Dry eye is a condition that develops when the eyes cannot produce adequate tears to lubricate and moisten their surface. With dry eye, you may experience burning, itching, discomfort, and visual problems. Approximately five million individuals in the United States have dry eyes. The highest incidences are in women and older adults. Learn the top treatments we’re offering at Patel Vision Group to help treat the condition.
You can treat dry eye by having your Patel Vision Group eye doctor insert small devices called punctal plugs into your tear ducts. Punctal plugs stop your natural tear film from draining away fast. The solution helps preserve moisture in your eyes and relieve dry eye symptoms.
Punctal plugs are comprised of two types, temporary and permanent. The temporary punctal plugs are removable, while the permanent ones require your eye doctor to remove them. Dry eye treatment using punctal plugs is effective and minimally invasive. It does require anesthesia and can happen in your eye doctor’s office.
Dry eye treatment also achievable using nutraceuticals. These dietary supplements can support your eye health with their essential nutrients. Increasing evidence shows that the use of this treatment for dry eye brings patients relief.
Antioxidants like vitamins E, C, and A protect your eyes from oxidative stress that contributes to dry eyes. Omega-3 fatty acids also help promote tear production and reduce dry eye symptoms.
Artificial tears are among the popular dry eye treatments that most people can get either over the counter or by prescription. They reduce dry eye symptoms and discomfort by giving your eye surface a temporary moisture layer. Other drops contain ingredients and lubricants that enhance the treatment efficiency.
A new effective dry eye treatment is intense pulsed light therapy (IPL). It stimulates your meibomian glands using high-intensity light. The meibomian glands produce the lipid layer in the tear film that helps prevent tear evaporation by maintaining stability.
IPL treatment is noninvasive and does not use anesthesia. Your eye doctor can perform it in their office. The procedure entails your eye doctor protecting your eyes using protective eyewear.
Your eye doctor will then deliver light pulses to your meibomian glands using a special device. IPL effectively reduces or relieves dry eye symptoms by improving the tear film quality.
Some individuals may have mild dry eye symptoms that can improve on their own as they are often temporary. However, others may experience persistent and worsening symptoms. It is crucial to see your eye doctor if you experience the following symptoms:
A stinging, itching, or burning sensation in your eyes.
Difficulty wearing contacts.
Your eye doctor can examine your eyes and diagnose dry eyes. Crucially, they will determine the root cause of the condition. They may perform a comprehensive eye exam to check for underlying problems like inflammation or eyelid disorders.
The examination will inform your eye doctor if health problems are responsible for your dry eyes. They will then give you a treatment plan based on the results. Seeing your eye doctor if your symptoms persist is very crucial. In some cases, dry eye can cause long-term damage to your vision and eyes if untreated.