Diagnosing and Treating Dry Eyes
Millions of adults nationwide are affected by dry eye. Dr. Jason H. Nakagawa in Marina Del Rey, CA, can provide effective treatment for this condition. Because the cause of dry eyes can vary from patient to patient, an exam is necessary in order to recommend the right treatment for your needs.
Causes of Dry Eye
There are two causes of dry eye:
- Poor quality of tears
- Insufficient production of tears
Both causes result in a failure to keep the surfaces of your eyes properly lubricated every time you blink. When the quality or quantity of your tears is compromised, your ocular health and vision also suffer.
Certain factors can increase your risk of dry eye, including aging, medications, autoimmune disorders, hormonal changes, seasonal allergies, and excessive screen time.
If over-the-counter eye drops are not reducing your dry eye symptoms, you need professional treatment.
When to See a Doctor
Many patients turn to over-the-counter eye drops to quickly relieve the symptoms of dry eye. When these drops no longer help you, it is important to schedule an appointment to determine the cause of your dry eyes and receive the appropriate treatment. See a doctor if you have symptoms such as:
- A scratchy sensation
- Feeling of a foreign body in the eye
- Blurry vision
- Heavy eyelids
Dry Eye Testing
During your exam, Dr. Nakagawa can perform a series of tests to determine the cause of your dry eyes and prescribe the most appropriate treatment.
Schirmer Fluorescein Testing
This test is generally performed on patients who are producing too many or too little tears. Although there is no preparation for this test, it is recommended that you bring your eyeglasses with you if you typically wear contact lenses. After placing numbing drops in your eyes, Dr. Nakagawa will gently pull on your lower eyelid and place a testing strip underneath. You will keep your eyes shut for approximately five minutes while the strips are in place. Dr. Nakagawa will then carefully remove the strip and measure the amount of moisture.
A corneal topography test maps the surface of your eye and can detect very subtle irregularities that may be contributing to your dry eye symptoms. During the exam, Dr. Nakagawa will ask you to look straight ahead. The device will record the specific contours of your cornea to create a 3-D map.
Depending on the findings of your tests, Dr. Nakagawa may recommend dry eye treatments such as:
- Collagen Punctal Plugs
- Silicone Punctal Plugs
These small devices are inserted into your tear ducts to block liquid from draining from the eye. He may also prescribe drops such as:
Your treatment will be entirely tailored to your needs to ensure the best outcomes.
Get Treatment for Dry Eyes
If over-the-counter eye drops are not reducing your dry eye symptoms, you need professional treatment. Dr. Nakagawa can perform specialized tests that identify the cause of your dry eyes and allow him to prescribe the most appropriate treatment. To learn more about dry eyes or to explore treatment options, call our practice at (310) 508-4348 or request an appointment online.
Dr. Jason H. Nakagawa
Dr. Nakagawa has been practicing optometry since 1994. He is a member of multiple prestigious organizations, including:
- American Academy of Optometry
- American Optometric Association
- National Optometric Association
- The National Association of Patient Practitioners
- American Diabetes Association