Wednesday, October 29, 2008

What treatments are available to treat dry eye symptoms?

For those patients with mild to moderate dry eyes the first course of treatment may be to use unpreserved artificial tears or rewetting drops as prescribed by the doctor. Depending on the nature of your tear film deficiency, the doctor may have you use a specific type of artificial tear that has different characteristics in terms of salt content and viscosity.

In addition to artificial tears, your doctor may suggest the need to switch to a less irritating or preservative free lens care system. These are specially formulated lens lubricating and rewetting drops specifically designed for contact lens wearers because other types of drops may contain ingredients that can damage the lens. Rewetting drops for contact lens wearers are usually not as thick as gels and are designed to provide relief and long-lasting lubrication to help retain moisture. Most doctors recommend preservative-free tears because they are the most soothing and have fewer additives that could potentially irritate the eye. Avoid products that are irritating to the eyes- they don’t have adequate lubricating qualities and often make the problem worse.

Protein removal is also an important issue, especially for patients with CLIDE. In heavily depositing persons with less frequently replaced lenses, regular enzyme treatments are advised. Daily wear lenses and daily disposables will be a good option. In severe cases, a reduced wearing schedule of daily-replaced lenses would be ideal. If optically viable, your doctor may consider changing your lens to a high water content lens that retains water in the lens matrix or an RGP lens with a low amount of silicone content.

In addition, your doctor may counsel you on environment factors and modifying the diet. Most likely you will be asked to drink plenty of water.

Marco’s comment:
If symptoms persists, it is advisable to opt for eyeglasses.

Source: Health care booklet from Guardian pharmacy

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