Could you have Dry Eye Syndrome? Here’s what you need to know

(BPT) - Do you suffer from dry, itchy eyes? According to the American Journal of Ophthalmology, nearly half of all adults experience dry eye symptoms. While Dry Eye affects people more as they age, this chronic condition is now also a rapidly growing problem for younger people due to increased use of digital devices like smartphones.

Common symptoms of Dry Eye, according to the Mayo Clinic, include:

  • Irritated, sore eyes
  • Eye fatigue, blurred vision
  • Redness
  • Stringy mucus
  • Sensation of having something in your eye
  • Difficulty wearing contact lenses
  • Watery eyes
  • Light sensitivity

If you experience any of these symptoms, consult your eye care professional for a complete eye exam.

What causes Dry Eye?

Healthy eyes use tears to continuously moisturize the cornea, which helps protect it from contaminants. But most people are surprised to learn that Dry Eye is usually not caused by a lack of tears (known as aqueous deficiency). Instead, the problem is that their eyes are unable to retain enough of their natural tears. In other words, the moisture that protects their eyes is evaporating into the air.

The global authority on Dry Eye, the Tear Film and Ocular Surface Society (TFOS), assembled the top 150 doctors and researchers worldwide to redefine Dry Eye Disease in 2017. Their findings reversed decades of belief that Dry Eye was mainly an aqueous deficiency problem. They found that over 85% of all Dry Eye cases are related to a condition called Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD), when oil glands in the eyelids get clogged and cannot supply the oils necessary to coat and protect the eye's tear film from evaporation. TFOS recommended heat therapy and daily eyelid hygiene to combat Dry Eyes related to MGD.

It remains unclear why large companies in the optical industry have not quickly responded to this new standard of care for Dry Eye Syndrome with education and advertising campaigns touting new heat therapy products for use at home. Perhaps creating products of this kind was too difficult or expensive. Or perhaps the fact that several of these companies sell billions of dollars worth of "artificial tears" created concerns about potential financial risks from betting on disruptive new technology.

The problem with artificial tears

What is clear is that, over the past 20 years, if you were diagnosed with Dry Eye, your doctor probably recommended over-the-counter products like "artificial tears" based on the belief that the problem was an inability to produce enough tears. However, most "artificial tears" provide only temporary relief of dry eye symptoms, leading you to re-use (and repurchase) them over and over again. While certainly helpful, most artificial tears do not address the underlying root cause of Dry Eye: the clogging of the glands in your eyelids due to MGD.

How heat helps with Meibomian Gland Dysfunction

Today, top ophthalmologists and optometrists recommend heat therapy at a specific temperature to melt the solidified oils in the eyelid's glands and unclog them to help restore the eyes' ability to retain more of their natural tears. Previously, heat therapy was only available as an expensive in-office treatment, or with microwavable eye masks patients apply at home. However, some patients find it inconvenient to microwave these masks and spend 10 to 20 minutes each day blindfolded. Microwavable masks can also accumulate contaminants, making them less hygienic for use around the eyes.

Doctors created a new Dry Eye therapy for home use

A new product — EverTears — is the first FDA-cleared, over-the-counter treatment combining self-heating compress technology to help unclog eyelid glands with a pre-moistened cloth cleansing pad for eyelid hygiene. No microwave is needed, as each single-use pad can be activated to achieve the precise temperature needed for optimal effectiveness. Each sterile double-sided cloth pad comes individually wrapped and ready to use. It only takes about five minutes a day to experience the benefits of EverTears. This combination of effectiveness and convenience was cited by world renowned ophthalmic surgeon and innovator Dr. Marguerite McDonald, who hailed EverTears as a “game-changer” for the treatment of Dry Eye Syndrome.

“While there are several unique aspects about EverTears, the real game-changer in helping to improve the lives of patients with Dry Eyes and Meibomian Gland Disorder (MGD) is convenience," said McDonald.

Ask your eye doctor about this innovative product, or visit tryevertears.com.