Dry Eye Syndrome

Dry eye is a condition in which there are insufficient tears to lubricate and nourish the eye. Tears are important for maintaining the health of your eye and providing good vision. If you have dry eyes, you either do not produce enough tears or have a poor quality of tears. Dry eye is a common and often chronic problem, especially in older adults.

What Are Tears Anyway?

The eye requires constant moisture and lubrication from the flow of tears to help maintain vision and comfort. Tears are a combination of:

  • Water (for moisture)
  • Oils (for lubrication)
  • Mucus (for even spreading)
  • Antibodies and special proteins (for resistance to infection)

These components are secreted by special glands located around the eye.

Dry Eye Syndrome

Dry eye is a condition in which there are insufficient tears to lubricate and nourish the eye. Tears are important for maintaining the health of your eye and providing good vision. If you have dry eyes, you either do not produce enough tears or have a poor quality of tears. Dry eye is a common and often chronic problem, especially in older adults.

What Are Tears Anyway?

The eye requires constant moisture and lubrication from the flow of tears to help maintain vision and comfort. Tears are a combination of:

  • Water (for moisture)
  • Oils (for lubrication)
  • Mucus (for even spreading)
  • Antibodies and special proteins (for resistance to infection)

These components are secreted by special glands located around the eye.

Symptoms of Dry Eye Syndrome

When there is an imbalance in this tear system, a person may experience dry eyes.

  • Stinging or burning
  • Gritty feeling
  • Scratchy eyes
  • Blurred vision
  • Excess watering
  • Redness
  • Tired or irritated eyes

Causes of Dry Eye Syndrome

In addition to an insufficient tear system, dry eyes can be caused by situations that dry out the tear film (the liquid layer that bathes the cornea). This can be due to dry air from air conditioning, heat, or other environmental conditions. Other conditions that may cause dry eyes are:

  • Age – As we age, tear production tends to diminish. That’s why dry eyes are more predominant in people over the age of 45.
  • Gender – Because of hormonal changes with pregnancy, menopause, and contraceptives, women tend to be more likely to develop dry eyes than men.
  • Medications – Prescriptions like antihistamines, decongestants, blood pressure medications and antidepressants can cause tear reduction as a side effect.
  • Medical Conditions – People who experience rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes and thyroid problems are also likely to experience dry eye symptoms.
  • Environmental Conditions – Factors like wind, smoke and dry climates speed up the evaporation process, leading to dry eyes.
  • Other Factors – Long-term contact wearers and recipients of LASIK surgery are also more susceptible to dry eyes than those that wear glasses or use no form of vision correction.

Treatment for Dry Eye Syndrome

Though dry eyes cannot be cured, there are a number of steps that can be taken to treat them. You should discuss treatment options with your eye care specialist.

Treatments for dry eyes may include:

Artificial tear drops and ointments

The use of artificial teardrops is the primary treatment for dry eye. Artificial teardrops are available over the counter and with a prescription. No one drop works for everyone, so you may have to experiment to find the drop that works for you.

Temporary punctal occlusion

Sometimes it is necessary to close the ducts that drain tears out of the eye. This may be done temporarily with a dissolving plug that is inserted into the tear drain of the lower eyelid to determine whether permanent plugs can provide an adequate supply of tears.

Non-dissolving punctal plugs

If temporary plugging of the tear drains works well, then longer-lasting plugs or cautery may be used. These measures increase the tear level by blocking the “drain pipe” through which tears normally exit the eye and enter the nose.

Lipiflow

Lipiflow is a medical device that uses heat and pressure on the eyelids to unclog blocked glands. These glands produce oil as part of the tear film. The oil lubricates the eye and prevents the tears from evaporating.

Restasis

The FDA approved the prescription eye drop Restasis for the treatment of chronic dry eye. It is currently the only prescription eye drop that helps your eyes increase their own tear production with continued use.

What People Are Saying

Esther Uboldi
2021-09-21
Excellent Staff especially Alie who went above and beyond and made sure I had everything that was needed and answered all of my questions ! Thank you !
Charley Ryan
2021-07-18
Excellent care
keri rivera
2021-07-06
Love this office. Astrid is really knowledgeable about skincare and makes good recommendations. I like Mrs. Patel for filler. She listens and takes her time to make patients are happy. Office staff are friendly.
Rafael Santana
2021-05-09
Dr Patel takes his time and answers each question and explains in detail which is the best treatment to follow, the staff of Dr Patel is incredibly dedicated to the best of the patient, my experience with Dr Patel was excellent, my surgery was a success and Dr Patel gives follow-up after the surgery as well as the office manager Alie, I recommend Dr Patel for the care of your eyes, from the reception with Andrea the eye care technician Rhiana and the extra service that offered in Dr Patel office with Astrid (spa skin care) is the place you must visit for the health of your eyes and for the beauty that goes with them.
Harvey Schwartz
2021-04-28
The best
Steve Chown
2021-03-24
Dr Patel saved my vision. I cannot thank him enough! The first week of January I suffered a pretty horrific eye injury playing Dek Hockey. I was struck directly in my left eye by a hard plastic ball traveling at 30-40mph. I was immediately blind in my left eye as it filled with blood. I went to the ER at ORMC and Dr Patel was called when it was determined by CT scan that I had a 5mm tear on my eyeball on the back side. He arrived to the hospital very quickly after they called him. He took me to surgery and repaired my torn eyeball. Discharged me at 330am and saw me back at his office for a follow up 7hrs later. He referred me to a retina specialist for further evaluation. I’m happy to say that not only has my vision returned as of yesterday I’m 20/25 in an eye that I was blind in not too long ago. He’s amazing. Thank you Dr Patel for being there 24/7 for those in need of your services!!

GET STARTED TODAY

At Lake Nona Ophthalmology, Dr. Patel and his team provide compassionate, excellent care and treatment for patients throughout Central Florida.

Request an Appointment

GET STARTED TODAY

At Lake Nona Ophthalmology, Dr. Patel and his team provide compassionate, excellent care and treatment for patients throughout Central Florida.

Request an Appointment