Q&A with Dr. Allaway
Dr. Allaway Answers Your Eyecare Questions
What treatment do you recommend for Dry Eye?
Treatment for dry eye depends on the cause of the dryness and the specific needs of the patient. It can vary from increasing blink rate and using artificial tears all the way to the use of medicated drops and wearing specialty contact lenses. Your optometrist will examine your eyes and develop a treatment plan based on your specific situation.Make Appointment for Your Dry Eyes.
Dry eyes or dry eye syndrome (DES) is an ongoing condition that treatments may be unable to cure. But the symptoms of dry eye—including dryness, scratchiness and burning—can usually be successfully managed.
Causes of Dry Eye Syndrome or Dry Eye Disease
Our eye doctors want to offer our patients some insight into what causes the symptoms that affect sufferers of dry eye syndrome. Our optometrists regularly treat dry eye syndrome 12 months a year, but our patients often report experiencing dry eye symptoms and seeking treatment from their eye doctor with greater frequency during the winter.
Scientifically speaking, dry eye symptoms occur when, for one reason or another, your eyes do not produce enough tears. Even when our tears are not otherwise visible, tears are an invaluable natural lubricant that keeps your eyes moist and clean. Certain factors lead to a lower than average tear count. As we age, particularly beyond age 50 and specifically with post-menopausal women (some studies indicate that women of any age show a greater propensity for dry eye symptoms), incidences of dry eye symptoms increase. Diet can play a factor (studies show that a lack of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin A can cause more dry eye symptoms). Certain medications cause dry eye symptoms as an unfortunate side-effect. Lastly, certain diseases/syndromes may limit your ability to produce sufficient tears. Our optometrists recommending discussing your dry eye symptoms with your eye doctor today!
Dry eye syndrome is a common eye condition that bothers many of our patients! While dry eyes are not dangerous, they can be very irritating and disrupt your daily lifestyle. There is no foolproof cure for dry eyes, yet the symptoms can usually be managed. Our eye doctors at Shuswap Optometric Center, in Chase and Salmon Arm, BC, are experienced in treating dry eyes. A range of remedies, strategies and tips are available – and we’ll help find the ideal solution for your unique eyes and individual condition!
Dry eyes can cause redness, soreness, burning, an itchy feeling, and a sensation that grit is stuck in your eyes. Many people feel a need to constantly rub their eyes or blink nonstop. In order to alleviate your particular symptoms, it’s important to figure out the cause of your dry eyes. We’ll perform a thorough examination in our Salmon Arm and Chase, BC, offices to identify the culprits, and then we’ll decide upon the most appropriate treatment to provide lasting comfort for your vision.
After your eye exam, we may recommend some of the following dry eye treatments:
- Install a humidifier in your home or office to increase the level of moisture in the air
- Take fish oil supplements, which have essential fatty acids that have been shown to help relieve dry eyes
- Use an air filter to cleanse your environment from airborne irritants and dust
- Try some over-the-counter lubricating products, such as artificial tears (check the label: contact lenses should be removed before using some brands)
- Place hot compresses over your eyes to help stimulate tear production
- Stay well-hydrated, drink enough fluids
- If you sleep with your eyelids slightly open, a special tape or eye shields can be worn over your eyes
- Sunglasses, particularly wrap-around designs, can help protect your eyes from wind, sun and dust
Medicine for Dry Eye Syndrome
- Antibiotics may help decrease the bacteria that damage healthy, natural lipids in your tears
- Corticosteroid eye drops are becoming popular as a medical dry eye treatment
- Anti-inflammatory drugs may be prescribed
- Prescription eye drops can help increase tear production
- Ask our eye doctor about switching brands or type of contact lenses; some specialty lenses are very helpful
Depending upon the results of your eye exam and what’s causing your dry eyes, the insertion of punctal plugs may offer a comfortable resolution. We’ll perform this quick procedure in our Chase or Salmon Arm clinic. Punctal plugs block your tears from draining naturally, which allows more moisture to stay on the surface of your eyes.
If you are considering LASIK or another refractive procedure, dry eyes must be resolved before the surgery. Dry eye syndrome inhibits proper healing and may disqualify you for LASIK. Yet there’s no reason to live with the pain and discomfort of dry eyes! Contact us now for an appointment in Salmon Arm and Chase, BC, and we’ll help bring you relief from the irritations of dry eyes!
For more information, or to set up your eye exam, call us: (250) 679-3349.