Dry Eye Treatment Plan
At Oklahoma Medical Eye Group, after a correct diagnosis of dry eye, we partner with you to develop a comprehensive treatment plan to managing your dry eye. Treatment of dry eye disease will depend on the type and severity of your unique condition. Our doctors have extensive experience diagnosing and treating dry eye and will work with you to find the best treatment options available.
Most patients come to OMEG having tried multiple over-the-counter artificial tears. Just because they are not solving the problem, does not mean that artificial tears do not work. However, using the right type of artificial tears for your dry eye is crucial for success and will be a part of any treatment plan for chronic dry eye disease.
Prescription Eye Drops for Dry Eye Disease
- Beyond artificial tears, prescription drops may be recommended. Restasis (cyclosporine), Xiidra (lifitigrast), and Cequa (cyclosporine) are different prescription eye drops frequently used to help control dry eye disease. Both cyclosporine and lifitigrast:
- have anti-inflammatory properties
- promote tear production
- take at least 2 to 4 weeks before signs and or symptoms are reduced
- require a prescription
- In many instances, these prescriptions will be covered by your insurance plan
- Dry eye disease can cause microtrauma to the corneal surface that leads to discomfort and blurred vision. An amniotic membrane derived from placental tissue can be used to deliver natural therapeutic healing to the surface of the eye
- The treatment is safe. The tissue has to pass several quality control tests regulated by the FDA before being distributed to physicians
- The amniotic membrane is placed on the surface of the cornea in a quick, painless, in-office procedure. The graft is typically removed after 4-7 days. Patients should expect temporary blurred vision while the graft is in place
Healthy Lids Margins and Lashes
- It is common for debris and dandruff to form on the base of the eyelashes. Sometimes a mite called Demodex can grow and infect the eyelashes, which can lead to inflammatory dry eye that is very difficult to treat. Demodex infection is especially common in people who regularly use false eyelashes or lash extensions.
BlephEx is a painless in-office treatment that promotes healthy and vibrant eyelashes. The treatment gently and deeply exfoliates the eyelids and lashes which helps prevent Demodex infestation while reducing inflammation that contributes to ocular surface disease. Generally, it is recommended that patients who routinely use lash extensions have their eyelids treated every six months.
Meibomian Gland Thermal Therapy
- As we age, important natural oils in our eyelid glands start to harden, which causes the glands to atrophy and die. For many patients, this can cause our eyes and eyelids to become chronically dry, red, irritated, and even watery over time. To express or ‘clear’ the glands, heat treatment of the eyelids keeps the oils healthy and the glands open.
- We may recommend at home treatment with daily warm compress application to the eyelids at home along with an in-office deeper tissue treatment with LipiFlow®. Many dry eye specialists compare this treatment plan to how we brush our teeth every day, but still go to the dentist 1-2 times a year for a deeper clean. Not only does the treatment promote the long-term health of the eyes, it is also incredibly soothing.
- As we get older, the conjunctiva (thin outer coating of the eye) can start to sag and roll up along the lower eyelid. Occasionally, this redundant conjunctiva will block the tear duct system and the meibomian glands, causing increased tearing and/or dry eye disease. A conjunctivoplasty is a painless, in-office, non-surgical procedure to restore the eye’s normal anatomy and remove some of this excess and sagging conjunctiva.
- The procedure utilizes a small cautery device carefully applied to the conjunctiva. The procedure takes just minutes to complete.
Nutrition is an under-appreciated aspect of treating many eye conditions, including dry eye disease. Different vitamin therapy may be recommended to promote a healthy tear film.