At OCLI we provide a wide variety of treatment options for ocular diseases and conditions. After our thorough diagnosis process, we will be able to discuss our recommendations for a dry eye treatment protocol that fits your lifestyle and needs. Our treatments will fall into the various categories and types listed below.
- Artificial Tears
- Punctal Plugs
- Serum Tears
- Biologic Corneal Bandage
Dry Eye Nutrition
Essential to dry eye nutrition is staying properly hydrated and making sure you body is well nourished. Dry eye is directly related to the underlying health of the entire body. Proper hydration of the body and regular daily intake of key nutrients can help prevent or even alleviate over time many of the symptoms of dry eyes. In general, people who eat a healthful diet of primarily fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and moderate amounts of fish show a decreased risk of all eye problems.
The first step to better dry eye nutrition is simply drinking more water. It is the most essential nourishment for the body and various physicians have claimed our society is living in an epidemic of chronic dehydration. Drinking more water will notably help with dry eye and better overall health.
Recent studies have also shown that diets lacking omega-3 essential fatty-acids will lead to dry eye syndrome. There are various fish oil omega-3 supplements that are high in EPA that have been proven to make a profound impact on treating dry eyes.
Dry eye can also be caused by free radical damage, oxidative stress, poor diet, lack of exercise; and unhealthy lifestyle factors such as smoking, excess alcohol, medications and chronic stress. If you choose a clean, healthy diet with foods containing antioxidants the oxidation can be slowed. Vegetables and fruits tend to be obvious sources of antioxidants, especially green leafy plants like spinach and kale. Antioxidants can be found in fruits like goji berries, pomegranate, acerola cherries, blueberries and raspberries.
There are a variety of artificial tears available today. They can be preserved or available in unit doses for more severe cases of dry eye disease. In addition, the different tears available today help offer symptomatic relief for different types of dry eye. Talk to an OCLI dry eye specialist about which tear is right for you and ask for a sample as we often have them available in our offices.
Dry Eye Pharmaceuticals
Our Long island dry eye specialists offer pharmaceutical treatment options for dry eye syndrome as well. Our doctors performed many of the studies of these exciting medications. If our eye doctors determine your case is severe enough, and other treatment options have been exhausted, then we may treat you with Restasis® or Xiidra (lifitegrast ophthalmic solution).
1. RESTASIS® (cyclosporine ophthalmic emulsion) 0.05%
Restasis® has been in use at ophthalmology practices for several years now and is trusted by many. This pharmaceutical is a drop that helps the eyes produce more tears by reducing inflammation. As discussed on our introduction to dry eye syndrome page, inflammation is often a cause of dry eye. Unlike artificial tears, Restasis® is the first drug proven to effectively treat a cause of Dry Eye Disease rather than temporarily alleviating symptoms.
Restasis® is for those
- whose tear production is suppressed due to inflammation from dry eye disease
- whose doctor has determined that Restasis® is an appropriate treatment for their condition.
About the Restasis® Treatment
If one of the OCLI dry eye doctors prescribes Restasis®, you’ll likely be advised to use one drop in each eye every 12 hours. There is presently no cure for Dry Eye Disease, however, you will receive benefits from Restasis® for as long as you continue its use. Restasis® can be used with artificial tear products, but your need for these will most likely decrease as your eyes improve.
What is Restasis®?
Restasis® eye drops contain cyclosporine which is an immunosuppressant. Cyclosporine can increase tear production that has been reduced by inflammation in the eye(s).
2. Xiidra (lifitegrast ophthalmic solution) just FDA approved
Xiidra (lifitegrast ophthalmic solution) 5%, is a twice-daily eye drop solution indicated for the treatment of the signs and symptoms of dry eye disease in adult patients. Xiidra is the only prescription eye drop indicated for the treatment of both signs and symptoms of dry eye syndrome. Xiidra works quickly and is not associated with significant burning or stinging.
Since 86% of dry eye sufferers have dry eye syndrome due to meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD) this procedure aims to deal directly with treating the issue at the gland. Evaporative Dry Eye disease is most often caused by a blockage or obstruction in the meibomian glands, which can lead to a lipid deficiency in the tears.
