Dry eyes are one of the most common eye conditions and will affect most of us at some point in our lifetime. For many of us, the effects will be temporary and will likely clear themselves fairly quickly and without the need for professional intervention. However, other people are unfortunate enough to experience recurrent or chronic dry eye which is severe enough to interfere with their day to day lives.
Dry eye is normally caused by one of several factors:
The eyes don’t make enough tear film to keep the eyes properly hydrated.
The tear film doesn’t have the right balance of oil, water, and protein to be effective.
The tear film drains too quickly.
Patients who experience chronic dry eyes can suffer from a range of symptoms which include:
Dry, irritated eyes
Eyes that feel sore and gritty
Sensitivity to light
The sensation of there being something in their eye
Fortunately, there are treatments that can alleviate the effects of dry eyes.
If you or your eye doctor suspect that you may be suffering from dry eyes, you’ll need to have your condition confirmed by way of a formal diagnosis. This is a fairly simple and straightforward process since your symptoms will provide much of the information that is needed. Your eye doctor may want to measure your tear production which will be done by placing tiny strips of paper between your lower eyelid and eyeball. In some cases, diagnostic eye drops may also be used to look for patches of dryness on the surface of your eye.
Once your diagnosis of dry eyes has been confirmed, your eye doctor will discuss the best way to alleviate your symptoms.
There are a number of different treatments that can be used to alleviate the symptoms associated with dry eyes. In many cases, patients try several before finding the one that is most effective for them. Some of
the treatments that you may be recommended could include the following:
Self-care. Your eye doctor will give you advice on some changes that you can make that could help to eliminate the effects of dry eye. This includes taking regular breaks from using digital screens, avoiding dusty, dry environments, and staying away from smoke.
Lubricating eye drops. These are often one of the first lines of treatment recommended for patients who are experiencing temporary dry eyes since they can significantly reduce the symptoms that they experience. As their name suggests, they add moisture to the eyes so that they are more comfortable.
Medicated eye drops. In some cases, patients may be recommended to try prescription eyedrops. These contain medication that works to reduce inflammation, which in turn can relieve the symptoms associated with the condition.
Closing drainage channels. If the moisture is draining away from your eyes too quickly, your eye doctor may recommend closing the drainage channels. This can be done using tiny silicone or gel-like plugs which can be removed at a later date. In some instances, the drainage channels may be surgically and permanently closed.
For more guidance and advice on relieving dry eyes, don’t hesitate to contact our knowledgeable team.