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Eye and Vision Care

Dry Eyes

10/26/2009

Question:

I have been using over the counter refresh tears for years for my dry eyes. I have had to use them more and more lately. Is there any thing else that I can do for my dry eyes besides a different type of drops?

Answer:

The first thing you should consider is whether or not you feel it has come to the point where you should be seen by an eye doctor, as there are many reasons for having dry eye complaints. At The OSU College of Optometry we have some of the leading dry eye researchers in the country and we have multiple dry eye tests and treatments available. These tests are designed to help differentiate the types of dry eye and their appropriate treatments

A couple of things you could try prior to coming in for a visit:

Try a more viscous (thick) artificial tear such as Refresh Celluvisc or Refresh Liquigel. You should be able to use these comfortable around 4 times per day.

Have you tried to scrub your lids clean when bathing/showering each day. If not try putting shampoo on a wash cloth, closing your eyelids, and then scrubbing your lash lines. This works to break away debris/bacteria and can sometimes help with certain dry eye complaints. (Baby shampoo works the best as it doesn't sting, other shampoo is fine it just might sting if it gets in your eyes)

Hot compresses: Try applying a hot wash cloth to the closed eyelids for 4-5 minutes at a time (1-2 times per day). The heat from the cloth helps the glands that produce the fatty portion of our tears. The heat allows fatty tears to express much easier. (Try putting dry rice in a tube sock, tying one end, and then warming the rice in the microwave. - you may have seen these types of things for muscle aches etc. These hold the heat longer than a warm wet wash cloth.)

If lid scrubs/hot compresses and/or the thicker tears do not help, I would recommend an eye exam. Make sure to tell the doctor you are having dry eye complaints. Thank you for visiting NetWellness.

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Response by:

Aaron  Zimmerman, OD, MS Aaron Zimmerman, OD, MS
Clinical Associate Professor of Optometry
College of Optometry
The Ohio State University