River Forest, IL | Ocular Surface Disease | Kirk Eye Center
Scott Kirk: Well, I'd like to talk about ocular surface disease. That is primarily dry eyes. Symptoms of dry eyes are burning, tearing, grittiness, and blurred vision. It affects about 30% of people over the age of 50, particularly in women. We often, in the past, have just used artificial teardrops, and they help, but usually are quite temporary. We've become more sophisticated in trying to diagnose dry eyes. The tear film is made up of two layers. The aqueous layer and lipid layer.
The lipid is like an oil and it preserves the tears that you form. For instance, if you didn't have an oil layer on a glass of water, the water would evaporate very quickly. The same thing happens in the eye. If the lipid layer is not thick enough or adequate the tears evaporate quickly and you get dryer. That's why in the winter time with decreased humidity, dry eyes can be a major issue. Teardrops will help, but usually a half hour later, you're back with the same symptoms.
Restasis has helped with the aqueous part of the tear film. Now, with LipiFlow, we're able to help the lipid part of the tear film, and 85% of people that have had treatment with LipiFlow now are much more comfortable. This lasting into 18 months to two years after one initial treatment. We're very happy to offer that to our patients now.