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Heat Therapy for Dry Eye Syndrome

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Heat Therapy for Dry Eye Syndrome

Dry eye syndrome is a common condition that occurs for a variety of reasons. The leading cause of dry eye is meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD), which affects the essential oil layer of the eye’s tear film and causes the tears to evaporate too quickly. Mild to moderate cases of dry eye causes discomfort, while severe dry eye can result in permanent damage and scarring of the cornea.

More than 85% of patients who visit their eye doctor due to dry eye symptoms are diagnosed with meibomian gland dysfunction. MGD is chronic and the symptoms generally worsen when left untreated.

Fortunately, a certain procedure, called meibomian gland expression, uses heat to unblock glands in the eyelids to relieve the itchy, gritty feeling caused by MGD.

What Is Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD)?

The meibomian glands are located along the outer edges of your upper and lower eyelids, where they produce complex oily fluid that stabilizes the tear film and slows the evaporation of your tears. This is an essential function, as tears ensure your cornea lubricated for comfortable and clear vision.

When the meibomian glands don’t function properly or are blocked, the oil layer of your tear film isn’t thick enough to keep your eyes moist. In addition to the rapid evaporation of tears, this creates greater friction between the cornea and eyelids, resulting in eye irritation.

What Is Meibomian Gland Expression?

Just like the pores in our skin, the tiny meibomian glands can be blocked with thickened oil residue. Meibomian gland expression is a procedure that unblocks the gland by squeezing out a tiny amount of oil from the glands. This also allows your eye doctor to determine how to best open the glands permanently.

The process is not only a method for diagnosing MGD, but also a therapy that can remove the blockage and reduce MGD symptoms.

How Does It Work?

Meibomian gland expression involves gently expressing and squeezing out the oils of the glands by applying pressure to the eyelids.

The eye doctor uses tiny forceps or paddle-like instruments to compress the lower and upper eyelids. The doctor may also apply a warm compress before the expression of the gland for the smooth secretion of the hardened oils that clog the glands.

Depending on the severity of your MGD, your doctor may suggest other types of heat therapies or treatment.

Other Heat Therapies for Dry Eye

Intense Pulsed Light

Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) heats the skin around the eye area and dislodges the oil build-up. This treatment targets the source directly – the blood vessels that surround the glands. Once this occurs, the glands can once again secrete the oils naturally, resuming their moisturizing effects.

LipiFlow

LipiFlow is a device that applies warm and gentle pressure directly to the meibomian glands, liquefying the blockage. Your eye doctor will then be able to remove the blockage from the area, flushing out any dead cells, leaving your glands clear and comfortable.

The Bruder Mask

The Bruder Mask is a heated compress that sits over your eyes, almost like a large, soft beauty mask. The mask is made up of many tiny beads which, when warmed, release heat. This heat gently opens the oil glands and helps restore the oil secretion back into the eyes.

Meibomian gland expression promotes healthy secretion of oil to the eyes’ surface and provides excellent long-term results. All successful meibomian gland expression treatments decrease dry eye symptoms by increasing the glands’ quality of oil production. Usually, a single session is sufficient, but many people benefit from regular treatments.

If not treated early and properly, meibomian gland dysfunction can cause severe damage to your eyes and vision. Contact Dr. Nicholas Belill to learn more about meibomian gland expression and attain the dry eye relief you seek.

Our practice serves patients from Clio, Flint, Flushing, and Mt. Morris, Michigan and surrounding communities.
Request A Dry Eye Appointment Today
You Have Dry Eye? Call 810-775-5100
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Scleral Lenses for Dry Eye Syndrome

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Scleral Lenses for Dry Eye Syndrome

Those with dry eye syndrome (DES) suffer from eyes that feel dry, itchy, uncomfortable, irritated and at times very painful. Eye drops and artificial tears can deliver relief but are no more than a temporary solution. Eventually, patients with chronic dry eyes seek out more durable methods of treatment.

Scleral lenses are an excellent solution due to their large shape, unique features, and customized fitting for each patient. Though generally used to treat corneal irregularities and refractive errors, scleral lenses can also provide immense relief to dry eye patients.

Scleral lenses tackle three factors simultaneously: they provide vision correction, they protect the eye, and they serve a therapeutic purpose by lubricating the eye. Scleral lenses decrease pain, discomfort, eye redness, and itchiness while providing sharp, clear vision.

What Are Scleral Lenses?

