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Woman with Dry Eyelids

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What Are Dry Eyelids?

Dry skin on your eyelids isn’t like other dry areas on your body. The sensitive skin around your eye area is much thinner and has less fat underneath it for cushioning. Another difference is that the eyelid skin is highly vasculated with blood vessels, so it’s more prone to irritation and allergic reactions than other parts of the body.

Eyelids contain tiny glands that secrete essential oils into the tears, so maintaining their health and function is vital to ocular comfort.

Treatment will depend on what’s causing your eyelids to become dry. In many cases, a dry eye optometrist can help.

Symptoms Often Related to Dry Eyelids

Eyelids that are dry are often:

  • Scaly and rough
  • Itchy
  • Red
  • Irritated
  • Painful or sore
  • Discolored
  • Swollen

What are the Possible Causes of Dry Eyelids?

Some examples of irritants and allergens that can result in eyelid dryness are:

  • Cosmetics
  • Shampoos and cleansers
  • Certain metals in eyelash curlers
  • Food allergies
  • Pollutants in the air

Medical conditions that may lead to dry eyelids include:

  • Eczema
  • Psoriasis
  • Contact dermatitis
  • Atopic dermatitis
  • Blepharitis

What You Should Do If You Have Dry Eyelids

If your dry eyelids are accompanied by other symptoms, it’s best to schedule an appointment with your optometrist to rule out underlying health problems.

Mild eyelid dryness can sometimes resolve on its own after making a few lifestyle adjustments. For example, stop using makeup while your eyelids are dry, and try washing your eye area with a mild baby soap twice a day. You can also try using a humidifier while at home or work to replenish the air’s moisture.

Avoid using moisturizers or lotions around the eyes unless directed by your dermatologist or other physicians to do so. You may find relief from using warm, moist eye compresses to help soothe the irritated eyelid skin. Always wash your hands before touching your face or eyes.

If your symptoms are lingering or worsening, a visit to your local dry eye optometrist is warranted.

How a Dry Eye Optometrist Can Help

Dry eyelids are usually no cause for concern and can be treated effectively. If blepharitis (inflammation of the eyelids) is causing your eyelid dryness, we can provide safe and effective treatment options for long-lasting relief.

A thorough examination of your ocular health and medical history will help determine the root cause of your symptoms and the best treatment plan for your condition.

Whether you have dry eyelids, dry eyes or other uncomfortable ocular symptoms, we can help. To schedule a consultation, call The Dry Eye Center at Exceptional Vision today.

Our practice serves patients from Palmetto Bay, Miami, Cutler Bay, and Pinecrest, Florida and surrounding communities.
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Digital Eye Strain and Dry Eye Syndrome

Dry eye syndrome is a condition characterized by chronic eye dryness and reduced quality of the eye’s tear film. Several factors can lead or contribute to dry eye syndrome, including genetics, age, environment, medical conditions and computer use.

Symptoms of dry eye syndrome include:

  • Red eyes
  • Dry eyes
  • Irritated eyes
  • Blurred vision
  • Painful or stinging eyes
  • Light sensitivity
  • Mucus around the eyes

Below, we explore what digital eye strain is, how it relates to dry eye syndrome and how a dry eye optometrist can provide relief.

What is Digital Eye Strain?

Digital eye strain, otherwise known as computer vision syndrome, refers to a group of symptoms that affect both vision and ocular health after prolonged use of a digital screen (phone, tablet, computer, television, hand-held video game devices).

Someone with digital eye strain may experience one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Blurred vision
  • Headaches
  • Neck and shoulder pain
  • Dry eyes
  • Strained eyes

Digital eye strain is often caused by one or a combination of several factors:

  • A poorly lit environment
  • Poor posture while using a digital device
  • Uncorrected vision or eye problems
  • Glare from the screen
  • Holding the screen too close to the eyes or at an incorrect angle
  • Blue light emissions
  • 2 or more hours of continuous screen usage

How Does Digital Eye Strain Contribute to Dry Eye Syndrome?

