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Dry Eye

David K. Chow, MD, MPH, FACS -  - Ophthalmologist

David K. Chow, MD, MPH, FACS

Ophthalmologist located in Reston, VA

Nearly half of all American adults have dry eye symptoms on a regular basis, but you don’t have to be among that number any longer. At the practice of skilled ophthalmologist David K. Chow, MD, PC, FACS, in Reston, Virginia, you can get relief from the dryness, itching, burning, and the other irritating symptoms of dry eye. For effective dry eye relief, schedule an appointment online or by phone today.

Dry Eye Q & A

What is dry eye?

Dry eye syndrome, also simply called dry eye, is a problem that can develop if you don’t produce the amount or quality of tears that you need for comfortable eye lubrication. Dry eye is a very common issue among adults today, and it’s particularly common in women. Most dry eye sufferers are age 50 or older, but it can happen at any age.

What are the symptoms of dry eye?

As the name implies, chronic dry eyes are the main problem in dry eye, but they’re usually not the only issue. Most dry eye sufferers also have problems like:

  • Burning eyes
  • Stinging eyes
  • Itchy eyes
  • Sensation of foreign body in eyes
  • Red eyes
  • Blurry vision
  • Heavy feeling eyelids
  • Eye discharge
  • Watery eyes (not true tears, but a reflex reaction to the dryness)

If you recognize these symptoms, dry eye may be the issue. Dr. Chow can discuss your symptoms with you and check your tear quality and quantity to make an accurate diagnosis. If your dry eye symptoms are severe, Dr. Chow may also perform testing like corneal topography to evaluate damage to your cornea.

What is the most effective treatment for dry eyes?

Dry eye treatment often starts with adding artificial tears, which Dr. Chow may recommend to soothe your symptoms. If you need artificial tears frequently (more than six times daily), the American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends a formula with no preservatives to avoid chemical irritation.

If artificial tears don’t help, Dr. Chow may prescribe anti-inflammatory eyedrops like corticosteroids for short-term use. Other prescription options like Restasis® and Xiidra® can help you make more of your own natural healthy tears.

Eye inserts called Lacrisert® can help you create more tears if eyedrops don’t help. You place Lacrisert inserts in your lower eyelid, where they slowly release lubricating substances into your eyes.

Tear conservation is another effective treatment for dry eye, especially in severe cases where other approaches aren’t effective. Punctal plugs are small inserts that block your tear ducts to help retain eye moisture. Dissolvable, collagen-based punctal plugs last for weeks or months before dissipating naturally, while silicone plugs are semipermanent (they stay in your tear ducts until Dr. Chow removes them).

Although it’s rare, some cases of dry eye don’t respond to any of the above treatments. In that situation, Dr. Chow may recommend surgery that closes your tear ducts permanently. He works with a number of leading ophthalmology surgery experts and can co-manage your surgery for an ideal outcome.

Don’t suffer dry eye symptoms needlessly. Call David K. Chow, MD, or schedule an appointment online today to get started.