Is There More to Dry Eye Treatment Than Artificial Tears?
Sean Mulqueeny, OD
Until recently, many people I talked with about Dry Eye thought that artificial tears were the only treatment option they had to treat their condition. We’ve come so far in such a short period of time! There have been many barriers to overcome to master the treatment of this very common condition. In the past, we called it Dry Eye Syndrome. This name was significantly limiting and a new name was needed. We now call the condition Ocular Surface Disease. This title is much more comprehensive and helps us to better explain just how how complex the disease really is.
One of the most important features of this disease is that rarely if ever, do a patient’s signs match their symptoms. We now have very sophisticated methods to help us diagnose Ocular Surface Disease, but the patient may not “feel” that their eyes are dry. This fact can have serious consequences. The lack of a dry eye sensation in some people can lead to damage of the surface of the eye if the condition goes untreated. For this reason, I recommend yearly eye examinations to help detect the disease as early as possible.
We now have a plethora of different options available to treat Ocular Surface Disease; many of which have only recently been brought to market. These options allow us to tailor treatments specifically to each patient’s individual signs and symptoms. Our knowledge base regarding Ocular Surface Disease has exploded! Research has produced or identified a wide array of treatments that, prior to ten to fifteen years ago, were inconceivable. These newer approaches, along with more deeply established treatments, have revolutionized treating this very common condition.
Several years ago, a very distinguished panel of Ocular Disease specialists suggested the use of Omega 3s early in the treatment of the disease. Omega 3s have become a mainstay and frontline treatment of Ocular Surface Disease in my practice. I prefer EZ Tears because of its highly enriched Omega 3s and because of the multitude of other anti-inflammatory components that the product incorporates. It has been an excellent adjunct to my Ocular Surface Disease armamentarium.