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Dry Eye Syndrome

We diagnose and treat dry eyes, in Long Beach, CA

Many studies have demonstrated that a massive number of Americans (more than five million!) suffer from the irritating symptoms of Dry Eye Syndrome (DES). Some of the most common signs of this condition are a scratchy feeling in your eyes and the need to blink constantly or keep rubbing your eyes. Red eyes are also usual, as well as an inability to wear contact lenses comfortably. While dry eyes are mainly annoying and not dangerous, they do raise your risk of infection and corneal inflammation. If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, there’s no need to suffer in silence! Contact us at Sea View Optometric Center for an eye exam and dry eye treatment.

dry eye girlDry eyes are caused by an inadequate amount of lubricating moisture on the surface of your eyes. This can be due to reduced tear production or to a poor tear composition that lacks enough natural lipids. Our compassionate and experienced optometrists, Dr. Krzysztof Gwizdak (“Dr. Krys”) and Dr. Stephanie Mitchell, will evaluate your eyes in our pleasant Long Beach, CA, eye clinic to determine the best remedies for relief. Dry eyes can be caused by a variety of problems, and we’ll offer the most effective treatment for your personal dry eye condition.

Dry eye treatment can include recommendations for lifestyle changes, prescription drugs and/or minor medical surgeries, such as punctal plug insertion to block tear drainage and conserve moisture on your eyes. To find out which method is suitable for your DES, contact us to schedule an appointment.

Diagnosis of Dry Eye Syndrome

A description of your ocular symptoms may be enough for our knowledgeable optometrists to diagnose dry eyes. Typical symptoms include:

  • Scratchy or itchy eyes
  • Red and irritated eyes
  • Blurry vision
  • Pain
  • A stinging or burning sensation
  • Feeling like grit or a foreign object is stuck under your eyelids
  • Watery eyes (dry eyes can sometimes stimulate excess tear production)

In addition to listening closely to your symptoms, we may also use testing procedures that measure the quantity of moisture in your eyes or check the rate at which your tears evaporate. Done as a part of our thorough eye exams, diagnostic testing for DES is quick and painless in our Long Beach office.

Common Causes of Dry Eyes

A range of lifestyle habits, environmental conditions and health factors can influence the development of dry eyes. The most usual culprits include:

  • Extended time spent using computers or reading, which is associated with less blinking
  • Contact lenses
  • Extreme environments, with high temperatures, strong winds, low humidity and/or pollution
  • Smoking, or being around smokers
  • Hormone replacement therapy
  • Aging, specifically with females
  • Medications, such as antidepressants, antihistamines and diuretics
  • A problem with your tear-producing glands or in the conjunctival surface
  • LASIK surgery
  • Diseases, such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, hepatitis C and vitamin A deficiency

Treatments to Alleviate the Pain of Dry Eyes

There’s no absolute cure for Dry Eye Syndrome, yet there are many efficient remedies and strategies to resolve your discomfort and pain. In our Long Beach office, we’ll customize a plan for your dry eye treatment that meets your lifestyle and health requirements.

Medicine for dry eyes

Prescription drugs, such as eye lubricants and anti-inflammatory drugs may help increase your tear production. Antibiotics may also be used to reduce the amount of bacteria in your eyes that destroy the healthy lipids. An alternative method is to use artificial tear inserts that are inserted like contact lenses and release moisture slowly into your tear composition.

Punctal plug insertion

This is a quick and efficient surgical procedure that we perform expertly in our Long Beach office. Punctal plugs are inserted into your tear ducts, which acts to seal your punctum – the tiny opening in the inner corner of your eyelids. By sealing this hole, tear drainage is reduced and more moisture remains dispersed on your eyes. Punctal plugs are available as temporary collagen plugs that usually dissolve within a week, and long-term silicone plugs that are either permanent or last a few months.

Self-Help Tips for DES

Dry eyes can be very bothersome to your daily life, making simple tasks like watching TV or driving into an uncomfortable experience. Along with any dry eye treatment that our eye doctors advise for you, the following ideas can enhance your relief:

  • Over- the-counter solutions, such as artificial tears
  • Sunglasses protect your eyes from wind and harmful UV rays
  • A home humidifier to add moisture into the air
  • An air filter that removes irritants and dust from your home
  • Be sure to stay well hydrated by drinking a lot of water
  • Take daily fish oil supplements

For more information about our dry eye treatments and the option of punctal plug insertion, consult with our eye doctors, or schedule an appointment here.