Treatment Options For Dry Eyes

Dry eyes can be a chronic condition, but Dr. Sanger and Dr. Kennel can prescribe treatment to keep your eyes healthy, more comfortable, and prevent your vision from being affected. The primary approaches used to manage and treat dry eyes include adding tears, conserving tears, increasing tear production, and treating the inflammation of the eyelids or eye surface that contributes to the dry eyes.

  • Adding tears – Mild cases of dry eyes can often be managed using over-the-counter artificial tear solutions. These can be used as often as needed to supplement natural tear production.

  • Preservative-free artificial tear solutions are recommended because they contain fewer additives that could further irritate the eyes. However, some people may have persistent dry eyes that don’t respond to artificial tears alone. Additional steps need to be taken to treat their dry eyes.

  • Conserving tears – An additional approach to reducing the symptoms of dry eyes is to keep natural tears in the eyes longer. This can be done by blocking the tear ducts through which the tears normally drain. The tear ducts can be blocked with tiny silicone or gel-like plugs that can be removed, if needed. A surgical procedure to permanently close tear ducts can also be used. In either case, the goal is to keep the available tears in the eye longer to reduce problems related to dry eyes.

  • Increasing tear production – Prescription eye drops that help to increase production of tears can be recommended by your optometrist, as well as omega-3 fatty acid nutritional supplements.

  • Treatment of the contributing eyelid or ocular surface inflammation – Prescription eye drops or ointments, warm compresses and lid massage, or eyelid cleaners may be recommended to help decrease inflammation around the surface of the eyes. 

Steps you can take to reduce symptoms of dry eyes include:  Remembering to blink regularly when reading or staring at a computer screen for long periods of time. Increasing the level of humidity in the air at work and at home. Wearing sunglasses outdoors, particularly those with wrap around frame design, to reduce exposure to drying winds and sun.  Avoiding becoming dehydrated by drinking plenty of water (8 to 10 glasses) each day.  Using nutritional supplements containing essential fatty acids may help decrease dry eye symptoms in some people.

Ask Dr. Sanger or Dr. Kennel if the use of dietary supplements could be of help for your dry eye problems.

Call Prairie EyeCare Center today (308)872-2291.  Your eye care professionals close to home.

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