Dry eye can be a serious condition, and can have a major impact on your quality of life. You may find your eyes get tired faster or you have difficulty reading. Not to mention the discomfort of a burning sensation or blurry vision. Let’s take a look at dry eye treatments – from simple self-care to innovative prescriptions and therapies – to help you see clearly and comfortably.
Understanding dry eye will help you determine the best treatment option. Dry eye occurs when a person's tears do not lubricate and nourish the eye properly. Tears reduce eye infections, wash away foreign matter, and keep the eye’s surface smooth and clear. People with dry eyes either do not produce enough tears or their tears are of poor quality. It’s a common and often chronic problem, especially in older adults.
Here are a few simple self-care options that can manage minor cases of dry eye.
Blink regularly when reading or staring at a computer screen for a long time.
Make sure there’s adequate humidity in the air at work and at home.
Wear sunglasses outside to reduce sun and wind exposure. Wraparound glasses are best.
Take supplements with essential Omega-3 fatty acids as these may decrease dry eye symptoms.
Drink 8 to 10 glasses of water each day to avoid dehydration.
Find out if any of your medications have dry eye as a side effect. This is very common with anti-histamines.
A good option is over-the-counter eye drops, they often provide quick relief. Sometimes you must use these drops frequently to get complete relief. Gel-like drops provide longer-lasting lubrication.
There are several prescriptions that treat dry eye differently. Your eye doctor can advise the best option for your situation.
Antibiotics– If your eyelids are affected, this can prevent oil glands from secreting oil into your tears. Your doctor may recommend antibiotics to reduce infection.
Cyclosporine– Reduces inflammation that can cause dry eye to worsen.