Dry Eye Symptoms and Causes
The “dry eye,” or keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS), is
one of the most common ocular conditions affecting patients. It affects
15-20% of the adult population in the U.S. Millions of Americans suffer from
There are two main causes: decreased secretion of tears by the lacrimal
(tear-producing) glands and loss of tears due to excess evaporation. Both can
lead to eye discomfort, often described as feelings of dryness, burning, a
sandy/gritty sensation, or itchiness. Visual fatigue, sensitivity to light,
and blurred vision are also characteristics of dry eye.
These symptoms also can be a sign of other eye problems.
If you have any of these symptoms, call our San Antonio office at ☎
(210) 806-0022 or
contact us online
to schedule a comprehensive eye exam with Dr.
Dry Eye Diagnosis
The doctor may use tests to assess tear production, tear stability, and tear
distribution. A slit-lamp examination using dyes that temporarily stain
unhealthy tissue will reveal any abnormality or damage to the ocular surface.
These tests typically cause little discomfort and are performed in the
Dry Eye Treatment - What can be done for dry eyes?
Treatment options for dry eye depend on its causes and severity, so it is
important to be examined by an eye doctor who is trained to diagnose and treat
ocular diseases like Dr. Baribeau.
Artificial tears are available over the counter. They can
provide temporary relief from dry eye symptoms. Artificial tears contain
water, salts, and polymers but lack the proteins found in natural tears.
Patients who frequently use drops should choose a brand without
preservatives or one with special non-irritating preservatives. Artificial
tears are used to treat mild forms of dry eye or to supplement other
treatments. People with dry eyes that don't respond to artificial tears
alone will need to take additional steps to treat their dry eyes.
Conserving tears. Keeping natural tears in the eyes longer
can reduce the symptoms of dry eyes. This can be done by blocking the tear
ducts through which the tears normally drain. The tear ducts can be blocked
with tiny silicone or gel-like plugs that can be removed if needed. Or a
surgical procedure can permanently close the tear ducts. In either case, the
goal is to keep the available tears in the eye longer to reduce problems
related to dry eyes.
Increasing tear production. Your eye specialist can
prescribe eye drops that increase tear production. Taking an omega-3 fatty
acid nutritional supplement may also help.
Treating the contributing eyelid or ocular surface inflammation.
Your eye specialist might recommend prescription eye drops or ointments,
warm compresses and lid massage, or eyelid cleaners to help decrease
inflammation around the surface of the eyes.
Request Your Consultation Today!
Call our office at ☎ (210) 806-0022 or
contact us online
and to request your consultation!
Our San Antonio, TX Location