DRY EYE TREATMENTS AT LONG ISLAND VISION AND CONTACT LENS SERVICES
Long Island Vision and Contact Lens Services is proud to offer dry eye treatment for our patients. Ocular Surface Disease, also known as dry eye, can occur from certain medications, naturally by aging, or as a symptom arising from systemic diseases such as Sjogren's syndrome, Rheumatoid arthritis, or Lupus.
If you have a minor case of dry eye, you may be experiencing irritation, excessive tearing, fluctuating vision, and/or a burning sensation in your eyes. Excessive dry eyes, or dry eye symptoms that go untreated, have the potential to damage eye tissue, scar your corneas, and impair your vision.
We utilize some of the newest technologies, medications, and treatments to lessen the effects of Dry Eye Disease (DED). We use a variety of tests to visualize, evaluate and even take samples of your tears to assess for Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD) and DED.
Dry Eye Syndrome
Dry eye syndrome is a common condition caused by a lack of adequate lubrication to the surface of your eyes, where you don’t produce enough tears, or produce poor quality tears.
This can cause a range of issues such as minor irritations, slight stinging, a burning sensation, or the inability to wear contact lenses. These can result in an increased risk of corneal inflammation and eye infections.
Studies have found dry eye syndrome to be more common in women. This can potentially be attributed to hormone fluctuations, particularly more common in women over the age of 40.
Signs and Symptoms of Dry Eye
Signs and symptoms can often effect both eyes, and these include:
- Eye redness
- A sensation of having a foreign body in your eye
- Sensitivity to light
- Blurred vision or eye fatigue
- Stinging, burning or a scratchy sensation in your eyes
- Stringy mucus in or around the your eyes
- Difficulty wearing contact lenses
- Difficulty with nigh-time driving
- Watery eyes (the bod’s response to the irritation of dry eyes)
What Causes Dry Eyes?
Dry eyes can be caused by disruption to the healthy tear film. Comprising three layers; fatty oils, aqueous fluid and mucus, this combination is necessary to keep the surface of your eyes lubricated, smooth and clear. If there is an issue with any of these layers, you may experience dry eye syndrome.
There are several reasons for tear film dysfunction, including hormone change, autoimmune disease, inflamed eyelid glands or allergic eye disease.
Symptoms can occur when the tear glands don’t produce enough tears, due to aging, medical conditions including Sjogren's syndrome, allergic eye disease, rheumatoid arthritis, thyroid disorders or vitamin A deficiency, use of medicines including antihistamines and decongestants and corneal nerve desensitivity caused by contact lens use.
Evaporative dry eye occurs when the oil film produced by the tear glands becomes clogged. This is quite common for people with skin disorders such as rosacea.
Other causes of increased tear evaporation include:
- Blinking less often
- Deficiency in Vitamin A
- Eye allergies
- Dry air, wind, or a smoky environment
- Air conditioning or electric heaters indoors
Treatment for Dry Eye
There are no guarantees that any treatment will cure dry eye syndrome permanently. This can be an ongoing condition which needs to be managed over longer periods of time. However, the symptoms can usually be managed to ensure your quality of life isn’t affected too adversely.
Your eye doctor may recommend solutions such as artificial tears, which help lubricate the eyes where the eye glands aren’t able to produce an adequate amount of tears naturally, prescription eye drops to help increase tear production or a topical steroid in the short term for acute treatment of symptoms.
Other options include the insertion of a small film filled with a lubricating ingredient directly onto the eye.
It is worth noting that if you wear contact lenses, many solutions for artificial tears cannot be used during their wear, you may need to remove your lenses before using eye drops. You should typically wait at least 15 minutes before wearing your contact lenses again.
For temporary relief of mild dry eyes, it may be enough to lubricate your lenses using rewetting drops. You should consult your eye doctor before using any over the counter eye drops. Even switching contact lenses to an alternative brand could help, as your eyes change over time.
If you experience dry eyes outdoors, wearing wraparound sunglasses to protect your eyes from the elements can help.
For indoors, an air purifier to cleanse the air of dust particles is recommended. A humidifier will add moisture to the air, which can help mitigate dry eyes where the air is dry due to air-conditioning or heating systems.
If your dry eye is caused by Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD), your eye doctor can use a warm compression to clear the blocked glands and restore their normal function.
Nutritional supplements containing certain essential fatty acids designed to mitigate dry eye symptoms are another option. Even drinking more water can offer some relief.
In some cases the cause of dry eyes can be attributed to medications which cause a chemical imbalance in the body, so discontinuation of these drugs could help relieve symptoms. Any side effects from discontinuing their use should be factored in and weighed against the symptoms of dry eyes. Always consult your eye doctor before making any changes to your medication.
Say hello to smart design
The TearCare® System is intended for the application of localized heat therapy in adult patients with evaporative dry eye disease due to meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD), when used in conjunction with manual expression of the meibomian glands.
Dry Eye and LASIK
If you are considering LASIK treatment, dry eyes may make you ineligible for surgery as they can affect the healing of the eye post-treatment. Most surgeons will want to treat the dry eyes as a first step, to give you a better chance of a good LASIK outcome. This also applies to other types of vision correction surgery, so speak to your eye doctor for more information on any planned surgeries and how dry eye syndrome can impact any treatments.
In addition, dry eye is the most likely possible side effect of LASIK to occur. Most patients will experience the symptoms of dry eye syndrome to some degree for at least a week following surgery.
Are Your Contact Lenses Causing Dry Eye?
We can pinpoint the specific cause of your dry eyes and offer ways to make wearing contact lenses more comfortable.
You don't have to suffer from Dry Eye anymore!
Whatever the cause your Dry Eye, we will find and apply the best treatment options. If you are suffering from Dry Eye, book an Assessment at Huntington, Long Island so we can talk you through your treatment options.
Don't live with Dry Eye for longer than you have to. Call us or book online today.
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