When it comes to dry eye, the symptoms can be frustrating to deal with. It can often seem like there is no hope on the horizon, but there is. Depending on the severity of your chronic dry eye, there are several treatment options available.
Many sufferers of dry eye syndrome find that using artificial tears helps with managing their condition, but it is not the best option for everyone. Artificial tears can be helpful if you have the kind of dry eye that leaves your eyes dry and parched, looking for the moisture that has been lost.
Artificial tears aim to replace the moisture that your eyes have lost because of dry eye. Artificial tears are often a good starting point when treating dry eye, but many patients with dry eye find that they have to use artificial tears extremely frequently. Relief from artificial tears, especially over-the-counter varieties, is generally temporary.
When artificial tears aren’t enough, your eye doctor may recommend trying punctal plugs. Punctal plugs are inserted into the tear duct of the eye. They are designed to help keep moisture in the eye. Punctal plugs are available in two forms: temporary and permanent. Temporary punctal plugs are inserted into the tear duct, and dissolve after a few months. Permanent punctal plugs are made of a non-dissolvable material, allowing them to be inserted into the eye for long periods of time. Many eye doctors will prescribe the use of artificial tears along with punctal plugs for the best treatment outcome.
LipiFlow has proven itself to be an effective treatment option for dry eye syndrome, especially when patients are dealing with clogged Meibomian glands. Meibomian glands are responsible for creating the “oil” layer of the tear film. Without this oil layer, the rest of the tear film evaporates too quickly and leaves the eyes feeling dry.
When warm compresses and other treatment options haven’t done the trick for unclogging the glands, LipiFlow is a treatment option to consider. LipiFlow applies a very precise amount of heat to the eyelids, while also applying pulsed pressure that opens the clogged Meibomian glands. By opening the clogged glands, the eye can relieve the symptoms of dry eye. Improvements after LipiFlow are not instant and may take a few weeks to take full effect, but with LipiFlow treatment, most patients find relief that lasts for one to three years.