Dry eye is a common and highly treatable eye condition. If your eyes are burning, stinging, or watery, the patient-centered team at Advanced Eye Center in Gainesville, Georgia, including Leroy W. Robinson, III, OD, Ealeen H. Kim, OD, and William C. Ackerman Jr., MD, can help. They specialize in diagnosing and treating dry eye by offering modern, cutting-edge, and evidence-based treatment options. To get relief from your dry eye, call the office or schedule an appointment online today.

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What is dry eye?

Dry eye is a condition that occurs when your eyes are unable to make tears that keep your eyes moist. Every time you blink, you cover your eyes with a tear film made up of three layers:

Oily layer

The oily layer is the outermost layer of your tear film. It makes your tears smooth and holds in moisture.

Watery layer

The watery layer is the middle layer of your tear film. This layer keeps your eyes moist and helps remove dirt and debris.

Mucus layer

The mucus layer is the innermost part of your tear film. The mucus in your tear film helps the watery layer adhere to the eye.

If there’s a change in tear production or composition of one of the layers of your tear film, you may experience dry eye.

What causes dry eye?

There are many factors that lead to dry eye. Tear production naturally slows down as you get older. However, there are other factors that may contribute to your eye discomfort, such as:

  • Windy or dry climate
  • Excessive exposure to smoke
  • Using contact lenses
  • Having LASIK surgery
  • Taking certain medications (diuretics, allergy medications, beta blockers)
  • Having conditions like rheumatoid arthritis or thyroid disease
  • Blepharitis

However, one of the main contributors to dry eye is too much screen time.

What happens during an evaluation for dry eye?

The team at Advanced Eye Center conducts a comprehensive eye exam when you come in with concerns about dry eye.

They review your medical history and the types of medications you take. Your provider tests your vision and examines your eyes, paying close attention to your eyelids and the surface of your eye. They may also measure the quality of your tears and how quickly your eyes make tears.

What treatments can improve dry eye?

Your provider at Advanced Eye Center talks to you about your dry eye condition and the factors contributing to your symptoms. They recommend using artificial tears or taking steps to improve your eye’s natural oil production by:

  • Covering your eyes with a hot compress twice a day
  • Taking a high-quality omega-3 fatty acid supplement
  • Blinking really well (pressing your eyelids together for 2-3 seconds)

When medical interventions fail to alleviate your dry eye, the team may talk to you about tear duct plugs to reduce the rate of tear loss. Or, you may need surgery to correct the underlying cause of your dry eye, such as eyelid surgery to tighten a loose lower eyelid.

Call Advanced Eye Center or schedule your dry eye consultation online today.