Treating Dry Eye Syndrome
Dry eye syndrome is a result of a lack of moisture or lubrication on the eye surface. It can be because of having low-quality or a low quantity of tears. An adequate and consistent layer of tears is essential on the surface of the eyes. It keeps them clean and healthy.
Symptoms of Dry Eye
There are common symptoms of dry eye, which include redness, burning sensation in the eyes, and blurry vision. However, there are other symptoms. They include:
- Light sensitivity.
- Watery eyes.
- Sandy feeling in the eyes.
- Stringy mucus in or around your eyes.
- Fatigue and heaviness of the eyes.
Types of Dry Eye
There are different types of dry eyes. They include evaporative dry eye and aqueous deficiency dry eye. They depend on the underlying condition.
Evaporative dry eye happens when the meibomian glands of the eyes do not produce enough oil. With it, you get tears that are of low quality. The low-quality tears lacking enough oil cause the tear film to evaporate too quickly. It results in irritation of the eyes and dry eye syndrome.
Aqueous deficiency dry eye happens when lacrimal glands fail to produce enough watery fluid. It results in a low quantity of tears. Thus, there is no adequate hydration of the surface of the eye, leading to dry eye syndrome.
Treatment for dry eye syndrome depends on the specific type of dry eye. Depending on its cause and severity, dry eye may not be completely curable. However, you can manage it successfully. Management and treatment will result in fewer symptoms, greater comfort, and clearer vision.
- Punctal Plugs
These tiny devices plug into the puncta to stop fluid from draining from the eye. Puncta are tiny openings in our eyes where tears drain from. The plugs are about the size of a rice grain. They stop fluid from draining from the eye, relieving the redness, burning sensation, and itching by keeping the eye's surface moist.
- Eye Drops
The most common treatment for dry eyes is artificial tears. They come in an eye drop package, and you can get them over the counter without a prescription. There are also ointments and moisturizing gels that provide relief from the symptoms of dry eye.
If you have serious dry eye, your doctor will prescribe medication. They include Restasis or Xiidra, both of which are types of eye drops. They help your eyes to make more tears.
- Oral Medication
Oral medication abounds for the treatment of dry eye syndrome. The recommendation is oral tetracycline or doxycycline. These possess anti-inflammatory properties in addition to their antimicrobial ability.
- LipiFlow Treatment
It is a non-invasive treatment device that removes blockages from the meibomian glands. It uses vectored thermal pulsation technique to treat the glands. The technique uses warm, gentle heat to liquefy the contents of the meibomian glands. It also employs physical massage to help the glands secrete their content. The combination effectively helps unblock the glands so they can produce quality oil for the tear film.
There are also home remedies that you can try in addition to the treatments above. One effective one is a change in diet. Introducing salmon, tuna, and other fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids is an example. These healthy fats will help your oil glands work better, easing your eye irritation.
For more information on treating dry eye syndrome, visit Maple Eye and Laser Center at our office in White Plains or Manhattan, New York. You can call (914) 948-5157 today to schedule an appointment.