Do you think you've exhausted all options to relieve your dry eyes? Think again, we have several tricks up our sleeve!
In a previous post (which you can read here), we presented easy tips for treating dry eyes: artificial tears, warm compresses, and eyelid cleaning wipes. If you have noticed an improvement in your symptoms thanks to these tips, keep it up! Since dry eye is a chronic condition, there is no cure and ongoing treatment is required to keep your eyes feeling comfortable. Unfortunately, if your discomfort persists, here are some even more advanced therapies that may be able to provide you with the relief you dream of.
Therapy #1 - Moisture chamber glasses
There are moisture chamber glasses on the market with skirts made of silicone or foam that fit the curves of the face and produce a hermetic seal around the eyes. These glasses aid in keeping the eyes moist by preventing tears from evaporating (hence their name!). They are particularly useful at night for people who suffer from lagophthalmos, which means sleeping with slightly open eyes (this condition is much more common than you might think!).
Therapy #2 - Punctal plugs
A healthy eye continuously produces tears, and with each blink, these tears drain into the nose by two small channels called lacrimal canals. There are small silicone plugs that can be inserted into the lacrimal canal to block the opening, slowing down the drainage of tears. Since tears stay on the ocular surface longer, the eye remains better hydrated and more comfortable. People who receive punctal plugs usually notice a great improvement in their symptoms. The procedure can be performed by an optometrist or an ophthalmologist, is reversible, and painless.
Therapy #3 - Prescription medications
In cases of moderate to severe dryness, some medications may be prescribed. Xiidra is a topical medication that relieves dry eye symptoms in adults. Studies have shown a reduction in symptoms in as little as two weeks! Restasis and Cequa constitute another category of topical medications that boost tear production, but it takes longer to take effect - usually 3 to 6 months to reach its full efficacy. Another medical therapy can include a low-dose antibiotic. This is especially recommended in cases associated with rosacea. Finally, since inflammation plays a significant role in dry eyes, anti-inflammatory drops are often beneficial in initiating repair of the ocular surface.
Make an appointment at Greely Optometry today!
It is important to discuss all your symptoms – particularly their severity - with our optometrists so that they can recommend these more powerful therapies, if needed. Do not hesitate to contact us; we would be happy to help you fight your dry eyes now!
Tel: (613) 821-4141