Could a greater miracle exist than for us to look through
each other’s eyes for just an instant?
- Henry David Thoreau -
Our vision is undoubtedly one of our most important senses and is produced by a complex system beginning with the eyelashes and ending in the visual cortex of the brain.
If you suffer from chronic dry eye, meibomian gland dysfunction, styes, or chronically tired, irritated eyes, you know that there is far more to comfortable vision than just seeing.
The Eye Spa is a comprehensive program to help patients suffering from chronically painful, dry, irritated, and fatigued eyes that incorporates relaxing and soothing in-office treatments with home regimens that improve comfort, vision, and quality of life.
Your Eye Spa experience will be tailored to your individual eye issues and is beneficial for a wide range of conditions that affect the front surface of the eye. We have found that treating these conditions in a spa environment is more conducive to healing and a far more pleasant and relaxing experience than incorporating them into the regular eye clinic schedule.
The Eye Spa Experience
It is safe to say that the majority of patients do not find their eye exam appointments pleasurable. The Eye Spa treatments do not require dilation and are done soothing setting that allows you to relax and unwind while we treat your eyes. Treatments vary depending on the condition being addressed, however, all treatments include a 15-minute heat and massage mask, meibomian gland massage, as well as a course of eye brightening drops to finish. Read further for important details on the conditions and treatments.
We use the term dry eyes to describe a state where the person has chronic symptoms related to a deficiency in the volume or quality of tears. Dry eye affects 5-15 percent of the US population which equates to 16-49 million people who suffer from some degree of chronic dry eye symptoms.
Common Symptoms Of Dry Eyes Are:
• Foreign body sensation
• Tired eyes
• Sore Eyes
• Excess Tearing
• Sticky eyes
• Sharp intermittent pain
• Light sensitivity
• Fluctuating or hazy vision
• Unable to wear contact lenses comfortably
Non-modifiable Risk Factors
• Sjogren's Disease
• Autoimmune Disorders
Modifiable Risk Factors
• Meibomian Gland Dysfunction
• Electronic Device Usage
• Hormone Imbalance
Meibomian Gland Dysfunction
How to Prepare
Please bring bottles of any drops you currently use as well as any that have failed so that we can detail which prior therapies you have tried. On the morning of your Spa appointment, use either a lid scrub pad or a warm wet washcloth to thoroughly scrub the lashes and lids. Do not apply makeup until after the procedure is complete. Wear comfortable clothing. While a friend or family member is welcome to accompany you to the appointment, a driver is not necessary since vision will not be blurred following the visit.
Once you Arrive
Please notify our front receptionist that you are checking in for a Spa treatment. Even if the waiting area has several patients waiting, Spa patients are taken as soon as the Spa room is ready. There is a $99.00 initiation fee that is not covered by insurance. This is an annual fee for the Spa which allows for up to 6 Level 1 spa treatments under your existing insurance plan office visit coverage.
We make every effort to minimize the amount of paperwork but will ask you to complete a short form that will help us track your improvement. Your vision and eye pressure will be checked then the initial Spa treatment will begin.
First Spa Treatment
The first treatment not only begins you on your road to comfortable eyes but also helps Dr. Peltzer assess the severity of the condition. At the end of this visit, you will discuss your treatment plan with Dr. Peltzer which may include more Level 1 treatment or he may recommend a Tearcare Level 2 treatment.
One of our expert technicians will gently fit a disposable mask over your eyes then place the heat and massage mask over top. Please make sure that you are completely comfortable. You are able to recline the seat and put your feet up if desired. The mask may be adjusted for comfort. Let the technician know if there are any comfort issues. The mask will heat and gently massage your eyelids for 15 wonderful, relaxing minutes.
Following this, Dr. Peltzer will prep your lids for clearing which may include an antibacterial spray, anesthetic drops, or anesthetic gel. Then, using one of several sterile, smooth tools, Dr. Peltzer will check and express each of the 25 glands on the lower lids and the 30 glands on the upper lid. The heat and massage soften the trapped and unhealthy material in the meibomian glands within the lids. Gentle pressure applied to each gland will eliminate this unhealthy material in glands that do not have scar tissue blocking the gland. Finally, a soothing and clarifying set of drops is instilled before you leave.
