According to TFOS DEWS II report around 30 million people in the United States are affected by dry eyes. And about 344 million people worldwide affected by this. It is one of the most frequent causes of patient visits to eye care professionals.

 

5 Most Effective Dry Eye Treatments: 2021

1. Artificial tears 

Artificial Tears

Dry eye treatments: Lubricating eye drops are actually at the top of the list for a major reason. Not just that artificial tears add lubrication to the eye but they actually help prevent damage to the surface of the eye from chronic dryness.     

Whether you have mild dry eyes or really severe chronic dry eyes according to DEWS II report which is a major report on dry eyes leading the best research. They kind of laid out the most modern treatments for the diagnosis of dry eyes and artificial tears are one of those treatments.

In the case of dry eyes the cells on the surface of the eye actually, get damaged this is known as superficial punctate keratitis. Superficial punctate keratitis is basically dead cells caused by this dryness on the surface of the eye and when the body tries to heal those damaged cells with inflammation things become worse now the problem is that when the eye starts inflating it’s like adding gasoline to fire.                               

Dry eye drops or artificial tears prevent inflammation from really grabbing hold and protect the eye before things become worse so if your doctor has prescribed to you, you should use these artificial drops.

The image used in this article is an example of a non-preserved artificial tear for using artificial tears four to six times a day most doctors are recommending non preserved tears because in some cases eye shows kind of allergic reactions to those preservatives so non preserved drops often are ideal.

2. Omega-3 fatty acids

Omega-3-capsule

Omega-3 has a very strong potent anti-inflammatory effect. Many doctors recommend it because it helps in so many things in the body. Honestly, omega-3 and artificial tears are usually a lot cheaper and affordable than a lot of the other medications. So, it’s a good place to start.

Omega-3 comes in fish oils, flaxseed versions, algae-based versions as well. Studies done on dry eyes were all done mainly on the fish oil supplements. Most of these studies do show improved signs of dry eye with omega-3 supplements.

Anybody who’s maybe thinking about starting an omega-3 or any supplement then it’s important to talk to either your eye doctor or talk to your family physician to make sure that there are no other potential complications because a lot of supplements out there you don’t know exactly what’s in.

They may interact with medication you might be able to be taking or with something else so always consult your local eye care professional.

3. Amniotic membrane 

If you have chronic dry eyes then there is a newer treatment called an amniotic membrane. In this treatment, dry dehydrated amniotic tissues or frozen amniotic tissues in the clinic use for people who have bad chronic burns on the eye. People who have any sort of bad tissue damage on the cornea.

This amniotic tissue is fantastic it adds a lot of different antibodies to the eye. It is harvested from a pregnant woman’s amniotic sac it’s cleaned sterilized and then it’s either frozen or dehydrated and when it is put on the cornea for a short time it helps to clear off a lot of inflammation from the surface of the eye.

4. Autologous serum 

In this treatment, you actually need your doctor to send you to the phlebotomist to do a blood draw and they actually separate your plasma from your blood cells and that’s the easiest way to think about it. In this treatment, they actually making artificial tears from your own blood antibodies.

Advantages

It helps your body’s own immune system fight off the dryness.

Disadvantages

You need a prescription to go to the pharmacy and go to the phlebotomist to get it drawn they have to prepare for it and not every pharmacy or phlebotomist will do this not every lab will do this so you have to find a lab that does it. That’s one of the reasons why a lot of doctors don’t prescribe it.

5. Scleral contact lenses

Keratoconus contact lens size : Dry eye Treatment
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Scleral contact lenses are an excellent treatment for dry eyes as long as you’re able to put them in, taking them out safely. Scleral lenses are used to treat a lot of things certainly keratoconus but also for dry eyes.
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Basically, you put these lenses on a plunger and fill that lens full of liquid, and put it on the eye. These contact lenses kind of seals around the sclera on the white part of the eye and holds that liquid to the surface of the eye so that the cornea is bathed in the liquid all day long now often people with severe dry eyes may have to take these out refill the liquid and replace it maybe a couple of times a day but it is a good option to have only if you are comfortable with these lenses.
Scleral lenses have been around for a long time but it’s kind of come back and the new designs have come out so it’s really great.

6. In-office treatments

These are treatments you can get in the office with your eye doctor and not every office will have these. They are kind of newer dry eye treatments that are coming out. Only specialty clinics and sometimes refractive surgery clinics will have these because they want to control the dryness of the eye before they do things like LASIK or cataract surgery.

 

a. Lipiflow

Meibomian glands

In this procedure, there is actually a device that goes on the eye. It supplies heat and pressure to your eyelids. The whole point of that is actually to release the oil in the meibomian glands.
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Meibomian glands are the little vertical glands that run on the top and bottom portions of our eyelids. They actually secrete the oil that prevents tears from evaporating. The real concern is that these oil glands eventually die off if they get clogged or they become inflamed.  Due to this clogging and inflation, they don’t work anymore and then your tears evaporate almost instantly.
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Lipiflow can help get these oil glands open up and if that doesn’t happen these oil glands can actually, die off. Lipiflow device to heat those oil glands and get them to secrete or basically squeeze out all of that oil then they’ll start producing again. In short, we have to put this device on the eye, it heats the oil glands from both directions and then actually does this little pumping mechanism to get the oil glands to secrete.

b. iLux

This is a newer kind of treatment and works similarly to lipiflow. This ilux device applies heat using light. Due to heat the temperature of the oil glands increases. After heating, it has a pumping mechanism and that pumping mechanism gets those oils to secrete out of the eyelids.

 

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