Mechanical Dry Eye (MDE), which your eye doctor may refer to as Conjunctivochalasis or CCh is an age-related disorder, often found in individuals over 60. Normal eyes have a space between the eye and the lower eyelid that hold a reservoir of tears. Tears from this reservoir are spread over the eye during the blinking process. In MDE, excess folds of loose and wrinkled conjunctiva can block this tear reservoir, preventing tear retention, tear spreading, and causing dry eyes.
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Sometimes, the wrinkled conjunctival tissue can be seen in your tear meniscus at the edge of your eyelids, which reflects only a portion of the underlying condition. When you blink, this wrinkled conjunctiva can rub against your eye, causing further irritation and redness to an already inflamed and dry eye.
It is possible that a patient suffering from MDE has no symptoms at all. Other patients may have a variety of symptoms like:
Blinking makes these symptoms worse. Reading, playing golf, knitting, or other activities that require looking down for a long time also make the irritation and redness worse.
For MDE, your eye doctor may recommend an outpatient procedure that can address your Mechanical Dry Eye and help restore normal eye function and appearance. The procedure is known as Reservoir Restoration and allows your eye doctor to surgically restructure the conjunctiva blocking the tear reservoir in your eye. Your normal anatomical reservoir is restored using AmnioGraft, a biologic ocular transplantation graft. This adjunct therapy addresses the root cause of your dry eye, with most patients experiencing a fast recovery with a significant reduction in inflammation.
AmnioGraft is an amniotic membrane tissue graft. Amniotic membrane is the innermost lining of the human placenta that has many regenerative properties. The natural, physical properties of AmnioGraft are similar to the tissue that covers the white of your eye, the conjunctiva.
AmnioGraft can expedite your recovery by actively reducing inflammation, promoting regenerative healing, and suppressing pain to help you get back on your feet and return to your normal quality of life faster.
AmnioGraft is a safe, effective treatment provided by a tissue bank regulated by the FDA. Each tissue has to pass rigorous quality control steps before being released for use. AmnioGraft has never been associated with any serious adverse events in the last 20 years of widespread clinical use.
After the procedure, the eye will be patched overnight. Your doctor may prescribe topical drops and/or ointments to help your eye heal. There may be some discomfort during the first few days after operation, but you will be able to resume full activity within 48 hours. Full healing of your eye should be complete within two to three weeks.
As Conjunctivochalasis is a mechanical issue, prescription eye drops and lubricants will not provide permanent relief for the symptoms of MDE dry eye. The only way to fix the issue and restore the normal eye function and appearance of eye is with a short uncomplicated outpatient procedure.
Your surgeon will remove the wrinkled, loose conjunctiva and prolapsed orbital fat from the tear reservoir during the procedure, and then cover the area with AmnioGraft to re-establish the normal anatomical tear reservoir. Further, the regenerative biological properties of AmnioGraft helps to expedite your recovery, heal your eye, and prevent further wrinkles.