Dry eye disease is a common condition that occurs when the eyes are unable to produce enough tears or the quality of the tears is poor. Several factors can contribute to the development of dry eye, including aging, certain medications, environmental factors, and underlying health conditions. As we age, our eyes produce fewer tears, making us more susceptible to dry eye disease. Medications such as antihistamines, decongestants, and antidepressants can also cause dryness of the eyes. Environmental factors such as low humidity, wind, and air conditioning can also worsen dry eye symptoms. Additionally, underlying health conditions such as autoimmune disorders and hormonal changes can contribute to dry eye disease. Identifying and managing the underlying cause of dry eye can help alleviate symptoms and improve overall eye health.
If you frequently experience any of the following it may be a sign you have dry eye syndrome:
Not only is dry eye disease painful but it's also inconvenient as it can create discomfort while reading, driving at night, or using screens. The good news is that you don't have to live with it anymore.
Our team has gained a reputation as THE place to send patients with dry eyes in the Youngwood area. Even if you've tried options to treat your dry eyes we'd love to see you as we're confident we can help. Not only do our optometrists bring decades of experience evaluating and treating dry eye disease but we've also invested in the technology to both diagnose and treat the root cause of your dry eyes.
Diagnosing the cause of your dry eye disease involves a comprehensive eye examination and a discussion of your symptoms and medical history. We rely on a number of tests to measure tear production, evaluate the quality of your tears, and assess the health of your cornea and your eyelids. We'll also review your use of medications and any underlying health conditions that may contribute to dry eye disease. By accurately diagnosing the underlying cause of dry eye, we can develop a personalized treatment plan to effectively manage and alleviate symptoms.
Dry eye drops, sprays, and scrubs are common treatments used to manage the symptoms of dry eye disease. Eye drops, such as artificial tears, work by adding moisture to the eyes to alleviate dryness and discomfort. Sprays and mists are designed to hydrate the eyes and provide a protective layer on the surface of the eyes. Scrubs and cleansers are used to remove debris and oil buildup from the eyelids, which can contribute to dry eye symptoms. These treatments can be used alone or in combination to effectively manage dry eye disease.
Punctal plugs are small, silicone or collagen plugs that can be inserted into the tear ducts to help keep tears on the surface of the eyes longer, providing relief for dry eye symptoms. These plugs can be inserted quickly and easily during a routine eye exam and are typically well-tolerated by patients. Punctal plugs can be an effective and long-lasting treatment option for those who experience chronic dry eye symptoms.
Amniotic membranes are a newer treatment option for severe or persistent dry eye syndrome. These membranes are derived from the innermost layer of the placenta and contain growth factors and anti-inflammatory proteins that can help reduce inflammation and promote healing of the surface of the eyes. Amniotic membrane treatment involves placing a thin layer of the membrane over the surface of the eyes to reduce symptoms and improve overall eye health. This treatment option has shown promising results for those with more severe or chronic dry eye disease.
Intense pulsed light (IPL) therapy is a non-invasive and innovative treatment that is becoming increasingly popular for managing the symptoms of dry eye disease. The treatment works by using pulses of light to target the meibomian glands, which produce the oil that is an important component of tears. By stimulating these glands, IPL can improve the quality and quantity of tears, which can help alleviate dry eye symptoms. The procedure is relatively quick and painless, and most patients can return to their normal activities immediately following treatment.
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