta-analysis of epidemiologic reports recently published in PubMed evaluated modifiable (lifestyle, work environment) and non-modifiable (gender, age) factors and their impact on prevalence of dry eye disease. It also evaluated its impact on quality of life, and work productivity. Most studies found women were more heavily impacted than men. Interestingly, they also found signs of dry eye showed a greater increase per decade than symptoms. Meaning even early on with the mildest findings these symptoms can place a significant burden on our visual system and significantly impact our daily lives.
Blepharitis is a contributing factor in almost two thirds of those cases. It is defined as an inflammation of the eyelids that affects the eyelashes and tear production. Untreated it can lead to chronic inflammation of the lids, styes, and contribute to dry eye disease.
Blepharitis is often overlooked or inadequately treated. Over the counter and `at home remedies' may alleviate symptoms short term but often fail to address the underlying cause. This allows for the symptoms of dry eye disease to progress and become difficult to manage.
So what are the symptoms? These may seem familiar....
Itching or scratchy eyes
Foreign body sensation, or stinging
Fatigue after use of digital device
The logical question that follows is why does this happen? About half of people suffering from these symptoms have a build up of oil, debris (makeup, dried skin, pollen), or sweat that isn’t completely removed with routing hygiene. Our eyelids have a biofilm similar to the plaque that grows on our teeth. This biofilm can be difficult to remove at home despite our best efforts. In cases where the disease has progressed and is no longer manageable with things like warm compress and artificial tears in office treatments are the indicated treatment to follow.
Devices such as BlephEx and Lipiflow are able to thoroughly clear the debris that can congest the oil glands lining the lids and alleviate these symptoms. It serves to establish a clean baseline and increases the efficacy of at home treatments. Truly Eye Care offers these treatments to patients via our certified eyelid hygienists. We can help you maintain the proper health of your lids with these procedures so that your eyes may continue to produce quality tears to keep your eyes from feeling dry. To schedule a consultation or if you have any questions about dry eye and how we can help please call our office at (407) 801- 2477