Do you feel your eyes are often red, scratchy, and tired from time to time?
You may even notice your vision gets blurry sometimes. If so most
likely you are suffering from dry eye disease.

We are often told to
use over-the-counter artificial tears eye drops to treat dry eye disease.
But are those eye drops enough for you? What are the additional
dry eye treatment options when the over-the-counter drops are
just not enough?

In today’s article, We will go over the dry eye treatment options that
target different causes of dry eye disease. The treatment options
that I mention in this post are based on my own personal clinical
experience. If your eyes are controlled with otc eye drops alone, I
have written an article about my top five eye drops to help you to find the
right one for you to treat dry eyes disease.
Click here

Best Treatment
Options for Dry Eyes

To understand which dry eye treatment options are right for you, It is
important to understand what types of dry eye disease you have. There
are three main types of dry eye diseases
  1. Evaporative type
  2. Aqueous Deficient type
  3. Mixed type
There are three different layers of the tear film;
  1. Lipid layer
  2. Aqueous layer
  3. Mucin layer
And each of the three types of dry eye disease is caused by a problem
with one of the three different tear film layers.

1. Evaporative Dry Eye Treatments

The evaporative type of dry eye is mainly due to problems with the
lipid layer tear film, which is the
most outer layer. Often the tear film is unstable and evaporates too
quickly when the lipid layer is unhealthy. With evaporative type,
the eyes feel dry and irritated shortly after applying over-the-counter
eye drops and you may feel that you need to put in eye drops over and over

The lipid layer of the tear film is secreted by the
meibomian glands located in both upper and lower eyelids. If the
meibomian glands are clogged or not working or the gland oil
contains too many inflammatory particles. The aqueous layer of the
tear film underneath, secreted by the tear glands will not remain on the
cornea for long enough to lubricate and moisturize the eyes.

One effective treatment you can do at home to open up the oil glands is
warm compresses. You can either just use a washcloth soak under
hot water and ring it out and place it over closed eyelids for about
five minutes
 once or twice a day, or you can use a heat mask. You can
microwave most heat masks for 20 seconds and they will stay hot
for 20 minutes. The heat will help open up the
clogged oil glands.


For more severe blockage
of the meibomian gland, you may ask your eye specialist about some
in-office treatment options, such as
ilux or lipid flow. They work like a more intense warm compress and are administered in
the doctor’s office to aggressively target clogged oil glands.

The evaporative dry eyes
can also be caused by unhealthy gland oil secreted by the meibomian
gland. This is typically due to increased inflammatory particles in the
tear film.

In this case, it is important to modulate and restore the health
of the meibomian glands and their oil. This is where omega-3 supplements
can come into play. Because omega-3 supplements are not prescription
medication and are not regulated by the FDA.

Their dosage and
composition may vary greatly. Please remember to always consult with
your doctor before taking any high-dose omega-3 supplements to
make sure if they are safe and right for you.

2. Aqueous Deficient Dry Eyes Treatment

The second type of dry eyes disease is the aqueous deficient type. This
type of dry eye affects the aqueous layer of the tear film, which
is made by the tear gland.

When the tear gland does not produce
enough tears, the surface of the eye or the cornea, which is the clear
dome-shaped structure that functions as the
windshield of our eyes,
does not get adequately lubricated and moisturized.

This type of dry eye disease needs to be treated with artificial tears
eye drops. A lot of times inflammation of the tear gland and the surface
of the eye causes decreased tear production and low tear turnover.

eye doctor may prescribe a mild steroid eye drop for a short period
of time to decrease the inflammation on the surface of the eye and to
improve tear production.

Prescription eye drops containing steroids can have side effects I used
long-term such as cataract formation and increased eye pressure.
This is why steroid prescription eye drops are typically only used for a
short period of time. There are three FDA-approved prescription eye
drops that do not contain steroids.
  1. Sodium Hyaluronate eye drops
  2. Xiidra eye drops
  3. Cequa eye drops
These drops have good efficacy and safety profile and can be used
long-term to treat dry eye disease. The three eyedrops each work
differently and it is important to discuss with your eye doctor.

Sometimes your eye doctor may consider placing plugs in your tear ducts
to keep the tears in your eyes longer. For people who suffer from a
severe aqueous deficient dry disease such as Sjogren’s disease, even the
treatment options I just mentioned may not be enough.

In those cases, a special type of eye drop purified from the patient’s
own blood can be used to treat the disease and control the symptoms.
They are called autologous serum eye drops. Your eye physician or cornea
specialist can help you determine if your disease is severe enough to
need serum drops.

3. Mixed type Dry Eyes Treatment

The last type of dry eye disease is the mixed type of dry eyes, and this
is probably the most common type of dry eye disease. For a lot of people
with dry eyes, both the lipid layer and the aqueous layer of the tear
films are unhealthy.

People with a mixed type may need a
combination of the dry treatments that I mentioned earlier such as warm
compresses and omega-3 oil supplements to improve the oil gland

Otc artificial tears eye drops and prescription medications to
control dry eye symptoms. It is important to remember there is no one size
fits all treatment protocol for everyone.

In my clinical practice, I make
an individualized treatment protocol for each patient, based on their
individual situation and I tailor their treatment plan based on their
response to each treatment option.

In this blog post, I have mentioned some of the common dry eye treatment
options. There are also other, more invasive, and advanced
treatment options that are typically reserved for extremely severe cases.

The dry disease is more common than we often think and it is estimated that
more than 16 million people in the US suffer from dry eye

If you feel your eyes are still irritated or sometimes have blurry
vision, despite using over-the-counter eye drops. It is important to have
a full eye exam and talk to your eye doctor about what treatment options
are right for you.

Ruman Amjad

Hello, I am Dr. Ruman Amjad, an Ophthalmologist specializing in the field of eye care, particularly focused on helping individuals with swollen eyelids. I am thrilled to welcome you to, a comprehensive resource dedicated to providing accurate and reliable information on eyelid inflammation.


Leave a Reply

Avatar placeholder

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

close X

Under Eye Mask - Reduce Dark Circles, Puffy Eyes, Undereye Bags, Wrinkles

No More Puffy Eyes or Inflammation – Reduce puffiness, bags and swelling with these cooling under eye hydrating mask! Your Under Eye Skincare Routine for Dark Circles!