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Dry Eye

Dry Eye Treatment Idaho Falls

We live in one of the most beautiful places in the world. Unfortunately, high altitudes, low humidity, mountain breezes, bountiful farms, wild flowers, and the occasional forest fire can wreak havoc on your eyes. Cold winters producing some of the greatest snow on earth can also be a recipe for ocular disaster.

Everyone has experienced, at one time or another, the irritation of dry eyes. For some, this momentary annoyance becomes a constant, unrelenting barrier to doing their job or enjoying time with friends and family.

Just like diabetes or high blood pressure, chronic dry eyes disease requires a comprehensive evaluation and treatment plan with the goal of not just relieving symptoms but treating the root cause and getting individuals back to doing the things they enjoy most.

Frequently Asked Questions About Dry Eye

What is dry eye disease?

Simply put, dry eye disease is an imbalance of the eyes’ tear film. Decreased tear production, poor tear quality caused by poorly functioning oil glands in the eyelids, inflammation, and the environment all play roles in this process.

How do I know if I have dry eyes?

 

Dry eyes can manifest itself in a number of ways including irritation, redness, burning, and blurred vision. One of the most confusing things about dry eyes is that tearing and watery eyes are common symptoms as well. Your eye doctor can also visualize areas of dryness and damage by using a special stain called fluorescein.

Photo of Dry Eye
Photo of Dry Eye stained with flourescein

What causes dry eyes?

Beyond environmental factors, the causes are almost as numerous as the symptoms. Medications, diet, hormonal changes, aging, occupation, and history of contact lens wear or LASIK can all contribute. In rare circumstances, dry eyes could be the first sign of systemic diseases such as Sjogrens’s syndrome or rheumatoid arthritis. Even young people are at risk with increasing amounts of time spent on mobile devices and video games.

What are treatment options?

The exciting news about treating dry eyes is that options for treatment continue to expand rapidly. Beyond artificial tears, there are a host of good options that can be explored under the supervision of an eye care professional.

Lifestyle Modifications

  • Take a break from screen time! Follow the 20/20/20 rule. Take a break every 20 minutes and look 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
  • Limit exposure to wind, fans, and forced air heating and air conditioning. Wraparound sunglasses, a sleep mask, and humidifiers can be very helpful in these circumstances.
  • Research indicates that Omega 3 supplements high in EPA and DHA may be beneficial in certain groups of dry eye sufferers.
  • Drinking plenty of water is essential to good health and ocular hydration.
  • Practice good contact lens hygiene with a proper disinfecting and replacement schedule.

Medications

  • Prescription eye drops target steps in the eye’s inflammatory pathway. Interrupting this damaging cycle can lead to increased tear production and improvement of symptoms. Some of these medications include: Restasis, Xiidra, and Cequa.
  • Short courses of topical steroids and even oral antibiotics with anti-inflammatory properties can be helpful.
  • Allergy eye drops are often required when an allergic component is contributing to the problem.
  • Gabpentin and Lyrica

Natural Treatments

  • The use of warm compresses can help melt plugged eyelid oil glands, improve tear film quality and decrease tear evaporation.
  • Lid scrubs with tea tree oil or hypochlorous acid can also aid by decreasing debris and removing unwanted bacteria and microscopic mites.
  • Autologous Serum tears are an advanced form of treatment for severe dry eyes. A patient’s blood is drawn and the red blood cells are removed. The remaining clear serum is specially formulated into eye drops that contain growth factors and other nutrients that help heal the eye and reduce symptoms.
Dry Eye Eyelashes

It’s important to understand irritation and blurred vision are not normal at any age and solutions exist when artificial tears are not enough.

The beauty of Idaho is meant to be enjoyed with both comfort and visual clarity year round. If you or a loved one is struggling with dry eyes, please call and schedule an appointment today.

Contact Us

2100 Providence Way
Idaho Falls, ID 83404

Monday- Thursday 8:00 am- 5:00 pm
Friday 8:00 am - 3:00 pm

208-529-6600

Fax: 208.529.6602

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