About Dry Eye
Dry eye is a very common problem with millions of people suffering from the condition in the U.S. and worldwide. Dry eye is a chronic eye condition that ranges from mild to severe, with the more severe form called ocular surface disease. It consists of any kind of disruption of the tear film, or the protective layer of moisture on the surface of the eye. This may be due to a lack of tears, a lack of oil in the tear film, inflammation, or (more commonly) all of the above in addition to various other possible abnormalities of the eye surface. Ocular surface disease is on a spectrum with dry eye and usually refers to a chronic disease state of the eye surface where there is some form of continual inflammation and/or breakdown of the eye surface.
The board-certified eye surgeons at Vold Vision treat dry eye using advanced diagnostics to help reduce symptoms and prevent ocular surface disease from progressing.
Dry Eye - Impact and Solutions
In a healthy eye, the cornea is protected and lubricated with tears known as "basal" tears. These tears flow gently across the cornea every time you blink, providing nourishment and overall liquid protection from the elements of the environment. With a condition such as dry eye, tears are either inadequate or of poor quality, and the health and vision of the eye can be compromised.
Dry eye and ocular surface disease may be exacerbated by inflammatory or drying medical conditions. These can include thyroid or autoimmune problems or the need to take drying medications such as diuretics. The conditions may also be worsened by chronic inflammation or dysfunction of the eyelid glands, or meibomian gland disease. In addition, environmental factors such as a dry environment, air conditioning, fans, heaters, and wind may contribute to daily dryness.
Besides general discomfort, those who suffer from dry eye can experience itchy and red eyes, blurred vision, or a sensation of something being 'in the eye'. When we evaluate patients for dry eye at Vold Vision, our seasoned eye surgeons will evaluate the patient’s eyes and tears to determine factors such as:
The amount or volume of tears produced, and how often
- The quality of the tears
- How long tears maintain a healthy surface on the eye before evaporating
- How often blinking occurs
- If there are associated or underlying issues or medications that are contributing to the dry eye
Dry Eye Reviews
"Awesome doctors and wonderful experience - Very fun and energetic group of team members that helped you feel very welcomed at at home. I went in to have a dry eye review because I’ve been concerned if my eyes were dry or if it was my contacts drying out my eyes. They were able to find the root cause. advised home remedies that can help with my symptoms to help improve the moisture in my eyes. The doctors were very helpful and showed they really cares. I will go back to them again. Thanks Vold Vision. :)"- Anonymous / Vitals / May 09, 2019
"Very fun and energetic group of team members that helped you feel very welcomed at at home. I went in to have a dry eye review because I’ve been concerned if my eyes were dry or if it was my contacts drying out my eyes. They were able to find the root cause. advised home remedies that can help with my symptoms to help improve the moisture in my eyes. The doctors were very helpful and showed they really cares. I will go back to them again. Thanks Viold Vision. :)"- B.T. / Google / May 09, 2019
Testing and Diagnosis
It is important to obtain as much information as possible, as the diagnosis and treatment of dry eye can be quite subtle and requires a high level of education and engagement from your eye care provider. At Vold Vision, we are happy to provide access to the latest diagnostic technology for dry eye and ocular surface disease, as well as comprehensive management strategies at our Dry Eye and Ocular Surface Disease Center of Excellence.
As dry eye is often multi-factorial and can even be related to underlying disease states in the body, we have developed a comprehensive testing strategy that evaluates all aspects of dry eye, including lack of tears, inflammation, and oil production of the eyelid glands. We analyze the eyelid gland structure in all new dry eye patients with LipiScan technology and carefully evaluate the oil quality at the microscope. We measure the tear production of your eye and the water component of the tears to determine if underproduction is the problem. We measure for inflammatory markers to see if inflammation needs to be addressed. We also analyze the degree of visual disability associated with dry eye by scanning your eye with the HD Analyzer.
