Diagnosing Dry Eyes with the LipiView® Ocular Surface Interferometer
The American Academy of Ophthalmology reports that nearly five million Americans over the age of 50 are suffering from dry eyes. This condition causes itching, irritation, and burning that can make it difficult to focus on day-to-day tasks.
Fortunately, there are dry eye treatments that can restore moisture to the surface of the eyes and alleviate dry eye symptoms. The best way to find out what type of dry eye treatment is most appropriate for each patient is through a diagnostic eye exam.
At Wicker Park Eye Center, we have a number of diagnostic tools to detect dry eyes, including the LipiView® Ocular Surface Interferometer. Our Chicago, IL eye doctors use the information provided by the LipiView® Ocular Surface Interferometer to better asses the cause of dry eyes. This allows for more personalized and effective dry eye treatment for our patients.
When patients come to our eye care clinic with dry eye symptoms, it is our goal to determine if dry eye is actually the source of these symptoms. There are many treatment methods that can relieve dry eyes, but the only way that treatment will be effective long-term is if we address the underlying source of dry eye disease, which can be different for each patient.
The LipiView® Ocular Surface Interferometer is one of the primary tools we use when diagnosing dry eye. This device allows our doctors to get a better look at each patient’s tear film.
Essentially, this test allows our doctors to see the make-up of each patient’s tears. Ideally, the tears should have a layer of lipids, or fatty acids. Lipids add substance to tears, and help retain moisture on the surface of the eyes by preventing the tears from quickly evaporating.
The LipiView® Ocular Surface Interferometer measures the exact thickness of the lipid layer on the tear film. If lipid deficiency is responsible for dry eye, we can take appropriate measures to improve not just the quantity of a patient’s tears, but also the quality.
Aside from the vital information that the LipiView® Ocular Surface Interferometer provides, one of the greatest benefits of this device is the simplicity of its use. Testing with the LipiView® Ocular Surface Interferometer is completely non-invasive, and produces quick results. In less than five minutes, the LipiView® Ocular Surface Interferometer can provide our doctors with a clear tear film image.
Information collected by the LipiView® Ocular Surface Interferometer is used to personalize dry eye treatment so that each patient gets optimal results.
Depending on what the diagnostic testing reveals, dry eye treatment may include:
- Over-the-counter eye drops
- Prescription eye drops
- Eyelid wipes
- Punctal plugs
If necessary, multiple methods will be combined to enhance the results of treatment.
If you are constantly bothered by dry, itchy eyes, you may benefit from an eye exam and diagnostic testing at Wicker Park Eye Center. To learn more about the dry eye treatments offered at our practice, contact us at your earliest convenience by calling (773) 376-2020.