Dry eyes can happen for many reasons. Occasional moderate dryness can be helped by simply applying artificial tears as the need arises. Systane and Refresh Optive are 2 great brands of over the counter eye drops that can help temporarily alleviate dry eye symptoms.
More persistent dry eye symptoms can be helped by using drops that are a little thicker, therefore staying on the eyes surface a little longer. Refresh Liquigel is a gel that comes out in a liquid drop form and then thickens when applied to the eye.
If you wake up with dry, scratchy eyes then it may be time to add some therapy at night before bedtime. In this case I tend to recommend Refresh PM which is an ointment. It is not recommended to use this throughout the day because it is thick enough to make your vision blurry.
In the most severe cases there are some prescription medications that may help. Restasis and Xiidra both try to treat the root of the problem, such as inflammation, to help alleviate the dryness symptoms. These drops typically can help long term, but they must be continually used and take a few months to ramp up to full effect.
If you have any questions about dry eyes, or would like to be evaluated for treatment options, Call (502) 897-1604 to set up an appointment with one of our doctors and let us help.
James A. Muse, O.D.