Rethink your Management of Dry Eye
Millions of Americans suffer from Dry Eye Disease, a condition which can be as hard to diagnosis as it is to treat.
Two Types of Dry Eye:
There are two types of Dry Eye Disease: Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD) and Aqueous Deficient Dry Eye:
- Aqueous Deficient Dry Eye, which happens when your body doesn’t produce enough of the aqueous layer of your tears, making it impossible for the surface of the eye to remain sufficiently hydrated.
- Evaporative Dry Eye (also known as Meibomian Gland Dysfunction), is caused when the glands that produce the oily layer of the tear film, the Meibomian Glands, do not function properly. When functioning properly this oil spreads across the top of the tear film, preventing evaporation of the tear film between blinks.
The majority of research and treatment options for patients suffering from Dry Eye Disease has been focused on the less prevalent, Aqueous Deficient Dry Eye. These treatments include artificial tears and tear stimulating prescriptions. While these products may help relieve the symptoms of Aqueous Deficient Dry Eye, only fourteen percent of all Dry Eye patients are being serviced.
The remaining eighty-six percent of patients suffering from Dry Eye Disease have Evaporative Dry Eye or Meibomian Gland Dysfunction. These patients are producing an insufficient quantity of high quality meibum (lipid), causing the aqueous layer underneath to evaporate too quickly.
What Causes MGD Dry Eye?
A recent study by lead author Christophe Baudouin, MD, and colleagues, published in British Journal of Ophthalmology, cites a meta-analysis of 59 clinical studies that redefine MGD Dry Eye. The authors conclude that MGD Dry Eye creates a vicious circle, triggered by bacterial over-population on the anterior and posterior eyelids and the tissue surrounding the eye. This bioburden results in the increased melting temperature of meibum (lipid) and subsequent Meibomian gland blockage. Bacteria on the lids and lashes will then release enzymes, such as lipase, as well as inflammatory toxins. Ultimately, Lipase on the lids and lashes will turn into soap on the tear film (saponification) degrading the lipid layer.