Dry eye syndrome is a chronic and typically progressive condition. Depending on its cause and severity, it may not be completely curable. But in most cases, dry eyes can be managed successfully, usually resulting in noticeably greater eye comfort, fewer dry eye symptoms, and sometimes sharper vision as well.
Because dry eye disease can have a number of causes, a variety of treatment approaches are used.
The following is a list of dry eye treatments that are commonly used by eye doctors to reduce the signs and symptoms of dry eye disease. Your eye doctor may recommend only one of these dry eye treatments or a combination of treatments, depending on the cause(s) and severity of your condition.
Steroid Eye Drops
Punctal plugs are sometimes used in dry eye treatment to help tears remain on the surface of the eye longer.
This drawing shows the lacrimal glands and tear ducts. A lacrimal plug (or punctal plug) has been inserted into the lower tear duct to keep the eye's moisture from draining away too quickly. Image: Oasis Medical, Inc.
A punctal plug is a small, sterile device that is inserted into one of the small openings (puncta) of tear drainage ducts that are located in the inner corner of the upper and lower eyelids.
After these openings have been plugged, tears can no longer drain away from the eye through these ducts. In this way the tear film stays intact longer on the surface of the eye, relieving dry eye symptoms.
So where do the tears go? Usually they will simply evaporate from the eye surface without symptoms. But if insertion of punctal plugs causes the eyes to "water," one or more of the plugs can be removed.
This is a pain-free office procedure that takes less than five minutes and produces big relief for dry eye sufferers!