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Category Archives: Dry Eye Treatment

Eye Care During Pregnancy: What to Keep in Mind


Eye Examination Philadelphia
Being pregnant is in itself is a life changing event. There is a lot to handle in terms of the changes that your body endures. It is important to keep in mind some tips regarding how pregnancy can affect your eyes to have a healthy, happy pregnancy. 

As your body retains greater volumes of water, along with high volumes of blood flow and hormonal changes, there are bound to be changes and discomfort that arise. Generally, changes in vision during pregnancy are not that difficult. Rather, they are minor issues that usually go away post pregnancy or after weaning your baby from breast feeding. Here’s what to keep in mind regarding caring for eyes during pregnancy.

Common Vision Concerns in Pregnancy

  • Avoid LASIK – If you have any issues with vision while pregnant, they will generally fade. However, if a condition that was pre-existing is exacerbated, it is important to differentiate between procedures that can be done and which ones cannot be done. LASIK surgery is not recommended during pregnancy. It is unsafe to undergo this during pregnancy or while you are still breastfeeding.
  • Treat dry eyes – A condition that occurs during pregnancy that can cause discomfort is called dry eye. You need not worry greatly about this, as the condition can be fixed by using lubricating drops. You can talk to your ophthalmologist about safe prescription drops you can use for help with the problem.
  • Wear glasses – Wearing contact lenses can be quite uncomfortable during pregnancy due to dry eye. Because of this, consider using prescription glasses through the pregnancy. There are ways to easily deal with unnecessary discomfort that can be easily avoided. Natural methods like eating food rich in omega-3 fatty acids like salmon, walnuts, and flax seeds also help.
  • Monitor blood pressure – Pregnancy involves a lot of changes in the body; high volumes of blood flow is one important change that occurs. In some people, this can result in high blood pressure, especially if coupled with additional problems like stress. Make sure you report to your doctor if you have been experiencing blurry vision, dizziness, or other symptoms. Ensure that you keep tabs on your blood pressure regularly and discuss any concerns with your doctor.
  • Check blood sugar – If you have trouble focusing on things around you, check your blood sugar levels. Gestational diabetes is a condition that occurs in many women during pregnancy, and it can cause problems with your vision.
  • Adjust medication – Glaucoma is a condition that may improve during pregnancy. If you have glaucoma and are pregnant, your doctor can adjust the prescription so the dosage of medicine for the unborn baby is safe.
  • Know warning symptoms – Eye pain, redness, sensitivity to light, seeing spots, and puffiness around the eyes are all symptoms you should immediately discuss with your physician. These are symptoms of preeclampsia, which is a very dangerous condition that can be harmful for both you and the baby.

 

Dry Eye Treatments

dry eye treatment“Dry eye,” also known as “dry eye syndrome,” is a condition where the eye fails to manufacture enough tears or the tears are not the proper consistency. Hence, the tears evaporate off the eye too quickly. Inflammation of the eye surface can accompany dry eye. If not treated promptly, it can result in pain, eye ulcers, corneal scarring, or some degree of vision loss. However, permanent vision loss from dry eye is rare. Additionally, dry eye can make certain activities like computer use and prolonged periods of reading difficult. It can also lower tolerance for particularly dry environments like airplane cabins.

Types of Dry Eye

  • Aqueous Tear-Deficient Dry Eye: An eye disorder where the lacrimal glands do not make sufficient amounts of watery tear components to keep the eye surface healthy.
  • Evaporative Dry Eye: This condition results from tarsal gland inflammation. Located within the eyelids, these glands produce the lipid (oily) part of tears. The lipid layer slows evaporation, keeping the tears stable.

Causes of Dry Eye

  • Inflammation of the eye surface, lacrimal glands, and/or conjunctiva. Chronic conjunctivitis can be caused by various eye diseases, infections, or exposure to irritants such as tobacco smoke, chemical fumes, and air drafts.
  • Any disease which alters tear components.
  • Forward protrusion of the eye from thyroid disease.
  • Cosmetic eye surgery.
  • Exposure keratitis (eyelids do not completely close when asleep).
  • Certain medications such as decongestants, antihistamines, tranquilizers, blood pressure drugs, Parkinson’s medications, birth control pills, and anti-depressants.
  • Wearing contact lenses.

