Remedy for dry eyes

8 Do-It-Yourself Ways to Manage Dry Eye

2. Frequent computer breaks: Many jobs require hours in front of the computer on a daily basis. Taking breaks to rest the eyes should be used in conjunction with intentional and more frequent blinking.

The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) recommends the 20-20-20 rule. Every 20 minutes, spend at least 20 seconds looking at something 20 feet away. Since staring at things close up puts more strain on your eyes, this exercise gives them a little break.

3. Washing your eyes: If you have dry eye, give that area a little extra TLC when you wash your face. Cleansing your eyelids and the surrounding area with a mild soap or baby shampoo can help cut down on lid inflammation.

Simply close your eyes and gently massage the area with cleaners and rinse with cool or lukewarm water. This method of washing is recommended before applying a warm compress.

4. Warm compresses: Applying a moist, warm compress to your eyes can help your eyelids produce more lipids, which can boost tear quality and relieve some dry eye symptoms, according to the AAO.

Finding the sweet spot for temperature is key — not too hot but warm enough to be therapeutic. Make sure that you prepare your compress in an environment that is as clean and sterile as possible.

5. Onion glasses: Originally created for cooks, these goggle-type devices are designed to keep eyes from tearing up while chopping onions. They have since been discovered by the dry eye community, and they are often recommended by eye-care professionals as a low-cost moisture chamber that can also keep irritating pollutants away from your eyes.

6. Fish oil: You can get fish oil through supplements or by eating fatty fish. It appears that omega-3 fatty acids can improve the eye’s oil film that’s produced by the meibomian glands, which are found on the edge of the eyelid. “Essential fatty acids such as fish oil are anti-inflammatory and might help with dry eye,” says Dr. Akpek.

Fish oil is generally safe, but the Mayo Clinic cautions that too much can increase the risk of bleeding and suppress the body’s immune response. If you’re thinking about taking fish oil supplements, talk to your doctor.

7. Humidifiers and air filters: Controlling your environment by keeping air moist and clean may ease dry eye symptoms. According to the National Eye Institute, windy, smoky, or dry environments increase tear evaporation and contribute to dry eye.

A 2014 study published in the journal Ophthalmology found that people living in or near cities like Chicago and New York City, where air pollution was higher, were three to four times more likely to be diagnosed with dry eye syndrome compared with people in less-polluted areas.

The study also found that people who live in higher-altitude zip codes, where the air is typically drier, have a greater chance of developing dry eye.

8. Changing diet and sleeping habits: Akpek states that an anti-inflammatory or gluten-free diet can help in reducing dry eye symptoms. These diets eliminate foods that lead to inflammation.

“Lowering caffeine and alcohol is also good,” she adds, “as well as an overall healthy lifestyle, including good sleep habits.”

According to a 2014 study published in the journal Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science, sleep deprivation reduces tear secretion and impairs the tear film.

Home Remedies for Dry Eyes

Here are 14 simple home remedies for dry eye symptoms (meibomian gland dysfunction, blepharitis, etc.) that you can try to get immediate and long-term relief:

1. Fluids

Drink plenty of fluids; we recommend at least 8 glasses per day. Water is preferred, but this can include fruit juices, natural beverages, etc., as well.

2. Exercise

Engage in some form of sustained physical activity at least three to four times per week. Exercise improves circulation and helps deliver blood and nutrients to the eye.

3. Humidifiers

Use humidifiers to add moisture in dry locations, either with single, portable units next to your desk or by installing one as part of your central air system. Humidifiers in the bedroom are especially helpful.

4. Sunglasses

Wear wrap-around sunglasses outdoors. Dry eyes are often sensitive to bright light and wind.

5. Fewer Eye Drops

Avoid frequent use of eye drops. Eye drops wash away naturally-occurring mucin, proteins, and lipids that thicken your tears to prevent them from evaporating too quickly. Long-term use of eye drops can create a physical dependency by conditioning your eyes not to secret tears, thus exacerbating the dry eye condition.

6. Eye Gels or Goggles at Night

Your eyelids may be partially open during sleep. Using eye gels or goggles can keep your eyes from drying out while you sleep (You can also take TheraLife® Eye capsules right before bed to help with this).

7. Warm Compresses

Use a warm compress on your eyes to improve circulation and relax. You can repeat this procedure 2 to 3 times per day. This is particularly important for treating and preventing blepharitis and meibomian gland dysfunction.

8. Sleep

Get enough sleep! Emphasize getting at least 8 hours for optimal eye health.

9. Less Computer Use

Try to spend less time on the computer. If you must use the computer for prolonged periods of time, schedule frequent breaks and take your eyes away from the computer to look out the window every hour.

10. Cucumber Slices

Place cool cucumber slices on your eyes after work.

11. Less A/C and Heat

Turn off air conditioners or heaters that make the air drier.

12. Oily Fish

Eat sufficient oily fish (e.g. salmon, tuna) at least twice a week to provide your body with the important omega-3 fatty acid, which helps to relieve dry eye symptoms. An alternative is to take TheraLife® Omega 3 Fish Oil. Diets in developed countries like the US tend to have very high omega-6 fatty acid but not enough levels of omega-3.

13. Fewer Refined Foods

Avoid eating white bread, processed foods, refined sugar, and margarine while you are experiencing dry eye symptoms.

