Dry Eye Treatment
Dry eye is a common condition that millions of Americans experience at some point during their lives. Poor tear film layer resulting in the dry eye leads to irritation and can even damage the eyes if left untreated. Fortunately, EyeSight Hawaii in Honolulu and Maui, HI offers different dry eye treatments.
Before Dry Eye Treatment: What is Dry Eye?
Dry eyes occur when there isn’t enough water present on the surfaces of the eyes. This happens because either the lacrimal gland doesn’t produce tears fast enough or they evaporate too quickly. Your eyes need sufficient moisture to keep them comfortable and functional.
Your body produces the water component of tears to cover the surface of the eyes and an oil layer to prevent evaporation. Tears perform many essential functions, including keeping the surface of the eyes moist and washing away impurities. When you have dry eye syndrome, these functions may be compromised, leading to a range of issues.
Tears consist of two main components: oil and water. Sometimes, there is a problem with one or more of your tear components, and this can result in dry eye. Almost 90% of the time there is a lack of oil produced by the 50-60 tiny Meibomian Glands along the eyelid margin. This oil acts to keep the tears from evaporating, which can happen in 3-5 seconds. If this meibomian gland dysfunction is untreated, these glands can close permanently causing long-term dry eyes.
Before Dry Eye Treatment: Symptoms
Symptoms of dry eyes syndrome occur when you’re exposed to different climatic conditions like wind, cold, dry, or smoky environments. It may happen during airplane flights, in an office environment, in a room with air conditioning, or while exercising.
Dry eye disease can also occur when you have been staring at a computer screen, TV, or other digital devices for too long. This may be because you blink less when you are focusing, causing blurry vision.
There are a number of situations and medical conditions that might make you more susceptible to dry eye. These risk factors include:
- Aging (50+)
- Wearing contact lens
- Dry eyes caused by allergies
- Vitamin A deficiency
- Autoimmune conditions like lupus or rheumatoid arthritis
- Certain medications including antihistamines, birth control, and hormone replacement therapies
- Women who are pregnant or going through menopause
- Dry eyes sometimes are caused by refractive surgeries like LASIK or PRK
- Clogged meibomian glands (located on the edge of the eyelids)
Dry eye sufferers may experience common symptoms like burning, stinging, itching, redness, blurred vision, eyelid inflammation, eye pain, and sensitivity to light. The symptoms usually go away after a few hours, but some people need treatment right away.
Do I Need a Doctor Consultation for Dry Eye?
When it comes to our vision, we’re often told to take care of ourselves. But what does that mean? Well, if you think you might have dry-eyedness, then you should definitely get checked out by an ophthalmologist right away. Dry eye disease problems can lead to permanent damage to your cornea. So, if you notice any symptoms of dry-eyedness, you should go to an optometrist immediately.
Our team at Eyesight Hawaii will schedule a consultation to help you decide which dry eye treatment in Hawaii is best for you.
Diagnosing Dry Eye
Typically, a consultation for dry eyes begins with an eye doctor or optometrist first inquiring about your current health status and environmental factors before examining your eyes. They might then perform an examination using a slit lamp microscope and possibly artificial tears(drops) to examine your eyes.
After diagnosing dry eye, doctors usually prescribe drops to treat the condition. These drops contain anti-inflammatory medications and lubricants to relieve symptoms. Some patients may require surgery if the duration of dry eye symptoms is longer than expected.
Benefits of a Dry Eye Consultation
An eye doctor can determine whether you have dry eye syndrome or a different issue and suggest a range of treatments to alleviate the symptoms and stop your dry eye from getting worse. This can help prevent infections and eye damage, especially to your corneas. It can also improve your quality of life by making it easier to perform day-to-day tasks like reading, driving, and working at your computer.
How is Dry Eye Treated?
Treatment options for dry eye discomfort will vary depending on how severe your case is. Some doctors may suggest over-the-counter eye drops that lubricate the eyes or give you a prescription for medications that will help combat inflammation and encourage the body to more natural tear production. But some of the most effective treatments involve the eyelids and Meibomian Glands including:
NuLid® Overnight Moisturizer is a nonprescription treatment that helps keep the moisture level high in the eyes overnight. This product contains a special ingredient called Polyquaternium 10 that works to protect the delicate tissues inside the eyes while helping to prevent potential damage caused by dryness.
Lipiflow Treatment is one of the most popular methods of treating dry eye. This procedure involves using a laser to heat up the oil glands located near the base of the eyelid. By heating up the oil glands, the glandular tissue expands and pushes the excess oil back into the ducts where it can drain away naturally.
Dry Eye Products
There are several different types of dry eye products available. These include artificial tears, eyelid creams, ointments, gels, and even laser treatment. Artificial tears are usually recommended for mild cases while stronger solutions are needed for severe cases. Ointments and gels are typically applied directly to the affected area. Laser therapy involves using a special light source to stimulate the glands responsible for producing tears. This type of treatment is only recommended if other methods don’t work.
Dry Eye Recovery
Dry eyes usually get better within days or even hours after the treatment plan. However, if you have a chronic condition, it could be several days before you see any improvement. Some people have had long-term blockages of their tear ducts which will require months of recovery.
A humidifier can add moisture to the air and prevent your eyes from drying out. In addition, you can speed up your recovery by wearing glasses instead of contact lenses and taking frequent breaks when you’re on your computer for long stretches of time.
What Patients Say
Frequently Asked Questions about Dry Eye Treatment
Symptoms of dry eye include dry, red, itchy, or burning eyes and sometimes blurred vision. However, these can also be symptoms of other conditions. The best thing to do if you think you have dry eye is to book an appointment with an eye specialist.
Dry eye treatments can alleviate the symptoms of dry eye and prevent it from getting worse or turning into a chronic condition. However, because the problem is often caused by outside factors, there is always a chance that you could experience dry eye at some later point in the future.
The cost of dry eye treatment varies depending on the severity of your case and what medications or products are needed to clear up your symptoms. An eye specialist can advise you on treatment options and pricing.
There are a number of things you can do to lessen your chances of getting dry eye. Most important is the cleaning and massaging the eyelid margins to prevent blockage of Meibomian Glands. Other things include using a humidifier, taking breaks from long periods of reading or working on the computer, using glasses instead of contacts, and avoiding activities where air may blow directly into your eyes.
About EyeSight Hawaii
EyeSight Hawaii is the leading specialist in cornea surgery, cataracts, LASIK surgery, and dry eye treatment in Hawaii. Founded by chief surgeon John D. Olkowski, M.D, EyeSight Hawaii has been serving patients for over 20 years, offering the latest technology and most advanced procedures. If you’re seeking dry eye treatment in Hawaii, you can read more and schedule an appointment here.
Contact Us Today
Do you have dry eye symptoms or other vision-related problems? EyeSight Hawaii is Hawaii’s Dry Eye Center of Excellence. Contact our offices in Honolulu or Kahului to find out more about dry eye treatment in Hawaii. Our experienced team of specialists can provide different dry eye treatment costs and advise you on the best practices to keep your eyes healthy, improve your vision, and enhance your overall quality of life.