Dry eyes can be a painful condition. It can make it difficult to focus on objects because of the dry, stiff feeling in your eyes. If you have to constantly blink to make enough moisture, you may be suffering from dry eyes. The good news is that there are several treatments available to you.
Normally, the tear ducts will drain your tears away. However, if your dry eyes are caused by loss of tears, then closing your tear ducts may be helpful. This treatment can keep the tears in your eye to keep it moist enough. You may have either partial or complete closure of your tear ducts.
You might have silicone plugs, or punctal plugs, placed in your tear ducts. These plugs can be removed eventually. An eye doctor may also use heat to close off the tear ducts in a more permanent procedure known as thermal cautery.
Another option your eye doctor might suggest is newer contact lenses that are designed to help people who have dry eyes. Many people who have dry eyes tend to opt out of contact lenses because they can cause the eyes to dry out. However, these newer contact lenses can actually protect the surface of your eyes and trap moisture in your eyes to prevent it from evaporating. These lenses are known as scleral lenses.
Oil can help keep your eyes from drying out too much, but if your oil glands are blocked, then your eyes may become dry. Using an eye mask or a warm compress can help clear your blocked oil glands. Your eye doctor may also recommend a thermal pulsation device to help clear out your oil glands.
If an inflamed cornea is causing your dry eyes, you can get special eye drops from your eye doctor that can control inflammation of the cornea. They have a medication that suppresses your immune system, so it will not trigger an inflammatory response in your eyes.
Often, the medication that is used is cyclosporine or corticosteroids. However, corticosteroids are not designed to be a long-term solution because of the possible side effects.
There are also medications that are designed to stimulate tears from your eyes so your eyes will not dry out so much. You can often get these in pill form or as eye drops.
If your dry eyes are caused by a block in your tear film ducts, then Lipiflow treatment may be right for you. This type of treatment uses a physical massage and heat to clear the blockages in the glands by liquefying them. After the treatment, your tear film will be able to flow more clearly.
To learn more about advanced techniques for treating dry eyes, please contact Look! Optometry in Manhattan Beach, California, today.