Dry Eye

Dry eye syndrome, if neglected, can advance and become chronic, potentially leading to serious, irreversible damage.
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A Guide to Dry Eye Causes and Treatments

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Up to 49 million Americans have dry eyes and the prevalence trend is only increasing.

Dry eye disease can be progressive and chronic and if left untreated can cause severe permanent damage. This condition is increasing in prevalence as our society becomes more dependent on digital screens so dry eye is here to stay, but it can be controlled and managed.

Please speak to our optometrist about how to manage dry eye disease and how to make the proper adjustments to your lifestyle and environment to reduce your symptoms.
Take the Dry Eye Quiz to find out if you suffer from dry eyes

What are the symptoms of dry eyes?

If you are experiencing any of these, please consult with our optometrist to help relieve the symptoms as there are a variety treatment options available.

Risk Factors of Dry Eyes

If you are experiencing any of these, please consult with our optometrist to help relieve the symptoms as there are a variety treatment options available.

Risk Factors of Dry Eyes

There are a multitude of risk factors and it’s important to be aware of them in order to do what you can to make adjustments when possible and to seek guidance from our optometrist.

Some top risk factors are:

  • Older population - the majority of the population above age 65 experience dry eye symptoms but the prevalence of dry eyes increases after age 40
  • Women - women have a 70% increase in risk of dry eye disease  
  • People of Asian heritage

Medical risk factors:

  • Meibomian gland dysfunction
  • Sjorgens syndrome 
  • Thyroid problems
  • Connective tissue disorders
  • Diabetes
  • Lupus 
  • Various medications such as antidepressants, antihistamines blood pressure medications  
  • Hormone replacement treatment 
  • Refractive eye surgeries, such as LASIK
  • Inflammation of the eyelids, known as blepharitis and other eyelid conditions

Environmental risk factors

  • Use of air conditioning/ fans
  • Low humidity
  • Windy conditions
  • Dry climates 

There are also risk factors which may be able to be adjusted, including:

  • Extended digital screen usage 
  • Wearing contact lenses - people who wear contact lenses are 4 times more likely to develop dry eyes than people who do not use contact lenses 
  • Smoking/ exposure to secondhand smoke 

Over 86% of people with dry eyes exhibit signs of meibomian gland dysfunction

Meibomian gland dysfunction is the most common cause of dry eye disease.There are 3 essential layers in your tears, one of them is the oil layer which originates from the meibomian glands in your eyelids. If there is any issue with the tiny meibomian glands, such as an obstruction, it can cause meibomian gland dysfunction which causes dry eye disease in the majority of cases. Meibomian gland dysfunction can also cause blepharitis which is an inflammation of your eyelids. In fact, meibomian gland dysfunction, blepharitis and dry eye disease are often found together.

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How is Dry Eye Treated?

There are many effective treatment options for dry eye, each catering to specific causes and symptoms. It is also important to treat any underlying medical conditions. Below is an overview introducing the many different types of treatment options and our staff will gladly discuss these possibilities with you in depth and answer any questions you have:
  • Omega 3 nutritional supplement to increase tear production
  • Proper eyelid hygiene
  • Warm compresses used to remove obstruction of oil glands
  • Variety of eye drops
  • Tiny silicone plugs, called punctal plugs used to close the tear ducts
  • Special contact lenses
  • Prescription steroids to decrease inflammation
  • Prescription antibiotics for infection
  • Light therapy to open blocked meibomian glands

It is essential to know that there are many treatment options available to relieve your symptoms so please don’t hesitate to consult with our optometrist in order to improve your quality of life.


Treatment Options

Each type of treatment option serves its own purpose and therefore it’s important to consult with our optometrist to find the best method for you. For example:

Proper eyelid hygiene

This is essential for everyone, including those with blepharitis. This condition is treated with a special eyelid cleaner that we have in our clinic. It only takes a few minutes for our optometrist to clean your eyelid margins using the equipment that we have here, and to maintain their hygiene with regular treatments.

Warm compress - it is used to remove obstruction of oil glands and there are different kinds:

  • Eye mask - there are special eye masks which can be used at home as it simply needs to be microwaved and then placed on top of your eyes in order to clean your eyelids and eyelashes, however is does not express the glands 
  • Thermal Pulsation Treatment -  this is a treatment provided in the clinic by our optometrist and it is considered by many specialists in the field as the top method for treating meibomian gland dysfunction as it gently heats and massages the eyelids, allowing the glands to express and to resume its natural production of oil to create a much healthier eye surface.

Eye Drops

There are many different types of eye drops, sold under different names, each treating different symptoms and causes of dry eyes:

  • Artificial tears are used to lubricate and preserve moisture on the outer surface of the eye
  • Cyclosporine reduces swelling in order to increase tear production
  • Lifitegrast reduces inflammation and is often used together with cyclosporine

Start Your Journey Towards Better Vision With an Amplify EyeCare Optometrist Near You

Amplify EyeCare is a team of a passionate and experienced optometrists practicing eye care at the cutting edge of technology and vision science. We are growing with new locations coming across the US.
Visit a Dry Eye eye center at an Amplify EyeCare practice near you:

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