14. Clean Face Cloth

Use a clean face cloth when washing your face. You can also rinse it under hot faucet water and place it over your eyes to provide some moisture close to your eyes. Continue Reading: Is There a Cure for Ocular Rosea?

For severe chronic dry eye symptoms, these home remedies may not be sufficient; that is why you need TheraLife® Eye.

TheraLife Eye is an all-natural, botanical formula that works to target underactive tear secretion and eliminate inflammation and dryness in the eyes. It actively increases intracellular metabolism, membrane permeability, and blood micro-circulation. Our proprietary oral capsules utilize herbal extracts, vitamins, and minerals to stimulate all tear glands (meibomian, lacrimal, and goblet cells) and prompt natural tear secretion. If your dry eye symptoms are present due to chronic dry eyes, blepharitis, meibomian gland dysfunction, ocular rosacea, watery eyes, or autoimmune diseases, TheraLife Eye can bring you sustained relief. Six separate clinical studies, each spanning the course of 12 weeks, showed TheraLife Eye to be both safe and highly effective. All ingredients used in TheraLife products have been tested to ensure purity and optimal biological activity. Begin to restore your body’s ability to produce balanced tears, end your dependency on eye drops, and once again experience comfortable vision when you use TheraLife Eye.

How to Increase Tear Production

We’ve had patients who asked how they could increase tear production to deal with their dry eye problems. Dry eyes are a problem that thousands of people suffer from, and dry eyes can lead to some serious health issues if they aren’t dealt with appropriately.

There are several things people can do to increase their tear production, from natural options to prescription eye drops. The natural options are best for people to try out at first, but those who don’t see any results with these options should definitely make an appointment with their eye doctor.

3 Options For Increasing Tear Production

Most people would prefer to solve their health issues naturally. While most medications aren’t harmful, some of them definitely come with adverse side effects that people don’t care for. However, a prescription may be the only way people suffering from extreme cases of dry eyes are able to resolve their health issue. Here are the most common ways you can increase tear production:

● Prescription eye drops. There are some things that an eye doctor can prescribe to their patients, such as Restasis, that will help them to produce more tears. There are also steroidal eye drops that can be effective in this regard as well. Most prescription eye drops are also going to help combat inflammation, though, which is one of the main symptoms of dry eyes.

● Naturally. There are many things people can consume which will increase their natural tear production. Fish oil, alpha lipoic acid, and plant-based phytoestrogens are just some of these things that can do the trick. They need to be consumed on a regular basis for an extended period of time, but they usually work for most people.

● Over-the-counter eye drops. There are some eye drops which can be bought in a drug store that claim to help people produce more tears. Most of them, though, only contain weak forms of what an optometrist can prescribe and lubricating ingredients. These may work for some people, but a prescription may be necessary if they aren’t effective.

How To Tell When Dry Eye Becomes A Problem

Some people get dry eyes for a day or two, then they simply go away on their own. However, other people deal with this issue for weeks at a time. This is when it starts to become an issue because the constantly inflamed eyes are going to give bacteria the chance to cause an infection, and the inflammation is also going to be very uncomfortable.

If you’ve noticed that you are constantly rubbing your eyes and using regular eye drops multiple times per day, then it’s probably time to pay your optometrist a visit. You may only need to do something as simple as continue wearing your eyeglasses, but you should check in with your eye doctor just to be on the safe side.

Schedule An Eye Exam With Gould Vision

Gould Vision has provided quality eye care to thousands of patients. With the persistence of our founder and head optometrist, Dr. Adina Gould, our state-of-the-art Miami Beach facility was completed in August 2009. Our centrally-located office also serves the nearby areas of Surfside, Bay Harbor Islands, and South Beach, Florida.

Need An Eye Exam? Call 786-292-8396 To Schedule An Appointment With Our Eye Clinic In Miami Beach!

photo credit: Shiska via photopin (license)

Originally posted 2017-05-31 02:29:14.

Dry Eye

By Mrinali Patel Gupta, M.D.

What Is Dry Eye?

Dry eye is a condition in which the tears do not keep the cornea sufficiently hydrated. The cornea is a transparent dome-shaped tissue that forms the front part of the eye. It functions as a window and allows light to enter the eye.

What Are Tears?

The tear film of the eye serves many purposes, including keeping the eye hydrated; providing nutrients to, and removing waste from, the ocular surface; providing a smooth interface for eye movement and lid movement over the eye; creating a smooth optical surface over the cornea to allow clear focusing of images for vision; and fighting infections via antibacterial enzymes and by flushing harmful substances and bacteria away from the eye.

The tear film is composed of an intricate layering of three different substances:

  • The innermost layer is the mucin layer. This layer consists of a thick, slippery, mucus material. It acts as a protective lubricant and provides a smooth surface for even distribution of the tear film over the surface of the eye.
  • The middle layer is the aqueous layer. This layer consists of water, proteins, oxygen, and salts (which is why tears taste salty). It provides nutrients to the surface of the eye, removes waste products, and prevents infection.
  • The outermost layer is the lipid layer. This layer consists of oils that coat the aqueous layer, act as a sealant to prevent the tears from evaporating, and prevent the tears from flowing over the lower eyelid.

What Are Symptoms of Dry Eye?

Dry eye can cause irritation, a gritty sensation, a “foreign body” sensation in the eye, itching, sensitivity to light, and blurry vision.

