Top 5 Treatments for Dry Eye | Milwaukee Eye Surgeons

photo 1579221369279 b6806dcab6f4 1920w

Dry Eye Disease

Dry eye disease is one of the most common eye conditions that affect millions of people every single day. It’s usually a disease of insufficient tear production or evaporative tear loss, which can damage the surface of the eye. Some people won’t produce enough tears, while others produce tears of poor quality.

Either way, the dry eye experience can be irritating, uncomfortable, and even painful at times. Without quality tear production, you’ll likely experience inflammation of the eye, a stinging or burning sensation, sensitivity to light, redness in the eye, watery eyes, or blurred vision.

Despite how common dry eye symptoms are, there is a wide range of treatments available today that are designed to reduce dryness and improve your eye’s ability to produce quality tears. First, you’ll need to schedule an eye exam with your eye doctor so they can diagnose it.

eye 3221498 960 720 (1)

So, what are the top 5 treatments for dry eye?

If you’re experiencing symptoms of dry eyes , whether it be a lack of tear volume or your tears evaporate too quickly, your ophthalmologist will first need to figure out what’s causing the issue. The dry eye treatment they suggest depends on the diagnosis and your eye health.

Below, we’re going to discuss five of the most effective treatments for dry eye available today. Some of them improve meibomian gland dysfunction, some are focused on the lacrimal glands, and others improve the function of your tear ducts. It all depends on the diagnosis.


There are a wide number of different medications that can help reduce dryness of the eye and it all depends on what’s causing it. For example, inflammation of the eyelids can be improved by taking steroids — which can be taken by mouth, as an ointment, or with prescription eye drops.

They can also turn to prescription eyedrops that control inflammation of the surface of the eye (such as Restasis or Xiidra) or autologous blood serum drops if you’re experiencing chronic symptoms. Cholinergic drugs can increase tear production, while eye inserts act as an alternative.

Punctal Plugs

If your dry eyes are caused by unstable tear evaporation, your eye doctor may suggest closing your tear ducts with punctal plugs. These are tiny silicone plugs that are removable, but the tear ducts can also be permanently plugged with heat — this is a more permanent solution to closing tear ducts.

Your tear ducts’ main responsibility is draining away your tears. By plugging them with punctal plugs, you can eliminate the risk of your tears leaving the eye before they have a chance to lubricate the surface of the eye.

Specialty Contact Lenses

Believe it or not, some people might benefit from wearing contact lenses. Known as scleral lenses or bandage lenses, these specialty contact lenses help trap moisture to further protect the surface of your eye. It’s a newer treatment, but it does work in some people with severe dry eyes.

Unblocking Oil Glands

In some people, clogged oil glands could be the source of the problem. If this is the case, your eye doctor will suggest eye masks or a thermal pulsation device that’s designed to unclog and unblock the oil glands. A more common solution to this issue is the use of warm compresses.

Intense-Pulsed Light Therapy

Another common treatment for dry eyes is something called intense-pulsed light (IPL) therapy and it involves the use of light to help unclog meibomian glands and reduce meibomian gland dysfunction. It can also help liquefy clogged oil glands to improve their function. IPL therapy is generally followed by an eyelid massage.

woman 2315 960 720

Home Remedies That Help Reduce Dry Eyes

The treatments listed above are more reserved for those with severe, serious, or chronic dry eye symptoms. With that being said, dry eyes are something many people experience often, without it being a major cause for concern. In fact, they can often be treated at home.

If you’re someone that experiences minor symptoms of dry eyes and are interested in some home remedies that might help — or if you’re looking to further your treatment for chronic dry eyes at home — we’re going to detail some non-prescription home remedies that might help reduce dryness.

Over-the-Counter Drugs

There is a wide range of over-the-counter products that might help reduce dryness in the eyes. For example, artificial tears (eye drops) can help increase moisture and reduce redness in the eyes. You can also find various ointments that either coat your eyes or coat your eyelids.

Ointments are more of a bedtime remedy since they can cloud your vision in some cases. Eye drops are more designed for daytime use since they won’t interfere with vision.

Warm Compresses

A common way to reduce inflammation in or around the eye is with warm compresses. This is a common remedy for people with meibomian gland disease and other eye conditions that impact the tear film. It involves applying a warm cloth to your eyelids and gently rubbing it over your eyelids to clean them.

You can also use baby shampoo or another type of mild soap to massage your eyelids — when they’re closed, of course. You’ll want to rinse your eyelids completely to avoid getting the soap in your eyes.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Another great way to treat dry eyes at home is by watching what you eat. Much like every other part of your body, your eyes need the right nutrients in order to function properly. One nutrient that your eyes require is omega-3 fatty acids, which are commonly found in fish and various supplements.

eye check 5091177 1920 99ee6dbe 1920w

Schedule an Appointment With an Ophthalmologist

If it’s been a while since your last eye appointment with an ophthalmologist, now is the best time to schedule one with Milwaukee Eye Surgeons — even if it’s for a comprehensive eye exam. With that being said, if you’re experiencing dry eye disease or symptoms of dry eyes, contact them immediately.

The best way to treat dry eyes is with a diagnosis in the early stages. The sooner your eye doctor can find the source of the problem, the easier it’ll be to treat it. Don’t wait because it could allow the situation to go from bad to worse. Not only that, but no one wants to live with the irritation that it presents. If you have any questions or want to schedule an appointment please contact us.

Contact Us

* All indicated fields must be completed.
Please include non-medical questions and correspondence only.

Accessibility Toolbar