If you suffer from dry eye, you’re not alone. It’s a very common condition that affects millions of people worldwide. The condition occurs when your tears can’t provide adequate lubrication for your eyes. Left untreated, dry eye can lead to inflammation and scarring of the cornea, as well as decreased vision.
Fortunately, there are a few treatments available that can help alleviate the symptoms of dry eye. Here are six of the most effective:
Intense pulsed light therapy
Intense pulsed light therapy, also known as IPL therapy, is a treatment that uses flashes of light to improve the symptoms of dry eye syndrome. The light used in this therapy is different from the UV light used in other treatments, such as lasers. IPL for dry eyes is non-ablative, meaning it does not damage the surface of your skin
Restasis is a prescription medication that helps to increase tear production. It’s usually used when other treatments are ineffective in relieving dry eye symptoms. The active ingredient in Restasis is cyclosporine, which is an immunosuppressant. It decreases inflammation in the eye, allowing for increased tear production. Restasis is available in both 0.05% and 0.1% concentrations and is typically used twice daily.
Punctal plugs are small devices inserted into the tear ducts to prevent tears from draining away too quickly. These can keep the eyes more lubricated and reduce dryness. Punctal plugs are made of different materials, including silicone, collagen, and gel-like polymers. They are available in different sizes and shapes and can be inserted into the tear ducts either permanently or temporarily.
Artificial tears are over-the-counter tears that can help lubricate the eye and provide temporary relief from dry eye syndrome. There are many different brands available, so it’s important to find one that works well for you. Some people find that they need to use artificial tears multiple times a day, while others only need to use them once or twice a week. There are also different artificial tears, such as gel drops and ointments.
Prescription eye drops
Artificial tears are often the first line of defense against dry eye symptoms, but they don’t work for everyone. If your symptoms persist despite using artificial tears regularly, your doctor may prescribe a more powerful lubricating eye drop. These drops are much more effective at treating dry eye, but they can also dry if used excessively.
Lacrimal occlusion is a surgical procedure in which the tear ducts are sealed shut to prevent tears from draining away too quickly. It is usually only considered a last resort when other treatments don’t work. The surgery is typically performed under local anesthesia on an outpatient basis. The plugs remain in place permanently but can be removed if necessary.
Dry eye syndrome can be very uncomfortable and irritating, but it doesn’t have to rule your life. Depending on the severity of your dry eye, your doctor may suggest one or more treatments to help manage your symptoms. So don’t wait any longer. Talk to your doctor and get relief from dry eyes today.