Dry Eye worsens in Fall & Winter
Cooler weather brings relief to many of us after a long, hot summer. Unfortunately for others, the colder weather and drier air also leads to a flare up in their dry eye symptoms, according to Dr. John L Henahan at Spectrum Eyecare in Peachtree City.
The good news is that the treatment options for dry eye continue to evolve. “We use a staged approach to treating dry eye to find maximum relief of dry eye without over treating”, continues Dr. Henahan. “We also firmly believe in using natural therapy whenever possible, and we resort to prescription medications only when necessary.”
Advances in Dry Eye Treatment
More and more studies are demonstrating the benefit of a new class of dry eye drops. The active ingredient in these drops is called sodium-hyaluronate. It has an amazing property. Each molecule this substance holds 3000 molecules of water. When applied in the eye as a drop it allows the eye to hold moisture dramatically better. The two main drops containing this substance are the Blink Tears/Gel, which can be found in many stores and Oasys Tears Plus which can be found in doctor’s offices and online. The Oasys brand uses a version of the sodium-hyaluronate that is more effective, but can be a bit more difficult to find.
Another exciting development is in the arena of topical foams that reduce dry eye caused by blepharitis, which creates dryness symptoms due to inflammation in the eyelid. This hygiene regimen is especially powerful when combined with nutritional intervention such as vitamins and fish oil capsules.
A simple in office procedure, called punctal plugs can provide almost immediate relief for a majority of patients with chronic dry eye. It is often a first line treatment due to it’s ease, the fact that it is covered by most insurance companies, and it’s simple “set it and forget it” nature. Punctal plugs allow your eye to hold more tears, reducing symptoms of dry eye.
Smart Strategies for Treating Dry Eye
Before undergoing treatment for dry eye, patients should ask themselves some simple questions, reports Dr. Henahan. “Do you drink adequate amounts of water every day? Do you eat a healthy diet or is your diet overloaded with fried foods and products loaded with High Fructose Corn Syrup? Are you having other symptoms that might be associated with thyroid problems or arthritis? Finally, any number of different medications including anti-histamines, birth control or hormone replacement therapy they could be playing a role in your symptoms.
In most cases, if you can make changes in these areas, your symptoms may be reduced. For many, these changes are not practical, in which case evaluation and treatment by your eye doctor is warranted. When a patient chooses to see Dr. Henahan, they receive a complete eye examination and review of medical conditions. With this information, Dr. Henahan creates a customized plan that adds treatments sequentially until dry eye symptoms are resolved.
Dr. John Henahan is a fellowship trained doctor of optometry specializing in dry eye right here in Peachtree City. You may call his office at 770 487-0667 or click here to contact us.