Is There Any Permanent Cure For Dry Eye Issue?
Dry eye is the name for a condition that, as the name suggests, means the eye isn’t able to form enough of the natural lubrication it needs to function normally. The problem can range from mildly irritating to debilitating. In many cases, dry eye goes hand-in-hand with an immune response to an allergen—perhaps smoke, pollen, or another irritant.
While there is no single permanent cure for the condition, partnering with a dry eye specialist can determine the correct treatment for your needs.
What is Dry Eye? An overview
- Causes of dry eye
- Dry eye symptoms
Causes of dry eye
There are many causes of dry eye. However, the one thing they all have in common is that there’s a disruption to the healthy production of tears. This can present in two different ways:
- Decreased tear production
- Increased tear evaporation
The former is known as keratoconjunctivitis and there are a variety of reasons why this occurs. These include:
- Increasing age
- The use of some medications, such as antidepressants, decongestants, antihistamines, HRT, birth control pills, and more
- Some medical conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, sarcoidosis, vitamin A deficiency, and allergic eye disease
- Desensitivity of the corneal nerve. This can be caused by contact lens use or nerve damage. It can also be a (usually temporary) side-effect of laser eye surgery
Increased tear evaporation occurs when small glands on the edge of your eyelids become clogged. Causes include:
- Skin disorders, such as rosacea
- Eye allergies
- Vitamin A deficiency
- Reduced blinking, either through activities such as excessive staring at a computer screen or due to medical conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease
- Posterior blepharitis
- An irritant, such as dry air, smoke, or wind
Dry eye symptoms
The symptoms of dry eye are:
- Eyes feeling gritty
- Scratchy, burning, or stinging eyes
- Blurred vision
- Fatigued eyes
- Feeling like something is in your eyes
- Stringy mucus in or around the eyes
- Problems with night driving
- Discomfort or an inability to wear contact lenses
Watery eyes. Although it sounds like a contradiction to the name of the condition, increased watering is also a symptom. This is because the body responds to reduced lubrication by attempting to create more water to compensate. However, this liquid will not be of an adequate composition to correctly lubricate the eye.
How Does a Dry Eye Specialist Treat the Problem?
- Step 1: Diagnosis by a dry eye specialist
- Step 2: Formulating a bespoke treatment plan
Step 1: Diagnosis by a dry eye specialist
A dry eye specialist will first carry out a full eye exam. They will also take a comprehensive history that will determine the level that the condition impacts on your life. You’ll undergo a test that measures the volume of tears your eyes produce and others that assess their quality.
Step 2: Formulating a bespoke treatment plan
Once the eye doctor has gathered all the necessary information they can begin to create an individual treatment plan. This is usually carried out in a stepwise manner. In other words, starting with minimal intervention and progressing only if that stage doesn’t have the desired effect.
This often starts with the use of artificial tears—eye drops that can be used when symptoms flare up. If the use of medication for another underlying condition is the cause, then your doctor might recommend using an alternative. If the cause is a condition to do with the eyelids, plastic surgery of the lids might be recommended.
Other options a dry eye specialist can use include:
- Eye drops that can control inflammation of the cornea
- Medication that can reduce eyelid inflammation, including antibiotics
- Inserts that secrete artificial tears
- Medication that stimulates the body to naturally produce more tears
- The use of autologous blood serum eye drops
- Partial or complete closure of the tear ducts
- Eyelid massage in conjunction with light therapy
- Unclogging of the eye’s oil glands
You’ll also be advised of lifestyle methods to help control the symptoms, such as using a warm compress and thorough cleansing of the eyes.
The key issue is that a dry eye specialist has a vast armory of ways to treat individual conditions. Partnering with a subject matter expert is by far the best way to get the condition permanently under control.
Need a Dry Eye Specialist? Contact the West Boca Eye Center Today
The WBEC in Boca Raton, FL, is an academic-grade center of clinical excellence where every aspect of eye care is treated. Lead clinician, Brent Bellotte MD., is one of the world’s leading eye surgeons, working to bring cutting edge solutions to the world of ophthalmology. This includes innovative new treatments to reduce the symptoms of dry eye disease.
Whether this is a new problem or you’ve lived with it for many years, partnering with the center means you’ll be privy to the very latest solutions to treat the root cause of your condition.
Visit https://westbocaeyecenter.com to find out more and call to book your dry eye specialist appointment today.