Very simply, dry eye happens when your eyes do not produce enough tears to stay wet or when your tears do not work correctly. It becomes an issue when your eyes constantly feel uncomfortable and can cause vision problems.

Who is more susceptible to getting dry eyes?

While most people occasionally suffer from dry eyes, persistent dry eyes are symptomatic of meibomian gland dysfunction. MGD is a medical condition in which the meibomian glands, responsible for mixing natural oils into your tears, are blocked so that your tears evaporate quickly and fail to lubricate your eyes.

Meibomian gland dysfunction is a progressive condition with symptoms that worsen over time, so quick intervention with minimally invasive treatments is necessary.

Anyone can get dry eye, but you might be more susceptible if you:

  • Are fifty or older
  • Are female
  • Wear contact lenses
  • Don’t get sufficient vitamin A or omega-3 fatty acids
  • Have specific autoimmune conditions such as lupus or Sjögren syndrome

Dry Eye Symptoms

Some of the most common dry eye symptoms include:

  • Redness
  • Gritty or sandy sensations
  • Crusty eyelashes
  • Excessive tearing
  • Blurry vision
  • Sticky discharge
  • Eye pains
  • Heavy eyelids
  • Tired eyes
  • Itching and burning sensations

Your doctor can check for dry eye as part of a comprehensive dilated eye exam. However, be sure to tell your doctor if you think you might have dry eyes so they can check:

  • The number of tears your eyes make
  • How long it takes for your tears to dry up
  • The structure of your eyelids
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Dry Eye Treatments

Treatment for dry eye depends on what condition is causing your symptoms. Some of the most common types of treatments that can ease your symptoms and help keep your eyes healthy include:

Over-the-counter eye drops

The most common treatment for mild dry eye is artificial tears, a type of over-the-counter eye drop you can get without a prescription. Some over-the-counter moisturizing gels and ointments may soothe your dry eye symptoms.

Prescription medicines

If your dry eye is more chronic, you may be prescribed medicines called cyclosporine (Restasis) or lifitegrast (Xiidra). These are medicated eye drops that encourage your eyes to make more tears.

Lifestyle changes

If something in your environment is causing or worsening your dry eye, you may need to make lifestyle changes to protect your eyes. An example of this would be if the medicine you take for another health condition is causing your dry eye, your doctor may suggest you try a different medication.

Other lifestyle changes include:

  • Avoiding smoke, wind, and air conditioning
  • Using a humidifier to keep the air in your home from getting too dry
  • Reducing screen time and taking breaks from staring at screens
  • Wearing wraparound sunglasses when you're outside
  • Staying hydrated
  • Getting sufficient sleep

Tear duct plugs

If the issue is that tears are draining too quickly from your eyes, punctal plugs in your tear ducts can help keep your tears in your eyes.

Radiofrequency Dry Eye Treatment

Radiofrequency Therapy (RF) gently increases your skin temperature by generating heat to melt the thick oil secretions that clog the meibomian gland. Not only does the treatment improve the quality of your tears and encourages collagen production, but it also reduces inflammation around your eyes that could contribute to your dry eyes.

During the procedure, an RF handheld device gently massages your upper eyelid and the skin underneath your lower eyelid with a soothing gel. This sends the electrical current into your skin and creates a warming sensation, causing no pain or discomfort—treatment time averages around thirty minutes. No downtime is required, and you should be able to return to your daily activities following treatment.

Dry Eye Treatment at Austin Face & Body

When Dr. Sean Paul founded Austin Face & Body, he prioritized assembling a team of the industry's best surgeons and aesthetic nurses. Our exceptional medical professionals are passionate, innovative leaders in their respective fields who remain at the top of research and use their skills and expertise to achieve life-changing results for their patients.

If you have any signs or symptoms of MGD or chronic dry eyes, please schedule a consultation at Austin Face & Body. We have optometric and surgical experts who diagnose the root cause of your conditions to curate the ideal long-term treatment plans. You may schedule an appointment online or call (512) 559-3544.

Providers who perform Dry Eye Management at Austin Face & Body

Dr. Sean Paul

Dr. Sean Paul is the founder of Austin Face & Body. As a widely published surgeon who has traveled all over the world to speak, Dr. Paul is renowned and highly regarded in his industry. He specializes in cosmetic and reconstructive eyelid and facial plastic surgery in Austin, and is board certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology.

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