5 WAYS TO COMBAT DRY EYE ISSUES
Dr. Jim Martin 06/03/2015
Over 10 million people in America suffer from dry eye syndrome. It's one of the most common complaints among middle-aged and older adults resulting in irritation, itching, burning and blurred vision. There are helpful solutions to improve the symptoms.
Artificial tears (over-the-counter eye drops) can relieve common burning and stinging. The glycerin and natural oils in these drops help to restore moisture to the eyes. You can use them up to four times a day when you feel discomfort, but preservative-free drops are best for more frequent use. If you wear contacts, look for “re-wetting drops” that are safe for contact lens.
Prescription Eye Drops
Prescription eye drops, like Restasis, are best for treating chronic dry eye syndrome. They contain a drug called cyclosporine that helps to increase natural tear production in the eyes. You typically apply one drop in each eye twice a day, and you can use them indefinitely with no side effects. If you suffer from chronic dry eye syndrome, talk to your eye doctor about prescription drops.
Omega-3 fatty acids, found naturally in oily fish like salmon, sardines and anchovies, have been shown to improve dry eye syndrome by reducing eye inflammation and stimulating tear production. Studies show that patients who include omega-3 fatty acids in their daily diet, or take omega-3 supplements are 35 percent less likely to develop dry eye syndrome.
Warm compresses can help to relieve eye dryness that drops don't. Since your eye's natural tears are made up of water and an oily substance produced by eyelid glands, cells in these glands can harden. When this occurs, openings can plug up and prevent necessary oils from mixing with the water. By using warm compresses on your eyelids each day, you can prevent openings from plugging up.
LipiFlow is a treatment that gradually warms and massages the eyelids to increase lipid production in the eye. This helps to clear blockages in the meibomian glands (one cause of dry eye syndrome). Broome Optical in Amarillo performs LipiFlow treatment. We have a LipiFlow Seminar for Dry Eyes on June 16 in which we’ll explain and answer question about the procedure in depth.
If left untreated, dry eyes can lead to more serious eye problems like infections and impaired vision. You natural tears help to provide essential eye nourishment and create a smooth corneal surface, which keeps your vision clear. If you're suffering from dry eye syndrome, contact us at Broome Optical for relief.