Paradoxically, a dry eye often results in the production of excess tears. In patients with dry eyes, dryness of the cornea stimulates a reflex tear production from the lacrimal gland, which produces the aqueous layer of tear film. However, these reflex tears are of poor quality and do not relieve the dry eye.

What Causes Dry Eye?

In dry eye, there is either inadequate quantity or quality of tears, or there is increased evaporation of tears. Many factors can cause or contribute to dry eye.

Conditions related to inadequate quantity or quality of tears include:

  • Age: There is an increased risk of dry eye as individuals age and secrete fewer and poorer quality tears.
  • Medications: A variety of medications, including blood pressure medications, antihistamines, and psychiatric medications, can reduce the ability of the lacrimal glands to produce tears.
  • Medical conditions: Certain medical conditions, such as Sjögren’s syndrome and rheumatoid arthritis, can decrease the ability of the lacrimal gland to produce tears. Other medical conditions, such as Riley-Day syndrome, injury to the fifth cranial nerve, and diabetes, result in damage to the nerves that allow the eye to sense dryness and thus prompt a reflex response of producing tears.
  • Eye conditions: Diseases of the conjunctiva; diseases of the cornea; Vitamin A deficiency; history of eye surgeries, such as refractive surgeries; contact lens wear; and use of certain eye drops (especially those with preservatives) can cause dry eye by reducing production of any of the three components of tears, which makes the tear film unstable, or damaging some of the nerves responsible for sensing and responding to dryness.

Other conditions cause dry eye by allowing a higher than normal rate of evaporation of tears from the surface of the eye:

  • Abnormal eyelid position: Bell’s palsy (in which there is neurological damage to the 7th cranial nerve, preventing the eye from blinking) and diseases that cause a mechanical abnormality in the eyelid position result in an inadequate covering or closure of the eye by the eyelids. This is called exposure and causes an increased evaporation of tears
  • Other eyelid conditions: Blepharitis (inflammation of the eyelids) or blockage of the glands that secrete the lipid/oily layer of tears (the meibomian glands), may result in increased evaporation of tears
  • Environmental factors: Low humidity or high winds promote can cause increased evaporation of tears.
  • Decreased blink rate: Aging and medical conditions (such as Parkinson’s disease), allows for increased exposure of the eye surface to the air, which results in increased evaporation of tears. In addition, it has been well established that when individuals are focusing on a task (computer use, reading, or watching television), their blink rate decreases. As a result, patients with dry eye may notice symptoms worsen during such tasks.

How Is Dry Eye Treated?

Dry eye is a chronic condition that generally requires a multifaceted treatment approach, often in a step-by-step manner, with modifications over time:

  • Treatment of the underlying condition: The key to dry eye treatment is identifying any underlying causes or contributing factors and treat them directly. Alternatives for any medications that may be contributing to the condition should be considered when possible. Any underlying medical or ocular condition should be treated. If a lid position abnormality is causing the dry eye, surgery should be considered to reposition the eyelid.

In addition, a variety of other steps may be taken to treat dry eye:

  • Tear replacement: The use of artificial substances to replace the tears is a key first step in the treatment of dry eye. These are over-the-counter eye drops created to simulate the composition of normal tears.
    People with dry eye should use preservative-free artificial tears. Many rewetting solutions, especially those advertised to “get the red out,” contain preservatives that are actually toxic to the eye and can make dry eye worse in the long term. Preservative-free artificial tears should be used four or more times a day, although one can never use too many artificial tears.
  • Conserving tears: Tears drain from the surface of the eye through tiny holes (one in each upper and lower lid) called puncta. These punctal openings allow tears to drain into the lacrimal (tear) drainage system and ultimately into the nose and throat.
    One strategy for the treatment of dry eye is to decrease the drainage of tears through the lacrimal drainage system, so that they remain on the surface of the eye for longer than usual.
    This can be accomplished by the placement of punctal plugs, which are tiny silicone or collagen plugs. These plugs are inserted into the lower lid punctal opening of each eye, although the upper lids may also need to be treated in more severe cases. This procedure is usually performed in the doctor’s office. The puncta can also be closed by laser, heat treatment, or surgery.
  • Creating more of your own tears: A prescription medication called Restasis (cyclosporine), available in drop form, has been shown to increase production of tears. This medication can require consistent use for at least two months before it is effective.
  • Improving the quality of tears: Omega-3 fatty acids, in the form of fish, fish oil, or flaxseed oils, may be recommended to boost production of tears, especially the lipid/oily layer. Warm compresses, eye drops, eye ointments, or even oral antibiotics may be recommended to treat any blepharitis (inflammation of the eyelids) or meibomian gland dysfunction (glands that secrete the lipid/oily layer of tears) that leads to a poor composition of the lipid layer of the tear film.

Dry eye is one of the most common reasons for someone to seek help from an eye care professional. Innovative Eyecare is a TearLab Accredited Dry Eye Center and utilizes the most advanced technology on the market to diagnose and treat dry eyes, including the TearLab™ Osmolarity System, TrueTear®, LipiScan® and LipiFlow®.

Dry eye syndrome (DES or dry eye) is a condition in which a person doesn’t have enough quality tears to lubricate and nourish the eye. Its consequences range from minor irritation to the inability to wear contact lenses and an increased risk of corneal inflammation and eye infections.

