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Dry Eyes Specialist

Pacific Eye

Ophthalmologists & Optometrists located on the Central Coast of California

Nearly 5 million adults over the age of 50 are affected by dry eyes in the United States. While not particularly dangerous, dry eyes can be more than a minor nuisance. To treat your dry eyes, rely on the combined expertise of the eye specialists at Pacific Eye, with offices in San Luis Obispo, Lompoc, Paso Robles, Pismo Beach, and Santa Maria, California, as well as Optical Concepts in Santa Maria. To explore your treatments options for dry eyes, call or request an appointment using online booking today.

Dry Eyes Q & A

What are dry eyes?

Dry eyes, as the name implies, is a condition in which your eyes lack necessary lubrication, which leads to:

  • Dry, itchy eyes
  • Red eyes
  • Excess mucus around your eyes
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Excessively watery eyes

These symptoms can lead to vision problems, including blurry vision and issues with night vision.

What causes dry eyes?

Your tears are made up of three ingredients that provide the necessary lubrication and nourishment for your eyes:

  • Mucus to lubricate your eyes
  • Water for hydration
  • Oil to keep your tears from evaporating too quickly

Dry eyes are generally caused by one of three problems with your tears: lack of tear production, rapid tear evaporation, or an imbalance in your tears

Lack of tear production

If you’re unable to produce enough tears, your eyes can become dry and irritated. There are many conditions that lead to decreased tear production, with aging topping the list. In addition to aging, certain medications like antihistamines can cause your eyes to dry out, and surgical procedures on your eyes can also lead to poor tear production. Sometimes an acute problem in your tear glands is to blame, such as an infection.

Rapid tear evaporation

If your tears don’t remain long enough on your eyes to deliver hydration and nourishment, dry eyes can develop. This can happen as a result of irritants in the air or excessive wind, as well as problems with lids that separate from your eyes.

An imbalance in your tears

If there’s a problem that upsets the balance of the three ingredients in your tears, it can cause dry eyes. The primary offender when it comes to this is clogged oil glands.

How are dry eyes treated?

Since there are many avenues that lead to dry eyes, there are also many different treatment options. To start, your eye specialist sits down with you to review your symptoms and then performs a comprehensive eye exam to get to the bottom of your dry eyes. Once they pinpoint the underlying cause, they come up with a treatment plan that will bring much-needed moisture back to your eyes. Possible treatments include:

  • Eye drops
  • Artificial tears or LipiFlowⓇ
  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Unblocking your oil glands
  • Tear duct plugs

Again, your treatment depends on what’s causing your dry eyes, but rest assured your eye specialist works with you until your discomfort is remedied.

To find relief from dry eyes, call Pacific Eye or schedule an appointment online today.