DRY EYE TREATMENT
Dry eyes are a debilitating and frustrating condition which is on the rise. We are spending more time performing screen based tasks and more time in air conditioning. The combination of both induce and exacerbate dry eyes symptoms. The good news is that there is a lot of research and development around the world to give Optometrists the tools to battle this epidemic, giving people back clear, white, comfortable eyes.
Some of the latest treatments we offer include:
Blephrasteam is a specific designed pair of goggles to create a 42c steam bath around the eyes for 10 minutes. The treatment has been shown to create the ideal conditions to melt waxy plugs that clog the meibomian glands around the eyes. The meibomian glands line the upper and lower lid margins producing (when not clogged) oils that form the top protective layer of tears. A healthy oil film prevents dehydration of the tear film from wind and air conditioning. Blephrasteam is often used in combination with the Mastrota Paddle.
Mastrota Paddle – This is a small flat steal paddle designed specifically to tuck under the lower lid, allowing the Optometrist to apply gentle pressure to the outside of the lid to express meibomian glands. This technique is not painful and works best after a blephrasteam treatment, where the waxy plugs clogging the glands have been melted to allow for gentle expression.
These are small pieces of cellulose (0.4mm x 2mm) that are inserted into the puncta to prevent tears from draining out of the eyes. The puncta are the drainage tubes to remove tears from the eyes. Punctal plugs expand to block tear drainage, keeping tears in the eyes. Plugs last from 3-6 months before dissolving. Although this is not a permanent fix, it easily carries dry eye sufferers through the worst of the cold, dry winter months.
‘I can’t wear contact lenses because I have dry eyes’ is a statement that may have been true in the past, but is no longer the case. The latest generation of silicon hydrogel contact lenses are very comfortable and a very effective treatment for dry eyes. Silicon lenses create a ‘bandage’ across the front surface of the eye, preventing dryness. Contact lenses have also been shown to increase tear production and blink frequency in dry eye sufferers. Of course contact lenses have the other advantage of improving your vision, in that they offer a wider field of view for more natural vision.
Not all eye drops are the same and second generation eye drops have components to repair the tear film and thicken ‘in eye’ to create prolonged relief of dry eye symptoms.
Not all drops are the the same and clinical expert advice based on a thorough eye examination, can improve the quality of life for dry eye sufferers.