Welcome to the Cornea by Kane blog, your trusted source for an honest opinion about your eyes.
Today, let’s talk about the very common problem of dry eyes and some helpful tips to alleviate it.
Symptoms of Dry Eye
There are many symptoms of dry eye with some of the more common ones being intermittent blurry vision, foreign body sensation, burning, scratchy or gritty feeling eyes, and eye fatigue. These symptoms often get worse later in the day and with activities like reading and using computers and tablets.
Why are my eyes dry?
Dry eyes can happen for many reasons and one of the most common is an unstable tear film. Your tear film coats the front of your eye and has 3 components: the aqueous, the mucin, and the lipid elements. The lipid or oily layer is what helps stabilize your tears so they don’t evaporate too quickly. Reading and using smart phones and computers slows down your blink rate which stresses the tear film and exacerbates dry eye.
5 Quick Dry Eye Treatments
Lubricating artificial tears are helpful for supporting the tear film. There are many different brands of tears and navigating which one is best can be overwhelming. The best lubricating tear for dry eye will depend on personal preference and should be used about 4-6 times a day. Preservative free lubricating tears are the best drops for dry eye because preservatives can become irritating over time. My favorite preservative free lubricating tear is called Oasis Tears.
A warm compress can help fortify your tear film by improving the lipid component in the tears you make. There are microwavable masks designed for the face and eyelids and using a warm compress for 10 minutes a day can help improve your tear film.
A basic eyelid hygiene routine can improve your tear film by decreasing the bacterial burden along the eyelids. There are many different eyelash/eyelid cleaning products that include hypochlorous sprays, cleaning foams, and cleaning wipes. My favorite eyelid hygiene products are hypochlorous sprays and Ocusoft foam. Gently scrubbing your eyelashes once a day with Ocusoft is a helpful dry eye treatment.
HydroEye is a dry eye supplement that can improve your tear film by supporting the meibomian glands that make the oil component of your tears. The main ingredients are gamma linolenic acid (GLA) balanced with omega 3 fatty acids and the vitamins E, A, C, and B6 which are needed to metabolically process the nutrients. While HydroEye is an over the counter supplement, consult with your ophthalmologist prior to taking it as GLA and Vitamin E can increase your bleeding time and may need to be held prior to surgery.
If you are looking for a dry eye treatment that isn’t another drop to remember, then you may want to consider having a Lipiflow treatment. LipiFlow is a relaxing in office dry eye treatment that can support your tear film by opening mechanical blockages of your Meibomian glands. As we age, the natural oils made by the glands becomes thickened and trapped inside the glands instead of flowing out into the tear film. The LipiFlow activators heat the eyelids which turns the trapped oils back into liquid form and then gently massages the eyelids to express the oils from the glands. The soothing treatment takes about 15 minutes, the benefits can last 6-9 months, and it is a repeatable procedure that helps maintain meibomian gland function. At Tailored Eyes, we offer affordable LipiFlow treatments for dry eye patients.
Is there a cure for my dry eyes?
While currently there is no cure for dry eyes, there are many great treatment options that can alleviate your symptoms. If you are struggling to find relief from your dry eyes, consult with your local ophthalmologist or cornea specialist for an evaluation and to discuss what treatments might be right for you.
I’m Dr. Kane, and that’s my take on it.
At Tailored Eyes, we will perform a thorough evaluation of your eyes and together formulate a customized treatment plan to meet your vision needs.
Steven Kane, MD, FAAO is a Cornea, Cataract, and Refractive Surgery specialist with Tailored Eyes in Sarasota county Florida. He proudly serves the people of Venice, South Venice, Sarasota, Plantation, Osprey, Nokomis, Laurel, Siesta Key, Casey Key, Bradenton, Lakewood Ranch, Anna Maria, Palmetto, Ellenton, St. Petersburg, Englewood, North Port, Punta Gorda, Port Charlotte, Charlotte Harbor, Manasota Key, Arcadia, Fort Myers and Cape Coral.