When a person experiences dry eyes, choosing an eye specialist Houston offers will make the problem better. Dry eyes can be extremely painful and may disrupt vision. Although there are simple techniques that may solve the problem at home, certain circumstances require medical intervention. Here are some procedures an eye specialist may perform to alleviate dry eye symptoms.
Causes of Dry Eyes
Eye dryness occur as the balance of the tear-flow system becomes disrupted. Simple things like heat or air conditioning may dry eyes. It is also common for a woman’s eyes to dry out after she reaches menopause. Certain diseases like rheumatoid arthritis or structural eyelid issues may cause the problem as well. Also, dry eyes may be a side effect of taking medications including antihistamines or birth control.
Visiting an Eye Specialist for Help
Many people try home remedies or over the counter drops to relieve the redness and itching associated with the problem. Eye drops act as “artificial tears” to provide better lubrication. When these fail, it may be time to schedule an appointment with an eye specialist Houston offers.
Upon first visit, an eye specialist performs a complete examination looking for tears, blockages, or other causes of eye dryness. A test may be performed to measure the eye’s baseline rate of tear production. After dry eyes are confirmed and a reason for the problem has been pinpointed, a treatment will be recommended.
Specialist Treatments for Dry Eye Symptoms
- Punctual Plugs – Punctual plugs are small devices placed into tear ducts to block drainage. This is meant to raise the eye’s moisture. An eye specialist will measure the patient’s tear ducts and choose semi-permanent or disposable plugs. Before insertion, a local anesthetic may be provided. Slight discomfort is common during the insertion process, but the plugs cannot be felt after they are set in place. No recovery time is necessary.
- Lipiflow – Lipiflow is thermal pulsation technology that applies controlled heat to the interior of the eyelid. It also applies pressure to release lipids from blocked glands. The entire procedure is painless and can be performed in office. Studies show nearly 80 percent of patients receiving Lipiflow report improvement in symptoms within one month.
- Prescription Eye Drops – Besides drops found on store shelves, eye doctors may prescribe medication to treat eye dryness. For example, Restasis is the only prescription drop that heightens natural tear production. Steroid eye drops may also be given to reduce inflammation and treat dry eyes. However, these should only be used on a short term basis to prevent cataracts or other problems from forming.
Since dry eyes is an extremely common ailment, ophthalmologists are always testing new treatment options. Limited resources force these professionals to consider drugs used for other conditions. For instance, research is examining the effects of NSAIDS on dry eye relief. Proponents believe these drugs provide similar results as steroids. Other new treatments being tested include serum tears and the use of intense pulse light. When a person experiences extreme dry eye symptoms, it is key to consult with an eye specialist Houston practice such as Dr. Goosey’s. An expert like him will be able to recommend an effective treatment and educate a patient about simple life changes that can prevent and solve the problem. If you have any questions about dry eye, give us a call. We’re happy to help.