Environmental adjustments, eye drops, punctal plugs, and Lipiflow® are all viable treatments for dry eyes. The severity of your condition and the cause will be factored in to your treatment plan.
In your consultation, a caring and knowledgeable doctor at Kirk Eye Center will discuss your options for dry eye relief. In some cases, changing your habits is enough to reduce your symptoms. In other cases, you may need prescription drops or a LipiFlow® treatment to restore adequate moisture.
Why do I have Dry Eyes?
A lack of tear production or poor quality tears can result in dry eyes. The cause of the inadequate tear production could be many things. Your dry eyes may be a temporary or chronic condition. Some common causes of dry eyes include:
- Environmental conditions – Lack of humidity, exposure to smoke or wind, irritants, and infrequent blinking can dry eyes.
- Medications – Various medications can cause dry eyes, including antidepressants, antihistamines, blood pressure medicine, and decongestants.
- Age – Dry eyes are common among people over the age of 65.
- Health conditions – Certain diseases and medical conditions can cause dry eyes. Diabetes, lupus, thyroid dysfunction, and rheumatoid arthritis are some culprits.
- Blocked Meibomian glands – The Meibomian glands produce the oil component of your natural tears. When these glands are blocked, your tears evaporate too quickly, resulting in dry eyes.
Dry Eye Treatments
LipiFlow® Thermal Pulsation System extracts blockages and clears the Meibomian glands to deliver oil as intended. It takes less than 15 minutes to treat both upper and lower eyelids. Relief from dry eyes can last as long as nine months.
The LipiFlow® system is gentle and designed to target only the meibum while protecting your eye. Sensors ensure that heat and intraocular pressure stay within safe parameters.
Punctal plugs block the eye’s tear drainage in the inner corner of your eye. The plugs are removable and are made of gel or silicone. Plugging the tear ducts works to hold more lubricating moisture in the eye.
Making adjustments to your environment and lifestyle can significant reduce your symptoms of dry eyes. Our doctor will explain the options that best suit your condition. Lifestyle and environmental changes that could provide relief from dry eyes include:
- Eye drops and ointments - Over-the-counter lubricating drops or artificial tears can provide relief.
- Environmental modifications - Dry climates and environments can cause dry eyes, and a running furnace or air conditioner can exacerbate dry conditions. Adding moisture by using a humidifier can help. Try using ceiling fans and oscillating fans at lower speeds to reduce the drying effect of moving air as well.
- Eye protection - Wrap-around sunglasses can help protect your eyes from the drying effects of wind.
- Rest your eyes – Working at a computer, reading, or watching TV intently can cause you not to blink as much as normal. Look away from your screen or book to rest your eyes and allow them to regain moisture.
- Stay hydrated - Drink water throughout your day to prevent dehydration.
- Stop smoking – Tobacco smoke can irritate your eyes and worsen dry eye symptoms.
- Get adequate sleep
Contact Us to Learn More about Dry Eye Solutions
There’s no need to struggle with dry eyes when so many solutions are available. Call us at 708-771-3334 to schedule a consultation. One of our highly trained doctors will develop a treatment plan based on your symptoms and lifestyle, and you’ll have relief before you know it. We serve patients in the greater Chicago area from our Gurnee and River Forest locations.