Do your eyes feel dry, scratchy, and uncomfortable? Are you experiencing blurred vision or sensitivity to light? Do your eyes feel heavy and fatigued? If you can answer ‘yes’ to any of these questions, you could be suffering from a common condition called dry eyes.
Our eyes rely on a layer of film covering them to remain healthy. This tear film is made from a combination of naturally-occurring substances including oils, water, and proteins. If these aren’t perfectly balanced, or if the tear film drains away from the surface of the eyes too quickly, you may develop dry eyes. While not serious, dry eyes can have some unpleasant and debilitating effects. For many people, the condition will resolve itself without the need for medication or other professional interventions. However, some will suffer from chronic dry eye and will need treatment to achieve relief from their symptoms. Fortunately, there are lots of options to choose from.
Here are three of the most effective treatments for relieving dry eyes.
One of the first lines of treatments that you may be recommended to try could be prescription eyedrops. This is where prescription medications are used to try and address the underlying cause of your dry eyes. There are multiple different types of prescription eye drops available, and you may need to try several in order to find the variety that works best for you. Some of the most effective include:
Restasis. This prescription eyedrop treats inflammation that is triggering the symptoms of dry eyes and helps to increase your eye’s natural ability to produce tears.
Cequa. Cequa is similar to Restasis but contains different concentrations of the medication used to reduce inflammation and prompt the production of the natural tear film.
Xiidra. Xiidra is the only FDA-approved eyedrop used to treat the signs and symptoms of dry eye disease and targets inflammation that could be the underlying cause of your dry eyes.
If your dry eyes are believed to be the result of the tear film draining from your eyes too quickly, your eye doctor may suggest you try a treatment called punctal plugs. Punctal plugs are tiny little silicone devices that are inserted into the tear ducts to partially or fully close them. This will slow or stop the tear film from leaving the eyes too quickly, instead of keeping it on the surface of the eyes for longer so that they remain hydrated and comfortable. You can get punctal plugs that dissolve slowly over a period of time or some that are more permanent and can only be removed by your eye doctor.
Amniotic membrane can be found in the inner layer of the fetal membrane. Research has recognized the many medical benefits of amniotic membrane, including its antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and anti-angiogenic properties, and it can now be cryopreserved at birth for use in future medical treatments, including treatment for dry eyes. During dry eye treatment, the membrane is surgically transplanted onto the surface of the eye where it helps to counteract ocular inflammation, keeping the surface of the eye moist by acting as a bandage, trapping fluids on the surface. The membrane also protects the surface of the eyes from damage caused by environmental elements, and promotes the regeneration of corneal nerves, promoting rapid healing.
If you would like to find out more about any of the dry eye treatments listed here or to schedule a consultation to discuss your symptoms, please contact our discreet and reassuring eyecare team in Westerville, OH.