When a person’s eyes are subjected to lack of moisture due to insufficient tears to lubricate them, this can result in a condition known as ‘Dry Eye’. Those with the disorder can feel a stinging sensation in their eyes and they can also be more sensitive to light. Eye redness is also a common symptom of this condition. It can be triggered by certain situations such as being in an air-conditioned room, which makes it a common disorder. Fortunately, there are a number of ways we can gain relief once we encounter it. Here are five tips that Eye Doctors recommend to help with the effects of dry eyes. You should always consult a professional eye doctor like at Greenlake Eye Care for any medical issues.
Use Lubricating Eye Drops
Since a lack of moisture or an insufficient amount of tears is one of the root causes of dry eyes, one can immediately get relief from applying artificial tears or lubricating eye drops. These are formulated to bring back moisture to the eyes without causing irritation. They are available in a wide variety of brands and thickness or viscosity. Thinner or watery eye drops provide quick relief for mild dryness. However, their effects are short in duration. More viscous eye drops are also available which provide lasting relief despite blurring your vision for a few minutes after use.
Consider Medicating Eye Drops
If symptoms persist, lubricating eye drops may not be enough to correct dry eyes. Your Eye Doctor may recommend you to take eye drops with more effects than moisturizing the eye. Examples of these include Restasis which is a prescription eye drop that also reduces inflammation and promotes the production of tears by the body. If the inflammation is severe, they might also prescribe steroid eye drops to better address inflamed eyes.
Use Punctal Plugs
Aside from eye drops, Doctors can also prescribe other treatments such as the punctual plug. This is a small device inserted into the openings of tear drainage ducts located on the inner eyelids. Once plugged, tears do not flow away from the eyes and the eye’s natural tear film can remain intact longer, alleviating dry eye symptoms. The plugs allow tears to be more concentrated to flow on the surface of the eyes instead of dripping elsewhere.
Undergo Meibomian Gland Expression
If a lack of tears is deemed not the cause of dry eyes, your Eye Doctor may prescribe you to undergo an in-office procedure known as Meibomian gland expression. The procedure addresses the lack of production of oil called meibum from the meibum glands along the eyelids. This lack of oil is also known to be a common cause of dry eyes. In the procedure, the doctor applies pressure on the eyelids to remove any blockages which may have blocked the ducts of the glands to promote oil secretion.
Improve Your Diet
As part of a treatment plan for dry eyes, your doctor will also prescribe you to add certain foods to your diet. It is widely known that omega-3 fatty acids can reduce dry eye symptoms. Examples of foods containing it include sardines, salmon, and cod. Staying well-hydrated is also recommended since dehydration can also remove moisture from the eyes.
Individuals with dry eyes need not suffer long from its effects. Consider the following treatments listed above to gain immediate relief from this common eye condition.