We strive for perfection in visual clarity and comfort. Dry eye is one of the most common and bothersome conditions we encounter. Horvath Vision Care Northwoods is now in the forefront of optometrists in Columbus OH in managing dry eye with expanded diagnostic testing and treatment. Dry eye is abnormal; patients should not be forced to accept this condition as a normal part of life.
Understanding Dry Eye
Overall visual health requires healthy tears to nourish and protect the eye’s surface and provide clear vision. Inadequate amounts or low-quality tears lead to the condition known as dry eye. Dry eye is very common and often a chronic problem affecting millions of people in the U.S. If you suffer from dry eye, you know the discomfort and disruption it causes each day. This is why Horvath Vision Care Northwoods is experienced in the diagnosis, treatment and ongoing education needed to improve your symptoms of dry eye.
How will my eyes feel if I have dry eye?
The signs of Chronic Dry Eye are different for each person, but some of the most common are:
- Scratchy Itchy Eyes
- Irritated or Painful Eyes
- Grittiness like you have sand or something in your eyes
- Redness or a Burning feeling in your eyes
- Watery Eyes or Blurry Vision
- Light Sensitivity
- Eye Tension or Fatigue
- Discomfort Wearing Contact Lenses
These symptoms come and go but never seem to go away completely. It’s imperative that you find out what is really happening to your eyes and get a diagnosis.
Useful Diagnostic Tools Available at Horvath Vision Care Northwoods:
Horvath Vision Care Northwoods is one of the few practices that has the technology to actually measure the quality of your tears. We take a small sample of a patient’s tears, and then using the TearLab Osmolarity System, we are able to determine quantifiably the quality of the tears. Dry eye treatment is then prescribed based on the finding from the TearLab.
In addition, our patients are fortunate to benefit from thermal eyelid technology (TearCare) which opens blocked meibomian ducts and is a comfortable in-office procedure.
Don’t put up with another day of dry eye! Trust your dry eye disease to the doctors at Horvath Vision Care who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of dry eye.
Dry Eye treatment recommendations are customized according to the severity of your disease.
Level 1 treatment consists of the following:
- Education and environmental or dietary modifications
- Elimination of offending systemic medications-antihistamines and decongestants
- Preserved artificial tear substitutes, gels, and ointments
- Eyelid therapy – warm compresses (Dry Eye Relief Mask) and eyelid cleansing (Lid Hygenix, OcuBliss) to release the lubricating oils of the tears
- Omega-3 Supplements
If level 1 treatment is inadequate, level 2 measures are added, including the following:
- Non-preserved artificial tear substitutes
- Prescription Anti-inflammatory agents( topical steroids)
- Prescription Cyclosporine Ophthalmic Emulsion Agents (Restasis, Cequa, Xiidra)
- Prescription Tetracyclines (for meibomitis or rosacea)
- Punctal plugs (after inflammation has been controlled with anti-inflammatory agents)
- Thermal eyelid technology to remove blocked meibomian ducts. (TearCare)
- Autologous Serum Tears- custom eye drops made by separating components of your own blood.
- Amniotic Membrane Therapy
Lubricating supplements are the medications most commonly used to treat dry eyes. If these drops are to be used more frequently than every 3 hours, preservative-free formulations are the treatment of choice. Mild dry eyes can be treated with drops 4 times a day; more severe cases call for more aggressive treatment, such as drops 10-12 times a day. Thick artificial tear drops or gels can also be used in more severe cases, although these agents tend to blur the vision. Tear ointments can be used during the day, but they are generally reserved for bedtime use because of the poor vision after placement. The most important factor in treating your dry eye is to consistently stick to your regimen and follow up with our office so we can monitor and improve your tear quality. This will lead to better vision and comfort.
How Can I Improve My Lifestyle To Prevent and Treat Dry Eye Syndrome?
- There are many ways to treat dry eyes. We recommend that you prevent dry eye symptoms before they begin and address lifestyle factors that may be aggravating an existing condition. Blink a lot, drink plenty of fluids and avoid eye irritants. Maintain a healthy lifestyle with a focus on vitamins like Omega 3. Make sure to use lubricating eye drops if you are taking medication that puts you at risk for dry eyes. Over the counter eye drops for dry eye are widely available.
- During prolonged computer or digital device use, make sure to take a short break every 20 minutes to look at an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
- Drink enough water. Women need at least 91 oz. of water a day and men need even more. Insufficient water intake can directly contribute to a reduced supply of tears, particularly in hot and dry climates.
Healthy diet and Omega 3
- A healthy diet is essential for maintaining optimal health. Omega 3 fatty acids have been shown to help maintain good vision and eye health, as well as decrease dry eyes symptoms. Fish and flax are good natural sources of Omega 3 fatty acids, and are available in tablet/supplement form. There are supplements specifically made for dry eyes. These usually consist of Omega 3 with DHA from flaxseed oil, and include vitamin C, vitamin E, Vitamin B6, magnesium, and a variety of other vitamins specifically formulated for patients with this eye condition.
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