During the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a rise in cases of dry eye syndrome in places where stay-at-home orders were mandated. This phenomenon led researchers to pinpoint the link between dry eye syndrome and prolonged screen use.

Blue Light Exposure

Blue light is emitted by the sun, indoor lighting and digital devices with screens.

While the amount of energy blue light these devices emit is only a fraction of that in sunlight, many eye doctors are increasingly concerned by the amount of time people spend using these devices and the proximity of these screens to the user’s face.

A 2019 study involving primary human corneal cells in the BMJ Open Ophthalmology found that certain levels of blue light damaged the cells on the eye’s surface, potentially contributing to dry eye syndrome.

However, more research is needed to determine whether the amount of blue light used in studies can harm a person’s eyes.

Another study published in the PLOS One (2016) journal concluded that wearing blue light blocking glasses improved the visual impairment caused by tear instability in patients with dry eye syndrome.

Infrequent Blinking

Another reason screen use can lead to dry eyes is insufficient blinking. People tend to blink less when focusing on text or images on a digital screen, with the blink rate dropping by 66% when using a computer.

Blinking helps keep our eyes healthy and comfortable. With every blink, the ocular surface is cleaned of debris and lubricated, so less blinking means more irritation and dryness.

In 2018, researchers from the Northern Clinics of Istanbul conducted a small-scale study involving 30 people who spent 8 hours on the computer per day, and 30 people who spent 1 hour on the computer per day. They found that the prolonged use of a computer significantly increased the risk of developing evaporative-type dry eye syndrome due to the reduced blink rate.

Incomplete Blinking

An incomplete blink is when the top and bottom eyelids don’t meet during a blink, leaving some of the eye’s surface exposed. This can reduce the quality of the lipid layer in the tear film and eventually lead to dry eye syndrome.

Research published by the American Optometric Association (2014) found that people are significantly more prone to incomplete blinking when reading on a computer screen than when reading from a hard copy.

How To Find Relief From Digital Eye Strain and Dry Eyes

The good news is that there are steps you can take to alleviate some eye discomfort when using a digital device.

  • Ask your eye doctor whether blue light blocking glasses can help.
  • Make a conscious effort to blink frequently and completely.
  • Follow the 20-20-20 rule — when using a digital device, take a break every 20 minutes to focus on an object that’s at least 20 feet away, for at least 20 seconds.
  • Reposition your monitor or device to reduce glare, or use a glare filter.
  • Adjust your body so that no muscles or joints are strained
  • Speak with your dry eye optometrist about a personalized treatment plan for long-lasting relief.

Limiting daily screen time may be unrealistic for some people, but that doesn’t mean you have to live with symptoms of dry eye syndrome. If you or a loved one suffer from dry eyes, we can help.

Call The Dry Eye Center at Exceptional Vision to schedule your dry eye consultation today!

Our practice serves patients from Palmetto Bay, Miami, Cutler Bay, and Pinecrest, Florida and surrounding communities.
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Woman with Meibomian Gland Dysfunction

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Everything You Need to Know About Meibomian Gland Dysfunction

If your eyes itch, burn, sting, look red, or you have a constant feeling of something being lodged in your eye, you may have a condition called Meibomian (“my-BOH-mee-an”) Gland Dysfunction, or MGD. This condition is the leading cause of Dry Eye Syndrome.

Patients from throughout the Palmetto Bay area suffering from Meibomian Gland Dysfunction. If you suffer from any of these symptoms or think you might have MGD, contact the The Dry Eye Center at Exceptional Vision. Dr. Lianne Pino can help you with the long-term relief you need.

What is Meibomian Gland Dysfunction?

Our tears are made up of three components: the lipid (oil) layer, aqueous (water) layer, and the mucus (sticky) layer. These components work in unison to lubricate and coat the eyes, keeping them moist and comfortable.

