Dry Eye Treatment
Dry Eye Treatment
If you feel a stinging or burning sensation in your eyes, you could be suffering from dry eye. Identifying the root cause of your dry eye is crucial to getting the treatment you need to relieve discomfort. At Casey Optical Co. in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Dr. Christine Kniffen has the expertise and technology to properly diagnose and treat dry eye.
What is dry eye?
Dry eye syndrome is a condition where you don’t produce enough tears, or your tears evaporate too quickly. Dry eye symptoms are often confused with allergies, which is why dry eye can be misdiagnosed.
It’s essential to get a proper diagnosis and treatment for dry eye syndrome if you’re experiencing symptoms. Tears play a vital role in keeping your eyes moist, lubricated, and healthy. They help you see clearly and protect against infections. Ignoring these symptoms can lead to further eye complications, discomfort, and even vision loss.
What are the symptoms of dry eye?
The most obvious symptom of dry eye syndrome is a burning sensation in the eyes. Other symptoms include:
- Stinging or itching eyes
- A scratchy or sandy feeling in your eyes
- Increased sensitivity to light
- Eye pain or redness
- Stringy mucus or discharge from your eyes
- Fluctuating vision
If you experience any of these symptoms, it’s important to make an appointment with your optometrist.
How is dry eye diagnosed?
At Casey Optical Co., we offer eye exams that can help diagnose dry eye syndrome and a range of other conditions. We understand that every patient is unique, and we strive to provide individualized care that addresses your symptoms and minimizes discomfort.
TearLab Osmolarity system
One of the innovative diagnostic tools our eye doctor in Albuquerque uses is the TearLab osmolarity system. This test confirms a diagnosis of dry eye and monitors the effectiveness of treatment over time. Additionally, it helps rule out other conditions that cause symptoms similar to dry eye.
The TearLab system measures the osmolarity (or salt content) of your tears to help diagnose and manage dry eye disease. High levels of salt in tears are strongly linked to dry eye disease, making tear osmolarity one of the most reliable predictors of the condition.
During the test, Dr. Kniffen collects a small sample of tears (approximately 50 nanoliters) from the lower eyelid using a tiny microcapillary tube. She then places the sample on a small disposable sensor that measures the tear osmolarity.
Taking the tear sample is quick and painless, and we’ll have the results in about 10 minutes. If a dry eye diagnosis is confirmed, Dr. Kniffen can then recommend the best treatment for your specific case.
How do you treat dry eye syndrome?
Treatment for dry eye depends on the severity of your condition and its underlying cause(s). Dr. Kniffen can determine your diagnosis and recommend the best course of treatment for you.
Common treatments for dry eye include:
- Prescription eye drops to reduce inflammation
- Treating oil glands
- Punctal plugs
- Meibomian gland expression
- Blinking exercises or proper eyelid hygiene
- Lifestyle changes like using a humidifier or taking frequent breaks from screens
In rare cases, surgery may be necessary to block the tear ducts or remove the glands that produce tears. If an infection is causing your dry eye symptoms, our eye doctor may prescribe low-dose antibiotics to help treat the infection and alleviate your symptoms.
Schedule a dry eye evaluation in Albuquerque
At Casey Optical Co., we understand how uncomfortable and frustrating dry eye syndrome can be. However, with proper care from an experienced professional, it can be managed effectively, allowing you to enjoy comfortable vision once again.
If you’re experiencing symptoms of dry eye, our team of experts is here to help. Dr. Kniffen will work with you to determine the underlying cause of your condition and develop a personalized treatment plan that meets your unique needs. Schedule an appointment at our office today and let us help you manage your symptoms and maintain clear, comfortable vision.