Dry Eye Treatment Options
Dry eyes are caused by a person’s not have sufficient lubrication and moisture in their eyes. The moisture that usually lubricates the eyes are the tears that originate from a person’s tear ducts and it is when there is some form of imbalance in these tear ducts that they do not secrete sufficient moisture to keep the eyes constantly lubricated.
When their eyes do not get sufficient lubrication, a person will experience several conditions apart from dry eye and these include blurring of vision, redness, pain and sensitivity to light. Dry eyes can also be a symptom of other conditions, like rheumatoid arthritis, collagen vascular diseases and Sjorgens Syndrome, and can also be caused by natural conditions like menopause and aging. Finally, there are the practical causes of dry eyes, which include physical abnormalities within the tear ducts, being a side-effect to certain medications, like antihistamines, and environmental factors like too much heat. When the dryness is caused by an imbalance in the tear ducts, a person is said to have Dry Eye Syndrome.
There are several things that a person can do to alleviate the symptoms of dry eyes and these range from administering eye drops to closing those ducts that drain the eye of tears. The first treatment that will be prescribed for every case of dry eye comprises artificial tear ointments and drops and these have the effect of lubricating the eye just as fully functional tear ducts would have done. While the drops are meant to be used during the day, the ointment serves better at night as it is thicker and lubricates for longer periods.
Further treatment options include treatment with other medications, including topical steroids and the drug Restasis. Restasis is a prescription eye medication and, at the moment, it is the only one available that improves the rate of a person’s own tear production. Two further treatments would be partial or total puntal occlusion, which involves placing either temporary or permanent silicone plugs in those ducts in the eye that drain moisture from the eye’s surface.
If total puntal occlusion does not work, there is another surgical option and this involves severing the tear-draining ducts. This surgery is permanent and irreversible but does not have any adverse effects.