Dry eye can be chronic or temporary. Environmental factors often cause temporary dry eyes. You may experience symptoms after being in an arid environment or wearing contact lenses for a long time. Chronic dry eye most times occurs due to an underlying condition.
There are various procedures and medications available for treating dry eye. The following treatments will help in some situations. Read on to find the ideal one for you.
The first line of dry eye therapy uses artificial tears, gel inserts, and gels for treatment. All these products are over-the-counter treatments that you do not need a prescription to get. The products relieve dry eye symptoms temporarily. They supplement natural tears for individuals with aqueous tear-deficient dry eyes.
Your eye doctor can recommend eye drops depending on the cause of the problem. It can either reduce inflammation around your eye surface or increase tear production. A specialty contact lens can help some patients hydrate their eyes. Your eye doctor can prescribe it after examining your condition.
Your eye specialist may recommend a procedure to keep tears in your eyes longer if they evaporate quickly and cause your eyes to dry. The treatment entails blocking your tear ducts. It uses removable gel-like silicone plugs called punctal plugs.
You may need a permanent plug if your case is more severe. Your ophthalmologist applies heat to your tear ducts to close them permanently. You will not feel pain as the procedure happens using local anesthesia.
Sometimes, an individual can get dry eyes because their lower eyelids are loose and cause tears to drain quickly. Your eye doctor can recommend a surgical procedure to fix the eyelids. Doing so can help the tears stay in the eyes.
A meibomian gland expression may be necessary if your dry eye occurs due to insufficient meibum or oil secretion. The procedure is done in-office. Your eye doctor will apply heat on your eyelid and use sterile cotton swabs or forceps to clear your meibomian glands. They will do so by squeezing out the hard meibum. A LipiFlow Thermal Pulsation System also works for meibomian gland expression. The device heats up and massages the meibum blockages in 12 minutes.
Eyelid massages and warm compressions can help reduce inflammation around your eye surface. Some lifestyle changes can also reduce the intensity of dry eye symptoms. You can start wearing sunglasses when outdoors and increase humidity when indoors by using a humidifier. Avoid dehydration by drinking plenty of water. Change your diet and take nutritional supplements such as omega-3 fatty acids to boost tear production.
Consult your primary care doctor before taking new supplements or vitamins. Avoid air conditioning and smoking, and limit your screen time. You can also improve your dry eye symptoms by sleeping seven to nine hours every night.
Your eye doctor may recommend a change to your routine if they notice it is the cause of the dry eye problem.
For more about dry eye treatment, visit Today's Vision Bulverde at our office in San Antonio, Texas. Call (210) 307-4749 to book an appointment today.