For most people, dry eye symptoms are mild and only occasional; this means over-the-counter treatments are enough to relieve the symptoms. However, you should avoid OTC treatments that reduce redness of the eyes as this can be a sign that your symptoms are more than mild.
If your dry eyes are more persistent you might need different treatments. You can have treatments that will improve the quality of your tear ducts allowing you to produce more tears.
If your dry eyes are being caused by medications you are taking you can change to a different type of medication and if you have an abnormality or condition that is causing the symptoms, your doctor may suggest surgery.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for dry eyes, and no way to really prevent it from happening. Researchers have not found a cure so far but have figured out the problem areas and are trying to concentrate on these to help people relieve the issues they are experiencing. There are so many different causes of dry eyes so there are also several different treatments. We break them down here.
- Antibiotics – These can be used to reduce inflammation in the eyelids. Inflammation can stop oil being produced at the edge of your eyelids and they cannot secrete oil into your teardrops. They can be taken orally or applied as drops or ointment.
- Prescription eyedrops – If there is inflammation on the surface of your eyes, or in your cornea, eye drops can help relieve it with Restasis or corticosteroids that can control it.
- Prescription eye inserts – These are basically artificial tears. Once a day a capsule is inserted between the bottom lid and the eyeball which dissolves throughout the day and lubricates the eye over a period of time.
- Tear duct closure – This treatment is suggested if your tears are leaving your eyes before they should. Your tear ducts can be closed either fully or partially by inserting punctal plugs into your tear ducts. This is not a permanent procedure and can be reversed. If you opt for thermal cautery (heat therapy) to close your tear ducts, you are left with a more permanent result. Your tear ducts are numbed and the doctor will burn them with a hot wire. This causes scarring and narrows the tear duct.
- Lenses – While normal lenses can cause the issue of dry eyes, you can also get special lenses that lock in moisture. They are basically a shield for your eyes and can help relieve your symptoms.
- Unblock your glands – LipiFlo is, in essence, an eye massage that helps to unclog the oil glands around your eyelids. The procedure takes about 15 minutes and you will notice results within days. It is a pretty new treatment so may not be available everywhere but could be a great option for you.
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