We’ve all experienced the irritation of having dry eyes at some time or other. But for many people, dry eye is more than just an occasional bout of irritation: it’s a daily struggle. Left untreated, dry eye can cause serious damage to the eye. You don’t have to live with the discomfort of dry eye – you do have options.
Simply put, dry eye is exactly what it sounds like: your eyes are not as moist as they should be.
The full explanation is a little more complicated. For some people, dry eye is the result of their body just not making enough tears. For others, they have enough tears, but their tears are not of the right quality. If the tears do not have the right balance of oils, they will evaporate from the surface of the eye too quickly, causing it to become dry.
You eyes need lubrication to function properly; that’s the whole reason they make tears in the first place. Your eyes could sustain serious damage without sufficient moisture. Without adequate tears, your eyes are more vulnerable to infection. You could also suffer from corneal abrasions or ulcers, both of which can be quite serious.
The symptoms of dry eye can be very overwhelming, however there is quite a variety of treatment options to bring relief.
Artificial tears are made to mimic the chemical makeup of the tears your body makes naturally. These drops are available over the counter, and while they will not stimulate tear production in your body, they will help relieve your symptoms, albeit on a temporary basis.
There are eyedrops available that actually will increase your body’s natural tear production. Medicated eyedrops will require a prescription from your doctor, however, they’ll also treat the underlying cause of your symptoms, rather than just the symptoms themselves.
Punctal or tear duct plugs are very small medical devices used to treat dry eye. These plugs are inserted into the drainage ducts in your upper and lower eyelid. This way, your tears have a chance to evaporate naturally rather than draining away. Patients don’t typically experience any discomfort from punctal plugs and can easily have them removed if the treatment does not is not effective for their dry eye.
These tiny tablets are inserted beneath the lower eyelid every day. Throughout the day, the tablet dissolves into a preservative-free lubricant. Lacrisert tablets are very small, so once they’ve been applied under the lower lid, they are virtually undetectable.
Come see us for yourself. We’re located Kelowna’s Pandosy Village District, across from Raymer Elementary School.