Dry eye, also known as Ocular Surface Disease or OSD, can have a major impact on your quality of life. It can also damage the front surface layers of the eye, which not only leads to discomfort, but also blurry vision. Let’s take a look at dry eye treatments – from simple self-care to innovative prescriptions and therapies – to help you see clearly and comfortably.
Understanding dry eye will help you determine the best treatment option. Dry eye occurs when a person doesn't have enough quality tears on the surface of their eye to lubricate and nourish the eye. Tears provide a protective layer to the outer surface of our eyes which helps ensure clear vision. The leading cause of dry eyes is due to a blockage of the oil-producing glands in the eyelids, also known as the Meibomian glands.
Before we delve into more serious dry eye treatment options, here are a few simple self-care options that can manage minor cases of dry eye.
Blink regularly when reading or staring at a computer screen for a long time.
Make sure there’s adequate humidity in the air at work and at home.
Wear sunglasses outside to reduce sun and wind exposure. Wrap glasses are best.
Take a Triglyceride form of an Omega-3 supplement. We recommend Macuhealth TG Omega-3 Fish Oil. Be aware that not all Omega-3 supplements are made to the same standard and that some may cause more harm than good. Consult with your eye doctor or primary doctor before taking an OTC supplement to make sure that it is up to their standard.
Drink 8 to 10 glasses of water each day to avoid dehydration.
Find out if any of your prescriptions have dry eye as a side effect and if so, see if you can take an alternative.
For mild to moderate dry eye, we recommend Optase Hylo-Relief. These preservative-free drops contain Glycerin and Hyaluronic Acid, which helps the product to work longer than most OTC products. They are recommended for twice-daily use, but can be used more frequently if needed. There is also spray form that can be applied to closed eyelids for people that have trouble putting drops in their eyes, including children.
For moderate to severe dry eye, we recommend Optase MGD Advanced and Optase Dry eye Intense drops. The MGD Advanced contains natural oils to stop evaporation of the natural tears of the eye to help them stay on the eyes longer. The Dry Eye Intense is a thicker drop to help with more severe dry eye symptoms. They are recommended for twice-daily use, but can be used more frequently if needed.
For severe dry eye, we recommend Optase Hylo Night. This product works for patients who wake up in the middle of the night or morning with severe irritation or pain. It is recommended for nighttime use.
Anti-inflammatory drugs – These are eye drops to control inflammation on the surface of your eyes (cornea) using the immune-suppressing medication Cyclosporine or Corticosteroids.
Punctal Plugs – Punctal plugs are an in office, non-painful procedure in which the tear ducts are plugged with tiny plugs to reduce tear loss by stopping the drainage of the tears from the eyes into the nose. Punctal plugs increase your tear volume by keeping your natural tears on the surface of your eyes.
Tear Care – Tear Care is a 15-minute in-office procedure used to treat Meibomian Gland Dysfunction, which is the leading cause of dry eye. The single-use heating device is applied to the outer eyelids in order to melt the natural oils of the glands. After the heat melts the oil in the blocked glands, the doctor then expresses the oils from the glands. This procedure is done every 6 months to 2 years depending on the severity of the problem.
Prokera - Prokera is made from amniotic membrane, which has natural anti-inflammatory and anti-scarring properties. Prokera is inserted by the doctor and stays on the eye for 1-3 days, depending on the severity of the problem.
For your safety and convenience, we carry dry eye products in our office at a great price! You can also order dry eye products through the Dry Eye Rescue link on this page. Just click the Shop Now button. If you have any questions about our dry eye procedures and products, or need a recommendation on products, please call our office at 716-775-2220 to speak with one our staff members.