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Ophthalmologists have specified that the two main goals in treatment of dry eye patients are rehydrating and protecting the ocular surface.
When selecting treatments for moderate/severe dry eye consider the treatments' ability to provide continuous relief, their ability to be used long-term, with a reasonable dosing frequency and longer length of time that they will stabilise the tear film.
1 Simple Lubricating Eye Drops
The temporary and mild sensations of dry eyes can often be addressed by inexpensive and easy to administer eye drops. The low side effect profiles are excellent for simple lubricating eye drops. If a patient uses the drops more that 4 times per day they should be upgraded to...
2 Gels, Ointments for Persistent Dry Eyes
Modern viscous gels are easy to administer, long lasting and sterility is maintained generally by gentle preservatives. This has made them increasingly popular with Ophthalmologists in recent years.
In England the NHS prescription charge is now £7.20 per item for anyone not exempt. Most dry eye products can be obtained without prescription for much less.
If a patient wears contact lenses or shows any signs of sensitivity to preservatives they should be
3 Preservative-Free drops for Sensitive Dry Eyes
Approximately 15% of eye drop doses used in Great Britain do not
contain preservatives because there is a growing understanding of the
need to avoid preservative interactions in the eye.
4 Hot compresses, Lid Hygiene measures for Blepharitis
The importance of a healthy oily tear layer produced by the Meibomian Glands along the
eyelid margin has focused attention on eye lid hygiene.
5 Referral to Ophthalmologists
Optometrists and GPs are increasingly empowered to manage general dry eye conditions. In persistent or complex cases though, referall to specialist Ophthalmologists is called for.
6 Surgery and Plugs
When all other approaches have failed the occlusion of Puncta may be helpful. Cautery or silicone plugging of the Puncta reduces drainage and may help to increase break up time to acceptable levels.