1427 Clarkview Rd, Suite 300
Baltimore, Maryland 21209
Phone: (410) 296-0414
Monday - Thursday: 8 a.m.–5 p.m.
Friday: 8 a.m.–1 p.m.
What Is Dry Eye?
In Baltimore, Dry Eye is a common disorder which occurs when the eyes become dry and irritated as a result of inflammation and inadequate tear production. If left untreated, dry eye can lead to pain, ulcers, scars on the cornea, and some loss of vision. Patients who suffer from dry eye find it more difficult to perform some activities, such as using a computer or reading for an extended period of time, and it can decrease tolerance for dry environments, such as the air inside an airplane.
Why Are Tears Important?
Tears are necessary for overall eye health and clear vision. Tears are produced by the lacrimal glands and consist of proteins, electrolytes, and vitamins that are critical to maintain the health of the eye surface and to prevent infection. They are constantly produced to clean, nourish, and protect the eye surface. Tears bathe the eye’s surface, keeping it moist and washing away dust and debris. Any condition that alters the proper production of tears can make the eyes unhealthy and result in dry eye.
Symptoms of Dry Eye
People who suffer from dry eye experience a variety of symptoms, including:
- Discomfort such as pain, fatigue, stinging or burning
- A sandy or gritty feeling (as if something is in the eye)
- Inconsistent tear production (excessive tears, followed by dry periods)
- Stringy discharge
- Blurry vision
- Heavy eyelids
- Uncomfortable contact lenses
- Discomfort while reading, working on the computer, or performing any activity that requires sustained visual attention
Causes of Dry Eye
- Infrequent blinking, associated with staring at screens
- Long-term contact lens wear
- Medications, including antihistamines, nasal decongestants, tranquilizers, certain blood pressure medicines, Parkinson’s medications, birth control pills, and antidepressants
- Skin disease on or around the eyelids
- Pregnancy or hormone replacement therapy
- Injury or surgery
- Immune system disorders such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis
- Eyelid inflammation from infections such as conjunctivitis
- Exposure to irritants such as chemical fumes, tobacco smoke, and allergens
- Exposure keratitis, a condition in which the eyelids do not close completely during sleep
In addition to being uncomfortable, the tissue around the eyes can become damaged and eventually impair your vision if dry eye is left untreated. It is critical to have routine eye exams with a board-certified ophthalmologist who has experience with diagnosing dry eye.
Dr. Richard Adler, a board-certified ophthalmologist and an accomplished leader in the treatment of dry eye, will work with you and your individual needs to develop a customized plan for successful results. Your dry eye treatment in our Baltimore clinic will depend upon the severity of your symptoms, the cause of your condition and your overall health.
Traditional treatments for dry eye included medications, vitamin supplements, and surgery. However, at Belcara Health, Dr. Adler is successfully treating dry eye patients with innovative approaches, including intense pulsed light (IPL) treatments and TrueTear devices.
Intense pulsed light (IPL) treatment for dry eye was first discovered over 10 years ago when patients with rosacea, who also had various ocular conditions, would come in for IPL therapy to have their facial redness treated. These same patients would later return for their follow-up visits reporting that while the redness in their skin had improved, they had also seen improvements in their vision.
After further research, it was learned that the light therapy from IPL improves lid margins, meibomian gland function (the oil-producing glands that prevent evaporation of the eye’s tear film), and tear breakup time. This is ideal for those who suffer from dry eye disease as the light acts as a warm compress that liquefies the oily secretions from the meibomian glands and “unplugs” them, allowing them to function properly.
IPL therapy for dry eye provides long-term improvement of symptoms. For the best results, we recommend patients have 5 treatments, scheduled monthly. There is no downtime, and any mild redness that may appear in the skin post-treatment will disappear within a couple of hours.
TrueTear is a revolutionary device that temporarily increases your natural tear production. Belcara Health is proud to be one of few practices nationwide to offer TrueTear to patients suffering from dry eye. TrueTear is a handheld device that stimulates natural tear production on command. You can find relief from your dry eye symptoms with no drops or drugs. It is easy to use, painless and provides immediate relief.
Our Practitioner Who Specializes in Treating Dry Eye