Advancement in Diagnosis of Dry Eye Disease

Advancement in Diagnosis of Dry Eye Disease

Sep 01, 2019

There has been a lot of advancement in treating eye diseases and diagnostic procedures. These days Doctors use highly sophisticated testing methods. Patients no more need to use artificial tears and see the doctor after a year. Not just the dry eye treatment, but the diagnosis too has evolved. Let’s explore the new-age testing techniques used by eye doctors for dry eye diagnosis:

  • Vital Dye Staining of Cornea

The sodium fluorescein dye for epithelial integrity is the base of corneal staining. It penetrates the intercellular space, which is related to epithelial cellular disruption and helpful for break-up assessment and EBMD- epithelial basement membrane dystrophy. Lissamine green stains the dead and dying cells in the cornea and bulbar conjunctiva. This helps in the diagnosis of lid wiper epitheliopathy.

  • Blink Rate and Quality of Blink

Patients with ocular surface disease can have an issue in keeping their eyes open without blinking and they may also blink incompletely.

  • Lid Expression

This type of diagnosis can be performed manually using a swab, tool, or finger. The doctor applies gentle pressure on the lid margin for assessing the meibomian gland function. Many glands look normal until pressure is applied to them.

  • Lipid Layer Assessment

The assessment is done by using interferometry to find out the stability of the lipid layer and the chances of evaporative dry eye. It involves the assessment of the interference pattern produced by the inner and outer surface of the lipid layer in the tear film. This helps in differentiating between patients with normal eyes and the ones with dry eyes as the patients with dry eyes have thinner lipid layers. These systems can be an expensive affair.

  • Meibography

Using Meibography along with infrared imaging helps in evaluating the gland architecture and figuring out gland loss. Other techniques include ocular coherence tomography OCT and laser confocal microscopy.

  • Topography and Aberrometry

They are more common ways of diagnosis for the ocular surface disease. This increases the higher-order aberrations on whole eye wavefront and corneal wavefront because of the poor tear film and corneal abnormalities.

  • Tear Break-up Time

The tear break-up test using sodium fluorescein dye is being done since long but now it is done by using computer imaging.

  • How to Prevent Dry Eyes

Apart from using eye drops and ointment, there are many simple ways of preventing dry eyes. Here’s a look at some of them:

  • Avoid Going to Places With Air Movement

This means that you must not expose your eyes to fans and hair driers. On windy days, you must wear wraparound sunglasses for preventing the eyes from drying out.

  • Rest the Eyes

You must give your eyes some rest and avoid frequent reading, watching TV for long hours, and gazing at the computer screen constantly. Taking a break in between can help in regaining some moisture back. Thus, blink your eyes for a while or close them and sit for 5-10 minutes when you take a break.

  • Use Humidifier During Winters

Heaters can dry out the air in your home during winters. So, using a humidifier can help the air in staying moist. In case you don’t have a humidifier, you can put a pan of water on the radiator so that water can be added in the air.

  • Cigarette Smoke

You must avoid smoking and stay away from cigarette smoke for preventing dry eyes.

  • Warm Compress

Place a warm compress on your eyes and then wash the eyelids with baby shampoo as it helps in releasing oils from eyelids.

  • When Should You See the Doctor for Dry Eyes?

If the home remedies and preventive care are of no relief, it is time to see an eye doctor. Let’s have a look at some symptoms that signify the need for professional help:

  • An eye injury
  • Redness and swelling
  • Dry Mouth
  • Pain beyond mild irritation
  • Flaking or discharge from the eye
  • Continued dryness after few days of self-care

The eye treatments done by retina specialists have evolved up to a great extent due to the use of advanced technology, procedures, and machines. Whether it is glaucoma treatment or LASIK surgery, you can expect state-of-the-art treatment within a lesser time as compared to older days.

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