Treat occasional or mild dry eye symptoms with over-the-counter eye drops, such as artificial tears, but avoid eye drops that reduce redness, according to the Mayo Clinic. Other home remedies include eating food rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, such as seafood, eggs, palm oil, flaxseed oil and caffeine.
Eye drops with preservatives can cause eye irritation, warns the Mayo Clinic. Nonpreservative eye drops come in packages that contain multiple single-use vials. Ointments are a great alternative for longer-lasting relief, but they are thick and can cloud the vision. For this reason, it is best to use them just before bedtime.
If the symptoms are persistent and more serious, the treatment options depend on what is causing the dry eyes. Some conditions that cause dry eyes can be reversed or managed. Other treatments can improve tear quality or stop tears from drying. Doctors may suggest silicone plugs to conserve tears, bandage lenses or corneal shields, or LipiFlo thermal pulsation to help clear blocked oil glands. Patients can prevent symptoms by taking certain measures, as the Mayo Clinic suggests. Avoid direct air to the eyes, use a humidifier, wear sunglasses, take eye breaks during long tasks, position computer monitors below eye level, and stop or avoid smoking. Frequent eyelid washing may help if blepharitis or other eyelid inflammation conditions have led to the dry eye syndrome.