Treatments for Dry Eye Disease

The following are treatments generally preferred by our Highline Vision Center Optometrists for Dry Eye Disease. If you suffer symptoms of DED, talk to your Highline Optometrist about which treatment will be best for you.

Artificial Tears

Drops that can be used 4-6 times per day or as otherwise directed:

  • Retaine MGD
  • Refresh Advanced – preservative free

Drops that can be used with contact lenses:

  • Refresh Optive – preservative free single use containers
  • Refresh Plus
  • Blink Tears – preservative free

Drops and gels to use before bed:

  • Refresh Celluvisc
  • Blink Gel

Ointments to use before bed:

  • Retaine PM
  • Refresh PM

Omega-3s

Omega 3s - gelatin tablets

PRN Dry Eye Omega Benefits: This is a high potency omega 3 fatty acid supplement that has been proven to maintain the lipid (oily) layer of your tear film. This improves the overall health of your tears and decreases the rate at which they evaporate. Our doctors have carefully chosen this product based on its high quality and specific dry eye targeted formula of omega 3’s. This supplement is available in either a liquid or softgel form.

Warm Compresses & Lid Hygiene

Your doctor may prescribe warm compresses and good eyelid hygiene. The heat helps the oils in your eyelid glands liquify so they can flow properly to hold the moisture on your eyes. Warm compresses are most effective when using one of the following devices:

Warm Compresses

  • Derm mask: place in microwave for 20 seconds, add 10 second intervals as needed to find the best temperature for you. Use 5 minutes daily prior to lid massage.
  • Tranquileyes: use 3-5 minutes daily with lid massage. Follow microwave instructions in the product manual. Beads can be used up to 60 times. Refill beads are available.

Lid Massage

After the warm compress it is helpful to massage the lids in order to try and mobilize the oily secretions from the Meibomian glands. This is done by placing your finger gently on the lower lid and using a rolling motion toward the top of the lid where the eyelashes are. Repeat this for 30-60 seconds on each eye.

After warm compresses and lid massage, follow with one of the following foams prescribed by your doctor to cleanse your eyelids.

Lid Cleansers

  • Ocusoft lid scrub: use a quarter pump on a clean washcloth and wash along lid margins. Rinse thoroughly.
  • Ocusoft Platinum: use a quarter pump on a clean washcloth and wash along  lid margins. Leave on overnight.
  • Tea Tree Foam: use a quarter pump on a clean washcloth and wash along lid margins. Rinse thoroughly.

Increase Tear Volume

It is also important to increase the volume or quantity of tears on your eyes. Punctal occlusion is a painless in office procedure that helps to do this by blocking one of the tear drainage areas on the upper or lower eyelid with a tiny device called a punctal plug. This reversible process often offers patients more immediate relief as we help to treat Dry Eye Disease.

Blephex

Blephex is the first approved in-office procedure that allows the doctor to treat blepharitis, thereby reducing your dry eye symptoms. Blepharitis is a chronic inflammatory disease that is caused by an overgrowth of natural bacteria along the base of your eyelashes.  This procedure is FDA approved but not yet covered by your insurance. There will be a fee for this test in addition to any co-pay required by your medical insurance for the office visit. It is between you and your doctor to decide how often this testing is needed. Learn more here about Blephex from our own Dr. Redmond!

Prescription Medication Relief

The items below are various options that may be selected based on your individual needs:

  • Lotemax Gel: steroid gel drop to help reduce inflammation. Instill 1 drop into both eyes 4x per day for 2 weeks, then twice a day for 6 weeks. Return for a pressure check with a technician 2 weeks after you’ve started the drops. Schedule a 1 month dry eye follow up with your doctor.
  • FML: steroid drop to help reduce inflammation. Use 1 drop 4x per day for 1 month, then twice a day for 1 month. Return for a pressure check with a technician 2 weeks after you’ve started the drops.  Schedule a 1 month dry eye follow up with your doctor.
  • Doxycyline Hyclate: antibiotic with anti-inflammatory properties. Take with food as directed by your doctor. Do not take within 2 hours of consuming any milk-based product or calcium supplement.
  • Restasis: instill 1 drop twice a day. Maximum results will be realized approximately 3-6 months after beginning treatment.
  • Xiidra: instill 1 drop twice a day. Maximum results will be realized approximately 1-3 months after beginning treatment.
  • Lacrisert: place 1 Lacrisert in both eyes inside lower lids before bed.
  • Azasite: use 1 drop twice a day for 2 days, then once per day for 28 days. Press on bottom of bottle to release drop. Rub excess medication along lashes.