Many of us exhibit dry eye symptoms from time to time, but did you know that dry eye is a medical condition that requires constant long-term treatment? In fact, you could have dry eye right now and not even know you have any symptoms.
Dry eye is a result of insufficient tear film to lubricate and nourish the eye. Left untreated, it can lead to chronic dry eye and a great deal of discomfort with debilitating side effects such as difficulty driving.
Dr. Yee is respected world-wide for his dry eye research, progressive treatment methods, and embrace of innovative solutions which have made him one of the most sought-after experts in the dry eye field.
Dry eye symptoms point to an imbalance that is making your eyes thirsty – for moisture, nutrients, help, and a call to Dr. Yee — Houston’s dry eye expert. Thousands of people come to Dr. Yee to find relief because he is world-renowned for treating dry eye aggressively and progressively with a plan for the long term.
Dr. Yee’s dry eye solutions begin with a thorough eye exam to determine if you have an ocular surface disorder. He will ask you lifestyle questions to help him further assess if you engage in activities on a daily basis that may aggravate dry eye symptoms — like if you spend significant time on the computer.
In addition to dryness, common symptoms of evaporative dry eye include:
Dry Eye Can Impact Your Vision and Life:
Dry eye symptoms can make reading, watching TV, using a computer, wearing contact lenses and driving seem impossible. They can also indicate a more serious medical condition that should be diagnosed and treated by a physician. Typically, Dr. Yee will ask you to see your internist or refer you to a rheumatologist to determine if there is an undiagnosed, underlying cause to your dry eye symptoms. Without proper management of dry eye, sufferers can experience:
Common Aggravating Factors:
If your dry eye symptoms and signs indicate more than mild dry eye disease, Dr. Yee will take your treatment to a new level, utilizing new technologies and treatments that may include:
LipiFlow® Thermal Pulsation System
The LipiFlow® Thermal Pulsation System by Johnson & Johnson Vision – represents a significant technological shift in managing evaporative dry eye. Applying a combination of dry heat and pulsatile pressure, some find a single treatment effective in relieving the blockage of your meibomian glands.
By opening the blocked glands, your body can resume its natural production of tear film oil. In a clinical study, approximately 79 % of patients reported an improvement in overall dry eye symptoms after just one LipiFlow treatment. Because dry eye disease is chronic, Dr. Yee recommends continuing the medical treatments in order to control all the aspects that contribute to your eye health. LipiFlow will jump start the healing process but the other aspects that contribute to the disease, i.e.inflammation, need to be continually monitored and treated.
What Happens During a LipiFlow Treatment?
During treatment, a LipiFlow Activator (a disposable eyepiece) is inserted under your lower and upper eye lid and shaped to prevent contact with your cornea. Once in place, you simply recline in the treatment chair and experience the 12-minute procedure where controlled heat is applied simultaneously to the upper and lower lid as gentle, intermittent pressure is applied to massage blocked Meibomian glands and release the trapped lipids — an essential source of tear film and overall eye comfort and health.
In a clinical study, 32 percent of patients reported no discomfort and 48 percent of patients noted awareness of pressure without pain during treatment.
Intense Pulsed Light Therapy
Another adjunct for dry eye treatment is Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) therapy. Dr. Yee has searched out as many modalities that will help relieve the debilitating pain that afflicts my patients. IPL is quite literally leading chronic sufferers into the light and out of their dry eye misery. While studies are pending, IPL may be additive to the Lipoflow therapy.
The main dysfunction in chronic cases of dry eye is a malfunction in the meibomian gland that produces the lipid layer in tears. This condition, called Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD), occurs when the lipid (oil) layer of the tear becoming too thick and clogs the gland. Once this happens, the lipid layer’s moisture sealant function deteriorates and tears begin to evaporate. Your eye starts losing its balance and the dryness sets in.
IPL therapy works by delivering short, gentle, pulsed waves of light, acting much like a warm compress on your eye. This helps liquefy the oil and unplug the gland. It also cuts off the vascular supply that feeds the inflammation mediators within the lid – basically putting the flame out. The entire process gets the gland flowing and pumping better.
IPL gives additive relief.
And that’s something chronic dry eye sufferers haven’t felt in a long time.
By restoring order to the meibomian gland, IPL also helps ward off future flare-ups of Blepharitis – an inflammation of the margins of the eyelids, an unfortunate associated condition many MGD sufferers must tackle at times.
So, if the traditional route of treatment – drops, compresses, punctual plugs, lid scrubbing – hasn’t brought you satisfactory relief, talk to Dr. Yee and find out if you could benefit from IPL and Lipiflow.
