Dry Eye – Setting it Straight

By Dr Paul Gooch

“Dry Eye” is the accepted, but erroneous, label for one of the most chronically frustrating eye conditions we deal with. As a label, it’s misleading because of the logical premise, if something is too dry then you fix it by adding moisture. Historically, it has been one of the least understood and least appreciated problems of the eye, and generally treated with overly simplified therapies. After all, if your eyes are dry, why not use artificial tears to treat? But the reality is much less about dryness and much more about inflammation which damages the surface of the eye in conjunction with reducing the quality of the tear film.

Fortunately, we are finally getting a grip on the inflammatory nature of Dry Eye and the quality of the tear film which supports the ocular surface. This understanding is leading to better treatments.

In 2021, the FDA approved a new use for an established light treatment that is used in dermatology and aesthetics to improve the health and appearance of skin. OptiLight by Lumenis received approval to apply IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) to the face, around the eyes, and the outside of the eyelids as a treatment specifically for Dry Eye. It works by targeting inflammation, spider veins (telangectasias), rosacea, bacteria, and hair follicle mites called Demodex that create inflammation leading to Dry Eye. IPL also works by warming and loosening hardened oils in the glands behind your eye lashes that stabilize your tear film. The data looks good, and clinicians have had remarkable success improving the signs and symptoms of inflammatory Dry Eye since the discovery of this novel therapy.

Imagine treating your dry eyes with a photo-facial that also rejuvenates skin and treats skin discoloration! Our Dry Eye treatments now include four sessions of OptiLight, followed by LipiFlow which gives your oil glands a chance to refill with fresh oil after the inflammatory inputs are reduced.

Call SouthWest Vision today to schedule an appointment for your Dry Eye evaluation and see which therapy options are right for you. Call us at 435-673-5577 or see us online at www.SouthWestVision.com.