Many people suffer from dry eyes, but there’s usually a clear cause and a straightforward solution. At Rosemead Eye Center in Rosemead, California, board-certified eye physician and surgeon Elson Lai, MD, has extensive experience targeting the underlying cause of dry eyes and improving symptoms through lifestyle changes and medication. To get treatment for dry eyes, schedule an appointment online or over the phone.
Dry eye syndrome is when your tears don’t provide enough moisture to lubricate, nourish, and protect your eyes. This can mean either you don’t produce enough tears, or your tears are missing some of the oils, water, mucus, or proteins they need to do their job.
In addition to your eyes feeling noticeably dry, symptoms of dry eye syndrome include:
Though it may sound surprising, dry eye syndrome can also make your eyes more wet, but still irritated. Your body may respond to the irritation by producing tears that are mostly made up of water.
Dry eye syndrome is more than an everyday annoyance. Tear production is important to your overall eye health. If you frequently have dry eyes, you’re more prone to eye infections and damage.
Dry eye syndrome has a number of causes. Your eyes may produce low-quality or insufficient tears because of:
To effectively treat dry eye, it’s usually necessary to figure out the underlying cause.
To diagnose dry eye syndrome, Dr. Lai performs tests, including measuring the quantity and quality of your tears. He may also perform an external examination of your eyes.
To determine what’s causing your dry eyes, Dr. Lai takes a medical history and asks about your symptoms, including when you experience them. If he determines that you have dry eyes, he then tailors treatment to address the underlying cause.
If medication may be contributing to your dry eyes, he recommends an alternative that’s less likely to cause dry eyes as a side effect. If you wear contact lenses, you may benefit from wearing lenses specially designed for people with dry eyes.
Certain changes to your lifestyle and habits can also improve dry eyes, including using a humidifier at home, taking regular breaks when you use the computer, and remembering to blink.
If you have mild dry eye syndrome, temporarily using over-the-counter lubricating eye drops can soothe your symptoms while you address the underlying causes.
If you have a moderate to severe case of dry eyes, Dr. Lai may recommend drugs to reduce eye inflammation or stimulate tear production. If dry eyes are giving you trouble, call Rosemead Eye Center or schedule your appointment online.