Dry Eye FAQs
Dry eye is a common condition that causes uncomfortable symptoms and can affect the quality of your vision. Fortunately, our ophthalmologists at Eastside Eye Physicians in St. Clair Shores and Shelby Township can treat this eye condition.
What is Dry Eye?
Dry eye happens when you don't produce enough tears to keep your eyes moist. It can also occur if the tears evaporate before giving your eyes the moisture that they need.
Who Is At Risk For Dry Eye?
Anyone can get dry eye. However, certain factors put you at greater risk of developing the condition.
- Age: As you get older, your eyes produce fewer tears.
- Medical Conditions: Dry eye is a symptom of certain medical conditions, including diabetes, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and vitamin A deficiency.
- Medications: If you are taking certain medications such as decongestants, antihistamines, high blood pressure medicine, antidepressants or acne medication, then you may suffer from dry eye symptoms.
- Tear Gland Damage: Radiation and chronic inflammation can cause tear gland damage. This can make it difficult for your eyes to produce an adequate amount of tears.
- Laser Eye Surgery: Dry eye is a side effect of laser eye surgery, such as LASIK and it is usually just temporary.
How is Dry Eye Diagnosed?
This condition can be determine during your annual eye exam. A Schirmer’s test may be conducted by our doctors so that they can test your tear productivity. This can be done by putting a blotting strip of paper under the lower lid. After 3 minutes, we check the strip to see the amount of tears soaked up by the paper. We also put Fluoroscein stain in the eye and can look directly at the cornea for signs of dryness, irritation, and microscopic damage to the surface.
How Is Dry Eye Treated?
There are a few treatments for dry eye. The one that your eye doctor chooses would depend on the severity of your condition. Artificial tears are often prescribed for cases that are mild to moderate. There are also medications that can help you produce more natural tears, such as Retasis or Xiidra which acts as an anti-inflammatory on the surface.
Punctal plugs are very effective. The insert is the size of a grain of rice, and it would be placed in the small puncta in the inner corner of your eye lid. The insert will block the egress of tears, keeping the eye more moist.
Sometimes oral supplements such as flaxseed or fish oil taken for 4-6 months will also be helpful for dry eye relief.
If you are experiencing the symptoms of dry eye syndrome, our doctors of ophthalmology at Eastside Eye Physicians in St. Clair Shores and Shelby Township can help. We can create a treatment plan based on the severity of your condition. To schedule an appointment, give us a call today at 586-774-2020 (St. Clair Shores) or 586-247-2020 (Shelby Township).