What Does Your Daily Dry Eye Treatment Plan Look Like?
Last updated: July 2022
Treating chronic dry eye can be tedious. It often means following a daily routine, from morning to afternoon to night. It takes time and requires consistency – something that’s not always easy.
We asked our patient leaders at ChronicDryEye.net what their daily dry eye treatment plans look like. See how their treatment plans compare to yours, and tell us in the comments below: What does your daily treatment plan look like?
Has aqueous deficient dry eye
First, I use a prescription drop called Cequa twice daily (in the morning and evening) and HycoSan Extra eye drops in between and during the day. In the mornings I gently wash my face with room temperature water so that I do not exacerbate my ocular rosacea. I make sure to get any debris or dead skin out of my lashes with a magnification mirror.
In the evenings I wash my face with a gentle soap by Emu Joy and a Makeup Eraser towel. I use Soothe Wipes around my eyes to clean my lids and lashes. I also use a device called the Quantum on my lids to keep the oil in my meibomian glands flowing.
At night before I go to bed, I use Optimel Manuka Honey Eye Gel. This seems to help keep my eyes comfortable during the night.
Has dry eye and macular degeneration
My day starts with thoroughly washing my eyelids. Before my optometrist recommended tea tree eyelid wipes, I washed with baby shampoo. The tea tree wipes are pricey, so I cut them in half.
My optometrist recommended using the Bruder microwaveable eye mask at least twice daily. I keep it on for 10 minutes. He told me to use the eye mask as many times a day as possible to help with meibomian gland dysfunction. Next in my routine is the use of lubricant eyedrops. The GenTeal brand works best for me.
Nighttime is when my symptoms are worse. I find using an ointment or nighttime gel drops provides all-night relief.
Diagnosed with chronic dry eye in 2020
The very first thing I do in the morning is apply a warm compress that I heat up in the microwave. Next, I apply my autologous serum drops that I store in my refrigerator. These are applied 8 times a day; sometimes I will set an alarm to remind me. I wait about 10 minutes before applying my other drops, Xiidra and allergy drops called Bepreve.
I then aim for an hour walk or some sort of cardio. My doctors have told me this is just as important as using my medications and has been shown to relieve pain. I was skeptical at first, but after a few weeks, I have noticed a difference.
At night, I do another 15-minute warm compress, Xiidra, and Bepreve, and then I use my Nulids device. This helps scrub the day off my eyelids and helps calm them down. I then apply my nighttime ointment and cut my strips of Glad Press’n Seal that I cover with a satin nighttime mask.
Has dry eye and other conditions, including corneal ectasia
I’m using eye drops (preservative-free!) at least once an hour, starting from when I wake up (literally the first thing I do). During the day, I try to use the drops even if I don’t feel the need, instead of waiting for the symptoms to start. But I’m not always good with that! I do usually put drops in before starting a virtual meeting, before starting a task on the computer, etc.
Before bed, I regularly use Muro-128 to help my fragile cornea stay healthy. Due to my Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, a connective tissue disorder, it doesn’t take much for damage to occur, especially combined with the inflammation!
Has dry eye and macular degeneration
My daily dry eye treatment plan was given to me by my optometrist. The plan involves steps that I must take 4 times a day. I follow these steps in the morning, at lunchtime, in the late afternoon, and before bed, if possible.
The first step is to use a microwaveable mask for 10 minutes to loosen the oil in the meibomian glands. The second step is to apply lubricating drops. These drops are preservative free and contain hyaluronic acid. Next, I wait between 5 and 10 minutes before I apply the second type of drops. These drops contain perfluorohexyloctane. These drops are also preservative free and feel beautifully oily when they drop into my eyes, but they often land on my face instead.
I struggle to find the time and place to follow these steps 4 times a day. Mostly, I manage only 3 times a day.
Experienced dry eyes after being diagnosed with systemic lupus
I use Restasis (prescription eye drops) in each eye when I wake up and when I go to bed. These drops are a type of immunosuppressive medication, and they keep my inflammatory eye lesions at bay. But they only provide minimal help with my dry eye.
So I use lots of eye drops throughout the day. At the moment, I’m primarily using preservative-free Biotrue eye drops. I also take my contacts out frequently, clean them, and soak them before putting them back in my eyes. This helps a lot.
Depending on the time of year, I spend a good chunk of my time making sure my humidifiers are full and running to help my eyes stay moisturized in my home.
Has dry eye and ankylosing spondylitis
I put in lubricating eye drops every 8 hours, so 3 times a day. At some point in the afternoon or evening, I use a microwaveable eye compress. I warm it up in the microwave for 20 to 25 seconds and then put it over my eyes for 10 minutes. I usually only do this once a day, but if if my eyes have been feeling more dry or I am having a flare-up, I will do this twice in a day.
Lastly, I take an Omega-3 supplement specifically for dry eyes. After dinner, I take it out of the refrigerator and have a teaspoon of the liquid.
Has dry eye and rheumatoid arthritis
My daily dry eye treatment plan starts first and foremost with taking my medications for my autoimmune disease. Since they reduce my systemic inflammation, they are my most effective treatment for my dry eyes.
Early in the morning, I start by washing my face and eyelids with a clean washcloth, warm water, and some gentle cleanser. Next, I scrub along the lash line with a tea tree oil cleansing wipe to treat demodex.
I’ll spend the entirety of the day using different eye drops as needed, usually around 2 to 3 times per day, but much more on worse days. Right before bedtime, I wash my face and eyelids again with a fresh washcloth. Then I do another round of tea tree oil pad scrubbing.
What is your daily dry eye treatment plan? Let us know in the comments.
Has having dry eye helped you better advocate for yourself?