Say Goodbye to Winter Dry Eye With Our Advanced Treatments

Winter creates a perfect environment for dry eyes. Between cold wind, low humidity, and warm air blowing into your rooms at home, your risk of developing dry eye skyrockets in the wintertime. And if you already struggle with dry eyes, chances are your symptoms will get worse in winter.

As a Dry Eye Center of Excellence, we offer many dry eye treatments at Accent Vision Specialists. You don’t need to suffer from irritated, dry eyes throughout the winter season with our customized treatment options.  

What you should know about dry eye

While there are several causes of dry eye, they all lead to a problem with your tears. Your tears may evaporate too quickly or your eye may not produce enough tears. Either way, you’re headed for dry eye. 

The tears in your eye lubricate your cornea, deliver oxygen and nutrients, promote healing, and prevent infection. Considering those roles, you can see how a lack of tears causes eye problems and symptoms, such as:

If you have dry eyes, you may have the bothersome feeling that something is in your eye. Dry eyes can also cause excessive tearing as your eyes respond to the dryness by overproducing tears. Unfortunately, these extra tears don’t solve your dry eye problem.

Range of dry eye treatments

Before recommending a treatment, we analyze your eyes using the Oculus Keratograph®, which lets us examine the glands involved in tear production, evaluate your tear film, and assess the components in your tears.

After we identify the cause of your dry eyes, we recommend one or more of these treatment options:

Meibomian gland expression

The Meibomian glands in your eyelids produce an oily substance that mixes with your tears and prevents them from evaporating too quickly. Meibomian gland dysfunction, the top cause of dry eyes, occurs when the glands become blocked with thickened oils. We perform techniques in the office that express the oils, or push out the clogged contents, restoring the natural flow of the glands.

Intense pulsed light (IPL) therapy

If your dry eyes don’t improve with other treatments, we may recommend IPL therapy combined with Meibomian gland expression. The IPL relieves inflammation, eliminates bacteria, and softens oily clogs in the gland, making it easier to fully restore the gland’s health.

Most patients need a series of four IPL treatments over the course of 3-5 months to get optimal results. Then you may need maintenance treatments every six months to a year to keep the glands open.

Lacrimal occlusion or punctal plugs

About 25% of your tears are lost due to evaporation; the rest naturally drain out of your eye. One successful way to boost the tear film in your eye is to partially block the drains by inserting plugs. Some plugs are temporary and dissolve over time, while others are made out of silicone. We can remove the silicone plugs at any time, or leave them in place indefinitely if needed to keep your tear film functional.

Prescription eye drops

We may prescribe one of several eye drops, such as Restasis®, which reduces inflammation and triggers the production of natural tears to keep your eyes moist and comfortable. You’ll need to keep using Restasis daily to achieve and maintain relief from dry eye. Two other products, Xiidra® and steroid eye drops, also relieve your symptoms by targeting inflammation associated with dry eye.

Artificial tears

Artificial tears can be a great way to quickly soothe dry eyes, but they’re only a temporary solution. You can choose from many over-the-counter artificial tear products, so keep in mind that different brands contain varying formulas. 

The formula you need depends on the underlying cause of your dry eye. You’ll have better success if we evaluate your tears first and recommend the best product for you.

We often suggest steps you can take at home to relieve or prevent winter dry eye. It helps if you add moisture to the air with a humidifier, or by placing a pan of water near your heater. Many patients find the getting more omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil helps relieve their dry eyes.

If you need comprehensive care to relieve your dry eye symptoms, call Accent Vision Specialists or schedule an appointment online.

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