Dry Eye, MGD, and Blepharitis Treatment with Dr. Melanie Denton
Originally from Michigan, Dr. Melanie Denton knew from a young age that she was interested in science and wanted to be a doctor. She wanted to go to University of Michigan (which she ended up doing!), and she fell in love with optometry after realizing that there was the option to both own a business and help patients at the same time.
She started Salisbury Eyecare and Eyewear in Salisbury, NC five years ago. Her practice is a destination and a different eyecare experience than most patients are used to. She loves the throwback feel of her practice where the patient-doctor experience is paramount, because that’s something that’s often missing when going to the doctor’s office.
Dr. Denton went through an externship during optometry school at Duke University Eye Center, where she was exposed to a lot of dry eye disease. In addition to this, she also worked in a rural practice in North Carolina and encountered many patients with this condition. She found that dry eye was perfect for her because it is so misunderstood. If you have it, it affects your everyday life but it’s so hard for others to understand.
By truly listening, making the time, and digging into the patient experience, Dr. Denton has found that she’s well suited practice and personality-wise for working with dry eye patients.
Dry Eye Treatment Protocol
What a dry eye center is all about is the systems you put in place. Dr. Denton has a system for everything in her office, and their dry eye center is no exception. She realizes that, without a system, she’ll be inconsistent with dry eye management. Although each patient is unique, each and every one deserves to go through a specific protocol of treatments.
During COVID, Dr. Denton began implementing systems that include education for patients as well as imaging and diagnostic pieces that tie into that education. If you present for an annual eye exam and have any of five specific dry eye symptoms, you’ll automatically be put into her Lids, Tears, Glands (LTG) protocol. Using the Firefly device, her team will image your eyelids, tear film, and meibomian glands before you even see Dr. Denton. During this annual exam, she’ll discuss the findings with you and make sure you’re aware of the signs she’s seeing.
If abnormalities are seen during this exam, the patient will come back for a full dry eye work-up. Visual acuity will be taken at all visits as well as Schirmer score, InflammaDry, tear break-up time, and other findings. After gathering all of the findings, she uses the Kyklos dry eye app which helps her decide a specific treatment protocol based on the patient’s unique needs. It will give her both treatments and products suggested, and she’ll use this to determine what’s best for the patient. The patient can even download the app and monitor their dry eye treatment progress.
This technology is amazing because patients now are so used to logging different things throughout their day, whether it be their workout, what they eat, or even how they’re feeling during a pregnancy. Kyklos is sure to increase compliance because the doctor is able to set notifications for patients when they should be doing a treatment. It’s also exciting for the patient to record and see their progress.
Treatment for Dry Eye Disease
In her office, Dr. Denton uses both traditional dry eye treatments as well as dry eye wellness options. She offers warm and cold compresses, lid hygiene products, artificial tears and dry eye sprays, among other products. She’ll send you home with instruction sheets for every single treatment she prescribes for you, making it easy for you to follow your treatment plan. She also uses a YouTube channel to educate her patients. If they go home and forget how to do something, those videos are available for patients to watch at all hours of the day.
For in-office treatments, Dr. Denton frequently uses AB Max for exfoliation, TearCare for meibomian gland dysfunction, and Lumenis IPL. She uses AB Max to exfoliate the eyelid margins and remove biofilm. This treatment is usually paired with TearCare on everyone with MGD, including young patients who do a lot of computer work. The two treatments are very effective together because it’s incredibly important to remove biofilm that’s built up on the eyelid margins before trying to move any of the oil out of the glands.
Anytime she sees telangiectasia on the eyelids, which is very common in those with MGD and rosacea specifically, she uses IPL. She’s excited to incorporate this even more into her practice as her dry eye center grows. Her treatment plan for MGD may seem aggressive, but that’s what the doctor is there for. Your doctor should be trying to prevent your condition from getting worse, and they should be doing everything they can to help you find relief. Of course, cost is a factor for patients but doctors are here to prescribe what’s best for you in the long run. Dr. Denton is doing just that, as well as making you feel right at home.
If you’d like to see Dr. Denton as a patient,head to her website, schedule online, or give them a call at 704-310-5002. You can also check her out on Instagram @eyethinkican and make sure tofollow her YouTube channel.
About Dr. Denton
Raised on a hog farm in Michigan, Dr. Denton dreamed of attending the University of Michigan. She did just that, graduating with a BS in Anthropology-Zoology in 2005. Following her undergraduate studies, she attended the Michigan College of Optometry, obtaining her doctorate in optometry in 2009. She completed her student internships at the Duke Eye Center, the Detroit Veteran’s Affairs Hospital, and the Optometric Institute and Clinic of Detroit.
Following graduation, she elected to pursue an Ocular Disease residency program and was selected to be a resident at the prestigious Bascom Palmer Eye Institute in Miami, FL where she completed her residency. While living in Asheville, she completed an MBA from Western Carolina University.
Doctor Denton has a passion for patient care and recognizes the eyes as the window to a person’s overall health. She treats and manages a wide array of ocular diseases, ocular traumas, as well as primary eye care and comprehensive eye evaluations. She also enjoys fitting contact lenses of all kinds and pediatric exams. She works on a part-time basis at the VA Facilities in Salisbury and Kernersville.
Doctor Denton is active in her profession and the community. She is a member of the Historic Salisbury Foundation, the Rowan Chamber of Commerce, and the Salisbury Rotary. She volunteers as a clinical examiner for the North Carolina Board of Optometry. She is also a member of the North Carolina Optometric Society, the American Optometric Association, and is a fellow of the American Academy of Optometry.