Diagnosis & Treatment of Dry Eye Syndrome, in Mount Airy, MD
Your tears comfort your eyes in many ways. Water moisturizes; an outer layer of oils lubricates and prevents evaporation, and proteins help protect against infection. Dry eye strikes when your eyes can’t produce enough tears for lubrication or the moisture in your tears evaporates too quickly. Dr. Boaz Schwartz provides you with excellent care and expert treatment your dry eye syndrome.
An overwhelming number of individuals in the US suffer from the irritating symptoms of dry eyes. Estimates put this amount at more than five million people! While everyone’s symptoms are unique, the most common signs are a constant stinging or burning in your eyes, a scratchy feeling, and/or the need to keep blinking and rubbing your eyes. Pink or red eyes are also typical, and wearing contact lenses is often impossible.
Dry eyes do not usually pose any danger, yet they are certainly annoying and may disrupt many of your daily tasks. If these symptoms are familiar to you – there’s no reason to suffer. At our Mount Airy optometry practice, Mt. Airy Medical Eye Center, we’re experienced and skilled in diagnosing and treating dry eyes. Please contact us to schedule an appointment with Dr. Boaz Schwartz.
The best way to decide upon an effective dry eye treatment for you is to first identify the source of the problem. Dry eyes can be caused by a number of culprits, and based on the results of our eye exam along with information about your lifestyle, we’ll advise the most suitable dry eye treatment.
What are some common causes for dry eyes?
A variety of environmental conditions, health factors, and lifestyle habits can lead to the development of your dry eyes. Typical causes include:
- Environments with high temperatures, low humidity, high pollution, and/or strong winds
- Long periods of time spent looking at computers or reading, which are actions associated with reduced blinking
- Wearing contact lenses
- Aging, specifically with females
- Hormone replacement therapy
- Smoking, or being around smokers
- Post-LASIK surgery
- A problem with your tear-producing glands or in the conjunctival surface
- Diseases, such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, hepatitis C and vitamin A deficiency
- Side effect of medications, such as antihistamines, antidepressants, and diuretics
How do we diagnose Dry Eye Syndrome in Maryland?
Diagnosing dry eye requires a comprehensive eye exam. During this time, our eye doctor may do a few tests to help with the diagnosis including InflammaDry. This test represents the innovation being made in dry eye diagnostic technology. It is completed in-office with results given before you leave the office.
InflammaDry is a quick test used to look for an inflammatory marker in tears called MMP-9. People who have higher levels of this specific marker are more likely to have dry eye. The doctor uses the InflammaDry device to collect a sample of your tears and within 10 minutes a blue or red line will appear to illustrate whether the results are positive or negative.
Symptoms of dry eyes:
- Stinging or burning
- Itchy, scratchy eyes
- Red/pink and irritated eyes
- Blurred vision
- Sensation that sand or a foreign object is under your eyelids
- Very watery eyes (dry eyes can sometimes trigger tear production)
What are some effective dry eye treatments?
There is no cure for dry eyes, yet we can offer many strategies and treatments to help alleviate your pain and discomfort. In our Maryland eye center, we’ll personalize a treatment plan to meet your health condition and lifestyle needs.
A CLINICALLY PROVEN AND NATURAL WAY TO TREAT CHRONIC DRY EYE, MGD AND BLEPHARITIS
BRUDER Moist Heat Eye Compress opens oil glands and allows natural oils to flow back into the eye relieving discomfort from aging, contact lenses, use of digital devices and more.
The easy-to-use compress delivers an effective moist heat treatment. Simply microwave for 20-25 seconds and apply for 10 minutes or as prescribed by your doctor.
The compress helps stabilize the tear film, improves oil gland function and slows tear evaporation. Properly hydrated and lubricated eyes can expel bacteria and debris more efficiently so your eyes will feel refreshed and rejuvenated.
- Safe for frequent use
- Self-hydrating – no need to add water
- Anti-bacterial and non-allergenic
- Washable and reusable.
- Unique pod design provides improved fit and performance.
