HomeDry Eye Syndrome, Causes and Treatment
Dry Eye Treatment
Millions of people around the world suffer from chronically dry eyes. The underlying cause often referred to as “dry eye syndrome,” relates to the insufficient production of natural lubrication within the eye and/or, more commonly, excessive evaporation of tears from the eye. Dry eyes may occur because of a medical condition, injury, and even as a natural part of the aging process, such as during menopause. Dry eyes may even present in younger people, without any underlying conditions, due to excessive screen use and poor blinking habits.
Symptoms include persistent dryness, a burning feeling or fluctuating vision. Some patients report sensations of having a foreign body in the eye. Paradoxically, some individuals experience very watery eyes without relief as the eyes overcompensate for the dryness.
What are some of the reasons you may experience chronic dry eyes, and what options do you have to correct the problem?
The Causes of Dry Eyes
The simplest causes are environmental, such as when you live in an arid or dusty climate with low humidity or working in front of a computer screen all day. If you take medications such as antidepressants, blood pressure medication, oral birth control, or allergy pills containing antihistamines, the side effects may include dry eyes. Some individuals will experience dry eyes because of blockages in oil-producing glands near the eyelids. This oil is a protective layer over the tears and prevents the evaporation of the tears. If the glands become blocked, the oil is not released and this may cause excessive tear film evaporation and dryness.
Systemic diseases can be another major contributing factor to dry eyes by lowering the production of tears. Chronic autoimmune conditions such as lupus, rosacea, or rheumatoid arthritis can all cause this problem.
Although the cause of your dry eyes may determine your course of treatment, there are many solutions to explore with your eye care practitioner.
Dry Eye Treatments
For decades, artificial tears in the form of eye drops have been the go-to treatment for dry eye. Many such products are sold over-the-counter, but some, such as Cyclosporin (Restasis and Cequa), use pharmaceutical agents to help interrupt the inflammatory pathway in dry eye. The scleral lens is also a wonderful option for treating dry eyes.
We also offer TearCare, a customizable and wearable treatment technology designed to target the underlying cause of your dry eyes by working with you as you blink. In people with normal eyes, tears flow continually onto the surface of the eye to keep it lubricated and protected. TearCare helps clear any obstructions and restore normal tear flow.
Learn more about TearCare and watch the educational video below:
Treating Dry Eye with Scleral Lenses
Scleral lenses are a type of advanced custom-made contact lens designed for a unique fit over the cornea and conjunctiva of the eye. Scleral lenses feature vaults over the cornea and limbus and provide a fluid layer keeping the surface of the eye well-hydrated, potentially eliminating those feelings of dry itchiness. Scleral lenses have additional advantages to consider, as well. Alongside treating dry eyes, scleral lenses:
- Improve vision more than traditional contact lenses by correcting for irregularities in the surface of the eye.
- Provide a fluid vault over the eye, providing a gentle and soothing experience during wear.
- Deliver comparable or superior comfort to traditional soft contact lenses.
- Last longer than soft contacts for greater cost-effectiveness.
Our specialty practice has helped many individuals improve their quality of life by addressing poor vision and chronic dry eyes with custom-fitted scleral lenses. Ask us today about participating in a dry eye office workup to evaluate your suitability for scleral lenses.
Other Treatments to Explore
Often, dry eyes can result from excessive blepharitis, disrupting the tear film and causing dryness in both eyes.
Our clinic also offers the following advanced solutions for blepharitis and dry eyes.
The BlephEx™ Treatment
This treatment allows your eye care practitioner to safely deep clean and exfoliate your eyelids and lashes using a gently spinning micro-sponge.
The Advanced Zocushield™ Cleanse
This in-office deep cleanse applies a hibiscus-infused compound to cleanse the eyelid margins making your eyes and skin appear healthier and more natural.
The Lipiscan ™ Dynamic Meibomian Imaging ™ and Lipiflow ® Treatment for Dry Eye
This advanced imaging allows the eye care practitioner to get a high-definition internal view of your oil glands. The technology allows your physician to understand your level of oil gland blockage. When appropriate, patients can also elect to undergo the Lipiflow® treatment, which uses gentle thermal pulses to unblock the eyelid oil glands.
MCLI Dry Eye Office Treatment
You don’t have to endure the discomfort of chronically dry eyes. These advanced treatment options for dry eyes are available at our state-of-the-art Miami practice right now. Get evaluated by one of our friendly and experienced optometrists today.
Please call for an appointment: (305) 814-2299.
Resource for dry eye patients (downloadable questionnaire)