Are you suffering from dry eyes? Dry eyes affect the quality of your vision and can cause extreme discomfort. Fortunately, there are many treatments available to help ease the symptoms and possibly cure dry eye syndrome, depending on the severity. Always consult with your eye doctor when experiencing eye discomfort. Your eye doctor can effectively diagnose you and give you the best treatment options. Here are a few of the most common treatments for dry eyes that your eye doctor may recommend.
Artificial Tears (Eye Drops)
Artificial tears are drops that are sold in-store and some can be sold without a prescription. These eye drops help lubricate your eye since you are lacking your own natural tears to do so. Buying eye drops is typically the first solution to dry eyes. If you spend a lot of time staring at a screen, reading, or any activity that can strain your eyes, you may consider keeping eye drops on you as a quick fix. Consult your eye doctor for the best brand for you, as there are various types of solutions to choose from. If you suffer from extremely dry eyes, you may even be prescribed a stronger type of artificial tears.
Punctal plugs work by keeping tears on the surface of the eye for longer. The plug is a device that is inserted in your puncta, the tiny opening where your tears are drained from. Since the puncta are plugged, your tears cannot drain and therefore remain in your eye. Therefore, your eye is less dry and the excess tears evaporate from the surface of your eye.
Meibomian Gland Expression
One of the biggest causes of dry eye syndrome is from your meibomian glands not secreting enough oil, which lubricates your eyes. The openings where the gland produces oil can often get clogged, causing your tears to evaporate too quickly. This is also known as evaporative dry eye. For treatment, your eye doctor may recommend the in-office procedure meibomian gland expression. A warm compress may be placed on your eyelids, and a device helps rid the hardened oil and other substances from your clogged glands.
LipiFlow is another in-office treatment, which combines the idea of warm compressions and meibomian gland expression into one single device. The device fits over one eye and eyelid at a time, and uses it controlled heat system and pressure to give you relief. After LipiFlow, your meibomian gland secretion should operate properly and therefore give you dry eye relief. The treatment usually takes 12 minutes per eye, and results are noticed typically within two weeks. The benefit of doing LipiFlow is that relief can last up to three years.
Quick Home Remedies
Besides going in for treatments, there are a few ways to keep your eyes from getting dried out. The biggest tip is to make sure to give your eyes breaks and keep them protected. Therefore, do not stare at screens for long periods of time without giving yourself time to look away. If you notice your eyes start to dry out for focusing on any given object, just pause for a moment and blink several times in order to lubricate the surface of your eye. Remember to also wear appropriate sunglasses when going outside, because the sun also dries your eyes out quickly. Lastly, remove makeup or any dirt from the day off your face and eyes before going to bed. Dirt on your eyelashes and lids clogs the openings of your meibomian glands.
Consult your eye doctor whenever you experience eye discomfort, including dry eyes. Your eye doctor can properly diagnose and treat any problems that come up with your eye health.