Dry Eye Syndrome (DES) is a common condition affecting the comfort and vision of millions of people across the United States. This condition occurs when your tear film is not able to adequately lubricate your eyes. Symptoms include, but are not limited to:
There are varying levels of severity. Some people may not need to seek treatment for dry eye syndrome, but for others it is more than a mild inconvenience. It can fundamentally disrupt and derail their daily lives.
To learn more about dry eye and its causes, click the button below.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for dry eye, but symptoms can be managed with the proper intervention. At Valley Eye Clinic we are determined to start addressing dry eye symptoms as soon as we discover them. Left alone, symptoms grow worse over time, so it is ideal that they are investigated and treated once discovered.
We provide a variety of treatment options which are tailored to the needs of the patient. There is no one-size-fits-all approach.
Some patients’ symptoms may be severe enough for Valley Eye Clinic’s Advance Treatment Protocol, which utilizes both Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) and Mibo ThermoFlow treatments.
Approved for the treatment of dry eye in spring of 2021, 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.
Beginning in 2018, Dr. Ward of Valley Eye Clinic was the first eye care professional in the state of Iowa (OD or MD) to start treating dry eye with Intense Pulsed Light.
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.
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.
This treatment focuses on the meibomian glands of the eye lids. These glands naturally secrete an oily substance called meibum that forms a protective layer over the eye’s surface, prolonging the evaporation of the tear film. Sometimes these oils thicken and become clogged, preventing them from becoming incorporated into the tear film. This causes the eyes to dry out at a faster rate than normal, making it difficult or seemingly impossible to wear contact lenses or feeling the need to constantly be putting in lubricating drops
The Mibo ThermoFlow supplies continued and controlled heat that is applied to the outer skin of the eyelids, along with ultrasound gel for a gentle massage. The eyelids absorb the heat and break down the hardened oils in the meibomian glands, helping those oils escape back to the surface of the eye.
The human body is covered in microorganisms, inside and out. This includes the eyelids. While a certain amount of bio-activity is normal, sometimes there can be too much.
Excessive microorganism activity results in what is called a biofilm, a biochemical sludge that is left over from natural biological processes. This can result in red, irritated, and cracked lids. Sometimes it presents itself as dandruff on the eye lashes. People have described these feelings as:
Some patients even present with little bubbles forming along the eyelid. 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.
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.
To begin dry eye treatments, you and your optometrist need to know what you are up against. In our Dry Eye Evaluation, Dr. Ward will conduct a thorough examination of the eyes, looking for the signs and symptoms of dry eye syndrome. Dr. Ward will listen intently to your dry eye story, so that you can work together to find the right treatment options for you.