Bringing Relief to your Dry Eyes
If you’re dealing with uncomfortable, irritated, itchy, red eyes that won’t seem to go away, you may be struggling with dry eye disease. You aren’t alone: nearly 16 million Americans suffer from dry eyes.
Dry eye disease is a common problem that no one wants to live with—and you don’t have to! Come in to OPT Optometric to see what relief we can offer your irritated eyes.
A Crash Course in Dry Eye Disease
If you want to learn more about dry eye disease, we’re happy to help. Until you’re able to visit for an appointment, here’s the rundown on some of the causes, symptoms, and risk factors related to dry eye disease.
Dry Eye Causes
Dry eye disease is often caused by a problem with your tears. Your tear film works to keep your eyes healthy, and when it’s disrupted, irritation can follow.
3 layers make up your tears:
- A mucus layer that sits closest to the eye & helps tears stick to the eye’s surface
- A watery layer that keeps the eyes clean & forms the majority of the tear’s composition
- An oily layer that sits on top of the other layers & allows you to blink smoothly
The oily layer is made in the meibomian glands, and when the glands get blocked, dry eyes can happen.
Dry Eye Symptoms
Dry eye disease symptoms appear as:
- Stinging, burning, or scratchy eyes
- Stringy mucus
- Feeling like there’s something in your eye
- Irritation when trying to wear contact lenses
- Light sensitivity
- Eye redness
- Watery eyes
- Fatigued eyes
- Blurred vision
If these symptoms are interfering with your vision, let us help you.
Dry Eye Risk Factors
- Age: People 50 or older seem to be more susceptible to dry eye
- Sex: Women seem to struggle most with dry eye
- Contact lens use: since they sit directly on the tear film, they can interfere with the eye’s moisture barrier
- Vitamin deficiency: vitamin A (found in carrots, broccoli, & liver) and omega-3 fatty acids (found in fish, walnuts, & vegetable oils) help stave off dry eye
- Autoimmune conditions: things like lupus or Sjögren syndrome can affect the eyes
- Computer use: long hours of looking at a screen can cause digital eye strain and exacerbate dry eye
- Laser eye surgery: undergoing these surgeries can inflame dry eye
Everyone can experience dry eye disease, however.
OPT for Quality Dry Eye Relief
If your tears are draining from your eyes too fast, leaving the surface of your eye dry and exposed, we offer punctual plugs. These tiny, biocompatible devices are inserted into the tear ducts by your optometrist. With the excessive drainage managed, your tears should return to normal, bringing equilibrium and comfort back to your eyes.
If meibomian gland dysfunction is the cause of your dry eyes, we offer lid expression to help get those glands working properly again. This therapy involves clearing the meibomian glands by breaking down any blockages, then gently pressing the excess meibum out. This helps balance tear composition and keeps eyes appropriately covered in moisture.
OPT Optometric is proud to offer BlephEx, a technology designed to reduce dry eye disease symptoms by helping maintain lid hygiene.
For more mild cases of dry eye, you can try optometrist-recommended eye drops or warm compresses over the eyes. Make sure your environment is set up to help prevent dry eye symptoms:
- Keep fans & air conditioners directed away from your face
- Avoid smoking & secondhand smoke
- Use a humidifier to keep indoor air moist
Wear sunglasses outdoors to add protection against wind & environmental irritants
Soothe Dry Eyes at OPT Optometric
Dry eyes can interfere with your quality of life and even leave your eyes more vulnerable to complications like corneal ulcers, infections, and abrasions on the eye’s surface. But we’re here to provide solutions.
We are proudly located in the Mission district.
A bike lock station is located in front of our office. We are a short walk from the 24th Street/Mission BART Station, or metered street parking is available.
To ensure the best one on one experience we are currently scheduling appointments for all in office visits.
- 1415 Valencia St.
- San Francisco, CA 94110
Hours Of Operation
- Monday: 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM
- Tuesday: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
- Wednesday: 1:00 PM – 6:00 PM
- Thursday: 11:00 AM – 7:00 PM
- Friday: 11:00 AM – 7:00 PM
- Saturday: Styling appointments available
- Sunday: Closed