Eye Drop Treatment for Dry Eyes
Everyone has experienced it at some point in their lives; dry, red, scratchy eyes that are a major source of annoyance. Fortunately, for most patients, these symptoms are temporary. But for those patients that suffer from chronic dry eyes, the condition can seriously impact their quality of life.
At Wicker Park Eye Center our board-certified ophthalmologist, Dr. Daniel J. Tepper, and our optometrists, Dr. Dustin Krassin and Dr. Parish Shah, can recommend the appropriate dry eye treatment to help you feel more comfortable.
In this blog post, we discuss one of the more conservative options, eye drop treatment for dry eyes. Read on to learn more, and then contact our Chicago, IL practice to schedule an appointment with us.
Over-the-counter Eye Drops
There are a number of over-the-counter eye drops on the market. There are eye drops that are specifically formulated for dry eyes, allergies, and eye redness.
When selecting an over-the-counter eye drop, read the labels to see which symptoms each type treats. Once you have purchased a product, use it as directed and see if it offers relief.
Prescription Eye Drops
Over-the-counter eye drops may not be strong enough to provide the relief that patients need. In other cases, patients may be buying the wrong type of eye drop because they have not seen an eye doctor for a proper diagnosis. For example, you may be using allergy eye drops when you actually have dry eyes.
Dry eye syndrome is a condition in which patients do not produce a sufficient amount of tears. In other cases, the tears that are produced are of insufficient quality. The tears should be made up of the ideal balance of oily, watery, and mucous-like components.
Prescription eye drops for dry eyes are designed to reduce inflammation (which is often present in patients with dry eye syndrome) and increase tear production. These medications may take a few weeks to work and need to be applied daily for continued effect.
It is important for patients to note that eye drops are one of the first treatment options used for dry eye syndrome. We typically have patients try these more conservative treatments before moving on to more aggressive alternatives such as the use of punctal plugs or closure of the drainage ducts.
Proper Application of Eye Drops
While eye drops have many beneficial uses in ophthalmology, they must be applied correctly to reduce the risk of infection.
- Wash your hands thoroughly with antibacterial soap
- Use your index finger to pull the eyelid down
- Tilt your head back
- Apply the drop holding the dispenser an inch or two from your eye; do not touch the dispenser to the eye
- Keep your head tilted back and close your eye while your eye absorbs the medication
If you constantly have dry, itchy, red, or watery eyes, it is important to schedule an appointment with an eye doctor that can accurately diagnose your condition. If you suspect you have dry eye syndrome, contact Wicker Park Eye Center to schedule a consultation with us.