Dry Eye Treatment in Shreveport, LA
Dry eye is rapidly becoming more common across the US, and Shreveport is no exception. As we have increased our dependence on digital devices in our daily lives, dry eye symptoms are showing up for more and more patients. Sometimes these symptoms can come about so slowly that patients don’t even realize that their eyes are dry. They assume their discomfort is normal because of the hours they are spending on the computer or just a part of getting older.
But, dry, itchy, and irritated eyes are caused by a medical condition, and they can be helped with treatment. Our dry eye specialist, Pam Theriot, O.D., F.A.A.O., takes a holistic approach to the diagnosis, treatment, and management of dry eye. At Lusk Eye Specialists, we’re proud to provide dry eye relief to patients using some of the most personalized and cutting-edge solutions in the Ark-La-Tex.
What Is Dry Eye?
Dry Eye Syndrome, also known as ocular surface disease (OSD), occurs when the tears don’t work properly. Either not enough tears are produced, or the tear composition isn’t balanced. Both lead to the inability to keep the eyes sufficiently moist.
Tears are made up of three layers: water, mucus, and oil. The water layer hydrates the eye, the mucus layer keeps tears on the eye, and the oil layer prevents the tears from evaporating too quickly. When one of these layers isn’t doing its job, the tears won’t be able to keep the eyes comfortable and vision clear.
In some patients, the eyes overproduce low-quality tears. This gives excessively watery — but still dehydrated — eyes. Dry eye is irritating at best and unbearable at worst, and when left untreated, it can lead to damage and even scarring.
Causes of Dry Eye
Some of the causes of dry eye cannot be altered:
- Age: eyes produce less water with age
- Gender: hormonal changes put women at a higher risk of developing dry eyes than men
However, the majority of the causes can be altered:
- Environments: wind, smoke, or low humidity
- Contact lenses: use and misuse
- Dietary habits: not drinking enough water, or low omega-3 consumption
- Medications: antihistamines, antidepressants, birth control pills and hormone therapy, hypertensive medications, heart burn relievers, and even pain relievers can cause a reduction in tear production
- Makeup habits: improper application, poor hygiene, and/or using products containing toxic ingredients
- Sleep: inadequate or poor-quality
- Digital device use: extended use without taking adequate breaks
- Systemic Diseases: Diabetes, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus, Thyroid disorder, and Sjogren’s Syndrome
Symptoms of Dry Eye
Common symptoms of dry eye include:
- Pain in the eyes
- Stinging and burning
- Aching, discomfort or soreness
- Dry or scratchy eyes
- Feeling of something being in the eyes
- Heaviness or fatigue
- Difficulty with contact lenses
- Blurry or fluctuating vision
How Do We Test for Dry Eye?
At Lusk Eye Specialists, we begin all our exams with a conversation. We’ll start by asking you about your experience so we can tailor our care to your specific case. We’ll ask critical questions, such as what time of day you experience the worst symptoms, and which symptoms are affecting your vision and quality of life the most. Then, we’ll begin a series of tests that allow us to get a more holistic view of your condition.
We look specifically at each of the three layers of your tears using vital stains, measure the amount of tears produced, look at the quality of those tears, assess the health of your eye and lids, and have you fill out a standardized questionnaire to determine the severity of your symptoms.
By the end of our testing, we’re looking to determine whether you’re not producing enough tears, or which tear layers are out of balance. Typically, we find patients have lower levels of the water layer, the oil layer, or both.
Dry Eye Treatment in Shreveport
Every patient with dry eye has their own unique lifestyle and vision needs. We like to offer our patients hope in knowing that we have the solution to end their discomfort. At Lusk Eye Specialists, we pride ourselves on having the most advanced treatment options available for dry eyes in the Ark-La-Tex.
Simple, At-Home Treatments
Most of our Shreveport dry eye patients leave the office with a schedule of at-home therapy. Your eyes provide you with the vision you need to work, drive, and see your loved one’s faces. Taking care of your eyes with a simple regimen is as easy to fit into your daily lifestyle as brushing your teeth.
We provide patients with a few different at home products to manage the condition, including warm compresses, eyelid and lash cleansers, omega-3 fatty acid supplements, artificial tears, and some general patient education to help you understand how to improve your condition.
As part of this education, we may also suggest ways that you can change your environment and habits to improve your condition. For example, avoiding dry, dusty environments or places with ceiling fans can help with dry eye. We may also suggest making small changes to your personal habits like staying hydrated and taking more frequent breaks when using the computer.
If those adjustments don’t improve your dry eye, we move on to medicated eye drops and in-office treatments to address various conditions that may be affecting your level of dryness. These include:
- MiBo Thermoflo: a gentle treatment to express and unblock clogged oil glands in the lids
- Platelet Rich Plasma Tears: custom made eye drops from your own blood that heal the eye with growth factors and stem cells
- Amniotic Membrane Patches: small discs of tissue used to stimulate cell growth and heal the front surface of the eye
- Lid Cleansing: a thorough cleansing of the eyelids allows better production of oils which will calm the eye and may even stimulate new and longer eyelash growth
- Demodex Mite Eradication: removes overpopulation of Demodex mites in the lashes and calms red, thickened, and itchy lids
- Punctal Plugs: a small device which allows more tears to remain in the eyes to bathe the front surface in moisture
- Scleral Lenses: custom-fit contact lenses which keep moisture on the front surface of the eye all day while providing clear, crisp vision
Find Dry Eye Relief at Lusk Eye Specialists
Dry eye symptoms in Shreveport can stem from several different causes. Some of these causes can be altered and some cannot. At Lusk Eye Specialists, Dr. Theriot and her dry eye team will determine the root cause of your situation and provide you with a plan for relief. Your eyes shouldn’t feel painful, and we can provide effective treatments to get you feeling better and seeing more clearly. To learn more about the dry eye treatments available to you, call us at (318) 222-5555 and schedule an appointment.