Treatments for Dry Eye
The feeling of sandpaper in your eyes, red eyes, pain in the eyes, stinging, burning, excessive tearing, and blurry vision are all symptoms of dry eye. Dry eye is a common condition that occurs when the eye’s natural tear production cannot provide adequate moisture for the eye. To relieve the symptoms of the painful, chronic condition, the optometrists at the Nashville eye care center, Choate Eye Associates, provide dry eye treatment.
Causes of Dry Eye
There are a number of factors that can cause a patient to suffer from dry eye. If a patient does not produce an adequate amount of tears or if the tears produced are of poor-quality, dry eye will occur. Certain medications, age, certain eye diseases, certain eye conditions, environmental factors, and eyelid problems, among other factors can cause dry eye.
Dry Eye Treatment
The cause of a patient’s dry eye, the severity of the condition, a patient’s unique eye needs and goals, and a patient’s medical history help to determine the best course of treatment. The main purpose of dry eye treatment is to alleviate the painful, disruptive symptoms of the condition. Dry eye treatments include:
- Treating the underlying cause: In order to truly treat a patient’s dry eye, the underlying cause of the condition must be addressed.
- Switching medications: Dry eye is a side effect of many medications. If a patient is suffering from dry eye resulting from a certain medication, switching to a different medication may alleviate the dry eye symptoms.
- Over-the-counter artificial tear solutions: One of the benefits of most artificial tear solutions is that they may be used multiple times a day. To help alleviate some of the discomfort of dry eye, patients may purchase artificial tears, lubricating eye drops, ointments, and gels. While these solutions may not provide long-term relief, they can temporarily help patient’s feel more comfortable by providing much needed lubrication and moisture to the surface of the eye.
- Corneal shields: Corneal shields, also known as bandage lenses, may be placed over the eye to protect it from irritants and to help trap moisture close to the surface of the eye.
- Artificial tear inserts: Patients who cannot use artificial tears or do not experience relief from over-the-counter artificial tear solutions may benefit from prescription artificial tear inserts. Once a day, an eye insert resembling a clear grain of rice is placed between the lower eyelid and eyeball. The artificial tear insert is hydroxypropyl cellulose and is designed to slowly dissolve. The gradual dissolving of the artificial tear insert provides continual lubrication to the eye.
- Prescription eye drops: Eye drops may be prescribed to reduce inflammation of the eyelids, and to promote tear production.
- Punctal plugs: When other treatments do not sufficiently alleviate the symptoms of dry eye, punctal plugs may be an effective solution. Punctal plugs increase moisture in the eyes by blocking tears from draining in the tear drainage system.
Learn More about Dry Eye Treatment
If you would like more information about dry eye treatment, please contact Choate Eye Associates today. We look forward to helping you with all of your eye care needs.