While dry eye may be a temporary reaction to certain medications or atmospheric conditions, dry eye can also be a condition for life. Fortunately, dry eye can usually be managed successfully, leading to enhanced eye comfort and relief from the irritating symptoms. That’s why it’s important to know your options for dry eye treatment.
Every case of dry eye is not the same – there are various causes that could be to blame. At our eye care centers in Marion, Cedar Bluff, and Bristol, Virginia , we perform comprehensive evaluations of dry eye, which is the most reliable way to offer personalized, effective treatment for each patient.
Here’s a review of the most common dry eye treatments:
- Artificial tears eye drops – these over-the-counter medications can alleviate the painful symptoms of dry eye for many people. OTC eye drops work simply by lubricating your eyes; preservative-free eye drops are recommended.
- Prescription medications – if you have a chronic case of dry eye, your eye doctor may prescribe a medicine to treat it. Some drugs are taken orally or as eye drops, and most work by decreasing inflammation of your eyelids. This enables your oil glands to secrete healthy oils into your tears, so your tear film doesn’t evaporate too rapidly.
Antibiotic eye drops may be prescribed to help stimulate oil production in the glands around your eyes. Steroid eye drops work to reduce eye inflammation. Another helpful type of eye drops, Restasis (cyclosporine), is also anti-inflammatory. This drug lubricates your eye and suppresses the immune system, stopping the body from attacking itself and causing swelling. Xiidra (lifitegrast) eye drops are approved to treat chronic dry eye by reducing inflammation.
- Eye inserts – eye inserts, which look like tiny vials of medication, can be inserted into your eye like contact lenses in between your lower eyelid and eyeball. Throughout the day, medicine is gradually released.
- Medical procedures – our eye doctors in Marion, Cedar Bluff, and Bristol, Virginia , perform certain procedures to help treat dry eye, such as:
- LipiFlow thermal pulsation, a fast and painless procedure done in-office, can clear blocked oil glands, which are typical of meibomian gland dysfunction, a common cause of dry eye
- Tear duct closure with silicone punctal plugs can help tears to stay in your eyes longer, since there is no drainage route.
- Specialty contact lenses – customized contact lenses, such as scleral lenses, can offer relief from chronic dry eye. These lenses protect the surface of your eye and hold in moisture.
- Natural therapies – various DIY treatments can be very effective at relieving the irritating symptoms of dry eye (always check with your eye doctor first!), including:
- Hold a warm, wet compress over your eyes
- Massage your closed eyelids with a mild, baby shampoo
- Omega-3 supplements may reduce inflammation in your body and help enhance the oily composition of your tears
- Castor oil eye drops can decrease tear evaporation
- Lifestyle changes – you may be surprised to learn how following some of these simple tips can have huge effects on your dry eye!
- Wear sunglasses to keep wind out of your eyes
- Blink often
- Use a cool mist humidifier to moisturize the air
- Drink enough water
- Don’t smoke; avoid secondhand smoke
The best dry eye treatment for each person depends on a bunch of variables. Also, if your dry eye is caused by an underlying medical condition, you may require a different type of treatment. Consult with our eye doctors in Marion, Cedar Bluff, and Bristol, Virginia , to find the best solution for your unique condition.
At Envision Eye Care, we put your family's needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 276-783-5157 or book an appointment online to see one of our Marion eye doctors.
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