How to Cure Dry Eyes – 7 Most Effective Dry Eye Treatments

in this video I’m gonna be explaining
how to cure dry eyes and we’re gonna do that by explaining the 7 most effective
dry eye treatments. so whether you’re looking for a home remedy, something
that’s available over-the-counter or if you are looking for something that’s
like an in-office treatment with your doctors such as medications then we’re
gonna be going over all of that and this might be the most comprehensive live
education about dry eyes that’s available right now so thank you so much
for joining us whether you’re somebody who’s just starting on your dry eye
journey just with mild symptoms or if you’re somebody with severe chronic
symptoms for dry eyes or something known as keratoconjunctivitis sicca then I
think you’re going to get a lot out of this now if this is the first time we’re
meeting I am dr. Joseph Allen I’m a practicing optometrist here in the state
of Minnesota and the host here on doctor eye health the channel that helps you
learn about the eyes, vision and finding the best vision of products and that’s
really just because we want you to keep your eyesight the best for today as well
as for tomorrow so if you’re new to the channel I really encourage you to go
ahead and subscribe so you can subscribe by clicking that button down below ring
the bell and turn on notifications so that you miss don’t miss any of my
future videos now I want to take this moment to say hi to few people in the
chat we got ravana and near thank you so much Tudor thank you so much for joining
us here it means a lot wherever you guys are joining from go ahead and comment
I’d love to know where you guys are at otherwise we got a lot of stuff to cover
so let’s just jump right into it so again we’re talking about different
treatments for dry eyes and the first number one treatment you guys might
laugh at this but it is artificial tears so lubricating eyedrops is actually at
the top of the list for a major reason and you may be thinking whoa dr. Allen
artificial tears you’re just blown me out of the water with this new
technology no artificial tears is actually a major component to all dry
eye treatment management so whether you have mild dry eyes or really severe
chronic dry eyes if you read the dry eye workshop to the DEWS 2 report which is
a major report of some of the brightest minds in all of eye care
reading the best research they kind of laid out the most modern
treatment for diagnosis management of dry eyes and in that for mild to severe
artificial tears is in all of those treatment designs so one of the big
issues so I had a patient even today who said I still got dry eyes it’s been a
few years and she’s like I’m like where are your drops
other than my purse but I never use them well that’s kind of the problem so the
big issue it’s not just that artificial tears add lubrication to the eye but
they actually help prevent damage to the surface of the eye from chronic dryness
so in the clinic we actually use a yellow medication called fluorescein
sodium and we put that on the eye you can actually see these little dry spots
on the eye so if you look here in this photo there’s these little dry spots off
to the side those are actually like little tiny divots on the surface of the
eye so the eye should be smooth like glass when they’re really dry those
cells on the surface of the eye actually get damaged and we call that superficial
punctate keratitis so the superficial punctate keratitis is basically dead
cells caused by this dryness on the surface and the body tries to heal that
those damaged cells with inflammation now the problem is that when the eye
starts having inflammation it’s like adding gasoline to a fire it often makes
things worse so one of the big things about using those dry eye drops or
artificial tears is to prevent inflammation from really grabbing hold
and making things worse so if your doctor has prescribed to you hey start
using artificial tears of a certain brand this often you want to do that
yeah I encourage you to go ahead and follow their instructions you will
notice an improvement or at least help control this inflammation from getting
worse now some people hear inflammation may be too far gone and so you may need
another treatments and that’s why we’re talking about this here today now in
terms of just artificial tears as a whole long discussion on that but I have
made another video on artificial tears I’ve included that in the description
below if you want to check that out lots of different eye drops now the big thing
I do want to comment on is whether it’s preserved or not so this is an example
of a non preserved artificial tear if using artificial tears more than four to
six times a day most doctors are recommending non preserved tear because
otherwise if you’re using it along time a lot of times throughout the day
preservatives can actually damage the hurt the I caused more kind of allergic
reactions to those preservatives so non preserved drops often are ideal now
let’s say you’re somebody who’s you’re doing artificial tears and it’s maybe
not enough maybe you already have a lot of inflammation on the eye your doctor
will actually discuss another treatment and so this is the second most common
treatment I see a lot of doctors talking about and that is omega threes now
omega-3 fatty acids if you’ve never heard of them before
Omega threes have a very strong potent anti-inflammatory effect and this can
affect so many different things throughout the body and I think a lot of
doctors recommend it because Omega threes help so many things in the body
