Dr. Mark Allen received his Bachelor of Science degree in 1991 from Texas A&M University and graduated from the University of Houston College of Optometry in 1997, where he was awarded his Doctor of Optometry degree with honors. He is certiﬁed as an Optometric Glaucoma Specialist in Texas and an Optometric Physician in Arkansas.
Dr. Allen is currently a Doctor of Optometry at ArkLaTex Eyes in Texarkana, where he provides wellness and diabetic eye exams, ﬁts glasses and specialty contact lens, and examines for myopia control management. He is also very experienced in treating and managing ocular diseases and disorders such as Dry Eye Disease.
What is Dry Eye Disease?
Dry eye is a chronic, progressive, inﬂammatory disease that occurs when tears cannot properly lubricate the eyes. This is caused by either a decrease in tear creation or an increase in tear evaporation. If not treated, dry eye can cause lasting damage to the corneal surface and declining vision. Estimates show that currently between 16 million and 49 million Americans suffer from Dry Eye Disease.
What are the symptoms?
Dry eye symptoms can include, but not limited to gritty/scratchy eyes, burning, light sensitivity, poor night vision, ﬂuctuating vision, blurred vision, and even watery eyes. Many contact lens wearers with Dry Eye Disease experience comfort issues or discontinue contact lens wear due to their symptoms.
How is Dry Eye Disease diagnosed?
Dry Eye Disease is diagnosed after a thorough evaluation of the tear ﬁlm and oil producing glands of the eyelids. At ArkLaTex Eyes, we use the sophisticated Oculus 5M imaging system to evaluate non-invasive tear break up time, tear quantity, debris in the tear ﬁlm, oily layer of the tear ﬁlm, redness score, dry spots on the cornea or whites of the eye and eyelid oil gland imaging. We evaluate the salt content of the tears using Tear Lab and our doctors use video imaging to evaluate and document the function of oil producing glands at the eyelid margin. We also use validated questionnaires to evaluate symptoms.
What are the treatment options for Dry Eye Disease?
There are several options of treatment depending on the severity and progression of your Dry Eye Disease. For Dry Eye Disease due to evaporation of the tear ﬁlm, our ofﬁce uses Lumenis IPL (intense pulsed light) – the only IPL device approved by the FDA for the treatment of Dry Eye Disease. iLux by Alcon may be used to express the meibomian glands. Punctal Plugs are an in-ofﬁce procedure that may be utilized to increase tear quantity. Prokera amniotic membrane, which has natural anti-inﬂammatory and anti-scarring properties, may also be used to treat severe Dry Eye Disease issues. Prescription eye drops and oral medications are also commonly used. If your Dry Eye Disease is mild an at home treatment plan may be recommended.
What happens if I don’t treat my Dry Eye Disease?
Uncontrolled severe Dry Eye Disease can cause permanent damage to your eyes. The long-term effects include eye infections, corneal ulcers, and vision loss.
Are there any special products that you recommend or use in your ofﬁce?
Products that we use and recommend are Oasis, Zocular, and Eye Eco products. These products include, preservative free tears, eyelid cleansing sprays/pads, Omega-3 vitamins, beaded masks, and eyelid/facial serum.
How do I schedule an appointment?
Please call one of our friendly staff at 903.838.9063.