The goal of treatment is to add sufficient moisture to your eyes to relieve the symptoms. In most instances this simply involves using artificial tears eye drops several times a day. The most common forms of artificial tears are those that come in large bottles and contain a preservative. These may be used up to 5-6 times a day. If more lubrication is needed then non-preserved artificial tears should be used. Non-preserved artificial tears may be used up to every half hour. The thicker, or more viscous, the preparations the longer it will last. However, the more it will blur vision. Listed below are tear replacement products in order of increasing viscosity and duration of action.
ARTIFICIAL TEARS AND OINTMENTS:
___ Bottled (preserved) artificial tears: Use up to 5 times a day
___ Non-Preserved artificial tears: 6 times a day or more
___ Thicker gel-like products (i.e. Tear-gel, Celluvisc)
___ Lubricating Ointment: Bedtime relief (i.e. Lacrilube, DuoLube)
OMEGA -3 FATTY ACID/ FISH OIL: Start supplements by mouth. Recommended 2,000 to 3,000 mg
RESTASIS: Use One drop in each eye 2 times a day. Dispose of each dropper after 24 hours.
PUNCTAL PLUGS: Tears travel over the surface of the eye, and drain through two tear ducts. Small plugs can be placed in the tear ducts to plug the drain, and keep natural and artificial tears in the eye for longer. Reducing the symptoms of dry eye.
MOISTURE CHAMBER GOGGLES:
Blepharitis is the term used for a group of conditions involving inflammation of the eyelid margins and plugging of the eyelid glands. The measures checked below are recommended to help control your symptoms.
WARM COMPRESSES: Apply one of the below to the eyelids for 15 minutes 1-2 times per day.
- Washcloth soaked with warm water. Keep reheating.
- Place 1 cup of uncooked rice in a sock and microwave for approximately 45 seconds.
- Re-usable gel bead mask that can be heated in the microwave. Masks can be purchased in the office.
LID MASSAGE: Following the use of the compress, tighten the eyelid by pulling it to the side with one hand and use a finger from the other hand to firmly stroke the eyelid margin several times to express the glandular secretions.
LID SCRUBS: Use one of the preparations below to soak a q-tip and firmly scrub the top and bottom eye lid margins (where eyelashes meet eyelids).
ANTIBIOTIC OINTMENT: Just before going to bed, apply ointment to a q-tip and apply base of upper and lower eyelashes.
OMEGA-3 FATTY ACID / FISH OIL: Start supplement by mouth. Recommended 2,000 to 3,000mg.
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