Woman with dry eye syndrome
May 14, 2018 | by Holly Lebar OD

Dry eye syndrome is a common condition, and occurs most often in women over age 50. It can cause significant irritation and discomfort, impaired vision, and in some rare cases, vision loss. Dry eye syndrome occurs when your tear ducts don’t produce enough of the tear film that keeps your eyes consistently lubricated and healthy. While there’s no cure, there are at-home and in-office treatments that can relieve discomfort and related symptoms. The Polyclinic’s convenient Dry Eye Treatment kits are a great treatment option for patients to use at home.

The kits include several over-the-counter medications to improve tear film production and reduce eye inflammation that contributes to dry eye syndrome. The four- or five-piece kits are designed to address each patient’s individual needs for mild or moderate to severe dry eyes. Kit components may include:

  1. An eye mask that is heated in the microwave and worn over the eyes for 5 to 10 minutes, two to three times a day. Using a warm compress on the eyes helps unblock clogged tear ducts and increase tear production.
  2. Eyelid scrub is a foaming cleanser applied to the lids to remove oil, debris, and waste that has been expressed from the eye surface.
  3. Lipid-based artificial tears replenish the oil layer, stabilize tear film, and protect your eyes against moisture loss. We recommend a preservative-free formula used three to four times per day.
  4. Omega 3 supplements restore tear chemistry to improve long-term tear production. Patients on blood thinners should ask their primary care doctor before taking this supplement.
  5. Demodex cleanser or eye lid cleanser is used on the entire face, including eyelids and eyebrows, to kill bacteria and skin mites that live off thickened oil in the eyelids.

The dry eye treatment kits are available to Polyclinic patients who have had a complete eye exam and have been diagnosed with dry eye syndrome. The convenient kits make it easy for patients to get all the items they need for their specific dry eye condition in the recommended formulations. Kit prices range from $94 to $112 and can be purchased in The Polyclinic Ophthalmology department at Madison Center, 6th floor. Kit items can also be purchased individually.

The Polyclinic also offers LipiView diagnostic testing for dry eye as well as LipiFlow treatment for patients with dry eye syndrome that doesn’t respond well to home therapy.

For more information on eye exams or to get tested for dry eye syndrome, contact The Polyclinic Optometry/Ophthalmology department at 206-860-4550.

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Written By: Holly Lebar OD