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Conditions & Treatments

Prescription Medication for Dry Eye

Dry eye syndrome is a common condition that affects nearly 16 million Americans. It impacts the tear film and surface of the eyes, leading to discomfort and sometimes visual disturbances. The tear film is a very thin layer of moisture that is intended to cover the surface of your eye to keep it healthy and comfortable. When this film is compromised, either because it’s not being produced enough or it’s evaporating too quickly, it can lead to dry eye syndrome. This can make your eyes feel uncomfortable, and they may get red, scratchy, or watery. To help with these symptoms, doctors can prescribe special eye drops and treatments including:

  1. Restasis (Cyclosporine eye drops): These eye drops help your eyes to produce more of their own natural tears. They work by calming down inflammation in the eyes, which can be a reason for reduced tear production. They are used twice a day and work over time to increase your natural tear production. They contain a medicine called cyclosporin that reduces inflammation, which is a common cause of dry eye. It’s not an instant fix and may take a few weeks to see an improvement. Because of the way these drops work, it’s important to use them regularly as prescribed by your doctor.
  2. Xiidra (Lifitegrast eye drops): Like Restasis, Xiidra is used to manage inflammation. They help reduce discomfort and inflammation. However, it works a bit differently and is used twice a day. Some people may notice improvement in symptoms in as little as two weeks. As with any medication, it’s essential to use it consistently and as directed by your doctor.
  3. Lotemax, Eysuvis (Loteprednol Etabonate): Loteprednol etabonate is a corticosteroid that may be used for short-term treatment to rapidly reduce signs and symptoms of dry eye disease, to treat dry eye flareups. Its use is generally limited to the short term due to potential side effects such as increased intraocular pressure and the risk of cataract formation with long-term use.
  4. Autologous Serum Eye Drops: These are made from a sample of your own blood. The blood is processed in a lab to remove the blood cells, leaving behind a serum that’s rich in nutrients and growth factors. This serum is then diluted into a tear-like solution that you can use as eye drops. These eye drops provide lubrication and promote healing of the surface of the eye. It’s particularly helpful for people with severe dry eye who haven’t responded to other treatments.
  5. Punctal Plugs: If eye drops aren’t enough, and your tears are draining too quickly, your doctor might suggest punctal plugs. These are tiny, biocompatible devices inserted into the tear ducts of your eyes. They work by blocking the ducts that drain the tears from your eyes, keeping your eyes moister. The procedure is quick, done in the doctor’s office, and typically painless.

In addition to these treatments, it’s also important to look at your environment and daily habits. For instance, if you spend a lot of time in front of a computer or in air-conditioned or heated rooms, that can make dry eye symptoms worse. Taking regular breaks to blink and look away from the screen, using a humidifier to add moisture to the air, and staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water can also help manage your symptoms.

When you suffer with dry, gritty eyes, contact Union Square Eye Care to schedule a consultation with one of our renowned eye doctors. We can help you find relief from your symptoms and improve your eye health. We have offices in Union Square and Harlem for your convenience.


  • https://www.nei.nih.gov/learn-about-eye-health/eye-conditions-and-diseases/dry-eye#section-id-5930
  • https://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-7319-835/lotemax-ophthalmic-eye/loteprednol-0-5-suspension-ophthalmic/details
  • https://www.drugs.com/eysuvis.html

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