Dry Eye Clinic

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Dry Eye Clinic Information

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Collins Vision has established a comprehensive Dry Eye Clinic to identify the underlying cause of dry eye symptoms and to offer patients a customized treatment plan. Customized treatment plans, in most cases, will include a combination of in-office testing and a personalized at-home regimen.

Dr. Nicole E. Alessi has collaborated with leading dry eye specialists around the country to develop the Collins Vision Dry Eye Specialty Clinic. Her interest in this area began during her residency training, where a strong emphasis was placed on the chronic disease of dry eye. She is dedicated to offering the most up-to-date, comprehensive care for patients with dry eye, blepharitis, and various ocular surface disorders. During your first appointment, you will personally meet with Dr. Alessi for your evaluation, and a customized treatment plan.

What is Dry Eye?

Dry eye occurs when there is a problem with the quality or quantity of tears secreted. The normal tear film is a complex structure composed of many different layers. The oil layer is the protective layer of the tear film and prevents evaporation of tears. If there is an insufficient oil layer, the tears are quickly evaporated resulting in a dry eye.

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Signs of Dry Eye

  • Blurriness
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Irritation from windy conditions
  • Fatigued eyes at the end of the day
  • Problems wearing contact lenses
  • Scratchy or gritty feeling
  • Excessive tearing
  • Red Eyes

If you suffer from any of these symptoms, schedule an appointment with Dr. Alessi, so she can evaluate your eyes, determine whether you have dry eye and suggest an appropriate treatment plan.

Causes of Dry Eye

Heavy reading or digital device use

Living / working in a dry environment

Prolonged contact lens wear

LASIK surgery

Allergy drugs, diuretics, beta-blockers, birth control pills, or other drugs

Diets poor in essential fatty acids or anti-inflammatory foods

Certain health conditions, such as diabetes, arthritis, lupus, and Sjogren’s syndrome

Deficiency of tear-producing glands

Dry Eye Treatments

Treatment of Demodex Blepharitis

Demodex Blepharitis is extremely common, and occurs when microscopic mites live along the lash line and in hair follicles. This can cause tubular, dandruff flakes to form around the lash follicle. During treatment, each eyelash margin is scrubbed with diluted tea tree oil until the affected areas are thoroughly cleansed. A home regimen will be prescribed following the procedure to prevent recurrence.

blephex-logoBlephEx®  treatment is also offered. With BlephEx®, Dr. Alessi can precisely and safely, clean and exfoliate your eyelids and lashes, which will almost immediately improve your symptoms. More importantly, by completely removing the exotoxin-laden biofilm along the lid margin, we can help you avoid the long-term inflammatory damage to your tear glands, preventing chronic dry eye syndrome.  For more information, click here.

 

Expression of Meibomian Glands

The meibomian glands are responsible for maintaining the oil layer of the tears. They secrete an “oily” substance (meibum) composed primarily of lipids and proteins. These secretions are expelled from the gland during blinking and prevent evaporation of the tear film. These glands can become obstructed, causing the oil layer to become thin. In office expression of the meibomian glands works to re-establish healthy gland function.

Ocular Allergies Treatment

Patients with ocular allergies experience an increased risk for dry eye. The opposite is also true: dry eye can aggravate allergic signs and symptoms. By taking a simple allergy test, your physician will know immediately if ocular allergies are to blame for your symptoms and will be able to create a customized, effective treatment plan to end your suffering. This plan will significantly reduce or eliminate your ocular allergy symptoms and decrease the need for medication.

Other components of your treatment plan may include punctual occlusion, lubrication, hygiene and prescription medication.

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