Light-based treatment could be key to dry eye management – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

About 16 million adults live with dry eye disease in the United States. It is a condition that occurs when your tears are unable to produce adequate lubrication for your eyes, which dries them out and causes an itchy or burning sensation. Over-the-counter drops may provide temporary relief, but a treatment originally used to treat rosacea, a skin condition, provides patients with long-lasting relief.

Whether it’s acting, playing guitar, or flying, Phyllis Spielman is always up for a new challenge, but battling dry eye wasn’t a challenge she expected.

“The worst thing you can have is itchy and burning eyes because it’s a distraction. You could cause an accident,” Spielman explained.

When over-the-counter drops and squeezes didn’t work the way Spielman hoped, she turned to her doctor for help.

“You give someone artificial tears and say, ‘Just lubricate your eye and you’ll be fine,’ but this is an inflammatory disease,” said Dr. Rolando Toyos, founder and CEO of Toyos Clinic.

Inflammation of the eye Meibomian glands is the cause of insufficient tear production. Dr. Toyos suggested the OptiLight treatment, which is a light-based treatment given in four sessions two to four weeks apart.

Patients can start feeling relief right away, and for Spielman, the treatment was a win in his book.

“It was really painless. It was quick. There was no downtime. You wouldn’t even know I had the treatment,” Spielman said.

Toyos said it is the first and only FDA-approved light treatment for dry eye management. After the first four sessions, a person with severe dry eye may need additional treatments. Dr. Toyos also said that right after a session, patients should avoid sun exposure as the skin around their eyes will be more susceptible to sunburn.

Contributors to this report include: Milvionne Chery, producer; Roque Correa, videographer, editor.

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