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Top 5 Tips for Treating Dry Eye

 
  • eye dropsTry ointments or gels at bedtime by first applying them only to the eyelids and lashes. If that is not helpful, place ~1/4 inch of ointment between the lower lid and eyeball. Because it blurs their vision, some individuals may not like using it.

  • If you are bothered by light, wear sunglasses or try lenses with a FL-41 filter.

  • Apply a warm, wet compress to the closed eyes using a washcloth heated in tolerably warm water from the sink or shower. Apply at bedtime and upon awakening for 5 minutes or more often if desired.

  • When starting a new, preservative-free artificial tear, use the drops every 1-2 hours for at least two weeks before reducing frequency of use. When you taper their use, see if your symptoms worsen. It often is easier to determine feeling worse than better.

  • Use non-preserved artificial tears frequently and regularly, even when your eyes feel good. Don’t wait until your eyes are uncomfortable.

Click here to see more tips for treating dry eye

Share with us below what tips you’ve found the most helpful when treating dry eye.

Comments

Restasis has worked wonderfully for my severe dry eye although it took close to a year for it to work at full strength. It is very expensive but worth the investment to relieve the discomfort of dry eye. 
Posted @ Friday, October 05, 2012 8:46 AM by Dotti King
My RA doctor put me on salagen it has helped with the dry eyes & mouth . My lips were even getting very dry I use coconut oil on them none of the lip balms helped. I always like coming here to see what others are doing. I couldnt use the restasis drops.
Posted @ Friday, October 05, 2012 9:17 AM by cathy napier
I live in Canada and we can't get restasis. Any thoughts of what we can use here?
Posted @ Friday, October 05, 2012 9:56 AM by lillie prevost
My eye doctor put me on Fish Oil with 900mg of omega 3 twice daily. I could not use restasis and find that the preservative free drops do best. The ones with preservative seem to make my eyes hurt.  
 
Posted @ Friday, October 05, 2012 2:32 PM by Robin Brock
I have been on Lotemax, preservative free Refresh & Restastis...Lotemax is a steroid drop and gives the most relief; however, it can only be used 1 - 2 times/drops per day....I use Refresh almost every hours. I have not tears at all. When the pain is worse than horrible, the warm wash cloth works. I am learning more through these updates than with any doctor. It helps to know that this is not a typical dry eye problem.
Posted @ Friday, October 05, 2012 3:11 PM by barbara
 
 
lillie prevost the refresh moisture drops or blink drops help me. I also take the fish oil every day. Ask your doctor about salagen it will help dry eyes and dry mouth. My eye doctor did the tear and stain test and I didnt have any tears what so ever. 
 
Posted @ Friday, October 05, 2012 6:46 PM by cathy Napier
Lillie Prevost ironically. I had to go to Canada to get a drug not available in the US for my Chron's disease. My doctor made a referral to a GI doc at the U of BC and came home with the drug. Of course it all had to go through customs. I am confident that you can get Restasis here. Salagen works wonders for my dry mouth. If you get Restasis, and your will get better and you'll feel as "mission accomplished". Do NOT stop using the Restasis. Big mistake. It will be like stating over again. In the mean time use a good quality moisture drops and keep it with you. Also, a warm, moist wash cloth over your eyes is soothing and will, for lack of the term, will aid in gently removing the "junk" from your eyelids. Good luck to you.
Posted @ Saturday, October 06, 2012 7:12 AM by Judy Brownstein
 
