from Mayo Clinic: Dry Eyes Diagnosis and Treatment
The attached photo shows the eye with a special dye, fluorescein, which is a test to determine the quality of your tears. The staining pattern indicates severe dry eye, which needs aggressive treatment.
Prescription medications used to treat dry eyes include:
- Drugs to reduce eyelid inflammation. Inflammation along the edge of your eyelids can keep oil glands from secreting oil into your tears. Your doctor may recommend antibiotics to reduce inflammation. Antibiotics for dry eyes are usually taken by mouth, though some are used as eyedrops or ointments.
- Eyedrops to control cornea inflammation. Inflammation on the surface of your eyes (cornea) may be controlled with prescription eyedrops that contain the immune-suppressing medication cyclosporine (Restasis or Xiidra) or corticosteroids. Corticosteroids are not ideal for long-term use due to possible side effects. Unfortuately, cyclosporine eye drops can cost $500+ for 1 bottle and are not affordable for patients who only have Medicare.
- Punctal Plugs. If you have moderate to severe dry eye symptoms and artificial tears don’t help, another option may be a tiny eye insert that looks like a clear grain of rice. We are not a big fan of plugs, due to the principle of homeostasis (plug the drain for your tears and your eye starts producing less tears) and a few bad experiences with patients wanting the plugs out.