rewetting ointments

These are thick ointments used for extreme dry eye.  As rewetting ointments come in tubes they are challenging to put in the eye and the ointment causes significant blurriness to the vision. As such, they are typically reserved for people with extremely dry corneas that aren’t adequately covered with traditional rewetting drops and rewetting gels. Some people have eye exposure problems at night. Their eyelids may not close completely while sleeping, which causes a rough or dry spot. The use of oxygen or sleep apnea machines can exacerbate this. In these cases, a rewetting ointment at bedtime will keep the eye lubricated all night long and hopefully make the eyes feel better the next day. To apply, we have our patient pull the lower eyelid down and apply a small amount of ointment (about the size of a grain of rice) to the inside of the eyelid. Then, blink a few times and the vision should get blurry as the ointment spreads over the surface of the eye. It does not take much ointment to lubricate the eye. If you have a difficult time applying an ointment, you may need help from family members. Rewetting ointments are available over the counter without the need for a prescription. They are located in the same section as the other artificial tears. Popular brands of rewetting ointments include Refresh PM and GenTeal Gel.

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Dr. Timothy Root is a practicing ophthalmologist and cataract surgeon in Daytona Beach, Florida. His books, video lectures, and training resources can be found at:

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