The dry eye syndrome can be a progressive and chronic condition that needs to be treated as early as possible. Depending on the cause of the problem and severity, the condition might not be completely treatable. However, dry eyes are manageable in most cases and this result in fewer dry eye symptoms, greater eye comfort, and sharper vision. Since the dry eye disease has many causes, various treatment methods can be used. Some treatments focus on managing or reversing the condition while others improve the tear quality or hinder tears from draining away from the eyes quickly. Let’s have a look at the top five effective dry eye treatment options.
If you’re experiencing a mild case of dry eyes which is caused by reading, computer use, school work or any other situation cause, the perfect dry eye treatment is using artificial tears or lubricating eye-drops. Usually, the artificial lubricating tears are the initial step in the treatment of dry eyes. You can get different artificial tears brands even without a prescription; this over-the-counter (OTC) lubricating eye drops come in a wide range of ingredients as well as viscosity.
Those with a low viscosity offer quick relief with no or little blurring to your vision once applied. However, the relief is short-lived and must be used frequently. High viscosity artificial tears are gel-like and offer long-lasting lubrication. These tears blur your vision so they should only be reserved for bedtime use. Make sure you adhere to the directions on the brand you use and don’t substitute different brands from those the doctor has recommended.
Steroid eye drops
In recent years, doctors have realized the significance of inflammation in relation to dry eyes. The inflammation causes the burning and redness linked with the dry eye problem even though it may be present without symptoms or signs of dry eyes. Since artificial tears cannot address inflammatory changes adequately, the doctor may recommend the use of steroid eye drops to get rid of the inflammation that comes with dry eyes.
These eye drops are a short-term remedy and can be used with Restasis and artificial tears for anyone who needs a long-term treatment strategy. Although some amounts of steroid may be absorbed systematically, the effects aren’t noticed beyond the eyes. Make sure you talk to the doctor about your medical history before you can start using steroid eye drops.
Other than using over-the-counter artificial tears, your doctor may recommend the use of cyclosporine such as Restasis, which is an eye drop commonly used for dry eye treatment. Other than lubricating the eye surface, it reduces the inflammation that’s associated with a dry eye syndrome. It also helps the body to start producing natural tears more, to keep the eyes moist, healthy and comfortable.
But, it’s essential to know that the therapeutic effects of this treatment aren’t immediate. You need to use these drops each day for at least three months to experience the full benefits of this treatment. Note that you may experience a burning eye sensation in the first few weeks of using this dry eye treatment approach and it is advisable to consult your doctor before implementing this tratment.
LipiFlow® is a computerized dry eye treatment that’s done in-office. It combines quality features of meibomian gland expression and warm compress therapy. Usually, a patented device is placed on the eye or over eyelids. Controlled heat is then applied to soften the hard meibum. This LipiFlow® system also puts pulsated pressure on your eyelids in order to open the blocked meibomian glands; this restores the right oil balance in the tear film, hence relieving the dry syndrome.
This treatment takes approximately twelve minutes per eye and has been shown to improve dry eye symptoms in a few weeks. Sometimes it might take a few months to notice the improvements, but the beneficial effects of the procedure will last 1-3 years or longer. This treatment should be implemented under doctor’s observation only.
Punctal plugs can be used as a dry eye treatment to help the tears linger on the eye surface for long. Usually, a lacrimal/punctal plug is inserted into the eye’s lower tear canal to ensure that the moisture doesn’t drain away fast.
The lacrimal plug is a tiny germ-free device which is placed into the tear drainage ducts in the innermost corner of the lower and upper eyelids. Once plugged, the tears will stop draining away from your eyes through the ducts. This means the tear film will stay intact for long on the eye surface, relieving the symptoms. Wondering where the tears will go? Normally, they will vaporize from the eye without warning signs.
Although dry eye treatment approaches vary, your doctor can help you find the best remedy for your problem. The treatment method employed will depend on the severity or cause of the problem, and so an early diagnosis is critical.