Dry Eye Treatments

Your treatment for dry eye will depend on the cause of that condition. In the case of dry eye as a side effect of medications that are necessary for other conditions, there are a number of treatments that can minimize the symptoms of dry eye:

  • Environmental changes: Use a humidifier to keep humidity levels in your home and office above 45 percent.
  • Lifestyle changes: Avoid smoke—including cigarette smoke—and air vents. Wear wraparound sunglasses when outside and take frequent breaks, closing your eyes, when doing close work.
  • Eye drops: Natural and preservative-free eye drops (not anti-allergy or anti-redness drops) can replace your own tears.
  • Hot compresses: These can relieve eyelid inflammation and plugged eyelid glands that prevent natural oils from mixing with your tears.
  • Punctal plugs: Tiny plugs placed in your tear ducts can prevent excessive draining of tears from your eyes.
  • Medications: Your physician may prescribe lubricating eye ointments or medications that increase your body’s tear production.
  • Dietary changes: Some patients find relief by increasing the omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in their diets or by taking supplements.
  • Surgery: Your physician may suggest surgery to make the openings to your tear ducts smaller or to reshape your eyelid so it closes fully.