Diseases of the Lids and Lashes

DRY EYE

Dry eye is a condition which results when not enough tears are produced to lubricate the eyes. Tears are produced constantly in healthy eyes. As the eyes age, tear production may decrease, causing dry eye in older people. Certain medications may also cause dry eye. Symptoms of dry eye include: scratchiness, burning and eye irritation. Contact lens wearers may begin to experience discomfort.

There are many treatments for dry eye. Artificial tears can be used to lubricate the eyes. Humidifying the environment, avoiding exposure to smoke, wind and overly warm rooms may also alleviate the symptoms of dry eye. One treatment with a high success rate is the insertion of punctal plugs to close the tear drainage ducts to conserve the eye’s own tears. This is a procedure Dr. Ranz can easily perform in our office.

PTOSIS (Drooping Eyelids)

Ptosis, or drooping eyelids, is a condition which affects both children and adults. It may be an inherited condition caused by poor development of the muscles that lift the eyelids (the levator muscles). Treatment of severe congenital ptosis is required in order to allow normal visual development. This involves surgery which tightens the levator muscles.

Adult ptosis is a separation of the levator muscle tendon from the eyelid. This may be the result of aging, eye surgery, or injury. Dr. Ranz has a great deal of experience in the surgical correction of drooping lids. This may be done for cosmetic and/or functional reasons. If the drooping lids are interfering with a person’s field of vision, then surgery may be covered by insurance. Dr. Ranz and his staff will be happy to evaluate your drooping lids and discuss the procedure that can help vision and take years off your appearance.

BLEPHARITIS

Blepharitis is inflammation of the eyelids. Its symptoms include irritation, itching, redness, and inflammation. It is usually a chronic condition resulting from overactivity of the oil glands in the eyelids, low grade infection, or seborrheic dermatitis.

Blepharitis may not be cured, but the symptoms can be controlled by cleaning the eyelids following specific instructions in conjunction with use of an antibiotic ointment.

ROSACEA

Rosacea is a chronic condition affecting the skin of the face, and the eyelids. Symptoms may include redness (like a blush or sunburn), pimples, broken or enlarged blood vessels, enlarged and bumpy nose. When rosacea affects the eyelids it can result in redness of the eyes, burning, tearing and irritation. Symptoms may come and go, and their severity may fluctuate. This condition cannot be cured, but can be brought under control with the application of topical medicated creams and gels, or oral antibiotics. The eyelids often have to be treated with a special cleansing routine and the use of antibiotic ointment. Results should be seen within three to four weeks, with significant improvement in two to three months.