Dry Eye Clinic
8 min read

In-Office Treatments for Dry Eye

Published on
December 4, 2023
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Dry eye disease in its milder forms can often be combated with at-home treatments, including blink training, warm compresses and supplements. When these fail, there are a vast range of therapies Innovative Eye Care has on offer to provide relief for more stubborn dry eye. We have spent years building our arsenal of dry eye disease treatments for those patients who require unique solutions.

BlephEx

When lid hygiene is ineffective in controlling the bacterial load and removing eyelid debris causing chronic irritation and inflammation in anterior and demodex blepharitis, BlephEx can be used as an in-office alternative.1 The BlephEx procedure involves your optometrist using a handpiece to precisely spin a medical grade micro-sponge along the edge of your eyelids and lashes, effectively acting as a super lid wipe. This removes tough scurf and debris, exfoliating your eyelids. The BlephEx treatment is well tolerated and only takes around 10-20 minutes to perform. After this is performed, most patients find it makes their home therapies more effective in managing symptoms. The procedure is typically repeated every 6-12 months to continue relief.

IPL (intense pulse light)

Innovative Eye Care was the first optometry clinic in South Australia to have access to an IPL for treatment of meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD, or posterior blepharitis). It generates a painless and perfectly calibrated, homogeneously sequenced light pulses directed at the skin around the lower eyelid. The energy, spectrum and time period are precisely set to stimulate the meibomian glands and warm the oil inside needed to stabilise the tear film. Four IPL treatments are recommended to best manage your MGD. These are performed at intervals of day 1, day 15, day 45 and day 75. IPL single sessions amount to $200 (or a concession discount of $25 per single session). Each session takes about 15 minutes. Some patients may be unsuitable for IPL treatment due to general health conditions or medications, so it’s important to have a dry eye consultation prior to initiating treatment.

Blephasteam

This treatment is typically used in conjunction with IPL, but can also be used in isolation for relief from dry eye symptoms. Following IPL, another set of goggles is used and is warmed, producing steam that provides moisture to the eyes. This treatment is particularly convenient in that the goggles are transparent, much like swimming goggles, meaning you can still use your phone or read other material while using it.

Punctal plugs

When there is not enough aqueous (water) component in the tears produced, our optometrists may insert tiny silicone or collagen plugs into the small openings on the lower lid where tears drain out of the eye (punctum). The plugs may be temporary (dissolvable) or permanent (which are manually removed and replaced when needed) and can’t be seen or felt once in place. With this quick and painless insertion, tears drain less quickly, leaving more tear film available to freshen the surface of your eye. In some cases, punctal plugs can even reduce inflammation caused by dry eye.

References

1) Putnam, C. (2016). Diagnosis and management of blepharitis: an optometrist’s perspective. Clinical Optometry, Volume 8,71–78. doi:10.2147/opto.s84795

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