There are a range of initial normal responses to the treatment. The eyes may feel somewhat irritated for a few hours or days following the first appointment but then you should feel a degree of relief. The amount of relief depends on how severe the condition is to begin so severe cases may only get a few days of relief before symptoms return. This is why severe cases the doctor may recommend retreatment in 1-2 weeks instead of the more standard 4-6 weeks. Each treatment lengthens the time before discomfort returns and reduces its severity.
Spa treatments work best if augmented by a simple daily lid care regimen. Patients are given a starter kit at visit number one which contains three products.
1. HCA Spray: This product is an antibacterial that is sprayed on closed lids twice daily.
2. Heat Mask: Mask is best used once daily in moderate and severe cases, less
frequently in mild cases.
3. Ocusoft Lid Scrubs: These medical grade scrubs used daily will help to clean lid,
lash, and gland surfaces and help normalize the oil flow from meibomian glands.
4. Your doctor may recommend prescription or over-the-counter drops, and/or oral
antibiotics as well.
Spa Visit 2
Visit two may be similar to visit one, or if Dr. Peltzer has determined that your meibomian gland dysfunction is severe and needs a more intense heat treatment, he will recommend setting you up for a TearCare session which will be detailed later.
Healing the Hurt
By starting these Spa treatments you are slowing, then halting, then reversing years of damage to the ocular and lid tissue. This process takes time. While most patients find significant improvement after the first visit, do not be discouraged if your recovery takes longer. As the lids are treated and healed, the ocular surface damage and inflammation also begin to heal and the eyes will begin to feel better. Envision a day when you are not conscious of every blink you make and your eyes feel good or feel nothing at all. This is achievable for most people. Patients who have suffered from chronic dry eye for years begin to lose hope because doctor after doctor have made recommendations that offered little or no relief.
Level 2 Treatment
If the Level One treatment shows severe gland dysfunction, we offer a new advanced technology called TearCare which is designed to heat the lids to a higher degree to allow more gland aggressive gland clearing. This specific treatment may be only needed once or may be repeated annually if necessary. A TearCare session involves 15 minutes of direct lid heating followed by clearing heat/massage mask.
While the above techniques benefit most patients, recovery and reversal of disease may be inhibited by scar tissue bands formed within the meibomian glands. Dr. Steven Maskin has developed a technique as well as medical instruments to probe and open these scarred glands. Some patients require probing of all glands while other patients only need groups of glands probed. This procedure does produce some significant lid discomfort for a few days after probing but offers the only current solution to scarred, non-functional meibomian glands. This minor procedure is also performed in-office as well.
It is safe to say that most people do not find an eye exam or most eye treatments to be an enjoyable or relaxing experience. Necessarily, routine and medical eye appointments require dilation and equipment for documenting and treating eye disease. While a comprehensive eye exam with dilation must be performed prior to the spa visit by one of our physicians or your referring eye doctor, we have tailored the experience to make it a pleasant, healing environment. We know that those suffering from dry eye and other related conditions live with constant, life-impacting pain and discomfort. We can now offer a path to recovering normal eyelid, meibomian gland, and tear function through our Eye Spa in-office techniques and home self-care.
Patients come to eye doctors for help with a wide range of vision and eye issues. At Eye Spa, we have one and only one goal. WE ARE HERE TO MAKE YOUR EYES FEEL BETTER.
Patients who are symptomatic due to a lack of adequate tears may benefit from removable silicone plugs placed in the tear drainage ducts of both lower lids. This is a rapid, painless procedure that is covered by most insurance plans.
Amniotic Membrane Therapy
There are many corneal and ocular surface conditions that can cause the corneal surface cells to become unable to adequately reproduce to cover and protect the cornea and eye. A thin membrane containing amniotic stem cells can be placed on the cornea to heal the cornea.
Due to various diseases and injuries, at times the corneal nerves degenerate leading to an unhealing wound on the cornea. Amniotic membrane therapy as well as the highly effective medication Oxervate can help heal and restore vision.