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Dry Eyes

Southern Eye Associates is a Dry Eye Center of Excellence!

Your eyes may not produce enough tears or the right quality of tears to keep your eyes healthy and comfortable. This condition is known as dry eye. The tear film consists of three layers: an oily layer, a watery layer and a layer of mucus. Each layer has a special purpose. In the normal eye, tears are being continually produced to lubricate the eye.

Excessive tearing may be a sign of dry eye. This may not sound logical, but it is the eye’s response to discomfort. It produces tears as a response to irritation, but the tears do not adequately lubricate the eye. Dry eye can be caused by medications, both prescription and over-the-counter, exposure to a dry, windy climate (including air conditioning and heat).

dryeyes

Treatment Information

Eyedrops: Eyedrops called artificial tears are similar to your own tears and are used to lubricate your eyes and maintain moisture. There are many brands available and a prescription is not required. However, not all brands are created equally and our ophthalmologists can recommend the best artificial tears for you.

Punctal Plugs: Your ophthalmologist may recommend punctal plugs to help conserve your tears. Punctal plugs are inserted into the tear duct to act as a dam for your eye’s drainage system. This method conserves your own tears and makes artificial tears last longer.

Diet: Our ophthalmologists may recommend supplementing your diet with omega-3 fatty acids, which are found naturally in foods like oily fish or can be taken as a supplement. Our ophthalmologists can recommend supplements and the form and dosage for you.

TearLab at Southern Eye Associates

The TearLab Osmolarity System is an objective and quantitative test for diagnosing and managing Dry Eye patients.  The Osmolarity of your Tear film is a measurement of the salt content in your tears.  The test is fast, easy, and accurate.   An osmolarity number is generated which correlates with a severity scale (normal, mild, moderate, severe) to determine your level of disease.  Essentially, osmolarity gives doctors a meaningful measure of the health and stability of the protective tear film that covers the surface of the eye. Our doctors will use this measurement to customize your treatment for dry eye. TearLab also allows our doctors to measure the success of prescribed treatments.