Dry Eye Treatment
Dry eye disease affects nearly 23 million Americans each year, and unfortunately, the vast majority of people suffer silently as if dryness is simply a fact of life. There have been many advances in the treatment of dry eye, and many of our patients are experiencing significant relief of their symptoms. There are a plethora of different causes of dry eye, but no matter the cause, the first step to finding relief is a dry eye evaluation.
During a dry eye evaluation, our doctors will look at many different factors to determine what the most significant contributor is to your dryness, and then recommend a treatment approach that is geared towards relieving your specific symptoms. Treatments can range from something as simple as over the counter artificial tears and lifestyle modifications to more advanced treatments like prescription eye drops, amniotic membranes, or scleral contact lenses. Regardless of the treatment used, unfortunately there is no ‘magic cure’ for dry eyes. Dry eye disease is a chronic condition that requires continued treatment to be managed effectively and to keep you as comfortable as possible. If you are suffering from dry eye, please call our office to schedule an evaluation and we will get you started on the path to improved comfort. In the meantime, below are some helpful tips to help navigate your dryness issues in day-to-day life.
Helpful tips for living with dry eye disease:
- Hydration Supplementation: drink at least 8 glasses of water a day
- Wear sunglasses or glasses outdoors: the lens traps a small amount of humidity and moisture from your skin and keeps it in front of your eyes. It also helps to keep pollutants away from your eyes as well as block wind and other irritants from drying out your eyes.
- Use a humidifier at home during the winter when the heater dries out the air. When using the heater in a car, direct the air vents away from your face, ideally directing all the air to the lower vents (toward your feet) since the heat will rise to heat you anyways.
- Artificial tears help to lubricate your eyes temporarily, but generally do not provide long-term relief. If you need to use artificial tears more than 4 times a day, we recommend non-preserved artificial tears so that you are not putting more chemicals into your eyes than absolutely necessary.
- When using the computer, try to look away for 20 seconds and give your eyes a break every 15-20 minutes. If computer use is a particularly rough time with regards to your dryness, try and start off with an artificial tear before you sit down in front of the computer for an extended period of time, and consciously think about blinking.
- Fish oil supplementation: a good triglyceride-based fish oil can be very beneficial for helping to relieve some of the underlying issues related to dry eye disease. If you would like more information on fish oil, check our FAQ section under supplements.