7 Ways You Can Get Rid of or Treat Chronic Dry Eye
Dry eye syndrome is often chronic and progressive. Depending on its severity and cause, it may or may not be difficult to treat. However, in most cases, symptoms can be significantly reduced with one of a range of treatment options. Be sure to see your eye doctor regularly so that they can detect dry eye syndrome early and recommend a treatment plan. Here are some of the most commonly used – and most effective – dry eye treatments.
1. Home Remedies
Sometimes, the simplest treatments can be the best. Even something as seemingly insignificant as blinking more frequently can make a difference. You can also use wraparound-style sunglasses to protect your eyes from wind and debris that can dry and irritate. If you wear eye makeup, be sure to remove it thoroughly every night. Even if you don’t wear makeup, clean your eyelids gently before bedtime to remove bacteria and debris. Warm compresses are essential to keep the meibomian glands unclogged and increase eye comfort.
2. Nutritional Changes
Good nutrition is an essential part of ensuring that your body functions at its best, and that includes keeping your eyes properly lubricated. Make sure that you drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. You may also notice some improvement by increasing your intake of omega-3 fatty acids by taking supplements or increasing your consumption of foods rich in these compounds such as cold-water fish and flaxseed oil.
3. Artificial Tears
If your symptoms are mild and caused by reading, computer use, or schoolwork, all you may need is to use lubricating eye drops such as artificial tears on a regular basis. This is usually the first treatment when it comes to dry eye syndrome. There are many brands and types of artificial tears available over the counter, so it’s a good idea to speak with your eye doctor about the best ones for your condition.
4. Restasis and/or Xiidra
In conjunction with OTC artificial tears, your eye doctor might suggest Restasis, a prescription eye drop that can relieve dry eyes. While artificial tears work by lubricating the surface of the eye, Restasis also reduces inflammation and encourages your body to produce more of its own natural tears. Xiidra (pronounced ZYE-druh) works similarly and can effectively and safely reduce the uncomfortable symptoms of dry eyes.
5. Steroid Eye Drops
Doctors now understand a more about inflammation and its role in many conditions including dry eyes.
Inflammation is at the root cause of dry eye and often responsible for the burning and redness associated with chronic dry eye, but it can occur without causing visible symptoms. Artificial tears cannot adequately treat inflammation; instead, your doctor may temporarily recommend steroid eye drops to relieve symptoms and their underlying cause more effectively.
6. Intense Pulsed Light
Intense pulsed light (IPL) has been used for over a decade to treat rosacea of the skin, which often includes the eyelid and may contribute to dry eyes. Many patients who undergo a series of IPL treatments experience considerable relief from their symptoms and even find that their need for artificial tears and other medication is reduced.
7. Lacrisert LipiFlow Thermal Pulsation System
The LipiFlow system safely delivers therapeutic energies to the meibomian glands while protecting the delicate structures of the patient’s eye. As a result, the obstructed meibum is liquefied and pushed up and out of the gland orifices. This allows the primary function of the meibomian glands to be restored and the tear
film to be stable.
This innovative treatment is a slow-release lubricant that is placed under the lower eye (also known as the inferior cul-de-sac of the eye). It is a sterile, solid insert made of a special lubricating agent that liquefies slowly over time to provide all-day moisture. Most patients will need to apply a single Lacrisert once a day to relieve symptoms of dry eyes including dryness, burning, itching, and blurry vision.
At Weston Contact Lens Institute, we offer a range of treatments for dry eyes including those mentioned above and more. Schedule your appointment today to discuss your options.