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Dry Eye Treatment & Help with LipiFlow®, TrueTear®, Restasis®, Punctal Plugs & Tears at The Eye Care & Surgery Center in New Jersey

By Joel Confino, M.D.

Help for Dry Eyes & Treatment of Dry Eye Problems
Depending on the severity and the cause of your dry eyes, we may recommend a number of different treatment options to help your dry eye problems including the new IPL Intense Pulsed Light dry eye treatment, Restasis® eye drops, punctal plugs, artificial tears, and a long-acting artificial tear supplement called Lacriserts. The Eye Care and Surgery Center is one of the first practices in the New Jersey/New York Metropolitan area to offer IPL as a treatment for Dry Eyes.

If you have mild or even moderate dry eyes, the first course of treatment may be to use unpreserved artificial tears. The selection of the exact type of artificial tear eye drop is important. Depending on the nature of your tear film deficiency, we may have you use a specific type of artificial tear with various and differing characteristics in terms of salt content and viscosity. Follow these instructions carefully.

In addition there may some environmental factors that you need to alter to make you more comfortable such as how and where you are exposed to heat ducts or fans blowing as well as attempting to keep the areas that you spend a great deal of time in at a proper humidity level.
Sometimes, if the oily layer of the tear film is deficient, we may suggest that you increase your consumption of oily fish, take omega 3 vitamin supplements, or even take flax seed oil as a dietary supplement. Supplements can vary in their potency and efficacy, and the doctors at The Eye Care and Surgery Center will make the appropriate recommendations. Most likely you will also be asked to drink plenty of water.

About Punctal Plugs
In instances where these approaches do not help relieve your dry eye symptoms, we may suggest the insertion of tiny punctal plugs that will slow down or even stop the drainage of tears from the eye. These plugs are easily and comfortably placed in the Lacrimal Puncta in your eyelids. There are two puncta per eye, one per each of the upper and lower eyelids. Initially you may have a temporary dissolving plug put in place to see if your dry eye symptoms are responsive to this treatment. If the results are good, it may be necessary to place a more permanent type of plug in the Lacrimal Puncta to affect a long-term solution. These plugs can remain in place indefinitely, but can also be removed as needed.

About Restasis® Eye Drops
For patients with moderate to severe dry eyes who may have already tried using artificial tear eye drops and punctal plugs without relief, the prescription of Restasis® eye drops with or without the other treatments may often help alleviate your symptoms. Restasis® works by preventing a type of inflammatory cell from entering the Lacrimal Gland and thus allows your Lacrimal Gland to function more effectively, allowing the dry eye sufferer to make more of their own natural tears. Restasis® eye drops require several weeks of use to become effective, so please use these drops exactly as they are prescribed and please be patient.

Even with the above treatment options, there are some patients that may not respond as well as desired due to some underlying low-grade inflammatory or infectious process. In these cases it may be necessary for us to also prescribe an oral antibiotic such as doxycycline or an anti-inflammatory eye drop such as a steroid eye drop.

About LipiFlow® for Dry Eyes & Meibomian Gland Dysfunction

Until now eye doctors have used warm compresses, digital massage and eye drops to attempt to treat Meibomian Gland Dysfunction. Thanks to advances in Vectored Thermal Pulsation (VTP) technology the ophthalmologists at The Eye Care & Surgery Center are now able to treat MGD, dry eye and related eyelid problems such as Blepharitis using a device called LipiFlow®. LipiFlow® is an electronic device cleared by the FDA for the treatment of MGD by removing blockages of the glands and restoration of their function so that they provide normal oily secretions for a healthy tear film. LipiFlow® is an in-office procedure that uses directed heat and gentle pressure to liquefy and express the contents of the Meibomian glands. In a clinical study, 90% of patients achieved improvements in gland secretions after a single LipiFlow® treatment.

About TrueTear® for Dry Eyes

TrueTear® is a state of the art technology that patients can use at home to help make more of their own tears-naturally! TrueTear® is a compact, convenient electronic device cleared by the FDA for the treatment of dry eyes by using mild pulses of energy. TrueTear® is a “drop free” “drug free” option that helps you quickly produce more tears and reduce the discomfort of dry eyes.

As you can see, the diagnosis and treatment of dry eyes is complex and requires patience and persistence on the part of the eye doctor and the patient. With careful diagnosis and a systematic therapeutic approach, sufferers of dry eye syndrome can most often experience considerable improvement.

If you or someone you know would like to learn more about dry eye treatment and help for dry eyes with LipiFlow®, TrueTear®, Punctal Plugs or Restasis® eye drops, please call The Eye Care & Surgery Center at 908-789-8999 to schedule an appointment.

TrueTear® and Restasis® are property of Allergan and Lipiflow® is the property of Johnson & Johnson