Gontarek Eye Care is proud to be an Accredited Dry Eye Center. We now offer TearLab testing, which takes a tear osmolarity measurement that allows our eye doctors to detect dry eye, often before symptoms are even noticed. It also allows us to track your progress when treatment has been started. This helps our eye care office to more effectively treat our patients in Virginia Beach, Norfolk and Chesapeake. Because dry eye is considered a medical diagnosis, many times, your medical insurance will cover the cost of this test.
Millions of people suffer from dry eye and don’t even realize it! Most people are not aware that the symptoms they’re having are related to dryness of the ocular surface.
Common Dry Eye Syndrome symptoms are:
- Blurry vision
- Light sensitivity
- Eye fatigue
- Watery eye/tearing
- Stringy mucous in eyes
- Foreign body sensation
- Contact lens discomfort
- Scratchy, feeling of sand in eye
Some of the factors that contribute to dry eye include:
A person’s age
Medications/birth control pills
Sleeping with a fan blowing or a CPAP machine
Reading/working on a computer for an extended period of time
To combat the above conditions your eyes may water, but the quality of these watery tears is not what the eye needs to stay moist.
Our eye doctors recommend the following good ways to minimize dry eye:
Artificial Tears: These can be helpful if used correctly. Our eye care office can make specific recommendations about which type of drop is right for you. Avoid confusion and let us help you. Self-treating with certain over-the-counter drops offers very temporary relief. Some even add to the irritation!
Health and Nutrition: Good health and nutrition play a key role in the quality of the tear film and ocular surface health. Generally, the healthier you are and the better you eat, the less you will suffer from dry eye symptoms. Specifically, good hydration and omega 3 fatty acids (such as is found in salmon and certain nuts) will enhance the quality of your tears.
Prescription Medications: Dry eye is often associated with inflammation and there are medications that our eye doctors in Virginia Beach, Norfolk and Chesapeake prescribe to help you. Sometimes steroid eye drops are used to decrease inflammation of the eye. There is also Restasis, which is a medication designed to help your tear glands work more efficiently to produce more tears. Not only does this medication help you make more tears, it helps you make tears of better quality.
Punctal Occlusion: Your eyelids have drainage holes (called puncta) through which tears drain. By slightly blocking these holes, tears stay on your eye surface longer. This procedure, called punctal occlusion, can be done with removable plugs or more permanently with cauterization, and can be performed in our eye care office.
Contact lens wearers: Contact lens wearers with dry eye can be more successful with daily disposable lenses. In particular, we now offer Acuvue Oasys 1 Day lenses. These lenses are state-of-the-art and are designed to reduce symptoms of dryness and tired eyes while also providing enhanced comfort and performance. This lens design is enhanced with tear-like molecules that integrate with your own tears to help reduce dryness. We have been fitting our patients with this new lens since December, and so far, the response has been outstanding!
If you think you may suffer from dry eye, please contact our office to set up an evaluation at (757) 966-2206.
ABOUT OUR EYE CARE CLINIC
Since 2010, our eye doctors have provided families in Virginia Beach, Norfolk and Chesapeake with the best eye care possible. Our eye clinic is rooted in the philosophy of good old fashioned honesty and customer service – and our patients appreciate that. Our eye doctors and staff can provide a comprehensive eye examination, vision therapy, eye exams, glasses, contacts, co-management of surgical patients, and more.