Symptoms of Dry Eye

Persistent dryness, scratchiness, and a burning sensation on your eyes are common symptoms of dry eye syndrome. Some people with dry eyes also experience a “foreign body sensation” – the feeling that something is in the eye. Although it may seem odd, sometimes dry eye syndrome can cause watery eyes because the excessive dryness works to overstimulate production of the watery component of your eye’s tears.

What Causes Dry Eyes?

In dry eye syndrome, the tear glands that moisturize the eye don’t produce enough tears, or the tear film evaporates away too quickly due to poor tear film quality.

Dry eyes can develop for many reasons, including:

  • Age. Dry eyes are a part of the natural aging process. The majority of people over age 65 experience some symptoms of dry eyes.
  • Gender. Women are more likely to develop dry eyes due to hormonal changes caused by pregnancy, the use of oral contraceptives and menopause.
  • Medications. Certain medicines, including antihistamines, decongestants, blood pressure medications and antidepressants, can reduce tear production.
  • Medical conditions. People with rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, and thyroid problems are more likely to have symptoms of dry eyes. Also, problems with inflammation of the eyelids (blepharitis), inflammation of the surfaces of the eye, or the inward or outward turning of eyelids can cause dry eyes to develop.
  • Environmental conditions. Exposure to smoke, wind and dry climates can increase tear evaporation resulting in dry eye symptoms. Failure to blink regularly, such as when staring at a computer screen for long periods of time, can also contribute to drying of the eyes.
  • Other factors. Long-term use of contact lenses can be a factor in the development of dry eyes. Refractive eye surgeries, such as LASIK, can decrease tear production and contribute to dry eyes.

Treatment for Dry Eye

Dry eye can be a chronic condition, but your optometrist can prescribe treatment to keep your eyes healthy and comfortable and to prevent your vision from being affected. The primary approaches used to manage and treat dry eyes include adding tears using over-the-counter artificial tear solutions, conserving tears, increasing tear production, and treating the inflammation of the eyelids or eye surface that contributes to the dry eyes.

  • Adding tears. Mild cases of dry eyes can often be managed using over-the-counter artificial tear solutions. These can be used as often as needed to supplement natural tear production. Preservative-free artificial tear solutions are recommended because they contain fewer additives, which can further irritate the eyes. People with dry eyes that don’t respond to artificial tears alone will need to take additional steps to treat their dry eyes.
  • Conserving tears. Keeping natural tears in the eyes longer can reduce the symptoms of dry eyes. This can be done by blocking the tear ducts through which the tears normally drain. The tear ducts can be blocked with tiny silicone or gel-like plugs that can be removed if needed. Or a surgical procedure can permanently close the tear ducts. In either case, the goal is to keep the available tears in the eye longer to reduce problems related to dry eyes.
  • Increasing tear production. Your optometrist can prescribe eye drops that increase tear production or recommend TrueTear® , a neurostimulation device that help the eye to produce tears naturally. Taking an omega-3 fatty acid nutritional supplement may also help.
  • Treating the contributing eyelid or ocular surface inflammation. Your optometrist might recommend prescription eye drops or ointments, warm compresses and lid massage, or eyelid cleaners to help decrease inflammation around the surface of the eyes. LipiFlow® treatment may be recommended if warm compresses are not found to be effective.

Homemade Eye Drops

By Dave (Guest Post) August 11, 20053 found this helpful

John and Sharon must be insiders to the eyecare industry. Indoctrinated! “Gotta buy our industry’s drops and solutions–it’s the ONLY way!”
I did exactly what Kathy suggests for years and years, not to save money, but rather because most eyedrops–as in John’s example–contain bizarre chemicals. I never had a problem. (Not to mention taking a shower every day, which gets water in the eye… oh, and swimming in pools, lakes, rivers and oceans, and even getting gnats right in my eye, just like you have.)

Advertisement
Now, I’ve done this web search for a recipe to make my own saline because I’m having a new problem–my eyes are becoming sensitive in an allergic sense to all the chemicals that are in eyedrops and saline solutions, and I need to wet my eyes with something because I’m post-Lasik.
(The reason for my Lasik? I stopped being able to wear contacts because my eyes became allergic to the solutions all contact lenses come in. Thanks again, eyecare industry.)
What I’m finding is 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt (can use non iodized) in 8oz water (can use distilled). You may boil the solution as well as the droppers.
Add a pinch of baking soda if it’s for nasal irrigation. Reply Was this helpful? 3

I love these DIY eye drops! No unnecessary additives and provide comfort to dry eyes! This is so important for me that are encouraged to use eye drops daily due to frequent computer use.

My eyes were really dry. And while no eye drops will keep my eyes moist for long, have accepted that’s just the way it is, but my DIY eye drops sure do make my eyes feel better. They are so soothing and refreshing, too. These are exactly what I was looking for, no preservatives or unnatural chemicals. It’s good for hay fever or pollen allergy,too.

Ingredients:

– 1g Salt ( non-iodized salt)

-100ml Water ( distilled water or purified water )

Direction :

– Boil water.

– Sterilize the container.

– Pour the water into the container.

– Mix in the salt until dissolves.

– Let it to cool before applying.

It’s good for me, but follow your doctor’s instructions.

