Choosing an OTC Solution for Dry Eye Relief
Over-the-counter (OTC) solutions can support dry eye treatment or provide relief for mild or temporary symptoms. In some cases, your optometrist may recommend an OTC dry eye solution.
As there are many non-prescription options available, it can sometimes be challenging to decide which is the best. Your eye doctor can evaluate your symptoms and needs to provide an informed recommendation.
Golden Vision Optometry carries various eye care brands for eye drops and more. Please text us to book an appointment today, so we can offer a personalized recommendation.
OTC dry eye solutions help you find relief on the go or at home. Meet with one of our optometrists so we can get to know your history and symptoms. Then, after evaluating your needs, we can determine the most appropriate options for you.
Some OTC options for dry eye include:
- Artificial tears formulated for oil deficiencies
- Eyelid wipes for daily cleaning
- Preservative-free artificial tears for moisture
- MediBeads for a reusable warm compress
While visiting your optometrist is a crucial first step in managing dry eye, there are many home remedies you can try—with optometrist approval. Home remedies can be an effective treatment for mild or temporary dry eye. However, patients may need to use home remedies in combination with prescribed treatments to experience relief from chronic dry eye.
Some standard at-home options include a warm compress, humidifier therapy, and eye nutrition.
A warm compress is a simple but effective at-home treatment for many eye conditions. The heat can help reduce inflammation or soothe irritation. A warm compress can also stimulate the meibomian gland, improving oil flow to support tear quality.
Generally, a moist warm compress is more effective than a dry warm compress. The moisture helps the heat reach into the deeper tissue layers. It can also help to provide a moisture barrier when your eyes are feeling dry.
Test the temperature before applying the compress. It should feel warm but comfortable. Use a clean cloth and place over closed eyes for 5–10 minutes. Re-apply a few times a day as necessary.
If your environment is dry it can aggravate dry eyes. A humidifier adds moisture to a room or area to reduce symptoms caused by environmental dryness. Humidifier therapy can be effective for improving multiple health issues, including:
- Dry skin
- Dry cough
- Dry throat
- Nose bleeds
- Sinus congestion
However, overusing a humidifier can worsen respiratory problems, so using the device as directed is crucial. Talk to your doctor if you’re considering using a humidifier and you have respiratory issues or allergies.
Drinking more water can help when tear quality is affected by missing moisture, but supporting your nutrition can boost other tear components. For example, the meibomian glands, located along the edge of your eyelids, produce oil (meibum) essential for tear quality. The oil in tears prevents evaporation and helps tears spread across the eye.
Adding omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil) either through natural foods or supplements can reduce your risk of dry eye by 17%. Omega-3 can soothe symptoms by reducing inflammation and improving meibomian gland function. Eye-healthy nutrients can support life-long healthy vision and work in combination with dry eye treatments.
Talk to Your Optometrist
It can seem simple to go to the store and grab the first OTC option you see, but it may not be the best solution for your eye health. Talking to your optometrist about your symptoms can help narrow your search to the most appropriate options.
Golden Vision Optometry proudly provides our patients access to more eye care options, including OTC dry eye solutions. Please text us to book appointment today for a dry eye consultation. We want you to feel comfortable as possible with your vision.
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