Dry Eye Treatment

Dry Eye Treatment

Dry eye can have a major impact on your quality of life. You may find your eyes get tired faster or you have difficulty reading. Not to mention the discomfort of a burning sensation or 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.

What is Dry Eye?

Understanding dry eye will help you determine the best treatment option. Dry eye occurs when a person doesn't have enough quality tears to lubricate and nourish the eye. Tears reduce eye infections, wash away foreign matter, and keep the eye’s surface smooth and clear. People with dry eyes either do not produce enough tears or their tears are of poor quality. It’s a common and often chronic problem, in patients of all ages.

Preventive Self-Care

Here are a few simple self-care options that can manage minor cases of dry eye:

  • Blink regularly when reading or staring at a computer screen for a long time.

  • 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.

  • Take supplements with Omega 3 fatty acids as these may decrease dry eye symptoms.

  • Drink 8 to 10 glasses of water each day to avoid dehydration.

  • Warm compresses applied to the eyes for 10-15 minutes per day followed by a gentle massage to help oil production.

  • Find out if any of your prescriptions have dry eye as a side effect and if so, see if you can take an alternative.


Artificial Tears

For mild cases of dry eyes, the best option is over-the-counter eye drops. Here are a few tips for selecting the right one:

  • Low viscosity – These artificial tears are watery. They often provide quick relief with little or no blurring of your vision, but their effect can be brief, and sometimes you must use these drops frequently to get adequate relief.

  • High viscosity – These are more gel-like and provide longer-lasting lubrication. However, these drops can cause significant blurring of your vision for several minutes. For this reason, high-viscosity artificial tears are recommended at bedtime.

  • Preservative Free – These are tears that do not have harsh preservatives for patients with sensitive eyes or patients who use tears more than 4 times per day. Many preservative-free tears can also be used with contact lenses.

Prescription Dry Eye Treatments

There are several prescriptions that treat dry eye differently. Your eye doctor can advise the best option for your situation.

  • Scleral Contact Lenses–  Specialty contact lenses that hold tears against the front of the eye all day providing hydration to the cornea.

  • Anti-inflammatory drugs – These are eye drops to control inflammation on the surface of your eyes (cornea) using immune-suppressing medication such as cyclosporine (Restasis) or corticosteroids.

  • Autologous blood serum drops – For serious dry eye that’s not responding to other treatments, these eyedrops are made with a sample of your blood.  A compounding pharmacy uses the plasma from your own blood to produce a drop to hydrate and heal your eyes.

Dry Eye Procedures

  • 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.

  • Mebiomian Gland Expression – This treatment helps to unblock oil glands by heating and massaging clogged glands allowing them to produce more oil naturally for 6-12 months after treatment.

  • Amnotic Membranes – A treatment where stem cells are placed onto the eye for a number of days to heal non-responsive dry eye in a short amount of time for severely dry eyes.


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.

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