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Dry Eyes

Dry, irritated, burning or watering eyes?

Constant moisture is necessary for clear vision and comfortable eyes. However, as we age or have other contributing factors, our tear production often becomes inadequate. The result is the second most common problem an eye doctor treats: Dry Eye Syndrome.

When we blink, a film of tears, made of water, fatty oils, proteins, and electrolytes, is spread over the eye which makes the surface smooth and clear. The eye produces tears by two different methods. One method produces tears at a slow, steady rate and is responsible for normal eye lubrication. Tears that lubricate are constantly produced by the healthy eye. The second produces large quantities of tears in response to eye irritation, foreign body or emotions.

When Dry Eye occurs, patients experience symptoms such as:

  • redness
  • sandy or gritty sensation
  • burning, pain
  • soreness
  • itching
  • stickiness
  • blurry vision
  • tearing

Excess tearing from Dry Eye seems illogical, but if tears responsible for maintenance are not produced, the eye becomes irritated and excess tears then overflow from the eyes.

Diagnosing Dry Eye can be done during a regular eye exam. When visiting your eye doctor, a quick, painless test to measure tear volume and tear quality can be performed.

If Dry Eye is left untreated, the eye becomes susceptible to complications such as eye infections or scarring of the cornea. A visit to your eye doctor is the only way to find out if you suffer from Dry Eye Syndrome.

Treating Dry Eyes

Treatments can vary. Artificial tears can provide temporary relief, but frequent artificial tear use can be impractical, especially with a busy lifestyle. At Blue Laser Group center for sight in Athens, GA, Dr. Blue uses advanced techniques for the treatment of Dry Eye. Since dry eyes are caused by slowing of the tear production system, slowing or stopping tear drainage can help the condition. This allows your natural tears to provide an adequate tear film again.

To slow tear drainage, special microscopic dissolving plugs are placed in the tear drains. These plugs dissolve in a short period of time, allowing the patient to judge the benefits before placing a permanent plug. If the temporary plug improves the symptoms, permanent plugs, called punctual plugs, are then inserted.

A high percentage of patients who undergo this procedure experience a significant improvement in their Dry Eye symptoms. Many find such a high level of relief, they no longer need artificial tears and attain clear vision and healthier eyes.

The procedure is performed in the exam room and takes less than five minutes. It requires only an eye drop for anesthesia and is typically described as painless. Patients can return to normal activity immediately following the procedure.

A high percentage of patients report experiencing a significant improvement in their Dry Eye symptoms from this quick in-office treatment. This procedure is typically covered by medical insurance and Medicare.

Schedule your consultation today!

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