Dry Eyes

Dry Eye Treatment

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Do you have dry eyes?
Dry Eye Syndrome is a common problem that can affect anyone but is more common as we get older. Our eyes are dry when our tears are not able to keep the front surface of our eye, the cornea, wet or lubricated.
To stay healthy the cornea needs to be constantly kept wet by a healthy tear film. There are three layers to our tear film and if the eye does not produce enough tears or the tear film layers are not balanced correctly, then, our eyes are not wet or lubricated enough. This is what is called Dry Eye Syndrome, experienced as itchy, scratchy, burning or red eyes. Additional symptoms of Dry Eye Syndrome include stinging eyes, episodes of increased tears (especially when exposed to wind) decreased or blurry vision, a sandy/gritty feeling and sensitivity to light.

How we can help!
Once a dry eye condition is confirmed we are able to outline a treatment plan to provide relief. Treatment plans may include the use of over-the counter or prescription artificial tears to lubricate the cornea, Restasis®, an FDA approved prescription eye drop to reduce inflammations, “at home” application of warm compresses, tear duct plugs and omega (fish oil) supplements.
For those patients where it is suited and for whom the above treatments are either not adequate or desired, there is an additional treatment option.

Intense Pulse Light (IPL) Therapy
Dr. Chun is one of very few eye doctors in Pittsburgh able to offer this treatment option. Dr. Chun uses a Palomar StarLux System to provide this “light based therapy.” The IPL has long been used in the treatment of rosacea (red or pink patches of broken blood vessels and small red bumps on the skin) and is extremely safe.

When the IPL is used to treat dry eyes, the procedure requires no anesthesia or sedation or pre-operative testing. (While it is not recommended, should a patient have concern about discomfort or be very pain sensitive, we can apply an anesthetic gel which needs 30 minutes to take effect).
There is no post-treatment redness or discomfort and no decrease in the quality of your vision. Patients can drive and return to their usual activities right away with only one restriction. The patient is to avoid sunlight, wear a hat, and apply sunscreen when going outdoors in the daytime for 72 hours after each treatment.

Each treatment takes about 5 minutes. Your eyes will be covered with protective eye shields and a thin layer of ultrasound gel will be placed on the areas being treated. Dr. Chun will treat you from ear to ear, your lower forehead and your upper cheeks.
Patients often feel an improvement after their first treatment. Dr. Chun recommends 5-6 treatments, scheduled 4-6 weeks apart. No post-operative or post- procedure visits required.

The treatments work to unclog inflamed or non- working glands that produce the oil part of your tears. Once the oil begins to flow again it mixes into and is added to the tear film that covers your cornea. The presence of the oil helps keep your tears from drying up or evaporating quickly – reducing or eliminating dry eye symptoms.

Once the 5-6 treatments are completed, results typically last between six months to a year. Then, each year, patients may need one or two treatments as maintenance to keep their oil producing glands “unclogged.”

Every patient is different but most patients experience significant relief and can lessen or eliminate their reliance on other treatments for dry eye almost immediately. For maximum comfort and to assure results, Dr. Chun will have you continue using your other treatments until a physical examination confirms the light treatments are taking effect and that your glands are actively working again, at which time he will guide you on what to discontinue using.

If you need to contact us regarding dry eye treatment or any eye care need please call us at 412-682-4005.