Lifestyle Changes to Manage Dry Eye
There are many ways to treat dry eye. The first recommendation is to prevent dry eye symptoms. Blink a lot and drink a lot. Avoid eye irritants, use lubricating eye drops if you are taking medication that puts you at risk for dry eye. Over the counter eye drops for dry eye are widely available. Maintain a healthy lifestyle with a focus on vitamins like Omega 3.
Dry Eye Omega 3 Benefits
Omega 3 vitamins are very well-known to be good for general health, and heart health, but they are also helpful in treating dry eyes. We recommend at least 3 grams a day of Omega 3. There are a number of commercially available products. The one we carry in the office, made by PRN works very well, but certainly any of the Omega 3’s that are available are helpful in reducing the symptoms of dry eyes.
- The Right Form and Serving. 4 softgels per day of our patent pending Dry Eye Omega Benefits® provides 2-3 grams of Omega-3s in the re-esterified triglyceride form (rTG).*
- Heart healthy benefits. 2-3 grams of Omega-3s per day has been shown to provide heart-healthy benefits.*
- Safe. This product offers an effective and safe way to increase your omega-3 intake.*
- Third party tested for purity. Dry Eye Omega Benefits® is third party tested for over 400 contaminants. Our unique molecular distillation process guarantees the removal of significantly more PCBs (known carcinogens) than non-molecularly distilled omega-3 products commonly found over the counter.
Restasis® Eye Drops for Dry Eyes
One of the most common dry eye treatments we prescribe is Restasis®. Rerstasis® is an eye drop that is used twice a day. It’s the tear drop form of cyclosporine, a medication that is prescribed for many chronic conditions, and it has been found to alleviate the symptoms of dry eyes as well. The downside of Restasis® is that, when you first start taking it, it causes some burning of the eye in some patients, and it does take up to 3-6 months to really work its way into the body. So, often when we prescribe Restasis®, we also prescribe a steroid to reduce inflammation, and avoid the initial side effects like burning and itching eyes.Restasis® seems to improve the quantity of the watery part of your tears, but it doesn’t necessarily help to improve the outflow of the oil that needs to be produced on top of the tears so that the tears don’t evaporate. Right now some of the studies are suggesting that over 50% of people with dry eyes actually have meibomian gland dysfunction. So, if the first lines of treatment are failing to manage dry eye symptoms, consider more rigorous treatments for dry eyes and blepharitis.
Treatments for Blepharitis and Dry Eye
There are some treatments aimed at treating blepharitis and meibomian gland dysfunction in particular. One of the more common methods we recommend in the office is using a warm compress with massage. Really, a hot compress should be used multiple times a day for the most effective dry eye relief. TranquilEyes makes goggles fitted with gel packs to make the hot, moist eye treatment more convenient. That will loosen the blockages in the oil-producing glands and help reduce the symptoms. However, that process requires consistency and effort, and it doesn’t get to the root of the problem.There is a medication we often prescribe in the office called AzaSite®. It’s Azithromycin in eye drop form. AzaSite® is used twice a day for two days and then once a day for the remainder of the month. That prescription dry eye treatment seems to be pretty effective, but, like hot compresses, the dry eye treatment is dependent upon patient compliance.
For additional products that are specifically geared toward dry eye, including dry eye cosmetics and dry eye sleeping masks, visit the Dry Eyes Store.
New Treatment for Dry Eye
The FDA recently approved of a new device called LipiFlow. It has just become available and will be coming to certain eye care practices around the country. The procedure to attach the device to the eye lid is done in the office. LipiFlow actually purges the eye from all the clogged oils by heating up the glands so that the oils get unclogged.During the first session of our eyecare radio show, Laura from Florida, was very satisfied with the LipiFlow procedure we recommended. She high recommended it, saying that LipiFlow is “not uncomfortable at all. It takes about 12 minutes and the results seem to be immediate.” Laura, who had suffered from unmanageable dry eye syndrome for many years, noted that, while “many doctors have never heard of it,” LipiFlow has been “a miracle.”
Come in for an eye exam so we can help you treat dry eyes more effectively, especially since over half the people suffering from dry eye might actually have blepharitis or meibomian gland dysfunction and they often don’t respond well to over the counter eye drops. There are different methods that are most effective for treating different types of dry eyes. Now, when you come into the dry eye center in Manhattan, we’ll be able to do a thorough examination and to evaluate that.
Eye Exam for Dry Eyes at Drs Alan B. Schlussel and Christine Law, O.D.
When Dr. Schlussel sees patients in the Manhattan dry eye center we have begin by having the patient fill out a history form. There’s also a discussion kit developed by Allergan. They actually have a great website called My Dry Eyes that presents plenty of information about dry eyes and goes over things you could discuss with your doctor when you go in for an exam, and you can write away for them to send you a kit with suggestions and tips. During the exam, we ask about the dry eye symptoms and other questions that give us insight into the potential causes of dry eye, and find out what – if any – self-management has been done up until now to try to treat dry eye. Then we work together to coordinate the best treatment plan. Dr. Schlussel does a very thorough examination. We spend a lot of time evaluating the tear film, looking at the different layers of the tear film. We measure the quantity and evaluate the quality of the tears produced by the eye, paying particular attention the oil produced in the tear film. Ultimately, we try to diagnose what type of dry eye you have; whether it’s the evaporative, or whether it’s mucus deficient or water deficient. Then we develop a treatment plan based on different methods that we use to treat different types of dry eyes. As your eye care professional, we can coordinate that and try to stay behind what you’re doing.I will spend the time. I’m very understanding of dry eyes because I have it myself. I’ve been treating my own eyes for about five, six years. And a lot of my patients have been coming in with numerous complaints about dry eyes, and we can help a lot of you. If you have any questions call Drs Alan B. Schlussel and Christine Law, O.D., book an appointment online or visit our New York dry eye doctor today