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A 35-year-old member asked:

I hate having to put in eye drops. is there an alternate solution to lubricate my eyes permanently?

25 doctor answers36 doctors weighed in
Dr. Carl Sylvester
Specializes in Ophthalmology
Yes: Yes, punctal plugs which block the tear ducts from draining tears out of your eyes is another option.
Dr. IGOR BENENSON
Specializes in Ophthalmology
Punctal plugs: If your tear gland still produce some tears, you may have your tear duct openings blocked by small plugs. It will keep your own tears in the eyes for longer time. Also oral intake of flaxseed oil is said to increase tear production and tear quality.
Dr. Elizabeth Holland
Specializes in Ophthalmology
Yes: There are many options for the treatment of dry eyes, including permanent plug which can allow the tears to stay around for a longer period of time, and restasis, which is an antiinflammatory drop which will allow your eyes to make more tears. Ask your doctor if these options may be right for you.
Dr. Jamie Zucker
Specializes in Ophthalmology
Yes: Punctal plugs can be put in by your eye professional to keep more of your tears around and less dry eye symptoms. Easy to do, takes 5 minutes and insurance pays for it.
Dr. Marcel Admoni
Specializes in Ophthalmology
Yes: Look up options like lubricating ointments, Lacrisert (hydroxypropyl cellulose) implants, punctal plugs, surgical closure of puncta, etc...
Dr. Benjamin Rubin
Ophthalmology 40 years experience
Yes: You can increase your intake of omega 3 and have punctal plugs placed. These are small silicone plugs placed in the opening of the tube that takes tears from your eyes to your nose. Reduce stressors like air conditioning and fans, medications like anti depressants and bcp.
Dr. Robert Arffa
Specializes in Ophthalmology
Yes: Artificial tear drops are the most common way to treat dry eyes, but there are other treatments. Restasis is a prescription eye drop that can permanently increase your tear production and lessen your need for lubricating drops. Another treatment is punctal occlusion: closing the tear draining duct so that the tears you make or the drops you put in your eye last longer.
Dr. Michael Rosenberg
Specializes in Ophthalmology
Yes: As an alternative to lubricating eye drops, patient may have special inserts under the lids which slowly release lubrication, or they may have reversible plugging of the tear drainage system to allow accumulation and delay drainagel of their normal tear production.
Dr. Susan Hoki
Ophthalmology 22 years experience
Yes: For those with dry eyes, the alternative to frequent artificial tears is punctal plugs that are inserted into the openings of your tear duct to prevent tear evaporation. Another is to used a prescription drop called restasis. This would still be drop but only two times a day. Sometimes after long-term use, it can be decreased to once daily. There are pro's and con's of both of course.
Dr. Donny Reeves
Specializes in Ophthalmology
Yes: There is nothing I am aware of that is a permanent fix for dry eyes. It depends on the severity of your condition. The next alternative is the use of punctal plugs. There is nothing majic about it. However it decreases the drainage rate of your natural tears and helps your eyes stay moist. It may improve your condition.
Dr. Anil Shivaram
Specializes in Ophthalmology
Yes: There is another alternative known as punctal plugs. These are plugs (either made of silicon or collagen) that sit in the "drain" of the eyelid and decrease the rate of tear drainage. As a result, the tears stick around the eyes longer.
Dr. Bud Kurwa
Specializes in Ophthalmology
Yes: There are several other ways to help you including punctum plugs, cautery and laser.
Dr. Edward Meier
Ophthalmology 24 years experience
Punctal plugs: You may be eligible for punctal plugs. They prevent the tears from flowing down the tear drainage ducts into your nose. This keeps more tears on your eyes longer and may reduce or eliminate your need for artificial tears. Temporary plugs can be tried first to see if you respond well to them before permanent plugs are placed.
Dr. Stanley Braverman
LASIK Surgery 46 years experience
Punctal plugs: If you are using frequent minimally preserved artificial tears, then temporary, followed by permanent closure of the tear drainage system in a stepwise fashion may eliminate the need for frequent tears. Also, restasis, a prescription may be used as a twice daily drop. It may help your eyes to produce more tears, however, it takes three months of constant use of Restasis to possibly have an effect.
Dr. Dean Dornic
Ophthalmology 28 years experience
There are several other options.: Punctal plugs or thermal cautery of the punctum (closing the ducts that drain tears from the eyes) can result in better lubrication. There are also sprays/mists available that can lubricate.
Dr. Daniel Wachtel
Ophthalmology 60 years experience
Not really: Eye drops, properly administered, are safe and easy to use. They may be a nuisance but often a necessity. Ask your ophthalmologist for tricks to putting them in your eyes safely and comfortably.
Dr. John Odette
Ophthalmology 16 years experience
Yes: You could take to your ophthalmologist about punctal plugs as a possible alternatives. There are other options as well and some suggestion that various dietary changes such as omega 3 fatty acids help in preventing dry eye symptoms.
Dr. Rebecca Dale
Ophthalmology 22 years experience
Yes: There are several other things you can consider: - supplementing with omega 3 fatty acids such as fish oil - having punctal plugs placed by your eyecare provider (helps conserve your tears) - lacrisert, (hydroxypropyl cellulose) which is placed in the conjunctival sac and then slowly releases lubrication - a visit to your eyecare provider can help you determine the right option(s) (and evaluate for other causes).
Dr. Praveen Keshava
Ophthalmology 22 years experience
There are several other options.: There are several options depending on the exact nature of your problem. Dry eye syndrome is a multifactorial problem and there are different types. Some other possible solutions (that do not involve taking more eye drops) include punctal plugs, punctal occlusion (surgical), omega-3 fatty acid supplements, increased hydration, humidifiers, and moisture-retention sunglasses.
Dr. Marilyn Huheey
Ophthalmology 52 years experience
Many: Using computers, having wind in eyes, winter, reading without blinking, having low testosterone in the blood all make eyes dry, so the opposite would help.
Dr. Charles Titone
Ophthalmology 38 years experience
Maybe: You may want to try some of the artificial tear gels, some other alternatives are punctual plugs or lacricerts. A review of your medications may reveal use of antihistamines, anticolinergics or diuretics. Oral supplements of omega fatty acids are available specifically for dry eye.
Dr. Ari Weitzner
Ophthalmology 34 years experience
Plugs: Plugs can be inserted in your tear duct openings (in the inner corner of your eyes- called puncta) which will stop your tears from leaving the eye and going down the drain, so your eyes feel less dry.
Dr. Moonyoung Chung
Ophthalmology 26 years experience
Dry eyes: Restasis is a medication that can increase tear production.
Dr. Beth Friedland
Ophthalmology 43 years experience
Other Treatments: In addition to the many helpful suggestions, such as plugs, increased efas in diet or capsules, and getting off medications that dry the eyes, there is a new, recently fda approved meibomian gland stimulating treatment that is given in your eyemd's office once yearly. See tear science website for more information. www.tearscience.com/en/.
Dr. Benjamin Chun
Ophthalmology 29 years experience
Yes, your tears: However, currently your tears are not healthy enough to do the job. Artificial tears just temporarily moisturizes your eyes and really is not a treatment, although we use it to decrease the symptoms. We use combination of warm compresses, omega-3's, restasis, punctal plugs, ointments, blepharotomy, doxycycline, and serum drops. Your dry eye specialist should be able to get you well.
Last updated Jun 9, 2017
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