Dr. Jaccoma is considered an expert and a pioneer in dry eye care, having performed numerous studies, invented new treatments and lecturing extensively on these treatments as well as dry eye diseahttps://ppadmin.patientpop.com/practice/edit/12946#ses in general. If you frequently experience dryness and irritation in your eyes, you may have a condition known as dry eye syndrome. Dry eye can make it uncomfortable for you to read a book or use your computer for long periods of time. At New England Dry Eye & Aesthetics in Kittery, Maine, Dr. Edward H. Jaccoma and his staff offer state of the art diagnostic and treatment services for dry eye to restore your eyes to good health. Schedule a consultation online or by calling the office to learn more.
Dry eye happens when your eyes don’t produce sufficient tears or if the tears evaporate too rapidly. As a result, your eyes don't receive the proper lubrication, protection, nourishment, and support offered by a healthy tear.
You may find it difficult to read, work on a computer or perform other activities when your eyes are dry. It may also be difficult to tolerate dry environments for extended periods of time.
Dry eye is a chronic, progressive condition. Without proper treatment, it worsens over time.
Your tears are made up of water, salts, fatty oils, and multiple proteins (think salad dressing!). Each time you blink your eyes, tiny glands (the “sprinkler system”) produce the tears, which flow across the surface of your eye to provide cells with nutrients. Tears also serve as a protective liquid for your eyes. Without enough oil, the tear water evaporates, leading to “evaporative dry eye disease.” This leaves higher levels of salts that can become toxic to the cells lining the surface of the eye. As these cells die and drop out, little open sores can develop. As salts get washed into these open sores, the nerves supplying these areas become irritated. Stinging, burning and scratchy feelings can follow.
Without adequate tear production, your eyes don’t receive the proper nutrients and become dry, irritated and inflamed. Your vision may also become affected as your tears are essential for focusing light. Ironically, a common symptom of dry eye is reflex tearing (where the “firehose” gland turns on to flood the eye with water). The fire hose makes a salty tear that is good at washing away loose lashes and our saddest emotions but the living cells of our eyes need the food, support, and lubrication we can only get from the sprinkler system. The driest eyes will therefore sometimes present as red, teary eyes that make us look sad and feel bad.
Age is a common cause for dry eye. As you age, your tear production may naturally slow down and result in dry eye. Women are also at higher risk than men for developing the condition, possibly from hormonal changes due to menopause, or due to the toxic effect of certain chemicals contained in some frequently used cosmetic products (especially many mascaras and certain makeup removers).
Other causes of dry eye include:
Also, if you have specific skin diseases, like rosacea, it can affect the health of your tear production glands and disrupt tear production.
New England Dry Eye and Aesthetics offers comprehensive, advanced diagnostic services including an assessment of the amounts of tear volume, tear salts, tear oils and the relative stability of the tears on the surface of your eyes. Redness is graded by an international scale that helps indicate the degree of inflammation affecting your eyes. Special infrared photography can image the anatomy of the glands responsible for tear oils, and drops combined with filtered blue light, images the layer of tears as they cover the eye, highlighting irregularities that can contribute to poor vision and dry eye symptoms. Videography tracks blinking and monitors the spreading of oils over the eye. Detailed history and a comprehensive, microscopic dry eye examination, including grading of the oils expressed from eyelid glands, helps to give an accurate picture of the range of problems that can contribute - and allow the best recommendations to restore tear functions. Please note:
Dr. Jaccoma offers many effective treatments for resolving the irritation of the dry eye and preventing a recurrence. He performs a full eye exam to confirm a dry eye diagnosis and determine the best treatment for you. This includes tear osmolarity (the TearLab® measures the salt level in your tears), the Oculus Keratograph® (measuring the volume of tear, the stability of the tear to evaporation, what the surface looks like to your tear and what the oil-producing glands look like among other functions), and can measure the oil levels and even how you blink (with the TearScience Lipiview®). A Korb MGE® determines the utility of the tear-oil-producing-glands under the simulation of normal blinks. See “causes” (above) for a more detailed description of these diagnostic services.
Treatment options may include:
Dr. Jaccoma also offers an in-office procedure, commonly covered by most insurances, to correct a condition called conjunctival chalasis, a restorative procedure to correct the relationship of the eye’s thin, translucent membrane (the conjunctiva) to the lower eyelid. This helps to form a smooth surface for the tears to flow over and establishes an effective gutter that helps your eyes retain its freshest tears. For more information on Dr. Jaccoma's groundbreaking research on the treatment for this disorder at the American Society of Laser Medicine and Surgery in Dallas in April 2018, please visit: HERE
If you’re suffering from dry eye, book a consultation online or by calling the office.