Dry eye can be caused by a multitude of things and is characterized by red eyes that feel gritty. There are several remedies that can be used to alleviate this condition. Non-drug therapies for dry eye can be used alone or in combination with drug therapy. Environmental control, such as avoiding dry, dusty, and windy spaces, is usually helpful. Humidifiers in the home or office can help to moisturize eyes, and prolonged viewing of a computer screen should be avoided when possible.
Nonprescription drug therapies include artificial tears and eye ointments. Artificial tears help to stabilize the tear film and slow the evaporation of tears. These products are easy to use and are usually not messy. Eye ointments contain petrolatum, lanolin, mineral oil, or a combination, and these products help to lubricate the eye and prevent tear evaporation. Although very effective, these products can be messy and more difficult to use. Due to the many products, it may be difficult to choose the best treatment. A pharmacist or eye care professional can help in choosing the best drug and non-drug therapies for treating dry eye.