Dry eye is a condition that occurs when a person’s eyes have insufficient or poorly made tears to properly lubricate the eyes and the eyelid. Without the natural lubrication and cleansing of tears, a sufferer may experience a feeling of grit or debris in the eyes, blurred vision, tired eyes and sensitivity to light. Their eyes may appear reddened and inflamed. In extreme cases, chronic dry eye can result in increased eye infections and scarring of the cornea
Many Americans complain of some form of dry eye. Dry eye has become more common in adults and children because of increasing time spent staring at computer monitors, tablets, and phones. The condition is more common in women than men, and it is more common and severe in older people.
Many diseases, disorders of the eye and side effects of medication can cause dry eye. Essentially, dry eye results under conditions in which too few tears are produced or evaporation of tears takes place too quickly. Over 80 percent of dry eye sufferers have meibomian gland dysfunction, i.e., the oil glands in the lids are not functioning properly. This leads to an unstable tear layer that evaporates too quickly. A much smaller percentage of people with dry eye have poorly functioning lacrimal glands, i.e., the glands that produce the watery part of the tears. There are specific treatments to target the underlying causes of dry eye.
We provide a thorough Ocular Surface Evaluation to determine what is causing your eyes to be dry. Once we determine the cause or causes, we can address each one to help you see, feel, and look your best. Some treatments, such as IPL, meibomian gland expression, punctal (tear duct) plugs, and ZEST, are done in the office. Other treatments, such as artificial tears, Omega-3 supplementation, warm compresses, lid hygiene, and prescription eye drops, are done at home. We will work with you to find the best treatment schedule for your individual needs.