Dry Eye Treatment in Long Island
We’ve all experienced some variation of it. Itchy eyes, red eyes, the sensation of burning in the eyes, heavy, fatigued eyes… But while dry eye may be a common eye condition, that doesn’t mean you need to suffer through a chronic case of it.
TOC Eye® would like to welcome you in for a comprehensive dry eye syndrome evaluation. Our team of experienced ophthalmic professionals can work with you to determine the cause of your chronic dry eyes and help develop a custom treatment plan to improve or eradicate the issue.
What is Dry Eye?
Before we jump into causes, symptoms, treatments, etc., let’s take a moment to explain exactly what dry eye is. Quite simply, dry eye is a condition of the eye(s) marked by an insufficient flow of tears. You might think that tears are simply a byproduct of emotion, but the reality is that they play an essential everyday role in eye health by providing the lubrication and moisture needed for the eye(s) to function properly. The tears also serve as a protective film that guards against infection.
What Causes Dry Eyes?
In order for our team of ophthalmologists to develop the right dry eye treatment plan for you, it’s imperative that we establish the root cause(s) of your dry eye condition. In addition to providing you with a thorough eye health examination, we will also speak with you to determine any lifestyle habits that may be worsening the condition.
Common dry eye causes include:
- Medications: A number of medications (like antihistamines, beta-blockers and oral contraceptives) can inhibit adequate tear production.
- Hormonal changes
- Infrequent blinking: Watching TV, working on a computer, reading or other focal tasks can limit blinking. Insufficient blinking can prevent the eyes from getting the necessary lubrication and moisture.
- Autoimmune disorders
- LASIK surgery
- Cosmetic eye surgery
- Sun overexposure
There are a number of environmental factors that can worsen your condition (or perhaps serve as the root cause). This includes things like wind, air conditioning (both of which lead to tear evaporation), air quality (dust, dirt or smog particles can affect eye health) and humidity.
Symptoms of Dry Eye Syndrome
Dry eye symptoms can come and go depending on the cause. You may be particularly susceptible during springtime allergy season or at your heavily air conditioned office. If your symptoms worsen or show no sign of improvement over time, we suggest you schedule a dry eye consultation.
Common symptoms of dry eye include:
- Itchy eyes
- Burning sensation
- Red eyes
- Blurred vision
- Sensitivity to light
- Feeling of having something caught in your eye (dust, eyelash, etc.)
- Eye fatigue
If you are experiencing these issues and are seeking relief, call us today at 631-751-2020 or contact us via our web form to schedule a comprehensive dry eye evaluation.
Dry Eye Treatments
There are a variety of treatments available for dry eye syndrome. Once we are able to determine the root cause, we can come up with a treatment plan that is tailored to your unique condition.
In some cases, artificial tears (eye drops) will be sufficient to treat your condition. Behavior modifications such as taking more frequent breaks from your computer at work, changing air filters or avoiding air conditioning could help resolve your issue.
For more severe cases of dry eye, additional treatment modalities will need to be considered. These can include:
- Prescription eye drops (Restasis)
- Tear-stimulating drugs (cholinergics)
- Punctal plugs to prevent tear drainage
- Dissolvable eye inserts
- Omega-3 supplements
At TOC Eye®, we are committed to providing our patients with the most up-to-date, advanced technologies and treatment modalities available. With that, we are proud to offer the Prokera® biologic corneal bandage to our patients suffering from common dry eye. Prokera® is the only FDA-approved device for dry eye that reduces inflammation and promotes healing of the eye surface.
If your dry eye is caused by an irregular corneal epithelium (outer layer of the eye) that is affecting tear film, Prokera® is a simple pain-free solution. The device is inserted in one eye at our office and left for a several days to a week, after which healing of the cornea is evaluated. It is then inserted into the other eye and the process repeated.
To learn more about Prokera® or to speak with a TOC Eye® team member about our other advanced dry eye treatment options, call us today at 631-751-2020 or contact us via our web form.