Do your eyes often feel dry and uncomfortable? We live in a hot, dry climate here in the Okanagan, and our eyes will often feel the strain. Here at Orchard Park Optometry, our doctors rely on a time-tested, step-wise approach to treating Dry Eye Syndrome. Some patients may find relief from the regular use of quality artificial tears, while others may require additional treatment approaches to tackle the problem.
Dry Eye Syndrome can affect people at any age and can significantly affect a person’s quality of life. The underlying causes of dry eyes can be varied because we have a very complex mechanism of tear production from several glands and a very high density of nerve endings that make our eyes extremely sensitive. Chronic Dry Eye Syndrome can be caused from decreased tear production from certain medications such as antidepressants or it can be caused from systemic medical conditions that cause inflammation such as arthritis or fibromyalgia that increase the levels of inflammation and sensitivity to the front surface of the eyes. There are several other reasons why a person may suffer from dry eyes, but fortunately there are very advanced natural and pharmacological treatments available to give our patients real relief. Book an appointment for an evaluation.
The short answer is no. Original Visine contains a medication to help temporarily constrict the blood vessels on the front of the eyes. If used chronically, you will need to use more and more of the drop to keep the vessels constricted and without using it, you eyes may look more red than before you started, but this would fade with time.
Occasional use is fine, but chronic use is discouraged. There are far more effective options to help bring down the redness of your eyes in a more natural way.
Because many of the symptoms of dry eye are caused from varying degrees of inflammation, even advanced artificial tears are sometimes not enough to decrease those levels of inflammation. If your eyes dry out at night, something as simple as a humidifier in your bedroom may be the solution. Natural treatment such as the use of omega-3 supplements can help improve the part of your tear production that can decrease inflammation. Prescription eye drops such as Restasis are also available to decrease the inflammation in more severe cases and thereby reduce the uncomfortable symptoms.
Since your tears are like a layer cake with different components, if one component is not being produced correctly, the whole system will be thrown off and your ocular surface will be left exposed to the environment. When this occurs, the nerve endings will become hypersensitive and send a signal to a large gland to make tears quickly to try and protect the eye. Unfortunately, these tears evaporate or run down a person’s face and the ocular surface continues to be exposed and the cycle continues.
Re-establishing a proper balance to the tear layer regains the protective properties to the tissue and the nerves that cause the excessive watering stop over-reacting.
We are always happy to accept new patients. Contact us today and we will book you in at our next available time.