Dry eye syndrome causes discomfort, irritation, and even vision problems in millions of people all over the world. From over-the-counter remedies like artificial tears to prescription medications and medical procedures, start a search to find relief.
In this article, we will explore some of the most common dry eye treatment options available and discuss their benefits and drawbacks, helping you find the right treatment for your specific needs.
Artificial Tears or Eye Drops
Artificial tears are a common treatment for dry eyes that can be purchased over-the-counter at drug stores or grocery stores. They work by moistening your eyes and come in a variety of forms with different viscosities.
Popular brands like Systane and Refresh Tears can be easily purchased for around $12 a bottle. Eye drops can be used multiple times throughout the day as needed or as recommended by a doctor.
Eye inserts are another treatment option that can offer all-day relief without requiring multiple doses throughout the day. They are small, clear tubes of medicine that look like a transparent grain of rice and must be prescribed by a doctor. Eye inserts can lubricate your eyes all day long, releasing medicine right into your eyeballs.
Tear-stimulating drugs, also known as cholinergics, are a treatment option that can increase your eyes’ natural tear production. They come in the form of pills, gels, or eye drops and require a prescription. These drugs can be used to treat specific underlying causes of dry eyes, such as inflammation of the cornea or eyelid inflammation.
If other treatment options are not effective, there are medical procedures that can offer relief for more severe cases of dry eyes.
Closing Tear Ducts
Tear ducts can be closed in an effort to reduce tear loss if your eyes are producing tears, but those tears are leaving the eyes too quickly. This procedure can be done permanently with thermal cautery or temporarily with tiny silicone plugs that allow for more flexibility.
Wearing Medical Contacts for Dry Eyes
Special contact lenses, called scleral lenses or bandage lenses, can be worn to help increase moisture in dry eyes. These lenses protect the surface of the eyeballs and lock in moisture for all-day comfort.
Unblocking Oil Glands
A procedure called thermal pulsation can be used to clear out any blockages in the oil glands around the eyes, which can cause dry eyes.
Light Therapy and Eyelid Massage
A combination of intense-pulsed light therapy and eyelid massages can stimulate tear production and increase moisture for cases of severely dry eyes.
Help Is Out There
Chronic dry eyes can be a frustrating and uncomfortable condition, but there are many treatment options available to help alleviate and even eliminate the symptoms. Whether you opt for over-the-counter artificial tears, prescription medications, or medical procedures, finding the right treatment can make a significant difference in your quality of life and vision.
However, it’s essential to talk with your doctor and do your research to ensure that the treatment you choose is safe, effective, and tailored to your specific needs. With the right treatment, you can manage your dry eyes and enjoy clearer, more comfortable vision.