Restasis burned my eyes extremely when I used them once. The only thing I can use is TheraTears which is all natural. Been using for years and they help relieve eyes immediately. I am autoimmune and more. Try reading less and using computer less. It helps rest your eyes.
Posted @ Saturday, October 06, 2012 9:47 AM by Ronni
I'm glad to find this resource area on Facebook! My eyes are terribly dry, as is my mouth. My lips get so dry that I have to cut away the dry skin with scissors. Right now I am using Restasis, Genteal Lubricant Eye Gel, Similasan Dry Eye Relief Drops, Thera Tears,an eye drop from Australia, Colodial Silver...take Beta Carotene, a Multiple Vitamin, Eyebright and plan to start Omegas. Liquids, mints, horehound candy (the horehound helps my constant sore throat)for my dry mouth/throat. I have re-occuring corneal ulcers. I hope someone out there can help me with this situation! Most liquid antibiotics and Steroids hurt my eyes, blur my vision and give me headaches. I seem to do well with Pred Forte to alleviate my ulcers, but I can't use long because of possible glacoma! I am hoping that some of you will share the help that you have found for similar ailments as myself. Thank you.
Posted @ Saturday, October 06, 2012 9:32 PM by Barb Spencer
This is for Barb and others that have dry throat, lips and mouth. I have a sore throat most of the time from dryness, coughing and hoarseness. I drink ZICO water which is pure~coconut water from green coconuts. Expensive but best price on Amazon. It is my last retreat just for a bit of relief for my lips, mouth and throat. Immediately works. Please try it. Drink only the original, not the flavored. Nice and pleasant taste. Healthy and also acts as an instant IV which I have been hospitalized for dehydration. I fight every single day to keep hydrated as sounds like you do. I put coco butter on my lips and inside my nose at night. Helps. Hope all of this helps at least one person out there. :)
Posted @ Sunday, October 07, 2012 12:12 PM by Ronni
I wanted to ask if any of you get cold easily. The weather is changing and I have noticed for the last three years I just don't seem to be able to stay warm when colder weather comes. Wondering if it has anything to do with Sjogrens.
Posted @ Tuesday, October 09, 2012 9:11 AM by Cathy
To Cathy - the sudden jolt to Chicago's cold, windy days of fall seemed to get the best of me yesterday - having friends who have Lupus tell me cold weather plays a big part in how they feel, I now understand. The same holds true with stress - having this outlet to talk to others with an "invisible" chronic illness is a fantastic thing.
Posted @ Tuesday, October 09, 2012 4:31 PM by barbara
Thank you Barbara There have been so many things happening health wise to me since having sjogrens and just couldn't connect freezing with anything else.I was tested for lupus was neg. However I do have fibro, RA and sjogrens. Doctor has told me the RA is inactive.
Posted @ Tuesday, October 09, 2012 5:45 PM by Cathy
My last blood work didn't show much in the way of inflammation. The doctor said she doesn't get too excited about test results. She treats symptoms. I also have fibro & chronic fatigue...I always feel like I have the flu.
Posted @ Wednesday, October 10, 2012 5:16 AM by barbara
I posted the following in another area and am reposting because of relief I've found. 
 
About 3 yrs. ago, I started to have some really strange symptoms. My face felt like it was constantly sunburned and eyelids were irritated. A few months later, after several visits to 2 ophthalmologists and then retinal specialist, was diagnosed with serous retinopathy in my dominant eye. The 2nd opth. started to suspect autoimmune issues, esp. since I had PN-like symptoms and Reynaud's. Also very cold extremities. First rheumy ran lots of bloodwork, SSA was elevated only. Severe pain, chronic swelling in hands and feet, insomnia (which I'd had trouble with for several years)dry eyes and mouth, severe fatigue and so on. As time went on, felt worse and worse, rheumy wasn't much help. Went to 2nd rheumy after a few months of feeling helpless and worthless (couldn't do much of anything). Diagnosed with fibro also, doc suggested cymbalta. I had just started evoxac and was on trazodone(for sleep) and wanted to let body adjust to being on those meds. Most of my earlier life I rarely took even tylenol. Two months later, started cymbalta to try to get some quality of life back. That was 18 months ago and it's been like a miracle drug-for me. But the real help in my recovery has been a supplement I started last September on recommendation from an herbal specialist. Based on his knowledge in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine, he suggested my muscles were "dry" and taking Udo's oil would help. It's found in health food stores and on-line. It's a combination of plant-based omega 3,6,9. Since being on evoxac, I noticed my periperal coldness has diminished significantly and the oil has really helped my dry eyes, and to a lesser extent, mouth. I am still taking restasis twice daily but rarely other drops during the day. I don't have as much problem with muscle knots, though am careful to do stretches now that I am back to exercising. (I had had several sessions of PT the last few years to deal with those quite painful knots.)The serous retinopathy has diminished some, though the spot remains in the middle of my macula. It was a blood vessel that didn't really rupture, but rather oozed serum, so is a weak spot. The symptom is similar to what one experiences in macular degeneration, distorted lines. The retinal doc said there is no apparent cause, but my gut feeling is that a general dryness is behind a lot of my manifestations of SS. One of my therapists in PT mentioned that blood vessels can also affect nerves, or vice versa. She was only a massage therapist, so what would she know HA. That discussion was before things got really bad and I was officially diagnosed. Also, I take 2000 IU of vitamin D daily and believe that has helped too. This after researching D, and realizing that in MI, I can't get enough. All this to say, perhaps God has allowed me some measure of recovery and it may not be as easy for others, but keep researching and asking questions! My primary care doc has been great in listening to my frustrations and referring me to other docs. Don't settle if you don't feel you are being heard. My 2nd rheumy diagnosed fibro immediately after I told her the same things I told the 1st- he just wasn't hearing me. Maybe the fact she was a woman helped in that. Still have issues with fatigue and allover low-grade achiness, mental fog, and other annoying symptoms. But am able to cook, clean, shop, etc. in moderation and feel that there is a reserve to bounce back with rest. That was totally lacking before. Hope this helps someone, for I truly understand your pains and frustrations and take joy in a day that I feel OK, knowing it can change at a moments notice.
Posted @ Thursday, October 18, 2012 2:07 PM by Kathleen
I've had severe insomnia for the last several years and my dr put me on 1 mg of clonazapam which is a anti anxiety pill and 12.5 mg of ambien to get me to sleep 5 hrs. One of the possible side affects of the clonazapam is to much saliva. Fortunately it is a side affect for me, and I do not have the dry mouth, I have the dry eyes but I got to say the clonazapam has been a huge blessing for me.
Posted @ Friday, October 19, 2012 10:40 PM by Mary
Hello All! 
I am looking for advice and information regarding cataract that has occurred due to predisone. My eye doctor says I now, in the last 6 months have developed cataract due to predisone, but I hardley take predisone ~ like maybe 50 mg in the last 5 months! I am developing experiencing vision issues. He has said at some point that I can get lens replacement? Should people with our conditions get eye surgery?
Posted @ Thursday, November 29, 2012 2:54 PM by Sarai
@Sara.. A friend of mine wanted to have the lens replacement and Doctor told her she shouldn't because she had dry eyes. I had never heard that before. But she was told that lens replacement cause your eyes to be drier . I do know that predisone can effect ones eyes and cause cataracts.
Posted @ Friday, November 30, 2012 9:52 AM by Cathy
HELLO - Is there anyone out there that has itchy sores on there body? I have had this problem for 6 years and can't convince the Dermatologist (and I have been to 4 of them) that I think is related to my Sjogren's desease. The only thing they know about Sjogren's is that it is a dry mouth problem. 
I finally convinced my now Dr. to put me on predisone - in the past he said he didnot want to put me on steriods because it was too dangerous. However; that is the onlything that has helped the itching and drying-up of the running sores. 
 
