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At-Home Treatments for Dry Eye

At the Alaska Dry Eye Center, we offer multiple ways to manage dry eye symptoms. One of the most important parts of dry eye treatment is at-home therapy. Continuing care at home allows the benefits of any in-office treatment to last much longer, almost like when you get your teeth cleaned at the dentist; you still have to brush your teeth at home!

Fish Oil

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Why Fish Oil?

Research suggests that taking an omega-3 fatty acid supplement can reduce symptoms of dry eyes.  Studies looking into the benefits of omega-3 fatty acid supplements have found fewer dry eye symptoms in people who take the supplement and found that omega-3 fatty acids can improve the eye’s oil film that’s produced by the meibomian glands.

The Importance of the Triglyceride Form

"Our bodies have been efficiently digesting and metabolizing essential fatty acid (EFAs) for thousands of years. The human body transports and uses these essential fats - including the omega-3s EPA and DHA found in fish oil - in the triglyceride form, which resembles three parallel chains of molecules connected at one end by a molecular backbone.  


Unlike the triglyceride form to which the human body is naturally accustomed, many concentrated fish oil products contain fatty acid compounds that lack the molecular backbone connecting adjacent fatty acids. This "new to nature" form of fatty acid is called an ethyl ester and it characterizes most fish oil concentrates on the market. 


Because ethyl esters lack the molecular backbone found in triglycerides, these synthetic omega-3 molecules are not only less effective at delivering EFAs to the body during digestion and metabolism, they also pose potential side effects. 


  • Research confirms that concentrated fish oil in the triglyceride form is absorbed 70% more than ethyl esters. Because of this, overall levels of EPA and DHA in consumers of triglyceride-based fish oils far surpass those in people who choose ethyl esters. 
  • Ethyl esters have only been in the human diet for roughly 20 years. As such, the long-term effects of these synthetic molecules are unknown. 
  • Since ethyl esters lack the molecular backbone found in triglycerides, our bodies must find one during digestion in order to rebuild ethyl esters into triglycerides prior to absorption. This can mean taking a backbone from an existing molecule, which subsequently tried to replace its backbone in the same manner, leaving a surplus of free fatty acids. This competitive process can increase free radical activity in the body, and raises oxidative stress levels generally associated with negative health outcomes.
  • The benefits of omega-3 nutrition can only be enjoyed if your body actually absorbs these essential fatty acids. True triglyceride form means better absorption and no risk of molecular instability. For heart, brain, eye, joint, and immune health, make sure your fish oil brand is in true triglyceride form - look for it on the label!"

Nordic Naturals. (2017). The Importance of the Triglyceride Form. Retrieved from 

           https://www.nordicnaturals.com/images/supportMaterials/PDFs/TriglycerideForm.pd

Nordic Naturals & ScienceBased Health

ProOmega 2000-D

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ProOmega® 2000-D features a breakthrough omega-3 oil. Ultra-concentrated EPA+DHA in the highly absorbable, triglyceride molecular form. In a slightly larger soft gel, this powerful concentrate is ideal for patients’ requiring the highest levels EPA+DHA.   In addition to the omega-3 benefits, each serving of ProOmega 2000-D provides 1000 IU of natural vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol), meeting the daily recommendation for children and adults who don’t receive adequate sun exposure

ProOmega-D Xtra

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 Nordic Naturals ProOmega®-D Xtra is the latest in synergistic omega-3 nutrition. Each serving contains enhanced levels of EPA, for a 2:1 EPA to DHA ratio in our best-selling fish oil concentrate. Along with additional EPA, ProOmega-D Xtra contains 1000 I.U. of natural vitamin D3, long known for its important role in immunity and regulating levels of calcium and other minerals that are needed for strong, healthy bones. 

HydroEye

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 HydroEye is a patented nutritional formulation that works from the inside out to provide continuous support for dry eyes. HydroEye, the focus of clinical research, delivers a proprietary blend of omega fatty acids (GLA, EPA and DHA), antioxidants and other key nutrients that work together to support a healthy tear film and soothe the ocular surface. 

The Benefits of Drops

Eye drops help to keep your eyes lubricated and detracts from that dry feeling, but they can also help with other underlying symptoms. Some prescription drops can decrease inflammation, ease pain, and help with allergies. Meanwhile, the over-the-counter drops we offer can act as a replacement for the lipid layer of the tears, providing oil that your body isn't able to produce. 

The Benefits of Lid Scrubs

The lash line, also called your lid margin, is the one area of the body that is very rarely cleaned, which causes a build up of debris composed of skin cells, oils, and even makeup. This creates the perfect environment for bacteria that eats that build up. The bacteria that thrives in this area causes irritation, redness of the lid margin, itching, and even a sandy, gritty feeling in the eye. By cleaning your lid margin regularly with a lid scrub, you help to control that build up of debris and decrease the amount of bacteria that causes your symptoms. 

Regener-Eyes

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How it Works:

Regener-Eyes is sterile, acellular, and is made from placental derived biomaterials. These biomaterials consist of nutrients such as proteins, cytokines, and growth factors.


These nutrients stimulate the body’s own natural ability to heal and regenerate:

  • Cytokines help reduce inflammation
  • Growth factors aid in healing and regeneration
  • Hyaluronic acid helps to lubricate and protect the eye. 


It is non-steroidal and non-addictive. Its sterile and is prepared using a patented process to ensure the safety, bioactivity, sterility, and preservation of the product. 

