Dry Eye Disease Therapy Options

Dry Eye Disease Therapy Options

Sep 01, 2021

Tears play an essential role in keeping the eyes healthy. They provide moisture and lubrication, which when absent causes you to experience uncomfortable symptoms like redness, itching and blurry vision. A number of important elements combine to form tears. This include water, oils, mucus and antibodies that enables the tear film form and stay on the surface of the eye for optimal function.

The water provides moisture and helps wash away any foreign substances like dust. The oil keeps evaporation at bay and also aids in spreading the tear film across the eye’s surface. The mucus also helps in spreading the watery layer and helps the tear film hold onto the surface of the eye. However, in the case of dry eye disease, this tear film is either lacking or not working properly. Several systems are put to play to ensure a state of equilibrium where you are producing enough and good quality tears. When the balance is disrupted, then you develop dry eye syndrome also called dry eye disease.

Causes of Dry Eye

Before seeking dry eye treatment near you, it is good to know what causes or contributes to the condition. The condition can be attributed to two main factors. Either you are experiencing rapid evaporation of tears due to a deficiency in the oil layer that makes up the tears (Meibomian Gland Dysfunction) or you are producing insufficient amount of tears (Aqueous Deficient Dry Eye). In either case, the following factors could be the trigger:

  • Incomplete blinking which often happens when you are too engrossed in a task or device such smartphone or computer.
  • Ageing. As you get older, the amount and quality of tears produced decreases.
  • Hormonal changes such as in pregnancy, menopause or while using contraceptives.
  • Allergic reactions to cosmetics
  • Problems with the eyelids such as ectropion and entropion.
  • Certain medications such hormone replacement, antidepressants and blood pressure drugs.
  • Environmental conditions such exposure to weather elements and smoke.
  • Health conditions, especially autoimmune disorders like lupus and Sjogren’s Syndrome.

How Does Dry Eyes Affect You?

Dry eyes can be a temporary or chronic condition. For most people it starts out as an uncomfortable and annoying sensation in the eyes. Common short-term effects include irritation of the eyes, blurred vision and a feeling of tiredness in the eyes. At this point you should visit an optometrist in Chevy Chase,MD to avoid irreversible damage to your vision. Patients suffering from dry eye may face restrictions when it comes to enjoying simple everyday activities like reading and driving.

Types of Dry Eye Relief

At Chevy Chase Eyecare, we encourage patients to seek treatment for dry eyes while it is still in its initial stages. Before any type of dry eye therapy in Chevy Chase, MD is given, you will under some diagnostic tests to try establish the cause of dry eyes. Treatment offered will depend on what is causing your eyes to dry and might include the following:

  • Over the counter drugs such as use of dry eye drops called artificial tears. These provide moisture to the eyes. Ointments can also be used and they are thought to be better than eye drops since they coat the eyes surface much better.
  • Prescription medications such as cyclosporine and liftitegrast which help boost tear production.
  • Punctal plugs, which are also called puncta, are special plugs that are inserted into the openings of the tear ducts to help keep tears in the eye for a longer time.
  • Some cases may require surgical intervention which involves tightening of the lower eyelids to help retain tears in the eyes.
  • Lipiflow. This is a device that employs the use of heat and pressure to unblock the glands that release oil in the tears. This treatment helps keep the eyes moisturized and prevents tears from evaporating.
  • You can also practice some home-based remedies or preventive measures such as taking breaks from screens, reducing screen time, remembering to blink often, using a humidifier, using warm compress to soothe inflamed eyelids and increasing intake of Vitamin A or omega fatty acids.

To get the right therapy for your dry eyes, book an appointment with us today at Chevy Chase Eyecare to have our professionals assess your situation.

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