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 available and with experience in the treatment of dry eye.
Our tear film is a complex system made up of multiple components that coats the outer layer of our eye. It provides protection and also the nutrients the cornea needs to remain healthy. Our tears are a combination of oil produced by glands on our lid margins, aqueous produced by our tear gland located in the upper lid, and mucous produced by cells in the eye. Dry eye syndrome is an insufficiency of one or more of these. Dry eye is usually a chronic condition and treatments may vary depending on the type.
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 screen & technology usage, it’s becoming 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 formulations that are made to mimic our natural tears 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 supplementation can be used, but natural food sources are the best option.
Restasis is a branded product of cyclosporine that can be obtained through a prescription from your eye doctor and comes in the form of an eyedrop to be used twice daily. Xidrii and Cequa are two other branded cyclosporine drops. This remedy to dry eye works by reducing inflammation of the lacrimal (tear) gland allowing the eye to produce more of our natural tears.
Blockage of the eyelid oil glands can lead to dry eye. Without the oil on the surface of the water component of the tears the water component evaporates and the dry eye condition is created. Heating the oil glands with hot towels will allow the oil to flow more freely from the gland. There are devices such as LipiFlow that can assist this process.
Dry eye symptoms are common and increase with age but there are several approaches to help your situation. 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 as we’re looking digital screens. Here’s a more comprehensive list of dry eye causes:
To find out if you have dry eye syndrome, it’s important that you get a comprehensive eye exam from an experienced dry eye specialist. At Discover Vision Centers, an accredited ophthalmologist 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 that there’s 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.
Experiencing dry eye can not necessarily be prevented but environmental factor recognition and treatment techniques can be very helpful in management.