The Three Steps to Healing:

  1. Remove the Inflammation: The anti-inflammatory cytokines communicate to your body and cells to reduce/remove your inflammation, beginning the healing process
  2. Reduce your pain and discomfort: As the inflammation reduces, your pain and discomfort will decrease, helping the body to return to homeostasis. 
  3. Healing and Regeneration: The growth factors are used as a fuel source to stimulate the body’s natural ability to heal and repair. 

People typically see results in 1-3 months. While Regener-Eyes is not prescription based, it should only be used under a doctors supervision with regular check ups. Regener-Eyes MUST BE KEPT REFRIGERATED AT ALL TIMES!

Non-Prescription Eye Drops

Retaine MGD

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Retaine MGD works with all three layers of the tear film for long-lasting relief. It replenishes the lipid layer and reduces tear evaporation, adds moisture  to the aqueous layer, and lubricates and protects the mucin layer. Retaine MGD is the only ophthalmic emulsion to deliver complete dry eye relief utilizing NOVASORB technology with electrostatic attraction to restore the three layers of the tear film without blurring. Each box contains 30 single-dose containers.

Retaine PM

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Retaine PM is designed to keep your eyes lubricated and comfortable while you sleep. It is a preservative-free, oil-based formula that seals in moisture with a 20% mineral oil content. Retaine PM has a gel-like consistency and is for night time use only. 

Oasis TearsPlus

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 Oasis TEARS Lubricant Eye Drops coat, lubricate, and moisten delicate eye tissue. With each blink, a special substance in Oasis TEARS combines with the active ingredient, glycerin, to keep tears on the eye surface for a long time. This unique combination coats and recoats the surface of the eye for continued relief of dry, irritated eyes. 

Soothe

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 Soothe lubricant eye drops preservative free provide long lasting, fast relief with a formula that’s preservative free so it’s gentle enough to use as often as needed. This formula helps restore the moisture balance in your eyes and is clinically proven to relieve dry, irritated eyes.  

Refresh Plus

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  Refresh Plus is a lubricating drop without the oil. They instantly moisturize and relieve dry eyes with a fast-acting, long-lasting formula for sensitive eyes that has many of the same healthy qualities as your own natural tears.   

Redness and Allergies

Opcon-A

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 This medication is used to temporarily relieve eye redness, puffiness, itching, and watering that commonly occur with allergies. Naphazoline is a decongestant. It belongs to a class of drugs known as sympathomimetic amines. It works by temporarily narrowing the blood vessels in the eye. Pheniramine is an antihistamine. It works by blocking certain natural substances (histamines) that cause allergic symptoms.

Systane Zaditor

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This medication is used to prevent and treat itching of the eyes caused by allergies (allergic/seasonal conjunctivitis). Ketotifen is an antihistamine for the eye that treats allergic symptoms by blocking a certain natural substance (histamine). It is also a mast cell stabilizer that prevents allergic reactions by reducing the release of natural substances that cause an allergic reaction.

Lumify

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 Lumify is for redness relief. Unlike drops like Visine, Lumify is non-addictive and doesn't make the redness worse when it wears off.  It works by selectively targeting redness, alleviating some of the risks associated with other redness relievers, including rebound redness, and loss of efficacy over time.  

TeaTree Eyelid & Facial Cleaners

The Gentle Formula

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Formulated to be non-irritating to the eyes, these products can be used to clean dirt and makeup from the lid margin as well as the entire face.  The Gentle Formula contains 1% tea tree oil and moisturizing ingredients such as chamomile and shea butter.  

The Advanced Formula

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 The Advanced Formula contains 2% tea tree oil for added cleansing of dirt and makeup without drying the skin. It contains antiseptic, antifungal and antimicrobial properties! 

OcuSoft Foam

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 Each OCuSOFT Lid Scrub Original is an instant FOAMING liquid that generates a pre-lathered foam immediately upon depressing the control tip pump . Its used by apply the foam directly to the lid margin to break down the bacteria that lives there. 

Ocusoft Wipes

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 The most convenient form of OCuSOFT ® Lid Scrub™ Non-irritating formula effectively removes oil,debris, pollen from the eyelids. Ideal for daily eyelid hygiene and mild to moderate eyelid conditions. 

Zocular Gel

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Zocular gel is an okra-based formula, which is antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory. Okra is also believed to help with the production of collagen, which can help with elasticity in the skin around the eyes, helping to keep wrinkles at bay. 

Zocular Wipes

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The wipes are like a mixture of the OcuSoft wipes and the Zocular Gel. The wipes are made of an okra based cleanser that allows for manual exfoliation of the lid margin.

One of the most common at-home dry eye treatments we recommend is hot eye compresses and blinking exercises. The hot compress is designed to help open up the oil glands, and to liquefy the oils inside. This allows the oil to flow more freely from the glands. It is suggested to use the hot compress every day for at least 30 days, and then can be relaxed to 3 times a week depending on the doctor's suggestion. 


The Blinking Exercise is used for multiple reasons, but it is most important following the hot compress. After the hot compress has melted down the oils, the blinking exercise helps to push those oils out and across the eyes. This exercises also helps to "retrain your brain". If used throughout the day you can teach your brain to blink completely; many people don't realize that they aren't completely closing their eyes when blinking!


The Blinking Exercise:

Step 1: Close your eyes completely. 

Step 2: Squeeze your lids together. Be sure NOT  to scrunch your face or eyebrows. This is just a lid exercise!

Step 3: Open your eyes and relax your muscles.

Step 4: Repeat this process 10 times.

Step 5: Be sure to repeat the whole process once per hour or whenever you get the chance!

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