Dry Eye Treatment Guidelines
Dry eye syndrome is a chronic and generally progressive condition. Depending on its cause and severity, it may not be completely treatable. But most of the times, dry eyes can be managed effectively, normally leading to noticeably higher eye comfort, less dry eye symptoms, and sometimes sharper vision also.
Because dry eye disease can have a number of causes, a range of treatment techniques are used.
What Is Dry Eye Treatment?
The following is a list of dry eye treatments that are frequently used by eye doctors to reduce the signs and symptoms of dry eyes. Your eye doctor might suggest just one of these dry eye treatments or a mix of treatments, depending upon the cause( s) and severity of your condition.
Also, some eye doctors will have you finish a questionnaire about your symptoms prior to initiating dry eye treatment. Your answers to this survey are then used as a baseline, and the survey may be administered once again after a number of weeks of treatment to assess the efficiency of the selected treatment approach. If you have not established an eye doctor, click here to find one near you.
Successful treatment of dry eyes needs that you are willing to follow your doctor’s suggestions and that you use the products he or she recommends regularly and as regularly as guided.
For mild cases of dry eyes caused by computer system use, reading, schoolwork and other situational causes, the best dry eye treatment may simply be frequent use of artificial tears or other lubricating eye drops.
There are numerous brand names of synthetic tears that are available without a prescription. The obstacle with using synthetic tears is not absence of product availability– it’s the confusing number of brand names and formulations offered to pick from.
In July 2016, Shire revealed it got FDA approval to market its new Xiidra (ZYE-druh) prescription eye drops for the treatment of dry eye in the United States.
Xiidra, like Restasis, is aimed at lowering inflammation that is related to the symptoms and signs of dry eyes.
Instead of OTC artificial tears (or in addition to them), your optometrist may suggest day-to-day use of a prescription eye drop called Restasis (Allergan) for your dry eye treatment.
Restasis does more than merely oil the surface area of your eye. It includes a representative that reduces inflammation connected with dry eye syndrome and helps your body produce more natural tears to keep your eyes wet, comfy and healthy.
Steroid Eye Drops
Over the past a number of years, physicians have found the value of inflammation as a cause of dry eyes. Inflammation regularly causes the redness and burning associated with dry eye disease; but in many cases, it might exist with no visible signs or symptoms at all.
Synthetic tears typically do not sufficiently resolve these inflammatory changes, and your doctor may recommend steroid eye drops to much better manage the underlying inflammation related to dry eyes.
Lacrisert (Bausch + Lomb) is a sterile, slow-release lube that is positioned under the lower eye where the conjunctiva of the inside of the eyelid satisfies the conjunctiva of the eyeball (this location is called the inferior cul-de-sac of the eye).
Lacrisert is a solid insert composed of a preservative-free lubricating agent (hydroxypropyl cellulose) that slowly liquefies gradually, supplying an all-day moistening result.
Punctal plugs are in some cases used in dry eye treatment to assist tears stay on the surface area of the eye longer.
A punctal plug is a small, sterilized device that is placed into among the small openings (puncta) of tear drainage ducts that lie in the inner corner of the upper and lower eyelids.
Meibomian Gland Expression
An extremely considerable percentage of dry eye cases are caused by insufficient oil (meibum) being secreted from meibomian glands located along the margin of the eyelids.
To treat MGD and evaporative dry eye, your eye doctor may perform an in-office procedure called meibomian gland expression. In this procedure, warm compresses might or may not first be applied to your eyelids; then a forceps-type device is used to squeeze the clogged contents (hardened meibum and possibly other substances) from the meibomian glands, according to iytmed.com.
An alternative (and possibly more comfy) way to assist open clogged meibomian glands to treat dry eyes is to merely apply warm compresses to the closed eyelids to soften the solidified meibum.
The LipiFlow Thermal Pulsation System (TearScience) is an automated, in-office dry eye treatment that integrates the best features of warm compress therapy and meibomian gland expression.
Extreme Pulsed Light
For well over a decade, the FDA has approved making use of intense pulsed light (IPL) to treat rosacea on the skin. Rosacea on the skin and eyelid frequently happen together. Ocular rosacea provides with dilated small capillary surging along the eyelash margin in patients suffering from blepharitis and might contribute to dry eye symptoms.
In IPL treatment, a hand-held device flashes brilliant light onto the skin. The light is filtered to allow only wavelengths that can be taken in by the dilated blood vessels. The result of this treatment might be the resolution of the dilated vessels and associated inflammation.
Physicians often suggest nutritional supplements as part of a holistic dry eye treatment plan. Studies have found that supplements containing omega-3 fatty acids can reduce dry eye symptoms.
Excellent sources of omega-3s include cold-water fish such as salmon, sardines, herring and cod. For a vegetarian source of omega-3s, some optometrist recommend flaxseed oil to relieve dry eye.
Drinking more water can help, too. Mild dehydration frequently makes dry eye problems worse. This is especially true during hot, dry and windy weather condition. Just drinking more water often reduces the symptoms of dry eye syndrome.
Natural Remedies for Dry Eyes
Chronic dry eyes are common in people over age 40, particularly menopausal women. Talk with your doctor about your medications and to make sure that Sjögren’s syndrome, an unusual autoimmune condition, isn’t to blame.
Consuming a lot of water will help keep mucous membranes in your eyes moist. (Try among these sassy water recipes to increase your water intake.) If the air in your house is dry, attempt a humidifier; change the water and clean and decontaminate the tank frequently, as these devices have the tendency to grow mold. Blink typically to spread out tears uniformly while reading, driving, or looking at a computer, and avoid rubbing your eyes, which can intensify dryness. Also, attempt to eat more foods rich in omega-3 fats– flaxseed, walnuts, and fatty fish like salmon and cod. In a 2005 study, women who consumed more omega-3s were less most likely to experience dry eyes.
If you have mild dry eye symptoms, there are a number of things you can try to get relief before mosting likely to the eye doctor:
- Blink more regularly. When using a computer, smartphone or other digital device, we tend to blink our eyes less often than regular, which can cause or get worse dry eye symptoms. Make a conscious effort to be familiar with this, and blink regularly when using these devices. Likewise, carry out complete blinks, gently squeezing your eyelids together to wash your eyes completely with a fresh layer of tears.
- Take frequent breaks during computer use. A good guideline here is to look away from your screen at least every 20 minutes and look at something that is at least 20 feet from your eyes for at least 20 seconds. Some eye care specialists call this the “20-20-20 rule,” and complying with it can help ease both dry eyes and computer eye strain.
Last modified: September 6, 2016