Lasting & Effective Dry Eye Treatment
Our dry eye program works like therapy, where we aren't simply prescribing a quick medication, but rather we want to create an individualized solution for each patient. Prior to administering any treatment, we need to get to the root cause in order to offer the most adequate treatment possible.
Because of the variety of treatments that can help relieve dry eye symptoms, a dry eye examination is essential to know what treatment to start. For example, prescription drops like Restasis or Xiidra may help relieve inflammatory tear deficiency, while mild cases of dry eye can benefit from non-prescription treatments including heat masks, lid scrubs, gland debridement, artificial tears, or punctal plugs among others.
We Address The Whole Dry Eye Picture
Many of our patients have already seen several other doctors and have tried a number of treatments but haven’t gotten results. Often doctors at other practices may have found effective treatments, but didn’t address the underlying cause, so the issue kept coming back. So, even if you address symptoms like chronic inflammation or a build-up of biofilm on your lid margin that’s always clogging the glands, you still won’t see success, since the underlying problem is still there.
The key to success with our practice comes down to experience. We’ve treated complex cases like this for years, and understand the treatments you may need in combination with one another so that they complement each other and have a greater overall effect. That may involve higher-level treatment, such as in-office procedures, or certain prescribed at-home remedies, often in combination.
What Is Dry Eye?
Dry eye is a general term that’s used to describe a number of different underlying conditions that cause symptoms such as grittiness, scratchiness, burning eyes, or red eyes, and that may affect the tear film. It can also cause episodes of blurred vision, especially while doing work on near tasks like computer work or visual tasks on devices such as smartphones or tablets.
Dry Eye Syndrome can range from a mild irritant to chronic problem. The symptoms of Dry Eye Syndrome may include:
- Dry, irritated, or red eyes
- Excessive tearing/watery eyes
- Sore or sensitive eyes
- Burning or inflammation
- A gritty or pasty feeling in the eyelids
- Crusty or gunky eyes
Understanding Your Dry Eye Symptoms at
At our dry eye spa, we specialize in understanding dry eye: the mechanics, the type of people who suffer from it, and so on. We commit to understanding all of the new technologies coming on the market to really have a customized process to treat each patient. We review a number of things about the patient’s history, taking a deep dive into underlying medical conditions or systemic conditions the patient may have, including autoimmune disorders like rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, thyroid disorders, diabetes, rosacea, and so on. Many of these systemic conditions can contribute to dry eye symptoms.
We also take a detailed look at medications. We know that a lot of the medications used, in particular for diabetes and high blood pressure and some of the skin medications, can really affect dry eye.
We look at products that patients use on their faces and how that can affect the ocular surface. We also do a deep history of looking at environmental factors such as what you do for a living, the environment you’re in, humidity or lack thereof, amount of time spent on a screen, and things that we can change in your environment to help.
What Causes Dry Eye?
Dry eyes or Dry Eye Syndrome is a complex condition that can have multiple causes but tends to share common symptoms. Dr. Jennifer DenHartog will use the latest technology to assess the cause of your dry eye symptoms in order to provide the best possible care.
- Poor Tear Quality
- Meibomian Gland Disorder
- Poor Tear Volume
- Age, Gender & Dry Eye
- Environmental Factors & Irritants
- Contact Lenses & Dry Eye
- Medical Conditions
- Lifestyle & Dry Eyes
- Medications & Dry Eye
Diagnostic Equipment And Tools
For Dry Eye
Dry Eye Center at Premier Vision Clinic uses the latest diagnostic equipment and tools to quickly and accurately pinpoint the cause and type of dry eye problem you’re suffering from. We don’t just throw any old drops at you either.
We provide custom treatment plans designed to maximize the relief of your dry eye symptoms AND treat the underlying cause of your discomfort.
Fortunately, our staff can bring relief and healing from Dry Eyes to patients from Iowa . Dr. Jennifer DenHartog at Dry Eye Center at Premier Vision Clinic can treat Dry Eye Syndrome, from mild to severe. Whether it’s an occasional irritant or a debilitating daily problem, we can help.
How Can I Improve My Lifestyle To Prevent and Treat Dry Eye Syndrome?
There are many ways to treat dry eyes. We recommend that you prevent dry eye symptoms before they begin and address lifestyle factors that may be aggravating an existing condition.
