You may even notice your vision gets blurry sometimes. If so most
likely you are suffering from dry eye disease.
use over-the-counter artificial tears eye drops to treat dry eye disease.
But are those eye drops enough for you? What are the additional
dry eye treatment options when the over-the-counter drops are
just not enough?
target different causes of dry eye disease. The treatment options
that I mention in this post are based on my own personal clinical
experience. If your eyes are controlled with otc eye drops alone, I
have written an article about my top five eye drops to help you to find the
right one for you to treat dry eyes disease.
Options for Dry Eyes
important to understand what types of dry eye disease you have. There
are three main types of dry eye diseases
- Evaporative type
- Aqueous Deficient type
- Mixed type
- Lipid layer
- Aqueous layer
- Mucin layer
with one of the three different tear film layers.
1. Evaporative Dry Eye Treatments
lipid layer tear film, which is the
most outer layer. Often the tear film is unstable and evaporates too
quickly when the lipid layer is unhealthy. With evaporative type,
the eyes feel dry and irritated shortly after applying over-the-counter
eye drops and you may feel that you need to put in eye drops over and over
meibomian glands located in both upper and lower eyelids. If the
meibomian glands are clogged or not working or the gland oil
contains too many inflammatory particles. The aqueous layer of the
tear film underneath, secreted by the tear glands will not remain on the
cornea for long enough to lubricate and moisturize the eyes.
warm compresses. You can either just use a washcloth soak under
hot water and ring it out and place it over closed eyelids for about
five minutes once or twice a day, or you can use a heat mask. You can
microwave most heat masks for 20 seconds and they will stay hot
for 20 minutes. The heat will help open up the
clogged oil glands.
of the meibomian gland, you may ask your eye specialist about some
in-office treatment options, such as ilux or lipid flow. They work like a more intense warm compress and are administered in
the doctor’s office to aggressively target clogged oil glands.
can also be caused by unhealthy gland oil secreted by the meibomian
gland. This is typically due to increased inflammatory particles in the
of the meibomian glands and their oil. This is where omega-3 supplements
can come into play. Because omega-3 supplements are not prescription
medication and are not regulated by the FDA.
composition may vary greatly. Please remember to always consult with
your doctor before taking any high-dose omega-3 supplements to
make sure if they are safe and right for you.
2. Aqueous Deficient Dry Eyes Treatment
type of dry eye affects the aqueous layer of the tear film, which
is made by the tear gland.
enough tears, the surface of the eye or the cornea, which is the clear
dome-shaped structure that functions as the
windshield of our eyes,
does not get adequately lubricated and moisturized.
eye drops. A lot of times inflammation of the tear gland and the surface
of the eye causes decreased tear production and low tear turnover.
eye doctor may prescribe a mild steroid eye drop for a short period
of time to decrease the inflammation on the surface of the eye and to
improve tear production.
long-term such as cataract formation and increased eye pressure.
This is why steroid prescription eye drops are typically only used for a
short period of time. There are three FDA-approved prescription eye
drops that do not contain steroids.
- Sodium Hyaluronate eye drops
- Xiidra eye drops
- Cequa eye drops
long-term to treat dry eye disease. The three eyedrops each work
differently and it is important to discuss with your eye doctor.
to keep the tears in your eyes longer. For people who suffer from a
severe aqueous deficient dry disease such as Sjogren’s disease, even the
treatment options I just mentioned may not be enough.
own blood can be used to treat the disease and control the symptoms.
They are called autologous serum eye drops. Your eye physician or cornea
specialist can help you determine if your disease is severe enough to
need serum drops.
3. Mixed type Dry Eyes Treatment
is probably the most common type of dry eye disease. For a lot of people
with dry eyes, both the lipid layer and the aqueous layer of the tear
films are unhealthy.
combination of the dry treatments that I mentioned earlier such as warm
compresses and omega-3 oil supplements to improve the oil gland
control dry eye symptoms. It is important to remember there is no one size
fits all treatment protocol for everyone.
an individualized treatment protocol for each patient, based on their
individual situation and I tailor their treatment plan based on their
response to each treatment option.
options. There are also other, more invasive, and advanced
treatment options that are typically reserved for extremely severe cases.
more than 16 million people in the US suffer from dry eye
vision, despite using over-the-counter eye drops. It is important to have
a full eye exam and talk to your eye doctor about what treatment options
are right for you.