Dry eye disease, also called dry eye syndrome, or ocular surface disease, is an extremely common condition that affects men and women of all ages, especially those over 40. Inflammation and an imbalance (not necessarily a deficiency) of the tear film are the underlying mechanisms that cause dry eye. When quality tears are not able to produce the proper balance, the ocular surface become inflamed.
Common symptoms of dry eye, as described by patients, include:
- Light sensitivity
- Foreign body sensation
- Ocular pain
- Blurred vision
- Visual fatigue
The prevalence of dry eye increases with age and is far more common in women. Other risk factors include the use of certain medications, autoimmune inflammatory diseases, contact lens wear, LASIK and refractive surgery, and menopause. Quality of life and daily activities can be greatly impacted by dry eye symptoms, creating a significant psychological impact. Patients have reported a willingness to trade years at the end of their lives to be free of dry eye disease.
The lack of correlation between clinical signs and symptoms of dry eye disease makes diagnosing and treating patients a challenge. Now there is a solution to this problem.
Twelve Bridges Vision Care is proud to offer InflammaDry.
InflammaDry® is the first and only, rapid result, in-office test that detects elevated levels of MMP-9, an inflammatory marker that is consistently elevated in the tears of patients with dry eye disease. All other dry eye tests measure tear production and stability. Using a simple 4-step process, InflammaDry® recognizes elevated levels of MMP-9, to identify patients that may otherwise be missed with other dry eye testing methods.
▪ MMP-9 is a more sensitive diagnostic marker for dry eye than clinical signs alone.
▪ Inflammation is present before the clinical signs of dry eye.
▪ Increased MMP-9 activity in dry eyes may contribute to deranged corneal epithelial barrier function, increased corneal desquamation, and corneal surface irregularity.
▪ InflammaDry® provides highly accurate results: 81% positive agreement/sensitivity, 98% negative agreement specificity
There are many treatment options available for dry eye syndrome, depending on the cause and severity of the condition. The most important factor in the success of dry eye treatment is patient compliance. Many people find the treatment too much trouble and do not follow through with their doctor’s recommendations. This can lead to frustration and discouragement for both the patient and the doctor.
With patience and perseverance, some of the following treatments have shown to decrease the symptoms of dry eye syndrome:
▪ Artificial tears and punctual occlusion.
▪ Warm compresses and eyelid scrubs.
▪ Anti-inflammatory medications, such as Restasis, doxycycline, or mild steroid drops have been shown to decrease MMP-9 activity.
▪ Omega-3 fatty acids, preferably from cold water fish sources. Also flax seed oil can improve the symptoms.
We are proud to offer EZ Tears by ZeaVision. These science-based nutraceuticals are designed to help patients suffering from dry eye and contact lens discomfort by improving tear composition and reducing inflammation. They are made from the highest-quality, natural ingredients, and they come with an unconditional 30-day money back guarantee!