Dry Eye Syndrome
Dry eye syndrome (DES or dry eye) is a chronic lack of sufficient lubrication and moisture on the surface of the eye. Its consequences range from minor irritation to the inability to wear contact lenses and an increased risk of corneal inflammation and eye infections.
Signs and Symptoms of Dry Eye
Persistent dryness, scratchiness and a burning sensation on your eyes are common symptoms of dry eye syndrome. These symptoms alone may be enough for your eye doctor to diagnose dry eye syndrome. Sometimes, he or she may want to measure the amount of tears in your eyes. A thin strip of filter paper placed at the edge of the eye, called a Schirmer test, is one way of measuring this.
Some people with dry eyes also experience a "foreign body sensation” – the feeling that something is in the eye. And it may seem odd, but sometimes dry eye syndrome can cause watery eyes, because the excessive dryness works to overstimulate production of the watery component of your eye's tears.
What Causes Dry Eyes?
In dry eye syndrome, the tear glands that moisturize the eye don't produce enough tears, or the tears have a chemical composition that causes them to evaporate too quickly.
Tear Stimulation Forté Dry Eye Drops
Two unique eye drops which stimulate the production of all three tear film layers while supporting the health of the cornea, conjunctiva and eye lid.
- Two separate formulas, one created specifically for women.
- Both formulas share five powerful broad spectrum ingredients which relieve symptoms caused from inflammation due to aqueous deficiency, including severe dryness such as with Sjogren’s Syndrome.
- Women experience more dry eye symptoms due to hormonal fluctuations so we added the two most commonly prescribed ingredients for the symptoms.
The patient should also take adequate amounts of Omega 3, 6 & 9 essential fatty acids, keep well hydrated by drinking plenty of water and take good quality nutraceuticals.
Dry eye syndrome has several causes
- As a part of the natural aging process, especially among women over age 40.
- As a side effect of many medications, such as antihistamines, antidepressants, certain blood pressure medicines, Parkinson's medications and birth control pills.
- Because you live in a dry, dusty or windy climate with low humidity.
If your home or office has air conditioning or a dry heating system, that too can dry out your eyes. Another cause is insufficient blinking, such as when you're staring at a computer screen all day.
Dry eyes are also associated with certain systemic diseases such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, rosacea or Sjogren's Syndrome (a triad of dry eyes, dry mouth, and rheumatoid arthritis or lupus).
Long-term contact lens wear, incomplete closure of the eyelids, eyelid disease and a deficiency of the tear-producing glands are other causes.
Dry eye syndrome is more common in women, possibly due to hormone fluctuations. Recent research suggests that smoking, too, can increase your risk of dry eye syndrome. Dry eye has also been associated with incomplete lid closure following blepharoplasty – a popular cosmetic surgery to eliminate droopy eyelids.
Treatment for Dry Eye At Our Plainview Eye Care Center
Dry eye syndrome is an ongoing condition that treatments may be unable to cure. But the symptoms of dry eye – including dryness, scratchiness and burning – can usually be successfully managed.
Your eyecare practitioner may recommend artificial tears, which are lubricating eye drops that may alleviate the dry, scratchy feeling and foreign body sensation of dry eye. Prescription eye drops for dry eye go one step further: they help increase your tear production. In some cases, your Plainview eye care expert may also prescribe a steroid for more immediate short-term relief.
Another option for dry eye treatment involves a tiny insert filled with a lubricating ingredient. The insert is placed just inside the lower eyelid, where it continuously releases lubrication throughout the day.
If you wear contact lenses, be aware that many artificial tears cannot be used during contact lens wear. You may need to remove your lenses before using the drops. Wait 15 minutes or longer (check the label) before reinserting them. For mild dry eye, contact lens rewetting drops may be sufficient to make your eyes feel better, but the effect is usually only temporary. Switching to another lens brand could also help.
Check the label, but better yet, check with your doctor before buying any over-the-counter eye drops. Your eye doctor will know which formulas are effective and long-lasting and which are not, as well as which eye drops will work with your contact lenses.
To reduce the effects of sun, wind and dust on dry eyes, wear sunglasses when outdoors. Wraparound styles offer the best protection.
Indoors, an air cleaner can filter out dust and other particles from the air, while a humidifier adds moisture to air that's too dry because of air conditioning or heating.
