Over-the-Counter vs. In-Office Solutions for Dry Eye

OTC vs in-office dry eye treatment

Dry eye causes irritation, blurred vision, and sensitivity to light, and disrupts daily life. Frequent use of over-the-counter eye drops only masks symptoms temporarily. In-office treatments like TearCare® target the root causes for longer relief.



Dry Eye Causes


Several factors can cause dry eyes, including:


  • Aging and hormonal changes

  • Environmental conditions like low humidity

  • Medications, health conditions, and diseases

  • Staring at digital screens excessively

  • Contact lens wear

  • LASIK or cataract surgery


Dry eye stems from inadequate tear production and excessive tear evaporation. This leads to irritation when the eyes lack sufficient lubrication. Understanding the causes can help find appropriate treatment.



Meibomian Glands and Oily Tears


Critical for tear quality are the meibomian glands along the eyelids. They secrete an oily layer that prevents rapid tear evaporation. Inflammation or clogging of these glands obstructs the oil flow. This disrupts the tear film and causes dry spots on the eyes.



Over-the-Counter Artificial Tears


OTC products temporarily relieve dry eye by adding moisture. But, they do not address the underlying gland dysfunction causing dryness.


OTC solutions can also cause side effects. These include irritation, blurred vision, and contact lens interference. They are a temporary solution for dry eyes. They do not cure the root causes of insufficient tear production and excessive evaporation. More advanced in-office treatments are necessary for lasting dry eye relief.



Seeking the Source of Dryness


To treat the core problem, consider professional in-office therapies. They use advanced technology to stimulate natural tear production and restore ocular comfort. They address the underlying issues behind dry eye for improved long-term management.



In-Office Relief with TearCare


This treatment applies gentle pulses of Intense Pulsed Light to the skin around the eyes. This boosts the activity of the meibomian glands to increase natural tear secretion. Effects can last weeks to months with brief periodic touch-up treatments.



Restored Tear Function


In-office therapies improve meibomian gland performance to normalize tear volume and oil production. This lubricates the eyes for extended dry-eye relief. Patients report reduced reliance on OTC drops after treatment.



The Preferred Solution


Many eye clinics use TearCare® as the preferred in-office dry eye treatment. This is an FDA-approved device. It delivers personalized heat therapy to the eyelids using innovative technology. This treatment allows natural blinking during treatment. It is unlike other devices, which require that the eyes be closed.


TearCare also enables the clearing of meibomian gland blockages with a specialized tool that optimizes oil production in the glands. It is a safe and effective procedure that improves dry eye symptoms without downtime. Patients should notice immediate visual improvement after treatment. Full benefits take a few weeks to show.



The Benefits of In-Office Treatments


In-office dry eye therapies like TearCare focus treatment on the meibomian glands. This rebalances tear composition for extended relief. Other benefits include:


  • Lasting results from one brief session

  • Noninvasive procedures with no downtime

  • Reduced dependence on OTC eye drops

  • Improved contact lens comfort



Is TearCare Right for You?


Do you experience chronic dry eye discomfort and irritation? If so, ask your optometrist about TearCare. An evaluation will determine if your condition stems from meibomian gland dysfunction. If this is the case, this treatment could benefit you.

Do not settle for a lifetime of irritating OTC eye drops. Target the root causes of dry eye with effective treatments like TearCare. This treatment also provides an advantage for contact lens wearers struggling with dryness. Restoring healthy tear composition can make contacts feel comfortable again. Consider the long-term benefits of professional solutions like TearCare for dry eye relief.


For more on over-the-counter vs in-office solutions for dry eye, visit Eye Care North at our Cave Creek, Arizona, office. Call 480-781-4446 today to schedule a dry eye evaluation.

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