If you’ve suffered from dry eye disease or even just an occasional dry eye, you understand how irritating dryness can be. But, you don’t have to suffer any more. The good news is that there are dry eye treatment options like Lipiflow, and new treatments like AmnioGraft, that can help. Here’s some information about dry eyes and how to treat them.
Common Symptoms of Dry Eyes
Dry eyes are, of course, dry. But that isn’t the only symptom many people experience when they have dry eye disease. Many times, they will also experience one or more of the following as well:
- Blurred or fluctuating vision
- Itchy eyes
- Aching sensations
- Heavy or fatigued eyes
- Sore eyes
- Red eyes
- Sensitivity to light
- Burning sensation
- Watery eyes
- Feeling of ‘grit’ in the eye(s)
What Causes Dryness?
So, this begs the question - what causes dryness and all these other unpleasant symptoms? There isn’t just one answer, but rather a few potential sources.
- The natural aging process is responsible for many folks’ dry eyes. Our eyes’ lubrication decreases over time, so it’s extremely common to feel dryness as you get older.
- Many medications cause dry eyes as a side effect. If you’re on prescription medications, check your medication labels to see if dry eyes are in fact listed as a side effect. You may be surprised to learn they are.
- There are environmental factors that contribute to dryness in the eyes. If you live in dry, dusty climates or especially windy climates, you’re more likely to get dry eyes. If you use the computer often for work or fly on airplanes frequently, you are more predisposed to dry eyes.
- Contact lens wear can significantly increase dry eye symptoms.
- There are some systemic diseases that are associated with dryness, including lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, rosacea, and Sjogren’s Syndrome.
How Can I Get Relief?
What are your dry eye treatment options? While there are many, here are the ones that we’ve found to be most effective for the average person:
- Artificial tears - We always like to start treatments out as mildly as possible. So, if you have dry eyes, your eye doctor will likely recommend you begin a regimen of using artificial tears (preservative free). These eye drops help to hydrate the eyes and deliver necessary lubrication to relieve many of your symptoms.
- Lipiflow - Oil is an essential part of our tear film. The oil glands in our eyelids can become chronically blocked adding to dry eye. Lipiflow is a comfortable, noninvasive procedure using heat and massage to open blocked oil glands to improve tear film quality.
- Punctal occlusion - This option is a simple, in-office procedure during which an eye doctor inserts a temporary or permanent plug in the tear drain of each eye. This helps increase tear volume and can help relieve dry eye symptoms as a result.
- AmnioGraft - This is a fairly new treatment and is used for dry eye relief and many other purposes as well. AmnioGraft is the only cryopreserved amniotic membrane tissue that has been recognized by the FDA for its unique anti-scarring, anti-inflammatory and anti-angiogenic properties. It has natural properties that help damaged eye surfaces heal faster. If your eye tissue has been damaged, AmnioGraft can be used to heal it and restore your eye’s lubrication back to their normal balance.
If you’re struggling with dry eyes, the best thing you can do is book an eye exam today. Our skilled doctors will be able to help you understand your situation better, and the best treatments for you.