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3-D Eye Online - Dry Eye

Dry Eye Center of Excellence

Kearney Eye Institute has achieved the distinction of serving as a Dry Eye Center of Excellence. Dr. Jerry Vaughan has suffered from chronic dry eyes himself, and has over 30 years of experience treating dry eye. Dr. Vaughan is a member of the Ocular Surface Society of Optometry, which conducts research into treatments of dry eye among other problems.

Sometimes people do not produce enough tears or the appropriate quality of tears to keep their eyes healthy and comfortable. Dry eye is a complex, multifactorial disease affecting the ocular surface and lacrimal glands. It is often progressive in nature and is prevalent in 15% to 40% of the population. While women and the elderly are more often affected, it can manifest itself at almost any age.

There are many factors which are associated with dry eye. Caffeine, alcohol, stress, lack of sleep, computer use, wind, low humidity, altitude, and medications are some of the more common risk factors for dry eye. Antidepressants, antihypertensives, and antihistamines are particularly associated with increasing difficulties with dry, irritated eyes.

While there’s no “magic bullet” cure for dry eye, there are many therapies that will help control the complications from dry eye. The first step is a comprehensive eye exam to properly diagnose the type of dry eye you have.

There are different types of dry eye disease and the therapies to control them are quite varied. While a simple over-the-counter artificial tear eye drop may help in some mild cases, it will likely not give significant lasting relief. A professional evaluation of the tear film with a microscope by your eye doctor is necessary to properly diagnose the dry eye variety that you have.

The types of therapy are very individual and ranges from very specific types of eye drops (both over-the-counter and prescription), to oral nutritional supplements and modifications in daily activities. Punctal plugs are sometimes utilized to keep the natural tears that are produced from draining away from the eye’s surface too quickly. There are also many daily activities that you can control to help eliminate the pain and discomfort from dry eyes. Your eye doctor will be glad to discuss these options with you once the actual type of dry eye is determined.

Find out what type of dry eye you have...
Download this short Dry Eye Questionnaire to get a head start on eliminating your dry eyes today!