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HOW IS DRY EYE DIAGNOSED?

Eye care professionals diagnose dry eye syndrome by measuring the volume of tears produced by your eyes. An eye doctor will place special blotting strips of paper under your lower eyelid; the paper strips soak up tears and your eye doctor will measure how many tears your eyes produce.

COMMON SYMPTOMS

  • Burning eyes
  • Light sensitivity
  • Feeling of sand in the eyes
  • Mucus secretions
  • Increased eye irritation brought on by smoke and wind
  • Tired eyes even after brief reading
  • Problems wearing contact lenses
  • Blurred vision that gets worse by the end of the day

The best way to figure out the cause and treatment options is to schedule an appointment with Dr. Benjamin.

HOW ARE DRY EYES TREATED?

Dr. Benjamin will do a comprehensive evaluation before recommending a treatment plan, which may include: 

Natural Remedies: Gaining popularity among medical doctors and their patients are vitamins and omega-3 fish oil pills for the treatment of dry eye. Many patients are able to find relief from their dry eye syndrome by supplementing their diet with foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as walnuts, cod liver oil, primrose oil, and cold-water fish. Additionally, Dr. Benjamin and his team stress the importance of getting enough vitamin A through your diet, as it helps to maintain proper eye moisture. This crucial vitamin can be found in dark green and yellow vegetables and eggs.

Prescription Eye Drops: Restasis and other prescription drops can increase one's ability to naturally produce tears. These products work by reducing chronic inflammation that affects the lacrimal glands (the glands responsible for producing tears). 

LipiFlow: This painless treatment works by applying soothing warmth to blocked glands while gently massaging and opening them up so your body can resume producing tear film oil. This in-office procedure takes approximately 12 minutes and is highly effective. 

OptiLight: This non-invasive 15-minute treatment is based on precise pulses of light; it treats inflammatory conditions that lead to dry eyes, one of which is rosacea. OptiLight greatly improves meibomian gland function and tear quality.

Prokera: Prokera is an FDA-approved biologic corneal bandage used to treat a number of eye diseases, including dry eye. It is designed to restore a smooth corneal epithelium and reduce inflammation so that your eyes can produce tears normally. 

BlephEx: This in-office eye treatment helps to provide long-lasting relief from blepharitis and dry eye. During this procedure, debris is safely removed from along the edge of your lashes, exfoliating your eyelids, and immediately improving uncomfortable symptoms.  Collagen/Punctal Plugs: Collagen or punctal plugs are made of very soft flexible silicone, similar to the material used in contact lenses. When comfortably inserted in the eye’s tear ducts (called puncta), they can help keep more tears in your eyes.

DO CONTACT LENSES LEAD TO DRY EYES?

Wearing "contacts" can contribute to the development of dry eye syndrome, which is one of the main reasons why many stop wearing them. Fortunately, there are many soft contact lenses available for those who suffer from dry eyes. Ask Dr. Benjamin if soft contact lenses for treating dry eyes or scleral contact lenses that cover the entire surface of the cornea are right for you.

DO I HAVE ALLERGY OR DRY EYE SYNDROME?

Many patients ask for eye drops to relieve the itching or redness they believe is associated with allergies, but itching isn’t necessarily related to allergies. The eyes could be scratched, bloodshot, or a foreign body might be causing that sensation. Most frequently, it’s dryness, but it is important to determine the source of the problem immediately, whether allergy-related, deficiency in your tear function, or other cause. 

In our office, we offer a special test that determines how you react to the 60 most common allergens. From the outcome of this test, we can diagnose your situation more accurately and provide relief with the proper remedy.

WHAT CAUSES DRY EYE?

Dry eye syndrome affects over 10 million people in the United States. In fact, dry eye syndrome is one of the most common reasons people visit their eye doctor. 

Dry eyes are usually the result of poor quality or quantity of tears, a liquid that keeps the eye lubricated and cleansed of dirt, debris, and microorganisms that cause infections. Dry eye causes include aging, excessive computer use, air pollution, wind, medications, and certain medical conditions or eye surgeries.