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7 ways to treat dry eye

There are many medications and procedures available to treat dry eye, so here are the 7 ways to treat dry eye. Are your eyes reddish and itchy? Can’t bear the pain and burning sensation in your eyes? This could mean you have dry eye Disease, which blurs vision, is uncomfortable and unattractive, and also causes significant damage and scar the cornea.

Healthy eye vs dry eye
  1. Artificial tears
artificial eye drop to treat dry eye
Artificial tears are eyedrops used to lubricate dry eyes and help maintain moisture on the outer surface of your eyes

For mild cases of dry eyes caused by computer use, reading, schoolwork and other situational causes, the best dry eye treatment may simply be frequent use of artificial tears or other lubricating eye drops.

It is probably the most common medication to dry eyes. It helps lubricate the eyes and treat irritation, dryness, and inflammation. While it can relieve some of the common symptoms, it will not be able to deal with the underlying cause of dry eyes. Look for preservative-free drops, especially when using multiple drops, or using them more than four time per day. Good drops like Hylo-Forte and Novatears are very useful together, but you need to instill them about five minutes apart, so they don’t dilute. Use Novatears last because it’s an oily drop and you want to keep this oily layer on top.                 

2. Cyclosporine (Cequa, Restasis)

allergan eye drop to treat dry eye
Allergan eye drop formulation to treat dry eye disease

Instead of OTC artificial tears, your eye doctor might recommend daily use of a prescription eye drop called Restasis (Allergan) for your dry eye treatment. This prescription eye drop helps your eyes boost tear production.

Restasis does more than simply lubricate the surface of your eye. It includes an agent that reduces inflammation associated with dry eye syndrome and helps your body produce more natural tears to keep your eyes moist, comfortable and healthy.

It’s important to know, however, that the therapeutic effect of Restasis is not immediate. You must use the drops daily for a minimum of 90 days to experience the full benefits of this dry eye treatment. Some people who try Restasis will experience burning eyes early during the first few weeks of treatment.

3. Lifitegrast (Xiidra)

xiidra to treat dry eye
Xiidra®, a prescription dry eye medication used to treat the signs and symptoms of dry eye disease

Xiidra (ZYE-druh) is another prescription eye drop for dry eye treatment. Xiidra, like Restasis, is aimed at reducing inflammation associated with the signs and symptoms of dry eyes. These drops are taken twice daily to kick-start tear production.

In two of the four studies, participants noticed a significant reduction in dry eye symptoms after using Xiidra for two weeks. In all four studies, participants noticed a larger reduction in dryness symptoms after six weeks and 12 weeks of Xiidra use.

4. Steroid eye drops

Durezol (difluprednate) is a topical corticosteroid drop for treating eye-related disease

Steroid eye drops generally are used short-term to quickly manage symptoms. They often are used in conjunction with artificial tears and Restasis or Xiidra, as a complement to these more long-term dry eye treatment strategies.

Steroid eye drops (especially if used for relatively long periods) have the potential of causing side effects. So, it’s important to make your eye doctor aware of your full medical history before starting steroid eye drops.

For example, steroid eye drops can increase the risk of developing high eye pressure or even cataracts if used for extended periods of time. But these risks are low when the drops are used only on a short-term basis for dry eye treatment.

5. Punctal Plug

Punctal Plugs are tiny, biocompatible devices inserted into the tear ducts to block tear drainage. This increases the eyes tear film and surface moisture to relieve dry eyes.

A punctal plug is a small, sterile device that is inserted into one of the small openings (puncta) of tear drainage ducts that are located in the inner corner of the upper and lower eyelids.

After these openings have been plugged, tears can no longer drain away from the eye through these ducts. This results in the tear film remaining intact longer on the surface of the eye, relieving dry eye symptoms. So where do the tears go? Usually, they will simply evaporate from the eye surface without symptoms. But if insertion of punctal plugs causes watery eyes, one or more of the plugs can be removed.

If you have dry eye, your ophthalmologist may recommend closing off the puncta, either temporarily or permanently, using punctal plugs. Punctal plugs can save your own tears or make artificial tears last longer.

6. Blink More Frequently

Blinking exercises can help to relief for those with dry eyes

Deliberate, forceful blinks help promote eye health and open up glands, according to Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science. But those blinks can seem and look unnatural.

Instead, try practicing normal-looking complete blinks to get the hang of blinking enough.

7. Add Essential Fatty Acids to Your Diet

An omega-3-rich diet helps glands in your eye called meibomian glands make the oily part of your tears. The oil helps keep your tears from drying up too quickly in your eye.

According to the American Association of Ophthalmology, Omega-3 oils improve the function of the gland that produces tears, and they can naturally reduce the symptoms of dry eye. Omega-3 can be found in:

•             Fatty fish such as salmon and tuna

•             Fish oil supplements

•             Flax seeds

•             Chia seeds

•             Walnuts

•             Palm and soybean oil

Takeaway

The treatment you choose to treat your dry eye depends on a variety of factors. You may need a different treatment if your dry eye is caused by an underlying condition. It also depends on the severity of your symptoms and what you’re comfortable with. Work with your doctor or optometrist to find the best solution for you. Book an appointment with us today!