Dry Eyes, Symptoms and Treatment
Dry eyes may result when the eyes do not produce either enough or a poor quality tears. Traditionally, artificial tears like Systane, Refresh or Genteal were recommended, but a new treatment has shown to be very effective in reducing the symptoms and condition. If left untreated, in certain cases th
Dry eyes may result when the eyes do not produce either enough or a poor quality tears. The tears are manufactured in the Lacrimal gland and other glands in the eye, and are comprised of 5 components. Among the parts of the tears are enzymes, water and mucous. If any part is not represented in sufficient quantity, then the tear film will not coat the cornea properly. This will result in dry, sandy, burning red eyes.
A lack of quantity of the tears will result in the same symptoms. Decreased tear quality or quantity may result from infection, trauma, blocked tear glands called Meibomianitis, disease and even age. If the glands in the lids are blocked then lid cleaning, warm compresses and even oral medication may be required to alleviate the condition.
Traditionally, artificial tears like Systane, Refresh or Genteal were recommended, but a new treatment has shown to be very effective in reducing the symptoms and condition. If left untreated, in certain cases the cornea my become scared, and thus reduce the vision. The new treatment modality includes the use of topical steroid eye drops like Lotemax 3 times per day for 2-3 weeks, artificial tears 4 times per day and the use of Omega III pills. Since the new theory is that dry eyes are caused by an allergy involving the tear producing glands and then an inflammatory condition of this same tissue, this treatment modality addresses these concerns individually and increases tear production. It does require at least 2-3 months to begin to notice improvement in symptoms. If this treatment does not resolve the condition then Restasis eye drops is prescribed. This is Cyclosprin which is an old medication and is an anti-autoimmune medication. It has been shown to increase tear production. It is quite expensive and does take at least 2-3 months to begin working. The patient must continue its use for 6-12 months for remediation of the symptoms.
If this treatment still does not completely eliminate the dry eyes, then Punctal plugs must be inserted. These are either collagen or synthetic plugs that are placed in the drainage area in the cornea of the lids. This prevents the tears from leaving the eye and thus improves comfort. The final treatment as a last resort is the use of wet cell eye glasses. These are glasses that look like swimming goggles and retain moisture in the eye area by physically sealing in the tear film.
In short, dry eyes are a common condition, but must be treated to prevent long term damage to the eye and keep an individual comfortable. Refractive surgery also causes dry eyes, but usually resolves with in 3 months. If your eye are dry then use artificial tears and see your eye doctor if the symptoms persists.
Article Tags: Artificial Tears
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