Dry Eye FAQ

For patients in Cary, Chapel Hill, Durham, Roxboro:

NCEENT NOW OFFERS THERMAL 1-TOUCH™

Thermal 1-Touch™ warms the eyelids and heats the meibomian glands. Doctors then apply gentle pressure to express trapped oils from the clogged glands. The treatment lasts about 15-minutes. Thermal 1-Touch relieves MGD, Dry Eye and Blepharitis.

FAQ  Dry Eye


Common Questions about Dry Eye


What is dry eye?
Dry Eye is a complex condition that develops when the eye doesn’t produce enough tears.

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Are there many forms of dry eye?
There are two main forms of dry eye; tear deficient dry eye and evaporative dry eye. Tear deficient dry eye occurs when tears do not contain enough water. Evaporative dry eye, the more predominant form of dry eye, happens when tears evaporate from the eye’ surface and leads to dryness.

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Is evaporative dry eye related to MGD?
Yes. Meibomian Gland Disease is a form of evaporative dry eye. The meibomian glands are located in the eyelids. The glands contain oils that are crucial to maintaining a healthy ocular (eye) surface. The oil creates a lipid layer over the tears to keep them from evaporating. If the meibomian glands are not creating enough oil then the tears dry out rapidly and that leads to the dry eye symptoms.

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What are the symptoms of dry eye?
Dry Eye symptoms include stinging or burning eyes, scratchiness, feeling like something is inside the eye (foreign body sensation), excessive eye irritation from smoke or wind, excess tearing, discomfort when wearing contact lenses, and red eyes.

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How is dry eye treated?
NCEENT eye doctors recommend over the counter lubricating drops to relieve mild dry eye symptoms.  Gels and ointments, which are thicker, may provide longer lasting relief, but can blur vision temporarily. If you need tears more than four-times daily, the doctors recommend preservative free drops, as they are gentler on the eyes. Always avoid “redness relievers”. For many patients dry eye gets worse over time due to reduced meibomian gland function. Thickened oils and dead skin cells become trapped in the glands causing more severe dry eye symptoms;  which are not controlled by lubricating drops alone. Advanced therapies like Thermal 1-Touch™ offer relief.

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What is Thermal 1-Touch™?
Thermal 1-Touch™ is a new affordable in-office treatment that removes trapped oils and dead skin from the meibomian glands with heat and gentle pressure. This treatment increases natural eyelid function and reduces dry eye symptoms.

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How does Thermal 1-Touch™ work?
Trapped oils can become hardened in the eyelids. The Thermal 1-Touch™ googles are applied to the eyes, similar to putting on a pair of glasses. The device stays on for about 10-minutes and heats the meibomian glands and loosens the hardened oils. Next, the doctor performs a lid expression; by using an instrument to gently press on the eyelids to clean out the oily material.

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Is this a painful process?
No. The treatment is actually a very comfortable pleasing experience for many patients. Doctors apply anesthetic drops to numb the eye first, then apply the goggles to begin warming the eyelids. Patients often describe it as a spa treatment for the eyes.

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How many treatments are needed before I experience results?
Within a day or two you can expect to experience a decrease in dry eye symptoms. But it varies on the severity of each person’s condition. One treatment per year may be sufficient for those with mild meibomian gland disease. More severe cases may need treatment every six months to stay comfortable. Those with chronic dry eye can benefit from monthly treatments.

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Is Thermal 1-Touch™ covered by insurance?
No. Thermal 1-Touch™ is considered elective and is not covered by insurance. The treatment is affordably priced at $295 for both eyes. NCEENT accepts cash, check, credit cards.

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