Are you suffering from dry, irritated, gritty or watery eyes?

You could be suffering from dry eye.

Dry eye is a condition in which a person doesn't have enough quality tears to lubricate and nourish the eye. Tears are necessary for maintaining the health of the front surface of the eye and for providing clear vision

Dry eye is a common and often chronic problem, particularly in older adults.

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. 


What causes dry eyes?

Dry eyes can develop for many reasons, including: 

Age ~ Dry eyes are a part of the natural aging process. The majority of people over age 65 experience some symptoms of dry eyes. 

Gender ~ Women are more likely to develop dry eyes due to hormonal changes caused by pregnancy, the use of oral contraceptives and menopause.

Medications ~ Certain medicines, including antihistamines, decongestants, blood pressure medications and antidepressants, can reduce tear production.

Medical conditions ~ People with rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes and thyroid problems are more likely to have symptoms of dry eyes. Also, problems with inflammation of the eyelids (blepharitis), inflammation of the surfaces of the eye, or the inward or outward turning of eyelids can cause dry eyes to develop.

Environmental conditions ~ Exposure to smoke, wind and dry climates can increase tear evaporation resulting in dry eye symptoms. Failure to blink regularly, such as when staring at a computer screen for long periods of time, also contribute to drying of the eyes.

Other factors ~ Long-term use of contact lenses can be a factor in the development of dry eyes. 


How do we treat dry eyes?

If you suffer from a mild case of dry eyes, there are a few simple changes 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. 
  • Remember to blink regularly when reading or staring at a computer screen for long periods of time.
  • Increase the humidity in the air at work and at home.
  • Wear sunglasses outdoors, particularly those with wraparound frames, to reduce exposure to drying winds and the sun.
  • Nutritional supplements containing essential fatty acids may help decrease dry eye symptoms in some people. Ask your optometrist if taking dietary supplements could help your dry eye problems.
  • Avoiding becoming dehydrated by drinking plenty of water (8 to 10 glasses) each day.

 For more moderate to severe dry eyes, we recommend: 

  • Conserving tears.

Keeping natural tears in the eyes longer can reduce the symptoms of dry eyes. This can be done by blocking the tear ducts through which the tears normally drain. The tear ducts are blocked with tiny silicone plugs that can be removed, if needed.

  • Increasing tear production.
Your optometrist can prescribe eye drops that increase tear production.
Taking an omega-3 fatty acid nutritional supplement may also help. 
  • Treating the contributing eyelid or ocular surface inflammation.

Your optometrist might recommend prescription eye drops or ointments, warm compresses and lid massage, or eyelid cleaners to help decrease inflammation around the surface of the eyes.


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 our office at 609-581-5755 or email us at