Dry eye is a relatively common condition that can be temporary or chronic. It occurs when the eyes fail to produce enough quality tears. Temporary dry eye is usually a result of environmental factors and lifestyle habits. Chronic dry eye is often due to an underlying condition. If not treated, it can cause complications such as corneal ulcers and scarring.
Medications are the most common treatment option for dry eye syndrome. OTC eye drops or artificial tears are the most popular way to treat the condition. They moisten the eyes and are ideal for mild or moderate dry eyes. Eye doctors also prescribe eye drops and oral medications to relieve dry eye symptoms. Medications reduce inflammation or stimulate tear production.
Sometimes, dry eye may be due to inadequate eyelid hygiene. BlephEx® is an in-office procedure where the doctor cleans the patient’s eyelid margins, removing excess bacteria, biofilm, and toxins. Regular treatments help ensure the eyelids remain clean and free of symptoms. The procedure takes a few minutes and can help treat dry eye disease.
Closing the tear ducts can help reduce tear loss. Eye specialists can recommend punctal plugs to prevent tears from draining away too quickly. They can close the tear ducts partially or completely. The silicone plugs can be removable or permanent, depending on the technique. Thermal cautery is a procedure that uses heat to apply the plugs permanently.
Scleral contacts can provide relief for chronic dry eye. The specialty “bandage” lenses protect the cornea and prevent moisture escape. They cover the entire corneal surface, offering protection from irritants. The treatment is ideal when the dry eye is due to the quick evaporation of tears. The lenses trap moisture, keeping the eyes lubricated for longer.
MiBo Thermoflo is an effective treatment for chronic dry eye. The therapeutic medical device provides an effective and safe treatment option for dry eye. It uses thermoelectric heat to break down blockages in the meibomian glands. It helps improve oil production and enhance preservation. Ultrasound gel provides a gentle massage to the eyelids.
Amniotic membranes can keep the eye surface healthy and treat dry eye conditions. Placing the membranes directly over the front part of the eye creates a protective and nourishing barrier. It helps promote corneal health. It also rejuvenates stem cell production in the cornea to prevent corneal damage from eye dryness.
Eyedrops made from the patient’s blood can help treat dry eye disease. Autologous serum drops are a good option for individuals with chronic dry eye that fails to respond to other treatments. Doctors remove red blood cells from the patient’s blood. Mixing the processed blood with a saline solution creates the serum.
Meibomian gland expression can unblock the oil glands. Doctors apply pressure to the eyelids to squeeze out oils. It can improve meibum production and quality. They often use paddle-like devices or tiny forceps to compress the upper and lower lids. They can apply a warm compress over the eyelids and use gentle eyelid massage.
An eye exam will help determine the cause of your eye dryness. We can assist you in treating your dry eye effectively. Visit Alamo Eye Care at our San Antonio or Austin, Texas, office. Call (210) 403-9050 to schedule an appointment today.