Dry Eye Center
Who We Are
We are the premier dry eye treatment center in Michigan. In association with Family Vision Optical, we offer advanced diagnostics, state-of-the-art in-office therapies, as well as customized at-home treatment plans for all walks of life. Gone are the days of being told to use more eye drops and getting sent on your way. Our mission is to help reduce your symptoms, optimize vision and keep your eyes healthy for years to come.
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What is Dry Eye?
Dry eye is a multifactorial disease which causes a disruption to the normal state of the tear film. This disruption is associated with ocular symptoms, an unstable tear film, ocular surface inflammation and damage, as well as possible neurosensory damage.
What this is saying in layman’s terms is that dry eye has many causes. These causes can disrupt vision, cause pain and discomfort and if left untreated, it can cause nerve and sensory damage.
Risk Factors for Dry Eye
- Dry eye can affect men, women, and children of all ages
- Over the age of 50, women are slightly more susceptible to dry eye than men
- Anyone who spends a lot of time on digital devices such as phones, screens or computers
- People who wear contact lenses Patients with the following conditions or taking medications for the following conditions:
Symptoms of Dry Eye
- Foreign body sensation, sandy gritty eyes or always feeling like something is in your eye
- Burning sensation
- Contact lens intolerance and discomfort or dryness
- Aching, sore or fatigued eyes
- Red irritated eyes
- Watery eyes with excessive tearing
- Sensitivity to light
- Fluctuating vision
How to Diagnose Dry Eye
Dry eye is a complex disease that has many different causes. We have numerous diagnostic tests that help us identify your specific form of dry eye so it can be appropriately treated. These tests include:
Osmolarity and MMP-9 Testing
These state of the art tests not only allow us to objectively quantify the type of dry eye you are experiencing, but also assess if there is an inflammatory process involved. This will allow us to see if treatments are having the desired effect and pinpoint the best therapy for you.
Tear Volume Assessment
We have methods to determine if your dryness is from a lack of tear production or due to evaporative dry eye.
Meibomian Gland Assessment
When looking at the glands that produce a portion of your tears, we assess whether they are damaged or inflamed. We also determine.whether these glands are producing the proper type of secretion to prevent the tears from breaking down and either evaporating or running onto your face.
Tear break up time
This will help us visualize your tear film and assess its quality. We are examining how long the tear film lasts between blinks.
Ocular surface evaluation
Using special dyes, we are able to visualize any damage or inflammation that is disrupting your ocular surface. This damage could possibly be degrading vision, causing discomfort and/or irritation.
Evaluation of the lids and lashes
We will make sure that your lashes are clear and free of debris. We can also assess whether or not there is an excessive amount of bacteria that may be causing your eye to be inflamed.
Available Treatment & Therapies
In office Therapies
There are several treatment options available to you that can be done in-office. These vary depending on the cause of your specific dry eye.
Blephex: A quick and pain free method to remove debris and dandruff by exfoliating the eyelids.
iLux/Lipiflow/TearCare: This is performed after the microexfoliation procedure which clears the lids and opens the glands. The heated massage (thermal pulsation procedure) will help the glands express properly and unclog any obstructions that were disrupting the tear film.
Specialized contact lenses that not only provide incredibly clear vision, they also bathe the eye in preservative free solution all day long, reducing ocular discomfort.
Lid Cleaning Therapies
Depending on the severity and type of bacteria that is causing debris buildup and inflammation of the eyelids and lashes, an in office cleaning therapy may be necessary.
Once we have determined that there is no inflammation in your tears, eyelids, and lashes, we have the option of installing a plug that will slow or stop the drainage of your tears. This allows the tears you have to increase in volume and lubricate your eyes rather than evaporate or fall down your face.
Autologous Serum and Amniotic Membranes
These are both reserved for patients with severe dry eye. We use special eye drops that are formulated from your own blood to heal any damage that may exist. Alternatively, we may use an amniotic membrane that promotes healing and reduces scarring, though this is only done in the most extreme cases.
Prescription Solutions & New Therapies
While it is impossible to list all the existing and new to market treatment options, know that we pride ourselves at staying up to date on the latest advancements in dry eye treatment (drops, nasal sprays, nerve regeneration therapies, etc.) You can rest assured you are receiving the latest and greatest treatments and procedures that are available in the United States.
At home therapy is the backbone of any treatment plan for a chronic condition such as dry eye disease. We aim to educate you on all the best options for your specific situation in a world where Dr. Google is sometimes more hurtful than helpful. If you ever have a question on efficacy, quality or necessity of a treatment option, please do not hesitate to ask.
We base all of our treatment plans on the following 5 pillars:
Just as we brush our teeth every night, we must be diligent to wash our lids and lashes. There are a variety of at home sprays, gels and wipes that reduce inflammation and kill unwanted bacteria that are sometimes the source of dry eye disease.
Once your eyes are free from unwanted bacteria, dirt and debris, heat therapy is a way to keep your eyelids’ meibomian glands open and functioning at their highest levels. There are numerous options to provide the sustained heat necessary to optimize treatment.
Once you have cleaned and heated your eyelids and lashes, we aim to offer sustainable options to protect your eyes when sleeping or operating in harsh environments. These include but are not limited to moisture goggles, viscous gel solutions or protective glasses when necessary.
Probably the most important aspect of at home therapy is nutrition. If the foundation of your health is not optimized, your eyes and the rest of your body will suffer. We can offer various supplements and diet plans that reduce inflammation and optimize ocular health.
Once the only option offered to dry eye patients, topical hydration still has its place in at home care. Not all drops and methods are created equally, and we will make sure to provide you with the most effective and worthwhile drops and solutions to meet your therapeutic goals.
Everything we do in our day to day lives plays a role in dry eye disease. Some of these tasks include office work, looking at our phones, driving with heat or AC on in the car andthe foods and liquids we choose to eat and drink.We will help you identify the actions and activities that are having the biggest effect on your dry eye and offer actionable options to modify or eliminate the things most responsible for your condition.
Follow along with us!
👓Family Vision Optical takes pride in providing eye care for every situation, for all ages! 📍Allendale, MI | (616) 895-2020