Dry Eyes Specialist

University Ophthalmology

Ophthalmologist located in Hyde Park, Chicago, IL

With nearly 5 million Americans 50 and up suffering from dry eye syndrome, commonly called dry eyes, it’s one of the most common eye problems affecting adults today. At University Ophthalmology in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois, the dedicated ophthalmology team understands how much discomfort and inconvenience dry eyes can cause. Book your appointment online or by phone now.

Dry Eyes Q & A

What are the symptoms of dry eyes?

Dry eyes usually causes multiple symptoms, including:

  • Gritty feeling eyes
  • Red eyes
  • Burning or hot-feeling eyes
  • Light sensitivity
  • Sore eyes
  • Itchy eyes
  • Difficulty driving at night
  • Blurry vision

Although it might sound strange, dry eyes can also trigger eye watering. But, those watery tears are just a response to irritation, so they don’t help restore healthy eye lubrication. 

Symptoms can range from mild to debilitating, and may vary according to the underlying condition. 

What causes dry eyes?

Dry eyes happen when you don't produce enough quality tears, or when your tears don't have enough lubricants. Many different things could interfere with normal tear production, including: 

  • Blepharitis (inflamed eyelids)
  • Excessive screen time
  • Excessive contact lens wear
  • Constantly dry environment
  • Systemic disease like diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis
  • Medications such as antihistamines and hypertension drugs
  • Hormone changes in your body

Refractive eye surgery can also cause dry eyes. But when your dry eyes begin after LASIK or other refractive surgery, the problem generally resolves naturally. 

How does the doctor diagnose dry eyes?

Your University Ophthalmology doctor asks you about your dry eyes and how the symptoms are affecting your life. Additionally, your ophthalmologist reviews your health history, work environment, living environment, current medications, and other aspects of your life to determine possible contributing factors or underlying causes of your dry eyes. 

During your eye exam, your ophthalmologist evaluates your blinking dynamics, eyelids, and inner eyes. Often, a tear test that evaluates your tears quality, quantity, and flow is also an important component of your diagnosis. 

What is the treatment for dry eyes?

Treatment for dry eyes depends on the severity of your symptoms. Eye drops that increase natural tear production and/or relieve inflammation are often effective for mild cases of dry eyes. For moderate to advanced cases of dry eyes, you might need artificial tear inserts that dissolve under your eyelids to make new tears over time.

Another potential option is punctal plugs, soft plugs that sit in your tear ducts to prevent tear loss. Some punctal plugs dissolve naturally over time, but others are permanent so your ophthalmologist has to remove them. 

If you have debilitating dry eyes that don’t respond to other treatments, you might potentially need a surgical procedure that permanently closes your tear ducts. 

The University Ophthalmology team offers personalized dry eyes care, using innovative solutions that really work. Book your consultation online or by calling the office today.