and honestly the omega-3s and artificial tears they’re usually a lot cheaper and
affordable than a lot of the other medications or in office treatments for
dry eyes so it’s a good place to start now Omega threes they come in fish oils
that come in like flaxseed versions algae based versions as well now most of
the studies done on dry eye were all done mainly on the fish oil supplements
so omega-3 supplements from fish oil and a lot of these studies do show improved
signs and symptoms of dry eye when taking these omega-3 supplements for
about 60 to 90 days you do need to be taking a higher amount of milligrams
omega-3 to see that benefit I’ve been to large panel discussions with a lot of
doctors and some of the best brightest minds about omega-3s will kind of argue
between what how many milligrams really need to be used to see the best clinical
benefit but most of the published studies that I’ve read are around 2,000
milligrams or a little bit more now I personally do take omega-3s these as a
PRN brand this is a brand that I like to take because they there are a lot more
higher quality if you do your research you find they’re a lot higher quality
than things you’d find out like the grocery store or other pharmacies they
do only sell them either online through their own web store or from a doctor’s
office there is a lot of information on the website and have included more
information about that below but a quick comment for anybody who’s maybe thinking
about starting an omega-3 or any Supplement I think it’s important to
talk to either your eye doctor or talk to your family physician to make sure
that there’s no other potential complications a lot of supplements out
there you don’t know exactly what’s in them they may interact with medication
you might be able to be taking or with something else and maybe a medical
condition you have and I think it’s just the best all-around go-to to make sure
you talk with them above for starting any supplement
now let’s otherwise let’s talk about the next sort of treatment so beyond
omega-3s I think the first one artificial tears
in omega-3s again are excellent for most people especially if you don’t like
taking medications or if you maybe don’t have the all the resources financially
to talk about medications now for most doctors including myself or trained
medically to prescribe medications to know the side effects and what’s gonna
work what’s not so medicated eyedrops there actually are some great medicated
eye drops out there that work great for dry eyes so the two biggest dry eye
medications that are out there there’s one called Xiidra and another one called
Restasis now I got a couple examples these are actually expired samples from
our clinic so Restasis this has been out for a
long time that’s the brand name and Restasis has that works great both drops
are used one drop twice a day both eyes now the stasis it works by helping to
control some inflammation on the eye specifically the inflammatory cascade
that sends the inflammation basically to the lacrimal gland and that prevents
tears from basically being produced now what’s great was that Restasis will
help block that inflammatory cycle and you actually start producing your own
natural tears again the biggest downside to a stasis beyond cost is the fact that
it does take some time because those inflammatory cells have already attached
to your lacrimal gland and it takes some time for those cells to degrade and
release so people who are on the Restasis basically need to be on it for at least
three months using the drop twice a day for three months in both eyes to see a
clinical benefit sometimes it lasts you have to have be on it for up to six
months so that’s the downside there is stasis but overall I see a lot of people
have good success with it I have a patient who came recently in because
she’d been on it for three months and her patient anything her friends said
hey your eyes aren’t as red anymore and she was just like you know I’ve had she
came in for her follow-up and she was like I have dry red eyes that I’ve had
for like like all my life and her friends finally noticed hey your eyes
aren’t as red and she was knowing they’re not as dry anymore so it is good
no I’m not sponsored by any pharmaceutical company I’m just talking
about what I actually see works in the clinic and what other doctors are using
to prescribe and help people out with dry eyes another one is called Xiidra
this one is basically the competitive to restasis although they are not the
same mechanism of action they do xiidra also reduces inflammation on the eye
still twice a day I drop for dry eyes nose I draw I actually has the nice
benefit of it working a little faster clinical studies have actually shown
that people have improved signs and symptoms so signs like what the doctor
sees for dryness that’ll improve as well as the actual like dryness symptoms that
the patient has so great studies and they show that as soon as six weeks so
if you don’t wanna wait as long as three to six months it summer stasis maybe
this is better for you except that’s a decision that you need to discuss with
your doctor because the depending on the type of dry eye you have the signs and
symptoms one of these drops may be better for you than the other so hey
guys I know this is a lot so much so far we’ve like been going over a whole lot
of stuff and I’m sorry if I’m just throwing this stuff at you and you’re
getting overwhelmed you can always come back to this video and re-watch it but
there’s a lot of information I want to cover but if you’re liking this content
