Dry Eyes

Medical & General Optometrist located in Montrose and The Heights, Houston, TX

Dry Eyes

Dry eyes are one of the most common eye problems, affecting millions of Americans each year. Without treatment, they can affect your quality of life, impacting your performance at work and making it difficult to drive. At Focus Refined Eye Care, with offices in The Heights and Montrose neighborhoods of Houston, Texas, general and medical optometrist Bimal Patel, OD, specializes in managing dry eyes. Dr. Patel offers various treatment options, including HydroEye® supplements, punctal plugs, amniotic contact lenses, and more. Call Focus Refined Eye Care to schedule an appointment or book your visit online today. 

When should I see an eye doctor for dry eyes?

Everyone experiences dry eyes occasionally, but if your symptoms continue for more than a week and don’t improve with at-home treatments, like over-the-counter eye drops, make an appointment at Focus Refined Eye Care. Dry eyes typically aren’t serious, but they can affect the clarity of your vision and your sense of comfort. 

What are the symptoms of dry eyes?

Dry eye symptoms include:

  • Sensitivity to light
  • Eye redness
  • Stinging or burning in your eyes
  • Stringy mucus in and around your eyes
  • Blurred vision
  • Eye fatigue
  • Difficulty wearing contact lenses

As dry eyes worsen, you might have difficulty driving at night or feel like there’s something stuck in your eye. 

What causes dry eyes?

Dry eyes occur due to underlying medical conditions that affect the quality and/or production of your natural tears. Human tears contain three ingredients: fatty oils, aqueous fluid, and mucus. A problem with any of these substances can dry out your eyes and cause irritation. 

How does an optometrist diagnose dry eyes?

Dr. Patel asks about your symptoms and completes a comprehensive eye exam. He reviews your optical health and uses different tools to assess the structures inside your eye.

Dr. Patel also orders several tests, including: 

A tear volume test

During this test, Dr. Patel puts strips of blotting paper inside your lower eyelids. He leaves them there for about 5 minutes and then measures the amount of tears they soak up. 

A tear quality test

During this test, Dr. Patel puts dyed eye drops into your eyes. The staining patterns that the eye drops leave on your cornea help Dr. Patel measure how long your tears take to evaporate.

A tear osmolarity test

This test measures the chemical composition of your tears. If you have dry eyes, your tears contain significantly less water than average.

How are dry eyes treated?

At Focus Refined Eye Care, Dr. Patel treats dry eyes with a conservative approach. He might suggest:

  • HydroEye supplements to soothe your eye surfaces and increase comfort
  • Punctal plugs to plug your tear ducts and promote increased eye moisture
  • Wearing amniotic contact lenses to heal the surfaces of your eyes
  • Medicines to reduce eyelid inflammation
  • Eye drops to control corneal inflammation
  • Tear-stimulating medicines
  • A nasal spray to increase tear production

Dr. Patel also offers eyeglasses with Neurolens® technology. Neurolens technology helps properly realign your eyes, preventing dry eyes caused by eye strain.

Call Focus Refined Eye Care today to schedule treatment for dry eyes, or book your appointment online.