Tips for Improving Your Dry Eye Treatment Plan
Last updated: July 2023
Trying to treat chronic dry eye can be a time-consuming process. It often involves trial and error, and trying different treatments to see which works best. It can all be stressful, not to mention costly.
But there are ways to improve your treatment plan and get the help you deserve. We asked our patient leaders at ChronicDryEye.net what tips they have for other community members. Here’s what they shared.
Find the right doctor
“Try to find an eye specialist or optometrist who is empathetic and understands that dry eye is a real problem, and not just a nuisance.” – Wendy Toogood
“Finding a doctor who is knowledgeable produces faster results. I spent a lot of unnecessary time in pain because the doctor I was initially seeing was not as aggressive in treating my condition as the specialist I found. Also, a specialist will have more treatment options at his or her office to combat dry eye specifically.” – Erica Osborne
Advocate for yourself
“Remember that you can be in charge of your appointments. Especially at the beginning of your dry eye journey, you may need to interview your doctor. It took me a while before I realized I could be in charge and have a say – they are my eyes, after all.” – Ava Meena
“Opticians and ophthalmologists are human, too: they can’t know everything, and they can make mistakes. So don’t be afraid to ask questions or to (politely) challenge them if something doesn’t sound right. It’s also totally okay to seek a second opinion if it’s just not working or if the trust isn’t there.” – Annie-Danielle Grenier
“Start by educating yourself about dry eye as much as possible and prepare questions for your doctor. Knowing your symptoms and what kind of help you’re looking for with your dry eye helps you be prepared to communicate well with your doctor or to advocate for yourself at your appointment if needed.” – Ava
“Research dry eye and also try to connect with other people who have it. You can learn so much from health communities online and/or be redirected to resources and literature about the condition.” – Anna Samson
Be consistent (but also flexible)
“Be consistent. It doesn’t matter what treatment plan you have if you aren’t consistent. My optometrist recommended the use of the Bruder microwavable eye mask for meibomian gland dysfunction. I am to use it a minimum of twice daily for 10 minutes. If I fail to use it my symptoms worsen.” – Sharon Moore
“You probably already know that consistency with your treatment plan is very important. With that said, not all products or regimens work well for all people. If it feels like something you’re doing or using isn’t helping or even possibly hurting, it’s okay to stop it and change course.” – Diana Boyd
Don’t give up hope
“These medications can take time to work for dry eye. I know I wanted to give up a lot. Having patience is hard when you are in pain. It takes a lot of trial and error to get a good treatment regimen, but don’t give up: you will find things that will help.” – Amanda GaskellHave you found ways to improve your treatment plan? Tell us in the comments below.
Has having dry eye helped you better advocate for yourself?