Dry Eye Treatment

Dubuque Family Eye Care

Optometrist located in Dubuque, IA

If you are one of the more than four million Americans living with chronic dry eyes, dry eye treatment can ease uncomfortable symptoms, making it easier to drive, work at a computer, or perform other daily tasks, as well as improve your vision. At Dubuque Family Eye Care, in Dubuque, Iowa, optometrist Lynn Lester, OD, specializes in diagnosing and treating dry eyes. To schedule your appointment, call the office to speak with a friendly team member or book online today.

Dry Eye Treatment Q & A

What are dry eyes?

Dry eyes occur when your tear glands don’t produce enough quality tears to keep your eyes lubricated and nourished. Tears help to maintain the health of the front surface of your eye – also known as your cornea – and allow you to see clearly. Without proper treatment, dry eyes may result in stinging or burning sensations and poor vision, which can negatively affect your quality of life and your ability to perform routine tasks. 

Every time you blink, tears spread across your cornea. These tears provide lubrication, reduce your risk of developing an infection, and wash away debris that could interfere with your vision. Any additional tears flow into drainage ducts at the inner corner of your eyelids. People often experience dry eye when tear production and drainage are imbalanced. 

Some people experience dry eyes all the time; others experience dry eyes during certain activities. Regardless of what’s causing your dry eyes, treatment can relieve symptoms and make you more comfortable. Dry eye is often a chronic problem among older adults. 

What are the symptoms of dry eyes?

Dry eyes affect everyone differently, but there are telltale signs to watch out for, including:

  • Stinging or burning sensations that affect one or both eyes
  • Difficulty driving at night
  • Red eye
  • Increased mucus production at the corners of your eyes
  • Difficulty wearing contact lenses

If you have dry eyes, you might also experience blurred vision or tired eyes, especially if you’ve been using electronics like a smartphone or tablet for a long period of time.

What causes dry eyes?

You can develop dry eyes for a number of reasons, including:

  • Age, being over the age of 65
  • Gender, women are more likely to experience dry eye
  • Medications
  • Medical conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, and thyroid issues
  • Environmental factors like smoke, wind, or dry climates
  • Prolonged use of electronic devices

You can also develop dry eyes after wearing contact lenses for a prolonged period of time or after refractive eye surgery like LASIK. 

What is the process for diagnosing dry eyes?

To diagnose dry eyes, Dr. Lester conducts a comprehensive eye exam and asks you questions about your symptoms. Your evaluation may include:

  • A review of your medical history
  • An external examination of your eye
  • An evaluation of your eyelids and cornea
  • Measurement of the quantity and quality of your tears

After conducting a thorough examination, Dr. Lester can determine if you have dry eyes and recommend an appropriate treatment.  

What is dry eye treatment?

Dry eye treatment can help relieve many of the uncomfortable symptoms of dry eyes. At Dubuque Family Eye Care, Dr. Lester usually recommends conservative treatment measures like rest, wearing sunglasses, drinking plenty of water, and using over-the-counter eye drops. 

However, if your symptoms persist or worsen, Dr. Lester might recommend prescription-strength eye drops to improve your tear quality, special contact lenses, tear-stimulating medications, or even surgery depending on the circumstances responsible for your dry eyes. 

What type of dry eye treatment is right for me?

Only a qualified optometrist like Dr. Lester can determine the type of dry eye treatment you’ll most benefit from. Dr. Lester makes her recommendations based on a review of your health history, a comprehensive eye exam, and the severity of your symptoms.

To schedule your dry eye appointment at Dubuque Family Eye Care, call the office or book online today.