What is Dry Eye and how can I treat it?
Do your eyes burn, tear, water, get red, feel sandy/gritty or like you have something in them? Does your vision blur in and out of focus causing you to have to blink a lot to re-focus after long hours of screen time? Do your eyelids itch sometimes or do you develop “crusties” on your lashes? If you answered yes to any of these then you more than likely suffer from a condition commonly known as Dry Eye Syndrome. These symptoms are not only annoying but can really cause a lot of discomfort in your day to day life. Dry Eye Syndrome or Ocular Surface Disease refers to a condition where your eyes can’t regulate its natural tear production by either under producing its own tears, not producing the right quality of tears causing them to evaporate off the eye too quickly, or a combination of other processes. Dry eye can be acquired by environmental factors, occupational factors, certain medications, certain systemic conditions, etc.
There are several things one can do to relieve signs and symptoms of dryness:
- Use of Artificial Tears/Ocular lubricants that can be purchased over the counter. Remember to avoid “redness relievers” as they can actually make your eyes more dry and more red.
- Use of Supplements/Vitamins specifically formulated to regulate ocular tear film homeostasis.
- Lid scrubs that can be used to rid our eyelids of excessive bacteria and inflammation that might be leading to gland dysfunction.
- Some people may even need a course of antibiotics if their eyelid flora (natural/healthy bacteria that lives on your eyelids) is too overgrown.
- Use of Warm compresses with lid massage to alleviate plugged glands and regulate glandular secretions.
- Prescription eye drops for dryness such as Restasis or Xiidra.
- Punctal plugs which are inserted into the eyes drainage ports in order to provide a larger tear reservoir to the front of the eye.
- Use of amniotic membranes to heal the ocular surface in more advanced cases
If you feel like you are suffering from any of these symptoms, please contact our office today for an appointment as our doctors are very experienced at recognizing different types of dry eye and providing the proper treatment for you.