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Symptoms of Dry Eye Disease

What Causes Dry Eyes?

It is estimated that 5-15% of the population or 16-49 million Americans have dry eyes. Google trends for topic “Dry Eye Syndrome” have doubled between 2010 and 2020. You are not alone! Many dry eye suffers visit 2-3 eye care providers before their dry eyes are properly diagnosed and treated.

Our center was developed to offer a tailored approach to diagnosis and treatment of your dry eye symptoms. In the new era of Dry Eye Disease management, we rely heavily on objective measurements via point-of-care diagnostic testing. These diagnostics include traditional tests like staining the ocular surface with lissamine green and fluorescein, measuring tear breakup time, and occasionally using Schirmer strips to measure tear production. Our newer, more sophisticated tests include Meibomian gland (oil gland) imaging with Lipiview, tear osmolarity test with TearLab, tear film inflammation level testing with InflammaDry. Using our new technology combined with multi-symptom questionnaires enables us to develop a customized approach to treating your dry eyes. Contact one of our 5 convenient locations to schedule an appointment with one of our Dry Eye Specialists today.

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What is Dry Eye Disease?

Dry eye occurs when tears are not able to provide adequate moisture to the surface of the eye. It is a multifactorial disease characterized by a loss of homeostasis of the tear film. This means it can be caused by many factors that reduce or negatively affect the quality of the tears and their ability to wet the eye properly.

Dry eye is a multifactorial disease of the tears and ocular surface that results in symptoms of discomfort, visual disturbance, and tear film instability with potential damage to the ocular surface. It is accompanied by increased osmolarity of the tear film and inflammation of the ocular surface (DEWS II definition)

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How to prepare for your exam?

Many patients have tried multiple over the counter drops and remedies. Some have tried prescription drops or other professional therapies. Having a detailed list of your treatment history along with any drops or medications used previously or currently will be very helpful. Please note if you have had any adverse reactions or allergies to medications. A current list of diagnosis and systemic medications is necessary as sometimes these can be contributory to the disease process.

Think about where and when you notice the dry eye symptoms most and note that prior to the examination. Scheduling your consultation is the first step. Your initial exam will include a thorough dry eye history, symptom questionnaires, tear film testing, and our latest technology in tear gland imaging. From there, a tailored treatment plan will be developed and follow up exam scheduled to ensure a positive path forward. Our Dry Eye Specialists are devoted to improving your quality of life and comfort of all our patients.

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Dry Eye Service

Punctal Occlusion

One way to alleviate dry eye is to help the eyes to make better and longer use of the small amount of lubricating tears they do produce. This is accomplished by closing off the small funnel-like drain hole found in the inner corner of the upper and lower eyelids. These drain holes, called punctums can be closed with tiny plugs called punctal plugs. The plugs can be placed in the two tear ducts, top and bottom, in both eyes or in only the lower ducts. The punctum can also be permanently closed with a heat or laser procedure.

Punctal plugs can be temporary or permanent. Temporary plugs dissolve a few days after insertion. If your dry eye symptoms disappear when the temporary plugs are inserted, your doctor may consider permanent punctal occlusion.

What to expect on procedure day:

Your treatment will be performed in an examination room. It does not require a surgery center. Once you have been checked in and settled comfortably, drops will be used to numb your eye; no injections or needles are used.

The entire procedure takes only a few minutes. Many patients report immediate relief from dry eye symptoms and resume normal activities immediately.

Realistic expectations:

Serious complications with punctal occlusion are extremely rare, but like any medical procedure, it does have some risks. If you experience side effects, your doctor can remove the plugs. Going to a specialist experienced in punctal occlusion can significantly minimize risks.

If you and your doctor decide that punctal occlusion is an option for you, you will be given additional information about the procedure that will allow you to make an informed decision about whether to proceed.

Treatments For Dry Eye Disease

We offer many different treatments for dry eye.

Products and Treatment

Supplemental Care Products

We carry several supplemental eye care products from relief masks, moisture masks, eyelid cleansers, vitamins, Omega 3 Fish oil, specialty tears and more.