Every time you blink tears spread across the cornea of your eye, reducing the risk of infection by washing away foreign matter, and keeping the surface smooth and clear. Dry eye is a condition in which there are insufficient tears to lubricate and nourish the eye.

What causes dry eyes?

As a natural part of the aging process, more than half of people over 65 experience some symptoms of dry eyes. Women are more likely than men to develop dry eyes due to hormonal changes caused by pregnancy, birth control, and menopause. Taking certain medications, including antihistamines, decongestants, and antidepressants, can also lead to decreased tear production. Staring at a computer screen or a book for extended periods of time without blinking is another common cause for dry eyes

How do we treat dry eyes?

If you suffer from a mild case of dry eyes, we recommend that you first try over-the-counter artificial tears. Preservative-free artificial tears are best to use because they have the fewest amount of additives that can further irritate your eyes. We also can recommend prescription eye drops that increase tear production.

More moderate to severe dry eyes can be treated by blocking the tear ducts through which the tears normally drain with tiny silicone plugs. These plugs are not permanent, and can be removed if they cause discomfort.

What can I do to reduce symptoms at home?

Remember to blink regularly when reading a book or staring at a computer screen for a long time, and avoid becoming dehydrated by drinking 8-10 glasses of water a day. Using nutritional supplements that contain Omega-3 fatty acids can also help maintain regular tear production. Additionally, wearing sunglasses outdoors is the easiest way to protect yourself against the sun and drying wind.

How Can We Help?

We have a clinic specifically dedicated for our patients with dry eye. If you would like your eyes evaluated, the first step is a comprehensive eye examination. To schedule an appointment, please contact us.