When Elite Eye Care promotes our motto, “See Life Better”, that does not just apply to eyeglasses and contact lenses but to eye health. Dry Eyes is a condition that can really reduce your quality of life, eye comfort, and vision. Unfortunately, there is not a magic eye drop to cure dry eyes in most cases. Dry Eyes is usually long term and will require consistent treatment and attention to improve symptoms. I have complied a list of my favorite go-to options to help improve your dry eye symptoms.
- Artificial Tears- over the counter
- Refresh/Systane: 2-4x/day, make sure to instill before pattern of symptoms occur (i.e. dryness always in mid-afternoon put drops in around lunch time, etc.)
- Oasis Tears: Available at Elite Eye Care- 2-4x/day, make sure to instill before pattern of symptoms occur (i.e. dryness always in mid-afternoon put drops in around lunch time, etc.). This is a step up in treatment from other over the counter artificial tears.
- Not all over the counter dry eye drops are created equal– The drops specifically listed above have been researched and formulated to best promote eye health and comfort. Drops like visine and clear eyes have extra preservatives and chemicals that have been shown to cause worsening symptoms.
- Warm Compresses and Tea Tree Oil
- Your eyelids play a major factor in your proper tear production- if you find you need to blink to refocus or your vision fluctuates between blinking, you will find the following instructions helpful:
- Apply a warm compress (not a warm wash cloth- does not stay warm enough) use a heated face/eye mask or make one at home (take cotton sock and place uncooked rice into sock, close off open end with rubber band or hair tie). Heat up the warm compress as directed by device (for cotton sock 1-2 minutes), make sure the device is not to warm and apply to closed eye for 5-10 minutes.
- This may be used several times per day but should be performed at least once per day for several weeks for best results.
- It is important to clean your eyelid and lashes 2x/day to remove dust, debris, and bacteria.
- Use eyelid wipes or cleanser- We Love Eyes Tea Tree Cleanser recommended (available at Elite Eye Care).
- Punctal Plugs
- In some dry eye cases, the tear production is so minimal that is may be helpful to use a small plug to slow tear drainage from the eye. This may reduce symptoms and dependence on artificial tears. If you have any questions about this treatment option please feel free to contact Elite Eye Care for more information.
- Dry Eye Prescription Medication
- There are a few dry eye topical prescriptions available and I will recommend them if I feel they may be useful. Again, if you have questions regarding prescription treatment options please contact Elite Eye Care for more information.
- Restasis is the most well-known dry eye prescription and is a topical eye drop used 2x/day
- Xiidra is the newest eye drop available and is also prescribed for 2x/day
- Other options available and will be recommended as appropriate.
- Drinking More Water
- It is recommended that you consume the recommended daily intake of water:
- “The Institute of Medicine determined that an adequate intake for men is roughly about 13 cups (3 liters) of total beverages a day. The AI for women is about 9 cups (2.2 liters) of total beverages a day.” (www.mayoclinic.org)
- It is recommended that you consume 1,000 mg of a good quality omega-3 daily for dry eyes. The omega-3 should come mostly from the forms DHA+EPA.
- Nordic Naturals Omega Vision- 2 capsules with food daily
*Please consult your primary care provider before starting any supplements as they may interfere with other medications, caution with omega-3 supplements and blood thinner medications (i.e. warfarin/coumadin).
This list is not complete, but contains the most common treatment options. The other options available can be discussed if no improvement is found with the above list of treatments. Again, the key with dry eye treatment is consistency. Please make the routine part of your daily schedule in order to improve symptoms.
-Dr. Jessica Keller
SEE LIFE BETTER.