Dry eye is one of the most common diseases we see at Laser Eye Center, and something that we are constantly striving to better understand. In the U.S. alone, there are 30 million people suffering from dry eye.
Dry eye may affect quality of life and symptoms include dryness, tired eyes, redness, irritation, burning and stinging, and watery or itchy eyes. In severe cases, dry eye disease can interfere with everyday activities and impact many aspects of quality of life. It can affect reading and driving, and cause feelings of anxiety, stress and depression.
However given the generalness of the symptoms, many patients suffering from dry eye do not realize that this is the cause for their symptoms until they are formally diagnosed by an optometrist. As such, it is critical to offer our dry eye patients safe, effective treatments like the iLux system. Thanks to iLux, we have been able to change our dry eye patients’ lives and eliminate their chronic suffering. Take a moment to learn how.
Gets to the Core of the Problem
iLux doesn’t simply treat the symptoms of dry eye disease, it addresses the core: meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD), which is the leading cause of dry eye disease accounting for about 86 percent of the diagnoses.
The meibomian glands in the eyelids produce oils that form a protective casing on top of the eye’s tear film. Each time we blink, these oils are lifted to cover the eye’s surface and serve to keep the eyes’ natural tears from evaporating. Sometimes these oily secretions can thicken (like butter), blocking or clogging the meibomian glands. Causes for the blockages or clogs include pollution as well as our computer-driven lifestyles wherein we spend six to nine hours in front of a screen, which in turn interrupts our blinking.
Without the oily secretions, the tears evaporate too quickly off the surface of the eyes, and the eyes dry out. If left untreated, the blocked or clogged meibomian glands can atrophy and die, making the condition non-reversible.
Significant Relief from Symptoms
For the first time ever, iLux is enabling vision care specialists to intervene and restore normal function to the glands for a healthier tear film and relief from symptoms. This is a significant advance over previous treatment methodologies which include artificial tears and plugs.
Instead of momentarily soothing the symptoms of dry eye (as achieved through artificial tears), iLux provides significant, lasting relief and freedom from dry, itchy eyes, blurry vision, sensitivity to light and the feeling of having something stuck in your eye. In fact, symptom relief with iLux can last for six to eight months!
Convenient In-Office Treatment
iLux treatment is a non-drug, non-surgical treatment that can be administered during an office visit. The iLux handheld device is portable and non-intrusive. When positioned over the eyelids, it quickly and comfortably applies therapeutic heat to the meibomian glands to melt the thickened oils; next, the device applies gentle pressure to manually express the obstructed oils. The entire process takes about eight minutes and has been described as a warm massage for the eyes.