Chronic Dry Eye
Dry eye is a condition caused by lack of oil or tears in the outer layer of the eye. The causes, signs, and symptoms of Chronic Dry Eye (also called Dry Eye Syndrome or Dry Eye Disease) vary from person to person, but here are some of the most common indicators you should know about:
- Occasional blurry vision
- Feeling like you have something in your eyes
- Burning eyes
- Itchy eyes
- Watery eyes—which can seem confusing, given the name “Dry Eye”
Some dry eye is intermittent, from being tired, being out in the wind or sun, contact lens wear, eye fatigue, or medications. Some is chronic, from tear insufficiency, inflammation, or MGD.
If you think your eyes are feeling dry, itchy, gritty, watery, or blurry at times, it’s important to speak to your doctor. We have several in-office, quick test methods to test for various types of dry eye, including tear film testing, allergy testing, inflammation testing, and gland imaging. If you do suffer from dry eye, early intervention is critical to managing your condition. MGD, or oil gland loss, is especially vital to eye health. Once blocked glands start to die off, they cannot be restored. It is critical to keep your glands flowing freely to maintain the lipid layer.
Newark, NJ is one of the top 20 cities in the United States known for dry eye patients. We are proud to offer a Dry Clinic to service the local Essex County community. From region-specific allergy tests to oil gland imaging to tear film and inflammation testing, we offer a full range of diagnostic services and treatment options to customize a treatment plan.
Our staff will assist you in answering questions about your symptoms, lifestyle, and health history to determine if you may be suffering from dry eye.
Tear Film and Inflammation
With simple, non-invasive tests that collect and analyze tears, we can evaluate your tear volume and if any inflammation may be present. This helps us determine if your symptoms are caused by a lack of tear production or improper drainage.
Oil Gland Imaging
With a quick and easy imaging test, your gland images are captured and analyzed for blockage, truncation, or drop out. Your doctor will then examine your lids to determine your oil consistency and flow. This helps determine if you have sufficient oil in your eye to protect your tear film. Without proper oil levels, your tears simply roll away, causing watery eyes, or evaporate and leave your eyes dry and uncomfortable.
For occasional dry eye from weather exposure, travel, or eye fatigue, high-quality artificial tears can be useful. Avoid formulas that claim to reduce redness, as these can actually increase dryness and irritation. Ask your doctor which formula is best for you.
Changes to Your Diet and Lifestyle
A balanced diet, including Omega 3 supplements, plenty of vegetables, and sufficient water is critical to ocular health. In addition, blinking exercises, lid hygiene scrubs, moist heat masks, eye rest breaks, and sunglasses are all important parts of maintaining eye health.
Devices, Prescriptions, and Procedures
Depending on the cause and severity of your symptoms, the doctor can offer a wide array of options to help improve your tear film. Some people need over the counter artificial tears, some need prescription drops, some use duct plugs, If you suffer from MGD, an oil blockage in the eye, we recommend LipiFlow, a revolutionary warming massage treatment that unblocks the oil glands to protect your natural tear film. For patients who simply do not produce enough tears, we recommend TrueTear, a neurostimulation device that triggers natural, real tear production. Our Dry Eye Center of Excellence is proud to offer a full range of treatment options to our patients.