Dry Eye

dry eye

Sometimes your eyes don’t make enough tears or the tears evaporate too fast because they don’t have the right amount of compounds in them. This is called dry eye. Up to 5% of Americans complain of some form of dry eye. Individuals who wear contact lenses or have undergone LASIK or other types of refractive surgery commonly complain of dry eye. The condition is more common in women and is more common and severe in older persons.

Dry eye may occur by itself, or the surface of the eye may be inflamed at the same time. This condition can make it harder for you to carry out certain activities such as reading for long periods or looking at a computer screen. You may also be less comfortable in dry environments.

Mild cases of dry eye may go away on their own. However, if dry eye persists and goes untreated, it can cause ulcers or scars on the surface of the eye (cornea). This can be painful and may lead to some vision loss. Permanent loss of vision from dry eye, though, is uncommon.

Symptoms of Dry Eye

Dry eye can lead to different symptoms, including:

  • Being unable to read, work on the computer or do other eye-intensive activities for long periods
  • Blurry vision
  • Burning or stinging of the eye
  • Discharge from the eye
  • Discomfort while wearing contact lenses
  • Eye fatigue
  • Feeling like there is something in your eye
  • Eyelids that feel heavy
  • Not being able to cry, even when upset emotionally
  • Periods of excess tears followed by very dry eyes
  • Redness or pain in the eye

If these symptoms persist or grow worse, contact your eye doctor. He or she will identify the underlying cause of dry eye and offer treatment options.

Causes of Dry Eye

Many factors can lead to dry eye, both temporary and ongoing (chronic), including:

  • Allergies
  • Chemical and heat burns of the membrane that covers the eye and inside of the eyelids (conjunctiva)
  • Chronic inflammation of the conjunctiva or the lacrimal gland
  • Cosmetic eyelid surgery
  • Diseases of the skin on or around the eyelids or the glands in the eyelids
  • Exposure to irritants, such as chemical fumes, tobacco smoke or drafts from heating or air conditioning
  • Hormone replacement therapy
  • Immune system disorders such as lupus, Sjögren’s syndrome and rheumatoid arthritis
  • Long-term contact lens wear
  • Medications such as antidepressants, antihistamines, birth control pills, certain blood pressure medicines, nasal decongestants, Parkinson’s medications and tranquilizers
  • Not blinking enough while looking at electronic screens
  • Pregnancy
  • Refractive surgery, such as LASIK
  • Thyroid disease
  • Vitamin deficiency or excess

Treatments for Dry Eye

Several treatments are available to relieve symptoms of dry eye, including:

  • Anti-inflammatory medication such as cyclosporine or short-term use of corticosteroid eye drops
  • Dietary changes or supplements, such as adding omega-3 fatty acids to your diet
  • Managing the underlying condition with medication or other treatments
  • Plugging the tear ducts to keep the tears from flowing away, either temporarily or permanently
  • Switching medications that may be causing dry eye
  • Wearing contact lenses less frequently or switching to another type of lens

If you have dry eye, you may also be able to take steps to reduce the symptoms, such as by:

  • Avoiding dry conditions
  • Filtering the air in your house with an air cleaner
  • Keeping the moisture in your house at a comfortable level with a humidifier
  • Resting your eyes periodically during vision-intensive activities such as computer use or reading
  • Using over-the-counter artificial tears, gels or ointments
  • Wearing close-fitting glasses or sunglasses to prevent evaporation of tears

For more information about treating dry eye or about dry eye in general, contact us today.

Testimonials

  • Dr. Joyce is the most compassionate, caring person I have ever met. She is very intelligent, explains the eye tests and results, and offers suggestions to keep my eyes healthy. I consider her a friend as well as a fabulous eye doctor.

    - Doreen W
  • Dr. Joyce was affable and professional. Most thorough eye exam I’ve experienced. State of the art facilities. Friendly and knowledgeable office staff. Highly recommended.

    - Steven C
  • Very professional & friendly staff, very clean office with top of the line eye care equipment for extremely thorough eye care exam. Dr. Joyce in addition to examining my eye sight reviewed very detailed results of my overall eye health.

    - Stephanie B
  • The staff are friendly and competent. Dr Joyce takes time to explain any tests that were performed. Great experience.

    - Beverly K
  • Very thorough. explained what is going on with my vision and was able to fit me with contact lenses that feel great and now have no need for reading glasses.

    - Boyd D
  • Dr. Joyce is top notch and has all of the cutting-edge technology. I also bring my children to her. We used to see her when she was at Schwartz Eyecare in Newtown and we were thrilled when she opened her office in Richboro...even closer to us! You'll be well taken care of if you choose her as your ophthalmologist.

    ...
    Show More - Elle B
  • of the best, most thorough, articulate, accessible doctors I’ve ever seen. Her office is packed full of state of the art cool eye tools that provide incredible insight (oops... pun actually works) and she explains so that this non-medical patient can understand. This exam was most comprehensive. One of my eye doctors is a friend and even when visiting him in Santa Monica office, the time Dr Joyce spent with me was comparable. I only wish she had more specialties (e.g. dermatology, podiatry). I’m a patient now so I feel safe. You better call for an appointment now lest she stops taking new patients. Thank you, Dr Joyce!

    ...
    Show More - judy a
  • Dr Joyce was extremely pleasant, informative, thorough and professional. She took the time to go over all of my test results and explain what they meant. She was able to identify some personal care items that I could do to improve my particular concern. I was very impressed with her personal approach to her practice and patients.

    ...
    Show More - Henry C
  • This was my first time at Eyecare For You. The facility was very clean and the office staff pleasant. The young man who I was with in the beginning to do the initial check in process was very efficient, professional and it was very evident that he took his job seriously. I especially liked that he cleaned off each piece of equipment prior to my resting my chin and forehead on them. Dr Joyce was also very professional and personable. Her work ethic was spot on, and she explained each process very clearly and made sure I understood before she moved on to the next section. The equipment seemed to be the most current and I was overall very impressed with the care I received here. I will be returning.

    ...
    Show More - Karen B
  • Excellent experience with Dr Joyce and others on the staff. No need to get records transferred from previous eye care center. Eyecare For You appears to have the latest hi-tech testing equipment and will determine the best option(s) to improve your vision to its maximum capability. I expect my new prescription glasses with anti-glare coating will minimize glare at night and should allow me to see better than ever. Cost was very reasonable. I have already recommended two friends to call for an appointment ASAP.

    ...
    Show More - Dave T
  • Dr. Kathleen Joyce is absolutely amazing! I haven't seen her in over 2 years but she still made me feel like I just saw her last week. She pays attention to details and makes you excited to see her in the office! She really goes the extra mile

    - Cassi LP.
  • Dr. Joyce was thorough, explained procedures completely, and on top of that was friendly and very down to earth. I really could not ask for more!

    - Kathy F.
  • Dr. Joyce is an excellent doctor, diagnostician and communicator.

    - Catherine L.
  • Dr. Joyce make me feel welcome and, did explain everything about my exam results in detail.

    - Robert M.
  • Very efficient, competent, and solved my contact problems. Now I can wear them all the time without discomfort. Dr. Joyce is very professional yet friendly!

    - Jessica M.
  • Dr. Joyce is awesome she makes you feel at home and is very calm.

    - K. I.
  • Dr. Joyce is amazing!

    - Kevin H.

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Monday
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