Woman rubbing her eyes in pain

Dry Eye Diagnosis and Treatment with Spectrum Eye Physicians

Several factors can contribute to dry eyes such as working or living in windy, arid, and hot environments, prescription medications, age, and heredity. Some of the latest advances in optometry, however, have allowed us to recognize and treat what causes dry eye in most cases, a condition called meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD). Small meibomian glands cover the underside of the eyelids. When functioning normally, these glands produce a thin layer of oil which rests on top of your watery tears, preventing them from evaporating. When these glands become blocked or damaged, they cannot produce enough oil to cover your eyes, which results in the rapid evaporation of tears and the symptoms experienced with chronic dry eye. 

Recognize Dry Eye Symptoms and Signs

Chronic dry eyes will not only affect your eyesight over time, but they can become extremely irritable, hindering your daily activities. If you have dry eye, you might experience signs and symptoms including:

  • sensitivity to light
  • a sandy feeling in the eye
  • scratchy or itchy
  • irritated
  • stinging, burning sensation
  • producing too many tears
  • difficulty wearing contact lenses

If you begin experiencing any of these signs or symptoms, we encourage you to schedule an appointment with one of our eye doctors to begin determining the cause of your eye dry and the best course of treatment. 

Treatments We Offer

A wide range of treatments, medications, procedures, and modifications are available to treat dry eye and reduce its symptoms. Our eye doctors will first perform a comprehensive eye exam and discuss your symptoms, work environment, and home environment to pinpoint the exact cause of your dry eyes to determine whether the condition is environment-induced or possibly related to MGD. Depending on the determined cause of your dry eyes, our eye doctors will recommend and discuss with you the administration of any combination of treatments deemed necessary to improve your condition. Our list of dry eye treatments includes:

  • Medications: medicated eye drops (Restasis, antibiotic, and/or steroidal) and oral antibiotics
  • In-Office Treatment: Amniotic membrane therapy, punctal occlusion, scleral lens therapy, therapeutic scleral lens prosthetic devices, and lateral tarsorrhaphy
  • At-Home Treatment: artificial tears, dietary supplements, ointments, eyelid scrubs, warm compresses, humidifiers, modifications to environment, and air filters

Dry Eye FAQ

Dry eye syndrome is a common condition. It occurs when your eyes don’t produce enough tears. It can also occur if the tears that you produce are of poor quality. Not only can it cause discomfort, but it can also have an effect on your vision. Fortunately, there are treatment methods available at Spectrum Eye Physicians in Cupertino, San Jose, Santa Cruz, Los Gatos, and San Jose, CA.

There are a few causes of dry eye syndrome.

  • Aging: As you get older, your eyes won’t produce as many tears. This can result in dry eye syndrome.
  • Medication: There are a few medications that can cause you to produce fewer tears. These include drugs for high blood pressure, hormone replacement medications, and medication for acne. Birth control pills, antihistamines, decongestants, and medication for Parkinson’s syndrome can also cause dry eye.
  • If you suffered from inflammation of the tear ducts, it could reduce the number of tears that you produce.
  • Radiation therapy can damage your tear ducts, resulting in dry eye.
  • A side effect of laser eye surgery is dry eye.

The symptoms of dry eye often affect both eyes. They include:

  • Burning or stinging sensation
  • Feeling as though there is something in your eye
  • Watery eyes
  • Stringy mucus in your eyes
  • Blurry vision
  • Eye fatigue
  • Redness of the eyes
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Difficulty seeing at night

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: Artificial tears are the most common treatment for this condition. When your eyes start to feel dry, you will put a couple of drops in each eye.
  • Tear stimulating medication: Your eye doctor may recommend eye drops that help you produce more of your own tears.
  • Punctal plugs: Punctal plugs are small devices that are inserted into the tear duct to block drainage.
  • Scleral lenses: Scleral lenses can protect the surface of your eye and trap the moisture

Contact Spectrum Eye Physicians Today!

Schedule your appointment online or call us at 408-884-2215. No matter which of our locations you visit, you will receive the latest in eye care technology from friendly eye doctors and staff committed to serving you.

Request Appointment