Best Eye Doctors in Lebanon PA
Do you need a regular eye doctor? Eye health is important, so if you don’t regularly see an eye doctor, come see the best eye doctors in Lebanon PA. We are at Eye Consultants of Pennsylvania, right here in Lebanon.
One of the most common complaints we get from our patients is about dry eye. In fact, about one in four patients reports symptoms of dry eye. The liquid layer (called the aqueous layer) of the eye can have insufficient liquid; this is the most common form of dry eye that we treat. The lacrimal glands in the eye don’t produce enough tears, usually due to inflammation.
We also see cases of evaporative dry eye, resulting from the tear fluid having insufficient lipids or fats in its composition. This form of dry eye is often a condition caused by meibomian gland disease. These glands secrete oil to keep the eye moisturized.
Dry Eye and LASIK
If you have had LASIK surgery, dry eye is a frequent complication. Dry eye is common immediately after this surgery, but if your dry eye lasts longer than one month, you may have post-LASID dry eye. Doctors don’t yet fully understand why patients develop dry eye after LASIK surgery, but it is believed that some nerve signals are lost when surgeons create the corneal flap, and that may affect the signals to blink so tear secretion is reduced. You can come into our office and we will do tests to look for clinical signs of dry eye. These tests include a stain test of the ocular surface and measurement of the time it takes for the tear film breakup to decrease. We can also do a test called a Schirmer test, as well as look for signs of reduced corneal sensitivity and decreased visual acuity.
Dry Eye and the Elderly
The elderly population often experiences dry eye, which has a number of contributing factors at an advanced age. The tears are not just water, but are actually a very complex mixture of oil, water and mucin proteins produced by the meibomian and lacrimal glands. Many elderly people experience symptoms like grittiness, burning and blurred vision.
The causes are many. Disease, environmental conditions and trauma can alter these structures, which in turn can result in a reduced tear film. For example, a condition called keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS) can create abnormal mucus production in the eye, resulting in a poorly lubricated eye surface that then becomes more susceptible to environmental impacts and causing dry eye. Chronic inflammation of the eye’s surface appears to play a key role in this disease.
In the last 25 years, research has produced a tremendous body of knowledge regarding dry eye disease, which has translated into new diagnostic methods and targeted therapies. Artificial tears are commonly prescribed, and there are other treatments like punctual occlusion.
Newer therapies are designed to change factors in the underlying disease process, such as omega-3 supplements to increase vital lipids. Certain medications can be used topically to suppress underlying inflammation, and new research is being done in hormone therapy as well.
If you are experiencing dry eye symptoms, come see us. Even if you don’t have dry eye, we want you to come see us anyway. Chances are, you may not be having regular eye appointments, particularly during the pandemic over the last year or so. For all your eye care needs, the best eye doctors in Lebanon PA are at Eye Consultants of Pennsylvania. Give us a call today!
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