you like learning about dry eyes you like learning your doctors perspective
about dry eyes and dry eye treatment give me a thumbs up hit that like button
for me it’s gonna tell me that you guys like this information and that you want
to kind of learn this more information thank you guys so much for joining just
want to say hey we got Oni we got Jay he Tudor Joseph thank you guys so much
one guy saying Ray Miller saying I’m the best engineer and I’m personally not an
engineer but I know when I wasn’t going to school I was actually thinking you
know if I wasn’t gonna be in eye care I probably would have been an engineer so
that’s kind of cool thank you for sharing that now let’s kind of talk
about the nest next topic now and that one’s really a big topic these are new
technologies coming out for dry eyes these are in office treatments so these
are treatments you can get in the office with your eye doctor and not every
treatment not every office will have these but these are kind of newer
treatments that are coming out and so especially if you have a dry eye
specialty clinic sometimes refractive surgery clinics
will have these because they want to control the dryness and the surface of
the eye before they do things like LASIK or cataract surgery one of the biggest
ones and this is one that I’ve actually had completed on my own eyes and this
one’s called the lipiflow so if you’ve ever heard a lipiflow go ahead and
comment let me know or maybe you’ve had it already tell me to let us know what
you think of it so if you’ve never heard the lipiflow
this is what lipiflow looks like so this is actually a device that goes on the
eye and it actually supplies heat and pressure to your eyelids and the whole
point of that is actually to get the oil glands in the my bohmian glands to
release so I had another video the other week about meibomian gland dysfunction
if you don’t know what that my bohmian glands are they’re these little vertical
glands that run on the top and bottom portion of your eyelids and they
actually secrete this oil that prevents your tears from evaporating now the real
concern is that these oil glands eventually will die off if they get
clogged or they become inflamed and they don’t work anymore and then your tears
evaporate almost instantly so these are some great photos and then to kind of
show you what we see in the clinic I’ll switch it on over this photo here on one
side shows functioning oil glands that when you put a little pressure to these
oil glands you can see the oil come out where somebody who has the oil glands
that are basically dead or not functioning these oil glands are
completely gone so you can put pressure on there no oils coming out and so again
these office treatments like the lipiflow can help get these oil glands
to open up and creet and so if that doesn’t happen
these oil glands can actually die off so you can see in the middle here these oil
glands they kind of look like a little train tracks or a little grape seed
clusters those those glands are dead in the middle they’re not coming back and
so the point is that if you have these damaged oil glands of the oil glands are
blocked up using a lipiflow device to heat those oil glands and secrete get
them to secrete basically squeeze out all of that oil then they’ll start
producing again so that basically works by this device being put on the eye it
heats the oil glands from both directions and then actually does this
little pumping mechanism to get the oil glands to secrete you know it sounds painful but it
actually is not I actually found it very comforting it actually the heat feels
good it goes on for about 12 minutes at a time
and it actually you can feel it kind of put some pressure there but it’s not
really on the eye it’s just on the eyelids and if expecially if you have
these blocked oil glands they they really do help
now there’s another treatment beyond lipiflow that’s kind of newer it’s
called the eye iLux and this is one that I think I’ve actually I haven’t had it
done to myself but I’ve you I’ve actually seen the device I’ve tested it
out and this is a similar kind of theory applies heat but this one applies heat
through light light that’s shine on the eye increases the temperature of the oil
glands and then again it does a pumping mechanism and that pumping mechanism
gets those newly sand oils to secrete out of the eyelids now now again you
have a lot of issues with dry eyes and you have inflammation from oil glands
issues chronic dryness blepharitis things like that if you have chronic dry
eyes a newer treatment this is something that I I actually do in the clinic is
something called an amniotic membrane and go ahead and let me know if you’ve
ever heard of amniotic membranes before it’s kind of a newer treatment overall
these are some of the amniotic different these are dry dehydrated amniotic
tissues that we have in the clinic we also have frozen mam neon ik tissues we
use these for people who have bad chronic burns on the eye people who have
any sort of bad tissue damage to the cornea
that the this amniotic tissue is fantastic it adds a lot of different
antibodies to the eye it is harvested from a woman of from a pregnant woman’s
amniotic sac it’s cleaned sterilized and then it’s either frozen or dehydrated
and we can put that on the cornea for a short time and it helps pretty much
clear off a lot of inflammation from the surface of the eye and so it’s kind of
like hitting a reset button for people with really chronic severe dryness so a
good question out here from Bluegreen she kind of wondering if insurance
