Dry Eye Treatment Options
When you have dry eye syndrome, your eye is unable to produce enough tears to keep your eye healthy. While dry eye is often a chronic condition, there are many treatments to make you more comfortable.
There are even things you can do at home to relieve some of the symptoms of dry eye. A humidifier in rooms you use often can greatly reduce the dryness you feel in your eye, as can wearing glasses that wrap around the edges of your eyes to protect them from windy environments. However, to truly make your eye comfortable again and free of the painful symptoms of dry eye syndrome, we typically treat your eyes with artificial tears. These artificial tears are able to re-lubricate the eye to bring you relief from the dryness. In the most severe cases, we may temporarily or permanently close the tear drain to try and rebalance the amount of tears your eye produces. In these cases, a simple surgery is performed where a tiny silicon plug is placed into the tear drain. If the silicone plugs have a positive effect, then a more permanent plug can replace it, ideally making your eyes permanently comfortable.
At Cornea Consultants of Albany, we are constantly researching newer and even better ways to treat eye conditions like dry eye syndrome. We participated in the FDA trials that ultimately led to the approval of the prescription strength eye drop, Restasis. Restasis can actually help your body to create more of its own tears, instead of just relying on artificial tears. There are even some cases in which we can use components from the natural serum in your own eye to ensure there is enough lubrication. We stay at the front of our field in research and treatments so that our patients have the healthiest eyes possible.
In the treatment of dry eye, our physicians may use LipiView Ocular Surface Interferometer, which is an ophthalmic imaging device that captures and stores digital images of your tear film. LipiView helps us measure the thickness of your tear film lipid layer and helps us to evaluate the proper tear therapy you may benefit from. This procedure takes just a few minutes and requires you to simply look into a camera and blink normally. A special camera and computer program will capture the rest.
Another treatment option for dry eye is the LipiFlow system, a localized heat and pressure therapy. Many longtime sufferers of dry eye use medications and hot compresses to treat their condition. LipiFlow uses a single-use eyepiece to relieve blockage of the meibomian glands. You may liken it to a “hot stone massage” for your eye lids. This controlled heat and massage allows your blocked glands to open.
Our physicians may also recommend PROKERA, a biological corneal bandage device, to treat dry eye, reduce inflammation and promote regenerative healing.
Dry eye syndrome can be an extremely uncomfortable condition that can inhibit your quality of life, so we aim to eliminate your symptoms of dry eye and alleviate your discomfort. Let us help you take care of your eyes so that you can enjoy the most important of senses.