Dry Eyes

Dry Eye Syndrome is a group of symptoms caused by either a decrease in the quantity of tears produced or an imbalance in the tear composition. Some people are unable to produce enough tears to adequately bath their eyes. Others have an imbalance in the components of their tears which leads to dryness of the surface of the eyes. Both of these conditions lead to many different symptoms which can be bothersome.

Symptoms of Dry Eyes

  • Stinging
  • Burning
  • Scratchiness
  • Foreign Body Sensation in eyes
  • Stringy discharge in the eyes
  • Irritation from smoke or wind
  • Excess tearing of the eyes
  • Problems wearing contact lenses

A common symptom is excessive watering. Excessive watering occurs when the cornea of the eye becomes irritated and then the lacrimal gland produces a large volume of tears. This overabundance of tears overwhelms the drainage system and these excess tears overflow from your eyes.

There are many causes of dry eye syndrome. Age, being female, eyelid inflammation issues, people with thyroid issues, many systemic conditions, certain medications, corneal problems, post-LASIK patients, and many medications can cause dry eyes.

Diagnosing Dry Eyes

Dry eyes are able to be diagnosed by examining the anterior surface of the eyes. We use special diagnostic dyes (fluorescein, Rose Bengal and/or Lissamine Green) to look for staining patterns of the cornea and the conjunctiva, the white of the eye. We a

lso look at tear production with a Schirmer or Zone Test which involves placing a small filter paper or thread under the lower lid to measure the rate of tear production.


Treating Dry Eyes

There are several different approaches to treating Dry Eye Syndrome. The first way is to add tears to the eyes. Artificial tears are similar to your own tears and can be used as much as necessary to help alleviate symptoms. There are many different types of tears out there ranging from thin and watery to gels. Our doctors will assess your needs and recommend the best type for your condition.

If artificial tear therapy does not completely resolve your issues, our doctors may prescribe Restasis®. This medicine is designed to naturally increase your tear production by decreasing the chronic inflammation of the lacrimal gland.

When dry eye does not respond to other treatments, punctal occlusion may be needed. Punctal occlusion is where our doctors place a permanent silicone plug into the drainage duct leading out of the eye. These are reversible and provide a complete closure of the duct allowing you to retain your own natural tears in your eyes. This closure also allows for artificial tears to remain in the eyes longer and provide relief form symptoms.

If you have any of the symptoms of dry eyes, please call our office at 765-348-2020 and schedule an appointment with one of our doctors.