Did you know that about 4.9 million Americans are living with chronic dry eye? When left untreated, dry eye can become both painful and distracting, making it difficult to work, run errands, or drive. At Russell Micah Levine, MD in the Hell's Kitchen neighborhood of Manhattan, ophthalmologist Russell Levine, MD, uses targeted medical therapies to ease the uncomfortable symptoms of dry eye. To schedule an appointment, call the New York City office or book a consultation online today.
Dry eye, also known as dry eye disease, occurs when your eyes don’t produce enough quality tears for adequate lubrication. Some people don’t produce enough tears, while others produce tears that are poor quality.
Regardless of the underlying cause, dry eye is uncomfortable and irritating. Activities like riding a bike, sitting in an air-conditioned room, or staring at a computer screen for hours can make symptoms worse. Fortunately, lifestyle changes and prescription eye drops can ease discomfort and improve your overall quality of life.
The symptoms of dry eye vary from person to person. Sometimes, dry eye affects only one eye, but for many people, it affects both.
Telltale signs of dry eye, include:
Some people with dry eye also experience the sensation of an object being lodged in their eye. Surprisingly, teary eyes are also a symptom, as dry eye may cause your eyes to water frequently.
Dry eye occurs due to low-quality tears or a lack of tear production. Some of the most common causes of dry eye include styes, allergies, blepharitis, demodex mites, and wearing contact lenses. Sometimes, dry eye is caused by an underlying medical condition such as lupus, Sjogren’s disease, or rheumatoid arthritis. Certain medications can also cause dry eye.
Dry eye can also coincide with a chalazion, which is a slow-growing, inflammatory lump that develops in an oil gland of the eyelid.
To diagnose dry eye, Dr. Levine conducts a comprehensive eye exam, reviews your medical history, and asks you about your symptoms. Next, he measures the volume of your tears using the Shirmer test.
To do a Shirmer test Dr. Levine places two strips of blotting paper under your lower eyelids. After five minutes, he may measure the amount of the strip soaked in your tears. If necessary, Dr. Levine might also order tests to determine the quality of your tears.
Dr. Levine treats people experiencing all types of dry eye, including individuals with mild and moderate symptoms, and people struggling with chronic dry eye. He works closely with patients to get to the bottom of their dry eye issue.
After determining the underlying cause, Dr. Levine uses targeted medical therapies to provide relief. Depending on your symptoms, this might include prescription medications to reduce eyelid inflammation, eyedrops to treat corneal inflammation, or tear-stimulating drugs.
If your dry eye doesn’t improve or it gets worse, Dr. Levine might recommend special contact lenses or treatments like warm compresses to unblock clogged oil glands.
To explore your treatment options for dry eye, schedule an appointment at Russell Micah Levine, MD. Call or text the office and speak with a friendly team member or book a consultation online today.