Covid work from home phenomenon has meant more screen time for work, Zoom drinks and Netflix for the adults. For the kids with home-based learning, it also led to more computer time, video games and less outdoor sunshine.
Not surprisingly, this has brought about dry eyes. During phase one and now through phase two, we have been opened everyday as we are considered essential services. We were only permitted to see emergency eye conditions. For the first time dry eyes was an emergency. The clinic was busy the whole day with patients suffering from red eyes, irritable eyes with sensitivity to the light from the computer screen, headaches and blurry vision and STYES! Also called CHALAZIONS!
Why is that? Are you surprised?
Let me explain why dry eyes lead to styes.
The tear film is made of water which is produced by the tear glands, mucin and oil that is produced by oil / meibomian glands on the eyelid margin. That is why there are sometimes cysts and white secretions on the eyelid margin. When the eyes are dry, the glands respond by producing more water and more oil. Water production is usually not a problem unless patients have been through Lasik surgery or are taking antihistamines or are going through menopause.
However, when too much oil is produced by the oil glands. instead of it being beautifully clear like olive oil, the quality changes to like toothpaste forming a white head. The thick white secretion then blocks the pore of the gland causing the gland to swell up like a pimple.
So, a STYE is really a GLORIFIED PIMPLE.
Which then brings it to the point that a stye/chalazion should be treated like a pimple because we need to unblock it or it can get red and infected.
The treatment now if you were to see a dermatologist for acne is Long gone just skin antibiotic creams. Likewise, at The Eyeclinic we have learned that the old days of warm compress, skin cleaning and creams have limited results.
We treat with Eyelight using red LED and it works rapidly as an inflammatory and to liquefy the thick white secretion so that the pore is unblocked, and the oil gland is no longer clogged. A twenty minute lying on the led, painless light treatment (with the eyes closed of course) which is so much more comfortable than surgery. Also it treats the source of the problem, because don’t forget , there are forty glands on the upper and lower eyelids and we want to return the oil production to normal olive oil quality oil and dry eyes affect all the glands not just one.
When my son was 2 years old, he had a stye that came on and off for one year. This means that on good days the oil was more liquefied, and the pore was not blocked but on bad days the pore was blocked, and the gland then swelled up as its outlet was covered. I had already been using antibiotic cream on the bad days and a warm compress And it was not resolving the stye. There was no way my husband would let me take him to surgery if we could avoid it. I had seen Eyelight at an eye conference in Europe and so I purchased it and Mark had the treatment just one time. I told him it was an Ironman mask and I read him a book as he sat through it.
Since then, we have treated so many styes with the Eyelight. The treatment works even better when it is started early with a mild eye lid swelling. Do not wait the stye hardens. That is why I would say do not keep persisting with creams and hot compresses if they do not resolve the problem after a few days.
I am so happy that very, very few patients now have not had to go to surgery for a glorified pimple.
Do see the video on what Eyelight dry eye treatment is like on