What Is Dry Eye Disease?
Dry eye is an eye disease with long-term symptoms, including dryness. You may experience daily symptoms, or your symptoms may return in certain situations or environments. But ultimately, the condition is caused by a lack of quality tears.
Although tears are mainly water, they also contain vital ingredients for maintaining a healthy tear film. Your tear film is a thin layer of fluid covering your eye’s surface. It’s spread across your eye every time you blink, providing hydration and nourishment.
There are 2 common causes of dry eyes:
- Too few tears—you need enough tears to wet and spread across the eye. Several tear glands contribute to the tear layer. You may have too few tears when one is blocked or producing too little. Without enough tears, dry spots develop in your tear film, exposing the corneal nerves.
- Poor quality tears—tears have 3 layers (oil, water, and mucus). Oil prevents tear evaporation and helps tears spread evenly. Water provides moisture and carries nutrients. Mucus helps the tears adhere to the eye’s surface. Your eyes need all 3 in balance to remain healthy, clear, and comfortable.
Symptoms of Dry Eye
Besides dryness, those with dry eyes can experience painful symptoms. Your eyes may feel gritty and scratchy or like there’s something stuck in your eyes that won’t come out. Dryness can also lead to watery eyes, as your eyes try to produce more tears to make up for missing components.
Other dry eye symptoms include:
- Blurry vision
- Burning sensation
- Light sensitivity
- Stringy mucus
Dry eye disease also increases your risk of eye infections, as there are too few tears to clean and protect the surface. Over time, recurring dryness or severe infections can scar the cornea, impairing your vision.
Dry Eye Technology
We tailor your dry eye therapy to your individual eye health and lifestyle. You may feel relief from over-the-counter eye drops or need treatment to address an eye condition. There are many solutions we can try, and we’ll work with you to find which works for your situation.
Punctal plugs prevent your tears from draining too quickly into your tear ducts (puncta). The tiny devices—small as a grain of rice—are inserted into the puncta to help keep the eye’s surface moist.
Medicated Eye Drops
Over-the-counter eye drops (artificial tears) can be effective for mild dry eye symptoms. Unfortunately, they can also have some side effects. Medicated eye drops like Restasis help increase your natural tear production, adding moisture and supporting the eye’s tear film.
Lacrisert is a prescription medication applied 1–2 times daily to help moisten the eye. Lacrisert is usually prescribed when eye drops are unable to provide lasting relief.
Meibomian Gland Expression
The meibomian glands produce the oil component of your tears. When the glands are clogged or blocked, massaging the glands can help express or expel oil.
Lid or Gland Debridement
Excess bacteria or buildup around the tear glands or eyelids can prevent the glands from producing tears. Cleaning away the buildup can protect your eyes from infection and unclog the blocked glands.
For example, blepharitis (an inflammation of the eyelids) is a common condition associated with dry eyes. It can cause crusty, dandruff-like buildup around the eyelashes. Cleaning the eyelids removes this crusty buildup and excess bacteria.
Comprehensive Eye Exams
Your eye exam should be completely yours—tailored to your eyes and health needs. Enjoy thorough eye exams personalized for you and performed by our qualified optometrists.
Digital Eye Strain Mediation
Long hours in front of your computer or on your phone can put a strain on your eyes. Learn more about how our team can help mitigate the uncomfortable symptoms of digital eye strain.
Dry Eye Evaluations & Solutions
Red, irritated eyes can cause undue stress during your day. Our effective solutions help you see comfortably and clearly all day long. Discover how we can help with our dry eye therapies.
Contact Lens Exams, Fittings, & Brands
Enjoy the ease and clarity of contact lenses. Our contact lens exams assess the health of your eyes and the suitability of your contact lenses. Find out how you can enjoy frame-free vision.
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Come See Us in Gresham
Our doctors and staff are ready to welcome you to Gresham Optical. Our location is across from the Gresham Golf Course. Look for the red brick building on the corner of Northeast Division Street and Northeast Francis Avenue. There’s plenty of parking available, with a lot in front of the building.
Hours Of Operation
- Monday: 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM
- Tuesday: 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM
- Wednesday: 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM
- Thursday: 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM
- Friday: 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM
- Saturday: 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM
- Sunday: Closed