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Have severe dry eye. On Restasis. Used moisture pads. Nothing helped. What to do?

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Posted on Thu, 21 Feb 2013
Question: I have severe dry eye; various eye drops give very temporary relief. Have been on Restasis for 2 months. Am trying moisture chamber goggles which give a little comfort but seem to get foggy very soon. I use heated moisture pads on my eyes. Nothing is helping much. Any suggestions welcome!
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Answered by Dr. Shoaib Khan (2 hours later)
Hello and welcome to XXXXXXX

As you are already using artificial tear drops (the only FDA approved prescription eye drops for dry eyes is Restasis) and moisture chamber goggles, the following are the other commonly advised treatment options:

-Dietary changes: inclusion of food XXXXXXX in omega-3 fatty acid (salmon, sardines, cod liver oil) (if you are a vegetarian, you could even use supplements of omega-3 fatty acid)

-Topical steroids (short-term topical corticosteroid use has reported to help improve signs and symptoms of dry eye syndrome) -under the supervision of a doctor, you could discuss this with your doctor

-Punctual plugs: These are silicon plugs that can be inserted by an opthalmologist to prevent the rapid emptying of the lacrimal (tear) ducts. This results on tears staying on your eyes for longer. These can be temporarily or permanently placed.

-Lacrisert: Is a small pill-like insert that can be placed under the eyelid. This continuously releases lubrication for the eye throughout the day

-Environmental changes: Use of air humidifiers in rooms where you are seated (work place, home, etc.)

-If you live in a cold country, the temperature and wind can contribute to rapid drying of the eyes. Kindly wear your goggles before exiting your home, especially in winter

-Avoid being seated opposite or under your air conditioning/ceiling fans or heating devices (any electronic that has an air outlet)

-Try to reduce activities like working on the computer, or watching television; or take regular breaks, which include giving your eyes rest

I hope I have succeeded in contributing, you could write back to me anytime for further clarifications.

Best wishes,
Dr. Shoaib Khan

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Shanthi.E
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Follow up: Dr. Shoaib Khan (12 hours later)
Thank you for your comprehensive reply. It seems that there is no dramatic cure for this condition and you have to learn to live with it - I think my eye doctor has tried most of the treatments you mention but I need to do more to protect my eyes (like reducing "screen time").
One question: I have heard that Restasis can take several months before any benefit can be noticed. Do you know if this is the case?
Thank you again.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Shoaib Khan (7 hours later)
I too have dry eye syndrome, but know of my limitations, and other than driving for long duration's with the car's air conditioning on, I seem to have it under control.

Restasis is said to start showing a change by promoting tear production in the individual within a month, this change in most patients goes unnoticed as it is minimal. It usually takes around 3-6 months after the initiation of therapy to notice an increase in tear production.

Please be patient and continue the use of Restasis. I am sure it will help you. I wish you lots of luck and a beautiful life ahead. Do write back to me for any further clarifications, and I would gladly help.

Best wishes,
Dr. Shoaib Khan
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Mohammed Kappan
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Dr. Shoaib Khan

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Practicing since :2009

Answered : 9409 Questions

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Have severe dry eye. On Restasis. Used moisture pads. Nothing helped. What to do?

Hello and welcome to XXXXXXX

As you are already using artificial tear drops (the only FDA approved prescription eye drops for dry eyes is Restasis) and moisture chamber goggles, the following are the other commonly advised treatment options:

-Dietary changes: inclusion of food XXXXXXX in omega-3 fatty acid (salmon, sardines, cod liver oil) (if you are a vegetarian, you could even use supplements of omega-3 fatty acid)

-Topical steroids (short-term topical corticosteroid use has reported to help improve signs and symptoms of dry eye syndrome) -under the supervision of a doctor, you could discuss this with your doctor

-Punctual plugs: These are silicon plugs that can be inserted by an opthalmologist to prevent the rapid emptying of the lacrimal (tear) ducts. This results on tears staying on your eyes for longer. These can be temporarily or permanently placed.

-Lacrisert: Is a small pill-like insert that can be placed under the eyelid. This continuously releases lubrication for the eye throughout the day

-Environmental changes: Use of air humidifiers in rooms where you are seated (work place, home, etc.)

-If you live in a cold country, the temperature and wind can contribute to rapid drying of the eyes. Kindly wear your goggles before exiting your home, especially in winter

-Avoid being seated opposite or under your air conditioning/ceiling fans or heating devices (any electronic that has an air outlet)

-Try to reduce activities like working on the computer, or watching television; or take regular breaks, which include giving your eyes rest

I hope I have succeeded in contributing, you could write back to me anytime for further clarifications.

Best wishes,
Dr. Shoaib Khan