Dry Eye Treatment West Chester, Kennett Square, & Paoli, PA
Dry eye is a common condition in which the eyes are insufficiently lubricated, leading to itching, redness and pain. The eyes can become dry and irritated because the tear ducts are not producing a sufficient number of tears, or because there is a chemical imbalance in the tears themselves. Natural tears require a particular chemical balance to lubricate the eyes efficiently.
What causes dry eye?
- Antihistamines, decongestants and blood-pressure medications
- Rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, Sjögren’s syndrome and thyroid disease
- Environmental conditions such as smoke, wind or excessive sun
- Long-term contact lens use
- Eye injury
- Eye or eyelid surgery
- Inflammation of the eye (conjunctivitis or keratitis)
Any of these factors, alone or in combination, can affect the frequency or consistency of tears.
Symptoms of Dry Eye
Symptoms typically occur in both eyes, and include the following:
- Stinging, burning or scratchiness
- Eye fatigue
- Sensitivity to light
- Difficulty wearing contact lenses
- Excessive tearing
- Blurry vision
Dry eye can damage eye tissues, leaving tiny abrasions on the surface that can impair vision. There are, however, many treatments for relieving symptoms, restoring eye health and protecting vision.
How do you treat dry eye?
Treatment for dry eye depends on its cause and severity, as well as the patient’s overall health and personal preference.
Nonsurgical treatments, which include the following, are often effective:
- Deliberately blinking
- Increasing humidity levels at home or work
- Using artificial tears or a lubricating ointment
- Avoiding environmental irritants
- Eliminating medications that may be responsible
- Adding Omega-3 fatty acids to the diet or taking them as supplements
- Topical Medications – Restasis and Xiidsa
In many cases, simple lifestyle changes can alleviate dry-eye symptoms.
If less invasive methods are unsuccessful, surgical treatments, which include the following, may be an option:
- Insertion of punctal plugs to limit tear drainage
- Punctal cautery to permanently close the drainage holes
- Treatment of an underlying disease
If an eyelid condition is causing dry eye, eyelid surgery may be recommended.
Left untreated, it can lead to complications that include pain, corneal ulcers/scars or vision loss.
How to prevent dry eye
There are steps that can be taken to prevent symptoms. Simple lifestyle modifications such as wearing protective glasses on windy days, and giving the eyes a break during reading or other tasks that require intense focus, can effectively reduce the frequency and severity of symptoms.
Vistarr Laser & Vision Centers offer patients in West Chester, Paoli, and Kennett Square, PA with dry eye treatments. Contact (610) 692-8100 or fill out a Contact Form here for any questions or to schedule an appointment.