Dry eye is a common eye condition that can cause various symptoms, including irritation, redness, and blurry vision. At McFarland Eye Care, our eye doctors have the experience and dedication necessary to help improve your dry eye symptoms.
Dry eye is an eye condition where the front surface of your eye, known as the cornea, does not receive adequate lubrication. This often happens because your eyes do not produce enough tears, or the tears or the tears your eyes do produce are not of good quality.
Tears are essential because they keep your eyes moist and shield them from irritants like dust and bacteria. Tears are made of three components: oil, water, and mucus.
These components help your tears perform duties essential to ensuring that the eye surface is healthy. If one of the components is lacking, your tear quality will not be good, and the surface of your eye may become dry.
Watch the video below to hear from Dr. Brogdon on the symptoms, causes and solutions to Dry Eye Syndrome!
There are many things that can cause dry eye. Finding the root cause of your dry eye symptoms will help your eye doctor determine the best treatment plan for you.
Here are some of the most common causes of dry eye:
As you get older, your eyes naturally produce fewer tears.
Spending a lot of time looking at screens like computers or phones can cause dry eye.
Some medical conditions, like rheumatoid arthritis, Sjogren's syndrome, and autoimmune disorders, can cause dry eye.
Certain medications, like antihistamines and decongestants, can cause dry eye.
Being in a dry or windy environment can cause your tears to evaporate too quickly.
If you have dry eye, it's important to see an eye doctor so they can diagnose the problem and help you find relief. Dry eye syndrome is a chronic eye condition, meaning that without treatment, you will likely continue to experience symptoms.
If you are experiencing dry eye symptoms, it does not automatically mean that you have dry eye syndrome. This is why it's important to visit your eye doctor at McFarland Eye Care for a dry eye evaluation to determine the root cause of your symptoms.
At a dry eye evaluation, your eye doctor will perform several diagnostic tests to evaluate your eyes and the surrounding structures. One particular part of the eye that your eye doctor may look at is the meibomian glands.
The meibomian glands are what produce the oil necessary for healthy tears. If these glands are not functioning correctly, it can cause dry eye syndrome.
Your eye doctor will likely check your tear osmolarity, which is the electrolyte balance of your tears and vital dye staining, which allows them to rule out other eye conditions like keratitis. They will also thoroughly examine the surface of your eyes with a special microscope known as a slit lamp.
Your eye doctor may also use the slit lamp to capture images of your meibomian glands and the surface of your eye. Once your eye doctor can identify and properly diagnose the root cause of your symptoms, they will customize, develop and implement a treatment plan.
"Since Covid and having to wear masks, I started noticing my eyes getting dry, itchy and tired feeling. After being treated for an eye infection I was referred to Dr. Brogdon for dry eye treatment. Since then, my eyes feel wonderful! I am so thankful for the tips and treatments I have received. I recommend Dr. Brogdon to anyone with dry eye! It's worth it!"
- Shannon Pierson
"The relief of symptoms from dry eye has been life changing. I feel like I have my freedom back. I can't thank Dr. Chwe and Dr. Brogdon enough for taking such great care of my eyes!"
- Candace Kitchens
There are many lifestyle changes that you can make to help improve your symptoms. Your eye doctor may recommend increasing your use of artificial tears, using warm compresses and lid scrubs, or changing your skincare or makeup products.
If these measurements do not improve your symptoms, your eye doctor may recommend additional in-office treatment. Even with additional treatment, you will likely need to keep using artificial tears to help your eyes stay moisturized and comfortable.
At McFarland Eye Care, our eye doctors offer the following in-office treatments for dry eye: BlephEx, ZEST Zocukit and Intense Pulsed Light (IPL).
During the BlephEx treatment, a small handpiece spins to remove debris and exfoliate eyelids. This can help improve blepharitis, a condition that affects the eyelids and can cause inflammation, redness, and flaking of the skin around the eyelids.
Blepharitis can also lead to discomfort, irritation, and dry eye symptoms. BlephEx can help to unclog the oil glands and thus reduce dry eye symptoms.
Some people state that the treatment feels like someone is tickling their eyelids or eyelashes.
Zocular products contain unique okra-infused micelles that gently lift and clear the oil, debris, and residue on your eyelid margins. It also demonstrates effectiveness against Demodex.
This treatment is similar to BlephEx and can help improve inflammation of the eyelids, increase oil production of the meibomian glands, and reduce dry eye symptoms.