You have mild to moderate dry eye
Occasionally, your eyes feel like the Sahara desert or you may tear up spontaneously like rain in the spring. Letters may dance on the page when you read. Air conditioning vents and wind may bother you more than usual. Sometimes, your eyes feel scratchy as if there’s something in them. You also feel the need to squint more than normal on bright sunny days.
For immediate temporary relief, use artificial tears or eye drops. If you find yourself using eye drops more than 4 times per day, we recommend preservative-free artificial tears like Oasis Tears PLUS (available in our office), Refresh Optive Mega-3 or Refresh Optive Advanced Preservative Free.
Please note that as much as eye drops are helpful in providing temporary relief, they are not an effective long-term treatment of dry eye as they do not address the root cause of your dry eye. They simply act as a short-term band-aid or pain-killer.
- If you are reading, doing schoolwork, or working on the computer/tablets for extended period of time, you are forgetting to blink. Take some breaks to actively blink every 20 minutes.
- If you are a contact lens wearer, you are also forgetting to blink. Do some active blinking throughout the day. If you have a pair of glasses, take a break from contact lenses and wear your glasses more.
- If you’ve been sleeping in your contact lenses, STOP and wear your eyeglasses until dry eye symptoms subside.
At this stage, your tear film may have been compromised by lid inflammation (blepharitis), demodex or meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD).
You can try home remedies such as proactive lid hygiene with tea tree oil cleanser or lid scrub, and a heated eye mask followed by lid massage to see how much they help but you may need an eye exam to get to the root cause of your dry eye.
Studies have shown that taking high-quality Omega-3 supplements with a 3:1 EPA to EHA ratio is also beneficial. Supplements containing fish oil are often recommended. Ask our eye doctor which brand to take as many common store brands do not reach therapeutic levels and are ineffective.
If you continue to suffer from dry eye or you are using eye drops more than 6 times a day, you may require medication and/or in-office treatments such as TearCare®. TearCare is considered the most effective first line of treatment for evaporative dry eye (EDE). Home remedies would be suggested as follow-up maintenance treatments. Think of it like teeth cleaning. If you already have substantial plaque build-up, no matter how much teeth brushing you do, it doesn’t go away until you see your dentist for a deep clean.
When left untreated, dry eye may worsen and cause complications to your long-term visual performance (fluctuating vision, contact lens intolerance, continuous eye watering and discomfort, red, irritated or tired eyes… etc) and will decrease your quality of life. Without treating the root cause, most dry eye will not get better on its own.
Please schedule an appointment so we can better evaluate the severity of your dry eye.