What is Dry Eye Disease?
Our eyes need tears to stay healthy and comfortable. If your eyes do not produce enough tears, it is called dry eye. Dry eye is also when your eyes do not make the right type of tears or tear film.
How do Tears Work?
When you blink, a film of tears spreads over the eye. This keeps the eye’s surface smooth and clear. The tear film is important for good vision.
The tear film is made of three layers:
- An oily layer
- A watery layer
- A mucus layer
Each layer of the tear film serves a purpose.
The oily layer is the outside of the tear film. It makes the tear surface smooth and keeps tears from drying up too quickly. This layer is made in the eye’s meibomian glands.
The mucus layer is the inner layer of the tear film. This helps spread the watery layer over the eye’s surface, keeping it moist. Without mucus, tears would not stick to the eye. Mucus is made in the conjunctiva. This is the clear tissue covering the white of your eye and inside your eyelids.
Normally, our eyes constantly make tears to stay moist. If our eyes are irritated, or we cry, our eyes make a lot of tears. But sometimes the eyes don’t make enough tears or something affects one or more layers of the tear film. In those cases, we end up with dry eyes.
What is Tear Care?
TearCare® is a 15-minute in-office procedure used to treat meibomian gland disorders. The sterile single-use flexible eyelid devices gently adhere to the contours of the patient’s eyelids and apply low heat. SmartLidTM technology works in conjunction with the blinking eye to facilitate natural meibum expression as the meibum melts. The TearCare® procedure is usually repeated every two years or every year. After TearCare®, we may prescribe a corticosteroid such as Inveltys or Lotemax SM for use twice per day.
Schedule an Appointment
Early detection of eye disease is the best defense against vision loss, particularly for individuals over the age of 40. Should you experience any vision problems that could be an indicator of an eye disorder, contact one of our offices in Philadelphia, PA, Bala Cynwyd, PA, Media, PA, or Marlton, NJ, as soon as possible to book an assessment.
The eye doctors and surgeons at Ophthalmic Partners have the necessary expertise and experience to diagnose, manage, and treat complex eye disorders and diseases. Visit us today to keep your eyes healthy and your vision clear.