Dry Eye Treatment
Dry eye is a multi-factorial disease impacting the tears of your eyes. Although commonly called dry eye, the more appropriate term is ocular surface disease (OSD). OSD’s contributing factors include an unstable tear film, medications, hormones, decreased meibum production from blocked glands, insufficient aqueous production, bacteria build up on the eyelid, and inflammation in the eye.
The symptoms of dry eye can usually be managed successfully including:
- Including dryness
Our clinics provide hyperosmolarity testing, which is one of the most important tests for determining the underlying cause of OSD. This test is fast, easy, and accurate. Contact our office to book an appointment.
Dry Eye Diagnosis
Dry eyes are detected through a comprehensive examination of the eye. When combined with a thorough patient history including medications and environmental factors, our doctors have a variety of methods to test the quantity and quality of your tears. Much of the examination will include an external evaluation of the cornea and eyelid while assessing the effectiveness of your blinks and the integrity of your corneal surface.
It will also involve the use of new technologies and dyes to detect microscopic damage and analyze flow, stability, and volume of your tear film. Once the appropriate diagnosis is made, an individual dry eye treatment plan will be created.
Dry eyes can create scratchy, watery, blurry or painful eyes. Due to the growing need for relief, many options are available over the counter or by prescription.
Artificial tears are an easy way to combat the effects of dry eyes. They are used to supplement your normal tear production. These drops are over the counter and come in two forms, preserved and preservative-free. Preservative-free options are generally less likely to irritate the eye as they have fewer additives. It is also recommended to avoid "redness reducing" eye drops as they usually dry the eye more.
Warm compresses can also promote a healthy tear film and naturally improve the quality of your tears. By using warm packs (use caution as the eyelids are tender) for 5-10 minutes on the eyes, you can soften natural oils and open the glands within your eyelids. This method decreases the evaporation of fluid from the eye which is thought to be the leading cause of dry eye.
Blocking tear ducts through the use of silicone style plugs can be an effective way to manage low tear production by allowing lower amounts of tears to stay and lubricate the surface of the eye longer.
Medications designed to increase tear production can be prescribed by your doctor on their own or in combination with many of these other treatment options. New medications have been introduced to the market, and your doctor can discuss which might be the best option for you. Self care can be as simple as taking computer breaks every twenty minutes, wearing sunglasses, taking Omega – 3 supplements, and increasing water intake.