Dry Eye Management

What is dry eye syndrome?

Dry Eye Syndrome is a condition where the tear film that normally hydrates the surface of the eye is chronically disrupted. The tear film consists of several layers, including the aqueous layer that provides nutrients to the eye, and the oil layer that prevents the aqueous layer from evaporating off the eye.

dry eye in Seattle, WA

Typically, multiple factors contribute to the severity of the dry eye syndrome. These include dysfunction of the oil glands and/or aqueous glands that secrete the tear film on the front of the eye, inflammation at the eyelid margins, dysregulation of the normal organisms that live at the eyelid margins, infrequent blinking, incomplete eyelid closure and certain medical conditions and medications. Once the oil glands have been inflamed for a while, they die off and cannot regenerate. Your eye doctor can help diagnose this condition during your visit.

Symptoms include:

  • Eye irritation

  • Burning

  • Watering/Dripping

  • Redness

  • Crusting of eyelids/eyes stuck shut in mornings

  • Discomfort when wearing contact lenses for extended periods

  • No perceptible symptoms

Risk factors include:

  • Contact lens wear

  • Increased screen time

  • Age

  • Certain auto-immune diseases

  • Certain medications

What can I do about my dry eyes?

There are different levels of intervention for dry eye syndrome. Usually, we start with home therapies such as consistent use of hot compresses on the eyelids, supplementation with good quality Omega-3s, eyelid hygiene and use of artificial tears. If these at-home therapies are not enough, your eye doctor can also prescribe anti-inflammatory eye drops and scleral contact lenses. For patients who need more support we perform in-office therapies such as Forma-I, Lumecca-I, and TearCare that aim to preserve the health of the existing Meibomian glands. To learn more about these treatments, follow the links below!