To Sara.. I have had cateracts removed in both eyes and lens put in. Haven't noticed any more dryness than before. 
 
Posted @ Wednesday, January 16, 2013 
Posted @ Wednesday, January 16, 2013 4:05 PM by Adele Rogers
@Lillie Prevost. You can get REfresh endura preservative eye drops. 
The ingredients are almost the same as Restasis. The only ingredient that is missing from Refresh Endura is Cyclosporine which is why Restasis is for prescription only. They are both from the same company.
Posted @ Thursday, March 07, 2013 7:51 PM by Avis Stein
http://www.minidrops.com/benefits.html - After five years of trying all the eyedrops you can find in a drugstore, including Restasis, the above eye drop is the only one that works for me, Optics Laboratory Lubricant Eye Drops. They are preservative free. I go through about two a day. When I open one, I keep it upright in the frig, in a small glass, so I can use it at different times during the day. I get them at Rite-Aid, but the above link tells you where else you can get them. I've also gotten them online from Amazon.
Posted @ Wednesday, April 03, 2013 3:24 PM by Jeri Hreha
Had cornea transplant several years ago and have bad dry eyes. I do the drops etc. but now my doc. wants me to try autologous serum. they take your blood and process it and make it into drops which you put back into your eyes four times aday. Am leery about doing it. Has anyone heard of this or done this.
Posted @ Friday, June 14, 2013 11:26 AM by Evelyn Olson
I have been battling dry eyes since 1975, dx with Sjogrens 1984. I have tried nearly everything on the market, looking for relief. I have a punctal plug in my left eye. I recently discovered something that has helped a lot. My wife told me I should try to reduce wrinkles and bags under my eyes. I started using Hyaluronic Acid Beauty Cream. The wrinkles began to disappear, but the thing that surprised me is I started putting it on my eyelids, suddenly my eyes started feeling less dry and more moist even without drops. I hope this helps someone.
Posted @ Monday, September 30, 2013 8:08 PM by Jim Patterson
I LOVED finding this website. I too, suffer from very dry eyes and use 3 or 4 different kinds of eyedrops and just started doing the hot compresses...I swear its making it worse, but maybe not. I am going to try the minidrops and the Hylaruonic Acid cream. I derived much comfort from all of your posts. THANK YOU everyone. Now I don't feel so alone!
Posted @ Tuesday, February 18, 2014 6:18 PM by Betty Wilson
This is for Evelyn Olsen. I use the drops that they make from my blood. They take a pint of my blood and remove the plasma and it is sent to a compound pharmacist and they make them. They are put in Individual syringes that you keep in the freezer. You take one out each day and use it when you feel that u need it. You keep I them in refrigerator
Posted @ Tuesday, April 01, 2014 4:13 PM by Pam Labello
Thanks for your comments. I know it is not in my head now. I use restasis but I have heard that if you have had punctal occlusion you should not use it. My doctors keep prescribing it. It is too expensive if it is not helping. I have a bacterial infection of the eye now due to dryness. I use Celluvisc by Refresh which helped for years and now isn't. Is anyone having problem with glare? I live in the dark with dark glasses.
Posted @ Wednesday, May 14, 2014 8:22 PM by Gail
I do not use Restasis. My eye specialist said that it would aggravate my eye problems. He and I have experimented with what would be helpful for me. Instead of a bacterial infection I have a viral infection in my eyes. I take a pill for a viral infection and sometimes still have to resort to a drop of an antibiotic. I know this does not make sense, so maybe I have a combination problem: Viral and Bacterial. For my eye drops I use several, but my favorite is Wisdom of the Ages' Eyebright Drops. My next favorite is Rich's MSM Water.
Posted @ Wednesday, May 14, 2014 8:44 PM by Barbara Spencer
Have any of you had a bad experience with the drops that the ophthalmologist uses to dilate your eyes? It seems I get worse after my check ups.
Posted @ Wednesday, May 14, 2014 11:40 PM by Gail
Yes, I also suffer from glare. I keep blinds closed most of the time, which drives my hubby crazy!! I didn't like Restasis. I use Optics MiniDrops, Lubricant Eye Drops, Preservative Free, and it's the only drop that works for me, and I've tried them all!! I keep them in the frig, after I open one vile, I put it upright in the frig and finish it later that day. 
 
