At the Eye Surgeons of Worcester our Doctors provide examination, diagnosis and treatment of dry eyes and dry eye problems for patients who suffer from dry eye symptoms and can offer help for dry eyes. Dry eyes can have a significant impact on our daily activities including reading, driving, working and even watching television.
Dry Eye Syndrome is a very common eye condition that can affect eye health and vision. Anytime there is inadequate tear production, too rapid tear evaporation or drainage, the symptoms of dry eyes may become present. The symptoms of dry eyes include a scratchy, dry, sandy or gritty feeling that can be accompanied by a stringy clear white discharge with noticeable pain and redness. Dry eye creates additional risk of corneal infection, as the tear film, which serves a protective mechanism and contains a number of antimicrobial components, is deficient.
Fortunately, our team of eye doctors has a great deal of expertise in the advanced diagnostic testing and treatment of dry eyes and will be able to make a treatment recommendation for your individual situation. Depending on the severity and the cause of your dry eyes, we may recommend a number of different treatment options to help your dry eye problems including Restasis® or Xiidra® prescription eye drops, punctal plugs, artificial tears, IPL intense pulsed light and even dietary supplements and vitamins. If you have mild or even moderate dry eyes, the first course of treatment may only be to use unpreserved artificial tears which we will select for you in terms of salt content and viscosity.
There may some environmental factors that you need to alter to make you more comfortable such as how and where you are exposed to heat ducts or fans blowing, as well as attempting to keep the areas that you spend a great deal of time in at a proper humidity level.
If the oily layer of the tear film is deficient, we may suggest that you increase your consumption of oily fish, take omega 3 vitamin supplements, or even take flax seed oil as a dietary supplement. Supplements can vary in their potency and efficacy, and the eye doctors at D'Ambrosio Eye Care will make the appropriate recommendations. Most likely you will also be asked to drink plenty of water.
In instances where these approaches do not help relieve your dry eye symptoms, we may suggest the insertion of tiny punctal plugs that will slow down or even stop the drainage of tears from the eye. These plugs are easily and comfortably placed in the ducts in your eyelids. If the results are good, we may place a more permanent type of plug in eyelid ducts to affect a long-term solution. These plugs can remain in place indefinitely, but can also be removed as needed.
For patients with moderate to severe dry eyes who may have already tried using artificial tear eye drops and punctal plugs without relief, the prescription of Restasis® or Xiidra® eye drops with or without the other treatments may often help alleviate your symptoms. Even with the above treatment options, there are some patients that may not respond as well as desired due to some underlying low-grade inflammatory or infectious process. In these cases, it may be necessary for us to also prescribe an oral antibiotic such as doxycycline or an anti-inflammatory eye drop such as a steroid eye drop.
For patients who have dry eye problems resulting from Meibomian Gland Dysfunction, eyelid inflammation, rosacea or other conditions that prevent the normal secretion of a healthy tear film oily layer, we are able help the eyelids and the surrounding tissue function better with the use of the IPL Intense Pulsed Light Treatment. IPL is not a laser, but a light-based therapy. It has long been used in dermatology to treat vascular facial lesions, rosacea spots, and pigmented areas. With IPL treatment for dry eyes, we are able to use specialized filters that apply specific wavelengths of light to target abnormal blood vessels in the eyelids and skin responsible for causing eyelid inflammation and resultant Meibomian Gland Dysfunction.