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What is Dry Eye Syndrome and How is it Treated?

Dry Eye Syndrome is very common; in fact, approximately 16.4 million Americans have been diagnosed with dry eye. This condition is characterized by a chronic lack of lubrication and moisture on the eye’s surface, which is needed to keep your eyes healthy, comfortable, and seeing well.

Without that critical layer of moisture, eyes can become irritated and cause symptoms such as burning, itching, aching, heaviness, dryness, redness, light sensitivity, blurred vision, inflammation, and more. In some cases, reflex tearing can occur which can affect vision due to too much moisture in the eyes. When left untreated, dry eye can cause permanent damage to the surface of your eyes.

If you are experiencing bothersome dry eye symptoms, there are several treatments that may help. Talk to your eye doctor to find out what treatment is right for you.

Home Treatments for Dry Eye

If your dry eye symptoms are just a mild annoyance and are not interfering with your daily activities, you may want to try some home remedies to find relief. For instance, you should drink plenty of water to ensure you are hydrated and use a humidifier in your room if the air is dry. Warm, wet compresses are also effective for dry eye. You should also take frequent computer breaks, blink more often, and stop or reduce your use of contact lenses. Nutritional supplements like omega-3 fatty acids or flaxseed oil can also be helpful.

Eye Drops for Dry Eye

There are also a number of over-the-counter eye drops available for mild cases of dry eye. Regular use of artificial tears or other lubricating drops may be all you need. Talk to your eye doctor to see what brand he or she recommends. For more moderate to severe cases of dry eye, there are several brands of prescription eye drops, which are typically applied twice a day, 12 hours apart. Steroid eye drops may also be recommended for short-term use, often in conjunction with another prescription, to help reduce inflammation and other symptoms.

Punctal Occlusion for Dry Eye

A very successful treatment for dry eye disease is punctal occlusion. Tears are secreted onto the eyes and become part of the tear film. The tear film drains away from the eyes through a drainage channel. With punctual occlusion, your eye doctor inserts a small plug in one or more of these channels to slow the drainage of tears. By slowing the drainage, more tears stay on your eyes, relieving dry eye symptoms. The procedure is simple and can be performed in-office in just a few minutes.

Come See Us

If you are experiencing symptoms of dry eye that are bothersome to your daily activities and quality of life, schedule an appointment with us right away.

Tyson Eye is regarded as one of the premier eye care centers in Southwest Florida. Our surgeons and doctors have helped thousands of people enjoy better vision and have consistently introduced break-through technology to the area. Tyson Eye is committed to excellence by delivering modern technology with old fashioned concern.  Contact us for a free consultation today or call 239-542-2020.