Dr. Smith’s Invention Demographics Anatomy & Physiology Symptoms & Treatment

Anatomy & Physiology
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Most people think of tears as the “water” that wets the eye.  Tears are actually a complex mixture of components from a variety of glands located above the eyeball and within the eyelids.  The majority of the liquid in tears is excreted by the lacrimal gland which is positioned above the eye. There are cases of dry eye that stem from dysfunction of this gland, but these are in the minority. 

Most dry eye cases are evaporative in nature and result from dysfunction of the oil glands within the eyelids.  The gland that secretes the majority of the oily substance is the meibomian gland. There are about twenty meibomian glands in each eyelid. These glands, which measure about 5mm in length and about 0.2mm in diameter, are long, tubular structures that are arranged vertically.  They produce oils that become the top layer of the tears. This top layer is essential to inhibit evaporation of the tears and provide a smooth optical surface for clear vision.  This layer is renewed with each blink, which expresses the oil from the glands in the eyelids.

Aging and other factors cause the meibomian glands to become more dysfunctional.  Meibomian secretions, which were once easily expressed, change in consistency from “olive oil to toothpaste”.  This makes them far less conducive to spreading in a thin film over the cornea.

My invention warms the glandular contents (thermostatic @104 F) thus restoring the oil to a more natural and less viscous state.  The rotating head with its orbital path creates a “milking action” that expresses the oils. 

Dry eye is a chronic problem that is not amenable to cure.  Patients are looking at a lifetime of treatment, and they will gravitate toward therapy that is “natural and simple”.  Additionally, they will be attracted to a product that can be used by multiple individuals in a household.  The device has disposable silicone pads for multi-person and replacement use .There should be no concerns about pharmaceutical side effects, infection, contraindications or prescription refills.

There are other uses for this therapy. It would be beneficial in the treatment of common hordeolum (stye) which is an inflammation of the glands of the eyelids. Warming and massaging these glands facilitate healing and, if applied early, can lead to resolution without other therapy. Another potential application is for chalazion, a similar and common condition.

Walton F. Smith, OD
Office: (307) 673-5177
Home: (307) 655-2317
P.O. BOX 787
Ranchester, WY 82839

Dr. Smith’s Invention Demographics Anatomy & Physiology Symptoms & Treatment

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