Many Dry Eye sufferers, particularly those who have mild symptoms that are very annoying, such as a chronic foreign body sensation, or those with moderate or severe symptoms who have had their quality of life impacted, will see any doctor who might offer hope for relief of these debilitating symptoms.
Many dry eye sufferers tell the same story. They have been to see many doctors, all whom offered virtually the same treatment: warm compresses, lubricating drops, and lid wipes. Sometimes they will prescribe RESTASIS® (Cyclosporine), other antibiotics, or steroids. Sometimes they will recommend lid massage in conjunction with warm compresses. Sometimes they will prescribe doxycycline. Sometimes the treatments work, but frequently the relief is short-lived.
The problem is that many doctors are not trained to diagnose and effectively treat Dry Eye syndrome and its many co-morbidities.
The widespread prescribing of RESTASIS, which can be a very expensive treatment, can be ineffective because even according to the manufacturer, Allergan, only approximately 10-15% of users have positive outcomes with prolonged use. The rest feel no relief.
Lubricating drops and ointments may relieve symptoms but they do not treat any underlying conditions such as aqueous deficiency or meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD).
Lid wipes are an important step in good lid hygiene, but lid hygiene is usually not the only problem, and most lid wipes have no effect on demodex mites, a common contributor to symptoms of posterior blepharitis.
Warm compresses are also important in the production and flow of meibum but if meibomian glands are obstructed in any way, warm compresses will only help to liquefy the meibum, but will not create a channel allowing the meibum to flow.
Lid massage, particularly if the meibomian glands are inflamed or obstructed, can cause further harm by squeezing together the lining of the glands, or pushing further back into the gland material that should flow out.
So patients, who do not experience relief from their symptoms, have no choice but to seek care from another doctor. This goes on an on until the patient finally finds a doctor who is able to help.
We often wonder why more doctors don’t ask patients how many doctors they have already seen and what treatments they have already tried before prescribing, yet again, treatments that do not address the co-morbidities they are presented with.
If you have seen more than three doctors and you still have not found relief, you may be a typical Dry Eye sufferer.