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Jacksonville, FL

Dry Eye

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Diagnosis and Treatment for Dry Eye

Dry eye, also known as dry eye disease or dry eye syndrome, occurs when your eyes don’t make enough tears or produce tears of poor quality. Identifying the underlying cause of your dry eye is crucial to finding the best treatment for your specific case. 

At Baymeadows Vision Center in Jacksonville, our eye doctors are experienced in diagnosing dry eye and creating personalized treatment plans for lasting relief. 

What are the symptoms of dry eye?   

Some common signs of dry eye are: 

  • A gritty or sandy sensation in the eyes  
  • Burning or stinging eyes  
  • Redness, itchiness, and soreness  
  • Blurred vision  
  • Sensitivity to light  
  • Excessive tearing  
  • Eye fatigue 

What causes dry eye? 

To effectively treat dry eye disease, it’s important to know what’s causing it. That’s why it’s essential to see an eye doctor if you’re experiencing any symptoms. Here are some of the most common causes of dry eye: 

Aging   

As we get older, our eyes tend to produce fewer tears, which can result in dry eyes. Many people over 50 experience some dry eye symptoms. 

Gender

Women are more likely to develop dry eye than men due to hormonal changes that occur throughout their lives.

Certain medical conditions

Having certain medical conditions, like diabetes, thyroid disorders, and autoimmune diseases, can increase your risk of developing dry eye.

Environmental factors

Environmental factors like dry air, wind, air conditioning, and heating systems can all cause dry eye.

Medications 

Dry eye is often a side effect of medications like antihistamines, decongestants, and antidepressants. 

Digital eye strain

Spending too much time in front of digital screens, such as computers and smartphones, can lead to dry eye symptoms. That’s because we tend to blink less when we’re staring at screens.

Cosmetics

Cosmetics can block the meibomian glands, which produce the oil layer in the tear film. When these glands are blocked, your tears evaporate faster, leading to dryness and irritation. Some makeup products also have chemicals that can irritate your eyes and dry them out.

Demodex mites

Demodex mites are microscopic creatures that live on our skin and hair follicles. While it’s normal to have Demodex mites on your skin, too many mites can cause skin and eye problems, including dry eye. If there’s an overabundance of Demodex mites living on your eyelashes, they can clog your meibomian glands, leading to dry eye symptoms.

Blepharitis

Blepharitis is a condition where the eyelids get inflamed, red, and swollen. It can make your eyes itchy, uncomfortable, and even burn.

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You may also notice crusty flakes on your eyelashes.

Blepharitis can make dry eye symptoms worse or cause them. When your eyelids get inflamed, the meibomian glands, which produce an important part of your tears, may get clogged and not work properly. This can result in dry, gritty, or burning eyes due to a decrease in both the quality and quantity of tears.

Meibomian gland dysfunction

Meibomian glands are tiny glands in your eyelids that produce meibum, an oily substance that helps keep your tears on the surface of your eye.

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Unfortunately, when there’s a problem with these glands, it can lead to meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD). This condition can cause discomfort, redness, and even vision changes.

MGD is one of the leading causes of dry eye syndrome. When the meibomian glands aren’t functioning properly, it can result in a lower quantity or quality of oil on the eye’s surface.

Diagnosing dry eye

At Baymeadows Vision Center, we use advanced diagnostic tools to accurately diagnose dry eye disease. During your eye exam, we’ll perform a series of tests to check the quantity and quality of your tears. If you’re diagnosed with dry eye, we’ll develop a customized treatment plan to fit your unique needs.

How do you treat dry eye syndrome?

Treatment for dry eye depends on its severity and the underlying cause(s). Dry eye can be temporary or chronic. If you have chronic dry eye, our optometrist can suggest treatment options to keep your eyes healthy, reduce dryness and discomfort, and prevent any vision problems.

Some common treatment options we offer include:

  • Prescription eye drops to treat inflammation
  • Treating oil glands
  • Punctal plugs
  • Blinking exercises or proper eyelid hygiene
  • Antibiotics if an infection is causing your dry eye

We also offer TempSure Envi, a revolutionary treatment for dry eye symptoms. Tempsure Envi not only treats dry eye symptoms but also offers anti-aging benefits such as tightening loose skin and reducing wrinkles. This non-invasive procedure uses radiofrequency technology to heat the deep layers of the skin, promoting collagen production for smoother, younger-looking skin.

Schedule a dry eye evaluation in Jacksonville

If you’re dealing with dry eye, don’t worry! With proper care from an experienced professional, you can effectively manage your symptoms and see comfortably again. Schedule an appointment for an eye exam at our office today and let us help you find relief fast.