Dry Eye

Sometimes your eyes don’t make enough tears or the tears evaporate too fast because they don’t have the right amount of compounds in them. This is called dry eye. Up to 5% of Americans complain of some form of dry eye. Individuals who wear contact lenses or have undergone LASIK or other types of refractive surgery commonly complain of dry eye. The condition is more common in women and is more common and severe in older persons.

Dry eye may occur by itself, or the surface of the eye may be inflamed at the same time. This condition can make it harder for you to carry out certain activities such as reading for long periods or looking at a computer screen. You may also be less comfortable in dry environments.

Mild cases of dry eye may go away on their own. However, if dry eye persists and goes untreated, it can cause ulcers or scars on the surface of the eye (cornea). This can be painful and may lead to some vision loss. Permanent loss of vision from dry eye, though, is uncommon.

Symptoms of Dry Eye

Dry eye can lead to different symptoms, including:

    Being unable to read, work on the computer or do other eye-intensive activities for long periods
    Blurry vision
    Burning or stinging of the eye
    Discharge from the eye
    Discomfort while wearing contact lenses
    Eye fatigue
    Feeling like there is something in your eye
    Eyelids that feel heavy
    Not being able to cry, even when upset emotionally
    Periods of excess tears followed by very dry eyes
    Redness or pain in the eye

If these symptoms persist or grow worse, contact your eye doctor. He or she will identify the underlying cause of dry eye and offer treatment options.

Causes of Dry Eye

Many factors can lead to dry eye, both temporary and ongoing (chronic), including:

    Chemical and heat burns of the membrane that covers the eye and inside of the eyelids (conjunctiva)
    Chronic inflammation of the conjunctiva or the lacrimal gland
    Cosmetic eyelid surgery
    Diseases of the skin on or around the eyelids or the glands in the eyelids
    Exposure to irritants, such as chemical fumes, tobacco smoke or drafts from heating or air conditioning
    Hormone replacement therapy
    Immune system disorders such as lupus, Sjögren’s syndrome and rheumatoid arthritis
    Long-term contact lens wear
    Medications such as antidepressants, antihistamines, birth control pills, certain blood pressure medicines, nasal decongestants, Parkinson’s medications and tranquilizers
    Not blinking enough while looking at electronic screens
    Refractive surgery, such as LASIK
    Thyroid disease
    Vitamin deficiency or excess

Treatments for Dry Eye

Several treatments are available to relieve symptoms of dry eye, including:

    Anti-inflammatory medication such as cyclosporine or short-term use of corticosteroid eye drops
    Dietary changes or supplements, such as adding omega-3 fatty acids to your diet
    Managing the underlying condition with medication or other treatments
    Plugging the tear ducts to keep the tears from flowing away, either temporarily or permanently
    Switching medications that may be causing dry eye
    Wearing contact lenses less frequently or switching to another type of lens

If you have dry eye, you may also be able to take steps to reduce the symptoms, such as by:

    Avoiding dry conditions
    Filtering the air in your house with an air cleaner
    Keeping the moisture in your house at a comfortable level with a humidifier
    Resting your eyes periodically during vision-intensive activities such as computer use or reading
    Using over-the-counter artificial tears, gels or ointments
    Wearing close-fitting glasses or sunglasses to prevent evaporation of tears

For more information about treating dry eye or about dry eye in general, contact us today at 480.900.2020.


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    Dr. Candria Kryko is a wonderful OD. I was seen by Dr. Kryko in Scottsdale recently for an eye exam/contact lens fitting. She is extremely pleasant, attentive, and she took her time to give me a thorough exam and answer all of my questions. Dr. Kryko gave me recommendations on contacts and eye drops, as well, she gave me tips on how I can save on some of my contact expenses. She was professional, attentive, took the time to explain what was needed, and was simply nice to be around. I recommend Dr. Kryko.

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    Linn M.

    Dr. Krywko listens and identifies the issues with the eyes! I don’t feel like a number - the time was spent to understand what issues I was having and a comprehensive solution developed! I followed Dr. Krywko from her previous location as she’s THAT good! The team she has surrounded herself with is top notch as well! (Thank you Liz)

    Cat W.

    I have worn contact lenses for years but due to my strong near-sighted prescription with high astigmatism could get neither the comfort nor vision very good in standard gas permeable lenses or in soft lenses. I had reverted back to wearing glasses most of the time until Dr. Krywko recommended the SynergEyes lenses. They work great for me and I can finally wear contacts again! Thank you, Dr. Krywko!

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    Being new to this state, I can honestly say this is the best eye doctor and I made a good decision coming here. They took the time and patience to help!

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