There are different types of dry eye treatment and the one which will be best suited for you depends on the specific conditions. Dry eye symptoms are common during Fall and include burning, redness, irritation and overall eye discomfort. Modern technology used for eye care can completely treat dry eye or Ocular Surface Disease. Read on to find out more about dry eye and its treatment.
Causes of Dry Eye
There are two primary causes of dry eye. Each of these will require a different technique in dry eye treatment.
Evaporative Dry Eye – This condition arises when the glands in eyelids that produce an oily layer to the tears get inflamed and clogged. The oil layer thins out making tears evaporate faster than usual. This causes inflammation, redness, irritation, grittiness and overall discomfort.
Aqueous Deficient Dry Eye – This condition happens when the eyes are not able to produce enough tears to keep it lubricated. This causes irritation resulting in inflammation. Over the counter artificial tear drops may help in moisturizing the eye but will not treat inflammation and dryness.
The primary intention of dry eye treatment is to reduce the ocular inflammation and provide help to your eyes to produce better quality tears.
The Treatment Protocol
Doctors will follow a specific dry eye treatment protocol. However, as there are innumerable elements to consider when dealing with dry eye disease it makes it extremely difficult for the doctor to formulate and follow a one all-inclusive treatment protocol.
However, artificial tears are usually the first step. These are lipid-based tears that relieve patients suffering from evaporative dry eye. If you are suggested to try it, then you must follow the instructions completely and make sure you are aware of the preservatives and its sensitivity if you overuse it.
Omega-3 fatty acid supplements are another approach followed by doctors and is applicable to all patients. This supplement definitely has significant effect in improving dry eye symptoms and inhibits inflammation. It maintains the corneal surface smoothness for 6 months.
However, if these two therapies fail then doctors may suggest surgery. But this will depend on whether you are suffering from evaporative or aqueous deficient dry eye. The doctor will discuss your systemic health and other issues if you suffer from aqueous deficiency. Apart from that, they may also recommend blood tests to ensure that you do not suffer from any autoimmune issues. Further dry eye treatment processes are decided accordingly.
Types of Treatments
Ideally, the dry eye treatment process is determined on the basis of diminished production of tears, tears evaporating too quickly and whether there is any underlying condition.
The types are:
Lubricant treatments – Using this method on mild to moderate cases of dry eye syndrome means it can be treated. It consists of a range of drops, ointments and gels often called artificial tears. These do not contain any antibodies, nutrients and vitamins that are essentially found in normal tears.
Anti-inflammatory treatments – Any underlying problem and longtime suffering of dry eye will cause inflammation in the eye. Anti-inflammatory treatments can only be recommended after you see an ophthalmologist and obtain a report.
Serum eye drops – These may also be suggested by the doctor in very rare cases when all other medications for dry eye fail. It needs funding and is only available in selected clinics where such special eye drops are made using the components of your own blood or that of a donor.
Surgery is the last option when every treatment fails, and the dry eye symptoms are very severe. There are two types of surgeries performed namely Punctal occlusion and Salivary gland auto transplantation.