How do I treat dry eye?

The following was written by Bill Evans and published in the Coolum and North Shore News, Ask the Professionals page on Friday, 25th March 2011.

Q: How do I treat dry eye?

A: In many cases dry eye can’t be cured, though there treatments which help minimize the symptoms. Dry eye is often best treated with artificial tear eye drops or ointments to restore tear film balance. We’ve found Systane Ultra to be one of the better artificial tear eye drops for treating dry eye. Ocular decongestant drops (drops that take the redness away from your eyes) should be avoided as they can actually make the eyes feel dryer.

Wearing sunglasses with good coverage can help by reducing the eyes’ exposure to drying winds and the sun. It is also important to make sure you are well hydrated by drinking 6 to 8 glasses of water per day. Taking omega-3 fatty acid supplements has also been shown to help improve dry eye symptoms, by increasing the number of mucous-producing goblet cells on the surface of the eye.