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Dry Eye

The dedicated eye doctors at North Park Ophthalmology have offered expert eye care for decades, including tailored treatment of dry eye with the latest diagnostic tools and treatments. Many adults experience dry eyes, often assuming nothing can be done, but our understanding board-certified specialists equip patients to quickly and safely find solutions to symptoms like contact lens discomfort, gritty irritation, and light sensitivity from this highly common yet treatable condition.

What is Dry Eye?

Dry eye is a condition that occurs when the eyes do not produce enough tears for adequate lubrication. Tears are very essential and help keep the surface of the eyes lubricated. The tear film that lubricates the eyes has three layers: an outer lipid layer, a middle aqueous layer, and an inner mucous layer. If any of these layers are missing or inadequate, it can lead to an unstable tear film and dry eye.

Dry eye is a common eye condition that can cause numerous uncomfortable symptoms that affect your quality of life. However, there are many treatment options available that can help restore your tear film and reduce your symptoms.

What Are the Most Common Symptoms of Dry Eye?

Dry eye symptoms can vary from person to person based on the underlying cause and severity of their condition. However, there are some common signs and symptoms that are typically associated with dry eye.

Some common symptoms of dry eyes include:

These symptoms can fluctuate during the day and may worsen in dry, windy conditions or during activities requiring visual concentration, like computer use. The discomfort from dry eye can have a significant impact on quality of life and ability to perform daily activities. That’s why it’s important to schedule an exam with your eye doctor if you’re experiencing any persistent eye irritation so the cause can be determined, and proper treatment can begin.

What Causes Dry Eye?

In general, most people tend to make fewer tears as they age due to changes in their hormones. For this reason, dry eyes tend to become more common with age. However, there are many other possible causes of dry eye, and can occur in young people as well.

Some other causes of dry eyes include:

  • Thyroid disease
  • Lupus
  • Long-term contact lens wear
  • Eye strain from electronic screens
  • LASIK eye surgery
  • Certain medications for high blood pressure
  • Antihistamines
  • Heartburn medication

Determining the root cause of your symptoms is an important part of creating an effective treatment plan.

How is Dry Eye Treated?

The best treatment option for you will be based on the cause and severity of your symptoms. At North Park Ophthalmology, our specialists may recommend the following treatment options for dry eyes:

Punctal Plugs

Punctal plugs are small silicone or gel plugs inserted into the tear ducts to block the drainage of tears and to help your eyes retain their natural tears for longer periods. These are often a good option for moderate dry eyes. Your North Park Ophthalmology dry eye specialists will tailor a treatment regimen specific to your type and severity of dry eye based on a comprehensive exam. Schedule an appointment at North Park Ophthalmology, today!

Artificial Tears or Ointment

Over-the-counter lubricating eye drops are usually the first line of treatment. These provide supplemental tears to help inadequate natural tear production.

Dry Eye Doctors

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