Dry Eyes

Dry Eyes Specialist
Patients living in the Astoria, New York, area are encouraged to visit the office of Dr. John Pilavas if they’re experiencing dry eyes or any eye irritation. Dr. Pilavas is a board-certified ophthalmologist who specializes in all aspects of eye health. He offers comprehensive eye exams and effective treatment options for a wide variety of vision problems, including dry eyes.

Dry Eyes Q & A

by John Pilavas, MD

What causes dry eyes?

Tears are made up of oils, mucus, and water. The human eyes need the hydration tears provide to remain healthy.

When tear production decreases for any reason or the tears evaporate too quickly, the eyes can become dry and irritated. Aging often causes reduced tear production, but so does the use of certain medications and damage to the tear ducts. Dry eyes may also be the result of increased evaporation of the fluids that moisten the eye. Heavy winds, exposure to smoke, and overexposure of the eye due to infrequent blinking or eyelid problems may also be the cause of excessively dry eyes.

Can dry eyes damage the cornea?

The cornea of the eye is a soft, moist tissue that must remain sufficiently lubricated to function properly. When the amount of hydration decreases, the cornea can become dry and inflamed. The inflammation can lead to irritation that makes it difficult for the lubricant covering the eye to remove debris.

As the eye continues to dry out, bits of debris that gently float across the cornea may scratch the surface of the eye. That can lead to an increase in eye infections and dramatically affect a person's quality of life.

How are dry eyes treated?

Dr. Pilavas must first determine what’s causing the condition to treat it effectively. In the meantime, until he finds the cause, he may prescribe lubricating eye drops to help soothe your eyes. Once he discovers the exact cause, he'll go over your treatment options. For example:

  • Clearing or repairing the tear ducts may be needed.
  • Eye drops containing medications that reduce inflammation and overall irritation are another option.
  • There are also medications out there that help stimulate tear production.

Eye inserts that resemble a small piece of rice can also be placed in your eye once a day to increase lubrication. Once Dr. Pilavas places an insert inside your lower eyelid, it will gradually dissolve, increasing the amount of moisture in your eye.

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