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What Are My Dry Eye Treatment Options?

If you have a persistent case of dry eye, it seems like you’ll do anything to make your symptoms go away. The constant itchiness, blurry vision, and soreness can leave you exhausted and frustrated.

Fortunately, even chronic dry eye is completely treatable! How to treat your dry eye depends on the severity of it. Some people may only need to make small lifestyle changes.

Others may need medication to treat the root cause of their symptoms. This is something you’ll need to discuss with your doctor. Keep reading to learn about some of the dry eye treatment options available!

Oil Gland Expression Therapy

A common cause of dry eye is the eye not producing enough oil for the tears. As strange as it may sound, oil is actually a very important component of a healthy tear.

Tears need to stay on the surface of the eye long enough for the eye to soak them in, so the oil coats the surface of the tear, preventing it from evaporating.

The oil for tears is produced in glands inside the eyelids, called the meibomian glands. The meibomian glands can become blocked with a wax that clogs up the openings.

Gland expression therapy uses a combination of warm compresses and gentle pulses to loosen the wax and break it apart. It is painless, effective, and, to some, even relaxing!

Punctal Plugs

If the problem lies not in the quality of the tears, but that your eyes are not producing enough of them, punctal plugs may be the simplest solution. Punctal plugs are tiny obstructions that are put directly into your tear drainage ducts.

This allows them to physically block tears from draining out of your eyes too quickly. Your doctor may decide to use temporary plugs that dissolve after several days. This is to see if this treatment works for you.

If it is successful, semi-permanent plugs can be put in to give you long-lasting relief. The plugs can be put in and taken out quickly and the process is painless.

Artificial Tear Inserts

The best way to handle managing the symptoms of dry eye is with artificial tears. The problem is that always reapplying them can be frustrating.

Fortunately, you can use an insert that is placed inside your lower eyelid that achieves the same effect. The insert is the size of a grain of rice. It slowly dissolves throughout the day, providing hands-off relief.

Medications

Certain medications can stimulate tear production if you are not producing enough tears. Discuss side effects and any conflicting medication that you may be taking with your eye doctor before taking a new medication.

A big part of treating dry eye is also preventing it in the first place. Forming healthy habits, protecting your eyes from the elements, and staying hydrated are some of the ways you can take your dry eye treatment into your own hands. If they don’t work, dry eye treatment is here to help!

Tired of living with the symptoms of dry eye syndrome? Schedule a consultation with the doctors at Washington Eye Physicians & Surgeons in Washington DC!

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