Cornea With Scleral Lens 1280×853Scleral lenses provide relief and visual rehabilitation to patients with dry eyes and corneal irregularities. These custom designed lenses vault over the cornea and rest on the sclera while avoiding the cornea. The liquid reservoir between the lens and the cornea provides a continuous moist environment that protects the cornea and provides relief for those with dry eyes.

Because these lenses are oxygen permeable, they provide the wearer with better comfort and a healthy cornea. In fact, their ability to transmit oxygen reduces eye problems, such as dry eyes, caused by diminished oxygen transmission to the cornea, which is common among most soft lens’ brands or hard (non-GP) lenses.

If you have Dry Eyes and are interested in scleral lenses, Dr. Nicholas Belill can help. Experienced in fitting scleral lenses for dry eyes and other corneal conditions, Belill Eye Care, PLC serves patients from all over Clio, Flint, Flushingand Mt. Morris, in the state of Michigan.

Why Scleral Lenses Offer Relief to Those with Dry Eye Syndrome

Contact Lenses You Can Wear With Dry Eyes

Traditional soft contact lenses are not an option for those with dry eyes, as the lenses sit right on the cornea, which can be very irritating for dry eye patients. Moreover, they tend to act as sponges, soaking up the moisture from the surface of the eye. Wearing soft contact lenses can, therefore, prove to be virtually unbearable for the dry eye patient.

Scleral lenses, on the other hand, are comfortable since they vault over the cornea and rest on the sclera, thus avoiding the sensitive cornea.

eye blue woman 1280x853

Scleral Lenses Provide Continuous Eye Hydration

The zone between the surface of the cornea and the scleral lens is filled with a saline solution. This acts as a constant source of hydration for the eye and provides ongoing relief for the dry eye patient.

Scleral Lenses Soothe and Protect the Cornea

People with dry eyes tend to have sensitive corneas that are prone to injury. The simple act of blinking can irritate the eye or even injure the cornea due to the mechanical friction of the eyelids on the cornea. Scleral lenses prevent damage to the cornea by shielding the patient’s eyes from the friction caused by blinking and protecting it from any external irritants or dust.

If you struggle with dry eye syndrome and have been looking for a more effective treatment method beyond eyedrops and artificial tears, ask Dr. Nicholas Belill about scleral lenses. We will patiently assess and explain your condition to you, and will perform a specialized, scleral lens custom-fitting to ensure that you receive the best fit for optimal visual clarity and comfort.

Call Belill Eye Care, PLC today to schedule your consultation today.

Our practice serves patients from Clio, Flint, Flushing, and Mt. Morris, Michigan and surrounding communities.
Request A Dry Eye Appointment Today
You Have Dry Eye? Call 810-775-5100
Read More About Dry Eyes
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How To Use a Warm Compress Correctly For Dry Eye

For those suffering from Dry Eye Syndrome (DES), finding relief from dry, red, irritated eyes may be a top priority. Dry Eye Syndrome (DES) is now understood to be caused by many factors including pollution, allergies, too few tears or poor tear quality.

Fortunately, there is a safe, effective, and user-friendly method to alleviate symptoms at home: warm compresses for the eyes.

Do I Have Dry Eye Syndrome?

Dry eye can be caused by numerous factors, with symptoms ranging from mild to severe. Symptoms include:

  • Dry, itchy eyes
  • Watery eyes
  • Fatigued or sore eyes
  • Red eyes
  • Blurred vision
  • Photophobia (light sensitivity)

If you suspect that you may have dry eye or experience any of the above symptoms, speak with Dr. Nicholas Belill regarding the various dry eye treatments available to ease your discomfort and improve your condition.

bathroom bathtub ceramic chrome 534116How to Prepare a Warm Eye Compress

A warm compress has been proven to be effective in relieving irritating dry eye symptoms.

  1. The first step in dealing with anything eye care-related is to thoroughly wash your hands with warm water and soap.
  2. Fill a clean bowl with warm water, just hot enough to comfortably feel the warmth with your fingers.
  3. Soak a clean washcloth in the warm water. Be sure to use clean water with nothing diluted in it. Face cleansers or Epsom salts can irritate or burn the eyes and should not be added.
  4. Ring out the washcloth so that it’s damp, and fold it lengthwise to the size of your eye area.
  5. Place the warm, damp cloth over closed eyelids and rest if there until it is no longer warm (about 5 minutes).
  6. Remove the washcloth and place it in the bowl with warm water to reheat it. Repeat steps 3 and 4.

You can also microwave a damp washcloth until it’s reached the desired temperature. Make sure to always test the washcloth before placing it over the eyes, as the skin of the eyelid is very thin and can be easily burned.

