Dry eye is a common, uncomfortable condition that happens when eyes don’t produce enough quality lubrication or the lubrication there evaporates too quickly. Typically, when a person blinks, tears spread across the cornea, washing away foreign particles and reducing the chance of infection. When tear production is inadequate, the eye’s surface can become damaged. Patients with dry eyes may experience stinging or burning, especially in wind or air conditioning. Several treatment options are available to keep your eyes healthy and comfortable.
Causes of Dry Eye
Dry eye, also called keratoconjunctivitis sicca, is more common as people age. It is also linked to certain medical conditions, including lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, thyroid disorders, and vitamin A deficiency. Antihistamines, decongestants, hormone replacement therapy, antidepressants, and certain other drugs can also contribute to dry eye. Hormone changes, inflamed eyelid glands, or allergic eye disease may also cause dry eye. Sometimes it is necessary to change medications or to treat underlying conditions.
Symptoms of Dry Eye
Patients with dry eyes may experience stinging, burning or scratching sensations in their eyes. Eyes may be red, sensitive, irritated, or even watery. Vision may be blurry and patients may have difficulty driving at night or performing other regular activities.
Diagnosis of Dry Eye
In addition to a comprehensive eye exam, your doctor will perform tests to determine the amount and the quality of tears produced, including the thickness of your tears. Your tears will also be examined for composition and markers of eye disease.
Treatment of Dry Eye
You should visit your doctor if you have prolonged or bothersome symptoms. You may be prescribed eye drops, antibiotics, or other medications to treat an underlying medical issue. Your doctor will also discuss strategies to help reduce the severity of the symptoms, including avoiding smoke, wind, and air. You can help protect your eyes with a dehumidifier, wrap-around glasses, and frequent breaks during long tasks.
If these remedies don’t provide enough relief, there are several additional options. In some cases, a patient might benefit from an oculoplastic surgical procedure to correct a physical characteristic that is contributing to dry eyes or to close the eye duct so that it drains lubrication more slowly. It is also possible to use inserts that dissolve slowly, releasing a liquid that lubricates your eye. Tear-stimulating drugs in pill, gel or eyedrop form may also be helpful.
What you can expect at the Cizik Eye Clinic
The Cizik Eye Clinic opened in 2007 and is housed in Memorial Hermann Plaza at 6400 Fannin Street. It includes dozens of exam areas, multiple operating rooms, and laser suites equipped with the most sophisticated equipment available for patient care.
People travel from across the country and the world for treatment at the Cizik Eye Clinic, in part because our affiliation with the McGovern Medical School at UTHealth provides unmatched resources and expertise. Our friendly staff works diligently to make your visit pleasant and efficient, as we maximize patient flow through everything from routine eye exams to the most advanced eye surgeries.
Our physicians are faculty members at McGovern Medical School and are board certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology or are board eligible. At the Cizik Eye Clinic, we understand that the eye is a small part of a whole patient who deserves top-notch, comprehensive care in a cutting-edge facility.
At Robert Cizik Eye Clinic, we offer patients access to highly specialized eye and vision care. To ask us a question, schedule an appointment, or learn more about us, please call (713) 486-9400, or click below to send us a message. In the event of an emergency, call 911 or go to the nearest Emergency Room.