According to the National Eye Institute, more than 100 million people worldwide (30 million in the U.S.) suffer from dry eye. And that number is continuing to grow! That’s a lot of people dealing with dry, irritated, scratchy, fatigued eyes.
In San Jose, we are lucky to enjoy a temperate climate with plenty of sunshine. But, because we are also situated inland and surrounded on three sides by mountains, the region is typically sheltered from rain, giving it a semi-arid (dry) feel. In other words, we’re no strangers to dry eye.
Now, not all dry eye is caused by environmental factors. While your issue might be related to allergies or the weather, most experts agree that near work – things like computers, smartphones, video games – is likely to blame for increased dry eye symptoms worldwide. These daily activities can interfere with the quality and quantity of blinks, which can result in dry eye.
A few medical conditions, certain eye diseases and autoimmune disorders are associated with dry eye. As is advancing age. Women are more likely to develop dry eye due to hormonal changes (that impact tear production) linked to menstruation, pregnancy or menopause. Some medications such as certain antidepressants, antihistamines, beta-blockers and diuretics can contribute to dry eyes, too.
The Science Behind Dry Eye
If you have dry eye, it is because the quantity and/or quality of your tears fails to keep the surface of your eye adequately lubricated. Due to this, dry eye syndrome can actually cause watery eyes, because excessive dryness can overstimulate the production of tears.
Chronic dry eye, left untreated, can lead to anything from minor irritation to the inability to wear contact lenses and even an increased risk of corneal inflammation and eye infections.
A common cause of dry eye is blocked meibum glands. Meibomian gland dysfunction occurs when the meibum glands do not secrete enough oil (meibum) or the meibum is of inferior quality. Obstructive meibomian gland disease (MGD) occurs when the glands are blocked, resulting in dry eye symptoms.
Thankfully, dry eye isn’t something you have to just put up with. The vision experts at Eye Medical Clinic can diagnose, assess and treat your dry eye with a plan customized just for you.
Customized Dry Eye Treatment
San Jose dry eye specialists at Eye Medical Clinic will perform diagnostic testing, including ocular allergy testing, to determine the source of your unique ocular condition. This kind of comprehensive approach leads to the best course of treatment and relief customized to your individual needs and issues. What a relief!
TearCare for Eye-Opening Relief
We’re excited to let you know we’ve invested in an advanced treatment for dry eye that is showing amazing promise in providing significant relief of dry eye symptoms for people whose condition is caused by MGD.
The TearCare® System is for adult patients and uses localized heat therapy to help clear any obstruction in the glands that contribute to evaporative dry eye. Unblocking these glands with The TearCare® System can help restore their function and stabilize the tear film. This may improve the quality of tears and reduce symptoms like dryness, gritty or scratchy sensations, blurry vision, and watery eyes. TearCare is gentle, allows you to have your eyes open and to blink comfortably during treatment and can be performed right here in our office.
Most insurance plans cover the dry eye procedures we offer at Eye Medical Clinic, so don’t wait to find relief. Schedule a dry eye consultation today.