Treating Dry Eye with Eye Drops

By Gordon Wong, OD on December 20, 2018

Woman applying eye dropsDry eye is a common condition. Dry eye can occur when the eyes do not produce enough tears to keep the eyes sufficiently lubricated, or when tear quality is poor and moisture evaporates before it can properly coat the eye.

This may not sound like a major medical concern, but dry eyes can be extremely uncomfortable, and may even effect vision and other functions of the eyes.

At Gordon Wong Eye Designs & Optometry, our doctors believe that diagnosing the cause of dry eyes is essential to providing appropriate treatment. Eye drops can alleviate dry eye symptoms for our La Jolla, CA patients so that their eyes function normally and comfortably.

What Types of Eye Drops Should I Use?

The goal of dry eye treatment is to restore moisture to the surface of the eyes. Any over-the-counter lubricating eye drop can be helpful in relieving dry eye symptoms.

Artificial tears are the most conservative form of dry eye treatment.

When shopping for eye drops, patients should be sure they are getting a moisturizing eye drop, and not one aimed at treating allergies or red eyes.

If possible, it is also beneficial to choose an eye drop with minimal preservatives, as this can make dry eye symptoms worse for some patients.

In some cases, our doctors may recommend a prescription eye drop. Prescription eye drops go beyond just putting moisture on the eye. They are also meant to encourage tear production and boost the quality of the tears that are produced.

Two common prescription eye drops that may be prescribed to dry eye patients are RESTASIS® and Xiidra®.

How Frequently Should I Apply Eye Drops?

When a patient is prescribed eye drops for dry eyes, instructions will be provided regarding how often to apply the eye drops, and how many drops are needed each time.

Patients should carefully follow these instructions to avoid any potential complications, such as irritation or worsened dryness. In most cases, prescription eye drops are applied just a few times a day.

Over-the-counter eye drops also come with instructions, but they can be trickier to follow, because they often state that the drops can be used as needed.

In general, individuals should avoid using artificial tears more than four times a day. Beyond that, the preservatives can irritate and dry out the eyes. By applying just one to two drops per eye, a few times a day, most patients will get the relief they need.

Eye Drop Application

To get the most out of your eye drops, it is important to apply them properly. First, eye drops should always be applied with clean hands.

To administer the eye drops, the patient should tilt the head back slightly and pull down gently on the lower eyelid.

The eye drop dispenser should be pointed at the lower rim of the eyelid, but not touching it. After applying an eye drop, the patient should blink to distribute the artificial tears to the entire eye.

Schedule an Appointment

If you are bothered by dry, itchy eyes, it is time to learn more about effective dry eye treatment. Schedule an appointment with one of our experienced eye doctors at Gordon Wong Eye Designs & Optometry. Call (858) 454-4699 at your earliest convenience to get more information about our eye care services.

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