Dry Eyes

Shane Clark, OD, FAAO -  - Optometrist

Infinity EyeCare

Shane Clark, OD, FAAO

Optometrist located in Rapid City, SD

Dry Eyes Specialist
Dr. Shane Clark offers diagnosis and treatment for dry eyes at his practice, Infinity EyeCare, in Rapid City, South Dakota. Dry eye syndrome is a fairly common condition that is characterized by inadequate or poor quality tears. Tears protect your eyes, so you should have regular eye exams and treatment -- when needed -- for dry eyes.

Dry Eyes Q & A

by Shane Clark, OD, FAAO

What is dry eye syndrome?

Dry eye syndrome is a condition where a person either doesn’t produce enough tears or the tears they produce are of poor quality. Tears are critical to maintaining the health of your cornea and enabling you to see clearly. When you blink, tears spread across your eyes to keep your corneas lubricated, wash away debris, and keep the surface of your eyes smooth. Patients with dry eye syndrome may experience itching or burning eyes, feeling like something is in their eye, excessive watering, or blurred vision. If left untreated, the corneas can become damaged and impair vision.

What causes dry eyes?

As you age, the glands around your eyes may stop producing tears. Wind and dry climates can also contribute to the problem, as tears may evaporate too quickly. Your tears may be of poor quality because your eyes have an insufficient amount of:

  • Oil
  • Water
  • Mucus

The condition is more common in women due to the hormonal changes of pregnancy, birth control, and menopause. It also becomes more common as you age. Certain medications and medical conditions can also contribute to dry eyes. Long-term contact use can also cause dry eyes as well as refractive eye surgeries.

How is dry eye treated?

Dr. Clark treats dry eyes with a variety of techniques, depending on the cause of the condition and the patient’s eye health, including:

  • Over-the-counter or prescription tear drops.
  • Tiny silicon or gel plugs that prevent or slow the drainage of tears.
  • Eye drops that stimulate tear production.

If inflammation is an issue, Dr. Clark may suggest using warm compresses, eyelid massage, and eyelid cleaners to keep the delicate skin around the eyes clean and healthy, and reducing inflammation around the surface of the eyes. If you’re suffering from dry eyes, please call or schedule an appointment online with Dr. Clark at Infinity EyeCare.

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