Why do my eyes burn and sting? - Dr. Robert Benza

by Dr. Robert Benza, MD 14. June 2014 06:00

Dr. Robert Benza

My friends tell me I have dry eyes.  Can you do anything for this?

This is a common dialogue in our office.  These symptoms are very consistent with dry eyes.  As you know, the eyes produce tears and drain tears through a tear duct system.  As we get older,  we produce less tears which tends to make the eyes more uncomfortable.
 
What are some of the common treatments?   Artificial tears and lubricating drops or ointments often are used to supplement the tear film.  This tends to work more in patients with mildly dry eyes.  A more unique solution are punctal plugs.  The punctum is the tiny opening on the inner aspect of the eyelid which is the entry to the drainage system. We have reversible silicon plugs approximately half a millimeter in size which can be placed in the punctum to block the drainage system.  This can be done in the office, without any discomfort, in a minute or two.  Tears which normally leave the eye now stay in the eye much longer to lubricate the cornea.  In addition,  patients who use artificial tears also get a prolonged effect.  Restasis is another option.  This is an anti-inflammatory drop typically used twice a day to help promote a better quality tear film and more comfort for the patient.  We use all of these methods in our practice.  If your eyes have been uncomfortable,  obtain an opinion from your eye care professional. 
 
Remember,  protect those eyes!!

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Eye on Health

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