Find Relief for Chronic Dry Eye Syndrome
Do your eyes often burn, itch, sting, and water? Dry eye is a common condition which can result in a variety of frustrating symptoms, but it is treatable. Backed by years of experience, Drs. Gordon and Wildon Wong can provide chronic dry eye treatment for patients in our La Jolla, CA, office to help alleviate symptoms of the condition.
Causes of Dry Eye
Dry eye syndrome affects many people, especially older adults, and can become a chronic problem. There are three main causes of dry eye syndrome.
Decreased Production of Tears
Many factors can cause a decrease in tear production, such as natural aging, damage to a tear gland, and eye surgeries, including LASIK. Many medications can cause tear production to decrease as well. Certain diseases, like diabetes, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis, count decreased tear production as a symptom.
Increased Tear Evaporation
Certain conditions can cause tears to evaporate before they can adequately lubricate and moisten the eyes. These conditions include dry, windy climates, excessively heated or air conditioned environments, and extremely smoky areas. People who watch television or work at a computer all day may experience increased tear evaporation due to a decrease in blinking.
Imbalance in the Composition of Tears
Tears have three main components: water, oils, and mucus. If an imbalance in these components occurs, for instance, if the glands that produce oil become clogged, the patient will experience dry eyes.
Symptoms of Dry Eye
Patients with dry eye may experience several different types of symptoms, such as watery eyes that sting, burn, or itch. Your eyes may appear red and feel very sensitive to light. Many patients have difficulty wearing contact lenses or driving at night, and may experience blurred vision.
Diagnosing the Condition
Dr. Wong has several methods of diagnosing your dry eye. During your comprehensive eye exam, the doctor will evaluate the thickness and stability of the tear film covering your eye. He may perform a Schirmer test, which measures the amount of tears produced by your eyes. Finally, the doctor may examine the glands that produce the oils that keep your tears from evaporating. These glands can occasionally become clogged and fail to produce an adequate amount of oil to keep the eyes lubricated.
Dry Eye Treatment
In some cases, just knowing the cause of your dry eye can help the doctor treat it. For instance, a patient whose dry eye results from a medication can talk to their general practitioner about an alternative.
When treating dry eye, the doctor will start with the most conservative option available, typically medicated eye drops or specially formulated vitamins. He may have you apply warm compresses to your eyelids and thoroughly clean them in an attempt to unblock the oil glands.
In some cases, just knowing the cause of your dry eye can help the doctor effectively relieve your symptoms.
If these methods fail to clear up the condition, your doctor may recommend BlephEx™. This tool gently unclogs oil glands on the eyelid. Finally, the doctor may choose to treat your dry eye through the use of punctal plugs. These tiny devices close the openings in your tear ducts, either partially or completely, to prevent the excess draining of tears.
Find Out More
If you experience a prolonged itching, burning, or stinging feeling in your eyes, you may suffer from dry eye. Contact our office today to schedule an appointment.
Dr. Wong and his staff have proven to be the best eye doctor that I have ever visited. He is extremely thorough and up-to-date professionally. He gives you plenty of time. I never feel rushed.Kathrine Holladay