Tips for Dealing with Dry Eyes

Tips for Dealing with Dry Eyes

Dry eyes is a condition that affects a large number of people around the world. It can be a minor irritation or a major problem, depending on the severity of the condition. Dry eyes are caused by a number of conditions, ranging from biological abnormalities to diseases and even medication side effects. With pain, gritty sensations, redness and itching as symptoms, it's plain to see why so many contact their eye doctor in Jacksonville, FL for relief. If you're suffering from dry eyes, here are a few ways you can try to manage the condition.

Eye Drops or Artificial Tears

Dry eyes are caused by a lack of natural tears reaching the eye. The simplest form of treatment for this problem is to use eye drops. Basic eye drops contain natural ingredients, glycerine, and other ingredients to simulate real tears. Eye drops are perfect for occasional, infrequent cases of dry eye. If you only suffer from the condition under certain circumstances, or as a result of certain activities such as prolonged computer use, eye drops are an ideal solution. If you use contacts, look for specific eye drops called re-wetting drops. These will not cause negative side effects related to your contacts.

Eye drops are not ideal for long-term chronic conditions. If you find yourself using them more often than four times each day, you should contact your eye doctor in Jacksonville, FL for further advice. They will be able to determine if you can continue using your current eye drops, if you should switch to preservative-free eye drops or if you should consider a different solution.

Omega-3 Supplements

Dietary considerations can also affect the condition of your eyes. Omega-3 fatty acids in particular are beneficial for tear production. If you only suffer from occasional dry eyes, and you're unable to use eye drops, consider adding more Omega-3s to your diet. The easiest way to add these acids is by eating several servings of salmon or another fatty fish each week. If this is not feasible, you can also consider fish oil or flaxseed supplements.


If eye drops are not working, you can attempt to use warm compresses for your eyes in addition to dietary supplements. All you need to do is run warm — not hot — water into a washcloth and wring it out. Place the warm, moist cloth over your closed eyes for ten minutes. This allows the warmth and moisture to soften any plugs that may have formed in your tear ducts, allowing tears to flow more freely.


Restasis is a prescription eye drop that your eye doctor in Jacksonville, FL can prescribe for you. The active ingredient is a drug called cyclosporine, which is a chemical that increases your natural tear production. The drops are used twice each day, stimulating natural tear production and increasing the volume of your normal tears. If normal eye drops are not working for you, consult your eye doctor about Restasis. Most patients using the drug eventually find that their normal tear production increases to a level where they no longer need to use the eye drops.

Punctal Plugs or Punctul Cautery

Occasionally, the cause of your dry eyes may be an expanded sinus drain. When your eyes tear up, excess tears drain into your sinuses. Normally, this drain is small enough that plenty of tear lubrication reaches your eyes. In some cases, however, tears will drain away too quickly. They fail to properly lubricate your eyes, producing the symptoms of dry eye. Consult your eye doctor in Jacksonville FL about these treatments, if other treatments have not worked.

There are two types of punctal plugs; temporary and permanent. Temporary plugs are made of a material that slowly dissolves over time. These are typically used as an exploratory measure, to determine if a more permanent punctal plug is an appropriate solution. If the plug works and resolves your dry eye issues, and those issues return when the plug has dissolved, you are likely a candidate for a permanent solution.

Permanent punctal plugs are similar to temporary plugs, but do not dissolve as quickly. They can be removed at a later date if they cause issues.

If you are suffering from dry eyes, you should consult your eye doctor about the solutions available to you. Many of the above solutions are available at home or over the counter, while Restasis, some eye drops and punctal plugs are all prescription treatments. As with any such issue, it is a good idea to start with minor treatments and test their effectiveness before moving on to more extreme treatments. Be sure not to discount dietary supplements; research is increasingly showing that Omega-3s help with eye problems.

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