Dry Eye Disease
Tears are needed to lubricate the eyes and to wash away particles and foreign objects. A healthy tear film on the eye is necessary for good vision. Dry eyes develop when the eye is unable to maintain a healthy coating of tears. Dry eye usually occurs in people who are otherwise healthy. It becomes more common with age. Dry eye disease can occur for a number of different reasons; some of those being from hormonal changes that make your eyes produce fewer tears, a dry environment, sun exposure, smoking or certain medications.
If left untreated, dry eye diesase can cause permanent scarring to the suface of the eye. This can significantly affect quality of life and productivity.
Common Symptoms Of Dry Eye Disease
- Redness, burning and/or itching
- Fluctuation in vision
- Feeling of sand or grit in eye
- Contact lens discomfort
- Light sensitivity
- Watery eyes
- Tired eyes
Diagnosing and Treatment
Symptoms alone are poor predictors of the presence and severity of dry eye disease. Symptoms can vary signifanctly from person to person, and may even be affected by personality type. Some people with only minimal or mild dry eyes may feel that there eyes are very bothersome, while others may have significant dry eye problems and not consider their symptoms significant enough to see an eye doctor (or they may not experience symptoms at all).
The best treatment plan for dry eyes is to target the root cause. Dr. Calotti and his team offer a variety of specialized diagnostics to helm him do this so that a patient specific treatment plan can be created. During your appointment your technician will take a sample of tears from each eye to measure osmolarity, advanced imaging of your meibomian glands, and they will administer a test that detects MMP-9 (an inflammatory marker) and perform an assessment of tear stability.
Due to dry eye syndrome being chronic and a typically progressive condition. Depending on its cause and severity, it may not be completely curable. But in most cases, it can be managed successfully, usually resulting in noticeably greater eye comfort with fewer symptoms and sometimes sharper vision as well. A variety of patient specific treatment approaches can be used. Dr. Calotti may recommend topical treatment with instructions for associated at home care, more comprehensive treatment options done in office or a combination of both.
Blepharitis is an inflammation the affects the eyelids. It is usually caused by an excess growth of bacteria that is ordinarily found on the skin, blockage of the eyelid's oil glands, and occasionally allergies.
Blepharitis cannot be cured, however it can be treated. During your appointment with Dr. Calotti you will be given simple maintenance instructions to follow.
Symptoms of Blepharitis are:
- Read and watery eyes
- A gritty, burning sensation in the eye
- Eyelids that appear greasy and sticky
- Itchy, red, and swollen eyelids
- Flaking of the skin around the eyes
- Crusted eyelashes upon awakening
- More frequent blinking
- Sensitivity to light
- Eyelashes that grow abnormally and loss of eyelashes
Demodex Blepharitis is Blepharitis caused by a secondary Demodex mite infestation. Demodex mites are microscopic 8 legged arachnid parasites that live in our hair follicles and sebaceous glands. There are 65 different species of Demodex however, only two are found on humans (Demodex brevis and Demodex folliculorum). They can not be contracted from any other species. A typical Demodex life cycle is complete within 18-24 days. An adult female can lay 20-24 eggs in a hair follicle, these eggs are then incubated by the cells surrounding them within the follicle. Females stay within the hair follicle while males will leave the follicle in search of a mate. The mites are capable of walking approximately 10 mm/h and are most active at night.
Symptoms of Demodex Blepharitis are:
- Eyelid and eyebrow itching (especially in the morning)
- Absence or loss of eyelashes
- Eye redness
- Burning and/or foreign body sensation that feels as if it is originating from beneath the eyelids
Dr. Calotti offers specialized diagnostics that will help him diagnose demodex on your eyelashes. He also offers patient specific treatment plans for at home care and also more comprehensive treatment options that are done in office.