Robert G. Alexander, MD

Dry, Burning, Itching Eyes

eye drops

We fit many people with contact lenses, despite their dry eyes.

Scratchy, sore, eyeball aches, gritty, pins and needles, constant watering, itching, light sensitive, red, pressure, tired, burning…these are only a few of the symptoms our patients use to describe their dry eyes.

Tears provide a protective coating for the eye. Naturally-occurring tears in our eyes are produced by the lacrimal glands located in the eyelids. Without adequate tears, or when tears lack the proper balance of water, oil and mucus to lubricate the cornea—the eye’s surface—a condition called keratitis sicca may occur. Commonly known as “dry eye” this condition can be a constant “pain” to live with. In addition to discomfort, dry eye may cause blurry vision and impact outdoor activities, driving, reading or the wearing of contact lenses. Dry eye may occur simultaneously in patients with irritated eyelids, a condition known as meibomianitis. Both conditions are often treated with simple over-the-counter remedies. Call today to make an appointment if you believe this situation applies to you or a loved one.

Dr. Alexander advocates a 3-stage attack on dry eye:
one Supplement—Over-the-counter eye drops known as “artificial tears” can be used several times each day to lubricate the eye’s surface. Even patients who suffer from reflex watering, or tearing due to their dry eye may benefit from adding the right combination of nourishing moisture to their eyes. And try to keep your environment hydrated with humidifiers or open containers of water. Dr. Alexander’s philosophy is, “Wetter is better.”
two Avoid—Most causes of dry eye are unavoidable—like aging or hormonal changes. However dry eye may worsen through everyday encounters with cigarette smoke, wind and debris in the air. Try to minimize conditions that add to your dry eye problem. Be aware that medications taken to dry your nasal passages will also dry your eyes and use extra tears during those times. Turn the car vents away from your face and avoid sitting in front of fans or heaters whenever possible. Wear sunglasses outdoors. Keep creams and makeup out of your eyes.
three Take action—No one knows your eyes better than you! Try different brands of artificial tears until you find one that works for you and use it several times daily. Consider fish oil or flax seed supplements to add a nutritional boost to your own tears. Studies show that 3,000 mg per day of one of these oils helps the body produce better quality, more nourishing tears. And finally, don’t suffer in silence. Make an appointment with Dr. Alexander to learn if medical treatments such as punctal occlusion or prescription medication could help you. If you are unable to wear contact lenses the way you once did due to dry eye, make an appointment. After your initial comprehensive examination, Dr. Alexander will discuss new contact lens designs and treatments that may benefit you.

Phone 781-655-3773 to make appointment