Warm compresses also come in a dry form, which can be heated using a microwave. All warm compress eye masks can also be purchased at drugstores. We can recommend which brands that are most suitable for your eyes. Whether store-bought or home-made, you’ll want to apply the warm compress twice daily (morning and night) for optimal results.

How Do Warm Compresses Provide Relief?

Warm eye compresses can soothe the eyes and provide almost instant relief. The moisture of the compress hydrates the eyes, which helps to reduce the grittiness, and the warmth relaxes the eye to relieve any pain or muscle spasms that may accompany dry eye. Furthermore, warm compresses can help loosen clogged oil in the glands of your eyelids, which allow these essential oils to mix with your tears, producing better quality tears.

Though warm eye compresses are a great at-home remedy for treating dry eye, Dr. Nicholas Belill can offer other more potent dry eye treatments for complete relief from symptoms. If you are experiencing dry eye, schedule an appointment at Belill Eye Care, PLC to get the relief you seek.

Dr. Nicholas Belill serves patients from Clio, Flint, Flushing, Mt. Morris, and throughout Michigan.

References

Request A Dry Eye Appointment Today
You Have Dry Eye? Call 810-775-5100
Read More About Dry Eyes
Finding Relief for Dry Eye Thumbnail.jpg

An Overview of Dry Eye Symptoms and Causes

dry eye treatments Thumbnail.jpg

What Treatments Can Relieve Dry Eye Syndrome?

SPEEDE284A2 Questionnaire.jpg

Dry Eye Questionnaire

what causes dry eye.jpg

What Can Cause Dry Eye?

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Dry Eye Blog

Read Our Latest Posts
Whats The Connection Between Dry Eye And Asthma 640×350 1.jpg

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Hot Compress Eye Masks For Effective & Rapid Dry Eye Relief

If you are suffering from mild to moderate dry eye symptoms, such as itchy and gritty eyes, this low tech solution may be just what you need. Hot compress eye masks are easy to use and a natural way to treat blepharitis, meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD), and specifically – chronic dry eye disease.

What Is Dry Eye Disease?

Dry eye disease (DES) is a condition where the eyes chronically feel dry, irritated, and uncomfortable. This is due to either insufficient or poor quality tears. Other symptoms include:

  • Watery eyes – the eyes may overproduce tears to compensate for the lack of lubrication
  • Red eyes
  • Fatigued eyes
  • Sore or achy eyes
  • Blurred vision
  • Photophobia (light sensitivity)

If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms and suspect you may have dry eye, speak with Dr. Nicholas Belill about the latest dry eye treatments available. Hot compress eye masks are one of the recommended methods for relieving dry eye.

How Does A Hot Compress Eye Mask Provide Dry Eye Relief?

A hydrating hot compress eye mask contains special beads that continuously absorb and store water molecules from the air. When the mask is warmed up in the microwave, the clean, natural moist heat immediately begins to provide soothing relief for your eyes. A heated eye mask helps stabilize the tear film, improves oil gland function, and slows tear evaporation.

After using the mask, your hydrated and lubricated eyes will be able to expel bacteria and debris more efficiently so your eyes feel refreshed and rejuvenated. The heat from the mask also helps unblock meibomian glands and produce more tears.

Contact Dr. Nicholas Belill to discuss your dry eye symptoms and to determine whether hot compress eye masks are the right treatment for you.

Our practice serves patients from Clio, Flint, Flushing, and Mt. Morris, Michigan and surrounding communities.
Request A Dry Eye Appointment Today
You Have Dry Eye? Call 810-775-5100
Read More About Dry Eyes
Finding Relief for Dry Eye Thumbnail.jpg

An Overview of Dry Eye Symptoms and Causes

dry eye treatments Thumbnail.jpg

What Treatments Can Relieve Dry Eye Syndrome?

SPEEDE284A2 Questionnaire.jpg

Dry Eye Questionnaire

what causes dry eye.jpg

What Can Cause Dry Eye?

woman applying eyedroppers, close up

Dry Eye Blog

Read Our Latest Posts
Whats The Connection Between Dry Eye And Asthma 640×350 1.jpg

What’s The Connection Between Dry Eye And Asthma?

The Link Between Dry Eyes and Depression 640×350 1.jpg

The Link Between Dry Eyes and Depression

Dry Eye Air Travel Tips 640×350 1.jpg

5 Ways to Prevent Dry Eyes During Air Travel

Whats The Link Between Dry Eye And Accutane 640×350 1.jpg

What’s The Link Between Dry Eye and Accutane (Acne Medication)