Visionary Eye Center in Reno
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Dry Eye Syndrome

Many patients in Northern Nevada mistakenly blame the climate for their dry eye, but in reality our arid environment is only one of many factors contributing to the development of this all to common disease. Dry eye is something of a misnomer, as tearing can often be a sign that you have what is better described as tear film dysfunction or ocular surface disease. The tear that protects our eyes is complex in nature and the treatment of tear film dysfunctions can be just as complex. Common symptoms associated with tear film dysfunction include dryness, stinging, burning, redness, tearing, grittiness, blurred vision, double vision, foreign body sensations, sensitivity to light, easily fatigued or tired eyes. Tear film dysfunctions are also a common cause of contact lens discomfort and may increase your risk for corneal scarring and infection. dry eye treatment in Reno

As many as 3.2 million women and 1.68 million men over 50 in America are affected by dry eye syndrome. We know that factors like age, being female, prior refractive surgery like LASIK, certain medications like Accutane, conditions like Sjogren’s disease, excessive multivitamin use, radiation treatments and diets low in vitamin A and omega-3 fatty acids increase the risk that you will experience dry eye syndrome. Testing for dry eye syndrome includes:

Diagnostic dyes to assess tear film quality and surface damage. Sodium Fluorescein (yellow) allows the doctors at the Visionary Eye Center to evaluate how quickly your tear film breaks apart and stains damaged areas of the eye, especially on the corneal surface. Lissamine Green stains dead cells due to dessication and highlights conjunctival damage.

Phenol red threads and Schirmer’s strips are used to determine tear quantity. By placing one of these threads or strips in the eye it is possible to assess certain aspects of your dry eye. There does exist some controversy regarding both tests as to what they actually measure, be it tear volume, basal tear secretion, reflex tearing or a combination of the three. Regardless, their correlation between low amounts of wetting and dry eye remains high.

The Ocular Surface Disease Index is a scientifically validated 20 question test that allows us document symptoms of dry eye and monitor your status. One of the most frustrating things about managing dry eye can be the poor correlation between our clinical test results and the patient’s symptoms. By using this questionairre we can provide a measure of your dry eye despite seemingly normal test results and examination. Click here to take the test.

Tear osmolarity is the newest test we have for determining how severe your dry eye is. If you remember from high school, osmotic forces push and pull water in an attempt to equalize the concentration gradient. This process occurs on the ocular surface as poor quality tear film can actually draw water out of the surface of the eye and place these cells under great duress. Using a device called the Tear Lab Osmolarity Test we can now test for osmolarity as it relates to your current dry eye condition and monitor for improvement as we try different treatment methods. Unfortunately, Nevada is one of 3 states that do no allow optometrists to obtain a CLIA waiver to provide this vital diagnostic tool to our patients. We urge you to contact your state representatives to let them know that this law is antiquated and impedes the proper treatment of dry eye.

Today we have a multitude of dry eye treatment options, from artificial tears to surgery to specialty protective shells. Read on to discover some of what we have available.

At the Visionary Eye Center we strive to stay on top of the latest in dry eye treatment options in order to ensure the best experience for our patients. Contact us today to start your journey towards dry eye relief.

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