covers treatments like these amniotic so amniotics is questionable depends on
your insurance they may cover it they may not if you have a deductible of
course we’ll probably go toward that if you have a lipiflow or an eye Lux at the
moment I’m not aware of any insurance that covers those sort of treatments but
oftentimes they are really needed so that’s a really good question another
one than this one I think actually is covered by most insurances is one that’s
been around for a lot longer those are called punctal plugs so punctal plugs
work because they literally plug the really main either made of
they’re either made of collagen or they’re made from silicone and their
little literal plugs that we put in the drainage canal of the eye and the goal
of putting these plugs in the drainage canal is to prevent the tears from
really draining down the canal into your nose so if you’re producing an adequate
amount of tears or maybe your tears you’re not producing enough tears but we
can plug the drainage canal so that the tears rest longer on the eye then you’re
not going to be asymptomatic the big issue and why a lot of doctors may not
be using punctal plugs as much is that this concept of inflammation on the
surface of the eye if you have a lot of inflammation then the inflammation if
you plug up the drain all that inflammation sits on the eye it’s kind
of like a dirty sink if you plug up the dirty sink then all the garbage in the
sink is gonna sit there and fester so you got to let that sink drain out get
really clean out the sink first whether it’s medication whether it’s one of the
treatments like lipiflow or ilux then then you can go ahead
and put a punctal plug in so I still use punctal plugs in the clinic
I think they weren’t great for a lot of people but again you got to make sure
you control the inflammation first again want to say hey the people in the chat
thanks so much for just kind of leaving some comments I’m hopefully get to those
soon again we’re talking about dry eye treatments and some of the best ones
that are out there now again we’re talking about using lipiflow and i lux
that heat up those oil glands to the eye those meibomian glands that’s really
important so I know a lot of people if you have lipiflow or an ilyich’s done
one of the big things that your doctors usually talk about is again taking
omega-3s to control the inflammation but then they’ll talk about warm compresses
and I’ve got a lot of videos talking about warm compresses reviewing
different warm compresses that are available warm compresses basically is
kind of the daily at-home treatment for treating those meibomian glands that
are blocked up because that heat will melt those oil glands again that are
been solidified and then you can do a gentle eyelid massage to get them to
secrete out and this is something that you can you know there’s so many
different warm compresses on the market I personally have always been a big fan
of the Bruder mask there’s a couple other ones that work really well I think
the big thing about them is just that you know you want to find something that
you can reuse that’s easy convenient there’s a couple of cool methods I’ve
actually heard from other people commenting in the videos I think it’s
actually pretty cool all the different things people have come up with but I
know just for convenience the Bruder mask is what we offer in our clinic and
it’s something that’s washable and it’s really cool again with all these things
I’m talking about I do include those in the description below if you want to
check out more about those now we’re going we’re getting we’re getting close
here guys we only got a couple left now the next one is called autologous serum
now this one a lot of people may have not heard about before so go ahead and
let me know if you’ve ever heard a toggle as serum yes or no a toggle is
serum it’s actually been out for some time but it’s not used as frequently as
I think as I think people should but it’s basically where they do a blood
draw you actually need your doctor to write a prescription to send it to them
to the actual to the phlebotomist to do a blood draw
they actually centrifuge your seperated blood it’s basically separating your
plasma from your blood cells and that’s the easiest way to think about it
they’re actually making artificial tears liquid artificial tears from your own
blood antibodies all the white you know you basically separate the blood cells
so you’re just using basically the plasma of the eye and you actually put
your plasma of the you love your blood and you use that as an artificial tear
and that has some great advantages because it helps your body’s own immune
system fight off the dryness the downside is again you need a
prescription you need to go to the pharmacy and go to the phlebotomist get
it drawn they have to prepare it and not every pharmacy or phlebotomist will do
this not every lab will do this so you have to fight your doctor has to find a
lab that does it and I think that’s one of the reasons why alot of doctors don’t
prescribe it we have a couple places here in Minnesota so we will do it and
this is more for people with really severe dry eyes people who have already
tried most of the other treatments we’ve talked about before this is one of the
kind of the end-stage ones a lot of people will go to but it for a lot of
people it’s it’s great that it works really well
now beyond at autologous serum there’s one left and this is the one that I find is
kind of again maybe not the last stage but for a lot of people it helps a
tremendous amount and it sounds kind of counterintuitive because I’ve bet a lot