Posted @ Thursday, May 15, 2014 10:40 AM by Jeri Hreha
I forgot to mention, you can get the Optics MiniDrops from Amazon.com.
Posted @ Thursday, May 15, 2014 10:42 AM by Jeri Hreha
Thanks Jeri and Barbara. All of you have helped me.  
 
I find that if you reverse the background where the background is black and the letters on the keyboard are white and the same for the text on my tablet has helped the glare somewhat. The eye pain is not as intense after two days of steroid drops. Feeling cold was once a problem for me. I was told it was Raynaud's syndrome and my hypothyroidism. That may be a question for your doctor. My headaches and eye pain are worsened by changes in barometric pressure.
Posted @ Thursday, May 15, 2014 12:38 PM by Gail
Yes I absolutely have had damage to my eyes after being dilated. I looked up the drops and found they all have preservatives, BAK and that is the likely culprit, aslo the anesthetics cause corneal damage well documented.. Im going to get my own preservative free dilating drops if I can find some and take them with me.. DOcs don't care about this but they should.. 
Posted @ Tuesday, July 08, 2014 12:46 AM by
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Posted @ Wednesday, October 01, 2014 6:19 AM by Puritans Pride Coupon
I live in a very cold and harsh climate that is especially hard on my dry eyes. Last winter I tried Dr. Oz's suggestion of Evening Primrose Oil Capsules- 6 per day, and SeaBuckthorn Oil Capsules-2 per day. After a few days the improvement was dramatic, and got even better when I started using Sweet Almond Oil (purchased from my local health food store for around $4.00 per bottle and lasts about 2 months)in my eyes every night at bedtime and again in the morning. I haven't used eyedrops since starting the sweet almond oil, even on days when I am outside in the wind for long periods of time. These three products have made a huge improvement in the quality of life daily for me.
Posted @ Wednesday, October 01, 2014 11:59 AM by Cindy
Does the sweet almond oil stings your eyes?
Posted @ Wednesday, October 01, 2014 12:42 PM by Avis
No, the sweet almond oil does not sting at all - it is wonderfully soothing. I also purchased coconut oil - not for my eyes but for my hair and body. It is a great moisturizer but even though I love coconut I find the smell just a little overwhelming to moisturize my whole body with.
Posted @ Wednesday, October 01, 2014 9:40 PM by Cindy
I was looking for this certain info for a very long time.Thank you and best of luck. 
Posted @ Thursday, October 16, 2014 9:29 AM by Puritans Pride Coupon
Hi, I'm very interested in a natural alternative re. relief for dry eyes. I read that putting sweet almond oil directly into your eyes isn't a good idea. You should ingest it instead. Has anyone been using this method (into eyes) for awhile, and how do your eyes feel? 
Thanks!
Posted @ Wednesday, October 22, 2014 7:31 PM by kristin
I went to the acupuncturist yesterday for the first time. As she was putting the very tiny needles in my skin I started having moisture in my mouth. After I got home I actually blinked a tear. My opthalmologist said he thought it was a blood flow problem but gave me no suggestion how I could get the blood flow. So I researched with one eye working and decided to try acupuncture and massage therapy. It is less expensive than all the eye drops. I went to bed without eye pain for the first time in almost a year.
Posted @ Wednesday, October 22, 2014 9:24 PM by Gail
I have been using sweet almond oil in my eyes and on my face to moisturize for a year now.I use it every night at bedtime and in the morning right after my shower. I have not used an eyedrop since. This is incredible since I work outside in the wind and cold almost every day. Eyedrops never provided this much relief for me. The bonus is it costs $4.00 for a bottle that lasts about 4 months.
Posted @ Thursday, October 23, 2014 12:35 AM by Cindy
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