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When tears decrease in frequency, Dry Eye is typically the result.


Home » Eye Care Services » Dry Eye Disease and Treatment

What is Dry Eye Syndrome?

Dry Eye Syndrome, referred to as DES, is a chronic eye condition that occurs when the eyes produce an insufficient amount of tears or when the tears lack the essential oils that lubricate the eye’s surface. (This often results in watery eyes and excessive tearing!). A well-lubricated eye blocks foreign bodies or substances from irritating the eye’s surface.

Dr. David Orson treats patients from all over Lee's Summit, Missouri who have Dry Eye symptoms, helping them achieve long-lasting relief from Dry Eye Syndrome.

woman applying eyedroppers
man rubbing eyes

What Causes Dry Eye?

Dry Eye can result from a number of factors, including genetics, the natural aging process, or prescription medications, to name a few.

Hormonal changes are a common cause of Dry Eye. In fact, women who are pregnant, breastfeeding, taking oral contraceptives, or experiencing menopause find that their eyes feel dry and uncomfortable during these times. Women over the age of 50 have a 50% greater chance of developing DES than men of the same age.

Common Symptoms of Dry Eye

Patients with DES experience a number of symptoms that can disrupt their daily activities or cause chronic pain.

The most common signs of DES include the following:

  • Blurriness
  • Burning
  • Dryness
  • Feeling as if something is in your eye
  • Irritation
  • Itchy eyes
  • Pain
  • Red eyes
  • Stinging
  • Watery eyes

Those who suffer from DES often try to alleviate the pain by blinking either less or more often, rubbing their eyes, or by using over-the-counter artificial tears.

Why is blinking important? Blinking is healthy because it naturally moisturizes the eyes and gets rid of tiny particles that may enter the eye. Less blinking can increase dryness, itching, or redness, making DES symptoms even more acute.

Rubbing your eyes, especially when they’re already irritated, can intensify your symptoms. This is because the added pressure can make the pain worse. If your hands aren’t 100% clean, you can unintentionally spread germs or bacteria into your eyes when you rub them. Rubbing the eyes can also cause tiny blood vessels to break, increasing the redness of your eyes.

Artificial tears provide some temporary relief by lubricating the eyes with a medicated solution. These can be quite effective at alleviating soreness and itchiness, however, excessive use isn’t recommended. Many brands include preservatives, which aren’t good for your health in the long-term. Other preservative-free brands can, over time, fail to relieve the basic Dry Eye symptoms. Patients may find that having to continuously purchase artificial tears can become costly, and consistently using them throughout the day disrupts their daily activities.

Dry Eye Treatments

Typically, DES is treated with medicated eye drops, anti-inflammatory drops, or a heated compress. Occasionally, the doctor may recommend punctal plugs. These are tiny devices that are inserted into the eye’s tear duct, blocking any drainage. This can alleviate DES symptoms by preventing moisture from draining out of the eye, instead keeping them inside the tear duct area. This increases the moisture level, giving longer-term relief. Plus, punctal plugs are not permanent and can be easily removed or replaced, making them a simple, affordable solution to alleviate symptoms.

dry eye square 1 400

Dry Eye Technology

Advancements in medical technology and scientific breakthroughs have made treatment for Dry Eye easier, with quicker results, and longer-lasting benefits.

Eyecare Specialties has some of the most cutting-edge and advanced technologies to quickly and effectively test for Dry Eye Syndrome. Let Dr. David Orson and the talented, experienced staff help get you started on the path to real long-term relief from Dry Eye.

Dry eye disease won’t have a permanent effect on your vision, but there is no reason to endure dry, itchy and uncomfortable eyes, especially since there are so many treatment options to increase moisture and comfort. It’s also important to realize that this is a chronic eye disease that needs consistent treatment. Your doctor will work with you to create a long term strategy to keep your eyes as comfortable as possible.

Video Transcription

Our optometrist, Dr. Jason Lake shared some insights into dry eyes, here is the text transcription of his video. 

Getting right ahead into the winter months and one of the most frequent questions we get here at the office is "why do my eyes feel so much more dry.

Well a couple of basic reasons:

  • Number 1 the heaters in your home are run at a lot lower humidity, so making sure you have good humidity control in your homes.
  • Heaters in your car obviously.
  • And of course the air here in Missouri is super dry and cold this time of the year.

One of the things we need to consider is maybe doing some extra artificial tears, extra dry eye supplements, and things like that. If your dry eyes are getting to the point that you are not feeling significant relief with artificial tears or over the counter remedies, there is a lot of new pharmaceutical treatments we can use, such as Restasis, Xiidra, many different options that are available.

So if you are finding yourself having to use the artificial tears more than 4-5 times a day I suggest that you make an appointment with one of us and we will be happy to take a look at that and help you with some of the newer treatments. Sometimes its just as simple as regulating diet or the type of artificial tear that you are taking. If you have any questions make sure to call us here at the office, Thanks!