Dry Eye Symptoms

  • Burning and/or stinging of the eye(s)
  • Gritty feeling eye(s)
  • Alternating episodes of excessive tears and very dry eyes
  • Stringy eye discharge
  • Eye pain and/or redness
  • Periods of blurry vision
  • Eyelids feel heavy
  • Unable to cry when upset
  • Discomfort associated with wearing contact lenses
  • Eye fatigue
  • Reduced tolerance to activities requiring prolonged eye use (reading, computer work, etc.

Dry Eye Treatments

All of the following dry eye treatments should be discussed with either a medical or eye doctor:

  • Address any underlying disease(s) that may be causing symptoms.
  • “Home treatments” such as artificial tears, warm compresses, or lid scrubs.
  • Use Cyclosporine, the only prescription anti-inflammatory medication available for treating dry eye. It works by increasing tear production, decreasing corneal damage, and reducing dry eye symptoms.
  • In severe cases of dry eye, corticosteroid eye drops may be needed for a short period to reduce inflammation.
  • Switch to alternative medications that do not have dry eyes as a side effect.
  • Switch to another type of contact lens and/or reduce the number of hours spent wearing them. In severe dry eye cases, eye doctors often recommend not wearing contact lenses at all.
  • Plug the drainage holes located at the inner corners of the eyelids. This is where tears drain into the nose from the eye. Insertion of lacrimal plugs is a temporary measure. However, in severe cases, permanent plugs may be considered.
  • Punctal cautery may also be recommended to close these drainage holes permanently. This simple procedure helps retain the tears on the eye for a longer period.
  • Dietary sources and supplements of omega-3 fatty acids (DHA and EPA) may decrease dry eye irritation.
  • Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) Therapy is a ground-breaking new treatment for moderate to severe dry eye, available at Kremer Eye Center.  Treatments are generally repeated once a month over the course of 4 months.

Resources: Retrieved October 28, 2013.

National Eye Institute (2013). Facts about dry eye. Retrieved from: http://www.nei.nih.gov/health/dryeye/dryeye.asp

Dry Eye Treatment Options

pa dry eye treatment options

Dry eyes are more than just an irritant; they can inhibit your quality of life and, if left untreated, can cause more severe vision problems over time. Dry eyes can be caused by several different factors, including the environment, and is a very common condition. It interferes with the normal production of tears; luckily, there are many options available to treat this condition.

How to Treat Dry Eyes

Eye drops: There are drops that are specially formulated for relieving dry eyes and will help you produce your own tears. They are available at your local drug store or favorite retail store.

Warm compress: A warm compress on your eyes can help to unclog your eyelids’ oil producing glands. Use a clean washcloth and moisten with warm water. Place over your eyes for 5 to 10 minutes at a time. Do this several times a day, especially in the morning, if you tend to wake up with dry eyes.

Use a Humidifier: If the air inside your home is dry, try using a humidifier to put more moisture in the air. Place one in the room you spend a lot of time in, as well as your bedroom, to help protect your eyes when you’re sleeping.

Take Frequent Breaks, and don’t forget to blink: Don’t let your eyes get too strained, especially if you use a computer or read for a long time. Take breaks at least every 15 minutes or so. Blink often, so you can spread tears over your eyes.

While these home remedies can be effective for some people, they are not permanent solutions, and may not help those with very severe dry eyes. For those with Dry Eye Syndrome, the Kremer specialists can prepare a dry eye treatment  plan, and find out whether you would qualify for the procedure known as IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) therapy. This procedure is effective and safe, and will help you produce your own tears again. The recovery period is fast and is treated on an outpatient basis.

At Kremer Eye Center, one of our doctors can determine if IPL therapy is right for you, and will explain all of the options available to you. You can book a free consultation with us, either by calling us at 1-800-694-3937, or by using our online booking form.

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