of you out there who wear contacts have dry eyes but scleral contact lenses are
an excellent treatment for dry eyes as long as you’re able to put them in take
them out safely sclera lenses is kind of a new they’re kind of coming back into
how you can treat you can treat a lot of things with sclera lenses certainly
keratoconus but also dry eyes I’ve never heard of sclera contacts the really
large contact lenses this is a picture of a large sclera contact lens it’s kind
of looks like a little bowl right and basically you fill that bowl full of
liquid in the contact lens kind of seals around the sclera on the white part of
the eye and holds that liquid to the surface of the eye so that basically the
eye the cornea is bathed in liquid all day long now oftentimes people with
severe dry eyes may have to take these out refill the liquid and replace it
maybe a couple times a day but in terms of a dry eye option it’s pretty cool I
mean the fact that we’re able to use this technology and sclera lenses
have been around for a long time but it’s kind of come back and the new
designs have come out so it’s it’s really great
so yeah that’s what the scleral lens looks like that’s pretty huge guys
anyone here in the chat who wears sclera lenses certainly let us know so those
are really my seven favorite ways of treating dry eyes those are really some
of the most advanced in office treatments medications that we can
prescribe there’s certainly not every treatment that’s available but these are
the pretty much the most common ones and the ones that I find most effective so
let’s go into some questions you guys have any questions you know there’s a
lot of good questions about dry eyes people have you know it’s true that dry
eye treatments will not help necessarily with cataracts or macular degeneration
they’re affecting different parts of the eye cataract is the lens inside the eye
macular degeneration is retinal disease and the far back of the eye but it’s
true that dry eyes can affect your vision significantly if you actually had
no tears at all in your eye or I was a hundred percent no moisture you would
lose about 70 percent of your vision if not more so it really plays an important
role I have heard a story here from Jay he
about getting shattered glass and broken phone screen in the eye that’s that’s
thanks man that’s got to be really painful you know as far as magnesium
eyedrops for inflammation you know I’ve never really heard of magnesium eyedrops
specifically I’ll have to do some research on that material of the plugs
yes there’s different types of plugs that are available different brands will
have them in the most part there’s collagen plugs which are actually most
often porcine so they’re made from pig pig collagen and then my me that’s a
porcine yeah now you have me confused now porcine this pig’s bovine is cow but
yes porcine collagen those are temporary plugs they usually dissolve within seven
tool both in the first week or so but they’re good for temporary for us to
test if it’s something that’s actually going to work for you and then we can
use silicone plugs which are more permanent and most people
have any allergies to silicone certainly Lumifyi can help get rid of red eyes
thank you Andy Lumify helps by constricting the blood vessels on the
eye it is one of the safer drops that came out recently rather than some of
the other kind of get the red out drops that are available the biggest concern
about like get the red out drops is that you could be masking something else that
could be going on the eye that may need to be treated with some medications or
other form of treatment and then people who chronically use get the red out
drops often they have this rebound effect which makes things worse and
worse and becomes almost like an addiction you have to keep using the
drop over and over and over again is it okay to use drops more than twice a day
for dry eye it’s amazing question thank you so much Bluegreen yes certainly
artificial tears you know I always say you know make sure you talk with your
doctor your eye care professional that you see if they recommend twice a day
use it twice a day if they recommending four times a day use it four times a day
some people may need to use drops more often and that’s when you want to be
going to a non preserved artificial tear so yeah this is great well guys thanks
so much for joining me in the chat hope you enjoyed the video if you liked the
video give me a thumbs up if you haven’t subscribed to the channel you new here
make sure to subscribe to the channel so you don’t miss any of my future videos
guys thanks so much for joining me again if you want to check out other cool
videos from dr. eye health we’ve got a good collection of different videos for
you to view I want to leave you guys with kind of
just an eye health question of the day so I have a question of the day guys
what of the seven treatments that we discussed here and I know the fourth
treatment included a lot of in office treatments but which one do you think is
most exciting something you’ve never heard about go ahead and comment little
chair in the comment section below otherwise guys thanks so much for
watching if you’d like to see other cool videos from dr. eye health please go ahead
and click or tap the screen over here to the side or if you’d like to see another
cool video from dr. Isles go and click or tap the screen over here again this
is dr. Joe Allen here from doctor eye health thank you for watching
keep an eye on it we’ll talk to you soon

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