Dry Eye

Eyecare MPLS: Stella Hennen, MD, MSPH -  - Ophthalmologist

Eyecare MPLS: Stella Hennen, MD, MSPH

Ophthalmologist & Glaucoma Specialist located in Uptown, Minneapolis, MN

If you have dry eyes, you’re probably sick and tired of the itchiness, burning, and maybe even vision issues it causes. But you don’t have to suffer. Stella Hennen, MD, MSPH, at Eyecare MPLS offers customized dry eye treatment to give you relief now and for the long term. Call the office in Minneapolis, Minnesota, or use the online booking tool to schedule an appointment today.

Dry Eye

What is dry eye?

Dry eye is a condition that occurs when you don't have enough or healthy natural tear film to protect your eyes. The tear film consist of three components: 1. Mucous that helps to attach tear fluid to the cornea, the clear part of the eye; 2. Tear fluid it-self; and 3. Meibomian oil, that covers the tears and prevents them from evaporating. This special oil is produced by meibomian glands located in the eyelids. It gets released when we blink.

Your tear film works to give you clear and unclouded vision, and with a lack of proper tear film, you are likely to experience symptoms that go well beyond having dry eyes.

What are the symptoms of dry eye?

The symptoms of dry eye can include not only dry eyes but also:

  • Blurry vision
  • Red or bloodshot eyes
  • Eye pain
  • Burning eyes
  • Foreign body sensation or feeling of having sand in the eyes
  • Light sensitivity
  • Watery eyes

It may seem odd that dry eye syndrome can actually cause watery eyes, but there's a simple explanation for this. While you may have watery eyes with dry eye, the moisture isn't actually a normal tear film, but rather a reflex brought on by the dryness.

What causes dry eye?

Several factors may make you more vulnerable to developing dry eye syndrome, including:

  • Wearing contact lenses as your exclusive means of vision correction
  • Wearing contacts overnight (not recommended for anyone)
  • Having eye allergies
  • Inverted eyelid (entropion) or outward-turning eyelid (ectropion)
  • Some autoimmune conditions including Sjogren’s syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis and others
  • Meibomian gland dysfunction due to chronic inflammation of the eyelids
  • Demodex eyelid infection, caused by Demodex mite that lives on the face

What is the treatment for dry eye?

The treatment for dry eye depends on its cause and the symptoms you’re experiencing. Some of the possible treatments may include:

Over the counter artificial tear eye drops

Prescription-free eye drops can add a new artificial tear film to your eyes.

Warm compress and lid scrubs

Warm compress helps to open up meibomian glands to release the oil. The compress can be wet or dry. You may use a facial towel, run it under the warm water, and squeeze the water off. Apply the towel to the face, close eyes, and hold it for about 5 minutes. Ideally, it should be done 2-4 times a day.

Systane iLux® office procedure:

This device provides warm massage of the eyelids which helps to unblock the meibomian glands and remove Demodex mite. It is effective, safe, and FDA-approved. However, it is not covered by insurance. This procedure takes about 15 minutes to perform. One or two sessions are usually sufficient. There are no limitations or restrictions associated with this procedure. Some patients may experience transient eyelid redness or discomfort, which resolves on its own.

Prescription eye drops

Prescription anti-inflammatory eye drops can help to treat eye inflammation and improve tear production in your eyes.

Prescription oral medication

Prescription medications like immunosuppressants can reduce your body's immune response to allergens are often effective in relieving symptoms.

Tear duct plugs

Tear duct plugs prevent you from draining your tears through the tear duct openings in the eyelids into the nose and help to alleviate symptoms. 

Punctal occlusion

A minor surgery called punctal occlusion can close your tear ducts permanently, which stops drainage of your tear film.

The team at Eyecare MPLS works with you to determine which treatment is best for you. 

Relief for dry eye is within your reach, so don't hesitate to ask for help. Call the office or schedule an appointment online today.

Disclaimer: This information is not comprehensive to cover all your ophthalmology needs. Call the office to book an appointment to discuss your condition with Dr. Hennen.

612-470-9871 Book Online