Dry Eye Specialist

Santa Rosa Optometry

Michael C. Shulkin, OD

Optometrist located in Santa Rosa, CA

If you suffer from dry eyes, you may have blurry vision, difficulty wearing contacts, and other symptoms that can affect your quality of life. Michael C. Shulkin, OD, and the experts at Santa Rosa Optometry have the skills to address dry eyes and relieve your symptoms so you can enjoy daily activities again. To learn more or to schedule an eye exam, call the office in Santa Rosa, California, today, or make an appointment online.


Dry Eyes

What causes dry eyes?

Your tears are designed to keep your eyes moist and to remove dust, debris, and bacteria so they can’t harm the structures of your eyes. Tears are made of three essential components, oil, water, and mucus. Each ingredient is produced by its own gland.

When your eyes aren’t producing enough of any of these components, you may experience dry eyes. Some of the most common reasons your tear system can become unbalanced include:

  • Aging
  • Menopause
  • Hormonal imbalance
  • Medication side effects
  • Sjogren’s syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, and other diseases

Some people don’t close their eyes completely when they blink, or they have difficulty keeping their eyes closed. This can also lead to dry eye symptoms.

What are the symptoms of dry eyes?

In addition to the sensation that your eyes aren’t moist enough, dry eyes can cause the following symptoms:

  • Grittiness
  • Itching
  • Redness
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Blurry vision

Sometimes, dry eyes can cause reflex tearing, which can make your eyes feel wet, but these watery tears don’t provide proper lubrication or help much with discomfort.

How are dry eyes treated?

Treatment depends on the cause of your dry eyes and individual factors. An eye exam at Santa Rosa Optometry will help determine the cause of your symptoms, and your provider will discuss all your options so you can find as much relief as possible from dry eye discomfort.

Treatment options for dry eyes include:

Medicated eye drops

Eye drops containing antibiotics, corticosteroids, or cyclosporine can reduce inflammation that could be blocking the glands that produce your tears. Many patients respond to Xiidra®, a prescription eye drop used daily to stimulate tear production.

Punctal plugs

Like the name implies, these tiny devices plug the ducts in your eyes, so your tears don’t drain as quickly as usual. Punctal plugs can be dissolvable, or removable, and are easily inserted right in the office.

Scleral contact lenses

These wide-diameter contact lenses contain a reservoir of saline solution that continually bathes the eye during wear. Scleral contacts are a good option for moderate to severe cases.

Your provider may recommend that you take fish oil and/or an omega-3 supplement and that you perform eyelid scrubs to clear debris and promote tear production and flow, as research suggests these daily actions can treat dry eyes.

To find out more, call Santa Rosa Optometry today, or make an appointment online.