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Medical Management

26 iStock 000009346673Medium lady dropsDry eyes or Dry Eye Syndrome can be caused from many things. The term Dry Eyes should not be considered a diagnosis, but rather a symptom. Finding the cause of the dry eyes is very important in determining the best treatment plan.

Our doctors take the time and do the extra testing often needed to determine the cause of the dry eyes, and are therefore able to provide the most effective treatment options.

Because Dry Eyes and Blepharitis frequently occur together, their treatments are often closely linked. Below are some of the medical management options used in our office, with the most exciting one being the Intense Pulsed Light Therapy (IPL).

Depending on the cause of Dry Eye, the treatment may include one or a combination of several of the below treatments.

  • Artificial tears or ocular lubricants to alleviate the dry, scratching feeling and foreign body sensation of dry eye. We generally recommend preservative free formulas for patients using artificial tears more than four times a day. We will recommend the type of drops, emulsions or ointments and appropriate formulation for the patient’s needs.
  • Prescription eye drops to reduce inflammation. These are generally steroidal or non-steroidal drops that may be used for a short period of time.
  • Restasis which may help to increase tear production.
  • Punctal Plugs which are used to conserve the tears in the eye.
  • Omega-3 Supplements and flax seed oil has been shown to be beneficial in many cases. We carry the highest quality supplements in our office pharmacy
  • Intense Pulsed Light Therapy (IPL) which is one of newest forms of treatment, and is most effective when the dry eye is linked to Blepharitis, Meibomian Gland Dysfunction or Ocular Rosacea.

Blepharitis

blepharitisBlepharitis is inflammation of the eyelids, occurring particularly at the lid margins. It’s a common disorder and may be associated with a low-grade bacterial infection, microscopic mites, Meibomian Gland Dysfunction or a generalized skin condition such as Ocular Rosacea or seborrheic dermatitis.

Treatment of Blepharitis depends on the type of Blepharitis you have, but it may include one or more of the following:

  • Applying warm compresses to the eyelids to help liquefy the oily secretions that may be clogging the glands.
  • Cleaning your eyelids frequently to help remove any flaking and minimize bacterial growth.
  • Using a topical antibiotic or antibiotic /steroid combination in the eyes or along the lid margins to reduce bacterial growth and inflammation.
  • Massaging the lids to help express oil from the meibomian glands.
  • Artificial tears or lubricating ointments to relieve the dry eye symptoms.
  • Omega-3 supplements
  • Oral antibiotics which decrease bacterial growth and help to decrease the viscosity of the oil secretions in lid margin glands.
  • Intense Pulsed Light Therapy (IPL) which is one of newest forms of treatment, and is most effective when the dry eye is linked to Blepharitis, Meibomian Gland Dysfunction or Ocular Rosacea.

How Do I Do the Warm Compresses & Lid Washes?

Warm Compresses – We have found the following 2 methods to be effective:

  • Put uncooked rice in a soft clean sock; make it about bean bag consistency. Heat in the microwave until a comfortably warm and place over both eyes for 5 minutes one to four times daily depending on the severity.
  • Purchase a ready-made heating system and apply in the same manner

Lid Washes – This is generally done with a Q-tip by gently washing the lash line and then rinsing with cool water and is done one to two times a day depending on the severity. It is best to do this after the warm compress and can be done with either:

  • A diluted mixture of baby shampoo and water.
  • A commercially prepared soap. Some of these come in single dispense packages, foam preparations or in No-Rinse formulations. We carry many of these in our office pharmacy.

When treating Blepharitis it is important to always wash your hands before and after touching your eyelids.

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