I use this container ↓

My ebook↓
This book shows you 10 zerowaste shops and restaurants in Kyoto. I share my favorite zerowaste spots with you. Actually, they are not zerowaste shops but they have all been very nice with our zero waste wishes. Have a nice zerowaste trip in Kyoto!
☆☆☆
Subscribe to email or LINE updates & get my EASY no blender vegan mayo recipe !

An innovative treatment for dry eyes

Two small eyepieces attached to an electric cable are placed over my eyes. Each is attached to a special contact lens, which slips under the eyelids. My eyelids are then warmed to 42Cfrom within, and massaged at the same time, for 12 minutes. It is not exactly comfortable, but afterwards, when the redness caused by the treatment subsides, my eyes feel free of the usual irritation.

Dr Barnard says that for some patients, a single session is enough to “reset” the eyes and cure dryness permanently. Others might need to repeat the treatment, depending on severity.

Lipiflow was developed by Dr Donald Korb, clinical professor at the University of California, Berkeley. “It started in 1980 when I published a paper on the mechanism of obstruction of the glands,” he tells me. “I knew if one could adequately heat the eyelids while applying pressure throughout the procedure, one would liquefy the obstructive material and there would be a high probability that the gland would again function. I then embarked on a project to accomplish this.”

A randomised, controlled trial in 2009 demonstrated that 79 per cent of patients using Lipiflow reported an improvement of their dry eyes within four weeks. Introduced in the United States in 2012, the treatment is not widespread in Europe, partly on account of cost, which is £600 per eye.

Four weeks on, I’m pleased to report that Lipiflow worked for me. I still get red eyes from time to time, but on the whole I am symptom-free. Dr Romesh Angunawela, consultant eye surgeon at Moorfields Eye Hospital, says: “Patients may

wish to try Lipiflow if they have dry eyes with oil gland dysfunction and wish to jump-start their treatment, or where other conventional methods have not produced good results. The treatment is expensive, however, and patients should first see their ophthalmologist for advice.”

Jake Wallis Simons received Lipiflow as a complementary treatment at Barnard Levit optometrists

See www.lipiflow.com/

The 5 Step Eye Massage

Have a quick two minutes? Take a little break to soothe your eyes with an eye massage. If you work on the computer for an extended period of time, or do other detailed-demanding work, you probably find that your eyes get tired before the day is done. Your concentration is likely to wander since the focus shifts to your eyes rather than the task at hand.

Why Practice Eye Care with an Eye Massage?

Tired eyes can be due to dry eyes since your eyes are fixated on a specific task where you go from blinking an average of 15 – 20 times per minute to 3 – 4 times per minute. This can strain your eye, leading to redness and fatigue.

Relieve tired or dry eyes by doing a self-massage to help increase blood circulation to the eye area and release muscle tension. The eye exercise below can be used daily to encourage healthy habits and to reap the benefits of soothing eye care.

STEP 1: Massage Eye Socket Bones

Keeping your eyes closed, use your middle finger to massage the eye-socket bones and down to the bridge of the nose. Repeat 8-10 times. This could help to increase the blood circulation in your face, giving more oxygen and nutrients to the red blood cells around your eyes.

STEP 2: Press on Pressure Points at Your Temples

Press on the pressure points just under the brow bone below the inner eyebrows and count to 3. Then press at temples and do the same. By adding pressure, you’re stimulating different areas of your facial muscles, which are responsible for squinting and blinking.

STEP 3: Relieve Pressure Between Your Eyes

Using your thumbs, gently press on the area right above the inner corner of the eyes where the crease of your lid begins. Press slowly and release. Repeat this exercise 5 times. By doing this, you’re helping to relieve pressure in between your eyes.

STEP 4: Massage Your Temples

Using your middle fingers, massage the hollow area which is located in the temples on the side of your face using an up and down motion. Continue to massage the area for 1 minute. This can help to reduce any tension in your temples and gives a feeling of relaxation.

STEP 5: Massage the Back of the Head

Using the tips of your index fingers, gently massage the area located in the back of the skull, directly behind the eyes. Take care not to press to hard since this is a tender spot. Continue to massage the area for 1 minute.

It’s great to use simple techniques in your daily routine of this eye exercise to keep your eyes healthy by massaging them.

Management of Dry Eye Syndrome

MANAGEMENT OF DRY EYE SYNDROME

by Beverly Hills Optometry

Quality tears are essential in maintaining the health of the surface of our eyes as well as keeping our vision clear and crisp. When our eyes don’t have enough quality tears to properly lubricate our eyes, Dry Eye Syndrome may develop.

There are two reasons why the amount of quality tears in our eyes may become inadequate:

1) Inadequate amount of tears.: Tears are produced by several glands in and around the eyelids. Tear production may become diminished with age, medical conditions like clogged glands, and side effects from medication. Environmental conditions can also decrease the amount of tears in our eyes due to evaporation.

2) Poor quality of tears: Tears are made up of three components: oil, water and mucus. Each component is vital to protect and nourish the surface of our eyes. The oil helps prevent evaporation, the mucin spreads the tears evenly over the surface of our eyes, and the water hydrates the tissues of our eyes. If the amount of any of the three components are reduced for any reason, this is when our eyes become dry and irritated.

Symptoms

Symptoms of dry eye syndrome include: irritation, scratchy and burning sensation, the feeling that something is in the eye, blurred vision and excess watering.

