What is dry eyes?

Are your eyes feeling like a desert or maybe the opposite with tears flowing like a waterfall? Both of these symptoms can be experienced from dry eyes. We have basically two types of tears: everyday tears and reflex tears. Oftentimes the most common complaint of a dry eye is actually a wet eye. Crazy,huh? There are two main causes of dry eyes: poor quality tear film or inadequate volume of tears. Most of us will experience dry or irritated eyes at some point, however having chronic dry eyes can lead to corneal damage and vision changes. Determining the cause of the dry eyes will help determine the best treatment plan and options to relieve symptoms. Treatment options may include the use of over-the-counter drops, prescription medications, punctal occlusion and lid treatment plans.

Are over-the-counter eye drops safe to use?

We realize there are many choices in over-the-counter (OTC) drops and selecting the right one for you can be very confusing. There are many good choices available OTC in reducing symptoms and providing relief, but if symptoms persist or recur,  you should schedule an appointment with us to make sure you are using the correct drops and that the symptoms aren’t related to a more serious health condition. OTC eye drops usually come in three main types: those that moisten the eye (sometimes called “artificial tears”), those that are aimed at removing redness, and those that aim in relieving itching due to allergies. With so many to choose from we recommend discussing the right OTC drops for you during your eye examination.

What causes eye allergies?

Living in Florida, we have many allergens due to yearlong blooms and pollen. Eye allergies can also be caused by a variety of factors, including environmental irritants, smoke, molds, cleaning products, chemicals, and can even be triggered by skin and eye care products or makeup.  Common symptoms include itching, watering, irritation, redness, and may be accompanied by other allergy symptoms like sneezing and a runny nose.  Some mild cases of allergic conjunctivitis can be treated with OTC drops and cool compresses. Moderate to severe cases may require a prescription to relief symptoms. Don’t suffer from itchy water eyes, our doctors are here to help.