Tears are necessary for maintaining the health of your eyes and for making clear vision possible. When your eyes are not producing enough tears, everyday activities like using a computer or reading a book for an extended period of time can become extremely uncomfortable. This common condition, known as dry eye syndrome, can drastically affect your way of life, and only a Derry eye specialist (ophthalmologist) can help you figure out which of the following treatments will work best for your situation.
One common cause of dry eyes is that your tear ducts are not producing enough tears, so adding tears with over-the-counter artificial tear solutions can help you find relief. The good thing about artificial tears is that you can use them as often as you need to supplement natural tear production. However, if your dry eyes don’t respond to artificial tears alone, additional treatment may be necessary.
Conserving your natural tears
To keep your tears from leaving your eyes too soon, your doctor may suggest partially or completely closing your tear ducts. This can be done by inserting a small, silicone plug into one of the tear drainage ducts or the ducts can be permanently closed with a minor surgical procedure.
Increasing tear production
There are many ways to increase your natural tear production. Your optometrist can prescribe drugs called cholinergics to stimulate production. These drugs are available in pills, gels, and eyedrops for your convenience.
Treating eyelid inflammation
Inflammation along the eyelids can prevent oil glands from secreting oil into your tears. Antibiotics prescribed by your doctor can help reduce the inflammation.
Controlling cornea inflammation
Cornea inflammation may also be the cause of your severe dry eyes, but it can be controlled with prescription eyedrops that contain cyclosporine (Restasis). Corticosteroid eyedrops can also reduce inflammation, but they are not recommended for long-term use.
In-office dry eye treatments
New advances in dry eye therapy have led to some amazing in-office treatment options., LipiFlow , for example, is an automated device that fits onto the eye and applies controlled heat and pulsed pressure to the eyelids. This clears out the clogged meibomian glands and restores the correct balance of oils to your natural tears. Another treatment option uses intense pulsed light (IPL) therapy , which uses a hand-held device that flashes bright light onto the skin, constricting dilated blood vessels and reducing inflammation.
For more information on these advanced treatments, talk to your local Derry ophthalmologist .
While you are waiting for your doctor’s appointment, there are several things you can do at home to help relieve your dry eye symptoms.
- Make a conscious effort to blink more frequently.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Take frequent breaks during computer use.
- Thoroughly remove all traces of eye makeup at the end of the day.
- Apply a warm, moist washcloth to your closed eyes.
- Always wear sunglasses when outside.
Find relief from your chronic dry eyes by contacting us at 603-421-6489 today!