Treatment

Often times, dry eyes can be a chronic but manageable condition. The typical treatment for dry eye syndrome would be over the counter artificial tear solutions or prescription medicated drops such as Restasis or Xiidra. However, this treatment is not always effective for patients and can sometimes be inconvenient to the pace of their daily activities.

The Eye Massage featuring the Mibo Thermoflo Treatment aims to improve the secretion of meibum, the oily component of our tears, by expressing the meibomian glands along the rim of our eyelids. This treatment clears away any debris or clogged oil that may be keeping our glands from producing the adequate amount of oil to keep our tears from evaporating too quickly leaving our eyes dry.

The Eye Massage featuring the Mibo Thermoflo system is a state of the art device that is not just treating the symptoms of dry eyes, but the very cause of them. This technology is new and revolutionary and we are proud to be the only optometry office in the area to offer this service. Unfortunately, because this technology is so advanced, it is not yet currently being covered by vision or medical insurances. The medical office visit to diagnose your dry eye issues will be billed to any applicable insurances, but the procedure, itself, will be an out of pocket expense.

Pre-treatment

Please make sure to comply to the following requirements for successful treatment with The Eye Massage featuring the Mibo Thermoflo System:

a) Do not wear eye makeup such as mascara, eyeliner, eyeshadow or concealer.

b) Contact lens wearers will be asked to remove lenses before treatment.

c) Refrain from using any creams or lotions in the immediate eye area an hour before the appointment.

The Eye Massage featuring the Mibo Thermoflo Treatment System

The treatment will begin with cleansing of the eyelashes and eyelids with a gentle and non-irritating eyelid wash. This will allow us to be able to have a clean slate to allow The Eye Massage featuring the Mibo Thermoflo system to work directly with the surface of your eyelids.

The doctor or technician will prep The Eye Massage and begin the treatment directly to the eyelids. The doctor or technician will be using ultrasound gel (water-soluble and completely harmless to eyes), which helps to conduct the heat of the Mibo Themoflo system across the surface of the eyelids in a sweeping motion repeated along the length of the eyes. The sensation will be a warm and relaxing sensation across your eyes. While giving your eyes a much needed rest, the heat conducted is also expressing the meibomian glands along the eyelid line clearing out debris and promoting healthy oil production.

Post Treatment

Following the treatment, you should feel immediate relief of some of your dry eye symptoms. The eyes should feel moist and well rested and your vision should be clear. Many patients have expressed immediate relief of dry eye symptoms, sharper vision, and decreased eye fatigue throughout the day.

We suggest that you follow up the initial treatment with two more treatments, one at week 2 and another at week 3 or 4 after the initial treatment. Treatment regimen will be modified and customized depending on patient signs and symptoms.

As with all treatment of chronic conditions, positive results can be prolonged if accompanied by good home management in between treatments. We suggest the following:

1) Hot compresses; two times a day

2) Daily intake of Omega-3 Fish Oils

3) Washing eyes with a gentle eyelid cleanser at least once a day.

Author Dr. Kambiz Silani & Alexa Bolden Chief Clinical Director & Student Doctor

  • What causes dry eyes?
  • How is dry eye diagnosed?
  • How is dry eye treated?

Dry eye is a condition in which a person doesn’t have enough quality tears to lubricate and nourish the eye. Tears are necessary for maintaining the health of the front surface of the eye and for providing clear vision. Dry eye is a common and often chronic problem, particularly in older adults.
With each blink of the eyelids, tears spread across the front surface of the eye, known as the cornea. Tears provide lubrication, reduce the risk of eye infection, wash away foreign matter in the eye and keep the surface of the eyes smooth and clear. Excess tears in the eyes flow into small drainage ducts in the inner corners of the eyelids, which drain into the back of the nose. Dry eyes can occur when tear production and drainage is not in balance.
People with dry eyes either do not produce enough tears or their tears are of a poor quality:

  • Inadequate amount of tears. Tears are produced by several glands in and around the eyelids. Tear production tends to diminish with age, with various medical conditions or as a side effect of certain medicines. Environmental conditions, such as wind and dry climates, can also decrease tear volume due to increased tear evaporation. When the normal amount of tear production decreases or tears evaporate too quickly from the eyes, symptoms of dry eye can develop.
  • Poor quality of tears. Tears are made up of three layers: oil, water and mucus. Each component protects and nourishes the front surface of the eye. A smooth oil layer helps prevent evaporation of the water layer, while the mucin layer spreads the tears evenly over the surface of the eye. If the tears evaporate too quickly or do not spread evenly over the cornea due to deficiencies with any of the three tear layers, dry eye symptoms can develop.
    The most common form of dry eyes occurs when the water layer of tears is inadequate. This condition, called keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS), is also referred to as dry eye syndrome.

People with dry eyes may experience irritated, gritty, scratchy or burning eyes; a feeling of something in their eyes; excess watering; and blurred vision. Advanced dry eyes may damage the front surface of the eye and impair vision.
Treatments for dry eyes aim to restore or maintain the normal amount of tears in the eye to minimize dryness and related discomfort and to maintain eye health.

What causes dry eyes?

