Dry eye is a common condition and one that can cause significant discomfort. Relief is available through the care of ophthalmologist David Paikal, MD, in Encino, California. If you find yourself frequently struggling with eye irritation, come in for a thorough eye exam and a discussion of treatment options. Call the office to speak with a team member and schedule your dry eye consultation today.
Your body produces tears to keep the front portion of your eye lubricated, wash away foreign particles, prevent infection, and nourish your eyes. Dry eye occurs when your body cannot produce sufficient tears.
Several factors can impede tear production, including:
Tears contain a mix of water, oil, and mucus. The most common type of dry eye is linked to inadequate water content in your tears. The medical name for this is keratoconjunctivitis sicca, or dry eye syndrome.
Dr. Paikal uses several techniques to determine if you are suffering from dry eye. The process begins with a comprehensive eye examination, including an external examination of your eye, eyelid structure, and blinking function. He uses magnification and light to examine your cornea and eyelids.
Dr. Paikal also measures the quantity and quality of your tears by placing a special dye in your eyes to track your tear flow. You also discuss your symptoms and health history, as well as any environmental factors or medications that might be contributing to dry eye.
One approach to treating dry eye involves adding tears using artificial tear solutions in the form of eye drops or ointments. Both over-the-counter and prescription options are available. Some medications help boost tear production or decrease inflammation in or around the eyes that might be contributing to decreased tear production.
Punctal plugs are another approach that involves placing tiny silicone plugs into your tear ducts to impede drainage. That keeps tears in your eyes for longer periods of time and can dramatically improve dry eye symptoms.
For individuals with severe dry eye disease unresponsive to conservative measures, a procedure that applies a small portion of amniotic membrane to the front surface of the eyes can also help. This approach can reduce inflammation and promote healing of the ocular surface.
To explore these and other dry eye treatments in more depth, call the office to schedule an appointment today. Dr. Paikal can examine your eyes and discuss available treatment options in greater detail.