Dry eye is a chronic medical condition that occurs when your eyes do not produce enough tears. Your eyes can not be healthy without tears because they provide moisture, lubrication and antibodies to fight infections. Some of the most common symptoms of dry eye are itching, redness, blurry vision, a gritty sensation in the eye and light sensitivity. Dry eye will progressively get worse over time if it is not properly treated. The treatment option that is best for you will depend on a variety of factors and will ultimately be determined during a consultation at our office.
Artificial tear drops are a great way to provide extra moisture to your dry eyes. These products are usually only recommended for mild cases of dry eye because they tend to only provide short-term relief to your symptoms.
Prescription Eye Drops
If over-the-counter artificial tears are not helping your dry eyes, then you may get a prescription for eye drops from our doctor. Prescription eye drops do much more than just lubricating the eye. They also work to eliminate any inflammation in the eye. Reducing the inflammation should help your eyes naturally produce more tears. It may take multiple weeks until you see noticeable relief from your dry eye symptoms when using prescription eye drops.
If eye drops are not working, then you may be required to get punctual plugs. This is a small device that gets inserted into the small opening in the corner of your eyes. This area of the eye is called the puncta, and it contains the eye’s tear drainage ducts. Placing a small plug in the puncta will prevent tears from draining off of the eye. This allows the tears to stay in contact with your eye for a longer period of time, which should naturally alleviate any dry eye symptoms. The lack of a tear drainage system will not cause any problems because the tears will evaporate on their own without causing any uncomfortable symptoms.
Learn About Your Treatment Options
Other forms of treatment for dry eye include antibiotics and hygiene precautions for addressing lid margin/oil gland dysfunction. In severe cases, surgery may be the best treatment option. It all depends on the unique situation.