Our Kentucky Dry Eye Center of excellence aims to provide the best and most comprehensive treatment options available for our patients.
Our Main Dry Eye Treatment Options Include:
- OTC drops
- Punctum Plugs
- Omega 3 Fish Oil
Section 1 – Over the Counter Dry Eye Drops (Treatment Options)
Undoubtedly, the most common type of dry eye treatment are OTC eye drops. This method may not be the best treatment option available and many popular eye drops do nothing to help the dry eye problem they just soothe the eyes and provide temporary relief. The dry eye drops that are available through the Dry Eye Center of Kentucky are eye drops that have been hand selected by medical doctors and have certain properties that are significant in helping dry eye syndrome. Eye drops currently available through our center include:
Refresh® Optive™ (developed by Allergan Inc.)
Refresh® Optive™ lubricating eye drops help to treat dry eyes by providing what Allergan refers to as dual-action formula. This dual action involves hydrating and lubricating your eyes. The moisture levels in your eyes are vital to comfort and good vision, so this moisturizing effect of this medication helps decrease discomfort from dry eye.
SYSTANE® (developed by Alcon Inc.)
SYSTANE® is scientifically formulated to shield eyes from dry eye discomfort so that eyes feel moist and refreshed longer. SYSTANE® is suggested for the temporary relief of burning and itchy eyes due to the dryness and lack of moisture in the eyes.
FreshKote® (developed by Focus Laboratories Inc.)
FreshKote® sterile ophthalmic solution is a lubricant indicated for the treatment of moderate to severe dry eye. FreshKote® claims to treat all 3 Layers of the eyes tear filmand provides longer relief. By treating the tear film this product attempts to actually solve the dry eye problem instead of just soothing the eyes temporarily.
By adding Amisol® CLEAR to stabilize the tear film, this drop delays tear evaporation.
Adding a lacrophilic aqueous solution will interact properly both with the lipid and mucin layer.
Adding a mucomimetic polymer blend is designed to achieve complete wetting.
Please feel free to discuss the 3 layers of the tear film with one of our Kentucky dry eye specialists. Our practice can diagnose your dry eye severity and discuss the appropriate treatment options. In many cases eye drops will not solve the dry eye condition and more advanced medicine is required. For more information regarding the tear film visit our page on dry eye syndrome.
GenTeal ® Mild, GenTeal ® , and GenTeal ® Gel contain GenAqua™, a disappearing preservative that turns into pure water and oxygen upon contact with your eye, thereby minimizing the irritation that may be caused by traditional preservatives, while still providing the convenience of the multi-dose form.
NOTE: Regarding eye drops
These are the current dry eye drops available at the Dry Eye Center of Kentucky. Please consult a medical doctor instead of self-diagnosing your medical condition. New treatment options can become available so be sure to check with our office on the best eye drops for your dry eye condition.
Tips for using eye drops (Courtesy of GenTeal®)
- Tilt your head back or lie down on a bed. Looking upward, gently pull the lower eyelid away from your eye.
- Hold the dropper above your eye and squeeze the bottle. Be sure the dropper tip does not touch anything, including your eye.
- Release your eyelid and blink 5 times. If your vision is blurry, keep blinking to spread the drop over your eye. Use as often as needed.
(Dry Eye Treatment Option)
If our dry eye doctor determines that blocked glands are at the root of your dry eye condition resulting in Evaporative Dry Eye and you are a candidate, you can now be treated with the innovative LipiFlow® Thermal Pulsation System. LipiFlow® works by applying directed energy to the eyelid near the affected glands – precisely targeted warmth from the back of the eyelid, and slight pressure from the front. Opening the blocked glands may allow your body to resume its natural production of tear film oil. This clinically proven procedure takes approximately 12 minutes and is performed in our office. In a clinical study about 79% of patients reported an improvement in overall dry eye symptoms after a single LipiFlow® treatment. Depending on the severity of your specific condition and your response to the treatment, you may need to repeat the LipiFlow® treatment periodically as your symptoms return over time.
Restasis® (Dry Eye Treatment Option)
This is a pharmaceutical product that helps increase your eyes’ natural ability to produce tears. If you need more tear production it is likely you are suffering from dry eye syndrome.
Restasis® is a prescription eye drop that our eye doctors use to reduce the inflammatory component of dry eyes. This eye drop is the only FDA approved drop to help increase a person’s tear film production.
Restasis works by reducing chronic inflammation of the tear producing lacrimal glands, improving both the QUANTITY and the QUALITY of tears produced. Because the medication works through a”turnover” of the cells in the lacrimal glands, its effect has a significant”inertia”. This means that the medication must be used for at least 6 weeks before any results will be evident to the patient and the doctor. This inertia also applies when the medication is discontinued (by patients who feel relieved or cured of their dry eye), symptoms will come back several months after the medicine has been discontinued.
Restasis® is available by prescription only. If you think you are suffering from dry eye, it is important to visit us to determine if your sypmtoms are due to dry eye syndrome or if they could be the symptom of some other underlying problem.
This medicine’s safety and efficacy has always been considered high, but studies show long term use of Restasis in necessary to validate these results. This medicine will continue to be the gold standard for treating more serious cases if dry eye for patients that do not wish to use over the counter artificial tears at a high frequency. It is covered by most health plans and patients find it to be very useful to treat this annoying and chronic condition. There is no other company that has any similar competing product that is FDA approved or close to being FDA approved.
According to Allergan Inc., The most common side effect is a temporary burning sensation. Other side effects include eye redness, discharge, watery eyes, eye pain, foreign body sensation, itching, stinging and blurred vision.
Section 3 – Punctal Plugs
The dry eye specialists at our practice may also suggest punctal plugs for you. The term puncta refers to the opening of the tear ducts on the eyelid margin. The name may sounds strange but these tiny devices can do wonders for your dry eyes. The use of these plugs is typically useful in moderate to severe cases and often used in a specific eye that is not responsive to eye drops. These are actually little plugs placed in the corners of the eyes to reduce tear drainage. Tears will typically drain into your nose, but these plugs are inserted near the tear ducts to block the outflow.
Depending on the type of dry eye problem you have, our eye doctors may use a different type of punctal plug. The two main types are temporary or permanent punctual plugs. The permanent plugs are made of a silicone substance and the temporary plugs are made of dissolvable collagen. Our dry eye doctors may decide to place a temporary plug in your eye prior to selecting a permanent punctal plug. Most patients have no problems with punctal plugs and cannot even feel them in the eyes. If you are concerned about risks associated with punctal plugs please be sure to see one of our eye care specialists.
Patients should note that not all punctal plugs are equal in quality. Our medical doctors hand select the punctual plugs based on results with our patients. When it comes to treating dry eye syndrome we only use what works the best. Of course, there are many types of great plugs and for certain individuals some may be better than others.
Section 4 – Eye Vitamins and Omega 3 Fish Oil
Eye vitamins and Omega 3 fish oil pills have gained popularity amongst the medical doctors but not all formulations are valid.
- It is very possible to supplement your diet with foods that are rich in Omega 3 fatty acids. These foods include walnuts, cod liver oil, flax seed oil, primrose oil, and cold-water fish. Also to note is the importance of vitamin A, which can be found in foods such as eggs or dark green and yellow vegetables. All of these foods can help maintain proper eye moisture.