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Saturday, September 19, 2015

The Latest Treatment for Dry Eyes at Bedford Family Eye Care

Blocked tear ducts (meibomian glands) along the
superior lid margin with red and inflamed blood
vessel development
Bedford Family Eye Care is excited to introduce a new cost-effective** treatment approach for those suffering from dry eye disease. The new Three Step Expression Treatment Protocol is designed to target the root of the most common cause of dry eye disease: meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD).
Since beginning these treatments in June, the results have been tremendous. The treatment essentially helps promote the production of your own natural oils in your tears, helping to soothe your eye surface.
Normally, we have three layers to the tears: a protein/mucus layer at the bottom, a water/nutrient layer in the middle, and an oil/fatty acid layer at the top. The oil layer helps to prevent too much evaporation of the tears. As we blink, the eyelids evenly spread the tears over the eye surface. Check out the video illustration:



The glands that produce the oil layer are found at the margin of the eyelids and are called meibomian glands. Their job is to secrete oils when you blink to lubricate the eye surface and prevent evaporation. In short, meibomian gland dysfunction is what it is called when these glands get inflamed or blocked up and stop secreting normal oils. Without the oils, the eyes dry out. The big causes of MGD are age, genetics, hormone changes, diet, and lifestyle. Over 80% of dry eye disease is believed to be caused by this problem. Symptoms of meibomian gland dysfunction range from blurred vision that clears when you blink, to contact lens intolerance, to redness, burning, watering, light sensitivity, grittiness, and uncomfortable eyes.  

The cost-effective** Three Step Expression Treatment Protocol, consists of three office visits spaced one month apart. Dr. Quesenberry uses specialized instruments to get rid of the blockages and open the ducts to help restore proper functioning. The treatment helps to improve the secretion of the oil layer in the tear film by getting rid of blockages and decreasing inflammation in the oil producing glands of your eyelids.  Check out the next video of the procedure if you don't mind looking at "gross" medical eye videos! What you will see coming out during the expression treatment is the hardened oils that have turned into a wax-like paste and are clogging the tear ducts.

In some cases, immediate relief can be enjoyed after only one treatment. Typically it will take the full three treatments for maximum relief. One patient who had been treated with Restasis for years by another provider remarked that the expression treatments did more for her than years on Restasis. Another patient remarked that by her third treatment she was reading for hours at a time without her eyes bothering her, where she hadn't been able to do that for years. Another patient remarked at her third visit that she wasn't even sure where her bottle of artificial tears was because she had not needed them since her 2nd treatment. While this treatment is not for all types of dry eyes, it has a high rate of success among those with evaporative dry eye disease caused by meibomian gland dysfunction.

At your first treatment, you will receive a specialized compress to aid with your home-based therapy, as well as a specially formulated blend of fish, flax and borage seed oils that you take orally in pill form. Dr. Quesenberry may write a prescription for an eye ointment to use just before bed to help. He may also prescribe an oral antibiotic. A combination of office-based treatment and home-based treatment is used to maximize results, and is custom tailored to the severity of your condition. Typically, the benefits of treatment last around 12 months, however we recommend you maintain the home-based treatment compress and nutrient-based supplements indefinitely to prevent the blockages from forming and the inflammation from returning again. By continuing the home-based treatments indefinitely (compresses and nutrient-based supplements), results can be maintained for years.

Do you or someone you know suffer from dry eyes? You can make an appointment to determine whether you are a good candidate for this treatment by clicking the link below. Or share this information with a friend.

Click here to request an appointment!

**Dr. Quesenberry's note: I consider this cost-effective because while this isn't the only treatment in recent years targeting MGD, its frankly pretty darn good and gets results. Other similar specialty dry eye clinic treatments (IPL and LipiFlow) are generally 5 to 10 times the cost and require multiple treatments and a referral to either Duke or Richmond. With the prevalence of this condition and the impact it has on one's quality of life - treatment should be available to everyone. My mission is to provide access to good affordable eye care here in Bedford, and this is a great start.

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