Dry Eye Treatment

Dr. Ward is passionate about helping patients with dry eye, especially having dealt with dry eye himself for many years.  At Valley Eye Clinic, we are also determined to start addressing dry eye as soon as we start to see the symptoms.  Unfortunately, there is NO CURE for dry eye, but the symptoms can be managed with proper intervention.  Left alone, we do know that dry eye gets WORSE over time, so it is most beneficial to begin investigating treatments as soon as you start having dry eye symptoms.  Thus, a full dry eye evaluation done by the professionals at Valley Eye Clinic is necessary to determine the severity of the dry eye, as well as best treatment protocols.  

  • Valley Eye Clinic offers the following treatments that are tailored to the needs of the patient, depending on signs and symptoms
    • Artificial Tear use (Preservative Free and Oil-Based often recommended)
    • Ocular Hygiene
    • Nutritional Support
    • Medications 
    • Lid Debridement in office
    • Punctal Plugs
    • Amneotic Membranes
    • Neurostimulation – Tyrvaya
    • MiboFlow
    • Intense Pulsed Light (IPL)

While the signs and symptoms can often verify between individuals, Dr Ward at Valley Eye Clinic has produced an ADVANCED DRY EYE TREATMENT PROTOCOL (listed below) , that has proven to provide the most benefit to the patient.

A retrospective anecdotal study done at Valley Eye Clinic in 2021 showed that of over 100 patients treated with our advanced protocol, 87% FOUND A SIGNIFICANT DECREASE IN THEIR DRY EYE SYMPTOMS, AND WOULD RECOMMEND TREATMENT.  The data was obtained looking at the patients age, gender, chief complaints before treatment, and satisfaction with treatment after their last advanced treatment protocol.  

ADVANCED TREATMENT PROTOCOL at Valley Eye Clinic:

The protocol involves the use of both Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) and the Mibo ThermoFlow. 

INTENSE PULSED LIGHT

Dr. Ward at Valley Eye Clinic was the first eye care professional in the state (OD or MD) to start treating dry eye with Intense Pulsed Light in 2018.  Following the treatment protocols of colleagues like Dr. Laura Perimann MD in Seattle, and Dr. Ronaldo Toyos MD in Nashville, this treatment has become the cornerstone to reducing symptoms of dry eye. 

The Lumenis M22

IPL treatments for dry eye were officially FDA approved in the spring of 2021 to treat the signs and symptoms of dry eye. The Lumenis M22 IPL instrument uses  visible and infrared light to kill Demodex, reduce inflammation, constrict abnormal lid margin blood vessels, and help meibomian glands return to their natural healthy state.

Treatment protocol:

A course of treatment typically include 5 sessions spaced 2-3 weeks apart. 

Each session usually takes only 10-15 minutes

During the treatment, ultrasounds coupling gel is applied to the treatment area and your eyes are covered with a laser-grade shield

Patient may experience a warm sensation as light is applied to the skin, and treatment is gentle with minimal discomfort. 

IPL is then followed by Meibomian Gland Expression (See MiboFlow below)

Gentle, fast treatment with no downtime

Immediately following treatment, the patient may experience some slight redness, which usually disappears within a few ours

The patient can return to daily activities and apply makeup immediately following treatment in most cases.  The patient is advised to stay out of direct sunlight for a few days following treatment, and to apply sunscreen

Patients usually report improvement after their 4th or 5th treatment

Maintenance treatments may be recommended every 6-12 months to ensure the best long term results. 

The Mibo Thermoflo

dry eye treatment
Valley Eye Clinic is proud to offer the Mibo ThermoFlo at our Dry Eye Spa. The Mibo ThermoFlo offers a comfortable, extremely relaxing, and organic approach to managing dry eye. As we mentioned before, approximately 85% of people with dry eye have an evaporative component to their dry eye disease. Meibum, oils made in the meibomian glands in the eyelids, can thicken and become clogged, resulting in little to none of this vital oil incorporating into the tear film. As a result, the eye dries out faster, can become intolerant to contact lenses, and feels gritty and irritated. Remember, all 3 components of the tear film (mucins, aqueous, and lipid) are necessary to NOT have dry, gritty, irritated eyes.

How Does Mibo Thermoflo Work?

The Mibo Thermoflo supplies continues controlled heat that is applied to the outer skin of the eye lids, along with ultrasound gel, for a gentle massage. The heat is absorbed deep into the tissue and breaks down the hardened oils in the meibomian glands, resulting in:

  • No Pain
  • No Downtime
  • Wonderful for Eye Strain
  • No side effects

There are several other possible treatments for combating dry eyes, and we may recommend that you try a combination of them. It’s important to be proactive with dry eye issues because it progressively gets worse over time when not controlled.

Hypochlorous Solution

Microorganisms are all over our bodies, inside and out. This includes the eyelids. While a certain amount of bioactivity is normal, TOO MUCH is not. Do you wake up with “little crusties” in your eye lashes? Does it feel like you just didn’t clean off all your make up from the night before? Excess microorganism activity results in what’s called a biofilm, a biochemical sludge that is left over, resulting in red, irritated cracked lids, and what actually looks like dandruff in your eyelashes (anterior blepharitis). Some patients present with little bubbles along their eyelids. These bubbles indicate what is called saponifacation, or literally the making of soap on the eyelid. Microorganisms feast on excess face oils and bacteria on the lids, and the result are these little bubbles along the lid margin, which can be viewed by a dry eye specialist.

Anterior Blepharitis

Saponification

In the past, baby shampoo with a warm washcloth have been prescribed. Unfortunately, soap bubbles from the shampoo just add more saponification to the lid margin, and does nothing to decrease the bacterial load.

Pure hypochlorous acid (HOCL- 0.015%) is an extremely comfortable and effective means to reduce the bacterial load on the eyelid, resulting in cleaner, less irritated and less cracked lids.

Valley Eye Clinic uses Heyedrate Lid and Lash Spray, developed by husband and wife optometrist team Travis and Jenna Zigler. Simply clean the eyelids of any debris or makeup and spray closed eyelids with the solution. Gently rub into the upper and lower lid and lash margin (or just let it dry…no need to rinse!) Repeat morning and evening for best results. This formula can also be used anywhere on the body to fight bacteria and inflammation, following the general steps above.

ProKera

The Prokera is a unique ocular surface bandage derived from cryopreserved, human amniotic membrane tissue. It is the only device of its type to be FDA-approved for wound healing involving the cornea and conjunctiva.

Prokera is indicated for a wide range of conditions including keratoconjunctivitis sicca (a severe form of dry eye), filamentary keratitis, corneal burns and abrasions, and recurrent corneal erosion to name just a few. Despite its advanced technology and capabilities, Prokera is fully covered by most medical insurance plans.

Let us help you relieve your dry eye symptoms TODAY!
Call for a Dry Eye Evaluation: 515-223-1266

Office Hours & Info

  • Monday
  • 8:00am - 5:00pm
  • Tuesday
  • 9:00am - 6:00pm
  • Wednesday
  • 8:00am - 5:00pm
  • Thursday
  • 8:00am - 12:00pm
  • Friday
  • 8:00am - 5:00pm
  • Saturday
  • 8:00am - 12:00pm*
  • Sunday
  • Closed
*First of the month only

Read our Google reviews
515-223-1266

  • 2020 Grand Avenue
  • West Des Moines, IA 50265

Contact us today or visit our appointment request page to find a time that is convenient for you to see us.