Dry eye syndrome is a prevalent condition that affects millions of Americans and leaves those with symptoms searching for dye eye relief. Discover Vision Centers in the Kansas City Metro has numerous locations and doctors with experience in the treatment of dry eye.
Our tears are a complex system made up of multiple components that coat the outer layer of our eye. It provides protection as well as the nutrients the cornea needs to remain healthy. Our tears are a combination of oil, water and mucous; oil is produced by glands on our eyelids, aqueous produced by our tear gland in the upper lid, and mucous produced by cells in the eye. Dry eye syndrome means that your eyes are insufficient in one or more of these. Dry eye is usually a chronic condition and treatments may vary depending on the type and severity.
Certain external factors can create dry eye, including changes in hormones, certain medications, and other diseases. Dry eye is common in older adults, but with the rise of digital screens and technology usage, it is increasingly common in younger patients. In advanced cases, dry eye can cause damage to the eye’s front surface and hinder your vision.
Signs and symptoms of dry eyes include:
There are multiple effective ways to manage and treat dry eye, but it is a chronic condition that does not have a permanent cure. With the treatment of dry eye, the goal is to increase the quantity of tears in the eye and improve the quality of the existing tears that are produced.
One of the first treatments that most will turn to is over the counter artificial tears. These eye drops are made to mimic our natural tears and are readily available at most pharmacies or grocery stores. Different forms are available depending on the severity of the condition and can include artificial tear drops, gels and ointments as we move from least to most severe. There are also dry eye medications that require a prescription from your doctor. These prescription meds are also in drop form and are designed to stimulate more tear production from our tear gland.
Punctal plugs are another valuable and effective treatment for dry eyes. Our eyelids have one small opening in each upper and lower lid. These openings function as a drain to move the tears from our eyes into our sinuses. Similar to a stopper for a drain in a sink, a punctal plug is placed in the opening in the lid and prevents drainage of the tears. This effectively keeps the tears we produce in the eye for a longer time alleviating the symptoms of dryness.
Like most things relating to our bodies, a healthy diet including lots of fruits and vegetables, and limiting processed foods that are high in fats, sugars and carbohydrates can have a positive effect on dry eye syndrome. If you are not obtaining these in sufficient amounts in your diet, vitamin supplements can be used, but natural food sources are the best option.
RESTASIS® was developed for those who have decreased tear production and have been diagnosed with Chronic Dry Eye. It can be obtained through a prescription from your eye doctor and comes in the form of an eye drop. With time and consistent usage, RESTASIS® may help increase your eyes’ natural tear production.
Xiidra (lifitegrast ophthalmic solution) 5% is another prescription eye drop used to treat dry eye disease. Xiidra is a non-steroid eye drop that was designed to target the source of inflammation that contributes to dry eyes.
CEQUA® (cyclosporine ophthalmic solution) 0.09% is also used to treat dry eye. CEQUA® is a calcineurin inhibitor immunosuppressant that was developed to increase tear production.
Tyrvaya® is a nasal spray designed to treat the symptoms of dry eye disease. When consistently used as prescribed (one spray, twice a day), Tyrvaya may help to activate and increase the amount of natural tears produced.
Using prescription eye drops as a remedy to dry eye may work for you. Consult your doctor to determine which dry eye treatment may help to reduce inflammation of the lacrimal (tear) gland allowing the eye to produce more natural tears.
iLux® is a handheld device specifically designed to help treat Meibomian gland dysfunction or MGD. MGD occurs when there is a change to the glands in the eyelid responsible for creating the oil layer of tears. iLux is a quick in office procedure that applies therapeutic heat to the outer lid to melt the meibum or oil in the meibomian glands. When the lids get to the specified temperature a gentle precise pressure is applied to express the oil from the meibomian glands releasing the blockages. Treatment time takes approximately 8-12 minutes. When the glands are unblocked it will be easier for the meibum to be expressed naturally. Some patients will require ongoing treatments to help keep their meibomian glands unblocked as well as at home treatment.
Treatment with iLux was clinically proven to reduce evaporative dry eye symptoms like foreign body sensation, watering, and irritation. If you feel like you have experienced dryness, watering, or irritation schedule an eye exam with one of our dry eye doctors at Discover Vision Centers to see if iLux® Thermal Pulsation treatment is right for you.
Although dry eye symptoms are common and increase with age, there are several approaches to help. Discover Vision Centers can provide the entire spectrum for dry eye diagnosis and treatment.
Dry eyes are a common condition that is caused by the insufficient production of tears, which can result from a variety of medical and lifestyle factors at virtually any age. Common causes of dry eye are environmental, such as exposure to smoke, wind, or air conditioning. Frequent use of technology can also lead to dry eye, as we tend to blink less when looking at mobile phones and digital screens. Here’s a more comprehensive list of dry eye causes:
To find out if you have dry eye syndrome, it is important that you get a comprehensive eye exam from an experienced dry eye specialist. At Discover Vision Centers, an accredited ophthalmologist or optometrist will assess your vision and symptoms to determine whether you have dry eye disease. Underlying eye conditions can have the same symptoms as dry eye disease, so your doctor will administer various dry eye tests to ensure there is no other underlying cause. If you in fact have dry eye disease, your doctor will then work with you to determine the best treatment option for you.
Older patients and postmenopausal woment have higher risk of dry eye. Patients with collagen vascular disease or Sjogren’s disease are also at high risk. However, with the increasing usage of mobile and digital devices, we are seeing an increase of dry eye in people of all ages.
Experiencing dry eye can not necessarily be prevented. Recognizing environmental factors that may play a role and exploring treatment options with your eye doctor based on your unique condition can be very helpful in the management of dry eye syndrome.