If you’ve experienced dry eyes before, you know that its interference with daily activities – from reading to driving to using the computer – can affect your quality of life. Thankfully, there are multiple treatment options that Anne Arundel Eye Center currently offers, such as artificial tears and medications, to help with this uncomfortable and chronic condition. While these treatment options are effective for many, we’re happy to offer a new in-office, non-surgical treatment, iLux, that has already been performed with outstanding success on dry eye patients.
Causes of Dry Eye: Meibomian Gland Dysfunction and Blepharitis
While Dry Eye Syndrome can be caused by an array of factors, such as age, medication side-effects, or long-term contact use, Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD) and Blepharitis are two underlying conditions that can bring about Dry Eye symptoms.
Every time you blink, a protective layer of moisture called the tearfilm coats the front surface of your eye. An essential part of the tearfilm is an oily layer called meibum. MGD occurs when the meibomian glands that produce meibum get blocked or the secreted meibum is of poor quality which can lead to excessive evaporation of the tear film and dry eye symptoms. MGD is actually one of the most common causes of dry eye, as it has been shown to occur in over 85% of disease cases.
Blepharitis is an inflammation of the eyelid and eyelash structures, and while it is uncomfortable, it usually does not cause permanent eye damage. Anterior blepharitis, along the front edge of the eyelid, is typically caused by either a bacterial or skin condition such as dandruff of the scalp and eyebrows or acne rosacea. Posterior blepharitis, which is on the inner edge of the eyelid that comes into contact with the eyeball, is usually caused by an irregular production of oils by the glands along the eyelid margin (meibomian blepharitis). Those with blepharitis may experience itching or burning of the eyes, tearing, or dry eye symptoms.
What is iLux?
Although we do already offer an array of in-office and at-home treatments for dry eye syndrome, our new iLux treatment is a nonsurgical option that can help patients find significant relief.
iLux targets the meibomian glands of the eyelids. Through the use of a handheld device, iLux uses gentle heat and pressure to remove oil blockages in these glands, all in a minimally invasive treatment process that takes less than 15 minutes. The procedure does offer long-term relief, but it may need to be repeated for patients who suffer from chronic dry eye.
When you come to Anne Arundel Eye Center for this treatment, we will first perform a consultation with one of our doctors to determine if you are a good candidate and would benefit from the treatment. If we determine that iLux is the appropriate treatment method for you, our specially trained technicians will administer the procedure. They’ve undergone intense training to become specialists in administering iLux, and work under the step-by-step guidance with our doctors.
While iLux is a newly offered service in our office, we’ve already performed the treatment on patients with much success. We’re excited to be equipped and trained in this technology that works to restore the power of vision and comfort to those who suffer from MGD and Blepharitis dry eye symptoms. Watch this video to learn more about the iLux treatment.
If you think you would benefit from the iLux procedure, know that while the consultation is covered by insurance, the treatment itself is out of pocket. However, you can use your healthcare flex dollars or HSA account funds to cover the expense.
Are you interested in talking to our doctors about iLux? Call Anne Arundel Eye Center at 410-224-2010 and we’ll set up a consultation to see if it is right for you. We’re dedicated to making the best eye care accessible to everyone.