• Boomsesteenweg 223, 2610 Wilrijk

  • +32 3 828 29 49

  • info@zien.be

Dry eyes

Cataract druppels

Dry eyes

Dry eyes develop if insufficient tears are produced or if the tear film evaporates too quickly. When this happens, the eyes may burn or become sensitive, and they can secrete mucous and sometimes become red. The vision may also become blurry, and you may develop a sensitivity to light.

What is the tear film? 

The tear film consists of three layers:

The outmost layer

A lipid-based layer which is generated by small sebaceous glands in the edge of the eyelid (Meibomian glands). This layer prevents the tear fluid from evaporating (too quickly).

The middle layer

A watery layer which is generated by the lacrimal (tear) glands. These glands are located in the outer, upper zone of the eyelid.

The innermost layer

A mucous-like layer that is produced by small glands in the conjunctiva of the eye which ensures that the watery layer is evenly distributed over the surface of the eye and that it adheres to the eye.

Causes

The most commonly occurring cause of dry eyes is ageing. The older we get, the less efficiently the tear glands work, and the eyes become dry much more quickly.

Other possible causes of dry eyes are:

Disorders or hormonal abnormalities

Systemic situations or disorders, such as hormonal abnormalities (including, thyroid disease and diabetes) or hormonal changes (pregnancy, menopause).

Damage to the sensory nerve

Damage to the sensory nerves of the eye (including infections such as herpes or shingles).

Environmental factors

Various environmental factors, such as air pollution, air conditioning, computer and/or tablet use, powerful gusts of air (riding in the car with the windows open), the use of certain medicines and contact lenses.

Do you have dry eyes?
If so, we urgently advise you to make an appointement at our eye center.

Contact us

Examination and treatment of dry eyes

First, the specific type of dry eyes you suffer from must be diagnosed. Our ophthalmologists have the latest, most sophisticated devices available for determining which type of dry eyes our patients have (including TearLab and OCT with epithelial mapping).

Treatments for dry eyes

Unfortunately, it is not possible to increase the natural production of tears.
What we can do is increase the quantity of tear fluid by using drops (‘artificial tears’), by reducing the drainage of the tear fluid using ‘punctal plugs’ or by improving the quality of the tear fluid using IPL treatments, eyelid hygiene etc.

It is important to realise that dry eyes can have an enormous impact on daily life and that the only way to achieve a satisfying result is with intensive, long-term treatment. It is for these reasons that various treatment methods are often combined. The specialists in our eye center are all certified in the treatment of dry, red eyes. The ophthalmologist will discuss with you which treatment is best suited to your situation.

MiBo Thermoflo

MiBo Thermoflo is a painless treatment for dry eyes which utilises controlled heat emission. The heat is absorbed deep into the tissues of the Meibomian glands (the oil-producing glands located on the edge of the eyelids). This makes the hardened oil in the glands fluid again so that a healthier tear film can be generated. The most notable effect of this treatment is the improvement in the thickness and the quality of the lipid layer of the tear film, which in turn supports the function of the tears.

 

Treatments for dry eyes

Unfortunately, it is not possible to increase the natural production of tears.
What we can do is increase the quantity of tear fluid by using drops (‘artificial tears’), by reducing the drainage of the tear fluid using ‘punctal plugs’ or by improving the quality of the tear fluid using IPL treatments, eyelid hygiene etc.

Nutritional supplements

There are a number of nutritional supplements which improve and support the health of the eyes. Omega-3 fatty acids are important for preventing the eyes from drying out and for keeping eye infections at bay. Our eye doctors use only high-dose omega-3 tablets in order to achieve optimal, sustainable results.

 

Punctum plugs

If insufficient quantities of tear fluid are produced or if the quality of the tear fluid is unsatisfactory, treatment with a punctal plug may provide the solution. These plugs look like very small champagne corks, and they are not visible in the eye. The plug is used to close off the drainage canal for the tears in the lower eyelid. As a result, the tears remain in the eye longer, and the moistening of the eye is improved.

IPL

IPL stands for Intense Pulsed Light (a sophisticated form of light therapy). This treatment improves the quality of the tear fluid. The principal effect of this light therapy is an improvement in the thickness and the quality of the lipid layer of the tear film. The warm light deeply penetrates the sebaceous tear glands increasing the fluidity of the secretions. The blood circulation will also improve, and this has an anti-inflammatory effect on the glands and on the eyelids.

To achieve a satisfactory result, 4 treatments of 15 minutes each are necessary. The treatments are administered at specific intervals. With the first session given on day 0, the following sessions are administered on day 15, day 45 and day 75. The improvement will become clear in the week following the second or third treatment. Research has shown that 90% of patients achieve successful results when treated with intensive light. And, the cherry on the cake is that this treatment also makes the skin of the eyelids nice and healthy.

Blephasteam

This device improves the tear film on the eyes in a natural way, improving the health of the eye, the vision and the eye comfort. The thickness and quality of the lipid layer of the tear film improves, which in turn benefits the tear function. The lipid layer of the tear film is produced by the Meibomian glands. These glands may become plugged, causing irritation on the edges of the eyelids, including scabbing and flaking, and dry eyes.

The Blephasteam steam goggles were designed to safely heat up the glands in the eyelids to 40°C, causing the oils in the Meibomian glands to become fluid. Soft massage of the eyelids, using light pressure, then dissolves any blockages. The heat and the moisture that is generated inside the goggles ensure the melting of the coagulated and hardened oils in the blocked glands, making it easier to unplug the glands using pressure and massage.

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  • Boomsesteenweg 223, 2610 Wilrijk, Belgium
  • +32 3 828 29 49
  • info@zien.be

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