To help soothe your dry eyes, you can try artificial tear eye drops or ointments that you can buy over the counter. Avoid eye drops that are meant to treat red, bloodshot eyes because those might make your eyes feel worse.
You can also try to take periodic breaks and blink more frequently if you spend a lot of time staring at a computer screen. Avoid air drafts and low-humidity environments. Try a humidifier in rooms where you spend a lot of time. Wearing sunglasses can help protect your eyes from wind and sun.
If your symptoms don't improve, you may need additional treatments to improve eye comfort and prevent damage to your eyes.
Treatments may include:
- Prescription ointments or eyedrops, such as cyclosporine (Restasis) or lifitegrast (Xiidra). You will need to use these medicines daily for months or longer. It's important to find out if they are covered by your insurance. Some people need to continue using them for years.
- Tear duct plugs. The doctor puts tiny plugs in the openings of your tear ducts. This helps retain the tears on your eyes. The plugs can fall out and be reinserted. Typically, these are covered by insurance.
- For the most severe dry eye, drops made from your blood or fluid-filled scleral lenses may be needed to protect your corneas.
For further information, please reach out to your Baylor Eye physician.