Your meibomian glands control the lipids in the eye (meibum) which combine with water and mucus in the eye area to create a thin film that consistently lubricates your eyes. Meibum is an essential part of your eye’s makeup as it prevents the evaporation of the eye’s tear film.

Meibomian Gland Dysfunction occurs when the meibomian glands fail to provide enough meibum. This can be triggered by various factors and causes the tear film to evaporate at a quicker rate, leading the eyes to feel dry and uncomfortable.

What Are the Symptoms of Meibomian Gland Dysfunction?

Depending on your specific case, your symptoms may be mild or severe, quick or long-lasting.

The most common symptoms of MGD include:

  • Blurry vision
  • Burning and dry sensation
  • Difficulty wearing contact lenses
  • Watery eyes
  • Red, sore and gritty eyes
  • Crusty or sticky eyelids

The increased use of air conditioning or heating systems in the summer and winter months may intensify symptoms. Humid climates, extreme temperatures, and dusty and windy conditions may aggravate eye dryness and itchiness as well.

What are the Causes of Meibomian Gland Dysfunction?

  • Age: MGD tends to manifest in older people, particularly in women during and after menopause
  • Taking certain medications: particularly retinoic acid (acne treatment), HRT (hormone replacement therapy for menopausal women), antidepressants, antihistamines, anti-androgen medication (used to treat prostatic hypertrophy).
  • Endocrine disorders
  • Pregnancy
  • Wearing contact lenses for an extended period of time.
  • Immune system disorders: atopic rosacea, psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis and Sjogren’s syndrome.

Excessive screen time has also been linked to the development of MGD. Staring at a screen on your TV, smartphone, computer or tablet, causes you to blink less frequently. Blinking naturally moisturizes your eyes, and by doing so, clears any small particles that may have accidentally lodged in your eye. Less frequent blinking results in dryer eyes, which can harm the long-term ability of your meibomian glands to function properly.

What are the Solutions for Meibomian Gland Dysfunction?

Treatments for Meibomian Gland Dysfunction range from self-administered or practitioner-administered treatments and typically involve a few methods, such as artificial tears, heat application, and manual gland expression. Dr. Lianne Pino usually suggests applying warm compresses over your eyelids as a first course of action. This gently opens the clogged glands and loosens the oil that may have accumulated. Warm compresses can provide temporary relief.

Further therapies used to manage MGD include omega-3 supplementation, topical antibiotics, oral tetracyclines to reduce the level of pro-inflammatory cytokines, corticosteroids, or topical cyclosporine.

People with MGD commonly purchase over-the-counter eye drops to lubricate their eyes. Unfortunately, these drops tend to provide only transient relief, because, without an adequate layer of Meibomian Gland oil, the liquid from the drops simply evaporate off of the eye. Dr. Lianne Pino at The Dry Eye Center at Exceptional Vision can recommend the appropriate eye drops or treatment for your dry eye case to improve your eye comfort levels.

Think You Have MGD? We Can Help

If you are suffering from any of the above symptoms or conditions, then reach out to the The Dry Eye Center at Exceptional Vision. Based on the degree of your condition, symptoms, and lifestyle, Dr. Lianne Pino will recommend the best course of treatment for you.

Our practice serves patients from Palmetto Bay, Miami, Cutler Bay, and Pinecrest, Florida and surrounding communities.

“I went to the The Dry Eye Center at Exceptional Vision and everyone there was professional and courteous. Dr. Lianne Pino did a thorough evaluation and treatment. I’m happy to say that my eyes feel comfortable and my vision is back to how it was before the condition began.”

Jennifer P. Craig, Yen-Heng Chen, Philip R. K. Turnbull; Prospective Trial of Intense Pulsed Light for the Treatment of Meibomian Gland Dysfunction. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2015;56(3):1965-1970. doi: 10.1167/iovs.14-15764.

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