Dry Eye Treatment

Dry eye is a common condition. It occurs when our eyes don't produce enough of their own natural tears. Dry eye also occurs when the tears that we produce are of poor quality, and cannot keep our eyes moist.

dry eye

Who Is at Risk for Dry Eye?

The most common risk factor for dry eye is age. As we get older, our eyes produce fewer tears. Other causes of dry eye include:

  • Medical conditions: Certain medical conditions like diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, thyroid disorders, and a vitamin A deficiency can all cause dry eye symptoms.
  • Medications: Medications like antihistamines, decongestants, birth control, acne medication, blood pressure medication, and hormone replacement therapy can all lead to dry eyes.

What Are the Symptoms of Dry Eye?

The symptoms of dry eye can cause discomfort, and they can affect your vision. The symptoms include:

  • Feeling like there is something in your eye
  • Scratchy eyes
  • Stinging or burning eyes
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Blurry vision
  • Eye fatigue
  • Difficulty driving at night
  • Redness

How Is Dry Eye Diagnosed?

Dry eye is diagnosed during your annual eye exam. If your eye doctor suspects that you have dry eye, he or she will measure the volume of tears that you produce. This is called the Schirmer Test. During the test, your optometrist will put a blotting strip under your lower lid. After 15 minutes, the strip is removed to measure the amount of tears that the strip soaked up.

To test the quality of your tears, your eye doctor will use eye drops that contain dye to see how long it takes your tears to evaporate.

How Is Dry Eye Treated?

The most common treatment for dry eye is artificial tears. Your eye doctor may also prescribe a medication that helps you produce more natural tears. In severe cases, your doctor may close off your tear ducts with punctal plugs. This will prevent tear loss from occurring. The plugs are removable and need to be replaced over time. For a more permanent solution, your eye doctor may use thermal cautery. This procedure involves using heat to plug up the tear ducts permanently.

If you wear contacts, your eye doctor will recommend special contact lenses that are designed to treat dry eye. These lenses are thrown out daily, and have a high water content. In severe cases, your eye doctor will recommend scleral contact lenses. Rather than resting on the cornea, scleral lenses rest on the white part of your eye. This protects the surface of your eye while trapping moisture.

Are You Sick and Tired of Living with Dry Eyes?

If you are suffering from dry eye, our optometrist at Buena Park Eyecare can help. Our doctor of optometry will perform the necessary tests and create a dry eye treatment plan designed just for you. Give us a call today at 714-521-7582.

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