If you’ve ever experienced dry eyes, you know what a pain they can be. When your eyes become dried out, it can cause an itchy, burning sensation.
You may also have a constant feeling that there’s grit in your eyes. For some people, this condition occurs because of environmental conditions or it’s temporary.
For others, it’s a chronic syndrome. But there’s good news!
No matter what the cause, there are treatment options for everyone with dry eyes. Keep reading to learn more about how to treat dry eyes!
Addressing the Root Cause
The first step in treating dry eyes is addressing the root cause when possible. Possible root causes for temporary dry eye include:
- Environmental conditions
- Eye strain from frequently looking at screens
- Contact use
- Hormonal changes
- Side effect of medication
In most cases, when the conditions that triggered the symptoms are eliminated, the symptoms will go away. This kind of dry eye can be treated if symptoms don’t go away fast enough when the underlying condition changes or in some cases, can’t or shouldn’t change.
Things may be more complicated for chronic dry eye as underlying causes include:
- Autoimmune diseases
- Skin diseases around the eye
Sometimes, people develop dry eye syndrome as they get older and the specific cause isn’t something you can determine. Treating the underlying cause, when possible, is the first step.
But if that can’t happen, or dry eye syndrome persists even when the underlying condition is under control, there are still ways to treat it.
Sometimes, all that’s needed to reduce dry eye symptoms are some simple lifestyle changes. These are especially helpful if your condition is temporary. These changes include:
- Drinking more water
- Using a humidifier if you live in a dry environment
- Limiting the amount of time you spend in front of a screen
- Getting more omega-3 fatty acids in your diet
Diagnosis and Treatment
If your dry eye is a chronic condition, you’re more likely to need proper diagnosis. No matter what kind of dry eye you have, you can benefit from the cutting-edge technology we have here at Sierra Nevada Eye Center.
This technology will both diagnose and treat your condition. There are several treatment options that can help with dry eye syndrome, besides making lifestyle changes.
TearLab is a diagnostic tool that can be helpful for finding out if your tear production is adequate. All that’s required is a small sample of your tears.
Your eye doctor uses a TearLab device and briefly touches it to your tear duct to get a sample. The device then measures your tear quality. This allows your ophthalmologist to see how severe your dry eye is and recommend the appropriate treatment.
OTC and/or Medicated Eye Drops:
Artificial tears can help keep the eyes moist. They are easy to buy at most pharmacies without a prescription.
Your eye doctor can also prescribe you specialized eye drops if artificial tears aren’t adequate.
In severe cases of dry eye syndrome, inadequate tear quality can be balanced out by making tears stay on the surface of the eye longer. This is possible with punctal occlusion.
Punctal occlusion (also known as punctal plugs) is a minor surgical procedure that inserts plugs into your punctum. This is the channel where tears drain from your eye.
Using punctal plugs allows tears to stay on the surface of the eye longer instead of evaporating too quickly.
Prokera is a device that, like a contact lens, is inserted on the top of your eye. It’s made of amniotic tissue that naturally supports healing while reducing inflammation to treat dry eye symptoms.
Tired of living with the frustrating symptoms of dry eye syndrome? Sierra Nevada Eye Center can help!
Schedule an appointment with us in Reno, NV to discuss your dry eye treatment options!