Treatment for Dry Eye
For some patients, over-the-counter or prescription eye drops will provide relief for dry eye symptoms. However, if these are ineffective you may need to have an eye doctor assess your situation and determine the root cause of your dry eye. Knowing the reason for your dry eye symptoms is the only way to successfully treat this condition. Our Bourbonnais, IL, dry eye specialists may recommend:
- Punctal plugs to prevent tear drainage from the eyes
- TearCare® to remove blockages in the eyelid (Meibomian) glands
- OPTASE® to treat Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD) and blepharitis
- RESTASIS® eye drops to increase tear production
- Xiidra® to reduce eye inflammation
- BlephEx™ to clean and exfoliate the eyelids and lashes
Evaporative dry eye occurs when there is something blocking your eyelid glands (meibomian glands) which leads to a shortage of oil on the surface of the tears and quicker-than-normal tear evaporation. A proper diagnosis of evaporative dry eye is essential to getting effective treatment. At Fisher-Swale-Nicholson Eye Center, we offer TearCare® right in our office as a treatment for evaporative dry eye and Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD).
The process works by applying targeted, thermal heat to your eyelid glands in order to clear any blockages and restore normal tear function. The TearCare single-use system allows you to continue blinking as the treatment is delivered. Most patients report that this process is comfortable: customizable, flexible pads are placed on your upper and lower eyelids to deliver targeted heat that is gradually increased to an optimal, therapeutic temperature. Your doctor will be able to lower the temperature as needed. The ability to continue blinking during the treatment allows for more ease in clearing any blockages.
After the thermal treatment, your doctor will manually clear any excess obstructions using a special instrument.
TearCare results can last between 6 months to one year. You may need more than one treatment over time to keep your eye glands clear.
This 3-step regimen is designed to keep your eyes clean and comfortable with products to heat, cleanse and hydrate your eyes. OPTASE may be recommended if you have blepharitis or Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD). Products include:
- Moist heat mask to promote the free flow of oils in your tear film
- Eye spray to soothe irritated eyes and eyelids
- Cleansing gel and lid wipes for daily lid hygiene
Punctal Plugs for Dry Eye
Sometimes it is necessary to close the ducts that drain tears out of the eyes in order to treat symptoms of dry eye. These tiny plugs can be inserted to achieve better lubrication of the eyes.
• Temporary punctal occlusion: Temporary plugs can be inserted into the tear drain of the lower eyelid to determine if this helps provide adequate tears. These plugs can be removable or dissolvable within a few days to a few months.
• Permanent punctal occlusion: If the temporary plugs work well, our doctors may suggest permanent (yet removable) plugs. The goal is to provide adequate tears/lubrication, improve patient comfort and reduce the need for artificial tears. In rare cases the plugs may come out spontaneously or migrate down the tear drain.
Our team will measure your tear duct size to determine the right size and type of punctal plug to achieve the best results.
RESTASIS®: Relief for Chronic Dry Eye
When your eyes are unable to produce sufficient tears, you have Aqueous Dry Eye. This can become a chronic condition which causes great discomfort due to lack of lubrication and protection, making daily activities difficult.
At FSN Eye Center we offer RESTASIS® Ophthalmic Emulsion to treat the ongoing symptoms of Chronic Dry Eye. These twice-daily prescription eye drops help increase your eye’s natural ability to produce tears. It may take up to 6 months for the product to take full effect; however, relief can begin after one month.
RESTASIS drops are different from artificial tears that can be purchased over-the-counter. Those types of products simply provide temporary relief. RESTASIS is a longer-lasting, more effective solution.
Xiidra® for Eye Inflammation
Some dry eye symptoms are caused by inflammation of your eye surface. We are proud to offer patients Xiidra prescription eye drops to provide relief. We recommend patients use these drops twice a day in the morning and evening, about 12 hours apart.
We offer patients BlephEx treatments to precisely and safely clean and exfoliate the eyelids and lashes while also reducing the risk for damage to the tear glands. This is the first and only clinician treatment for blepharitis, a chronic, inflammatory eyelid condition that is the result of a bacterial infection, often causing the small oil glands near the eyelashes to become clogged. This condition is not contagious, but people who have blepharitis often have very uncomfortable, visible symptoms due to the overgrowth of bacteria along the eyelashes.
Symptoms of Blepharitis
- Watery, red, itchy eyes
- Burning, gritty sensation
- Swollen eyelids
- Eyelash crustiness in the morning
- Greasy-looking eyelids
- Eyelashes falling out or growing abnormally
These symptoms can be minimized by using medications and cleaning the eyelids. However, it is not easy to keep the eyelids and lashes clean – especially if debris has become trapped.
How BlephEx Works
This is a painless, 8-minute procedure that is performed right in our office. The BlephEx tool is comprised of a spinning micro-sponge that is moved along the edge of your eyelashes and eyelids to remove debris and exfoliate the areas. A different sterile micro-sponge is use for each eye to reduce the spread of bacteria. Many patients experience immediate relief. For maximum results, the procedure should be repeated every 4-6 months.
Cleaning at Home
After your BlephEx procedure, your doctor will give you instructions on how to keep your eyelids clean at home. Nightly hygiene will be integral in maintaining your results.
Our dry eye doctors in Bourbonnais will assess your unique eyes to determine the root cause of your condition so proper treatment can be recommended. If you are suffering with dry eye symptoms, contact us today to schedule an eye exam and learn about your options for relief.