Dry eye is a very common eye condition that will affect most people at some point during their lifetime. However, some will go on to battle with chronic dry eye that impacts their day-to-day life by making their eyes uncomfortable, their vision blurred, and sensitive to light. Dry eye usually occurs when the tear glands in the eyes don’t work effectively to produce enough fluid to keep the eyes moist, or if the tear film drains away too quickly. Fortunately, there are treatments that can help.
Let’s explore a few of the ways in which it's possible to manage the symptoms of dry eyes.
TearCareÒ is a software-controlled, wearable eyelid technology that is designed specifically to target dry eyes that are caused by meibomian gland dysfunction. It does this by delivering controlled but adjustable thermal energy to the meibomian glands, breaking down any hardened oil deposits that are causing blockages and preventing the oil from reaching the tear film. Unlike many other treatments, TearCareÒ is personalized, fitting comfortably to the unique shape of your eyes and enables you to keep them open and remain blinking during the procedure. It takes just 2.5 minutes per eye and is completely painless.
If your dry eye is believed to be caused by the fluid in your eyes draining too quickly, you may be recommended to try punctal plugs. Punctal plugs are tiny, biocompatible inserts no larger than a small grain of rice that are placed into the tear ducts in order to block the drainage channels. This keeps tear film on the surface of the eyes for longer, reducing the symptoms of dry eyes. There are two main types of punctal plugs. Semi-permanent varieties are made from a long-lasting material such as silicone and will need to be removed by a professional. Alternatively, there are dissolvable versions that are usually made of collagen and which over time, your body will eventually absorb. Your eye doctor will be able to advise which sort of punctal plugs will be right for you.
Warm compresses are a tried and tested at-home treatment for dry eyes and can be effectively used between sessions of TearCareÒ too. This is because using a warm compress creates a similar effect in that the heat breaks down hardened oil deposits so that they can be released, and oil can flow more effectively into tear film again. Be sure to use a clean cloth each time to prevent transferring any bacteria that may be present from one eye to the other.
Your eye doctor may also recommend you consider taking supplements to help with your dry eye symptoms. There are some vitamins and minerals that have been proven to be very beneficial for eye health and which could prove valuable in helping to combat the symptoms of dry eyes. These include Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Zinc, Lutein, and Zeaxanthin (found in Vitamin C) and Omega-3 oils.
If you would like more advice on the best way to manage your dry eyes, don’t hesitate to speak to our experienced and knowledgeable eye care specialists at Kennedy Vision Health Center in Elk River and Plymouth, MN. You can call us at 763-296-2700 or 763-296-2600 for an appointment!