Dry Eye is a chronic disease – there is no cure, it can only be treated and the symptoms will be mitigated over a period of time. Unfortunately, there is no quick fix for Dry Eye. Treatment of dry eye is similar to brushing your teeth – it has be done on a regular basis in order for it to be effective. Without the continued treatment of dry eye, your symptoms will persist, and they will worsen over time.

Dry Eye Treatment
Imaging from Dry Eye Assessment at Patodia Eye Institute

Symptoms

These are some of the following symptoms of Dry Eye:

  • Irritation
  • Itchy
  • Blurred/fluctuating vision
  • Red
  • Foreign body sensation
  • Scratchy/gritty
  • Inflammation
  • Sore
  • Photophobia (light sensitivity)
  • Excessive watering

Causes

There are different causes of Dry Eye.

  • Aging
  • Certain Medications (e.g. high blood pressure pills, drugs that prevent allergic reactions, some acne treatments)
  • Hormones
  • Pregnancy
  • Eye surgeries (LASIK, cataract surgery, etc.)
  • Smoking
  • Blepharitis
  • Eye lid conditions (Ectropion)
  • Contact lens use
  • Extended exposure to computer or cell phone screens
  • Medical conditions

Ex.  Rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, Sjogren’s syndrome, lupus

Types of Dry Eye

There are different types of Dry eye.

Evaporative (Meibomian gland dysfunction)

When the Meibomian glands are clogged or inflamed they can’t produce the oil component of the tear film. The tears evaporate from the cornea faster than they should.

Aqueous (tear deficiency)

When the lacrimal glands fail to produce the water component of the tear film, or when the eyes become inflamed due to irritation, decreasing the quality/quantity of your tears.

Untreated dry eye can lead to further irritation, decreased quality of vision and an increased risk of eye infections.

Assessment

In many scenarios, dry eye disease can be assessed by understanding the patient’s symptoms. However, some patients may be asymptomatic, however many patient’s symptoms do not match the degree of Dry Eye they have. Their symptoms may not be dry eye, it may be some other pathology. Dr. Patodia can also make an assessment by looking at the amount of moisture on the eye when looking through the slit lamp. However, to get a thorough understanding of the type of dry eye you have, Dr. Patodia recommends a Dry Eye Assessment to be done. This consists of a series of imaging and tests to be evaluated during an appointment, to determine the best course of treatment. A follow up is also required to determine if the current course of treatment is sufficient, or if there are other treatment options that can mitigate your dry eye symptoms.

Treatments

Depending on the severity of your symptoms, there may be different treatments with the different treatments with the types of dry eye.Though there are many generic solutions to Dry eye, such as artificial tears and Omega 3 fatty acids, exasperated symptoms of Dry Eye may require more intervention with treatments such as Blephex with IPL or Meibomian gland expression

  • Hot compresses
  • Omega 3 fatty acids
  • Fish and fish oils
  • Nuts and nut oils
  • Artificial tears (preservative free)
  • Lid cleanser
  • Blephex with IPL treatment
  • Restasis (by perscription only)
  • Temporary or permanent punctual plugs
  • Meibomian gland expression

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For more information, see http://www.dryeyedisease.ca/