Dry eyes can develop for many reasons, including:

  • Age. Dry eyes are a part of the natural aging process. The majority of people over age 65 experience some symptoms of dry eyes.
  • Gender. Women are more likely to develop dry eyes due to hormonal changes caused by pregnancy, the use of oral contraceptives and menopause.
  • Medications. Certain medicines, including antihistamines, decongestants, blood pressure medications and antidepressants, can reduce tear production.
  • Medical conditions. People with rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes and thyroid problems are more likely to have symptoms of dry eyes. Also, problems with inflammation of the eyelids (blepharitis), inflammation of the surfaces of the eye, or the inward or outward turning of eyelids can cause dry eyes to develop.
  • Environmental conditions. Exposure to smoke, wind and dry climates can increase tear evaporation resulting in dry eye symptoms. Failure to blink regularly, such as when staring at a computer screen for long periods of time, can also contribute to drying of the eyes.
  • Other factors. Long-term use of contact lenses can be a factor in the development of dry eyes. Refractive eye surgeries, such as LASIK, can decrease tear production and contribute to dry eyes.

How are dry eyes diagnosed?

Dry eyes can be diagnosed through a comprehensive eye examination. Testing, with emphasis on the evaluation of the quantity and quality of tears produced by the eyes, may include:

  • Patient history to determine the patient’s symptoms and to note any general health problems, medications or environmental factors that may be contributing to the dry eye problem.
  • External examination of the eye, including lid structure and blink dynamics.
  • Evaluation of the eyelids and cornea using bright light and magnification.
  • Measurement of the quantity and quality of tears for any abnormalities. Special dyes may be put in the eyes to better observe tear flow and to highlight any changes to the outer surface of the eye caused by insufficient tears.

With the information obtained from testing, your optometrist can determine if you have dry eyes and advise you on treatment options.

How are dry eyes treated?

Dry eyes can be a chronic condition, but your optometrist can prescribe treatment to keep your eyes healthy and comfortable and to prevent your vision from being affected.
The primary approaches used to manage and treat dry eyes include adding tears using over-the-counter artificial tear solutions, conserving tears, increasing tear production, and treating the inflammation of the eyelids or eye surface that contributes to the dry eyes.

  • Adding tears. Mild cases of dry eyes can often be managed using over-the-counter artificial tear solutions. These can be used as often as needed to supplement natural tear production. Preservative-free artificial tear solutions are recommended because they contain fewer additives, which can further irritate the eyes.
    People with dry eyes that don’t respond to artificial tears alone will need to take additional steps to treat their dry eyes.
  • Conserving tears. Keeping natural tears in the eyes longer can reduce the symptoms of dry eyes. This can be done by blocking the tear ducts through which the tears normally drain. The tear ducts can be blocked with tiny silicone or gel-like plugs that can be removed, if needed. Or a surgical procedure can permanently close the tear ducts. In either case, the goal is to keep the available tears in the eye longer to reduce problems related to dry eyes.
  • Increasing tear production. Your optometrist can prescribe eye drops that increase tear production. Taking an omega-3 fatty acid nutritional supplement may also help.
  • Treating the contributing eyelid or ocular surface inflammation. Your optometrist might recommend prescription eye drops or ointments, warm compresses and lid massage, or eyelid cleaners to help decrease inflammation around the surface of the eyes.

Self care

You can take the following steps to reduce symptoms of dry eyes:

  • Remember to blink regularly when reading or staring at a computer screen for long periods of time.
  • Increase the humidity in the air at work and at home.
  • Wear sunglasses outdoors, particularly those with wraparound frames, to reduce exposure to drying winds and the sun.
  • Nutritional supplements containing essential fatty acids may help decrease dry eye symptoms in some people. Ask your optometrist if taking dietary supplements could help your dry eye problems.
  • Avoiding becoming dehydrated by drinking plenty of water (8 to 10 glasses) each day.

Every time you blink, your natural tears keep your eyes hydrated and healthy. But if you have dry eye, your eyes don’t produce enough tears. Uncomfortable dryness can result from working at a computer for long periods and not blinking frequently enough, while more serious cases of chronic dry eye or dry eye syndrome can include symptoms like a “gritty” feeling, burning, and irritation. At worst, dry eye can be accompanied by inflammation and lead to scarring of the cornea, and even vision loss (Note: if you experience eye pain or changes in vision, consult a doctor). Common culprits of dry eye include certain medications, age and related hormonal changes, and medical conditions including diabetes.

Essential Fatty Acids

In one particularly noteworthy study published in Cornea, 36 patients with dry eye syndrome were given either placebos or omega-3 fatty acids (which consisted of 450 mg of EPA, 300 mg of DHA, and 1,000 mg of flaxseed oil) daily for three months. Remarkably, 70% of those taking the omega-3s experienced an improvement in their dry eye symptoms versus only 7% of the control group.

Another study that examined the effects of sea buckthorn oil on dry eye, published in the Journal of Nutrition, found that people ages 20 to 70 with dry eye who took 2 gm of sea buckthorn oil for 3 months experienced less redness and burning, and less tear evaporation from the eyes. Sea buckthorn oil is rich in omega-7, omega-9, omega-6, and omega-3 fatty acids.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A helps protect the cornea and is essential to good vision. What’s more, a deficiency in this vitamin can cause and exacerbate dry eye. Eye drops containing vitamin A have been shown to be effective for dry eye. A trial involving 50 patients with dry eye, published in the American Journal of Ophthalmology, concluded that vitamin A drops administered four times daily were an effective treatment for dry eye disorder.

