Dry eyes occur when the eyes cannot produce enough lubrication. You can experience burning, scratchy eyes, sensitivity to light, blurry vision, or red eyes. Unfortunately, there is no cure for the condition. However, you can prevent its symptoms from being disruptive to everyday life. Below are various dry eye treatments and their effectiveness to help you if you struggle with dry eyes.
Moderate dry eye problems can find relief from over-the-counter treatments such as artificial tears, ointments, and gels. You may not need a prescription from your eye doctor to get these products. They help give your eyes temporary relief by adding artificial tears to ease your symptoms.
Your eye doctor can prescribe eye drops depending on what caused your dry eyes. There are eye drops that can increase your tear production and others that help reduce the inflammation around your eye surface.
Some patients may need unique contact lenses called scleral lenses for hydrating their eyes. Prescriptions depend on the severity of the condition.
Your doctor can recommend punctal plugs to treat your dry eye condition. The gel-like or tiny silicones help block your tear ducts. In doing so, your tears stay longer in your eyes to reduce dry eye symptoms. The procedure is reversible and can work temporarily to ease the situation.
Your eye doctor can also recommend fixing the eyelids surgically. There are cases where patients experience dry eyes due to dry eyelids that make their tears drain fast from their eyes. If your doctor detects this as the cause of the problem, they can recommend this solution.
Another procedure is the meibomian gland expression. During the treatment, your eye doctor applies heat to your eyelid as they use a sterile cotton swab or forceps to squeeze out the hard meibum. They do so as a way of clearing your meibomian glands. There is also a therapy called LipiFlow® Thermal Pulsation System that uses a device to heat up and massage oil blockages away in 12 minutes.
Various natural treatments can treat your dry eyes. For example, you can do eyelid massages or warm compresses to reduce the inflammation around your eyes. There are also special goggles that can treat your dry eye problem by sealing in moisture in your eyes.
You can reduce your dry eye problem by changing some things about your lifestyle. For example, you can take supplements that boost your tear production, such as omega-3 supplements. You can also use a humidifier while indoors to increase the humidity. Ideally, you drink a lot of water to remain hydrated. Be mindful of your diet to ensure you eat well-balanced meals that promote optimum hydration.
You can wear sunglasses outdoors, quit smoking, and avoid air conditioning and wind. If you are constantly using a digital screen, you should reduce your screen time and take breaks to reduce the risk of getting dry eyes.
It is also essential to get seven to nine hours of sleep every night. Your doctor is likely to recommend lifestyle changes if they notice that something in your routine is causing your eyes to dry.
For more on dry eye treatments, visit Diamond Bar Optometric Center at our office in Diamond Bar, California. You can also call (909) 861-4999 to book an appointment today.