Dry Eyes Specialist

Antelope Valley Optometric Center

Optometrists located in Lancaster, CA

Around 4.9 million Americans over the age of 50 suffer from dry eyes. Antelope Valley Optometric Center has been providing the residents of Lancaster, California, and the surrounding areas with the ultimate health care experience for over 30 years. The experienced optometrists at Antelope Valley Optometric Center offer a wide range of optometry services and solutions for conditions like dry eye. Call the office or schedule an appointment online today to learn more.

Dry Eyes Q & A

Antelope Valley Optometric Center

What is dry eye?

Dry eye occurs when an eye does not produce a tear film or sufficient tears to keep the cornea hydrated.

Common symptoms of dry eye include:

  • Burning or stinging
  • Gritty, scratchy sensations in the eye
  • Red or irritated eyes, especially when in wind or near smoke
  • Pain when wearing contact lenses

Though it seems counterintuitive, it is also common to have more tears with dry eye because tear production increases when eyes are irritated.

What causes dry eyes?

Dry eye can have several causes, especially hormonal changes due to the aging process. Additional factors that can lead to dry eye include:

  • Having medical conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, thyroid disease, and lupus
  • Being in a very dry, windy, or smoky environment
  • Looking at a computer screen or reading for long periods of time
  • Using contact lenses for extended periods of time
  • Undergoing refractive eye surgery, like LASIK

Taking certain medications, like diuretics, anxiety and antidepressants, heartburn medicines, and antihistamines can also increase the risk of developing dry eye.

How are dry eyes diagnosed?

To diagnose dry eye, the optometrists at Antelope Valley Optometric Center usually begin with a comprehensive eye exam where they examine the surface of the patient’s eye, evaluate how they blink, and look at their eyelids.

Depending on the eye exam and symptoms present, the optometrist might also suggest a test that measures the thickness or quality of tears and how quickly the patient produces them.

How are dry eyes treated?

There are several treatment options available for dry eye, including artificial tears. These drops are usually available without a prescription and act similarly to naturally occurring tears.

To ease eye irritation, the optometrists at Antelope Valley Optometric Center might also recommend:

  • Prescription drops or ointments
  • Warm compresses against the eyes
  • Specific eyelid cleaners
  • Massaging the eyelids

It is important to avoid certain factors that can worsen dry eye symptoms, like hairdryers, very warm rooms, and drying wind. In some cases, increasing intake of items that contain omega-3 fatty acids can help provide symptom relief.

To learn more about dry eyes and finding relief from the symptoms it causes, call Antelope Valley Optometric Center or schedule an appointment online today.