Tuesday, June 26, 2018

I Was Tested for Dry Eye... & It Was So Simple!!

Burning, itching red eyes. We have all seen the commercials for eye drops that offer relief from these symptoms. But have you ever wondered if these symptoms are stemming from actual Dry Eye Disease or Syndrome? 

I never really thought about it much until recently. I have noticed I rub my eyes a lot, and they are often irritated.  Is it because I have dry eye? I spend so much time looking at a monitor and phone, could that be what does it? I decided to quit playing the guessing game and find out! 

I dread going to a doctor of any kind so this was no exception. Were they going to poke and prod me? Was this going to take forever? Just exactly how do they find out if you have dry eye? I was filled with anxiety!! 

I met with Dana in a little room with a rather cool looking piece of equipment in it. It kind of looked like a psychedelic time transporter in mini size. Ok, that made me feel a little better. Just a chin rest attached to a fun looking device. No sharp instruments and no torture devices.

She explained to me that we were going to do four pictures total, two for each eye. The first set I would blink a few times and then hold my eye open for as long as I could without blinking. (think staring contest with these funky circles and a little orange light in front of your eye.) For the second, she would hold my lower lid down with a cotton swab just a little and take a photo of my glands. The photos went quickly and painlessly! It was almost like a game and was kind of fun seeing how long I could hold my eyes open. I remember thinking, if I don't have dry eye I will after this. (ha-ha just kidding)  

The Antares System

She took the pictures and after just a few minutes was able to show me my results immediately! No call backs, no waiting on someone to read the results, Just BOOM and done! You have to love instant gratification right?? 

Here are my pics and results. 

Ok, it is a little gross, but do you see those little tube looking lines in my lower lid where it is pulled down? Those are meibomian glands. Mine are very healthy! If they were broken up or missing, I would have dry eye. Your tears aren't just made of water. These glands add an oil component that keeps them on the eye where they belong. Without them, your tears evaporate quickly and this causes dry eye. 

Top Left: A pic of my eye with that funky teleporter reflected in it. It doesn't really show us anything, but doesn't it look cool? 
Top Right & Bottom Right: Shows the TBUT "Tear break up time" Pretty much how long your tears last after they are on the eye. Mine are pretty good. The Yellows and reds are evaporating more quickly, but mine were on the high end of low, so nothing to worry about. 

I also learned that a lot of people don't realize they have dry eye. They think it's something else. If you have any of these symptoms, get tested! It doesn't take long, and there are some really great treatments out there!

Occasional blurry vision
Feeling like you have something in your eye
Watery eyes (your eyes will overly water if they are dry because of the lack of oils)

      If you are in the Orlando Area, Orlando Eye Institute offers this testing. 

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