The goal is for LipiFlow to unblock glands, improve oil secretions and provide symptom relief as well. With the new LipiView® Ocular Surface Interferometer, your doctor can now take detailed images of your tear film. A digital image can be captured during a non-invasive in-office exam that takes about 5 minutes. LipiFlow works by applying directed energy to the eyelid near the affected glands – precisely targeted warmth from the back of the eyelid, and slight pressure from the front. This clinically proven procedure can be performed right in your doctor’s office.
What is the Lipiflow Procedure?
The Lipiflow procedure is a curative procedure where a device that produces heat and mild lid pressure is applied to the patient’s eyelids (most patients state it feels like an eyelid massage), so that the blocked lipids will flow back normally into the tear film. Patients who need to undergo this treatment will first have their eyes screened in a formal eyelid examination and lipiview tear film analysis to verify any blocked glands, which are often associated with this specific dry eye problem. If diagnosed, the most appropriate eye treatment prescribed is Lipiflow.
Punctal plugs are perfect for people that have been struggling with eye drops and have irritated dry eyes. These plugs have been in the eye care market since the dawn of the 1970’s and have very low risk. The use of punctal plugs a simple, yet effective method of treatment for dry eye disease. There is a wide variety of punctal plugs on the market allowing for specific treatment options.
Punctual plugs fit into the tear ducts and stop the remaining tearing from draining away. Our dry eye specialists will insert these plugs in an eye exam that will only take a few minutes. Anesthetic drops will first be applied, and you will hardly feel that anything is being done. Sometimes the opening of the tear drainage duct will need to be widened and temporary plugs will be used that actually dissolve in the eye.
These are semi-permanent and dissolve in about 3 months. The plugs are normally very comfortable and cannot be felt. After this time period the plugs start to dissolve, and the original problem may return.
These can be inserted in a similar way. These plugs can be removed, but with more difficulty, as they are designed to be permanent. They would only be removed in the instance of an overly watery eye. Sometimes the plugs can migrate to other parts of the tear duct, occasionally even down into the nose, but this is unusual.
Do you have bacterial critters living in your eyelashes?
BlephEx® is a new in office procedure that allows our dry eye specialists to take a more aggressive role in treating dry eyes and chronic blepharitis. BlephEx® … The first and only eye doctor treatment for dry eye and blepharitis. This product removes bacteria, and toxins that cause inflammation, dry eye, and eyelid disease. BlephEx® has been described by many as a toothbrush like device that scrubs the eyelids with antibacterial foam.
Cryopreserved amniotic membrane is the ONLY tissue cleared for wound healing by the FDA
What is PROKERA®?
The only FDA-cleared therapeutic device that both reduces inflammation and promotes healing.
OCLI is pleased to offer our patients PROKERA®, a biologic corneal bandage/medical device used by eye doctors around the world to treat eye diseases such as keratitis, recurrent corneal erosion, dry eye syndrome and chemical burns. This unique treatment is safe and effective, and it is comprised of cryopreserved amniotic membrane tissue in a thermoplastic ring set. Amniotic tissue is proven to have natural therapeutic actions to help damaged eye surfaces heal faster. PROKERA insertion occurs in the office and is a covered procedure with most insurance plans. The biologic corneal bandage is placed on the first eye for about 4 to 7 days; the patient can continue their daily activities and use artificial tears as needed. When the bandage on the first eye is removed, the eye is evaluated and a second eye can be scheduled.
The Healing Process
PROKERA® biologic corneal bandage devices are safe and effective with no risk of intraocular pressure (IOP) spikes or delayed healing. PROKERA® products can be inserted right here in an OCLI Long Island eye doctor office. This product can also be used in conjunction with other tropical products but your healing process should be discussed with your OCLI eye doctor.
OTHER TREATMENT OPTIONS: Patients with Severe Dry Eye Disease
Our Long Island dry eye experts can review with each patient their own environment. Moisture chamber eyewear is an option for patients that provides relief. The sealed eyewear reduces tear evaporation and increases overall comfort. In extreme cases, OCLI’s experts order specialized blood work to create autologous serum eye drops specific to each patient’s unique anatomy.
If you want dry eye relief, come see the experts—come see OCLI. For an appointment with an OCLI dry eye expert, call 1-866-SEE-OCLI (1-866-733-6254) or request an appointment online at www.OCLI.net.