Treatments of Dry Eyes
There are measurements which we can do in the treatments of dry eyes and these measurements can be taken to control symptoms of dry eyes and prevent any further damage to the cornea.
Treatments of dry eyes can involve one or more of following steps, depending on the severity and the cause of dry eyes
1- Dry eye moisturizers such as lubricant eye drops, gel and ointment
This is the most common way for the treatment of dry eyes. Most of them are used to replace aqueous layer deficiency and to provide moisture and lubrication for the surface of cornea. Other types can replace all three layers of tear film. Those Eye drops can be used as often as you needed especially if they are preservative free.
There are many types of these eye drops. Your doctor will suggest which type can be best for you according to your severity. It will be better to have tear substitutes without preservatives which can be harmful and toxic to your corneal epithelial cells.
Eye drops have low viscosity and cause no blurred vision when you apply them, and they give quick improve in dry eyes symptoms for short period of time. You can use them during work.
Gel or ointment have high viscosity and provide improvement in symptoms of dry eyes for long period, but they cause blurred vision when you apply them for few minutes, so you can use them while you working and most likely you will use them before bedtime
Most of lubricant eye drops are over the counter and you can buy them without a prescription.
2- Autologous serum
Autologous serum can be used for certain patients and it can give a relief for severe dry eyes. It has many growth factors that help to treat dry eye.
3- Mucolytic Agents
They can be used to treat mucous plaques or filaments. In severe dry eyes mucous can deposit in the cornea surface and make the symptoms of dry eye worse. The most common used mucolytic agent is acetylcysteine.
4- Treatment of Meibomian gland Dysfunction
Meibomian glands secret oil which is very important component of tear film and prevent evaporation of tear. Read more about Meibomian Gland Dysfucntion.
5- Corticosteroid Eye Drops
One of the causes of dry eyes is inflammation of the eyelid and conjunctiva. Inflammation destroys certain types of cells that help in the production of tear film. These eye drops such as ped forte eye drops can also be used to decrease the symptoms of red eye and itching. It should not be used when there are corneal epithelial abrasions and ulcers because it will affect the healing. This eye drop should be used under the supervision of eye doctor.
6- Punctal Plugs
Tears are drained out from your eye through a small hole presents in the upper and lower eyelid near the inner corner. This hole is called punctum which is connected through ducts to the nose.
Punctal plugs reduce the amount of tear that drain out from your eye and more of your natural tears will be preserved. Punctal Plugs are small inert devices that are made from collagen or silicon. Those that made of collagen can be dissolved by its own after a few weeks and it is used for temporary occlusions while those plugs made of silicon are used for long period or for permanent occlusion.
Another way of permanent occlusion is using of thermal cautery to occlude the punctum.
7- Treatments of eyelid problems
Defects in complete eyelid closure, entropion, ectropion or other eyelid problems can cause severe dry eyes. One of the most common surgeries used is Tarsorrhaphy that is used for Patient who cannot completely close his or her eyelid.
8- Bandage Contact Lens
Bandage Contact Lenses are special types of contact lenses that can be used in the treatment of dry eyes. They can be used in severe dry eyes to protect the cornea from erosions and to improve the delivery of oxygen to cornea.
9- BostonSight Prose Lens
BostonSight Prose Lens is type of scleral contact lens with high gas permeable feature. It creates a space between it and the cornea. This space is filled with sterile saline that helps to reduce corneal dryness
10- Restasis (Cyclosporine Eye Drops)
In severe cases we can use immunosuppressant eye drop called Restasis. This drug suppresses inflammation in conjunctiva and cornea which leads to increase goblet cells and increase tear production. Restasis is approved by FDA to be used to increase tear production.
11- Xiidra Eye drops
It is new drug that approved by FDA for the treatments of dry eyes. The active ingredient is lifitegrast which acts as anti-inflammation.
12- Oral Dry Eye Medication
CF101 is a new oral medication for dry eye that is under phase 3 clinical trial for treatment of moderate to severe dry eyes.
13- LipiFlow Thermal Pulsation System
It is a new instrument that can help to treat meibomian gland dysfunction by applying both heat and pulsation on the eyelid to release blocked oil inside the meibomian glands. It can be used in outpatient clinic in 12 minutes sessions.
14- Nutritional supplements
Omega 3 fatty acids and flaxseed oil are two important supplements that can be very helpful in natural treatments of dry eye. Both of them help Meibomian Glands to function normally and secret healthy oil.
15- Home Remedies for Dry Eyes
Lid hygiene, eyelid massage and warm compressor can be very helpful