Xiidra comes in eye drop form, and the prescription for most people will be a drop in each eye twice a day. One main difference between Restasis, a decade-old medication used to treat dry eye, and Xiidra is that Xiidra is approved to treat not just dry eye signs but its symptoms as well. That distinction is because of the nature of the product. Xiidra stops a chemical chain reaction in the cells. When the drop hits the eye, the drop binds with proteins in the cells that stop the signals that would otherwise create many of the problems and symptoms of dry eye including itching, burning, pain, and redness. This effect can be noticed quite quickly!
Xiidra was found to start working in test subjects as early as two weeks after the beginning of the application and most felt the difference within 12 weeks. That’s a huge jump forward from Restasis, which typically takes about six months before a real difference is felt by users.
Your own real tears are a real possibility. RESTASIS®—the one and only prescription medication FDA-approved to help you make more of your own tears —is available in a multidose bottle. RESTASIS® and RESTASIS MultiDose™ help increase your eyes' natural ability to produce tears, which may be reduced by inflammation due to Chronic Dry Eye. RESTASIS® and RESTASIS MultiDose™ did not increase tear production in patients using anti-inflammatory eye drops of tear duct plugs.
Our optometrist in Mount Airy, MD is really excited about a new procedure and new product for patients with Blepharitis (inflammation along the eyelid margin) or Dry Eyes.
We are now performing microexfoliation of the lid margins/lash area with an instrument called BlephEx.
This procedure eliminates the biofilm associated with Blepharitis and Dry Eyes. It works very well to reduce associated irritation, redness, inflammation and dryness.
BioDOptix® Corneal Treatment for Severe Dry Eye & Ocular Trauma
BioDOptix® is a dehydrated, extracellular membrane allograft derived from human amniotic tissue for use as a scaffold for ocular tissue repair and regeneration. Biod-Optix, a revolutionary new technology that utilizes the amazing healing power of embryonic tissue to heal corneal abrasions, infections and other potentially damaging and painful corneal conditions. Corneal abrasions, infections, and malformations can be very painful and may cause serious long-term damage to your vision.
Infections like corneal ulcers, recurrent corneal erosion, severe dry eye, like corneal abrasions, or chemical burns are some of the conditions that benefit from this type of corneal treatment. Risks of this procedure are very low and involve inflammation from the membrane placement on the eye. If problems present the membrane is removed and the underlying condition is treated by other means.
This procedure is not performed for mild eye disease and is instead reserved for more advanced ocular disease as an alternative to surgical intervention.
Supplements With Omega Fatty Acids Benefit Dry Eye Suffers
Daily dietary supplementation with a unique combination of omega fatty acids (GLA, EPA and DHA) for six months is effective in improving ocular irritation symptoms and halting the progression of inflammation that characterizes moderate to severe dry eye.
Medicine for dry eyes
- Eye lubricants and specific anti-inflammatory medications may help stimulate and enhance the production of your tears.
- We may also prescribe antibiotics to decrease the bacteria in your eyes that damage natural, healthy lipids.
- Artificial tear inserts slowly release moisture into your tear film. These are inserted in the same manner as contact lenses.
Dry Eye and Contact Lenses
Contact lenses are great for correcting vision and are becoming more popular even for young patients. However, wearing contact lenses can cause dry eye, especially if they are worn for too long or if you don’t take care of them properly. Some brands are better than others, and wearing glasses seems to decrease the risk of dry eyes even more.
How can you help resolve your dry eyes at home?
Many daily activities can be complicated by dry eyes. For example, driving, reading, playing sports or watching TV can be uncomfortable. In addition to our eye doctor’s recommended dry eye treatment, there are some helpful actions you can take at home:
- Use a humidifier at home and at work
- An air filter will remove possible irritants from your atmosphere
- Over- the-counter solutions, such as artificial tears may relieve dryness. Check with our optometrists about the specific brands that are suitable for you.
- Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from wind and UV rays
- Drink enough! Staying well hydrated can help.
- Take fish oil supplements
Do you suffer from Dry Eye Symptoms? Schedule a Dry Eye Exam.
If you experience the symptoms of dry eyes and want relief, contact us to schedule an appointment in our convenient Mount Airy, MD office.Dr. Boaz Schwartz stays current with all the latest dry eye treatment, and we’ll help restore your comfortable vision!