While dry eye isn’t a serious condition, it can have a major impact on your quality of life. With dry eye syndrome, you may find that your eyes get tired faster, you have difficulty reading, you suffer from 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 feel more comfortable.
Understanding Dry Eye Syndrome will help you determine the best treatment option. Dry eyes occur when a person doesn't have enough quality tears to lubricate and nourish the eyes. Tears reduce eye infections, wash away foreign matter and keep the eye’s surface smooth and clear. The three main components of a healthy tear film are aqueous (water), oil and mucin and they allow the tears to smooth over the eyes and evaporate more slowly. People with dry eyes do not produce enough of some of these components so their poor quality tears break up and evaporate too quickly. Dry eyes is a common and often chronic problem, especially in older adults.
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.
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.
When artificial tears are not enough to alleviate the symptoms of dry eyes, there are several prescription medications that can treat dry eyes. Dr. Kubota can advise you of the best option for your situation.
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 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 Dr. Kubota about dry eye treatment options designed to address the underlying cause of your condition.