Dry Eye Assessment and Treatment
Assessing Dry Eye Disease
Having dry eyes is a very common problem for people all over the world. It occurs when your eyes are not able to provide the right amount of lubrication for your eyes.
For most people, this can happen in certain situations and is only temporary, for example on an airplane, cycling a bike or reading a book for hours. For others, however, the problem is more frequent and gets worse and worse over time. In these cases you may want to take some measures to control the symptoms of dry eyes, and get some relief from the irritation the condition can cause.
Treating Dry Eye Disease
Using a variety of methods we can diagnose your dry eye condition and help treat it based on the severity of the problem.
Aside from over the counter eye drops, we may recommend any of the following:
Steroid Eye Drops
If your eyes are inflamed, burning or red, steroid eye drops may be a short-term solution to some of the pain. We would often recommend these in to use alongside Restasis (more information below).
Restasis is more than simply an eye drop. While eye drops simply lubricate the eye, restasis contains an agent that works to lessen swelling, redness and helps if your eye is inflamed. The agent also works to lubricate your eye and produce natural tears, which can have longer lasting beneficial effects and works as a long-term solution to inflammation.
This is a lubricant that is placed under the lower eye, where the eyelid meets the eyeball. Lacrisert is a lubricating agent (hydroxypropyl cellulose) that is initially solid and liquefies over time. This preservative-free lubricant provides all-day relief from dry eyes and should be applied once daily.
A punctal plug is used with dry eyes to help the tears that naturally form stay in the eye for longer. As you may gather from the name, punctal plugs are small plugs that are inserted into your tear ducts and, once these openings are plugged, the tears you produce are unable to drain away. This increases the amount of time that your natural eye lubricant spends on your eye and therefore reduces discomfort caused by dry eyes.
Expressing the Meibomian Glands
Among the causes of dry eyes, poor secretion of meibum (which is a kind of oil) from the meibomian glands is definitely one of the most common we see. To help with this we perform a procedure called Meibomian Gland Expression. This involves the use of a tool that gently squeezes the contents of the clogged glands out and encourages your eyes to secrete more meibum.