Dry Eye Wisconsin is a leader in Dry Eye Care, MGD, Ocular Rosacea, and other issues related to ocular surface disease. Wherever you are in your journey, we have solutions that can help. We have the expertise, specialized training and advanced therapeutic equipment to design solutions that take you from disease to wellness.
Comprehensive Dry Eye Evaluation –
We start by taking a careful case history in learning all about your particular situation, your medical history, medications, your dry eye symptoms, what you’ve tried that’s worked and, more importantly, what you’ve tried that hasn’t worked. We also perform various diagnostic tests including Lipiscan Meibography, Biomicroscopy Slit Lamp Exam, Vital Dyes tests, Tear Break-Up Time, Corneal Staining Analysis, Blink Analysis, Tear Lab Osmolarity, and more. In most cases, this evaluation IS covered by your major medical insurance (less deductibles and copays). At the end of the testing, the doctor will explain the results and discuss a game plan for your best “next steps.” Each patient is different – so each game plan may be different.
Depending on the severity of your symptoms as well as the physical condition and function of your meibomian glands, cornea staining, etc., one or more different treatment options may be recommended.
Level 1: Home Therapy
For some patients with minimal symptoms and/or structural gland changes, developing a simple, consistent eye hygiene routine can be all that’s needed to make the eyes feel more comfortable and subsequently slow down (or even halt) the progression of structural gland damage.
- OTC Artificial Tears and/or Gel (depending on frequency of dosing, using non-preserved drops may be important)
- Blink Exercises – 20/20/20 Rule
- Hydrating Heat Mask
- Foaming Eyelid Cleanser and/or Lid Wipes
- Avenova Hypochlorous Spray
- Non-toxic Eye Makeup Remover
- Water – Drink 6-8 glasses a day
- Adopt a Healthy Lifestyle of Food & Exercise
- Modify Home Environment (Turn off fans in bedroom, use of humidifier, etc.)
- Omega 3 (Daily dosage of the triglyceride form of O3 of a combined 2000mg EPA/DHA or stronger)
- HydroEye Dry Eye Supplement (a proprietary blend of Omega 3, GLA & antioxidants)
- Overnight Treatment with Lubricating ointment and/or Moisture Chamber Goggles
Level 2: Pharmaceutical Intervention
Some patients require prescription medications to target the underlying inflammatory component of ocular surface disease. Other patients require antibiotic ointments or oral medications to treat the bacteria-based eyelid disease. Cost varies depending on medical insurance drug coverage.
- Cyclosporine Eye Drop – Restasis, Xiidra, Cequa, etc. – addresses chronic inflammation – however, it may take a few weeks to see results
- Antibiotic Eye Drop or Ointment – addresses underlying acute and/or chronic infections
- Steroid Eye Drop or Ointment – addresses acute inflammation – and is often needed until the Cyclosporine drops begin to work
- Oral antibiotic – sometimes needed to address infections that are deeper in the tissue
Level 3: Advanced Interventional Therapies
In some cases, one or more Advanced Interventional Therapies are recommended after traditional Home Therapy and Pharmaceutical Intervention has failed to improve the structural integrity and/or symptoms associated with ocular surface disease/dry eye. In other cases, patients may be anxious to get more immediate relief– and may opt to proceed with one or more of the following treatment options.
While all of these therapies are extremely effective in helping the majority of patients, insurance does not cover most of these treatment options.
- BlephEx ~ or ~ Zest Belpharoexfoliation Treatment
Blepharitis is a common, recurrent eyelid condition that can cause eye discomfort and dryness symptoms. The Zest Treatment uses an okra-based gel applied to your lid margins to gently exfoliate and remove debris from your eyelids. BlephEx™ device is used to very precisely and carefully, spin a medical grade micro-sponge along the edge of your eyelids and lashes, removing scurf and debris and exfoliating your eyelids.
2. IPL & LLLT – FULL Treatment Protocol (3 sessions)
We are proud to be the first in Wisconsin to offer this unique, “one-two punch” treatment of a combined Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) therapy and Low Level Light Therapy (LLLT). Eye Light by Esponsione is the #1 Medical IPL in Europe – and is both painless and more effective than other stand-alone IPL therapies. The full treatment protocol of three sessions has been shown to be 95% effective in significantly reducing/eliminating ocular inflammation and dry eye symptoms.
As an added bonus, because IPL treatment for meibomian gland dysfunction and dry eye is similar to the IPL used for facial rejuvenation, most patients find that the skin around their eyes look healthier and younger after treatment.
- LipiFlow or I-Lux (half-price if done within 6 months of IPL/LLLT )
When the meibomian glands get plugged, the oily meibum portion of the tears cannot be secreted effectively. Long term, congestion can cause these glands to atrophy and die. The resulting unbalanced tear composition can also cause damage to the cornea. Lipiflow and/or I-Lux are treatment devices specifically designed to gently and effectively remove blockages from the meibomian glands, allowing them to properly function and produce the oils that make up the top protective lipid layer of the tear film.
- OSD Comprehensive Treatment Package (Full Treatment IPL/LLT & Lipiflow / I-Lux )
When both inflammation AND meibomian gland congestion are present, we strongly recommend the Comprehensive Treatment Package for maximum effectiveness in treating not only structure & functional issues, but for getting at the root cause of the problem. Often, this is the best way to quickly and effectively restore gland function as well as get the tears back to a healthy balance of oil, water & mucin.
- Prokera Membrane Therapy *Prokera may be covered by major medical insurance
Sometimes the surface of the cornea is so damaged or compromised up by a dry eye condition, that we need to do something quickly to get the cornea back to a healthier state. In some situations, we may recommend to do this before beginning other therapies.
- Autologous Serum Eye Drops (Approximate out-of-pocket cost is $100-150 per month)
In severe cases of dry eye, artificial tears made from the patient’s own blood serum & plasma can be prepared and given 6 to 8 times a day in both eyes. After the blood is drawn and sent to a specialty lab, the red blood cells and clotting factors are removed, leaving behind blood serum. This serum contains epithelium-promoting growth factors and other essential components present in natural tears. Serum tears are a long-term treatment option, and it may take several weeks for patients to experience some relief from the symptoms of their severe dry eye.
- Therapeutic Scleral Contact Lenses
These specialty lenses, when used for dry eye, are typically not covered by vision care plans/insurance.)
Scleral lenses are larger diameter gas permeable lenses that vault over the cornea and sit on the white portion of the eye known as the sclera. The space between the surface of the cornea and the scleral lens is filled with a saline solution – which can act as a constant source of hydration for the eye.