At Vold Vision, we provide the best technology for treatment and diagnosis in dry eye and ocular surface disease. Following our detailed evaluation of your eyes, our treatment strategy is carefully tailored to the individual patient needs and desires. Possible treatments include:
- Punctal occlusion
- Artificial tears, with components tailored to individual needs
- Moisturizing or hypertonic ointments
- Anti-inflammatory eye medications
- Warm compresses and heated eye masks
- Nighttime eye masks to avoid evaporation
- Avenova anti-inflammatory eyelid spray
- Tea tree oil
- LipiFlow thermal pulsation therapy for eyelid disease
- Intense Pulsed Light Therapy for meibomian gland and eyelid inflammatory disease
- Specialty compounded eye drops
- Medications by mouth
- Amniotic membrane treatments
- Specialty contact lens with liquid reservoir
As each individual’s needs are different, we will develop a targeted treatment strategy which we carefully explain and discuss with our patients. We will coach you along the way through your visits with us to rehabilitate your eyes and get your vision and quality of life back on track.
Spotlight on Lipiflow
LipiFlow is a thermal pulsation therapy for eyelid gland disease. As part of your dry eye evaluation, we will examine the eyelid glands, which are responsible for the essential oil in the tear film and keep high-quality tears on the eye surface. Tears evaporate quickly without this oil, and the sensation of dryness and irritation persists. LipiFlow is a 15-minute eyelid treatment which heats and massages the eyelids, expressing the glands to allow the free flow of oil into the tear film. Most patients will experience a noticeable improvement in dry eye symptoms; however, the primary goal of this treatment is to break the cycle of eyelid gland occlusion and prevent further atrophy and dysfunction of glands over time. The spa-like experience is comfortable and enjoyable, and patients can return to normal activities immediately afterward.
Spotlight on IPL
IPL is a focused laser treatment for dry eye. It consists of applying several spots of laser to the lower eyelid. The sensation is minimal — if anything, the patient may feel a light rubber band-like snap on the cheek. The laser targets blood vessels tracking into the lower eyelid, which carry inflammation to the eyelid glands and cause eyelid gland dysfunction. Without properly functioning eyelid glands, tear quality is poor. After this treatment, patients can expect an improvement in dry eye symptoms. This laser is also used for cosmetic skin treatments, so patients will not only notice an improvement in the eyelid but in the cheek skin tone and texture as well. The initial treatment is a series of four sessions of approximately ten minutes each. Patients may be able to reduce or discontinue use of some of their other dry eye treatments after this procedure, although individual results may vary.
SPOTLIGHT ON PROKERA
Our practice offers patients PROKERA®, a biologic corneal bandage used to treat chronic Dry Eye as well as other diseases such as keratitis, recurrent corneal erosion, and chemical burns. It can also be used for certain indications related to refractive surgery. This unique treatment is comprised of cryopreserved amniotic membrane tissue, which has natural therapeutic qualities that help the eye heal faster with less pain, scarring, and less inflammation. PROKERA is ideal for patients with chronic Dry Eye, and can rejuvenate the cornea in as few as three days, with benefits lasting up to five months, or longer. PROKERA is easily inserted and removed in our office.
Dr. Voicu Dry Eye Testimonial
My Journey with Dry Eye – A Doctor’s Perspective from Dr. Voicu
“I enjoy evaluating and treating dry eye partially because I have dry eye myself, and I can relate to the struggle my patients are going through. I have struggled with evaporative dry eye, which has in the past made wearing contact lenses difficult. I eventually got LASEK during my ophthalmology training, and getting out of contact lenses helped the dry eye, but did not resolve it. I have personally benefited from the use of punctual plugs, artificial tears and also Xiidra. More recently, I tried Lipiflow in our office. I was a bit of a skeptic that such a quick procedure could have a significant impact, but Lipiflow has made a noticeable difference in my dry eye symptoms, and the improvement has become more noticeable over the course of 6 weeks or so. I now strongly recommend it to my patients who are already optimized with artificial tears and other medical treatments, but still suffering from evaporative dry eye symptoms, or who have significant meibomian gland dysfunction on exam where I can tell this is going to become symptomatic in the near future if we don’t intervene.”
Plan Your Procedure
Control Dry, Itchy Eyes
At the Vold Vision Dry Eye and Ocular Surface Disease Center of Excellence, we provide first-in-class evaluation and treatment in a friendly and caring setting. We use science-based diagnostic tools and bring the best and latest technology to Northwest Arkansas. Your experience with us is important, and getting you and your eyes to your best potential is our focus.