Homeopathic Drops

Homeopathic eye drops can quickly help reduce the irritation associated with dry eye and assist in lubricating the surface of the eye. These drops, containing diluted amounts of active medicine, are formulated to temporarily relieve dryness, redness, and grittiness, and can be used anytime for instant relief. Best of all, they are safe and side-effect-free.

Jennifer Martin is a freelance writer based in Los Angeles.

Caffeine for Dry Eye?

That cup o’ joe in the morning might benefit your dry eye. Caffeine can significantly increase the eye’s ability to produce tears, according to
researchers at the University of Tokyo’s School of Medicine. Study participants received either caffeine tablets or a placebo, and tear volume was measured after 45 minutes. All participants who consumed caffeine produced significantly more tears compared to those who took the placebo.

Quick Fix for Eyestrain

Apply a cool compress of chickweed, eyebright, or marigold extract over the eyes for 10-15 minutes.

From The Healing Remedies Sourcebook by C. Norman Shealy, MD, PhD

Good Buys:

NORDIC NATURALS Omega Vision provides concentrated omega-3 fish oil shown to alleviate dryness, pain, and redness, plus eye protective nutrients.

ECOLOGICAL FORMULAS Beta Carotene drops deliver 10,000 IU of beta carotene (a precursor to vitamin A) per drop. Take 1–4 drops daily.

SIMILASAN Dry Eye Relief homeopathic drops immediately soothe the discomfort of dry eye, including redness, grittiness, and sensitivity to light.

Cornea

Dry eye syndrome is one of the most under-diagnosed eye problems and can lead to serious problems, including scarring and other vision-threatening conditions, if left untreated. The eye depends on the flow of tears to provide constant moisture and lubrication to maintain vision and comfort.

Tears are a combination of water, for moisture; oils, for lubrication; mucus, for even spreading; and antibodies and special proteins, for resistance to infection. These components are secreted by special glands located around the eye. When there is an imbalance in this tear system, a person may experience dry eyes.

In addition to lubricating the eye, tears are also produced as a reflex response to outside stimulus such as an injury or emotion. This is the watery eye symptom so common with the syndrome. However, reflex tears do little to soothe a dry eye.

Other common symptoms include:

  • dryness
  • redness
  • itching
  • blurred vision
  • eyestrain
  • feeling of something foreign in the eye

Causes and Contributing Factors

  • aging
  • hot, dry or windy conditions
  • high altitudes
  • air-conditioning
  • cigarette smoke
  • computer use
  • contact lenses
  • certain medications
  • thyroid conditions
  • menopause
  • vitamin A deficiency
  • diseases such as diabetes, rosacea, rheumatoid arthritis, glaucoma and Sjogren’s

Treatment

The Eye Clinic offers specialized diagnostic and treatment services for dry eye syndrome.

Artificial Tears
Some of these products are watery and alleviate the symptoms temporarily; others are thicker
and adhere to the eye longer. Preservative-free tears are recommended because they are the
most soothing and have fewer additives that could potentially irritate. Avoid products that
whiten the eyes – they don’t have adequate lubricating qualities and often make the problem
worse.

Prescription Medications
These help the eyes produce more tears by reducing inflammation, which is often a cause of dry
eye.

Punctal Plugs
These special inserts close the opening of the tear drain in the eyelid to trap tears on the eye,
keeping it moist. This may be done on a temporary or permanent basis.

Surgery
For severe cases that do not respond well to other treatment options, the ducts that drain tears
into the nose can be permanently closed with a minor outpatient surgical procedure to allow
more tears to remain around the eye.

Specific Treatment Products Available at The Eye Clinic for Dry Eye Syndrome:

Restasis
Prescription eye drops therapy for patients with dry eye disease whose tear production is
suppressed due to ocular inflammation. Restasis drops help the eyes produce more tears by reducing
inflammation. Unlike artificial tears, Restasis is the first drug proven to effectively treat a cause of dry
eye disease rather than only temporarily alleviate symptoms.

Oasis Tears
Glycerin-based lubricant eye drops that coat, lubricate and moisten delicate ocular tissue for
long lasting relief of dry eye symptoms.

TheraTears
A patented balance of nutrients that matches natural tears to soothe and comfort, and to
protect against future problems. TheraTears are available in different formulas to meet every need,
including single dose vials, bottles, overnight gel and a nutrition supplement.

Tranquil Eyes
Soft padded eyecups, fashioned as comfortable goggles, gently enclose the eyes to prevent
evaporation of both natural and artificial tears, increase eye humidity and promote overall eye
health. The removable inserts can be immersed in warm water for a restorative hydrating treatment.
To reduce puffiness, the inserts can be dampened with cold water or chill in the freezer. These goggles
help prevent evaporation of natural tears and provide the benefits of increased humidity in the eye
area—leaving eyes feeling refreshed.

Onyix
A soft, flexible shield made from silicone developed to shelter the eyes from environmental
elements that contribute to dryness. Onyix is lightweight, comfortable and seals against the skin. It is
highly recommended for sleep and air travel.

For more information about dry eye syndrome, or to schedule an evaluation, call The Eye Clinic at (337) 478-3810.

About the author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *