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New treatment offers relief for dry eye

OKLAHOMA CITY—We are no strangers to dry weather in Oklahoma but it can often turn up the heat on a very irritating health problem.

Millions of Americans suffer from dry eye syndrome but now there is hope in the form of an electronic treatment.

Optometrist Dr. Tom Cruse said, “We’ve been having patients who just simply use a warm wash cloth but that really does not get to the root of the cause.”

Dry eye is not uncommon.

Women often get the condition during or after menopause but the environment or eye injuries can also be to blame.

Symptoms of dry eye include too many tears, burning, itching, blurry vision and even sensitivity to light.

Now doctors are using a new treatment called “Lipiflow” to stop the symptoms at the source.

Dr. Cruse said, “The Lipiflow is able to unclog those Meibomian glands to get the oils to secrete again.”

During the procedure, the eye cup heats up the eyelids to a temperature that will break up the blockage in the glands.

Patients say they feel relief almost immediately.

Donna White said, “Because I’m really dry, my eyes get really irritated. They get more irritated wearing contact lenses when you’re dry so this has made a big difference.”

Doctors say the “Lipiflow” treatment can fix dry eye for up to two years in some patients.

No matter what is causing the condition, the only real way to know how to treat it is to get tested by your doctor.

The treatment is currently available at the Dean McGee Eye Institute in Oklahoma City.