Dry Eyes? We can Help!

One of the leading reasons for a medical visit at You & Eye is dry eye. Dry eye is exceedingly common in the United States. A summary estimate of prevalence from a meta-analysis of dry eye in the US is 17.4%!1 This means almost 1 out of 5 people experience dry eye symptoms.


Luckily, Dr. Pearce has developed a true passion for helping people who are experiencing the symptoms of dry eye (which can range from annoying to debilitating!).


Symptoms of Dry Eye


Dry eye disease can present with many different symptoms (or a combination thereof). These include red eyes, burning eyes, a feeling that something is in the eye, excess tearing, fluctuating vision, sensitivity to light, and more. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to be seen to determine the underlying cause (dry eye vs. another cause) and get treatment.


Aside from the pain and blurred vision that can come with dry eye, dry eye also increases the risk of secondary eye infections.


Needless to say, dry eye is an important eye health problem.


Causes of Dry Eye


The prevalence of dry eye increases with age, being female, and diabetes, but it can (and does) affect anyone.


There are different types of dry eye. Some people experience dry eye because they don’t produce enough tears (aqueous deficient dry eye), some experience dry eye because their tears evaporate too quickly (evaporative dry eye), and some experience dry eye due to a combination of the preceding types of dry eye (mixed mechanism dry eye).


We have glands in our eyelids known as meibomian glands that produce a part of our tears. The oil that comes out of these glands can sometimes thicken and block the gland. This is known as meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD) and is a major cause of evaporative dry eye. MGD is exceedingly common (prevalence of 21.2%).


Certain medications and medical conditions can cause dry eyes. The environment we live and work in can contribute to dry eye symptoms. Our hobbies and work tasks can also lead to dry eyes.


The good news is that there are treatments available that will help you be more comfortable while protecting the health of your eyes.


Dry Eye Testing and Treatments


There are many different tests that can be done to diagnose if you have dry eye and what the underlying cause of the dry eye is. At You & Eye, we have access to state-of-the-art diagnostic and treatment options. Many of the treatment options we have are not found in other optometric practices in the area. Each person benefits from an individualized treatment plan. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to dry eye treatment.


Dr. Pearce will evaluate the cause and severity of your dry eye using a combination of surveys, various dyes, a slit lamp (the big microscope used to examine your eyes), infrared meibography (an instrument that measures the function of the meibomian glands), and tear osmolarity.


From these tests (and more), Dr. Pearce will develop a treatment strategy in partnership with you. Together, you will consider the underlying cause of your dry eye, the severity of your dry eye, and the best treatment available for your type of dry eye, and combine them with your preferences, goals, and beliefs to develop the most appropriate plan for you.


This plan may include a combination of the following: over-the-counter lubrication drops, prescription drops (Restasis, Xiidra, Cequa, steroid eye drops), drops derived from your own blood (autologous serum), warm compresses, eyelid cleansing in the office (and at home), intense pulse light therapy (IPL), low-level light therapy (LLLT), and/or occluding the tear drains of your eyes (punctal occlusion).


Watch this space in the coming weeks for more information about some of these unique treatments, only available at You & Eye.


For dry eye or any other eye or vision concerns, schedule an appointment with Dr. Pearce at You & Eye right here in West Linn, Oregon. We are here to help you see clearly and comfortably. Call (503) 723-3000 to book an appointment today.



1. McCann, P. et al., Prevalence and Incidence of Dry Eye and Meibomian Gland Dysfunction in the United States: A Systemic Review and Meta-Analysis. JAMA Ophthalmology 2022;140(12)1181-1192