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Finding Relief for Dry Eye

Finding Relief for Dry Eye

Tears keep the eyes’ surface lubricated, smooth, and clear. With dry eye, the eyes either don’t have enough water in the tears (known as aqueous-deficient dry eye) or the quality of the tears they produce is substandard due to the reduced quantities of oil, and mucus in the tears (known as evaporative dry eye). Both of these can cause inflammation and harm the eye’s ocular surface.

Far more common is evaporative dry eye, which occurs when the meibomian glands along the rims of the eyelids become blocked. This limits the amount of oil in the tears, so the tears evaporate much faster than they normally would.

With aqueous-deficient dry eye, the lacrimal gland in the upper area of the eye sockets doesn’t produce enough of the water component of tears to keep the eyes hydrated.

Both types of dry eye can occur together.

Dry Eye Symptoms and Causes

Dry eye symptoms include stinging, burning, and redness; watery tears that sometimes run down your cheeks; a scratchy feeling, as if particles are lodged in the eyes; and discomfort while wearing contact lenses.

Dry eye can also be a symptom of many medical conditions, including Sjogrens’ syndrome, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma, graft vs. host disease (after receiving donated bone marrow or peripheral blood stem cells), sarcoidosis, thyroid disorders, and a vitamin A deficiency. Wearing contact lenses, nerve damage following laser eye surgery, and aging can also contribute to dry eye.

Sometimes, the problem is linked to prescription or over-the-counter medication.

Medications that can cause dry eye include:

  • Antihistamines
  • Decongestants
  • Hormone-replacement therapy
  • Antidepressants
  • Blood-pressure medication
  • Acne medication
  • Birth-control pills
  • Medication for Parkinson’s disease

In addition, environmental factors such as air pollutants, air conditioning, the dryness in airplanes, long periods staring at a computer or book, tobacco smoke, even cooking fumes can cause dry eye or aggravate it. If you are suffering from red, itchy, dry, or painful eyes, visit Our doctors for a thorough eye exam. We may test the quality and volume of your tears to better understand your condition and treat it.

Once our practice has determined the true nature and cause of your dry eye, we will create a personalized plan to treat it. This may include a combination of over-the-counter or prescription eye drops or ointments and other in-office treatments. We might prescribe a way to improve your eyelid hygiene and explain how to gently wash your eyelids with warm water. In serious cases we may recommend a range of more in-depth treatments such as light therapy, changing your contact lens prescription, or procedures to block your tear ducts or unblock your oil glands.

The Dry Eye Center At Eye Trends treats patients with dry eye in Houston, Spring, Woodlands, Conroe, and throughout Texas.

References:

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Dr. Inns is a 1982 graduate of the University of Houston College of Optometry. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Wilfred Laurier University, Canada. During his training at the University of Houston, he held positions in research and was a teaching assistant / laboratory instructor.

Postgraduate work includes therapeutic courses at Pennsylvania College of Optometry and the Optometric Glaucoma Specialist Course at the University of Texas Medical School. Dr. Inns has published in Optometry Today and Optometric Management. He also volunteers at the schools in his area.

Dr. Inns and his wife, Lynn, spend much of their spare time calling and visiting with their four boys.

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Amber Draper, Manager

As the manager of The Woodlands office, Amber Draper leads the team with the focus on patient care and assisting with their ophthalmic needs. Having over 10 years experience, Amber can aid patients with the most appropriate lens technology to match their daily needs. Everyone needs at least one pair of sun wear, especially here in Texas.

Amber is a proud graduate of Sam Houston State University with a BA in History, and a minor in Spanish.

In her spare time, she is with family, friends, and enjoying some Houston Texans Football.

Dr. Toups is a 1984 graduate of the University of Houston College of Optometry. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Pharmacy from Northeast Louisiana University.

Being a therapeutically licensed optometrist, Dr. Toups is trained to diagnose and treat ocular conditions. He specializes in contact lenses and he is current with all refractive surgery procedures.

Dr. Toups is married, has five children and has lived in the Houston area since 1980.

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