Can you imagine anything worse than dry eye symptoms: Burning, stinging, gritty feeling? They can affect you when you wake up until you go to bed. As frustrating as it is, there is hope and relief. Your dry eye symptoms don’t have to remain a permanent feature in your life.
Excellent vision care includes comprehensive eye exams and dry eye therapy to ensure ocular health and provide relief for chronic dry eyes. Learn more about treatment options and how Restasis can help dry eyes.
What Is Dry Eye Disease?
Dry eye disease, including chronic dry eye, is common in the United States. Approximately 4.88 million people 50 and over have dry eyes.
Dry eye disease is a condition that affects the eyes and tears. The eyes don’t produce enough or good quality tears to keep the surface of your eyes moist, which leads to discomfort from the dryness.
Tears are necessary for healthy functioning eyes. The tear film consists of three layers, oil, water, and mucin.
The oil layer prevents tears from evaporating or drying up too quickly. The water layer cleans the eyes by washing away dirt and debris. The mucus layer spreads tears and allows them to stick to the eyes.
An imbalance in the tear film from insufficient water or oil layer results in less lubrication or more drainage and ultimately dry eyes. Apart from the discomfort, dry eyes can also affect your vision.
Causes of Dry Eye Disease
There are several causes of dry eye disease. When it comes to the tear film, there may be a problem with the meibomian glands that produce the oily layer or the lacrimal gland that produce the water layer.
Finding the root cause of your dry eye symptoms is essential to treating it. Other causes of dry eye disease can include:
- Medical conditions: Blepharitis (inflammation of the eyelids), rheumatoid arthritis, thyroid problems, diabetes, Sjogren’s syndrome, and lupus.
- Age: As we grow older, our bodies produce fewer tears.
- Gender: Women are at higher risk of developing dry eyes because of hormonal changes.
- Medications: Some medications reduce tear production, such as blood pressure, antihistamines, decongestants, and antidepressants.
- Contact lenses: Long-term contact lens wear can cause dry eyes.
- Environmental factors: Smoke, wind, dry climates
- Other factors: Long hours in front of a computer or reading reduces blinking.
How Does Dry Eye Disease Present
Dry eyes can affect your day-to-day life and present with the following symptoms:
- Eye pain
- Blurred vision
- Itchy, stinging, or burning sensation in the eyes
- Gritty feeling in the eyes
- Sensitivity to light
- Discomfort when wearing contact lenses
- Watery eyes
- Stringy mucus in or around the eyes
Restasis for Dry Eye Treatment
Treatment for dry eye disease will depend on what’s causing your symptoms. Treatment options may include artificial tears, lifestyle changes, tear duct plugs, intense pulsed light, or surgery.
Besides adding lubrication (artificial tears) or conserving tears (plugs), your eye doctor can also prescribe eye drops to boost your natural tear production. Restasis eye drops in an oily liquid form increase your eyes’ ability to make tears. The active drug in Restasis called cyclosporin reduces inflammation in the tear glands, giving them a chance to rebalance the tears.
Restasis comes in single-use vials and multidose bottles and is applied twice daily or as directed by your eye doctor. Before application, wash your hands and avoid touching the dropper tip to prevent contamination.
If you wear contact lenses, remove them before applying eye drops and replace them after 15 minutes. Apply Restasis before other eye medications, such as eye ointments.
Using Restasis can prevent further damage to the eyes. However, it can take several weeks to a few months to produce a therapeutic effect, so consistency is key. A common but temporary side effect of Restasis is a burning sensation that goes away after a few minutes.
Get Dry Eye Relief Today
A dry eye exam, including testing for tear quality and quantity, can help provide the right treatment plan for your eyes. Book an appointment with the eye doctors at Eye Rx to determine if Restasis is right for you. We have locations in Washington D.C. and Chevy Chase!
We can recommend the correct dosage of Restasis based on your symptoms and suggest other treatment options with Restasis to provide dry eye relief.