As you get older, you might not be producing enough tears to keep your eyes moisturized and healthy. At his office in the Coolidge Corner district of Brookline, Massachusetts, Paddy Kalish, OD, offers comprehensive eye exams to identify what’s causing your dry eyes. Dr. Kalish customizes a treatment plan to improve your natural tear production to increase your comfort and reduce your risk for eye damage. Learn more about the available options for treating dry eyes by calling the office or by booking a consultation online today.
Dry eye disease is a condition that develops when your eyes don’t make enough tears for proper lubrication. In some cases, you can make tears but their poor quality doesn’t moisturize your eyes effectively
Your tears are made up of three layers – fatty oils, mucus, and aqueous fluids. The main purpose of your tears is to flush away debris, keeping the surface of your eye clear for good vision. If any of your tear layers are of poor quality, you might be at increased risk for dry eyes.
Issues that can interfere with the quality of your tears or tear production include:
As you get older, your ability to make quality tears can also decrease. If you have rosacea or other skin disorders, you might develop blockages in your tear glands that cause your tears to evaporate too quickly.
If left untreated, dry eyes can increase your risk for eye infections, chronic eye discomfort, and damage to the surface of your eyes.
If your eyes are persistently dry and itchy and it’s causing eye pain or poor vision, Dr. Kalish can perform a comprehensive eye exam. He also evaluates your medical history and existing health to determine the cause of your dry eyes.
Tests to measure the volume and quality of your tears can also help identify why your eyes are dry. During a Schirmer test, Dr. Kalish blots your eye with special strips of paper to measure the volume of tears you’re producing.
You might also need a test to assess the quality of your tears. This involves putting special drops in your eyes to evaluate how quickly your tears evaporate.
If you have occasional dry eyes from allergies or contact irritation, you might benefit from over-the-counter artificial tears and moisturizing eye drops suitable for contacts.
Dry eyes that are chronic might require prescription medications to reduce inflammation and prevent damage to your eye’s surface. There are also medications that help increase your tear production.
Blocked glands might require surgery to improve your tear quality. You might also need surgery to prevent tears from draining away too quickly.
When dry eyes relate to underlying medical conditions, Dr. Kalish can work with you and your health care provider to ensure your condition is well controlled.
Don’t ignore persistently dry eyes. You can schedule a diagnostic evaluation online or by calling the office of Paddy Kalish, DO, today.