Are your eyes so dry that your vision is blurry? Do your eyes itch and water or look red? If so, iLux dry eye treatment at ICT Eye in Wichita, KS may be appropriate for you. However, iLux treatment is not the only solution for eye dryness. Keep reading to learn more about the safest and most effective ways to treat eye dryness if you are sick and tired of struggling with the symptoms.
How Can You Treat Dry Eye?
iLux is an FDA-approved device developed by Tear Film Innovations as an alternative eye dryness solution to surgery. With this device, compression and heat are applied to the eyelids to treat meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD) quickly, safely, and effectively. During this treatment, any blockages that may be present in your meibomian glands will be softened. This gives your body the opportunity to produce enough oil to keep your tears from evaporating rapidly.
If your eye dryness is caused by eyelid inflammation, your oil glands may not be able to deposit oil into your tears. This can be treated with an oral antibiotic, an antibiotic ointment applied to the edges of your eyelids, or with eye drops. Eye drops may also be appropriate if cornea inflammation is causing eye dryness. During an initial evaluation, you may be advised that you need cyclosporine-based eye drops or a corticosteroid. Corticosteroids are not a long-term solution, though.
Do I Suffer From This Condition?
Dry eye symptoms vary, but one of the most common symptoms of this condition is difficulty driving at night. Often, people who suffer from eye dryness have blurry vision, eye fatigue that worsens as the day wears on, and sensitivity to light. If you have trouble driving at night due to the contrast of the lights and darkness, wearing glasses with amber lenses may help you significantly. Eye redness and watery eyes can also indicate your eyes are dry.
Another common sign that you suffer from eye dryness is feeling like something is in your eyes. You may feel your eyes itch, burn, or sting, and you may notice stringy mucus on your washcloth when you wash your face. It is also not uncommon for mucus to be in your eyes, not just around them.
What Causes This Condition?
Insufficient Tear Production
For the safest, most effective eye dryness solution, it is important to figure out why you are suffering from this condition. There are a number of potential causes, including insufficient tear production. If your eyes can’t produce enough aqueous fluid to keep themselves moist, you have a condition known as keratoconjunctivitis sicca. Some of the most common triggers of this condition are:
- The natural aging process
- Sjorgen’s syndrome
- Vitamin A deficiency
- Regular antihistamine use
- Regular decongestant use
- Birth control use
- Corneal nerve desensitivity
Excessive Tear Evaporation
iLux will probably be the ideal dry eye treatment method for you if your eye dryness is caused by excessive tear evaporation. The rate at which your tears evaporate can increase significantly if your meibomian glands are clogged. However, clogged meibomian glands are not the only explanation for excessive tear evaporation. Excessive tear evaporation can also be caused by such factors as:
- Eye allergies
- Parkinson’s disease
- Driving regularly
- Focusing on a monitor regularly
- Vitamin A deficiency
- Preservatives in topical eye drops
- Dry air
What Are the Risk Factors of Developing This Condition?
Age and sex are the two most significant risk factors for developing eye dryness. Women are more likely than men to develop this condition, especially if they experience massive hormonal changes. For instance, you are more likely to suffer from eye dryness if you use hormonal birth control, become pregnant, or start menopause. Your risk of suffering from eye dryness increases significantly after the age of 50 due to a natural reduction in tear production.
A diet of mostly processed foods is another significant risk factor for the development of eye dryness. While some processed foods, like a lot of breakfast cereals, are fortified with vitamins and minerals, there is a good chance that you are not getting all of the nourishment you need every day if you don’t get a lot of whole foods in your diet. Since vitamin A deficiency can impede your ability to produce aqueous fluid and retain it, a healthy diet is vital.
How Can I Mitigate My Risk of Eye Dryness?
Protect Your Eyes
Protect your eyes from blowing air to mitigate your risk of eye dryness. Close your eyes when using your hair dryer and never point your desk fan, car heater, or air conditioner towards your eyes. In the winter, protect your eyes from dry air by keeping a humidifier running in your room. Protect your eyes from wind and light damage by wearing such eye protection as a pair of wraparound sunglasses.
You can also mitigate your risk of eye dryness by taking steps to prevent fatigue. If you find yourself in situations where you may be blinking less than normal, such as when you are engrossed in your favorite book, you’re driving across the state for a family reunion, or you’re working in front of a computer monitor, make sure you take plenty of breaks.
If you’re on a long road trip, you may want to stop at every rest area you pass. While you’re taking your break, further rest your eyes by looking at something in the distance. Then, look at something a little closer to you. This technique also works if you’re looking at a computer monitor. You can also mitigate your risk of eye fatigue by lowering your monitors. The higher you are above your monitors, the less your eyes have to work for a wide field of view.
How Should I Prepare for My Appointment?
One of the most important steps to take to prepare for your appointment is to keep a list of all of the symptoms you’re experiencing. You should also make a note of problems you’re having that you don’t think are related to your eye dryness. The more information you give us, the more likely it is that we can make an accurate diagnosis quickly and get you on the right path to relief. You should also write down any life changes you have experienced recently.
For instance, we need to know if you have recently adopted a pet or moved to a new home. You should also let us know what dietary supplements and medications you are currently taking, especially if you have recently started to take these pharmaceuticals. Furthermore, you may want to spend a few days writing down any questions you may have that come to mind. It is not uncommon for people to want information but then forget what they were curious about when it comes to appointment time.
What Questions To Ask During Your Appointment
One of the most common questions we get when people come in with eye dryness is what is the most likely cause of my condition. We are also frequently asked about the tests that will be run to diagnose the condition, and we often get questions about treatment options, including waiting for the condition to resolve itself.
What Questions To Expect During Your Appointment
During your evaluation, we will ask you to describe your symptoms and advise us on when, to the best of your recollection, your symptoms began. We also need to know whether your symptoms are occasional or continuous. We will also ask you about your family medical history. If you’re not familiar with your family medical history, ask your parents and siblings if they have been diagnosed with dry eye.
In addition to advising us on your symptoms, you should also advise us on what you do to treat your symptoms temporarily. You may want to make a note of the solutions you’ve tried, like over-the-counter eye drops, and what relief, if any, they provided you. Also, take note of when your symptoms are most severe. Knowing whether you are most uncomfortable in the morning or evening can help us diagnose your condition accurately.
Schedule Your Initial Consultation Today
There are a number of ways to treat dry eye including iLux and using eye drops. To find out how you can best treat your eye dryness, you need to schedule an appointment with an eye expert. Reach out to us today at ICT Eye in Wichita, KS to schedule an appointment and find out the best way to address your eye concerns.