More than 30 Million Americans have Dry Eye Disease. This condition used to be more common in older patients, however it now affects people of ages largely because of the use of technology and digital devices. We have seen patients as young as six years old with Dry Eye Disease! While there are many symptoms of Dry Eye Disease, the most surprising symptoms is that many patients with Dry Eye Disease have no symptoms at all. Our Dry Eye Center of Excellence is dedicated to providing the highest quality of dry eye care by using advanced ophthalmic diagnostic and treatment techniques.

Common Dry Eye Disease Symptoms

  • Vision constantly changing
  • Watery Eyes
  • Burning
  • Itching
  • Gritty or sandy sensation
  • Feel the need to use artificial tears
  • No Symptoms

What is Dry Eye Disease?

Dry Eye Disease occurs when there is inflammation of the tears and tear producing glands. This inflammation causes many people to either not produce enough tears or produce a poor-quality tear. Dry Eye Disease is often chronic and progressive, so it is important to treat the disease as early as possible.

Diagnosing Dry Eye Disease

Our doctors are able to diagnose Dry Eye Disease through an eye examination combined with the latest in diagnostic technology.

Lipiscan is what we use to evaluate the health of your oil glands (Meibomian glands). These oil glands are important in creating a stable tear film because they create the protective layer that keeps the tears from evaporating off the eye.

We also use TearLab to test the osmolarity of your tears. Using just a nanoliter of tear fluid, the TearLab test allows our doctors to assess the level of disease and develop an appropriate treatment plan.

Common Causes of Dry Eye Disease

  • Aging
  • Hormonal changes (pregnancy/menopause)
  • Autoimmune Conditions (Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus, Psoriasis)
  • Thyroid Condition
  • Sleep Apnea
  • Allergies
  • Rosacea
  • Diabetes
  • Hypertension

  • Contact Lens Wear
  • Smoking
  • Prolonged computer use
  • Maine Weather (cold, dry air)
  • Ocular Surgery (LASIK, PRK, Cataract)
  • Medications like decongestants, antihistamines, oral contraceptives, and diuretics

Treatment for Dry Eye Disease

Because there are many causes of Dry Eye Disease, each patient will have a unique treatment plan specific to their type and cause of dry eye. The use of artificial tears is often not an effective treatment modality because they do not eliminate the root cause of the condition. Thanks to the advancement of dry eye technology, we now have many treatment modalities to treat the underlying cause of Dry Eye Disease. Our doctors will customize a treatment plan that may contain the following:

  • Lipiflow
  • IPL (Intense Pulsed Light)
  • Blephex
  • Prescription Eye Medications
  • Scleral Lenses
  • Serum Tears
  • Bruder Dry Eye Mask
  • Amniotic lenses
  • Nutritional Supplements

We also co-manage with other eye care professionals and are happy to treat your dry eyes, even if you are not a current Smart Eye Care patient. Call today to schedule a dry eye consultation with one of our Dry Eye Specialists.