By Jonathan M. Frantz, MD, FACS
The majority of the patients sitting in eye doctors’ waiting rooms today are suffering from some sort of dry eye issue. Over the last few years, researchers have discovered that “dry eyes” is much more than insufficient production of natural tears. In fact, the majority of dry eye cases are now known to be the result of rapid tear evaporation, usually caused by chronic blockage of critical oil-producing glands (called meibomian glands) in the eyelids which help control tear evaporation.
Frantz EyeCare has recently introduced revolutionary new technologies that will offer residents of Southwest Florida the most advanced and effective ways of treating their chronic dry eye problems.
These latest advancements include the LipiView, which evaluates the structure and function of these eyelid oil-producing glands by providing a high definition image of the meibomian glands; the LipiFlow Therman Pulsation System, an innovative technology that removes blockages of the meibomian glands and restores normal gland function; and the BlephEx, a device that exfoliates and deep cleans the eyelids to remove the debris that is frequently contributing to the chronic obstruction of the meibomian glands. These new technologies have been demonstrated to be safe and painless.
We are one of only a handful of practices in the State of Florida to intensively focus on this new understanding of dry eyes and devote the personnel, resources and wide array of advanced treatments through a dedicated Dry Eye Center of Excellence.
LASIK and Dry Eye Specialist Jeffrey Robin, MD, heads up the team at Frantz EyeCare who will work directly with patients to determine the cause of their dry eye and then plan the best course of treatment. According to Dr. Robin, “Dry eyes can occur when there is too little aqueous (salt water) tear production and/or too rapid tear evaporation, which often results in chronic, low-grade inflammation of the eyelids and particular oil-producing meibomian glands in the lids.”
“When managing a patient’s dry eye complaint, we must first identify the type of dry eye they are experiencing – meibomian gland dysfunction, aqueous deficiency, allergy-related, contact lens related, or blepharitis related,” said Robin. There’s not one test or procedure alone that can properly diagnose and distinguish between the types of dry eye.
In June 2013 Frantz EyeCare introduced the TearLab Osmolarity test, which measures and assesses the health and stability of the patient’s tear film. Although we were able to provide some relief for our dry eye patients by prescribing Omega 3 supplements, lid cleansers, tear replacement drops, punctual plugs, and oral antibiotics, we decided we needed to take the next step and add these more advanced technologies. So many of our patients suffer from dry eye and it frequently affects not only their eye comfort but even their quality of vision. If left untreated, it profoundly impacts their quality of life.
Symptoms of dry eye disease include; redness, burning, itching, fluctuation in vision, blurred vision, feeling of sand in the eye, contact lens discomfort, light sensitivity, or the eye feeling watery or tired.
If you know you have chronic dry eye problems or you think you may be experiencing the symptoms of dry eye, call our office at (239) 430-3939 or visit www.BetterVision.net.
Jonathan M. Frantz, MD, FACS, is named in The Guide to America’s Top Ophthalmologists. He and his team of doctors at Frantz EyeCare offer a broad spectrum of patient-focused comprehensive care from eye exams and eyewear to bladeless laser cataract removal, treatment of eye diseases, bladeless WaveLight LASIK laser vision correction, and eyelid surgery with office locations in Fort Myers, Cape Coral, Punta Gorda, Lehigh Acres, and Naples.