Dry Eye Syndrome

Dry eye syndrome is a condition in which the eye does not produce enough tears, or the tears are too thin to lubricate and nourish the eye. Tears are necessary for maintaining the health of the front surface of the eye and for providing clear vision. Dry eye syndrome is a common and often chronic problem, particularly in older adults.

Tears provide lubrication and reduce the risk of eye infection. They wash away foreign matter in the eye as well as keep the surface of the eye smooth and clear. With each blink of the eyelids, tears are spread across the front surface of the eye known as the cornea. Excess tears in the eyes flow into small drainage ducts in the inner corners of the eyelids, which drain in the back of the nose.

When our eyes are not properly lubricated, our vision and comfort can suffer greatly. Thankfully, there are treatments and alternatives to help address the problem.

Causes & Symptoms of Dry Eye

Dry eye can result from an improper balance of tear production and drainage. Advanced dry eyes may even damage the front surface of the eye and impair vision. Elderly people frequently experience dry eye, but it can happen to anyone. Medications, other diseases, obstructions of glands, hormone changes, and many various medical situations can create dry eye symptoms.

People with dry eye syndrome may experience:

  • Irritated, scratchy, gritty or burning eyes
  • A feeling of something in their eyes
  • Excess watering
  • Blurred vision

Treatment of Dry Eye

While dry eye can be a chronic condition, treatment options are available. This will keep your eyes healthy, more comfortable, and prevent your vision from being affected. Specific treatments aim to restore or maintain the normal amount of tears in the eye to minimize dryness or related discomfort and to maintain eye health.

To learn more about this condition, watch the video below. Please contact our office to schedule an appointment with us if you are experiencing any discomfort in your eyes, or if you feel that you have insufficient eye moisture.

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To our patients,

The safety and well-being of our employees and our patients is always our priority, and we recognize the important role we play in providing comprehensive eye care throughout the Des Moines area. Given the continued spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) within our community and throughout our nation, we are taking extensive measures to prevent any further spread of the virus. We are constantly monitoring this pandemic and will continue to look for recommendations from the American Optometric Association as well as our local Iowa branch.

To minimize risk of COVID-19 transmission, we are asking any patients with any cold or flu-like symptoms (cough, shortness of breath, sneezing, or fever), have traveled outside of the United States, or believe to have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 to reschedule their appointments. Hand washing, social distancing, and self-isolation are still the best ways to prevent this virus from spreading more widely. We are committed to providing the best care to you and will continue to give you the best guidance we can.

We appreciate everyone's cooperation during this time and ask for your understanding if you are someone who is asked to reschedule your appointment to a later time.

Thank you again and be well!