Blink a lot, drink plenty of fluids and avoid eye irritants. Maintain a healthy lifestyle with a focus on vitamins like Omega 3. Make sure to use lubricating eye drops if you are taking medication that puts you at risk for dry eyes. Over the counter eye drops for dry eye are widely available.
During prolonged computer or digital device use, make sure to take a short break every 20 minutes to look at an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
Drink enough water. Women need at least 91 oz. of water a day and men need even more. Insufficient water intake can directly contribute to a reduced supply of tears, particularly in hot and dry climates.
Healthy diet and Omega 3
A healthy diet is essential for maintaining optimal health. Omega 3 fatty acids have been shown to help maintain good vision and eye health, as well as decrease dry eyes symptoms.
Fish and flax are good natural sources of Omega 3 fatty acids, and are available in tablet/supplement form. There are supplements specifically made for dry eyes. These usually consist of Omega 3 with DHA from flaxseed oil, and include vitamin C, vitamin E, Vitamin B6, magnesium, and a variety of other vitamins specifically formulated for patients with this eye condition.
Lumenis Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) Technology for Dry Eye
IPL has become one of the most efficient and widely used technologies to treat dry eye. Able to heal inflammation, redness, and clear blocked meibomian glands through non-invasive, natural light, IPL treatments can reduce or completely cease severe dry eye symptoms. If you've tried various medicated eye drops or artificial tears with little success, consider a research backed and proven method: Intense Pulsed Light.
What Sets Us Apart From Other Eye Care Clinics?
What really sets us apart from other practices the thoroughness of the diagnostic tests we do during our eye exams. Some of these tests include:
- Oculus keratograph 5M: This allows us to take a number of images of the front of the eye and the tear film and evaluate, without drops, how well your tear film performs: how quickly it evaporates, the amount of tears you’re making, and a number of other metrics that we can track throughout the treatment process.
- Detailed slit lamp examination: We use different dyes to temporarily stain the tears and the ocular surface, so we can see any irregularities there.
- Tear lab: This tests the osmolarity or salt content in the tears, and tells us a little bit about evaporation in the tear film and whether it’s truly evaporative dry eyes, where the tears are evaporating too quickly, or whether it may be that you don’t make enough tears. That gives us a little bit of direction on where to aim treatment.
- InflammaDry: This test measures the presence of MMP-9, which is an inflammatory marker in the tear film, which can sometimes help us determine whether your dry eyes may be the result of allergies, or something else.
- Meibography: We scan your eye to create an infrared image of the meibomian glands in the lid margin. This gives the doctor the ability to see any damage or blockages there, in case we need to treat it more aggressively.
Contact Us to Receive Dry Eye Relief
If you’re seeking relief for your dry eyes, Dr. Jennifer DenHartog can help. Dry Eye Center at Premier Vision Clinic services patients from West Des Moines, Clive, Waukee, Urbandale, and throughout Iowa .
What to expect at your Dry Eye Consultation:
The Next Steps
Determining the underlying cause of dry is a very individual journey! Each person’s path to rejuvenated, comfortable eyes is different, depending on genetics, overall health, medications, systemic disease such as autoimmune disorders, and the chronicity of the symptoms. Dr. DenHartog performs more comprehensive testing to determine what treatments will be most effective for each person. Schedule a Consultation and start the path to relief!
*The office visit and testing is billed through medical insurance; Meibography and Tear Film Imaging is an out of pocket expense.
Meibography & Tear Film Imaging
The meibomian (oil) glands of the eyelids are imaged with a series of photos and videos, as well as direct observation, to assess their anatomy and function. The tear film is analyzed to measure lipid (oil) content and quality. This allows Dr. DenHartog to determine if you would benefit from tear therapies such as Intense Pulsed Light (IPL), Radio Frequency (RF), iLux, or prescription therapies.
TearLab is used to measure osmolarity, which is the saltiness of your tears. This small sample and assessment of your tear film aids in accurate and early detection of dry eye disease and provides information to follow disease severity over time
Dry eye disease causes inflammation which contributes to bothersome symptoms and damage to the ocular surface. In some cases, inflammation is present before a patient experiences any dry eye symptoms. InflammaDry detects MMP-9, an inflammatory marker that is often elevated in the tears of patients with dry eye disease.
Evaluation of Treatment Options and Customized Treatment Plan
Dr. DenHartog will lay out a treatment plan, customized to your specific needs. Treatment options may include continuation of home therapies and over-the-counter treatments, prescription medications, or even in-office treatment procedures to speed the process of recovery