Associates in Ophthalmology in Livingston, NJ provides state-of-the-art treatment for patients suffering from dry eyes. Patients can experience dry eyes from poor tear production, blocked tear ducts, side effects from medication, allergies, and natural changes from aging.
Dry eye is one of the most common reasons patients visit the eye doctor. At our Livingston office, the team of eye doctors at Associates in Ophthalmology are experts in diagnosing and treating dry eye and have sophisticated tools and treatments to provide each patient with an individualized treatment plan.
How Do I Know If I Am Suffering From Dry Eye Syndrome?
One of the ways qualified ophthalmologists check for dry eyes is by determining whether a patient’s eyes are producing enough tears or if they are producing poor quality tears. Poor quality tears may mean that a patient’s tears are too salty and are not providing enough of a protective coating over the ocular surface.
Tears are essential to maintaining the health of the ocular surface of the eye. Dry eye syndrome can lead to dry eye disease. That’s why it is important for patients with dry eyes to have their tears analyzed.
The eye doctors at Associates in Ophthalmology in Livingston are trained and experienced in diagnosing and treating patients who suffer from dry eye syndrome. One of those treatment methods is the use of a diagnostic test called the TearLab Osmolarity System.
What Is TearLab?
TearLab is a state-of-the-art diagnostic instrument that doctors use to collect a small sample of tear fluid from each eye. After collecting tear fluid, the TearLab instrument measures the osmolarity – or saltiness – of the tears.
TearLab’s chip technology uses a tiny sample of tears to measure osmolarity. Your doctor will test both eyes and then calculate your osmolarity number.
Your individual osmolarity number is an accurate measure of the health of the quality of the protective tear film that covers the surface of your eyes. TearLab has the best predictive value for diagnosing dry eye disease than any single test.
Why Use TearLab?
TearLab’s sophisticated chip technology allows your doctor to safely and quickly analyze the quality of your tears. It also gives your doctor a clearer answer about the health and stability of the protective tear film covering the surface of your eyes.
TearLab’s osmolarity data can help your doctor come up with a custom treatment plan based around your symptoms and dry eye severity. TearLab can also manage patient progress by evaluating therapeutic effectiveness.
If you do have dry eye disease, doctors can intervene early in the process with an individualized treatment plan and therapies that work best for you. If a treatment isn’t working, your doctor will be able to tell by using TearLab to test your tear fluid.
Depending on the results, they will be able to respond by prescribing you a better medication or treatment option. Untreated dry eye syndrome can prevent you from being a candidate for LASIK surgery. Patients who no longer suffer from dry eye syndrome have a better outcome if they have LASIK surgery.
Is TearLab The Only Way Dry Eye Disease Is Diagnosed?
Filling out the TearLab Dry Eye Questionnaire before coming in for your appointment can also help your doctor assess the probability you have dry eye disease, besides taking part in a TearLab evaluation.
Dry eye symptoms may include blurry vision, redness, burning, itching, light sensitivity, watery eyes, tired eyes, contact lens discomfort, a scratchy feeling in the eyes, and mucous near the corner of the eyes.
What If My Dry Eyes Go Untreated?
Dry eye syndrome can cause not only discomfort but can also cause vision to fluctuate. This is because the ocular surface of the eye becomes stressed when there is not enough protective tear film covering the eyes.
A natural, healthy tear film helps the eyes by fighting infection, lubricating the surface of the eyes, and providing vital nourishment for the eyes that is important to maintain clear vision. If dry eye disease goes untreated over time, it can impair vision and eventually cause damage to the eyes.
If you think you may be experiencing dry eye symptoms, schedule an appointment at our Livingston, NJ offices today!