Dry Eye Care
Dry Eye Center of Excellence
Most Optometrists simply treat your dry eyes with eyedrops. Here at Eye Center of Houston, Dr. Faheem does more, with special treatments, expertise, and a special room dedicated just for you. Our aim is to provide great results in order to relieve you from your dry, red, itchy, or irritated eyes while giving you a spa-like experience. Depending on the severity of your Dry Eye, we may refer you over to our partners, The Dry Eye & Speciality Center.
Understanding Tears and the Tear Film
Dry eye is one of the most common eye diseases and is where eyes are not producing enough tears or produce a poor quality of tears. The most common symptoms of dry eyes are the following: the fluctuation of vision, burning, itching, redness or watery eyes.
Our doctors prefer a holistic approach to dry eye care. We provide a detailed analysis of your overall tear production and quality of tears. We then take a look at the health of your tear glands to check for signs of inflammation or damage. After assessing the detailed imaging we provide a comprehensive treatment plan that includes vitamins, cornea assessments, medical treatments, dietary adjustments, and home remedies.
Dry eyes can often have several causes and may be complex. We work with several diabetics, rheumatologists, and primary care providers who refer patients to our state of the art facility.
Dry Eye Syndrome
Dry eye syndrome refers to a breakdown in the quantity or quality of tears to moisten, cleanse and protect the eyes. This is significant because tears protect the surface of the eye by washing away dust and microorganisms every time you blink. When this protective coating dries up, the eyes may feel “gritty” or burn and can be more sensitive to light. In extreme cases, vision can be blurred.
Blepharitis is a general term for an inflammation of the eyelid and eyelashes. It is among the most common and stubborn eye conditions and usually results from the following: poor eyelid hygiene, a low-grade bacterial infection (usually staphylococcal), an allergic reaction, and/or abnormalities in the oil glands.
Like some other skin conditions, blepharitis can be controlled but not cured. The main goals in treating it are to reduce the number of bacteria along the lid margin and open plugged glands. Contact the Eye Center of Houston to assess the severity of your problem and the best treatment method.
Dry Eye and Blepharitis Treatments
BlephEx is a painless in-office treatment that uses a unique micro-sponge tool to gently and precisely remove debris and exfoliate your eyelid, effectively providing relief from blepharitis and Demodex. BlephEx treatment will reduce or alleviate your chronic and debilitating symptoms. By eliminating the inflammatory etiology of dry eye disease and blepharitis, the overall health of the eyelid is improved. You can then begin producing more of your own natural tears and enjoy significant relief from the chronic and irritating symptoms associated with dry eye disease and blepharitis.
The procedure lasts about 6 – 8 minutes. Most patients simply report a tickling sensation. A numbing drop is usually placed in each eye prior to treatment for increased comfort.
Just like the mouth is full of bacteria and needs constant and regular hygiene to prevent gingivitis, so do the eyelids need constant and regular hygiene as part of a healthy lifestyle.
After the procedure, you may resume normal activities. Home cleaning regimes can continue but are are only semi-effective. BlephEx® should be repeated every 4-6 months as determined by your eye doctor.
One of our latest treatments for Dry Eye Syndrome. We use a special tool that gently heats your eyelids, releasing dried or viscous tears and improving your meibomian glands for healthier tears and rapid relief.
Punctal plugs are tiny devices that are placed in the eye’s tear ducts (puncta). Puncta are the tiny openings that drain tears from your eyes. The small plug prevents fluid from draining from the eye. This helps keep the eye’s surface moist and comfortable, relieving itchy, burning, and red eyes. There are two types of punctal plugs:
These are made of a material (such as collagen) that gradually breaks down and is absorbed by the body. Temporary plugs can last in the eye from a few days to months. These are often used to keep the eye moist after having refractive surgery and are used as a temporary fix to see if they help relieve dry eye symptoms.
These are made of a longer-lasting medical plastic (such as silicone or acrylic). These plugs are designed to stay in the eye for years. They can be removed if needed.
Evaluation of Meibomian Glands and tear inflammation
Treatment Plan to treat dry eye disease
In-office MiboFlo and Blephex Treatments in our Dry Eye Center
Meibography, the imaging of the meibomian glands, is a quick and comfortable point-of-care test that is becoming popular in practices that have made the diagnosis and treatment of ocular surface disease a priority.
The Stellar M22 is a powerful modular multi-application platform, inspired by the brightest constellation in the sky. Using Stellar, we treat for evaporative dry eye related to Meibomian Gland Dysfunction and ocular rosacea.
Stellar IPL (Intense Pulse Light) increases collagen production, therefore, improving the structure of the eyelids. IPL eradicates Demodex: IPL energy is absorbed by the Demodex mite causing its destruction. Demodex is often found in MGD and is thought to be a cause of MGD. IPL is thought to suppress proteins responsible for inflammation.
The TearScience® LipiFlow® Thermal Pulsation System, is a medical device used by physicians in addressing Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD). It consists of a Console and a single-use sterile device, known as the Activator, and has a drug- free mechanism of action. Eye care professionals use the TearScience® LipiFlow® System to treat MGD patients in-office with confidence and efficiency.
LipiFlow activators are single-use sterile devices that safely and comfortably deliver automated therapeutic energies to the Meibomian glands, while protecting the delicate structures of the patient’s eye. The activators are specifically designed to be placed under and over the eye lids and are contoured above the cornea, so that the activators themselves avoid contact with the core eye surface.