Dry eyes treatment
What’s going to work for you, when everything you’ve tried before has failed?
There is a range of treatment options available, depending on the type and extent of your dry eye problem. Accurate diagnosis and assessment are essential to choosing the correct treatment.
Some treatments, such as artificial tears, bring symptomatic relief. Others improve the function of the tear glands and provide lasting results. As meibomian gland dysfunction is essentially a skin problem rather than an eye problem, further therapies may be recommended to support healthy eyelids.
Our treatments are tailored to each individual in order to maximise comfort and minimise dependence on artificial tears. They include:
We offer the latest and most advanced over-the-counter lubricants as well as the latest in prescription eye drops, which include Restatsis, Azithromycin, Prednisolone (all preservative-free).
We also offer specialised compounded eye drops that are not available through normal pharmacies.
A short course of high strength steroid eye drops is often a great way to kick-start your treatment by dealing with inflammation. Once the inflammation has settled, other treatment strategies can be applied.
Sometimes, eye drops alone are not enough to control the inflammation underlying dry eyes. Special kinds of antibiotic (Doxycycline or Azithromycin) may be prescribed for a course of weeks to months. These drugs act on your dry eye from the inside, softening the secretions of the eyelids and allowing the tear film to return to normal.
Blink rehabilitation involves a program retrains eye muscles to blink fully and more regularly. This can bring a rapid improvement in symptoms.
Lid hygiene regimes (lid-scrubs, warm compresses) as used to clear blepharitis and improve oily tear-gland function
Nutrition and Supplements
Omega 3 oils and micronutrients can provide much-needed support to dry eye sufferers. We provide high quality probiotics and supplements as well as specific recipes for those who prefer to incorporate omega 3s into their diet.
This amazing technology is the ultimate for the most common cause of dry eyes – meibomian gland dysfunction. As of 2014, there are only five of these instruments in the whole of Australia. The Eye Practice was the first to install this technology a number of years ago and to date has performed the most procedures and therefore has the most experience with this fantastic instrument. Lipiflow is a professional in-house treatment that combines lid massage with heat in order to clear blocked meibomian glands. (Cost ~$1,950)
Intense Pulsed Light (IPL)
This procedure was originally approved for skin rosacea. Many dry eye patients also have ocular rosacea. IPL can be very effectively used for stimulating the meibomian glands and and calming down the telangiectatic vessels that are associated with dry eyes and rosacea around the eyes. (Cost ~$950 for 3 sessions including IPL and Meibomian Gland Expression.
This is a professional in-house eyelid hygiene treatment for a condition called anterior blepharitis. This is commonly associated with dry and red eyes. It is one of the most common reasons that patients seek our services. For more on blepharitis click here. Blephex can be compared to dental hygiene. Just as we are all familiar with an in-house professional dental clean, so can you eyelids be professionally cleaned to keep this annoying condition under control. (Cost ~$400).
To clear blockages from the oil glands: ~$95
Meibomian Gland Expression
To clear crusting from eyelid margins: ~$400
This simple instrument basically is sophisticated humidity goggle, which is effective for home treatment. Dry Eye treatment is also about what you do to maintain things at home. Do not be led to believe that this is an effective in-office professional treatment. It needs to be used every day at home to have any hope of helping.
To retain your tears in your eye for longer: ~$400
To reduce evaporation from wind, air-conditioning, during sleep or travel: from $99
Scleral Contact Lenses
To provide a physical barrier to evaporation: ~$2,500-$4,000
Dry eyes can be aggravated by regular cosmetics and face creams. Specialised Skin Care and Cosmetics ranges can allow dry eye sufferers to wear make up and moisturise without further irritating their eyes.
When can I expect results?
There is no quick fix for severe or chronic dry eye. Most therapy programs involve a multi-pronged approach, where the underlying causes of dry eye are targeted. Symptomatic relief is just that – relief – and does not address the underlying causes of your dry eye disease. Quite often there is no definitive cure.
The goal of all our dry eye therapy is to improve comfort while simultaneously reducing dependence on artificial tear supplements.
Therapy often includes a nutritional supplement to improve the symptoms of dry eye from the inside out. Targeted eyelid treatments, such as intense pulsed light (IPL) and meibomian gland expression, can yield immediate and highly beneficial results. Longer term improvement usually continues for several months. Maintenance is often required throughout your life.
How can I improve my chances of successful treatment?
Engagement and ongoing compliance with treatment strategies is critical to achieve a level of success that will make a favourable difference to your lifestyle.
It is very useful to compare dry eye management to dental management; We have been educated for over a generation now that it is imperative to brush and floss our teeth every day. Yearly or more frequently we need to attend a professional dental appointment to have our teeth professionally cleaned and thoroughly analysed to make sure our oral hygiene is at an appropriate level to avoid gum disease.
We use a similar approach with many of our dry eye patients. Once you experience dry eye symptoms, they will usually be with you on and off for the rest of your life. Best results are achieved by combining an individualised dry eye treatment program at home with a yearly appointment at our clinic. This allows for a thorough assessment of your progress and some minor treatments to keep things on track.