Our Dry Eye Clinics in Coldwater, St. Marys, & Greenville
Dry eye is a disease of the tears and outer surface of the eye that results in discomfort and visual disturbances. It is commonly caused by inadequate production and also poor quality of tears.
Signs and Symptoms of Dry Eye
- Burning/stinging sensation
- Foreign body sensation
- Watery eyes
- Red eyes
- Blurred or fluctuating vision
How is Dry Eye Diagnosed?
Dry eye can be diagnosed during a comprehensive eye examination. Testing to diagnose dry eye may include:
- Dry eye questionnaire to determine severity of symptoms.
- Patient history to note any medications, health problems, prior refractive surgeries or environmental factors that may contribute to dry eye.
- Evaluation of eyelids to look for any debris or inflammation, which can cause dry eye.
- Use of dyes to highlight any damage to the outer surface of the eye caused by insufficient production or quality of tears.
- Measurement of tear production.
Dry Eye Treatment
- Proper hydration
Drink plenty of water and avoid excessive amounts of caffeine.
- Artificial tears
Over-the-counter artificial tears can supplement natural tear production and alleviate symptoms caused by dry eye.
- Eyelid hygiene
Anything on the eyelids or eyelashes can affect the front surface of the eye and contribute to dryness. Eyelid cleansers improve dry eye symptoms by decreasing inflammation around the surface of the eyes. Eyelid cleansers are available at our office. We recommend Ocusoft or Blephadex. Ask your doctor which cleanser would work best.
- Warm compresses
Warm compresses heat the eyelids and loosen up thickened oil secretions (meibum) plugging oil glands within the eyelid. The oil can then flow into the tears and perform its vital role in slowing evaporative tear loss. Hot compresses are most effective and convenient when performed with a Bruder Eye Hydrating Mask, available at our office.
- Nutritional support
Omega-3 fatty acids help improve dry eye by suppressing lid inflammation (meibomitis), stimulating tear production and augmenting the oil layer of the tears. Omega-3 supplements are available at our office. WE RECOMMEND: Nordic Naturals ProOmega 650 EPA/450DHA This product is the triglyceride formula of the omega 3 fatty acid fish oil which offers better absorption and less side effects compared to other brands.
- Lubricating ointment
Over-the-counter eye ointments keep the eye lubricated during sleeping hours and works well for patients with incomplete closure of eyelids or those who use a breathing machine while sleeping.
- Prescription eye drops
Prescription drops like Restasis or Xiidra aim to reduce inflammation and are often used in conjunction with steroid eye drops initially to provide faster resolution of symptoms.
- Oral antibiotics
Low dose treatment with an oral antibiotic called doxycycline monohydrate for three to six months improves dry eye caused by poor tear quality.
- Punctal plugs
Punctal plugs block tear ducts and keep the natural tears on the outer surface of the eye longer to help reduce discomfort caused by dry eye.
- Amniotic membrane
An amniotic membrane contains vital components to promote healing of damaged eye surface cells and reduces inflammation that can occur from severe dry eye.
11. Autologous serum
Artificial tear products do not contain key components found in our natural tears. Autologous serum has biochemical similarities to our natural tears and has been effective in treating moderate to severe dry eye.
We also treat less chronic conditions, such as pink eye.