Dry eye syndrome is a chronic and progressive condition that, in addition to dry eyes, can cause eye fatigue, blurry vision, red eyes, discomfort, and a gritty sensation in your eyes. Interestingly, dry eye can cause excessively watery eyes too.
Having dry eyes makes it difficult to focus on anything other than your discomfort. Over-the-counter eyedrops can help, but you might need a more customized approach to alleviating your symptoms.
That’s why our experts at Maryland Eye Care Center offer dry eye therapy.
What’s causing your dry eye symptoms?
Causes of dry eye include allergies, aging, blepharitis, meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD), infrequent blinking, poorly fitting contact lenses, recent laser eye surgery, and medication side effects. Our team always starts with a review of your eye health history and symptoms.
If, for example, we determine that contact lenses are contributing to your symptoms, we can help you determine if a different brand or type of contact lens is better for you.
What to expect from dry eye therapy
Dry eye therapy is a comprehensive and tailored treatment plan based on the underlying cause of your dry eye, your specific symptoms, and the severity of your condition. After a thorough examination and depending on your needs, we may recommend:
Oasis TEARS® is a type of artificial tears. Unlike decongestants (which only reduce redness) and rewetting drops (which only alleviate dryness due to contact lenses), artificial tears tackle many symptoms of dry eyes. They lubricate your eyes, relieve grittiness, and reduce dryness.
At Maryland Eye Care Center, we offer preservative-free Oasis TEARS. Administering Oasis TEARS is easy. Simply squeeze a drop or two directly into your eye, as needed.
If eyedrops or other treatments aren’t enough to alleviate your symptoms, your Maryland Eye Care Center provider may suggest punctal plugs.
Punctal plugs 一 tiny inserts that fit in your tear ducts (puncta) 一 limit tear drainage. With tear drainage stopped, tears remain in your eye, allowing for more natural tears and eye lubrication. (Watery tears are merely a reaction to irritation and don’t provide proper moisture.)
Two types of plugs are available: dissolving and semi-permanent. Collagen plugs dissolve over time and are often recommended for those who recently had laser eye surgery. Since refractive surgery can cause dryness, collagen plugs help keep your eyes moist after surgery.
Semi-permanent plugs, such as silicone plugs, must be inserted and removed in our office.
In addition to artificial tears and/or punctal plugs, our team works with you to find at-home solutions that further improve your eye comfort. These include:
- Using a humidifier
- Avoiding dry areas, e.g., don’t sit with a fan blowing directly on your face
- Treating underlying conditions of dry eye, such as MGD or allergies
- Not misusing your contact lenses, e.g., sleeping in lenses not meant for overnight use
You may find that optimal relief from dry eye symptoms comes from a combination of lifestyle changes and medical interventions.
If dry eyes are keeping you from focusing on anything other than your eyes, it’s time to talk to us. Book your appointment today at one of our convenient locations in Silver Spring and Hyattsville, Maryland, to explore your dry eye therapy options.