Dry eye disease is a complex disease and is classically due to either a deficiency in the production of the “aqueous” or watery component of the tear film or due to the “lipid” or oily component of the tear film. Our tear system is surprisingly complex and treatments exist for the correction of either of these problems. An in-depth examination of your tear film at the Las Vegas Eye Institute can help us to determine what form of treatment would be optimal for your eye. Dr. Swanic of Las Vegas Eye Institute has been a principal investigator on multiple dry eye studies and has extensive experience in managing this complex disease. Please schedule an appointment today. It is always possible that a clinical trial may be running and you may be eligible for enrollment in the trial if conventional treatments have proved inadequate.
Evaporative Dry Eye
This is a very common form of dry eye and is often misdiagnosed. Evaporative dry eye occurs when the superficial “oil” component of our tear film is inadequate. This can occur at any time in life and is frequently the cause of the sensation of eye dryness in young adults. However, it can affect us at any age and can coexist with the inadequate production of the aqueous component of our tear film as well.
Humans have oil-producing glands in our eyelids that are known as meibomian glands. As we age, these glands can become blocked, thus lowering the availability of oil for our tear film. This absence of oil makes our tears evaporate too quickly and can create symptoms of foreign body sensation, dryness, and even burning. Many patients find these symptoms most pronounced in the morning and find that the symptoms improve as the day goes on.
This condition is often referred to as MGD or “Meibomian Gland Dysfunction.” There are many treatments for this condition, including using warm compresses on the eyelids and taking omega-3 supplements by mouth. Many other treatments also exist and these can be discussed during a consultation with Dr. Swanic.