Dry Eye Treatment

Dry Eye Syndrome & Treatment

Dry eye is one of the most common causes of ocular discomfort, and a frequent complaint by patients when visiting their eye doctor. Dry Eye Syndrome can be caused by misbalanced tears, which are comprised of three primary components: oils, goblet cells, and the aqueous portion. These components work together to ensure that our eyes have the appropriate amount of moisture to function properly and comfortably. The lacrimal gland is responsible for most tear production, while the Meibomian gland produces the oily component. Goblet cells keep the components mixed together. Dry Eye occurs when one or several of these glands are not functioning properly, causing either insufficient tear volume or poor quality tear production.

Common causes of dry eye syndrome are inflammation of the lacrimal gland, which causes low tear volume, and inflammation the glands that exist at the margin of our eyelids, which can cause low quality tears. Other reasons for dry eye are changes in medication or hormonal changes.

If you are experiencing dry eye, it is likely that you will have one or several of the following symptoms:

  • Red, dry, or scratchy eyes
  • Blurred vision
  • Burning sensation
  • Gritty sensation

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms and are struggling to find relief, call us at Tenafly Eye Associates today! We have a variety of options to help you manage and treat your dry eyes.

Treatment & Help for Dry Eyes

At Tenafly Eye Associates, PA, our eye doctors will perform diagnostic testing for dry eyes and will be able to make a treatment recommendation for your individual situation. Depending on the severity and the cause of your dry eyes, we may recommend a number of different treatment options to help your dry eye problems.  These treatment options may include Restasis® or Xiidra® prescription eye drops, punctal plugs, artificial tears, LipiFlow® and even dietary supplements and vitamins. If you have mild or even moderate dry eyes, the first course of treatment may only be to use unpreserved artificial tears which we will select for you in terms of salt content and viscosity.
There may also be some environmental factors that you need to alter to make you more comfortable, such as how and where you are exposed to heat ducts or fans blowing, as well as attempting to keep the areas that you spend a great deal of time in at a proper humidity level.

Punctal Plugs
We may suggest the insertion of tiny punctal plugs that will slow down or even stop the drainage of tears from the eye. These plugs are easily and comfortably placed in the ducts in your eyelids. If the results are good, we may place a more permanent type of plug in eyelid ducts to affect a long-term solution. These plugs can remain in place indefinitely, but can also be removed as needed.
Restasis® & Xiidra® Eye Drops
For patients with moderate to severe dry eyes who may have already tried using artificial tear eye drops and punctal plugs without relief, the prescription of Restasis® or Xiidra® eye drops, with or without the other treatments, may often help alleviate your symptoms. Even with the above treatment options, there are some patients that may not respond as well as desired due to some underlying low-grade inflammatory or infectious process. In these cases, it may be necessary for us to also prescribe an oral antibiotic such as doxycycline or an anti-inflammatory eye drop such as a steroid eye drop.
LipiFlow® for Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD)

For patients who have dry eye problems resulting from meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD) or other conditions that prevent the normal secretion of a healthy tear film oily layer, we are able to help the eyelids and the surrounding tissue function better with the use of the LipiFlow®, which removes blockages of the glands and restores their function so that they provide normal oily secretions for a healthy tear film.