Dry Eye Diagnosis can trigger serious self-pity. Are you condemned to a life of scratching, searing eyes like sandpaper, 19459006 ? Luckily, no.
Your doctor may have explained this, but for refresher: Dry Eye happens when the amount or quality of your tears is insufficient. This can happen if something is wrong with one of the components in your tear film, according to the National Eye Institute (19459011) (NEI). There is a mucosal base layer that attaches to the water in your tears to keep your eyes moist. There is also a middle layer of water and water-soluble proteins released from the lacrimal glands under the eyebrows. This is rounded off by an oily outer layer that forms your Meibomian glands (under your eyelids). This helps to prevent your tears from evaporating too quickly.
If all of this works as it should, your eyes actually do a good job of moistening yourself through this film that spreads across your eyes as you blink. If it does not work as it should, you have a dry eye and should treat it.
There are some great dry eye treatments that can help alleviate your eye irritation and hydrate your eyes. In general, your doctor will want to start with the least invasive and simple treatment and speed up the steps, if not for you, Mina Massaro-Giordano, MD, co-director of the Penn Dry Eye & Ocular Surface Center and a professor, the case is Clinical Ophthalmology at the University of Pennsylvania, reports SELF. Here are the best options available and if your doctor may suggest that you try them out.
. 1 Artificial Tears, Gels, and Ointments
Artificial Tears are considered the first line of defense against the dry eye. Vivian Shibayama, O.D., optometrist at UCLA Health, tells SELF. Your regular use should help lubricate the eye surface and give you relief, she says. This is most likely if you use them before your eyes even dry, and not after they feel rough.
Since your eyes are already prone to irritation, Dr. Shibayama to choose preservative-free drops to avoid further potential aggravation . You should also avoid eye drops that erase any redness, as these can actually cause your eyes to bleed blood over time .
If this does not help, your doctor may recommend an increase in the symptoms of gel or ointment that are thicker and likely to stay on the eyes for longer, Dr. Massaro-Giordano.
. 2 Prescription Drugs for the Dry Eye
Depending on what happens to your eyeballs, there are several options.
If you suffer from corneal inflammation (the transparent protective dome on the ocular surface), your doctor may prescribe this to prescribe eye drops containing immunosuppressive drugs to stop this inflammatory physiological response, says the Mayo Clinic . The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved two drugs for the treatment of dry eye, including cyclosporine, which suppresses eye inflammation . The other FDA-approved dry eye treatment is the Lifitegrast, which also appears to suppress ophthalmia which may cause dry eye symptoms. . For example, if you have eyelid infections that prevent these meibomian glands from secreting oil into your tears, your doctor may recommend that you take antibiotics according to the Mayo Clinic .
Or, if your eyes do not produce enough tears overall, medicines called cholinergics can increase the production of tears by pills, gels, or eye drops, according to Mayo Clinic 3
. Eye Operations That Look Like Artificial Tears
If your dry eye is moderate to severe, your doctor may recommend the use of prescription eye wraps made from hydroxypropylcellulose, a substance commonly used as a lubricant in eye drops Mayo Clinic . Each deposit looks like a clear grain of rice. They poke them once a day between the lower eyelids and the eyeballs and dissolve slowly to release this hydroxypropylcellulose.
. 4 An FDA-approved device to stimulate Meibomian gland oil production
If your dry eye is caused by clogged oil glands, your doctor may recommend a treatment called LipiFlow, says the Mayo Clinic .
This is a battery powered machine that uses a device that resembles an eyecup. The device goes over your eye and performs a 12-minute, warm, gentle massage of the lower eyelid in your doctor's office .
The hope is that it helps to remove clogged oil glands. How well this works, the jury knows, says the Mayo Clinic . If it works for you, it will probably take a few weeks for the maximum relief to be achieved, Jennifer Fogt, OD, fellow of the American Academy of Optometry and Associate Professor at the College of Optometry at The Ohio State University, tells SELF , For some people, one treatment is enough (in combination with all other dry eye treatments). Others need to be treated regularly with the device. Fogt.
. 5 Bandage lenses
These contact lenses, also referred to as scleral lenses, are special contact lenses that can help protect the ocular surface and retain moisture (Mayo Clinic ). These are usually used if you have a moderate to strong dry eye, Dr. Massaro-Giordano. "If the eyes are permanently dry and uncomfortable even after maximum therapy, scleral lenses can help," says Dr. med. Shibayama. "[They create] a protective layer of fluid that hydrates the cornea throughout the day."
. 6 Minor Surgery
In some cases, your doctor may recommend that small silicone or collagen plugs be inserted into the inner corner of the eye to partially or fully occlude the tear ducts, says NEI . This prevents tears from draining out of the eye too quickly. "Plugging in a plug is like inserting a plug into a tub," explains dr. Shibayama. "It reduces the outflow of tears and keeps more tears in the eyes."
If you have a more severe dry eye, your doctor may even recommend that you surgically close your tear ducts by a procedure called thermal punctal cautery. NEI says – this involves burning the tear ducts so they close. Obviously, your doctor will make the process as pleasant as possible if this is your best bet.
. 7 Eye drops from own blood
Yes, really. That sounds like something direct from Netflix's newest original horror movie, but it's real. Eye drops from your own blood (autologous blood serum drop) are an option for the treatment of severe dry eye symptoms that are not responsive to other treatments, according to the Mayo Clinic .
Your doctor will take a blood sample, remove the red blood cells, mix with saline and voilà : Blood Drops! It sounds totally out there, but it is believed that the blood has healing properties that can help soothe your eyeballs, Dr. Massaro-Giordano.
. 8 You may also need to make some lifestyle changes to get the best results.
Appendix A: warm compresses. If your dry eye appears to be caused by a meibomian gland problem, your doctor may also recommend using daily warm compresses to make the oils flow. Fogt. (Just dampen a washcloth with warm water, wring it out and hold it for a few minutes against the eye to stimulate the glands.)
No matter what the cause of a dry eye, it should seem Take small action can make a big difference eg if you remove your contacts at bedtime, rest your eyes at least every 20 minutes if you use digital devices, and wear sunglasses, when it's windy outside.
If your current dry eye and lifestyle treatments are not enough, see a doctor. "Talk to your ophthalmologist," says Dr. Fogt. "If your symptoms get worse, your treatment plan may need to be changed. Often several treatment elements are required. "