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Latest treatment options and news about cataracts, dry eye syndrome and other eye care topics.

Dry Eyes? Could be Your Glands – Really.

by dwasylow 7 March 2015 12:25 PM

colorful-eye

When most people hear the word glands, they think of those mysterious little organs that cause hormones to swirl in teens. But those certainly aren’t the only glands in your body. In fact, if you suffer from dry eyes, it’s glands that could be the root cause of the problem.

We’re talking specifically about your meibomian glands, also called tarsal glands.

Meibomian glands are located within the eyelids, approximately 50 glands in the upper eyelids and 25 in the lower eyelids. Each tiny gland has a vent (small opening) along the edge of the eyelid through which they express meibum, an oily substance that helps maintain eye moisture. When we blink, that meibum is carried from the eyelids across the eye’s surface.

Meibum’s primary function is sealing in the natural moisture produced by tears against the eyeballs. When meibomian glands stop effectively producing and distributing meibum, dry eye symptoms result. It’s called evaporative dry eye disease, and it can be quite painful.

Evaporative dry eye disease symptoms include burning, itching, watering, light sensitivity and recurring blurred vision, among others. The disease is somewhat more common in women that in men, but anyone can be affected.

Treatment for evaporative dry eye disease has come a long way in recent years. Traditional treatments including warm compresses, eye drops and prescription medications provide temporary symptom relief, but don’t cure the cause of the problem – lack of healthy, normal meibum production.

Thankfully, now there is LipiFlow. This revolutionary treatment uses a combination of warmth and compression to unblock meibomian glands, allowing them to effectively do their jobs once again. LipiFlow treatment can be applied at your eye doctor’s office and is shown to provide comfort to 86% of dry eye patients.

Gainesville Eye Physicians is one of first eye health practices in North Central Florida to offer LipiFlow and our patients experience fantastic results.

To learn more about evaporative dry eye disease and LipiFlow, contact Gainesville Eye Physicians today.

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