Dry eyes affect approximately 3.2 million women and almost 1.7 million men in the United States. Dry eyes is also affecting patients in their 20s due to computer screens, cell phone usage; it is especially troublesome for patients who wear contact lenses because the tear film now has to overexert itself to keep the cornea and contact lenses ‘wet.’ At best, dry eye and red eye are nuisance conditions. At worst, however, they can lead to vision impairment. As a skilled optometrist, there’s much that Sophie K. Dao, OD, can do to help relieve the symptoms in her patients in Milpitas, California. To tackle your dry eye or red eye, please call us at (408) 262-1221 or use the online scheduling tool to book an appointment.

Red Eyes and Dry Eyes Q & A

What is dry eye?

Dry eye is an aptly named condition that’s marked by a lack of tears to nourish and lubricate your eyes, leaving them feeling gritty, itchy, or hot. In order to better understand this condition, it helps to review the purpose of your tears.

Your tears are made up of three ingredients:

  • Water for hydration and nourishment
  • Oil to prevent evaporation
  • Mucus for spreading the tears

Together, these three components protect and nourish your eyes every time you blink by keeping the moisture in and foreign matter out.

Dry eye is generally driven by one of three things:

  • Lack of tear production
  • Tear evaporation increases
  • An imbalance in the three components listed above

These conditions can be brought on by a host of factors, ranging from environmental issues to vitamin deficiencies. By and large, age plays the biggest role in the development of dry eye, often developing after 50 when your tear production naturally slows. External forces, such as wind, smoke, or air conditioning can also greatly exacerbate the problem.

What is red eye?

Red eye is more of a symptom than a condition and happens when the blood vessels in your eyes expand. The most common reasons for persistent red eye are:

  • Allergies
  • Dry eye
  • Conjunctivitis, or pink eye
  • Glaucoma
  • Broken blood vessels

When it comes to persistent red eye, Dr. Dao works with you to pinpoint the source in order to get you started on an appropriate treatment.

How is dry eye treated?

Dr. Dao is a specialist in dry eye and ocular allergies and she’s a firm believer in Restasis®, which is the only prescription eye drop available that stimulates tear production.

With Restasis, Dr. Dao has helped her patients tackle the discomfort of dry eye while also protecting their eyes against harmful dehydration, which can lead to vision impairment. She prescribes the medicine along with several vitamin and hydration recommendations for optimal results.

If your body produces enough tears, but they’re quickly evaporating, Dr. Dao turns to treatments that open the gland that produces the oil in your tears, as well as methods that stop your tears from draining too quickly.

If dry eye is causing you great discomfort, call to make an appointment at (408) 262-1221.