The dry eye examination itself can be billed to a patient’s medical insurance provider depending on the etiology of a patient’s dry eye disease. Treatment might include in-office procedures or home therapy measures that require the patient to purchase a product or device depending on what in-office procedure or what device is warranted. It may or may not be covered by insurance. Either way, whether it’s covered or not, a patient can use their hsa or fsa to pay for any and all therapies recommended for treatment.
When a patient comes to the office for a dry eye evaluation, it’s very important that they have a realistic expectation their dry eye disease did not develop overnight and we can’t fully cure it overnight. We can however start treating the disease so that over time the patient becomes less symptomatic and really just as importantly we can stop any further damage to the eye from occurring. Dry eye treatment is tailored specifically for each patient’s individual case.
Immediate relief from dry eye symptoms is really almost impossible to achieve. Artificial tears might immediately reduce symptoms but they are doing nothing to address the underlying cause of the disease.
Relief is so tightly connected to cause that it’s very difficult to make a generalization about when a person will start to feel better.
Dry eye disease does not go away on its own. As time goes on, it only gets worse. Once a patient becomes symptomatic, those symptoms will only worsen with time. Dry eye really gets harder to treat the longer that person waits to take steps to counteract what they’re experiencing. Many patients may not know that dry eye disease can cause irreversible damage to their eye and their eyelids if left untreated for too long.