Dry eyes can have a major impact on your quality of life. You may find your eyes are red or watery, get tired faster or you have blurry vision. Let’s take a look at dry eye treatments – from simple self-care to innovative prescriptions and therapies – to help you see clearly and comfortably.
Understanding dry eye will help you determine the best treatment option. Dry eye is a multi-factorial disease. Most often, dry eye disease occurs when a person either doesn't produce enough tears or good quality tears to lubricate and nourish the eye. Screen use has drastically increased the number of people suffering from Dry Eye Disease, and we are finding that patients of just about any age can be affected by this condition.
Here are a few simple self-care options that can manage minor dry eye symptoms.
Blink regularly when reading or staring at a computer screen for a long time. We love the 20/20/20 rule - every 20 minutes, take a 20 second break, and look 20 feet away!
Make sure there’s adequate humidity in the air at work and at home.
Wear sunglasses outside to reduce sun and wind exposure. Wraparound glasses are best.
Supplements such as Omega 3s may reduce symptoms of dry eye.
Stay well hydrated.
Find out if any of your prescriptions have dry eye as a side effect and if so, see if you can take an alternative.
When preventative measures aren't quite cutting it, your eye doctor can advise the best option for your situation.
Contact Lenses – For some patients, specialty contact lenses called scleral lenses protect the surface of the eye and deliver moisture.
Antibiotics– If your eyelids are inflamed, this can prevent oil glands from secreting oil into your tears. Your doctor may recommend antibiotics to reduce inflammation.
Anti-inflammatory drugs – These are eye drops to control inflammation on the surface of your eyes (cornea) and help reduce dry eye symptoms.
Tear-stimulating eye drops - Medicated eye drops such as Restasis, Xiidra, and Cequa may help patients produce more of their own natural tears.
Optilight is the first light-based therapy approved by the FDA to treat dry eye. A series of 4 in-office treatments helps reduce inflammation of glands around our eyes, improving the overall quality of the tears.
Punctal Plugs – Tear ducts can be plugged with tiny silicone plugs to reduce tear loss. By partially or completely closing your tear ducts, it can keep your tears from leaving your eye too quickly.
You don’t have to suffer from the symptoms of dry eye. Talk to your optometrist about dry eye treatment options designed to address the underlying cause of your condition.