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Dry Eye- The why and the solution for it.

Updated: Feb 15

Eyes always dry?

Never getting relief from the use of eye drops?

You may be suffering from Meibomian Gland Dysfunction, a form of dry eye where the meibomian glands in our eyelids lose their function.

The meibomian glands are the glands in our eyelids that secrete an oil that stabilizes our tear film on our eyes. When we blink, it applies pressure on the glands resulting in oil secretion. Working on devices results in a 75% reduction in our natural blink rate meaning less oil in our tear film. This results in fluctuations in our vision throughout the day. Less blinking also means less use of the meibomian glands - and if we don't use it we lose it! Over time, the glands begin to atrophy leading to chronic dry eye symptoms.

Fortunately, there are dry eye procedures that can help to stimulate the function of the meibomian glands: Radio Frequency (RF) and Intense Pulse Light (IPL) therapies. These procedures have been used in dermatology for cosmetic benefits including reducing fine lines and wrinkles, brown spots, acne and inflammation, and now have widespread use by eye care professionals in the treatment of dry eye. RF works to heat up the meibum in the glands to promote oil secretion. IPL uses light therapy to treat inflammatio and, bacterial buildup and improve meibomian gland function. Paired together, RF and IPL are the dream team to treat meibomian gland dysfunction.

Dry eye is multifactorial but with the increasing use of devices in our daily lives, meibomian gland dysfunction has become more commonplace. If you are suffering from chronic dry eye (and maybe are looking to get rid of a few wrinkles while you’re at it!), visit your optometrist today and see if these procedures are right for you!

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