For more significant cases of dry eye, your eye doctor may recommend punctal plugs. These tiny devices are inserted in ducts in your lids to slow the drainage of tears away from your eyes, thereby keeping your eyes more moist.
If your dry eye is caused by meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD), our Plainview optometrist may recommend warm compresses and suggest an in-office procedure to clear the blocked glands and restore normal function.
Doctors sometimes also recommend special nutritional supplements containing certain essential fatty acids to decrease dry eye symptoms. Drinking more water may also offer some relief.
If medications are the cause of dry eyes, discontinuing the drug generally resolves the problem. But in this case, the benefits of the drug must be weighed against the side effect of dry eyes. Sometimes switching to a different type of medication alleviates the dry eye symptoms while keeping the needed treatment. In any case, never switch or discontinue your medications without consulting with your Plainview eye doctor first.
Treating any underlying eyelid disease, such as blepharitis, helps as well. This may call for antibiotic or steroid drops, plus frequent eyelid scrubs with an antibacterial shampoo.
If you are considering LASIK, be aware that dry eyes may disqualify you for the surgery, at least until your dry eye condition is successfully treated. Dry eyes increase your risk for poor healing after LASIK, so most surgeons will want to treat the dry eyes first, to ensure a good LASIK outcome. This goes for other types of vision correction surgery, as well.
We can also help you with ocular allergies. Call us for a consultation today!
Punctal plugs are biocompatible devices that are inserted into a patient's tear ducts and block any liquid from draining out. The increased moisture in the eye combats the symptoms of dry eye. Punctal plugs are tiny and unnoticeable after the first slight initial discomfort. There are two types: semi-permanent and dissolvable. Semi-permanent plugs are made of silicone, a longer lasting material, and dissolvable plugs are made of collagen. Dissolvable plugs are normally used after an eye surgery, like LASIK, to prevent dry eye. One may use dissolvable plugs to see if they work well for them, and then move onto semi-permanent plugs.
Sometimes a doctor will use an anesthetic to insert the plug, but sometimes it is unnecessary.
Lid wipes are used to treat dry eye as well. They are designed for daily eyelid hygiene. They removes any debris from the eye area. Most lid wipe pads are oil-free and ready to use. A clean eye reduces dry eye.
These hypoallergenic compresses help improve Meibomian oil production and help prevent tear loss. The eye pack just needs to be heated in the microwave and will remain warm for 20-30 minutes. The beads absorb moisture from the air and release that moisture when heated. This moist heat is very soothing for the eyes.
Blephadex Eyelid Wipes
Blephadex Eyelid Wipes are made with a patent-pending blend of essential oils to provide you with powerful relief and soothing comfort for your itchy, dry, burning eyes. Their wipes contain tea tree oil, the only known natural ingredient proven to kill Demodex Mites, as well as virgin coconut oil, which leaves your eye area feeling soft and moisturized after just one swipe.
Their research-backed formula has been trusted by eye doctors and eye care professionals for years. Now, you can have the same powerful treatment you would get in your doctor’s office in your own home. Making Blephadex wipes part of your daily routine help to treat symptoms associated with Dry Eye Syndrome, Rosacea, Blepharitis, Meibonian Gland Dysfunction, and Demodex mite infestations.
Blephadex gives you the best cleansing ingredients that nature has to offer without the burn and stinging of other brands of eyelid wipes. On top of that, you can trust that their wipes are of the best quality.
Blephadex Warming Wipes
Blephadex Warming Eyelid Wipes bring you the same effective treatment and relief that you trust along with warming comfort to refresh your eyes.
Their warming wipes are their newest innovation to bring you comfortable relief from your symptoms. Each individually packaged wipe is activated with a few drops of water and gently heats your eyelid line to release eye crustiness and loosen sticky eyelashes while giving you instant relief from your tired, itchy, dry eyes.
Blephadex Eyelid Foam
Blephadex Cleansing foam provides the same powerful treatment as the Blephadex eyelid wipes in an easy-to-use dispenser. If you prefer not to use a disposable wipe, their cleansing foam uses their patent-pending blend of essential tea tree and virgin coconut oils to instantly relieve your eye discomfort and provide long-term treatment for symptoms associated with Dry Eye Syndrome, Meibomian Gland Dysfunction, Rosacea, and Demodex Mites.
They stand by the quality of our products, which is why everything that they make is produced in the USA.