Dry Eye Treatment
Do you suffer from frustrating symptoms like irritation, eye fatigue, or watering? These are often symptoms of a chronic eye condition called dry eye syndrome that millions of people suffer from.
If you have dry eyes, it can take a combination of lifestyle changes and treatment to find the relief you need. Dr. Peter Stan at Eye Center of St. Augustine is well-versed in helping patients with dry eye find the necessary relief and get back to living with more comfortable eyes.
What is Dry Eye?
Dry eye is an eye condition that causes your eyes to feel drier than they should. You may only have temporarily dry eyes, or it may be dry eye syndrome.
Dry eye syndrome is a chronic eye condition that occurs when the eyes cannot produce enough tears, or the tears produced are low in quality. When this happens, tears in your eyes cannot deliver sufficient nutrients to your eyes, leading to uncomfortable symptoms like dryness and irritation, among others.
Why Does Dry Eye Occur?
Dry eye typically occurs because of an imbalance in the tear film. The tear film is a necessary part of a healthy eye.
Outer Oily Layer
The outer layer is an oily layer, which keeps your tears from evaporating from the surface of your eye too quickly. It also ensures that your tear film remains stable and smooths out the tear film’s surface.
Middle Watery Layer
The middle layer of the tear film is a watery layer that provides necessary nutrients to the cornea and helps remove foreign particles from the eye. It keeps the eye moist and well-lubricated.
Inner Mucin Layer
The final layer of the tear film is an inner mucin layer. The mucin layer of the tear film keeps the tear film adhered to the eye’s surface while ensuring it can spread evenly and stick to its surface.
The mucin layer also ensures that the tear film maintains its stability.
The tear film must have all three of these crucial components in working order to function correctly. If any of these components are not performing as they should, you’ll likely experience symptoms of dry eye syndrome.
Symptoms of Dry Eye
Although it would seem like having dry eye syndrome would mean you’d only have dry eyes, other symptoms accompany this eye condition. If you have dry eye, you may experience uncomfortable symptoms like:
You may only experience one or two of these symptoms if you have dry eye syndrome. If you suspect you could have dry eye syndrome, make an appointment with Dr. Stan at Eye Center of St. Augustine.
Can I Treat Dry Eye On My Own?
If you suffer from some of the frustrating symptoms that accompany dry eyes, there are some things you can do to treat dry eyes on your own. These include:
Making Small Lifestyle Changes
Start by making small lifestyle changes. Do you drink enough water?
Staying hydrated is an excellent way to improve dry eye symptoms. Aim to drink at least eight eight-ounce glasses of water per day. You can also increase your water intake by eating more hydrating foods like watermelon, cucumber, celery, and more.
Another lifestyle change you can make is reducing your time looking at digital devices. If you spend hours on your phone or computer at work without a break, it’s time to employ the 20/20/20 rule.
The 20/20/20 rule has you look at an object 20 feet away from you for 20 seconds every 20 minutes. Following this rule is especially helpful if you have to use digital devices at work and builds in a break for your eyes.
The 20/20/20 rule is the perfect time to use eye drops and blink for a minute or two to help your eyes refocus. Doing this a few times an hour can make a difference in how tired and dry your eyes feel throughout the day.
It’s unlikely that making a few small lifestyle changes will be enough to eliminate your dry eye symptoms. If you’re still dealing with the frustration and discomfort, it’s time to take the next step and treat your dry eyes.
Treatments for Dry Eye at Eye Center of St. Augustine
If you require dry eye treatment, Dr. Stan will recommend the best option for you, which may include:
Artificial tears are an over-the-counter way of treating dryness and inflammation in patients with dry eyes. They help lubricate and moisten the eye to temporarily relieve dryness, irritation, and discomfort that dry eye brings.
Eye gels are thicker than artificial tears and usually last longer. Dr. Stan may recommend using these in the nighttime because they provide the eyes with sustained moisture when your eyes produce fewer tears.
Xiidra is a prescription eye drop that reduces symptoms of dry eye by inhibiting inflammation on the surface of the eye while improving tear production. It is often beneficial for patients suffering from significant inflammation due to dry eye syndrome.
Another prescription eye drop Dr. Stan may prescribe to patients with dry eyes is Restasis. Restasis increases tear production in patients with dry eyes and can help reduce inflammation.
Bruder Eye Masks
Upkeep and maintenance are critical components to keeping dry eye symptoms under control. Using a Bruder eye mask can help with this maintenance.
The eye mask uses heat and compression to loosen meibomian gland secretions, which can become blocked in patients with dry eyes. Regularly using a Bruder eye mask as part of a dry eye treatment regimen can help improve dry eye symptoms.
Do you need dry eye treatment? Get the relief you need by requesting an appointment with Dr. Stan at Eye Center of St. Augustine in St. Augustine, FL, today!