What is Dry Eyes Syndrome?
Dry Eyes Syndrome (DES) or keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS) is a common eye disease and now termed as Ocular surface disease in research. In simple words, it is a condition when the eyes become dry due to the eyes not being able to produce enough tears or the tears evaporating too quickly. The result is a lack of lubrication in the eyes leading to dry eyes. Interestingly, most of the population looked at are affected by it to some degree with the older people being affected up to 70%. Many also have pending dry eye signs on examinations and need to be treated as prevention rather than a cure.
Dry eyes manifest itself in the form of various symptoms like dryness(!), redness, irritation, fatigued eyes/heavy eyes, stinging eyes, itchiness, sandy-gritty irritation, crusty eyes, teary eyes, etc. Though most people with this condition experience mild irritation and there are no long-term effects, if the condition becomes severe or is left untreated, the result could be complications causing corneal damage and there could be impairment of vision or even loss of vision in rare cases if infectious. Like most things, it is best to manage dry eye in infancy than in later stages regardless of symptoms or not.
WHAT ARE THE CAUSES AND COMMON TREATMENTS OF DRY EYES?
Some of the underlying causes of dry eyes syndrome are contact lens use, computer use, women more than men, dysfunction of the meibomian gland, Rosacea sufferers, Sjögren syndrome, pregnancy, vitamin A deficiency, LASIK surgery, omega-3 fatty acid deficiency, and certain medications such as antihistamines, antidepressants, hormone replacement therapy, and some blood pressure medication. These cause chronic inflammation in the eyes.
Consequently, the treatment of dry eyes has depended on the underlying cause and has varied from artificial tears to ointments, to wearing wrap around glasses to reduce the incidence of tear evaporation from the eyes.
Some advanced optometrist like ourselves can undertake medical treatment with steroid eye drops, to lacrimal plugs to prevent the draining of tears from the eye surface, to modifying or completely stopping the certain medication, if possible.
However, these do not provide long-term relief from dry eyes syndrome and the symptoms come back quite quickly upon their discontinuation. Ever wondered if there was a treatment that could provide a longer-term relief from dry eyes? Well, look no further as you have landed at the right place! Safarian & Simon Opticians offer the Optima IPL therapy – a next-generation, drug-free, and drop-free natural light-based treatment which aims to target chronic inflammation, the root cause of dry eyes. IPL, a new treatment pathway has already been used safely for years aboard and provides ongoing relief from dry eyes. This means freedom from routine and frequent use of eye drops!
WHAT IS THE OPTIMA IPL TECHNOLOGY AND HOW DOES IT WORK?
Safarian & Simon are most probably the only opticians in London to offer the Optima IPL – the most advanced of the IPL treatments. Periocular inflammatory conditions such as Rosacea and telangiectasia (spider veins), which may lead to eye surface conditions such as Dry Eye are treated by Optima IPL. This next-generation IPL technology has been developed by Lumenis-the largest health energy company in the world.
IPL therapy targets the root of the problem generating safe, simple, and most importantly effective results. A computer-controlled, high-powered handheld unit is used to deliver an intense, visible, broad-spectrum pulse of light. It is natural light with a wavelength filter to target the correct skin layer. It is not a laser as a laser has only one wavelength. Moreover, unlike other IPL machines, there are no pulse spikes in the Optima IPL machine enabling it to steadily deliver a constant pulse of light and consistent results. The patented SapphireCool™ chiller tip allows to reach higher levels of energy and achieve optimal results, provide safe and comfortable treatment for the patient, and the small tip allows for better access to the eyelid area.
The way it works is that a gentle pulse of light is generated through the layers of the skin in the area around the eyes to treat periocular surface conditions, blood vessels, and inflammation.
SOME OF THE CONDITIONS IT IS EFFECTIVE AGAINST ARE:
- Dry Eye Disease
- Chalazion and Stys
- Heavy, Tired, Itchy, Red Eyes
- Rosacea (red nose, cheeks, chin after certain exposure)
- Telangiectasia (spider veins on the surface of the skin)
- Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD)
- Eyelid Inflammation
- Blepharitis, including Demodex
- An additional benefit of tightening the skin around the eyes and may reduce wrinkles!
- Eye wellness – your eyes will just feel better!
SOME OF THE RESULTS OF AN OPTIMA IPL THERAPY ARE:
- The abnormal blood vessels in the inflamed lid margin are alleviated and reduce inflammatory mediators.
- Improved nerve function around the meibomian glands.
- The IPL flash heats up and melts the meibum secretions blocking the glands, improving the tear lipids and reducing evaporation.
- Great alternative to the surgical need for Chalazion removals
- Demodex mites living in the meibomian glands are destroyed. Demodex is more common in Rosacea patients
- Skin tightening – IPL stimulates the fibroblasts and up-regulates the synthesis of collagen and elastin fibres to reverse the effects of aging. We will also treat part of the face where needed.
- Improved vision!
WHY SHOULD I HEAD TO SAFARIAN & SIMON OPTICIANS FOR OPTIMA IPL TREATMENT?
Firstly, we have a policy of ‘treating patients as people’ and have been passionate about offering the best possible individual eye health care and personalised advice while ensuring that any sight-loss could be prevented. We are one of the few optician practices that offer the Optima IPL treatment and the only in London who can write a prescription if need be.
Other ‘Dry eye clinics’ only offer guidance on diet changes, over-the-counter drops, and a hot compress (you can find these on google!) They do not offer actual treatment or diagnostic methods.
We have a highly qualified and experienced team led by Mr. Sachin Patel who is an early adopter of new technology.
Book an appointment today to find out more about the Optima IPL treatment!