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Natural Awakenings Westchester / Putnam / Dutchess New York

Dry Eyes Often Need More than Drops: by Dr. Ami C. Ranani

Feb 26, 2016 12:49PM

Miboflow treatment at Somers Eye Center

Millions of people, most of them women, suffer from dry eyes. Symptoms include stinging, burning, a sandy or gritty sensation, tearing, pain, redness, eye fatigue and blurred vision. Dry eyes can lead to pain, ulcers and corneal scarring.

While steroid and Restasis drops are often prescribed for dry eyes, those don’t address a frequent cause of the problem: Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD), a gland obstruction along the eyelid. Our tears are made up of three layers, the top being the lipid layer. With MGD, the tear gland doesn’t secrete the lipids necessary to keep tears from evaporating. Tears help us avoid the symptoms of dry eyes.

At our Somers dry eye center, we use many tools for treatment. After taking a careful history and doing diagnostic testing like tear lab and Schirmer’s testing, we often use an instrument called a Blephex to scrub the biofilm bacteria across the eye’s surface where the openings are—about 25 on top and 25 on bottom. Sometimes we probe certain ones. We then use a Miboflow treatment, a 108-degree double pad with ultrasound gel, to heat the lids and melt the lipids so they flow through the openings. We’ll recommend certain supplements and customize over-the-counter drops for our patients. We may also recommend certain heat goggles, and occasionally moisture goggles, to be used at home.

Whenever possible, we photograph or record treatments so patients can see the before and after. It’s important to us that our patients are educated about their eyes and involved in the treatment process.

Ami C. Ranani is a doctor of optometry with Somers Eye Center, 380 Route 202, Somers, NY. For more info, call 914.277.5550, email [email protected] or visit SomersEye.com.