One of the most common complaints when it comes to the eyes is dryness and irritation. Many people, regardless of the situation, suffer from dry, red, irritated eyes as a result of poor tear quality or poor production of tears or evaporation of tears. Tears and moisture are necessary for eye health as well just daily quality of life. If you or a loved one suffer from chronic dry eyes, do not wait to get professional treatment as soon as possible to not only find relief, but also to get the help you need to prevent harm to your eyes. Sometimes dry eyes are caused by eyelid disorders such as eyelid ectropion, which can be corrected with surgery under local anesthesia.
Dr. Taban is a skilled oculoplastic surgeon who specializes in reconstructive and cosmetic treatments for the eyes and can provide the quality care you or your loved one needs for chronic eye dryness.
Common remedies for dry, irritated eyes include:
The most common option for treating poor tear quality or production is to simply add artificial tears to the eyes. There are many varieties of artificial tears that can provide temporary relief or longer-lasting moisture. Artificial tears that are more watery or have a low viscosity/thickness are ideal for providing immediate relief for mild cases of dry eyes. Eye drops with a higher viscosity or gel-like quality can provide relief that lasts longer, but causes blurred vision for at least a few minutes after first application. It is important to consult with your optometrist to learn which artificial drops are recommended for your condition.
If over-the-counter artificial tears are not effective, your doctor may prescribe medicated eye drops, such as Restasis (Allergan) or steroid eye drops. These solutions not only help lubricate the surface of the eye, but also help reduce the inflammation that typically occurs when your eyes are sore and dry. Restasis helps the eye produce more tears over time, and steroid eye drops are an additional option for treating redness and inflammation.
If the eye’s natural tears are drained away too quickly, the condition can be treated by placing tiny punctal plugs into the openings of the drainage ducts. By preventing the tears from draining away, they can remain around the eye longer to keep it hydrated. These tears will simply evaporate without causing any symptoms. In some cases, temporary plugs made of collagen may be used to determine whether plugging the ducts is effective. The collagen will be safely dissolved over time.
Eyelid Ectropion Surgery
For some people, the position of the lower eyelid will prevent the eye from staying hydrated, resulting in evaporation and/or over-tearing and irritation. This condition is called ectropion, where the lower eyelid pulls away from the eye, leaving the delicate tissue of the under eye exposed to air and debris. Lower eyelid ectropion can be corrected with a simple surgery to lift and tighten the lower eyelid.
Tear Duct Surgery
On the opposite side, a common cause of tearing is poor drainage of tears because the tear ducts are obstructed or damaged. As a result the eyes can over-water with reflect tears, which are not particularly helpful at keeping the eye lubricated, but instead act as a defense to wash out irritants from the eye. Surgically opening or repairing the tear duct can help correct this problem, and may require a small silicone tube called a stent to be placed in the newly created passageway. The stent is only left in place for a short period of time as the eye heals. Rarely, it requires more invasive procedure such as dacryocystirhinostomy (DCR surgery).
Schedule a Dry Eye Consultation Today
To learn more about the best treatment options for your dry, red, irritated eyes, please do not wait to contact oculoplastic surgeon Dr. Mehryar (Ray) Taban to schedule an initial consultation at our Beverly Hills or Santa Barbara offices. We can accurately diagnose the cause of your dry eyes and create the best treatment plan to suit your needs and goals. Call us now!