What is Dry Eye?

Over 25% of Americans suffer from dry eye symptoms. Dry Eye is the condition that results when the eye doesn’t make enough tears or when tears that are made become unstable and evaporate too quickly. This affects vision as the tear film is an important part of the optics of your eye. In addition to helping vision, your tears protect your cornea (the front surface of the eye) which is an extremely sensitive tissue and must be maintained in optimal condition for good comfortable vision.

What Causes Dry Eye?

Often, dry eye is caused by blocked glands that excrete the oily outer layer part of the tears. A blockage of these meibomian glands can cause insufficiencies in tear film thickness and tear instability, causing the tears to break apart when they shouldn’t.

This results in inflammation on the surface of the eye which can be triggered by a variety of factors such as:

  • Aging
  • Dry, dusty or windy climate
  • Insufficient blinking (such as when you’re staring at a computer screen)
  • Long-term contact lens wear
  • Medication side effects
  • Eye surgery
Tear Film Diagram
Tears and the IMPORTANCE
Why Are Tears So Important?
Tears are essential for good eye health. After a blink, a tear film coats the surface of the eye and performs many functions for your benefit:
  • Tears prevent dryness by coating and lubricating the surface of the eye
  • Tears supply oxygen and nutrients to the eye surface (cornea)
  • Tears form a barrier from infection and irritants washing away foreign substances
  • Tears help to heal damage to the surface of the eye
  • Tears create a smooth surface on the eye to help you to see more clearly
Healthy tears maintain a stable tear film over the eye between blinks. If the tear film is not thick enough or doesn’t have enough lipid layer (the outer layer that holds the tear together), the tear can break apart and expose the surface of the eye. If this happens regularly, dry eye disease may result.

What Can Be Done About Dry Eye Disease?

Unfortunately, there is no single proven treatment for Dry Eye as there can be many contributing factors to the disease. The best strategy, however, is to treat as much of the lids as possible to stimulate activity of glands allowing a rebalancing of the tear components.

Low Level Light Therapy (LLLT) is a technology that was developed by NASA and has been adapted for Dry Eye Therapy. A short 15-minute treatment with LLLT directly treats the eyelids, stimulating the glands, and in most cases provides immediate and longer lasting relief from Dry Eye. Regular treatments with LLLT help to manage Dry Eye so the symptoms abate and suffers can get back to having healthy lives.

How does LLLT work?

LLLT uses specially designed LED lights to gently warm up the eyelids, causing the meibomian glands to unclog and release oils.
  • Safe, non-invasive procedure
  • Quick, 15 minutes per session
  • No recovery time needed
  • No side effects or discomfort
  • Safe for adults and children
It’s quick and painless! Simply lay back with the Equinox mask on and relax as the warm light clears your glands.

Do You Have Dry Eye — Take the Quiz!

Find out if you suffer from dry eye Dry Eye Test (OSDI-6)*. Choose the number that best describes your answer. If your total score is 4 or higher, you have symptoms associated with dry eye disease. Ask your eye doctor about further dry eye testing and non-invasive treatment options.


Constantly Mostly Often Sometimes Never
Have you experienced any of the following during a typical day of the last month?
1. Eyes that are sensitive to light? 4 3 2 1 0
2. Blurred vision? 4 3 2 1 0
Have problems with your eyes limited you in performing any of the following during a typical day of the last month?
3. Driving or being driven at night? 4 3 2 1 0
4. Watching TV or a similar task? 4 3 2 1 0
Have your eyes felt uncomfortable in any of the following situations during a typical day of the last month?
5. Windy conditions? 4 3 2 1 0
6. Places or areas with low humidity? 4 3 2 1 0

*Pult H, Wolffsohn JS. The development and evaluation of the new Ocular Surface Disease Index-6. Ocul Surf. 2019;17(4):817-821.

Contact your eye care professional to request Marco Equinox Dry Eye Treatment!

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