How to Fix Dry, Painful Eyes
Do you find yourself having dry, painful eyes? Perhaps you notice it more when you have been on your laptop for a while, when you're driving, or at the end of a long day. You are not alone -- studies estimate up to 50% of people suffer from Dry Eye Syndrome and the majority of people have the same cause, meibomian gland disease. The meibomian glands are oil glands in your eyelids and when they are working properly, a nice, liquid oil will flow out of the glands, onto your eye, keeping them well lubricated. Unfortunately, for many patients, the glands clog with solidified oil and biofilm, and the eye dries out. Even more unfortunately, sometimes a clogged oil gland can swell and inflame (similar to a pimple!), resulting in a stye. Even even more unfortunately, the meibomian glands will eventually die if they remain clogged.
What is the solution you might ask? The key is to keep your meibomian glands flowing. There are many different treatments that help keep your meibomian oil glands flowing. The foundational treatment is warm compresses. Warm compresses work in two ways: 1) the warmth helps to liquify the solidified oil so it can flow again and 2) the compress helps to express the glands. The more you do it the better. You can start with warm water and a clean towel. You can also buy products designed for this exact purpose such as a bruder mask on Amazon or at a drug store. There are many other treatments for meibomian gland disease ranging from easy, simple things you can do at home, to more advanced things that we can do for you in the clinic.
There are many other treatments that address other aspects of dry eye disease that I haven't covered in this post. Dry Eye Syndrome is a complex and multifactorial condition and each patient has a unique combination of these factors, requiring a specifically tailored treatment plan. At Renew Eye Clinic, my staff and I have a passion for helping patients suffering from Dry Eye Syndrome. Call us now at (714) 868-7733to make an appointment. We look forward to meeting you!
- Dr. Choi