Dry Eye Treatment

A doctor will conduct a physical examination and ask the patient about symptoms, medical history, current medications, occupation and personal circumstances. All dry eye treatments aim to protect the ocular tear film and keep the eyes lubricated; but the approach depends on the underlying cause. Dry eye treatments fall into three categories that can be prescribed based on the severity of symptoms and response to treatment. These are lifestyle modifications, medications (which include lubricants, anti-inflammatories and antibiotics) and procedures.

 

Below are the various treatment options that a dry eye patient can try for relief. If you are looking for dry eye treatments near you, call to speak to one of our optometrists today!

Artificial Tears/Lubrication

Lubricating eye drops are usually the first line of treatment for dry eyes. Most preservative-free lubricating drops should be used no more than four to six times a day. Overuse of lubricating drops can wash away the necessary components of the tear film. You want to avoid drops that have preservatives in them because they can exacerbate dry eye symptoms.

Antibiotics and Steroids

Both of these medications can be used to help alleviate the symptoms of dry eye. The antibiotics help by decreasing and stopping bacteria, whereas the steroid will help reduce inflammation.

Scleral Lens

A scleral lens is a hard rigid lens that covers the whole cornea. When instilling the scleral lens the patient must fill up the lens with saline solution. This will then trap a reservoir of fluid in-between the cornea and the scleral lens. This fluid acts to protect the corneal epithelium from desiccating, thus allowing time to heal.

Amniotic Membrane

This is a membrane that is made out of the same amniotic tissue that encircles a fetus. The membranes have anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, and low immunogenicity properties. It’s anti-inflammatory and anti-scarring effect helps to minimize the build-up of scar tissue.

Autologous Serum

These eye drops are made from the individuals’ own blood. RBC and clotting factors are removed; leaving behind just the blood serum. This serum is diluted with a sterile preservative-free solution, creating a tear substitute that is unique for the patient. These synthetic drops contain many bioactive agents that may promote healthy cell growth and healing of the ocular surface, including albumin, Vitamin A, nerve and epidermal growth factors. Since blood and tears have an identical pH and salinity. Patients will not experience any symptoms of burning upon installation.

Restasis / Xiidra Medication

Restasis and Xiidra are the only medications developed for treating dry eye syndrome. Restasis and Xiidra work by increasing the eyes natural ability to produce tears by synergistically reducing inflammation in continuum.

Punctal Plugs

There are tiny openings that we have in the inner corner of our upper and lower eyelids. One approach to treating dry eyes is to close these tiny openings with tiny silicone or collagen plugs. The closure helps conserve your own tears and artificial tears you may have added.

Omega 3

Omega 3 = an imbalance in the ratio of Omega 3 to Omega 6, has been found to cause abnormal secretions of the oil glands. Studies have shown that improving the Omega 3 to Omega 6 ratio or supplementing with Omega 3 fatty acids, can improve oily gland secretions and decrease dry eye symptoms.

Warm Compresses

The purpose of warm compress is to loosen the scales and debris that are found around the base of the eyelashes. The heat from the compresses also help to liquefy and stimulate the production of oil.

Lid Hygiene / Lid Exfoliation

Good lid hygiene is important in controlling the bacterial load found on the eyelids. Bacterial growth can lead to inflammation of the lids. Lid margin exfoliation can help to prevent this growth and prevent oil glands from being damaged. An in-office procedure called BlephEx can be used to clear debris from the lids.

Symptoms

Causes

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