Treatment for dry eyes
For the best analysis and treatment of your dry eyes please consult your optometrist or ophthalmologist. Many treatments start with a test to evaluate the actual severity of your dry eye condition. Drops or punctual plugs are often a first method of treatment. Other options include eye health vitamins and supplements to create a healthier eye. There are some prescription medications now available such as Restasis®. RESTASIS® Ophthalmic Emulsion is a prescription eye drop indicated to increase tear production which may be reduced by inflammation on the eye surface in patients with dry eye.
1. OTC drops
OTC drop for dry eye such as refresh tears are usually the first place dry eye patients start their quest for relief. Although these drops can provide some relief they typically do not solve the problem long-term. There are some excellent drops on the market that can provide some initial relief and are worth a try.
What if the drops don’t work?
2. Punctum Plugs (you will need to see an optometrist)
Doctors at can place tiny collagen or silicone plugs in the drainage canals of your eyelids. These plugs prevent the tears from draining down and out of your eyes. Collagen plugs last about 2 weeks. Generally they are a good first step. If the patient notices improvement for a few days, then the symptoms return, permanent silicone plugs can be inserted. While these plugs are removable if necessary, they do not dissolve on their own and don’t require replacing.
3. Eye Vitamins
For many patients suffering from dry eye syndrome neither OTC drops or punctum plugs work. Recent success in dry eye relief can be found in dry eye vitamins.
This is a pharmaceutical product that helps increase your eyes’ natural ability to produce tears. If you need more tear production it is likely you are suffering from dry eye syndrome. This product is a new product that doctors are currently prescribing to their patients.
Patients suffering with dry eyes must see a physician to take a more active role in a possible treatment process that can set the on a path for relief. If you or a family member are experiencing dry eye please make sure to consult a doctors directly. It is important to protect your eyes from further irritation.
5. LipiFLOW for Evaporative Dry Eye
What is Evaporative Dry Eye?
Evaporative Dry Eye is caused by blockages in the Meibomian glands, which create the lipid (oil) layer of the tear film and are located in your eyelids. This condition of obstructed glands is also known as Meibomian Gland Dysfunction. When the glands aren’t working as they should, you don’t have enough tear film oil. And your tears - which lubricate your eyes and keep them comfortable - evaporate too quickly. An insufficient oil layer can cause your tears to evaporate 4x - 6x faster.
What Causes Evaporative Dry Eye?
• Hormonal changes in women during menopause - particularly decreasing levels of estrogen - can cause thickening of the oils secreted by the meibomian glands, which results in blockages.
• Decreased estrogen levels may enhance conditions under which staphylococcal bacteria can proliferate in meibomian glands. This results in a decreased oil secretion rate.
• Additional factors that may cause or exacerbate meibomian gland dysfunction include age, contact lens use and hygiene, cosmetic use, and illnesses, particularly diabetes.
Dry eye syndrome is a disease stems from a deficiency in the oily lipid layer of the eye’s natural tear film. The oily lipids serve as a protective layer so that the aqueous (water) layer of the eye’s tear film does not evaporate. There is now an advanced in-office treatment, called LipiFlow®.
LipiFlow®, is intended to treat patients with blocked meibomian glands, called meibomian gland dysfunction, by unblocking the glands and allowing them to resume the secretion of oily lipids needed for a healthy tear film.
Dry eye disease affects more than 100 million people worldwide. Of those, 65 percent suffer from Evaporative Dry Eye. Common symptoms of dry eye include dryness, grittiness, soreness, irritation, burning and eye fatigue. These symptoms can hinder people’s daily activities such as reading, using the computer, wearing contact lenses and being outdoors on windy days. Many dry eye patients complain those symptoms worsen throughout the day.
Many eye care practices are pleased to introduce the new LipiFlow treatment to help those patients who are very frustrated with this chronic disease and all of the ways it negatively impacts their lives. In effect, LipiFlow helps the meibomian glands resume their natural function and many patients note symptom relief.”
Historically, common therapies aimed at dry eye symptom relief included using warm compresses, over- the-counter wetting drops and ointments, and prescription drugs. Alternatively, the new LipiFlow treatment addresses the root cause of evaporative dry eye by unblocking the meibomian glands that secrete oily lipids. In controlled clinical studies of patients who received a single LipiFlow treatment, the average meibomian gland score at 4 weeks increased by two to three times over the baseline condition, which reflects improvement in the number of glands secreting and secretion quality. Additionally, at four weeks after the LipiFlow treatment, 79% of patients reported improvement in dry eye symptoms.