Dry Eyes Specialist

Visionaire Eye Consultants at Sterling Ranch

Optometrists & Opticians located in Sterling Ranch, Littleton, CO

Dry eye is a common eye problem that affects nearly 7% of all adults in the United States. If you suffer from the itching and irritation of dry eyes, Nicole Wellensiek, OD, and the team at Visionaire Eye Consultants at Sterling Ranch in Littleton, Colorado, offer comprehensive care, beginning with an accurate diagnosis and including today’s most innovative treatment options such as the LipiFlow® Thermal Pulsation System. Early treatment for dry eyes is important to protect your eye health. To schedule an appointment, connect online or call the office today.

Dry Eyes Q & A

What causes dry eyes?

When you blink, the eyelid movement spreads a fresh film of tears across your eyes. These tears lubricate your eyes and deliver the nourishment they need to stay healthy.

Dry eyes develop when you don’t produce enough tears or when the tear film evaporates too quickly to protect your eyes. Your tears must also contain the right proportion of oil, mucus, and water.

Problems that often lead to dry eyes include:

  • Meibomian gland dysfunction
  • Skin diseases affecting your eyelids
  • Age-related hormonal changes
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Smoky, windy, or dry environment
  • Extended time looking at electronics
  • Wearing contact lenses too long

Taking certain medications such as diuretics, beta-blockers, and allergy medicines can also cause dry eyes.

What is meibomian gland dysfunction?

Meibomian gland dysfunction is one of the most common causes of dry eyes. The meibomian glands are located along the edge of your eyelids, where they produce the oil that’s used to form your tears and ensure the tear film doesn’t dry up too quickly.

Several conditions can reduce the oil available for your tears. In many cases, meibomian gland dysfunction occurs when the glands are blocked and can’t release their oil.

What symptoms develop due to dry eyes?

In addition to the general irritation caused by dry eyes, you may experience:

  • Itchy eyes
  • Red eyes
  • Painful eyes
  • Light sensitivity
  • Eye fatigue
  • Blurred vision
  • Feeling like something is in your eye

Despite having dry eyes, you may have excessive tearing because that’s how your eye responds to irritation.

How are dry eyes treated?

Early treatment is important because ongoing dryness makes your eyes susceptible to infections, corneal thinning, and other eye problems. Mild symptoms may improve with artificial tears or moisturizing ointments you can get over-the-counter. 

When symptoms persist, Dr. Wellensiek recommends prescription medications that promote tear production or a tear duct plug that keeps the tears in your eyes. Dr. Wellensiek also offers treatment with an advanced device called the LipiFlow Thermal Pulsation System.

LipiFlow treats meibomian gland dysfunction using a combination of gentle massage and heat. The LipiFlow device is specially made to protect your eyes from the heat and pressure. You simply relax and let the treatment unblock your meibomian glands. On average, patients have a threefold increase in gland secretion after one treatment.

If you suffer from dry eyes, don’t wait to get treatment. Call Visionaire Eye Consultants at Sterling Ranch or book an appointment online today.

We are Optometrists & Opticians located in Sterling Ranch, Littleton, CO. Call us to book your appointment today.