There are many ways by which dry eye can be treated, and there is no single best treatment for dry eye. Treatment depends upon factors such as the severity of the dry eye, the underlying cause, and the patient’s response to treatment. In milder cases of dry eye, artificial tears are usually the first choice and are effective in a majority of cases. But in some severe or chronic cases, other treatments may be necessary. Some such options are: Prescription eye drops are prescribed if artificial tears are not effective. Some commonly prescribed eye drops for dry eyes are: Restasis, Lacrisert, Xiidra, Steroid eye drops; Meibomian Gland Expression; Punctal Plugs; Intense Pulse Light; LipiFlow Thermal Pulsation System.
Dry Eye Treatments
Do your eyes feel gritty, stinging, or sensitive to light? Then you may be one of the millions of Americans who suffer from ‘dry eye.’
At Focus Eye Care & Surgery, our board-certified cornea specialist, Dr. Neelofar Ghaznawi, will perform a thorough evaluation of the underlying causes of your dry eyes and develop a treatment plan with you to address your individual needs.
Tears cleanse and protect the eyes and ensure their optimal health and function. If they go too long with insufficient or not the right type of natural lubrication, the resulting dryness may lead to scarring of the cornea, the clear outer layer at the front of the eyes. This could lead to inflammation and even refractive errors, because the cornea takes up most of the light-focusing work.
Worse, if left untreated, severe dry eyes can result in vision loss.
Get prompt treatment to prevent further damage. If your eye function is severely diminished due to dry eyes, Dr. Ghaznawi provides expertise in the medical and surgical treatment of conditions of the cornea.
Treatment for dry eyes depends on the underlying causes. Focus Eye Care & Surgery provides one of the best dry eye treatment options in New York to restore optimal eye health and function.
Treatments for Dry Eye at Focus Eye Care & Surgery
If your dry eye symptoms are more persistent and not easily remedied by over-the-counter artificial tears, medicines can be prescribed to reduce your discomfort and help your eyes make more natural tears.
Some prescription medications, which may come in the form of eye drops, ointments, or antibiotic tablets, control inflammation of the eyelids or cornea. Treating these underlying inflammations helps increase natural tear production.
Other medications work by directly stimulating your tear glands so they produce more tears. These medicines come in the form of gel, pills, or eye drops.
TEAR DUCT PLUGS
As dry eyes can be caused by tears draining too quickly, conserving tears is one way to address the condition.
Also known as punctal plugs (because they block the ‘punctum,’ or small openings in your inner eye leading to the tear ducts), these obstructions slow down the drainage of tears so your eyes stay cleansed, lubricated, and protected for longer.
These tiny, removable inserts, smaller than a grain of rice, are made of silicone or gel and are naturally compatible with your eyes.
AUTOLOGOUS SERUM EYE DROPS (ASED)
If your dry eye symptoms don’t respond to other treatments, or have led to corneal damage, a sample of your own blood can be drawn to produce eye drops enriched with vital nutrients (vitamin A, antibodies, albumin) and growth factors missing from dry eyes.
Because they have similar chemical properties to and work like natural tears, ASED is well-tolerated, provides longer lasting relief than artificial tears and medications, and encourages healing of the cornea.
According to the British Journal of Ophthalmology, ASED has shown more promise in treating dry eyes compared to pharmaceutical tear substitutes. Clinical studies published by the U.S. National Institutes of Health also suggest that ASED may be more effective than conventional first-line dry eye treatments.
Definitive studies are yet to be conducted to establish ASED’s long-term treatment outcomes.
Among Dr. Ghaznawi’s numerous specialties, surgical treatment of severe dry eye, or keratoconjunctivitis sicca, is one of her areas of expertise.
A procedure called minor salivary gland transplantation can be performed in rare cases when dry eye syndrome is caused by tear gland malfunction.
This surgery involves transplanting the salivary glands from the lower lip to the area around the eyes, so saliva will function as a natural tear substitute. The British Journal of Ophthalmology reports there is long-term improvement in visual acuity and the health of the surface area of the eyes.
- What Is Dry Eye?
- Dry Eye
- Autologous serum eye drops for ocular surface disorders
- Autologous serum eye drops for dry eye
- Correlation between dry eye and refractive error…
- Minor salivary gland transplantation for severe dry eye disease…
- Minor Salivary Gland Transplantation for Severe Dry Eyes
Yes, punctal plugs are covered by both Medicare and most insurance providers when it is deemed to be medically necessary. Punctal plugs are indicated for patients with dry eye that do not respond well to treatment with artificial drops and prescription medications. It is a simple, safe, and effective procedure where small plugs are inserted in the tear drainage pathways located at the inner eyelids to retain tears.
Unfortunately, there is no curative treatment for dry eye. In some cases, dry eye can be a chronic condition that can only be managed symptomatically. Treatment for dry eyes is initiated with artificial tears and prescription medications, which are effective in a majority of cases to get relief from the symptoms. Supportive care with a warm compress, avoiding smoke, and IPL may be helpful. But if these treatments are not effective, punctal plugs or meibomian gland expression may be other non-invasive procedures that can be used to manage symptoms of dry eye.