Ask anyone suffering from dry eye disease, and they’ll tell you that it impacts severely on their quality of life. Chronic pain and discomfort can be extremely debilitating. Home remedies can improve symptoms, but are they enough?
Sometimes you need more than artificial tears, warm compresses and lid scrubs and a more powerful treatment is needed to get things under control. Professional in-house treatments are many times more effective than home therapies. Three of the best are discussed here:
If your dry eye disease is associated with blepharitis (where the margins of your eyelids are red, inflamed, flaky or crusted), BlephEx treatment is an excellent starting point. BlephEx is a professional-level treatment which clears your lids of the crusting and bio-film that can cause inflammation and block the flow of oil into your tear film. There are rows of tiny glands situated along the eyelids, which provide much-needed oil for your tear-film. You can think of BlephEx as a bit like having your annual appointment with the dental hygienist. It doesn’t matter how well you brush and floss at home, there will always be tartar building up on your teeth. Similarly with your eyelids, home treatments such as warm compresses and lid-scrubs cannot compare to a professional eye-lid treatment. It takes about half an hour at the clinic and is relatively inexpensive. It is of most benefit to those with crusted, flaky eyelid margins. The beneficial effects of BlephEx won't last for ever, but they can really help to get your dry eye under control if blepharitis is the underlying cause.
Intense pulsed light (IPL)
IPL is one of the newer therapies for certain kinds of dry eye condition. Some forms of dry eye are caused by reduced function of the Meibomian glands in the eyelids – the ones that produce that important oily tear layer that prevents your tears from evaporating. In some people, the skin of the eyelids is affected by Ocular Rosacea and the eyelid margins become congested with tiny spider-veins. If this is at the root of your dry eye problem, IPL treatment may result in an improvement in tear gland function. Treatment for suitable patients is provided in-house, over 2 or 3 sessions. It is important to note that IPL can be a waste of money for many kinds of dry eye. Proper assessment and diagnosis is essential.
Finding it hard to bring your dry eye disease under control? Lipiflow is the ultimate dry eye treatment for certain types of dry eyes. Your meibomian glands are situated along the edges of the eyelids. They are responsible for squeezing tiny quantities of oil into your tear film each time you blink. If they become blocked, due to hardening of the oil in the glands, your tear film is left short of oil, and can easily evaporate, leaving you with symptoms of dry eye. Clearing out the glands and getting the oil to soften and flow more easily can solve the problem. Lipiflow uses a combination of heat and massage to specifically target your meibomian glands. It involves a single in-house treatment, the results of which can last for 12 months or more. It is more costly than IPL or BlephEx and should only be recommended where meibomian gland dysfunction is at the root of your dry eye problem.