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Eye Care In Blackfoot, Idaho

Dealing With Dry Eye

Your eyes need a certain amount of lubrication to work properly. Without it, there’s discomfort, frustration, and possibly even injuries.

At Bluebird Vision + Wellness, we’re ready to diagnose your dry eye and offer solutions that work. Book your appointment with us today, and discover how we can help you.

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What Causes Dry Eyes?

At the root of it, dry eye is exactly what it sounds like: your eyes don’t have enough moisture to function the way they’re supposed to. But that condition can come about in two different ways.

Your body is programmed to make a certain volume of tears. These tears are produced with the express purpose of lubricating your eyes. If your body doesn’t make enough tears naturally, your eyes will become dry and irritated.

Sometimes, the body makes the right volume of tears, but they’re not quite the right quality. Your tears contain an oil called meibum which keeps them from evaporating. If your tears don’t have enough meibum in them, they’ll evaporate too quickly from the surface of your eye, causing it to dry out.

Risk Factors

Anyone can experience dry eye. However, there are a few elements that can increase your likelihood of having dry eye. You’re at a greater risk of developing dry eye if:

  • You’re female
  • You’re over 50 years old
  • You wear contact lenses
  • You don’t eat a particularly balanced diet

Symptoms of Dry Eye

Dry eye doesn’t always just feel like your eyes are dry. In fact, in some cases, patients experience a sudden influx of tears or discharge. It’s also common to notice sensitivity to light, redness, a gritty feeling, burning or stinging blurry vision, and eye fatigue.

If you’re experiencing these symptoms; you don’t have to live with them. Visit Bluebird Vision + Wellness and let us help.

Treating Dry Eye at Bluebird Vision + Wellness

There are a number of treatments available for dry eye. Visit our office, and we’ll happily go through all your options with you. Everyone’s eyes are different and we treat each patient on a case by case basis.

Artificial Tears

Artificial tears are over-the-counter eye drops designed to lubricate your eyes the same way tears would. These drops are a very effective short-term solution for relieving dry eye symptoms.

Medicated Eye Drops

Much like artificial tears, medicated drops offer immediate relief for your dry eye symptoms. But unlike artificial tears, medicated eye drops will also stimulate your body’s production of natural tears, offering a more long-term solution. These drops include:

RESTASIS® and RESTASIS MultiDose® drops help increase your eyes’ natural ability to produce tears, which makes it a top treatment for dry eye.

Do not use RESTASIS® and RESTASIS MultiDose® Ophthalmic Emulsion if you are allergic to any of the ingredients. Be careful not to touch the container tip to your eye or other surfaces, to help avoid eye injury and contamination. RESTASIS® and RESTASIS MultiDose® should not be used while wearing contact lenses. If contact lenses are worn, they should be removed prior to use of RESTASIS® and RESTASIS MultiDose® and may be reinserted after 15 minutes.

The most common side effect is a temporary burning sensation. Other side effects include eye redness, discharge, watery eyes, eye pain, foreign body sensation, itching, stinging, and blurred vision.

Xiidra® (lifitegrast ophthalmic solution) 5% is a prescription eye drop used to treat the signs and symptoms of dry eye disease. *Note: Do not use Xiidra if you are allergic to any of its ingredients. Seek medical care immediately if you get any symptoms of an allergic reaction.

5 Facts About Xiidra

  • Use Xiidra twice per day: Use one drop of Xiidra in each eye, two times a day, about 12 hours apart.
  • Wear contact lenses?: Take ’em out before using Xiidra and wait at least 15 minutes before popping them back in.
  • Single-dose containers: Each Xiidra container has enough medicine to treat both of your eyes once. So you’ll be using two containers each day, about 12 hours apart.
  • Scrub those hands: To avoid contamination, wash your hands first & don’t let the tip of the container touch your eye or any surface.
  • Have bad aim?: It’s ok! Each container has some extra solution in case you miss. Throw it out when you’re done – don’t save it.
Punctal Plugs

Your eye has drainage ducts to get rid of any excess tears. Punctal plugs are tiny implants, designed to plug these drainage ducts and allow your tears to moisturize your eyes rather than draining away. Punctal plugs are comfortable, virtually undetectable, and also easily removed if the patient chooses to try another mode of treatment.

Learn more about flashes & floaters treated by our optometrists.

Lid Scrubs

Lid scrubs remove any debris from the eye area. The pads are oil-free and ready to use. A clean eye reduces dry eye.

Amniotic Membranes

Amniotic membranes have certain properties to treat dry eyes. When an amniotic disk is placed on a contact lens, the contact lens helps regenerate a patient's eye to a normal state. No other treatment provides such restorative features that can heal a damaged cornea and treat dry eyes simultaneously. The usage of amniotic membranes has been shown in clinical studies to heal the eye, soothe eye pain, and improve overall vision.