Dry Eye Treatment
Find relief from dry, itchy, irritated eyes.
Dry eyes affect millions of people in the United States. It is estimated that as many as 4.88 million Americans over the age of 50 suffer from this uncomfortable condition.
If you need help, book an appointment at Oxford Eye Clinic. We’ll help you find a treatment option that brings you the relief you’re searching for.
What are the common symptoms of dry eye?
Everyone experiences dry eye differently because there are so many potential underlying causes.
Typical symptoms include:
- Redness or eyes that appear irritated and bloodshot
- Consistent burning or tingling sensations in the eyes
- Eyes that feel itchy or as if they have something in them
- Increased sensitivity to bright lights or sunlight
- Excessive tearing, or eyes that always appear watery
What causes dry eye?
There are many potential causes of dry eye.
In some cases, the cause is obvious, such as environmental irritants or short-term inflammation.
Some of the other causes of chronic dry eye problems include:
- Disease of the meibomian glands
- Defects that affect the eyelid or shape of the eye
- Certain medications
- Abnormal eye pressure
- Deficiency of aqueous fluids
Because the underlying causes vary, treatment methods after diagnosis will also vary according to the patient. It is also not uncommon for there to be more than one cause for dry eye.
How is dry eye diagnosed and treated?
Through imaging of the meibomian (tear producing) glands, measuring osmolarity (salt content) of the tear film, and screening for certain conditions, we are able to diagnose and provide treatment for this common condition.
Some of the typical treatments include:
- Specialized lubricant drops – Coats and soothes the dry, irritated surfaces of the eyes (most lubricants are little more than water, but some are specially formulated to coat the eye well and provide relief of symptoms for several hours.
- Punctal plugs (“plugs”) – Used to slow down the drainage of baseline, soothing naturally produced tears, giving the eye access to a higher volume of natural tears. This is among our best treatments – you don’t have to BUY anything (drops, etc.) and you don’t have to DO anything (take medicine, etc.). This is a painless and popular method for controlling dry eyes long term.
- Prescription eye drops – Prescriptions can be used to combat inflammation on the ocular surface. They can also be used to increase tear production (up to 40%) and decrease inflammation on the ocular surface (Restasis), and to alleviate both the signs and symptoms of dry eye disease (Xiidra).
- Biologic medication drops – These drops are used to heal the surface of the eye to relieve chronic damage (RegenerEyes).
- Specialty contact lenses – Specialty contact lens can be used specifically for dry eye issues (not standard contact lenses used to correct vision). Includes special, high water contact lenses in which the surface of the contact lens is 99% water, and scleral contact lenses that hold a reservoir of fluid against the cornea to provide relief from dryness.
- Treating oil glands – Designed to produce a better-quality tear layer, using high dose, MEDICAL grade omega-3 fatty acids and mechanical expression of the bad oils that sludge up the glands causing poor tear production.
- Autologous serum – Procedure where blood is taken from the arm and the red blood cells removed, and then the serum mixed with artificial tears – used to heal the surface of the eye. One of our best treatments for recalcitrant, hard to treat dry eye syndrome.
- Amniotic membranes – Uses treated birth placentas for their growth factors, immunoglobulins, and other constituents – used as a “last resort” treatment when all others fail.
- Proper eyelid hygiene – Inflamed or infected eyelids will worsen dry eye syndrome. Keeping the lids in good shape will often help decrease the symptoms.
If an infection is causing the issue, low-dose antibiotics may also be prescribed.
Dry eyes are not only uncomfortable — they can also be bad for the health of your eyes, decrease your vision clarity, and worsen over time. So, delaying treatment is not a good idea.
Book an appointment at Oxford Eye Clinic today to find relief.