If drops are not providing sufficient dry eye relief, plugging of the tear (punctal) duct is a quick, effective next step. Punctal plugs are very tiny (smaller than a grain of rice), bio-compatible devices that are inserted into the tear ducts, creating a dam effect to retain moisture and help keep the ocular surface hydrated and nourished and dry eye symptoms at bay.
There are two types of plugs: temporary, dissolvable plugs made of collagen and semi-permanent plugs typically made of silicone. Temporary plugs are generally used as a first course of treatment to quantify their effect on your dry eye symptoms or as a preventative measure to protect against dry eye after refractive surgery. The procedure itself takes less than a minute to perform in the comfort of Dr. Yee’s office.
Autologous Serum or Platelet Rich Plasma Eye Drops
For his patients suffering from severe cases of dry eye, Dr. Yee may prescribe autologous serum drops or platelet rich plasma — a custom-formulated solution made from mixing your blood (drawn during your appointment) with saline solution. The components of the serum and platelet rich plasma mimic those growth factors and other blood by-products found in tears, thereby providing more essential nutrients to the eye versus artificial, synthetic drops.
Many of the M.D. Anderson patients come to Dr. Yee to obtain the serum to successfully help this fairly common but treatable ocular surface problem.
Meibomian Gland Duct Probing
This new method invented by Dr Steven Maskin of relieving the obstruction of oil flow from the meibomian gland also is an exciting advancement in the treatment of chronic dry eye conditions, such as obstructive blepharitis. In this procedure the eyelid is first numbed and then tiny, stainless steel probes are used to break up adhesions and fibrotic bands within the duct. There are 20-30 ducts in each eyelid and patients are often suffering from tender and sore lids, so treatment may need to be performed in stages. Benefits include increased lubrication, decreased light sensitivity, and relief from lid tenderness. Recently, Dr Maskin has reported in the British Journal of Ophthalmology, that the areas of atrophy can be resurrected and improve after probing.
Pterygium is an elevated growth on the conjunctiva, the clear mucous membrane lining the inside of the eyelids and on the cornea. For most, the pterygium remains static and is treatable with lubricant drops. But in cases where conservative treatment is not working or the pterygium becomes active and invades the cornea, Dr. Yee may perform pterygia auto-graft surgery. In this technique, clarity to the cornea is restored by removing the pterygia and grafting the area with tissue that has been painlessly removed from underneath the upper eyelid. This “auto-graft” (self-transplant) prevents re-growth by filling the space where abnormal tissue could take hold.
Micro-Environment Glasses (MEGs) by SeeFit
Anyone who has suffered from debilitating dry-eye symptoms knows the desire to cover one’s eyes as a shield to keep out all wind, smoke and other irritants, such as glaring computer screens. All of these dry-eye inducing situations were part of the inspiration behind the development of Dr. Yee’s own patented Micro-Environment Glasses or MEGs.
Dr. Yee developed MEGs as a lasting solution for dry eye. The patented frames – featuring Moist-Sure Shields – create a “micro-environment” around the eyes to lock in moisture and keep out irritating elements. Before MEGs, some individuals were forced to wear bulky, bug-eyed, safety glasses to create the same environment. With MEGs, dry eye sufferers can create a moist, comfortable environment for their eyes without sacrificing style or convenience.
Protection with Style:
The Moist-Sure Shields are made of lightweight silicone rubber and are available in a range of colors with coordinating frames. Unlike with safety glasses, patients can choose from three different versions – for men, women, and unisex, to ensure a proper fit.
The Moist-Sure Shields are:
Tailor Made for Your Eyes
Even with the functionality and convenience of MEGs, if they don’t improve your vision, then they don’t meet all your eye-care requirements. With this in mind, Dr. Yee created the MEGs to be fully customizable to your specific prescription and vision needs. These dry-eye-solution glasses can be ordered with:
Add SeeFit ‘Water Wells’ for additional comfort and protection
Recently, the addition of “water well” inserts raises the ambient humidity and adds additional benefits to the MEGs experience.
Please visit www.seefitmegs.com to order or find out more about MEGs or you can order them through Dr. Yee directly.
Call 832-289-2020 for a consultation to learn more about his practice and advanced Dry Eye Treatments.
Linda P. 2019
"I have been seeing Dr. Yee for the past 6 months for severe dry eyes and MGD. In 6 months, after using the eye drops he developed himself, cauterizing my tear ducts, having the MGD probing and getting my sclera lenses, I can honestly say that my future is optimistic. . ."