Article 41: Dry Eye Exams and Questions

Welcome to Insight Eyecare with Dr.Kyle Tate, your Sapulpa eye doctor. Today we’re going to talk about some questions we commonly have from dry eye patients. As we know from previous episodes, dry eyes is also called Ocular Surface Disease. This affects men and women of all ages. The common symptoms are blurry vision, especially with blinking,sandy eyes, gritty eyes, burning eyes, red eyes, and any combination. We also know that dry eyes get worse with allergies. As your Sapulpa Eye Doctor, Insight Eyecare is here to help you. We have the most up-to-date and advanced information to prevent you from suffering from any type of ocular surface disease including dry eyes.

Today, we’re going to talk about dry eye questions I get as your Sapulpa Eye Doctor We will also discuss some of the science behind dry eyes, and hopefully explain where the feeling of sandy, burning, gritty, and redness comes from. The first question we get is “Should I put drops in my eyes before coming to my exam?” The answer to that question is Yes, please! At Insight Eyecare we want to give you the best vision possible out of your glasses and contacts; in order to do that, your Sapulpa Eye Doctor needs you to not have dry eyes during the exam. It is very common for us to have to stop an exam and send a patient away with a regimen of using lubricating drops for the eyes in order to get good glasses and contact measurements. This wastes your time as the patient as well as valuable time in our clinic which can be used to help improve other people’s lives.

Your Sapulpa eye doctor wants to be respectful of your time. It is very common for patients to come in and say “I did not use any eye drops today so you can see how my eyes are naturally.”Although logically this idea makes sense, scientifically we see things a different way. Dry eye treatments are designed to use the minimum amount of medication, which includes eyedrops, to prevent any symptoms or problems on the eye. We know from previous podcasts that one of the biggest fears of dry eyes is permanent damage. This can lead to scarring; so even going half of the day without using drops can cause minor damage. This minor damage on the surface of the eye will cause the need for additional exam time and appointments. So in summary, when you come see me as your Sapulpa Eye Doctor, I want you to use your drops like you would on a normal day. That way the surface of your eye is in best condition to get updated prescriptions and eye health examinations.

Another question is “What causes dry eyes?” This is an excellent question! We know that dry eyes increases with age and we’re seeing more and more signs of it amongst younger and younger generations. Genetics do play a factor, but it’s not completely understood.What is much more understood are other factors that influence dry eyes, so let’s focus on those.

We know that females are more likely to suffer from sandy gritty eyes than males. It is well documented that the more time we’re doing activities such as reading, computer time, tablet time, and phone time the eyes will become dry because our blink rate reduces 30%. Basically, close-range activities make you blink a third less. We know that certain medications will dry the eyes out, such as a water pill, also known as Hydrochlorothiazide. Other medications that are prone to drying the eyes out are anti-histamines. Allergy pills such as Benadryl, Claritin, and Zyrtecwill cause red, itchy, and sandy feeling eyes. The interesting thing is that lots of medications have side effects of dry eyes listed. However, none of them actually help the eyes produce more natural tears.

It is very common when the healthy layer of tears are thick and contain mucus but are not present enough or too dry to get the second type of tears to replace it. These tears are watery and are meant to rinse off the surface of the eye and run down your cheek. I have many patients with watery eyes that are actually watering because their eyes are dry. That is something we have to carefully explain, what’s going on and why this is concerning. It is hard to explain and convince someone that their eyes are watering because the eyes are dry. Now you must understand that the term “dry eyes” is an improper term. This is why Ocular Surface Disease is a much more appropriate term. However, it has not caught on within our industry or in the general public.

Remember with all the sandy,burning, and gritty eyes we do have medications, beyond just lubricating drops,which make the eyes produce more natural tears. When you see us, your Sapulpa Eye Doctor, we evaluate different glands that make up the three main parts of your tears; the fluid glands, the mucin glands, and the oil glands. We will focus on whichever glands are not working well enough and use treatments to improve that part of the tear film.

If you or any of your friends suffer from dry eyes, itchy eyes, sandy eyes, red eyes, burning eyes, or vision that improves when you blink, you may be suffering from an ocular surface disease.At Insight Eyecare we evaluate patients on all exams for signs of any type of ocular surface disease problem. This can include dry eyes, eye allergies, or blepharitis. Remember, as your Sapulpa Eye Doctor, we are designed to meet all your eyecare and eyewear needs. Our large optical boutique has over 1000 frames available. We have searched for the highest quality lenses and eyeglasses labs.These will give you the best vision out of your glasses, today and in the future. At Insight Eyecare I want to be your Sapulpa Eye Doctor for your entire life. We maintain a commitment to excellence and to provide the most up-to-date care possible. Please consider us if you have dry eyes and come let us improve your life. God bless and have a great day!

Scroll to Top