Diagnosis & Treatment Options
Dry eye syndrome is a condition that affects millions of people around the world, especially in dryer environments like Colorado. It is more common in women and can worsen with age. Dry eye can range from a mild condition to a debilitating vision-threatening condition.
Dry eye can be associated with autoimmune conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and Sjogren’s syndrome. Hormonal changes in a menopausal woman can induce dry eyes. Computer use can worsen symptoms because we all blink much less when we are concentrating on the computer or reading. Other causes of dry eye include contact lenses, allergies, heating, air-conditioning, air pollution, cigarette smoking, Bell’s palsy, infections like ocular shingles and medications.
Slit-lamp microscopy and special corneal stains are used to help make the diagnosis. Patient history is very helpful. Sometimes topographical maps provide useful information regarding the cornea, which can help make the diagnosis. Our doctors at Denver Eye Surgeons have all the advanced diagnostic equipment that is necessary to make the diagnosis.
The most common treatment for dry eyes is artificial teardrops. The frequency of use and the type of teardrop that will be recommended to you depends upon the severity of the dry eyes.
Restasis was the first medication made to increase tear production and reduce inflammation, and help treat dry eyes. Since then, Xiidra has also become FDA approved for the treatment of dry eyes. Most patients on Restasis or Xiidra show a significant improvement in the symptoms.
Punctum plugs are often used to treat dry eyes. These plugs are easily placed at the clinic in the opening to the lacrimal duct. This blocks the flow of tears into this drainage, which leads to increased tear retention on the surface of the cornea. This is a reversible treatment. Oral and dietary nutrients such as omega 3 fatty acids from fish and flaxseed have been proven to be very helpful in treating dry eyes. Other effective treatments include serum eye drops and amniotic membranes.
At Denver Eye Surgeons, our doctors are ranked among the nation’s leading ophthalmologists and eye care professionals. All our eye surgeons are board certified and have advanced experience in today’s most innovative treatments. Welcome to Denver Eye Surgeons!
Denver Eye Surgeons has been treating cornea related issues successfully for over 40 years!