Dry eyes may not seem like a serious issue to most, but for some it can be debilitating and seriously impact your day-to-day life. Dry eyes can occur for a number of reasons, but the real cause boils down to one of two reasons: 1) your eyes are not producing enough tears, or 2) the tears produced aren’t lubricating enough.

Dry eyes from not enough tears

Your body may not be producing enough tears to adequately lubricate your eyes. This medical condition, called keratoconjunctivitis sicca, can be caused by a variety of factors:

  • Aging
  • Comorbid medical conditions like Sjogren’s syndrome, allergic eye disease, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, scleroderma, graft vs. host disease, sarcoidosis, thyroid disorders or vitamin A deficiency
  • Medications both OTC and prescription such as antihistamines, decongestants, oral contraceptives, sleeping pills, blood pressure medication, diuretics, pain relievers, antidepressants, and anti-anxiety medications
  • Eye injuries and refractive surgeries (PRK & LASIK)

Dry eyes from poor quality tears

On the other hand, you may be producing enough tears, but the quality of those tears isn’t lubricating enough. Natural tears are composed of three layers: (1) the outer oily layer; (2) the middle watery layer; (3) the inner mucus layer. But this delicate balance of components can be disturbed, causing dry eyes. Causes can include:

  • Blocked meibomian glands (the glands that produce the oily part of your tears)
  • Blinking less often
  • Eyelid problems, such as the lids turning outward (ectropion) and the lids turning inward (entropion)
  • Eye allergies
  • Preservatives in topical eyedrops
  • Environmental factors like sun, wind, cold, dry air, indoor heating, air conditioning and high altitudes

Diagnosing Dry Eye Disease

Although you may suffer from occasion dry eye, that may not indicate that you have dry eye disease (DED). A licensed eye care specialist can determine whether or not you have DED using a variety of tests and procedures. During one of our comprehensive eye exams, your eye doctor may perform a tear volume test, a stain test, a tear osmolarity test or even sample your tears. Your results will then determine the severity of your condition and the treatment options available to you.

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You Have Options When It Comes to Dry Eye Relief

At NeoVision Eye Center, we offer many different treatment options for dry eye relief. Each has its own benefits and unique applications so one type is sure to suit your individual situation better than another.

Adopt new habits

Dry eyes can be caused or aggravated by common activities such as prolonged computer use, smoking, and using hair dryers. Use the 20-20-20 rule during continued computer use to give your eyes a break. Avoid smoking, hair dryers and environments with excessive wind and dust. Practice blinking purposefully and regularly to spread tears evenly across the surface of the eye.

Prescription eye drops and ointments

Your ophthalmologist or optometrist may suggest the use of artificial tear solutions or nighttime ointments to relieve persistent dry eye irritation. They may also prescribe you medical-grade eyedrops if your case is more severe than OTC eyedrops can address.

Wraparound glasses

If you already have a glasses prescription and cannot avoid environments or climates that are particularly, wraparound glasses can help mitigate dry eye symptoms. This type of glasses can shield your eyes from the wind and dry air while keeping them moisturized.

Punctal occlusion surgery

If your dry eyes cannot be treated by any other method, your eye doctor may recommend surgery. Punctal occlusion surgery can be either a temporary or long-term solution for severe dry eyes. During the procedure, your surgeon will insert punctal plugs into your tear ducts to plug your tear ducts either temporarily or permanently. After which, you will need to use prescription eyedrops to replace your body’s natural tears. This option isn’t for everyone, and only your ophthalmologist will know whether it’s a good fit for you.

Dry Eye Treatment Cost and Financing

Dry eye treatment costs vary from patient to patient. Some patients only prescription eyedrops which can cost only a few dollars, while others require surgery which may cost significantly more than that. For some, dry eye relief may be a financial investment. At NeoVision Eye Center, we believe that everyone should have access to comfortable vision. We offer many financing options to all our patients so that they can choose one that best suits their needs.

Financing Options

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