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July is Dry Eye Awareness Month

Do your eyes feel scratchy or gritty?  Are you using over-the-counter eye drops several times a day?  You may have a condition known as “dry eye.”

Dry eye is the inability to produce enough tears with sufficient lubrication for the eyes.  It affects more than 40 million Americans and affects women more often than men.  Dry eye typically occurs as we age.  The symptoms of dry eye can be mistaken for allergies, eye fatigue, or dry climate.  Although these conditions may aggravate dry eye, they are not the cause.

Actually there are two forms of dry eye – aqueous deficient dry eye and evaporative dry eye.

Evaporative dry eye is also called Meibomian gland disease.  Meibomian glands create the oil layer of our tears. Without this layer, tears can evaporate four to sixteen times faster.   Evaporative dry eye accounts for 86% of all dry eye cases and occurs when the Meibomian glands in the eyelid are blocked.

Tears are made up of oil from the Meibomian glands and water.  Aqueous deficient dry eye occurs when the tear glands do not produce a sufficient amount of water to keep the eyes moist.

Treatment for these two different forms of dry eye differs.  And if not treated, you risk permanent damage including corneal scarring and ulcers to the front of the eye.

The good news is that new treatments for dry eye are available. Eye Clinic of Austin offers the most advanced technologies to treat the cause of both kinds of dry eye and provide patients relief.  One very effective therapy is our LipiFlow treatment, which is the first and only treatment that addresses the cause of evaporative dry eye: blocked Meibomian glands. For those who have tried eye drops and warm compresses, LipiFlow may be the solution for sustained relief from dry eye.

Eye Clinic of Austin patient, Mary says, “To say that I am thankful to Dr. Henderson and LipiFlow would be quite an understatement.  Before I found Dr. Henderson and his Dry Eye Clinic, I suffered from increasingly irritated eyes.  I could no longer read books separate from my work requirements as my eyes were very tired and in pain.  After extensive testing, review, and a process of working on my condition through eye masks, blinking exercises, and eye drops, Dr. Henderson recommended the LipiFlow procedure for me.  The procedure was very quick and painless.  I noticed a difference just hours afterwards.  My eyes were less dry and felt better.  Over the course of weeks, I regained the ability to continue all of the things that I enjoy with the use of my eyes including reading books.  I no longer even thought of the drops or the mask or the blinking exercises because my eyes felt normal.  I highly recommend Dr. Henderson and the LipiFlow procedure for treatment of Dry Eyes.  What an amazing difference, night and day!”

If you think you may be suffering from dry eye, schedule a dry eye assessment with your ophthalmologist in order to diagnose the disease and to determine what type of dry eye you may have.