How do you treat severe dry eye?


Quick Answer

Treatments for severe dry eyes include taking certain prescription medications, such as anti-inflammatory drugs and drugs that increase the production of tears, unblocking tear glands and using special contact lenses, according to Mayo Clinic. Tear-duct closing and intense-pulsed light therapy along with eyelid massage may help as well

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Full Answer

Prescription oral antibiotics and certain eyedrops may help reduce eyelid inflammation that prevents oil glands from releasing oil into tears, as Mayo Clinic explains. Cholinergics, which come in form of pills, eyedrops or gel, stimulate the production of tears; however, the drugs may cause sweating. Hydroxypropyl cellulose eye inserts may help lubricate the eyes. Autologous blood serum drops, which are made of a person's own blood, are necessary if other treatments fail to reverse the problem.

Bandage and scleral contact lenses protect the surface of the eyes and help to moisturize them, according to Mayo Clinic. Plugging the eyes with removable, tiny silicone plugs helps to close tear ducts, reducing loss of tears. Thermal cautery, using heat to plug the eyes, may help as well. Surgery may be necessary if a person has out-turning lids.

Complications of severe dry eyes include eye infection, eye inflammation, corneal ulcer and damage of the eye surface, states Mayo Clinic. The condition may also lead to vision problems, interfering with normal daily tasks.

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