Treatment of Ocular Surface Disease
Initially, dry eye/Ocular Surface Disease is usually treated with topical lubricating drops (artificial tears) applied up to six times daily. Ointments are at times prescribed for nighttime use as well.
Commercially available drops should not be used more frequently because they often contain detergent-based preservatives. Overuse of these drops can cause a disruption of the tear film and irritation to the surface of the eye, which aggravates the dry eye condition. Artificial tears can be used to prevent irritation and other symptoms, however using the drops after the eyes become irritated is not as effective.
At Home Treatments
There are some things you can do at home to help treat Ocular Surface Disease. Keeping clean, healthy eyelids can help ease discomfort and may reduce some symptoms. We typically recommend a combination approach in order to maintain the best environment for your eyes. This treatment consists of Warm Compresses, Lid Hygiene, Hydration and Lubrication. Ask your Ocular Surface Disease specialist for more information about caring for your eyes at home.
Omega-3 nutritional supplements have been proven to significantly improve eye health and relieve dry eye symptoms. You may already be taking a “fish oil” from the store, but are you taking the right one?
Omega-3 nutritional supplements have been proven to significantly improve eye health and relieve dry eye symptoms. Supported by significant research and experience, we at Minnesota Eye Consultants have determined that Omega-3’s, specifically manufactured by PRN Physician Recommended Nutriceuticals®, provide the purest, most therapeutically potent omega-3 based nutritional supplements possible. When taken as recommended, this allows us to treat Dry Eye systemically, with minimal dosing.
TrueTear is a handheld neurostimulation device that offers patients a temporary increase in tear production in the comfort of their home. It works by sending signals to the brain through tiny pulses of energy released from the small device’s nasal prongs. The brain then triggers the tear glands to step up their tear production, resulting in temporary relief from dry eyes. For more information on TrueTear, check out the demonstration video below.
In Office Treatments
Conserving your eyes’ own tears is another approach to keeping the eyes moist. Tears drain out of a small channel in your nose, which can be temporarily or permanently closed by your physician. This is done with silicone or collagen plugs inserted in the tear ducts and can be removed if needed. At times, permanent cautery occlusion
may be done.
The BlephEx device enables eye-care professionals to reduce bacterial debris, and the biofilm from a patient’s lid margin, with the goal of improving the overall health of the eyelid and decreasing low-grade chronic inflammation.
BlephEx features a medical grade disposable, micro-sponge that spins along the edge of eyelids and lashes, exfoliating the eyelids. Biofilm is safely and effectively removed.
The in-office procedure takes approximately 15-20 minutes and numbing drops may be used to increase comfort. Irritation, if noted, is typically short-lived and resolved before leaving the office.
The BlephEx procedure needs to be repeated at regular intervals to keep the disease from returning – similar to the need to brush your teeth after visiting your dentist.
It’s common for us humans to have microscopic mites called Demodex inhabiting our facial hair follicles and meibomian glands. Unfortunately, they can cause itching of the eyelid and brow, a burning sensation and even a foreign body sensation under the eyelids.
Demodex blepharitis is commonly treated in the office with an application of diluted Tea Tree Oil, and debridement of the eyelids. Although the demodex treatment can’t completely eliminate these mites, it will deplete the mite count, resulting in less eyelid inflammation.
The treatment itself takes approximately 20 minutes and may be mildly irritating. In order to maintain a healthy eyelid, home therapy may be used after the treatment is performed. This may include Tea Tree Oil ointment, Tea Tree Oil facial soap and shampoo.
Following treatment, it’s recommended that patients launder their bed sheets. We also advise patients not to allow pets into the bedroom. Because these mites are contagious, we feel it’s best to evaluate spouses as well.