While dry eye isn’t a serious condition, it can have a major impact on your quality of life. You may find your eyes get tired faster or you have difficulty reading. Not to mention the discomfort of a burning sensation or blurry vision. Let’s take a look at dry eye treatments – from simple self-care to innovative prescriptions and therapies – to help you see clearly and comfortably.
Understanding dry eye will help you determine the best treatment option. Dry eye occurs when a person doesn't have enough quality tears to lubricate and nourish the eye. Tears reduce eye infections, wash away foreign matter, and keep the eye’s surface smooth and clear. People with dry eyes either do not produce enough tears or their tears are poor quality. It’s a common and often chronic problem, especially in older adults.
Stinging or Burning Sensation: Your eyes might feel like they are stinging or burning.
Irritation: You may experience general eye discomfort or irritation.
Redness: The whites of your eyes might appear red.
Watery Eyes: Paradoxically, dry eyes can lead to an excessive tearing response as a protective mechanism.
Blurry Vision: Your vision might become intermittently blurred or hazy.
Sensitivity to Light: Bright lights can become bothersome and cause discomfort.
Feeling of Something in the Eye: It might feel like there's a foreign object in your eye.
Eye Fatigue: Your eyes might feel tired, especially after prolonged reading or computer use.
Discomfort with Contact Lenses: Contact lens wear might become less comfortable.
Difficulty Driving at Night: Vision problems like glare and halos may worsen at night.
Before we delve into more serious dry eye treatment options, here are a few simple self-care options that can manage minor cases of dry eye.
Blink regularly when reading or staring at a computer screen for a long time.
Make sure there’s adequate humidity in the air at work and at home.
Wear sunglasses outside to reduce sun and wind exposure. Wraparound glasses are best.
Take supplements with essential fatty acids as these may decrease dry eye symptoms.
Drink 8 to 10 glasses of water each day to avoid dehydration.
Find out if any of your prescriptions have dry eye as a side effect and if so, see if you can take an alternative.
For mild cases of dry eyes, the best option is over-the-counter eye drops. Here are a few tips for selecting the right one:
Low viscosity – These artificial tears are watery. They often provide quick relief with little or no blurring of your vision, but their effect can be brief, and sometimes you must use these drops frequently to get adequate relief.
High viscosity – These are more gel-like and provide longer-lasting lubrication. However, these drops can cause significant blurring of your vision for several minutes. For this reason, high-viscosity artificial tears are recommended at bedtime.
There are several prescriptions that treat dry eye differently. Your eye doctor can advise the best option for your situation.
Contact Lenses – There are specialty contact lenses that deliver moisture to the surface of the eye. They’re called scleral lenses or bandage lenses.
Antibiotics– If your eyelids are inflamed, this can prevent oil glands from secreting oil into your tears. Your doctor may recommend antibiotics to reduce inflammation.
Anti-inflammatory drugs – These are eye drops to control inflammation on the surface of your eyes (cornea) using the immune-suppressing medication cyclosporine (Restasis) or corticosteroids.
Eye Inserts – If artificial tears don't help, another option may be a tiny eye insert. Once a day, you place the hydroxypropyl cellulose (Lacrisert) insert between your lower eyelid and your eyeball. It dissolves slowly, releasing a substance to lubricate your eye.
Tear-stimulating drugs – Available as pills, gel or eye drops, cholinergic (pilocarpine, cevimeline), these help to increase tear production.
Autologous blood serum drops – For serious dry eye that’s not responding to other treatment, these eyedrops are made with a sample of your blood. It’s processed to remove the red blood cells and then mixed with a salt solution.
Punctal Plugs – Tear ducts can be plugged with tiny silicone plugs to reduce tear loss. By partially or completely closing your tear ducts, it can keep your tears from leaving your eye too quickly.
LipiFlow Thermal Pulsation – This treatment helps to unblock oil glands. Placed over your eye, the device delivers a gentle, warm massage to the lower eyelid over about 15 minutes.
Intense-Pulsed Therapy – This utilizes pulses of light to liquefy and release hardened oils that have clogged glands in the eyelids.
You don’t have to suffer from the symptoms of dry eye. Talk to your optometrist about dry eye treatment options designed to address the underlying cause of your condition.
Dry eye syndrome can bring discomfort, irritation, and vision disruptions. Luckily, cutting-edge technologies have paved the way for innovative solutions. At Offen Eye Associates, we're committed to offering the latest and most effective dry eye treatments, harnessing the power of advanced technologies like Lumenis IPL, and RF machines.
Lumenis IPL for Dry Eye
How it Works: Lumenis Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) therapy is a non-invasive treatment that uses light energy to enhance the function of Meibomian glands, crucial for tear production.
RF Machine for Dry Eye
How it Works: Radio Frequency (RF) machines direct targeted heat to the Meibomian glands, encouraging better secretion of the oily tear layer.
Tailored Treatment Plans
At Offen Eye Associates, we recognize the uniqueness of each individual. Our experienced team will thoroughly assess your situation before suggesting a suitable treatment plan. Based on your dry eye symptoms and underlying causes, we might recommend a combination of these advanced technologies or other personalized treatments.
Book Your Consultation
If dry eye discomfort is affecting you, our team is here to provide assistance. Schedule a consultation to discuss your symptoms and explore suitable treatment options. With Lumenis IPL, TempSure Envy, and RF machines at Offen Eye Associates, we're dedicated to providing effective relief and enhancing your eye health and comfort.
Say goodbye to dry eyes hindering your daily life. Contact Offen Eye Associates today and start your journey toward clearer, more comfortable vision.