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CostHelper > Health & Personal Care  > Opthamology & Optometry > Dry Eye Treatment

Dry Eye Treatment Cost

How Much Does Dry Eye Treatment Cost?

average costWith Health Insurance: Copays or 10%-50% Coinsurancehigh costWithout Health Insurance: $50-$650+
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Dry eye happens when the eyes do not produce enough tears for lubrication or the tears evaporate rapidly. It usually is a result of aging, but also can be caused by a dry environment, some autoimmune diseases or, rarely, a vitamin deficiency. Symptoms can include dryness, discomfort and burning in the eyes.

Typical costs:

  • For patients covered by health insurance, out-of-pocket costs typically consist of doctor visit copays, prescription drug copays or coinsurance of 10%-50%. Treatment for dry eye typically is covered by insurance.
  • For patients not covered by health insurance, an initial doctor visit to diagnose dry eye can cost from about $50 to almost $250 or more. Treatment can cost less than $25 per month for warm compresses and over-the-counter artificial tears. It can cost about $30-$300 or more per month for prescription eye lubricant medication. And it can cost $250-$650 for punctal occlusion, a procedure in which the doctor inserts tiny devices -- called punctal plugs -- into the tear ducts to prevent drainage of tears. For example, charges about $10-$20 for preservative-free artificial tears[1] .
  • charges about $35 for a bottle of brand-name FreshKote[2] prescription eye lubricant. It charges about $300 for a one-month supply of the brand-name prescription eye emulsion Restasis[3] , if applied twice a day. It also charges about $300 per month for the brand-name prescription eye lubricant insert, Lacrisert[4] .
  • Lakewood Family Eye Care[5] in Florida charges $250-$500 for punctal plugs inserted into the tear ducts. Patients at[6] report costs of $500-$650.
Related articles: Blocked Tear Duct Treatment, Cataract Surgery, Glaucoma Treatment, Macular Degeneration Treatment, Eye Exam

What should be included:
  • For mild cases, the doctor might recommend that the patient use moist warm compresses and artificial tears at home, and increase water intake.
  • For moderate to severe cases, the doctor might prescribe a lubricant such as FreshKote[7] or an anti-inflammatory eye medicine such as Restasis[8] , which causes an increase in tear production.
  • Or, the doctor might recommend punctal plugs[9] , which the doctor inserts during a short office procedure that requires local or no anesthesia.
  • offers an overview[10] of dry eye and treatment.
Additional costs:
  • Special sunglasses and other dry eye eyewear[11] can help protect the eyes and help them retain moisture. These typically cost about $15-$150 or more.
  • The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services offers a locator[12] for clinics that provide discounts on an income-based sliding scale.
  • Some drug manufacturers offer patient assistance programs. Any patient without prescription drug coverage who also is not eligible for Medicare typically qualifies for Together Rx Access[13] , a discount card that offers 25%-40% off many brand-name drugs. Most companies also offer free drugs to patients who have no coverage and meet certain criteria. The makers of Restasis[14] offer a $20 rebate that can be applied to the next prescription.
Shopping for dry eye treatment:
  • The American Academy of Ophthalmology provides an ophthalmologist locator[15] . WebMD offers a guide[16] on how to choose an eye doctor.
  • offers forums in which members help others find a doctor[17] , find reviews of specific doctors[18] , and learn about others' experiences with over-the-counter[19] treatments, prescription[20] treatments and punctal plugs[21] .
  • The Dry Eye Shop[22] offers dry eye eyewear.
Material on this page is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. Always consult your physician or pharmacist regarding medications or medical procedures.
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